two poems by Danya Raquel

Danya Raquel | March 29th, 2016 | a poem a day challenge, poetry | No Comments

With spindly fingers

With spindly fingers
wrapped around a steaming
cup of tea
and the rain outside
singing a song of
once-upon-a-time summer,
my grandmother used to
tell me ageless wisdom
yesh li mazgun babeten sheli*,
in a thick Austrian accent,
with a crackle in her voice

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
translating to the anguish of a zombie youth
where the media is a puppet master,
and our strings are tangled
but we are blaming ourselves
if we could think for ourselves
would we turn against the
one oppressor oppressing us most?

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
because our case of media Stockholm-syndrome
will not be cured with
therapy of any sort
Sometimes I wonder,
if social media
existed in WWII,
would Facebook have a “gas the Jews” button?
Perhaps this would have led
the Nazis to achieve
sevenfold what they did
and Muslims, communists, gays,
would have been shipped together just
the same

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
because what is handed to us is assumed to be true
and we can’t seem to learn from our mistakes
because our empathy gland
has been severed

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
for a noble youth
an ignorant youth,
a youth assuming that
that there is only one right answer –
a cry for blind hate,
misguided anger,
and bandwagon scape-goating
in so many directions
it’s a wonder we haven’t

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
because if we could see for ourselves,
and speak
without a screen
to window
the insults
we fling
would we be kinder?
yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
for a world with as many religions
as ways there are to view a situation

and yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
because we believe what we are told
if it’s said to be fact
no questions asked
but in actuality
the truth to most claims
is as valid
as that
regarding the translation
of this wisdom.

yesh li mazgun babeten sheli
I have an air conditioner in my stomach

*I have an air conditioner in my stomach.

And it would have ended with a kiss

And it would have ended with a kiss,
a sweet slow suck
of lip between lip,
and nails in hair
as though he might not be real

It would have ended with a
sad stare into his
puppy-brown eyes,
a thumb caressing the
stubble on his
a slow exhale of a pained sigh

It should have ended with an
angry smack to his chest,
a vibration throughout the room
as the door slams shut,
shrieks loud enough to haunt
next night’s sleep

But it did not end with a kiss,
even though all things great require great commemorations,
because it did not start at all,
and all that was
was a mere exhale of smoke
turned dank
from being held in too long,
and the coughing lasted months,
and the dizziness was

Poet Bio

Danya grew up in Johannesburg and attended King David High School, where she thrived in literature, performing and visual arts. She is now a student at Wits, studying Film, Visual and Performing Arts.

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