Thursday, October 23, 2008

Readwritepoem #49 - from Nim's notes

Since he started his chemo treatment, Nim started to act very unlike him. He locked himself in the house most of the time ignoring calls and visits, reading and browsing on the Internet. We still kept an eye on him, since he had become way too sick to do his own housework and Anaïs took over, but sometimes he would not even let her in. And she told Mona one day that he was involved in some type of support activities for refugees. And we were like:
Nim? Refugees?”.
The apartment complex two streets down from his house started to host refugees about eight –nine years ago, since the Bosnia conflict. And after that, it was the Liberians and in the last years the Burmese. And I have to say they made quite a colorful patch, if you consider that this is a suburban area where most people consider themselves Irish or Polish just because their grand-grandfathers came here from the old Continent looking for jobs during the booming years of the steel industry. But Nim never seemed to notice them, not until now. And I still think can not get myself to think in better terms about him. I worry about Anaïs, lately they became very close and she smiles less often.

Yesterday, though, I had to go in her place to drop his groceries and some stuff Mona sent to him and I noticed from the moment I entered the twilight quality of silence that took over his house. He was in bed so I had to put the groceries away, not that I did mind…but when I was almost getting ready to leave I noticed this, on a paper tossed on the corner of the counter:

“When you feel that
you hurt in a realmdom of pain
think .

They learn under an asbestos roof
In the sweltering heat.(1)

In the sweltering heat:
an old temple, the alphabet , a teacher
all these orphans had left.

All these orphans have left:
education and music, one Bengal gram
a day.

A day
for refugee camp inmates
to recall

To recall
the tang of fresh cinnamon flow over the sea
by Trincomalee. “

Note: (1) the whole story here


SweetTalkingGuy said...

This Echo's!

Nicely written for the prompt.

Annamari said...

I also pray for the many that are fleeing the conflict zones as the government army enters the Tiger- Tamil controlled areas.

Jeeves said...

Very well written. Like the poem. Lingers on..

The link is not working..

Anonymous said...


am particularly fascinated by the flow of refugees in the neighboring house!

gautami tripathy said...

random of pain...I love this phrase...

Annamari said...

btw. I updated the link and it worked for me now...
I will try to post more about them. Refugees live among us and we do not notice them
...but this apartment complex stands out, because it is a very "we vote Palin/McCain" area...
thank you.
it is a realmdom of pain sometimes , out there, but it also depends on the perspective...(and random of pain is so much more interesting)...

Anonymous said...

"the tang of fresh cinnamon flow / over the sea / by Trincomalee" Lovely, and such a striking contrast with the rest of this piece.

Annamari said...

I had seen pictures of the area before the conflict; it was so beautiful (blue Laguna)...
and I read that the smell flows over Sri Lanka, that had been for year a major exporter of cinnamon…(though that might have been an exaggeration)

Nathan said...

Wonderful, engaged and beautiful. I love the way the poem is an echo of what comes before.

Annamari said...

thanks Nathan.glad you like it...