dVerse — MTB — The Shape of Dust

https://mayhemandmuse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/A-nasty-pirate-witch-holds-a-child-in-a-cage-in-this-childrens-book-illustration-by-Daniel-Montero-Galan.jpg


I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.
―  by Abdulrazak Gurnah, By the Sea

 

The Shape of Dust

A dull-black dusty bootheel holds
his Adam’s apple to floor while
uniformed, sanctioned rapists’
empty-eyed stubbles decide

Dust rises from bus stampedes
that rumble with wails and sighs
Checkpoint pivots decide lives
along concertina wreathed borders

Miticide dust makes her cough
Choosing between nakedness
and breath, she sighs, wheezes
as she’s marched to her cage

Cot springs dig; she chooses
a side, curls under loose weaves,
her bunny, dusty, threadbare 
warm in her tear-stained cling

Lillipution delusions fall in the mud
as skewed lenses shatter
Flat feet bleed from their shards
Lines wash away in cool green rain

Tanzanian Abulrazak Gurnah was announced as the winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature today. Learn more about Mr. Gurnah here.

 

Top illustration by Daniel Montero-Galan.

 

Bjorn is today’s host of dVerse’ Meet The Bar. Bjorn wants us to write a poem in the cadralor form and encourages us to connect to the spirit of Gurna if we choose. This is my second entry for the challenge today and an attempt to connect with those who find themselves needing to flee from a country, attempting to seek asylum in another land, and what they may face in their journey towards sanctuary. Speaking to the top quote, with maps possession is possible, and it is also the choice what to do with that stewardship. My poem’s running themes are dust (the land we say we possess) and the choices (of what to do with our stewardship.) Thank you again, Bjorn, for the prompt form.

35 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    Such a stark and moving poem Li.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        Thank you, Reena ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sadje says:

        👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

        Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ingrid says:

    You went to a dark place with this second caldrador, but the effect is very potent. Humanity has created all of these dark places. Nature can provide solace and relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it can, Ingrid. It may be the only thing that can.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. memadtwo says:

    The pivots on those borders loom large. It’s frightening. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It would be nice to have a world without borders. Instead, we have territory that is designed not to recognize the limits of our neighbors but to isolate ourselves — only so long as it does not limit our ability to infringe on others or deny the importance of humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Well-said, Ken.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Helen Dehner says:

    Amazing poetry … dust to dust to dust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Helen.

      Like

  6. Dora says:

    Lisa,
    The monstrous shape of dust — man’s inhumanity to man — takes horrifying shape with your words. We are after all Lilliputians: Swift describes us well. The cool green rain makes me think of chemical warfare as corporate militarists fight over borders. When there’s no “dust” left, “lines wash away.” The graphic power of the images is chilling. Powerful writing. May we think more deeply about existence and life and our neighbor.
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, thank you very much for sharing your interpretation of the poem. Yes, may we!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lynn__ says:

    From dust to dust…too many people still oppressed in this world. You aren’t afraid to look at the muck and expose it, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Lynn, I am humbled by your comment. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lynn__ says:

        You are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. sanaarizvi says:

    This is so powerful! There is so much that needs to be addressed in our ongoing chaotic world .. sigh ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sanaa, thank you, and yes indeed, particularly around borders, land ownership, entitlements, and stewardship.

      Like

  9. pvcann says:

    The gritty reality for many, and yet naturre offers solace and healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      If we would only stop harming the source of solace and healing 😦

      Like

  10. Xan says:

    The second one I’ve read today about thinking beyond the map’s edge. That this image never occurred to me I find so telling, because I love maps, but I accept without even wondering how they confine our vision of “world.” Thank you for shaking up my complacency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bjorn did a great job with his combination of form and Nobel Prize for Literature winner. I hadn’t thought too much about it either before the combination. You are welcome and glad you connected with it, Alexandra.

      Like

  11. Grace says:

    A powerful theme to write about – dust, borders, refugees and freedom to travel and live elswhere. I feel for those eyes behind the fences and borders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Grace, thank you, I do too.

      Like

  12. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I really like “Dust rises from bus stampedes that rumble with wails and sighs” that is fantastic..
    Plus you managed to write a verse with “Lillipution” which is something in it’s own right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Max! I’m not sure where the Lillipution came from…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        I will admit…I had to look it up

        Liked by 1 person

  13. To see the flight from the perspective of a little girl is so very powerful… It is not only what you are leaving but the journey itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bjorn, thank you.

      Like

  14. Great image choice! Perfect for the Halloween season. 😳🤓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Gia. It took me awhile to find one that I thought matched the poem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome and my pleasure. I love an arresting image.

        Liked by 1 person

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