March 5, 2017

Two Poems by Stefanie Bennett:'The Letter" and "Women's Work: 2 Trains Running "

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer & musician, has published several books
of poetry, a libretto, & a novel, & worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of
mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld.,
Australia. Stefanie is currently working on the manuscript ‘Blanks From
The Other World’ (Poems). Her latest poetry title (2015) “The Vanishing”
is published by Walleah Press.

The Letter

for Marina Tsvetaeva: 1892-1941

... Where did you learn
To fill your heart with sand?
To turn the midnight-blue
Of your eyes
Into circles of steel?

Whatever possessed you
To hold love’s bullet
Between your teeth... !
All misdemeanours
Cut just so deep.

And – whose portrait
Was it you carried!
What loss. What loss
Tossed your vision
Off the vanishing edge.

Through Prague’s bleak winter
You howled, Tsvetaeva.
Your child-husband reported
‘Missing-in-action’. Your son,
Near dead, of natural causes.

With the snowdrift upon you;
Snow as crimson
As the totem
Of that one rose
Used as a fountain-pen,

You wrote the world a letter.

Such high ideals! Blown
Away in bits. You
Chanted: ‘Assassins. Assassins’.
Fed ashes to pain
Upon the unlit page.

It is all... ghost-craft. Ghost-craft.

Ah! Rag-doll of the histories,
Still they ask:
             Why did you...?
             Whatever possessed...?
             Whose portrait...?

Women's Work: 2 Trains Running  

Both ways are false:
And the key to your city
I hold in my hand.

          I’m not off-centre. I’m dead
          Centre and therefore
          Twice as gullible.

Do you know what gullibility is!
One and two fused rails
And a third butting across.

          Across is across where
          Our mediator joins – is
          Attached however long we choose

To redress. To reincarnate a systemic
Licensing setting us loose
Far and further.

© Stefanie Bennett

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