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POETRY

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MY MESSAGE
by Alicia Partnoy

They ask me for my message
as though it were a
cornerstone
or offered some kind of salvation.

My message

Like the postman
like envelopes,
I bring only
facts:
screams
torture
that great injustice,
roots
without water
the disappeared.

My message

If they truly
insist on it
will pour down
like a bitter waterfall
on their bellies.
Then they will either take off walking
or stay
rooted in themselves
waiting
for my Message.

Alicia Partnoy was born in Argentina. During her time as a political prisoner her stories and poems were smuggled out of prison and published anonymously in human rights journals. Since her arrival in the United States, she had lectured extensively at universities and community groups. She is best known as the author of "The Little School: Tales of Disappeareance and Survival in Argentina,"Revenge of the Apple," and "You Can't Drown the Fire: Latin American Women Writing in Exile."
 
 
 
 
UNITE  FOR  PEACE
by Jenny Tyndale
 
The world waits with bated breath
For the next onslaught of senseless deaths
 
Retaliation on the greatest scale
We plead for peace, we cannot fail
 
The fleet is there, the jets are ready
USA stands firm, strong and steady
 
But what will this prove when all's said and done
Who truly is the victor, who has really won?
 
Is it the innocent people whom we already mourn?
The helpless babe, yet to be born?
 
We know that terrorism has no place
We want it to stop, right from its base
 
Is violence the answer, is it ever so?
It creates more hatret, han angers the foe
 
So they will fight back and then back it will be
More death and destruction is all we will see.
 
I want a better world, one where we can all feel free
What a wonderful world that would be!
 
25th September 2001
 
Copyright Jenny Tyndale. Contact the author at www.septemberhearts.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

PRESA*
by Caly Domitila Cane'k

Prisoner, pressed,
today and tonight,
at sunrise and
the next day.

The silent moment
underneath the sunset,
sounds awaken me,
from within and outside myself.

Prison,
the presence of each one
of my brothers,
my companions.

I find myself pressed,
I don't understand the people's language,
I don't understand the words to the songs,
I only understand the precious vibrations of my guitar,
she is my friend,
I play her when I am alone,
she keeps me company with songs
when I cry,
I hug her when I wake up in prison,
my guitar with me in prison,
prisioner of pain.
 
Caly Domitila Cane'k was born in Guatemala. A social worker, catechist and teacher of literacy in her India community, she also coordinated a Catholic radio program in Cakchiquel, her native language. She came to the United States as an exile after three of her brothers, one fourteen years old, were killed or disappeared by the military.
From "You Can't Drown the Fire", Latin American Women Writing in Exile, by Alicia Partnoy.
 

 
 
 
Argentine Family Rejoices
by Ruth Irupé Sanabria
-Title and excerpts from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sun., Dec. 23. 1979
 
The three met again,
in a leaping embrace
shortly before 9 p.m.
at a crowded National Airlines Concourse.
The solemn faced,
curly-headed little girl
reached out small hands-
to clutch at her father
as they swirled around together. 
 
      we ran off that plane fire chasing our bones.
 
His wife was white of face
after 26 hours in flight. 
  
      plinkplunk  plinkplunk!
      ribs and cheekbones
      nose and elbows
      plinkplunk plinkplunk!
      here she comes,
      a skeleton
      pinkplunk plinkplunk!
      carrying her fat, her fat
      and rosy daughter.
      plink pluck plink!
 
Earlier, Mr. S - carrying a bouquet
of red and white carnations - 
had paced the concourse nervously,
not certain his wife would be on the flight.
"These flowers are of significance to us in remembrance"
He said in flowing Spanish  "Red
is significant for it is the color of passion."
 
      The photo is the first of us as a reunited animal.
      How can I describe us? It is not obvious
      that his arm bone does not comfortably connect
      to her shoulder bone, that my thigh bones
      doubt her hip bones, and that her wrist bones wrestle
      a strange desire to strike
      somebody's, anybody's
      head bone. A photographer
      hands me a toothpick
      with an American flag glued to it.
      My mother grabs my hand,
      instinctively. A bulb explodes. The caption reads
      "Flowers, a flag and a loving touch"
 
It was the first reunion for Mr. and Mrs. S
and their 4-year-old daughter
since Argentine police arrested the parents
at their home on Jan. 12, 1977
and imprisoned them on
unspecified charges.
Mrs. S. commented that she had been kept
in a 9-foot by 9-foot prison cell
for almost three years and thousands
like her are still in prison in Argentina.
"Yesterday was the first time in three years
I have been able to touch my daughter" she said.
 
      I vomited in the clouds
      above the ocean
      between Buenos Aires and New Orleans,
      I vomited my grandmother's food
      upon my mother's lap.
     
      One stewardess gave me a hard American mint,
      red and white, to suck on
      and pinned a pair of plastic wings to my chest;
      said it was the shock of clouds
      that had made me sick.
 
Ruth Irupé Sanabria is a poet and activist. She was born in Argentina and grew up in Washington D.C. Since 1993 she has lived in New Jersey.
 

 

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