Sunday, 12 September 2010

From My Cage to Yours

Here we stand, you and I,
aching souls sentenced to life
in these frail cages of tissue and bone
behind walls that began as fences—
boundary-markers over which to meet—
but that now only imprison our selves.
And within, we are lonely.

Here we stand, cage to cage,
and very ordinary-looking cages, too,
but for the windows through which pass
the elements—light and air and sound—
in endless but tentative stream
of shadows, breaths and echoes
bespeaking something more within.
But without, we are unheard.

Here we stand, two apart
longing to reach out across this space
littered with remnants of much unsaid, unknown:
emotion, experience, expectation;
but unable, it seems, to open doors
that, hardly aware, we locked so long ago—
and now they are stiff, and we are stuck
within these familiar cages,
waiting out our life sentence, self-imposed.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in . . ." (Revelation 3:20, KJV)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


He glances at her,
this chauffeur-driven
man in business suit,
from within his air-conditioned
made-by-Toyota rain shelter,
one of nineteen such
that slow to a stop
before the glare of
two red lights.

Her eyes stung by endless
darts of falling water,
She silently watches as he
continues his phone call;
smothers a shiver as she
ponders who he is
where he's headed
what he's thinking . . .
And if he might like her boiled groundnuts.

Then twin amber suns,
man-made, shine in the rain,
heralding motion;
nineteen keys turn in ignitions,
nineteen engines rev into life,
the lights glow green,
and the metal multitude advances
bearing its load of
histories and destinies . . .

She saw a man at those lights,
But he didn't see her.