Month: May 2015

Song in Antalya (Freedom Imprisoned)

Where the birds of steel land and take off all day
Where seagulls glide on the wings of salty breeze
Where sailboats of blaring techno drift on waters
Of ancient history and few respond to the call to prayer
Beer and laughter are not enough to set the slaves free
And the cries of sexual pleasure are soon followed
By screams of fleeing friends drowning before the eyes
Of their mad captors who had made much already

On buses of air-conditioned relief ride men with faces
Determined to earn a living and skimpy women with hair
Bleached into blondes and sunglasses like tentative butterflies
From sidewalks of cafes and retail headscarf mothers window shop
And talk with string-topped adolescent daughters
From parks on cliffs wrinkled men with walking sticks watch
A sun dipping into the ocean of the other side of the world

On the fringe of the city lives a dying community
Where the drug peddler grows his marijuana
On a terrace and buys a second hand car
Where the wounds of a diabetic man are not healing
And the fingers of his arthritic wife are crooked
Where the good hearted foreigner goes to help
And he takes his friends with him and they wash
The children’s hair and give them chocolates
From America and try to speak their language

Beyond the haze where water ends and mountains begin
Between verdant ranges where cotton-clouds waft lazy
Shepherds with their virgin sheep feed on healthy earth
They tread the paths of yesteryears and know a little
Of life across the sea where buildings and parks
Men and women from countries that have lost hope
Supermarkets of yoghurt, lamb and things processed
Cobblestoned streets of trinket sellers and ruined churches
Breathe like a middle-aged man knowing half his life has gone


This is a guest post by Almond Syiem. He is passionate about poetry, songwriting, jazz and Jesus whom he has been following for two decades in weakness, mostly. His works have appeared in several journals and magazines including Indian Literature, The New Welsh Review and Poetry India’s Soulful Whispers. He recently brought out an e-book, Sleepless which showcases a few of his poems set to stunning photography by Tim Wallis. He is married to Bameri and has two teenage children, Beth and Hamesan. Originally from one of the creative hubs of the country, Shillong in north east India, he now lives in West Bengal. (more…)