Matthew Shenoda


                                   After Mahmoud Darwish


I dreamt of this exodus
this wrapping back into
what has been unwrapped
and again beginning to see Home


I breathe now as I’ve begun to resurrect


                  If we learn to write our memories on skin….


The half bent sun
Tries hard to muffle cries
But sometimes
Children need to wail
‘cause change is hard to take


                    How many really understand the shifts that shape us…


Losing the earth can pinch us


                     How many bodies feed the tree of your childhood…


How bad does the lyncher hate the earth
To turn his hands to rope?


And what of the furniture maker
Who cannot make a living
By a rocking chair
But rather by a coffin


Where does the lotus float

When the river has been dammed for eternity


How do our children learn reed songs
When their bones are plackards for plants


We walk beside the howling train
Confounded by monoxide and soil yearning to oxidize
The plastics now float like leaves
And the jjnn from deep inside the earth
Rises to taunt society,
Spewing words:

And your grandmother can only feel yesterday in her aching body
Knowing that yesterday is gone and tomorrow will never come

Matthew Shenoda
“Ecology” is from Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions, 2009).