Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Noel Negele- Three Poems

A True Story

It was 2007
a sweltering summer
as if the sun had leaned
closer on the earth
to take a better peek
on that day
and he was twenty two years old
and few people knew him,
his girlfriend had left him
and he had realised that
she would never come back to him
so he took a gallon of gas
went to a park in the middle
of the day
poured it onto him
got his light out of his trousers
got himself on fire
and stretched his arms upwards.
People gathered and in horror they saw
the sight of the burning young man
and a homeless man tried to save him
by throwing his only winter's blanket at the boy
but the young man threw the blanket
back at him, now also burning.
He stretched his arms upward again.
He stood there shortly, then fell down, decayed
and he was so deformed when the flames
finally gave way and the stink of burning flesh
dispensed in air and nostrils,
that you couldn't feel bad for him anymore.

He never made a sound.

Good People

There’s this large homeless woman
That sleeps on a bench
in an open shed of sorts
Behind my street’s bus station—
The fattest homeless person you’ll
Ever see, and she is a mad one indeed,
She snickers constantly, and at times
She completely shrieks with laughter,
Sometimes pointing at random people waiting on the bus
Always with her toothless mouth gaped open
Showing the back of her throat at us, that red
Tunnel into the darkness of her viscera…
And, understandably of course, the people
Waiting on the bus wear this familiar look of
Repulsion on their faces, sometimes they even
Hide their snouts inside the collars of their coats
Because of the tremendous stink suspended
But I think to myself that this person was once
A child, and this thought always seems to soften me.

Yesterday morning, I was waiting for the bus
To take me to a job interview and there comes an old
Lady, more like an old hag, you know the kind, one of those
People that through the course of their vainglorious living
Have accumulated a lot of disdain and detestation for lesser people
Or simply people that have ended up living a life not as great as theirs.

This old hag was glaring at that homeless person
Sleeping inside the open shed with a hatred so obvious
That it stunned me, I couldn’t fathom the lack of compassion
That was almost pronounced by those black eyes sunken
Into that aging face, with the stockpile of a life time’s hatred
Displayed clearly on each and every wrinkle—
She too was a child, I know, but her innocence was lost
And buried under a landfill of snobbish upbringing.

Who makes these people, I thought, why do we
Go along with it instead of pushing them off a cliff
With a discreet elbow on the back, while looking elsewhere?

But the most beautiful part of this
Was in the bus when we sat opposite to each
Other, she gave me the same look
Probably because of my disheveled hair,
The black pockets under my eyes,
Or my cheap clothes
And when we came across a church two
Blocks away, she crossed herself thrice
Like the good Christian she is.

The Rain In The Morning

Your words hit the spot
at times, she said,

she said I made her feel
strange, when I talked

her eyelids, she said,
felt heavy when she 
heard me speak

she was now used to
being around places
she hated and places
she hated less

around people she disliked
and people she disliked

she is fond of madhouses

something in them draws me
in, she said
there are no guilts for your
condition there, she said

she went to hospitals about
kids with mental issues
but not for the right reasons

she asked me personal questions
only to satisfy her curiosity
and I am without the energy required
to interact with her

and she said I sounded smart
and that she needed that

I said I was tired of saying
Smart things

She said she needed good friends,
I told her I don’t need friends anymore

She said that I was telling that
To myself mostly, that I haven’t founded
The things I once valued again, which
Makes me really sad

She said I made her both sad and happy
At the same time

She talked about effects I had on her
While I felt none from her

She said , you are very numb
I said, maybe you
Are right

She said that’s either power
Or weakness

I told her I didn’t know
That it was probably neither

She said she liked rainy
Mornings, I agreed with her

She remained silent
Asleep again or hearkening
To the rain

I focused on the silence
Between the drops

I worry for your sadness
She said
I said I was used to that too
I also said that love
Her love, or any love
Is temporary, so don’t invest
Too much on me
Your sacrifices should be very
Little to none, I said

She said she would try

She fell asleep
Or hearkened to the rain again

It was steadily soothing out
And the silence between the drops
Waited for it all to end.

1 comment:

  1. The first poem "True Story" was jolting. What stood out for me was the homeless man had compassion for another human, and most don't have any for him. Every
    day his life was a challenge, and he kept going on with it. Unfortunately, this much younger guy wanted
    to end it because of a lost love. In time he would find another. I liked all of your poems. They make
    you think about your values and how you treat people.

    Very good poems. Enjoyed reading them.