Poetry

 

The Yak
By Liang Yujing

Not even having
A word, I trekked alone
To the snowy mountainside
Of Himalayans, gusts howling
Backwards to the low
Plains where grass
And brooks were feeding cows,
Milk cows, not like me. So
I departed and so they
Labelled me a splittist. That’s
Their language, not mine.

They produce milk
To kill babies and,
Of course, it’s melamine-free,
As they claimed. I set out
To the dim sun, mooing
Skyward, free
From the yoke, chewing
Snow, no grass. Patriotism?
I wouldn’t give

A damn.

Now Comes the Man
By Matt Hetherington

now comes the man who wants to surround us
now comes the man with eyes in his boots

now comes the man without the love of another
now comes the man without a song in his soul

now comes the man who keeps water from dying throats
now comes the man with the smile like a ripped-up road

now comes the man whose heart is guarded by a password of numbers
now comes the man who refuses to hear a thing we say about him
but who lives in fear of open prisons

now comes the man who would tie up the wind if he could
now comes the man who would disappear completely

if only we could look away

Yoko was always gonna be a problem

By Maxine Beneba Clarke

yoko wz always gonna be an alien
built to destroy the beatles?& they / unwitting
never really stood a chance

all those fainters were sayin:
you heard about john and that
japanese chick
jesus fucken what’s he playin at
i mean seriously / what is that shit

cz like / before yoko came along
those boys were american as apple pie/ right

yoko wz always gonna be a problem
all those fans whisperin
what’s that lennon boy playin at / goddamn
don’t he know what those
mail order brides r like when some white
boy/s got somethin they want
they turn fucken kamikaze / jesus ?ain’t john supposed to be
the bright one

yoko wz always the problem

if those boys were too tired to tour
fucked off with each other & recording
couldn’t agree / acquiesce / or come together
on something / if they wanted to holiday
or to eat or fuck or live separate
it wz always gonna be yoko
yoko wz always the cause of it
any fool coulda seen
that yoko wz always gonna be
a problem

bt  what if yoko  wz never after
a quarter of the catalogue
what if yoko fell in love
& all she ever wanted
wz john

what Queenie says

By Susan Hawthorne

Preface:

I grew up with cows and cows have come to inhabit my imaginative life over many years. The cows
in my collection of poems entitled Cow are also symbolic and they derive their richness not just
from the part they’ve played in my life, but from the enormous wealth of mythological and
linguistic importance they bear in many cultures around the world. In Egypt, the cow goddess
Hathor holds up the sky; in India she is the wish-fulfilling cow who provides for the people, she is
sometimes called simply Devi, goddess; in Greece the cow spills the milk that becomes the galaxy
(Gr. gala, galakt- milk) the Milky Way; and from the Norse languages, the word queen comes into
English: Old Norse kwvenna, kvinna is related to Old English cwen and both words trace their
origins back to the Sanskrit word for cow, gau (gavaah nom pl).

This poem draws on the many origin stories about cows that come through different cultures where
the cow roams. I have named the main character in Cow Queenie. She is a philosopher and a
linguist, she falls in love and wanders the world, she is a revolutionary and a storyteller. She is you
and me. I named her calf Meena which is Sanskrit for fish; daughter of Usha (goddess of dawn). In
Greek, the word for cow bous is also a word for a fish, in particular a fish of the Nile.

what Queenie says

I’m grazing near a human encampment
time has rolled in
on a day the length of all time
I gave birth to the universe
my milk flows away through the night sky
galaxies spin and twirl form and unform
as the dance of creation and decreation proceeds

these small creatures have come to look at me
they watch the white liquid spill on the ground
it flows like a river forming stars
my calf the size of the earth drinks and grows
runs and scampers testing new found legs
kicks and kicks and the earth wobbles
in that kick she has found power

my calf is called Meena fish
at home on earth
in the sea of sky
in the great waters
that flow between creations

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