POEM: Lemuria III

The dead children are walking
I hear their scuffling footsteps
The dead children are walking
Victims of the father
Victims of the mother
The dead children are walking
Infants and toddlers shaken to death
Babies and children starved and beaten
The dead children are walking
The gay and trans children bullied to suicide
The girls raped by their fathers
The dead children are walking
The boys sent off to war
The black boys dead in a war at home
Shot by the father’s police
The dead children are walking
Those who died in concentration camps
In Germany, Austria, Poland
In Texas USA
The dead children are walking
I spit beans at them
Go home, children
There is peace for you
in the realm of the dead
There is no peace here

POEM: Lemuria II

There’s someone crying in the kitchen
I have heard that voice before
Someone shouting in the kitchen,
banging the pots and pans, brooding
over the lighted burners, the boiling pots.
Someone, something is in the kitchen
the ghosts of dead mothers, mother martyrs,
martyred mothers, the mothers who expect help
without asking for it, the mothers who smoke cigarettes
in their children’s faces, the mothers who flirt with
their daughter’s boyfriends. Someone is crying
in the living room, hunched in the corner of the sofa,
on the phone with a friend saying how awful
everything is, unfaithful husband, ungrateful child,
no money for jewelry, no time for herself.
Someone, something is clutching at me,
a cigarette in one ghostly hand. I spit beans at you!
Let the ghosts of unloving mothers be forever gone,
silent in Asphodel. Shut up, mother, you’re dead.

POEM: Lemuria I

The family ghosts are quiet; they behave themselves.
It is the ghosts of old regimes that creak so loudly on the stair.
The father of all fathers, patriarchy, walks these halls.
“I am man, I am father, I am king,” he mumbles ceaselessly
under his breath. “I am white, I am rich, I am powerful.
Whatever is not me is less than me, less than human,
fit only to serve my will, my whim. Give me more wives,
more gold, more power! Give me more servants to carry my weight!”
Like Hamlet’s father’s ghost, he wants to be avenged, that is,
perpetuated. Instead I spit beans at him. Let the ghosts
of old kings, old fathers, begone! Let the white man ghost
be laid to rest, never trouble his women, his children,
his servants. Let the rest of the world breathe free, stand up,
unhaunted, undaunted, walking freely in the light of day.