The Great Wall

This is for One Single Impression’s “migration” prompt… I really should start thanking people for the prompts, so thanks to Gabrielle from Wild Goose Scoops Moon for this one! Decided to do something that was a take on the xenophobia and distrust inherent to im- or e- migration, and ended up with this terzanelle, whose point of view and message I’m not really sure of. We can tear down all the trappings that makes a wall a wall, but somehow it’s still there, even when its purpose, ownership, and effectiveness all have changed. I tried to make it as un-specifically about one country/situation as possible.

Something I didn’t even notice last week: this blog has been around for just over six full months! Jeepers.

The Great Wall

foundations in the eyes, in every glance
suspicious of a stranger, quick to stare,
surveying exits, planning for their chance

to flee in case they’re given up by their
discomfort, if they touch the sharply-honed
suspicions of a stranger quick to stare–

with careful smiles and speeches they’ve intoned
a xenophobic brickwork, distance kept
(discomfort if they touch), a sharply-honed

construction that the people must accept,
the landscape’s up for grabs for faithless clans–
a xenophobic brickwork, distance kept

secure while ramparts built by shaking hands,
they crumble, from the strain they strive for each–
the landscape’s up for grabs, for faithless clans’

asylum seekers move in droves and breach
foundations– in the eyes, in every glance
they crumble from the strain they strive for, each
surveying exits, planning for their chance

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11 thoughts on “The Great Wall

  1. karen says:

    Wow! I bow before you! This is amazingly crafted. Your punctuation carries it off smoothly, and I am shaking my head in wonder!

  2. Wow, this was a wonderful read…I could feel the stark emotions in your words very deeply.

  3. Yousei Hime says:

    Isn’t it amazing how incremental repetition layers and builds meaning. Fun.

  4. calliopespen says:

    Powerful Joseph, absolutely powerful. You expertly laid the foundation of one amazing poem. Bravo! Congrats on hitting the 6 month milestone. Here’s to 6 more of incredible reads:)

  5. Vic says:

    I liked that you turned it around at the end from exits from fear to exits of chance after relations “thawed”. At least, that’s how I read it. Either way, well put together. :) Always a pleasure, sir.

  6. Vic says:

    Oh, and I meant to congratulate you on the perseverance of consistent writing. 6 months does not seem like a long time, but when you must force your muse to work… very well accomplished. Bravo! Otros 6 y muchos mas!

  7. Karen: I’m glad the punctuation worked out, because that’s the only way that I can usually think of to create variation in the meaning of the lines! :P
    SintheG: many thanks!
    Yousei: that is the challenge, to get it to function ^_^
    Danielle: glad you enjoyed it, thank you on both counts!
    Vic: after a while, I wasn’t even sure which side of the wall I was talking about at which point anymore… muchas gracias!

  8. Tumblewords says:

    A well-formed history of migration. Deep, powerful, wonderful.

  9. derrick2 says:

    What everyone else said! Your ability to turn your hand to any form leaves me speechless.

  10. gabrielle says:

    perseverence and grit erode formidable foundations. Well done! Happy 6 month anniversary.

  11. Tumble: thank you!
    Derrick: and thank you as well!
    gabrielle: and extra thanks to you for both the comment and the prompt! :)

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