the blood rose…

Image provided by Jade

as a student
i asked bapa dola
what is a blood rose
his eyes
filled with tears
slowly he spoke
a blood rose
is one that collects
all the sadness of a soul
i did not understand
but one day in haiti
i place a white rose
upon a pile of rubble
where my friend was sure
a child’ body was entombed
and before my eyes
the rose began to bleed
i asked bapa dola
why this happened
he said
beneath this rubble
lies a mother’s
second heart beat
and a father’s pride
ignored by all those entrusted
with the world’s alms
so that they may
gain more profit
like shylock they guard
those coins
letting these unmarked graves
stay here day
after day
and as i listened
the last rose i held
began to bleed
as if it felt
my pain


This is the seventh part of a series of poetry challenges between Jade ( and me. The whole idea behind it is to send a picture ( in this case by Vlad) to the other as inspiration (or visual muse, if you want to), and the other has to write a poem inspired by the image. Visit her site to see how she has responded to my sixth challenge photograph on her site.  As a note bapa dola is an african soothe sayer who has been with me in spirit since high school….he is getting very old.


half awake i wander through my day
sometimes dreaming
sometimes fearing
the corners of my own thoughts
as if there were some evil there
(it’s just a childish nightmare…)
all i ‘ve sought was love
not always that with passion
but that love which is willing to give
not decreed to be given
by some collared representative of god
(it’s just a childish wish…)
my body seems formless one moment
caught in a repeating nightmare
floating with only the sound of my heart beat
then vibrant like the sound
a morning sunrise should make
alive with all the  wonders of life
like a child seeing his first parade
(it’s just a childish vision…)
i’m caught in this cycle
i ‘m the board which holds the anchor of the ship
and although the rest of the ship is gone
i am bound to these shores
crashing upon the rocks at low tide
and floating freely in the waves at high tide
(it’s just a childish sensation…)
soon the sea will rust these chains
and i shall float freely
without being held to these shores
till then
i must hold fast to what can be
and live with what is
and wander with the ebb and flow
that has brought me to these shores
(it is just the fate of men…)