Saturday, June 29, 2013

Armenia's Sorrow and We Name It the Past by Bieke Stengos

“Armenia's Sorrow” by Bieke Stengos

Pain lies buried deep within the sinew
Of the bones and flesh
Of those who still yearn
For the towers of strength
That were planted firmly
In the waving grasses
Until a cruel wind in April
Scaled the mountains
Like a mournful song
That sent the swirl of dancing skirts
To fly like dervishes
Who could not save
Women from bending over their dead children
Young men
From no longer hearing
The whisper of wind
In the almond trees

Now how can you turn back time, Ani wonders
And how can you keep abandoned churches
From bleeding into the weeping earth

 “We name it the past” by Bieke Stengos
(Inspired by “Dark Charm,” by Dorianne Laux)

we love it, we hate it
we run from it
we shun it
it leaves us indifferent

we poke it, we prod it
we feel it, we shape it
we mine it
we let it lie fallow

we live there
we die there
we drag it behind us
we name it to lose it
we name it to never let it go

it drags us
it lifts us
it haunts us
it own us
and it never leaves us alone

Bieke Stengos has published poetry and short stories and is now working on a novel that has been at the periphery of her existence for as long as she can remember. The wonderful part of having so many cultures in the mix is the rich texture; the hard part is finding a voice in English to make this come to life. You can find her work at her website:

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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