Posted in interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

just a thought & 2 more poems | Lonnie Monka

just a thought

a gazelle
            leading its herd
can only turn
            as sharply as it
can gallop fast
            enough not
to become trampled
                        —thoughtlessly

along sections of the coast

regardless of who paid to put them there
there are "Danger of Landslide" signs
embedded into the Mediterranean sand


signs that bystanders only take as seriously
as they wonder about the future...
the future—which only ever seems to be


projections of the past—& regardless
of all their writing these signs present
an illustration of a skull facing the horizon

surely someone needs to say the cliché:
a skull has no face—no skin—no nationality
a skull just depicts the peak of naked human history


& I would never have recognized that skull as mine
until happening upon one sign that had been uprooted
and covered by—surprise surprise—a landslide

violence & the pupil

pounding their hooves gazelle search for food
in the Negev's largest nature reserve
until in the sky erupts a distant rumble

the gazelle jerk their gaze upwards
as eyes fidget across a blue & white expanse
expressing a bellow in motion

then as a target on the central hilltop explodes
the violence of the world penetrates the pupil
& an inert luster of the orb reflects

an Israeli Air Force jet zooming ahead of its own voice
restricting firing practice damage to that one hilltop
where earth is freshly blackened with each new blow

each explosion shakes the gazelle's fear-bound bones
but never ignites that ever-expansive desire
urge upon urge to preserve & to be preserved

oh!—how I wish I were a child again
ruled by cravings to touch all objects in my gaze
unaware of the damaging effects of expressing interest

before internalizing Rabbis’ tales of my people
gathering before Mt. Sinai as newly freed slaves
unwilling to face a thundering voice of the divine

"go to the top of the mountain without us"
we plead & instruct our leaders
"pound those awful sounds into marks on stone"

©2022 Lonnie Monka
All rights reserved


Lonnie Monka…

…a Jerusalem-based poet, founded Jerusalism, a non-profit organization to promote Israeli literature in English. He is a PhD student at Hebrew University, researching the intersection of modernist art and orality through a study of David Antin’s talk-poems, and he is currently an OWL Lab Fellow.

Jerusalism


Quote from The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot

April in The BeZine Blog