December 11, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Penn Kemp




Arms And The Boy



In our time all the world’s worst

clichés are actualised in stark paradox,

explosive irony.


I am swimming in happiness

rain cocooning my window pane


when TV presents the boy

whose eyes whose eyes


I fall through the scream as if to land


among proud and elegant peoples

divided by civil, uncivil arms.


Dispossessed of the West they thought they knew.

Dis/oriented, where do they turn?


Women and kids cleaving, cleft, bereft.

Institutions crack under cloud cover.


Shovels at a narrow grave.


“The image that struck me most

was a fourteen year old boy


just skin and bones. The men were

burying him when


crossed, his last gesture,

an ache up arms’ inner

two tears ran down his cheeks.”


That boy survived but cannot speak.

Language is lost in war, though lies thrive.






Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor.  Her latest works are two plays celebrating local hero and explorer, Teresa Harris, produced in 2017 and published by Playwrights Guild of Canada. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice (quattrobooks.ca/books/barbaric-cultural-practice/) and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women (http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/livingarchives/). See www.pennkemp.weebly.com.

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