Humanity choked itself with its need to grow, simplify, and automate. The air filled with
acrid rain, polluting and stinging her exposed body. She suffered in silence, withering in agony,
trying to keep up with humanity’s quest to rule the planet. She tried so hard, sending out
warnings, but her body quaked, sending humanity’s buildings tumbling onto her back. Still, they
would not stop. Then, she retched scalding acid, it dripped down her bosom, and people fled
screaming. She coughed and choked, to no avail.
Gaea sucked in a long, desperate breath. With it, nature retreated into her body and
disappeared. Her skin cracked, and her tears ran dry. The people moaned, sobbed and pleaded to
their gods, whispering apologies and empty promises if only Gaea would return nature’s spirit.
Their pleas were unanswered. Gaea was finally at peace. All that remained was her devastated
carcass. Humanity fell. The prayers ended, and silence, emptiness, and nothingness replaced the
cries and prayers.
I must have been born with a vivid imagination and a creative nature that would ensure
reading had an overarching importance in my life. I read ‘Gone With The Wind’ for the first
time when I was eleven years old, and then reread it many times thereafter. Unfortunately for
my mother, I was a difficult breech birth: years later I would joke with her that the long and
challenging labour was due to me reading GWTW in the womb. “I should have had the
forethought to close that heavy tome as I made my way out into the real world,” I remarked
to Mom when home on a visit from the city, “but I was intensely engrossed in the burning of
Growing up in a large family, my sisters and I had a love-hate relationship, typical of many
children. I was a terrible tease with them; I was the proverbial thorn in their sides. However,
for the record they teased and taunted me too; in fact, they ganged up on me on many an
occasion, a middle child, and the only boy in a house full of sisters (several years later
another sister and finally a brother were born but were like a second family for my parents).
For example, they often insisted that I was adopted: making the best of a bad situation I
imagined there had been a mistake at the hospital between Prince Andrew and myself, and
my rightful and regal place was at Buckingham Palace in Jolly Olde England. As well, a
favourite trick of my sisters was to try to pull the towel off me that was wrapped around my
waist, when I was either on the way into the washroom to have a bath or on the way out. I
was mortified that my sisters would get sight of ‘the family jewels’, in all their glory and
It is generally known to be true that boys are testy and odorous little creatures, but girls are
just plain mean and spiteful when they have a bone to pick (and they don’t forget anything,
better than any elephant you may have met). When at our worst, we fought like cats and dogs,
enjoying every minute of our sibling-based battles; at our best, just have someone say
anything untoward about any one of us, and a line was drawn in the sand, the wagons were
put in a circle, and all artillery was pointing outward at the enemies. In short, may God have
Mercy on those children who had decided to pick on any one of the Potter brood. As siblings,
we were as thick as thieves, and sometimes did some good-natured thieving - seeing if we
could steal a chocolate bar from the candy counter at the town’s most popular restaurant-
coffee shop when the owner was busy at the cash register, just to prove a point. Even though
that woman kept an eagle eye on us, the hand is quicker than the eye!
Mother made the grass grow
Not the rain
Her hands nourished
What must be kept
& what must be scythed
Darkness wears this part of the world with shadow
& there is the patter of water on the tarred road outside.
I pick my phone & stride through the memories in photos
& then your portrait pops up at the last few slides
The one where you carved your face into an image
Of smiles like a sculptor
& it held my gaze. Like glue to paper.
It’s been a year after. The day the flower sprouting
In the soil of our hearts died. & I died with it too.
You had asked us to see. The meet morphed into the
aftermath of a knife through meat— caressing
The thread that held us with a blade.
Found my voice under waves of death
Decaying, the chorus thinned to an anthem only mother's bear
Everything licks out, Cries became murmurs of what filled lands green
Fields sugared in Sunday gospel
Hear their cries their lord
Open up your ears deaf lord
Mine and my mother’s and my mother’s mother’s grave,
Barren land stretch for miles
Full of symbols of decay and love,
Water browned where they’ve washed their hands
And tried their hands at purity
Back then we were savages
back then we worshipped
as it was constant
in its inconsistencies
in complaint of inadequacy.
Winters were untameable
so we rode glaciers to
fresh islands birthed
hot and steaming from
fire cooled sea.
They say all angels have soft skin
And wings made of white
They say they tread lightly
And spin gold through the mere sound of their voice
But they don’t tell you
About the tearing of the flesh when the wings come
How you never know how dark blood really is
until it is all over your hands
They wanted me to be soft, to be vulnerable
But look how much that has taken from me
Her mind too escaped to the green fields.
When the sun tingled her delicate skin,
And her Ma’s clay-burned hands
Were the only things that could heal.
She remembered the cold winds of Spring–
Sharp and essential.
Like her Ma’s stern face,
Or her Baba’s hands of metal.
She dreamed of magic carpets and glossy mangoes,
No more slippery stairs or crowded windows.
But as she bundled her whole life in bandages,
And felt the wet dirt
Beneath her feet,
Maybe the soiled boxes weren’t the
Only damaged packages.
Risen from a blood-stained sea, a maiden broke through the foam-coated waves.
She took her first breath. Pain sliced through her body as air filled her lungs, and she
released a cry that shook the very heavens. Like a child unleashed from its mother's womb.
Violent and desperate.
Saltwater flooded her mouth, silencing her. Choking, she fought the waves that began
to drag her from her birthplace.
The force of the currents weakened her resistance to the point where fighting was
useless. The waves, no longer daunting, lulled her into a sublime stillness, cradling her until
she washed up on pearly shores.
Time passed slowly as she laid there. Unmoving, like a fish stuck on the scorching
sands that turned her frail skin pink and blistered.
Eventually, she took her second breath. She tasted the salty waters on her tongue, and
something stale, and coppery.
Strands of her golden hair, infused with fire from the burning sun, clung to her flushed
A deep nothingness echoed in her mind for each breath she took, dark and forlorn,
until golden heat began to surge through her veins—divine ichor pulsating within her
Did you know Persephone plucked
those damn pomegranate seeds-
all on her own. Poor girl
so desperate for some
sweet, scouring nails
into arteries for teeny red gems.