Welcome to ‘Global Connections’ where each week you’ll find the work of 2-3 poets chosen specially by Michelle Vinci from The Global Twitter Community Poetry Project her ambitious social media collective poetry showcasing initiative (90 submissions from 23 countries). See here for more details. ArtiPeeps couldn’t be happier to be collaborating with this project and contributing to the further proliferation of the talent that can be found throughout the world.
This weekend we are featuring poems from the USA, Bangkok and Kenya by :
Emmett Wheatfall, Tom Okenye Otero & Cameron Conaway
13 KNOTS WITH A NOOSE
By Emmett Wheatfall
His hat—tin foil
Necktie—13 knots with a noose
A straightened coat hanger—his cane
He thinks I look weird
His coat—a Hefty Trash Bag
A faded denim from Goodwill—his pant
I utter not a word
His socks—crusty brown wool
A pair of eyeglasses—lensless
Our world turns
Him—a fashion magnet—
for the homeless. Me—the social
– Copyright Emmett Wheatfall @emmettwheatfall Portland, Oregon, USA – 2013
Biography: Emmett Wheatfall lives in Portland, Oregon where he reads, writes, and performs poetry. He has published three books of poetry entitled He Sees Things (2010), We Think We Know (2011), and The Meaning of Me (2012).
He has published four chapbooks under the titles Queen of the Nile, I Too Am A Slave, The Majestic, and Midnight In Madrid through Portland publishing company Naviguer Les Mers Publishing. Also, a number of his poems have been published by online journals and periodicals.
He has released two lyrical poetry CDs. When I Was Young (2010) is a highly regarded thematic CD that speaks to love, hope, betrayal, and fidelity addressed in various social and cultural context. I Loved You Once (2011) contains great poetry writing set to jazz, blues, and pop musical influences.
By Tom Okenye Otero
The cries of playing children slowly die in a diminuendo,
Goats and sheep systematically replace them,
Cows and their young ones join the dead end of the treble.
Night is approaching in the African homestead.
As nature hurries to put things in order,
Only men will dare challenge the forces of nature.
They gather round huge fireballs in order of their ranks,
The blazes they make standing out like stars from a far,
Here the future of our clan is put to perspective.
At the warmth of three black balls,
Fire insects walk up and down the cooking pot,
As grandma call the troupes to order,
Here the history and culture of our people is tossed beyond doubt.
A painless paradise that almost put many to sleep,
Had it not been for its magic spell,
The power of grandma’s words,
Laughter living between life and death,
Experience that went beyond mortal power.
Night is falling in the African homestead,
But the masters of the night must surely perform their jazz,
The solo of the wild insects,
Tied to the other end by the rhythms of the night birds,
The wonderful vocals of the hyena,
I have never seen one in the contemporary world,
We will never see one in the modern world,
We blindly crossed the bridge and water has swept it downstream,
My son will never see it,
My grandson will never hear about.
The magic stick lay in front of me shaking,
Bound by the fairy tales of history,
If at all we had listened!
The sin of keeping our hands clean,
Too late to pass a blame,
For the pain of wearing a forced smile abound large.
History is sweet,
A tale almost fair,
It can not create the might African home.
– Copyright Tom Okenye Otero @lfoTom Kisii, Kenya, Africa – 2013
Biography: My name is Tom Okenye Otero. I am a Kenyan, aged 37, married with three children. I have a bachelors degree in commerce and am working as an audit assistant with an educational institution in the country. I write for leisure and much of my work has not been published due reasons beyond my reach.
By Cameron Conaway
-For Mahabubur, Abdul Malek Road corner, Chittagong
His beard an inch of white
at root and eight more yellow.
A light lychee bushel hanging
from rusted nail rolls to fall.
He tilts his head and presses on
his inner brow with his thumb
and I sense his stress entirely
wrong. His thumb slides across
to wring his brow like a rag.
No drips, a splash, two fists
gather to retie his lungi.
He looks at me like yesterday
when I said “maybe tomorrow”
but meant “not now, I’m tired.”
Today, even his eyes have ribs
so when they looked at me
and he said “maybe tomorrow”
but meant “please, please buy”
I sat beside him at his stall,
emptied my wallet of taka
and we peeled back the rough
lychee skin to sweet bursting.
– Copyright Cameron Conaway @CameronConaway Bangkok, Thailand – 2013
Biography: Cameron Conaway is a former MMA fighter, an award-winning poet and the Social Justice Editor at the Good Men Project, where he has published work based on his international investigations into topics such as child labor and human trafficking. Follow him on Twitter @CameronConaway.