FINDING GRATITUDE IN 2020

Living through the pain of the Jim Crow laws

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia. Source.

Not having grown up in the United States and completely overwhelmed by the inhumaneness of inherent and systemic racism, I’ve begun reading up on the history of racial discrimination in the U.S.

At this moment in time, we have the medial “in your face” examples of institutionalised racism and its effects. This has led to an increased awareness here in Europe of individual countries’ own dark history and a stronger voicing of grievances among black European communities.

I have a lot of Nigerian family members, including my brother, living in the U.S. Many married, as my brother did, into Black…


The sky upcountry

An Evening Walk In The Countryside

Hurry up, out you go, no time to waste
the evening sun is calling you forth
beckoning you to bathe in the last
of its warm rays of blues and greys
and orange and yellows — hues
which brightly radiate upon the earth
illuminating a brilliance
differing only in time and place.

Raise your face to the waning sunlight
an uplift to enjoy until it shrugs
and settles down to summon its sister
to come and draw the blinds.

The setting sun casts shadows — tall dark figures which delight and walk you home on stilts and ignite your heart…


Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

An Amputee’s Tale

I once heard of a leg
which was buried
and I lie not, nor
is this contrived

“The loss was akin
to the loss of a child
extreme I know,”
he clarified

Clad in black, they
followed the hearse
with the dead leg —
on foot, an image echoing
the Plathian black boot* —

Into the graveyard
they headed and lowered
the coffin to inter the extremity —

a limb lost forever to a limbo infinity

I wrote this poem after reading one of *Sylvia Plath’s poems, Berck-Plage, in which she writes

“The black boot has no mercy for anybody…


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Between Worlds

I yearned
I dreamt
I planned

Hopes were high
Exhausting
The move

Exploring
I settled into
A new belonging

But still I wander
A soul suspended
Betwixt these ragged times

After having lived over forty years in Germany and raised a family, I finally took the plunge and moved back to Ireland three and a half years ago. This had always been my intention. I moved to Cork where my mother came from, where I went to secondary school, and a city I know well. I have family and friends here. My intention was to live in Cork for about…


Image by press 👍 and ⭐ from Pixabay

The Two-Man Saw

Warnings unheeded, we couldn’t withstand
the call of the shed with its treasures at hand.
It was my cousin’s idea, and I promise not mine
to behold the new saw, a fool’s tool for the blind
the trouble you’ll see was I was ten and he nine.
We entered the shed as the door was unlocked
and lo and behold there it lay, oh so sweet
in its bow-like splendour and ferocious sharp teeth.

The lure was too strong not to give it a try and there’s a fire to light, thought both Seanie and I. One furtive look back…


Stanislav Ferrao on Unsplash

Mixed Emotions

I’m in a dream. I’m on a plane and talking to Erika. She’s a friend of mine with whom, in the real world, I had spoken to on the phone a few hours before going to bed. The topic of flying had cropped up in our conversation when she’d told me about her husband’s temporary loss of hearing due to an infection he’d contracted in Florida. The flight back to Germany had exacerbated his suffering.

We continued our conversation in my sleep.

Suddenly, there was a loud bang and still holding the phone to my ear, I began to panic.


Matthew Prior

The Sum Of Small Joys, Ikigai

I am not afraid
impermanence is good
nothing is static
not a blade of grass
a flower, a tree, the sea…


Creating Empathy in Both the Protagonist and Antagonist

Photo by ia huh on Unsplash

The other day, I came across a different kind of prompt. A call to write two monologues from the perspective of two characters in a given scenario with the goal to create empathy in the reader for each character.

I chose the Refugee Migration scenario in which, Maya, a 32-year-old mother of three, fleeing from widespread violence in Honduras is caught trying to cross the Mexico-Arizona border illegally. Along with other migrants, she and her children are apprehended by US Border Patrol agents, one of which is Santiago, 49, himself a third-generation Mexican-American. …


Source

Another Of Nature’s Wonders

In ancient oceans deep and dark
for years ignored lie gardens
hidden way below in folded silence
on slopes of volcanic mountains.

Thriving in the basalt furrows
of these extinct volcanos is a wealth
of submarine abundance
drawn to the sunlit surface of the sea.

From these depths in suspension
float the nourishment for life above —
an intricate ecosystem home to sponges
and deep-sea corals, verily a treasure trove

As secretive as Babylon’s gardens
seamounts need protection from destruction
through coral mining and deep sea trawling —
a loss which leaves indelible scaring

When I saw the prompt for…

Sylvia Wohlfarth

An Irish-Nigerian soul living in Ireland after 40 years in Germany. A social anthropologist, English teacher, and more. With stories to share; and an opinion…

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