Poetry

December 20, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

IPS photo

 

By

Amit Parmessur

 

 

 

Meeting Monsieur Mahé

 

 

We met today, Monsieur Mahé, at the entrance of

la Place d’Armes, in the capital you created back

in 1735. And you look every inch the handsome,

imposing governor of Bourbon and Isle de France.

 

I’m very sorry, though, founding father for the noisy

insects spitting their smoke into your face. Very

sorry for the little planes dropping foul-smelling

bombs on your head. They don’t know who you are.

 

If you google ‘Is Mauritius poor?’, you’ll get

‘the country contains a minority of very poor households.

Most of which are located in rural areas’. Wrong, sir.

I don’t know what fool validates such misinformation.

 

This capital is so poor. The slums in the suburbs

would freeze your heart like an avalanche over

the feathers of a hapless swallow. Beggars have

clotted the city’s arteries, just like the stray dogs

 

begging for food in this famine of generosity.

To put it plainly, your imprint and vision have been

hopelessly mixed in our melting pot. Very sorry,

founding father, if your heart skips a beat on seeing

 

educated citizens jaywalking and missing accidents

by millimetres every day. Very sorry for the vulgar

words ricocheting off the Bottle Palm trees to sting

your noble eardrums. Very sorry for the potholes

 

and the puddles that glitter of prostitution at night.

We haven’t retained the lessons you taught us about

discipline. Very sorry for the poor performance of

those useless, power-hungry politicians in the Parliament,

 

that splendid French building. Very sorry that coins

and notes have turned into the seeds and leaves of

corruption flourishing in the buildings you’ve sown with

so much love. You’ll not be proud of the ones pumping

 

your cherished chicken like tyres to be rolled in strange

spices. You’ll not be proud of our Caudan which, despite its

traces of San Francisco, has turned into a throat devouring

our people during heavy rain. And please, don’t lose your

 

sleep sir on the 800,000 Mauritians living abroad; we still

have many capable souls here. The only worry is that they

speak of silence. It was nice, Monsieur Mahé, to touch your

feet before getting back to the bustle of the city.

 

 

 

 

Paradise, Pilfered

 

All the kids on the island had pet dogs

and the British gassed all of them.

They killed the dogs in front of the children

and the parents BERNADETTE DUGASSE

 

 

Am I just a Tarzan or Man Friday to be cleansed

and have my paradise sold for a few dollars,

with my heart left empty and lost?

 

They’ve built a military base on my homeland

but the real fight is in my destroyed mind.

And I hear the dead calling me from a grave within a grave.

 

They’ve signed a strange deal with a violent pen

and I’ve become a piece of paper flying here and there,

scattered across places

where the people’s palms are heavy and cold.

They’ve turned me into an abused Ilois, a laughing stock

whose smile is walking somewhere in the bushes

that have encroached upon my tomorrow.

 

Dumped, with every dream numbed,

I have left my clothes on the line, my food on the fire,

my bed unmade.

And I still miss them every second.

My navel cannot be made the curse

of my whole body.

 

And each day, I wake up to find a frog sitting on

the beak of the nightingale in my throat.

My fingers find only mud and pebbles over

my plate that keeps shifting in a new and dirty river.

 

How can they close an island?

How can they talk of human rights and do this to me?

How can they say we were an uninhabited island

when the dead lie there as living proof?

My dear Diego is now the footprint of their freedom

but what about the freedom of my people?

 

When will my father’s grave feel his son’s

tender hands and sincere flowers, and not

this voracious jungle choking him?

I wish time brings the merciful ink that walks

my smile back to my raped heart.

My tongue might yet find the passion to untie

the knot in my babies’ legs.

My eyes might yet find the strength to wash

the debris off my pilfered paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

Amit Parmessur

Amit Parmessur from Mauritius has been working as a teacher for over a decade now. Published in several literary magazines, print and online, his works carry a huge dose of fantasy. He currently edits The Pangolin Review due to his fondness for the animal.

Editor review

2 Comments

  1. Amit Parmessur December 22, at 12:51

    Thank you Norberto Sir! I tried to convey feelings through them...

    Reply
  2. norberto franco cisneros December 20, at 20:12

    Amit, from one conscious poet to another, well done, my friend. Love your metaphors and point of view.

    Reply

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