art in all its forms

art in all its forms

10/23/10

'Brief Lives' by Olive Senior


Gardening in the Tropics, you never know
what you'll turn up. Quite often, bones.
In some places they say when volcanoes
erupt, they spew out dense and monumental
as stones the skulls of desaparecidos
-- the disappeared ones. Mine is only
a kitchen garden so I unearth just
occasional skeletons. The latest
was of a young man from the country who
lost his way and crossed the invisible
boundary into rival political territory.
I buried him again so he can carry on
growing. Our cemeteries are thriving too.
The newest addition was the drug baron
wiped out in territorial competition
who had this stunning funeral
complete with twenty-one-gun salute
and attended by everyone, especially
the young girls famed for the vivacity
of their dress, their short skirts and
even briefer lives.

--From Olive Senior's book of poems, Gardening in the Tropics (2005).

1 comment:

  1. we studied this in school for Lit form 6. She has epic poems about tradition and repelling the foreign forces that be. This was about the lives typical Jamaican youths were carrying out. Gangsters treated like army heroes, and girls being pimped out. -_-

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