They Swim

They swim
poor little fish
straight through the safety nets
that would hold them
in fresh water’s flow
they are too young to vote
or weave social change
into protective boundaries

They swim
through gaping holes of greed
lacking resource and means
to bind the shredded holes of ignorance

They swim
swept downstream
to river’s brackish estuary
where
the salt
through osmosis
dehydrates cells

They swim
assimilating the filth
prostitution
drug abuse
theft
abuse
bulging, murderous eyes
desperate

They swim
until
defeated
oxygen depleted
poor little fish
belly up

They float

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

A Candle Lit

a candle lit
they made too much of it
it was nothing
little flicker
casting wimpy shadows
in a dark room
filled with the hot air
that
critics
naysayers
and
waylaying souls
all
breathe
like
wing-clipped, impotent dragons
fresh from
fire gland removal surgery
nail clipping
fang filing
and
plugging their nostrils with lambs’ wool to protect against the stench
of the sulfuric lies they spew

little flicker
like stage blood
offends
in drops
the cultured, privileged eyes
now covered
but
provides
aesthetic gore
to those sheep led to the slaughtering fields of
deprivation
starvation
and
war
their sanguine fluids shed
they
can
relate

little flicker
they made too much of it
it was nothing
wait
until
they
see
the
flame
it
sparked

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

 

If Nature Erected Walls

if nature erected walls
to keep foreign plants off native soil
dug the foundation deeply
to make evil roots recoil
built the barriers high
and
higher
could she prevent alien seeds from crossing
in their clingy flight on winged things
would she try
or
would she,
the master artist,
paint the vivid colors of biodiversity
and be glad for her expanding pallet
then
I wonder
if nature erected walls
to protect her vulnerable places
would she build herself a chastity-belt fence
to halt earth-stripping exposure
from lusty, mechanical hands
and
stop
fracked-oil raping
that leave her lovely portraits
smothered in charcoal hues
rent
and
ruined
I wonder
if nature erected walls
what part would she ban

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

What?

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

starving children,
the moaning human refuse
collected
for posterity
in refugee wastelands
must starve
WHILE
sheltered youth,
plump and spoiled
dressed in pressed watercolors
not junk yard soiled
are allowed free run
on a White House lawn
to hunt for candy-filled eggs

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

this year
the Easter Bunny voted
rolled his eggs for Trump

WHILE

children, impoverished,
hunted meals
from the dump

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

WHAT?

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

An Instrumental Tanka

trees shake maracas ~

a Taino rhythm to keep ~

rattle past’s recall ~

the new world vomited bile ~

poisoned, the old leaves fell dead

~

(note: Maracas originated with the Taino people, the Indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands and S. Florida. The coming of Columbus brought a time of disease, slavery and murder that left approximately 5 million humans dead, nearly exterminating the Taino. Indigenous people today face a continued battle in America to protect their treaty negotiated lands, waters and ancestral burial sites most recently from gas pipelines. An honest look at history is a starting point in healing old wounds and preventing new ones.)

#noACP

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in tankapoetry & noACP. Bookmark the permalink.

If

If
If it
If it were
If it were your
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
of course you would feed them
knead stone into bread
until your fingers bled trying
can you squeeze water from clay?
filter impurities away?
with your skin?
steal shelter from garbage bins?
build scrap-tin walls with a cardboard roof
until it rains
filling puddles with the rust
of poverty’s chains
to what land would you flee?
if bombs showered your home?
all order violently destabilized
carry your children on your back
so you might keep their dead bodies from dying
for another day or two
how much time can you purchase?
when you can’t even buy food?
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
If it were your
If it were
If it
If

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

I Played #2

I played
acoustic strums
on vibrating strings
echoing
through a hollow sound chamber
carefully crafted
for harmonic reverberations
hand-drawn notes from calloused fingers
diverse sounds produced from skillful fretting

I played
on a concrete step
that led
to a House of White
deafened
where the ears were stopped
the chamber plugged with hand-picked cotton

leaving me but the snap of a dull string plucked
the insensitive quack of a nervous duck

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink,