If I might be allowed to say so, I think my "first" love was poetry. Unfortunately for me, the British curricula at school did not put me in touch with the Metaphysical Poets, nor with the post-Georgian school. Almost all the school texts after World War II contained invariably Victorian narrative poems and some popular examples of Romantic poetry. I chanced upon a selection of T. S. Eliot's and Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and a little later on Pope's An Essay on Man and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. That did the trick. Yet, I regret not having taken to prose in earnest earlier than the publication of my first collection: Tracks of a Tramp (1961). There's nothing like trying your hand at all kinds of prose exercises to come to grips with poetry. Or rather to see how poetry makes for the essence of speech/Speech and makes you realise how it can communicate what prose cannot easily convey. I have managed to put together several collections of poems, but never actually sought to find homes for them in magazines, periodicals or anthologies. Apart from the one published book, some of my sporadic efforts may be sampled at http://www.stateless.freehosting.net/menupage.htm
A reluctant Sayonara
by T. Wignesan
for my long-suffering poetry-loving doctor sister: Thadshayani
« She must suffer to her last breath. (…) They’ll all soon be as Dead as 0-Ren Ishii. »
« That woman deserves her Revenge. And we deserve to die. »
From « Kill Bill Vol. 1 »
Two French girls in Paris
one aged thirteen
the other fourteen
together take wing.
The police bring them back home.
Then hand-in-hand they jump
from their seventeenth floor flat.
They leave behind a note :
« This life has nothing to offer.
What are we living for ? »
An Austrian socialist philosopher-journalist in Paris
in perfect physical health
lies down beside his terminally ailing English wife
never to wake again together
after bequeathing their papers and wealth
not to the Socialist Party
but to a Catholic charity.
He leaves behind a long love letter
his very last remember-me book.
« Till death does not do us part. »
A Stateless poet passes through Paris
with his Spanish putative spouse
and infant boy.
Paris casts a covetous eye on the mother.
She plans the poet’s murder
and maims her son for life.
The People’s protectors pressgang her
and daily pound the poet to pulp.
Vive ! la France ! Viva ! la Francia !
A lone coyote trumpets over the sakura strewn snow
A moanful flute tugs at nostalgic heartstrings
Meiko Kaji comes on with her plaintive lilt :
We’ve not long to go in this void
The still frozen air gasps through swishing slices
Spurting Strüwel-Peter blood and bones
cherry blossoms on the snow-clad parapet
struck down by the lethally-chilled sheen
of the Hattori Hanzo steel
To kill there need be no will
The will to kill resides in the sill
of the vengeful white of the eye
Even if we can’t stand it any longer, Lady
We’d rather not leave just yet in a hurry
Would we see the likes of this world again
Ever know what’s better than this domain
Unknown to us the slow melodious dirge
Tugs at us : stay yet a while, it whispers !
Who knows who’d be there to receive us
Yes, yes, stay yet a while, little lady !
Hum a sentimental ditty
Recall even a fated memory
Revive some moments of levity :
A friend a face an outing
A little tenderness
A tiny moment of harmony
Together in this wilderness
© T. Wignesan – Paris November 14 2007 (Rev. 2012)
About T. Wignesan