Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Poem # 312

Back story: I was wandering around the SM North EDSA's The Block last week and there was a photo exhibit at the ground floor atrium for the World Press Photo 07, which honored practitioners of investigative photojournalism. Photography has this unerring tendency to spark poetry, since I've always thought that a photograph was the best visual metaphor for a poem. Anyway, there was this particular photo that caught my eye, and it need some verses to go along with it. It's not my usual thing, since I'm a staunch non-feminist (in the traditional sense) but somehow, this just needed to be written. I'm including a copy of the photograph so that you understand where it's coming from. ^_^

Again, this is just a draft. I might go back and revise it sometime soon.

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Atlas

"A Jewish settler resists Israeli police enforcing a Supreme Court order to evacuate and demolish nine homes in an outpost of the Amona settlement, West Bank, on February 1." - caption underneath Oded Bality's photograph from the Associated Press, Inc., which won First Prize: People in the News Singles, World Press Photo 07

Like so many others of its kind,
the myth had forgotten its origins.

After all, they allowed the giant
to get away with it because

he would look good in marble.
Women were too soft, too malleable -

stone was not their element
and art was not created out of water.

Women were all liquid, of the sea:
we were not meant to stop the tides

with our arms and legs. Anchorless,
we were told to move across words,

worlds. Escape was our gift, the concept
of slippage, of movement. Our eyes reflected

the moon, the sliver of light underneath curtains
tracing cracks across floors, doors.

Everyone thought of our body in curves,
the folds of cloth falling like dream-wings

allowing a moment of flight. Forgetful,
these bards and ballads: we keep to house

and hearth, do we not? We till earth, bear
children that bound us to this soil, who carry

our names like keys strung around their necks.
We chain ourselves to husbands, men, boys.

We are prepared for heartbreak.
It is here, at the end of all things

that we must remember: we carry
the weight of the world on our shoulders,

not Atlas, not the stories of men.

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