Mary Angela Douglas

Lament For Haiti After A Painting By Magrite - Poem by Mary Angela Douglas

Ezekiel 18 (New King James Version)
Ezekiel 18
A False Proverb Refuted 1 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying,2 'What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘ The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3 'As I live, ' says the Lord GOD, 'you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.4 ' Behold, all souls are Mine;

a ship made of water cannot sail
an island full of holes

should sink
below the horizon where
children dressed in pink and

green suddenly stop playing

forever on this side of the equation

a tiny house
with yellow curtains has
sunk into the sun

shadows arrive asking
'are you still alive'
and can't come back to

ask again
you rest on what's left
of the ground under stars
you cannot tell is it the ground

or is it you
still shaking
you're going farther but you can't say why
you walk for days as if

crossing continents a
nation walks for days through rubble through
the dead

still on earth
you break off a crust of sun
to eat
with dazed strangers

someone is singing
linking her soul to the sky
the only thing left not broken

she is
rocking back and forth
crooning to herself on
invisible piers of music while

the clouds bow down
an audience of silk that
flies away
take the ferry

but I don't know where
take the ferry
angels with missing wings advise

doctors are turned back
and weep into a sea of
people left alone a

ship made of water has
an orphaned sail
no sail at all

a man survived on
sugar cane and water a
girl survived on

flowers from the past
far away people threw gold
at the sun and turned away

unable to fathom
such delay
commissioners were commissioned:

they deferred-
the flow chart flows forever but the
water doesn't

commissioners demured the people tried
to eat their words and failed
small island like a rose of fire afraid to
throw yourself on the ground
how will you mourn your dead
small ones

island like a rose a fire
you take it on yourself

you burn the dead when no one comes
held up in traffic I don't understand
how speeches all got through
small island like a burnt rose crying
say goodbye to everyone

in this protracted hell of the
initial stages of recovery or whatever
the prompter says,
a ship made of water cannot sail
cannot sail cannot sail

mary angela douglas 26 january 2010

Topic(s) of this poem: tragedy

Comments about Lament For Haiti After A Painting By Magrite by Mary Angela Douglas

  • (1/26/2010 10:57:00 AM)

    I think this poem sets a tone...of confusion, of despair, of anguish, death and destruction. Even the final line, 'cannot sail, cannot sail, cannot sail, ' works to this end. Well done. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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