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Cat-o-nine Tail

History is a weeping woman with drenched dehydrated skin,

sun marred in watchful eyes with a woven whip

and shackled for days on an open field glazed with humidity,

with no slumber on the lashes of a task master

who then had her shabby skirt torn

in bitter hours of savagery behind cane fields,

dragged away into a wicked poem known as “Cat-o-nine tail,” 

with only her remains strong enough to prose us her raped

paragraphs that she kept hidden at her skirt hem,

to create passages of fine calligraphy upon

historical pages that we now read,

giving our trembled lips their awe

whenever it is resurrected by our eyes upon dusty pages.

Rules of Attraction

The foundation of knowledge is the intimate relation

between a book and its library,

when dust bury the pages on shelves

wars invent themselves

because wisdom is shunned by the tyrannies,

today we are because of sonnets

we know how to sing without gifted voice

because rhymes pave the way,

life is short and so we breathe the reality of haiku,

when we plant ballads into wet soil

for it to grow into trees that the young love to climb,

disaster is the only thing we’ve seen

because we unfollow the doctrine of free verse,

free to be who we must

self-expression to know what to say,

and wisdom to bring the tyrant’s downfall,

when our ears absorbed the essence of lyric

our consciousness grow fat

because we know how to sing better than to speak,

when prose speaks in parables, we fear the metaphors

because they speak of what we might become,

from the strict rule of cinquain eyes see more than they should,

and humor will point its finger

on all things we never understood

we follow guidelines and stanzas

as law abiding residents,

and those who vote on the epics of literary sense

will point their fingers at the next elected president.

Fadrian Bartley is a Jamaican creative writer. His poems have appeared in various online journals and magazines. Fadrian’s focus in writing is based upon life, nature, and people’s personalities, his inspiration comes from within and continuously opening new pages to begin a new chapter.

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