Humanist Perspectives: issue 175: A Poet’s Voice

A Poet’s Voice
by Bunny Iskov

I.B. (Bunny) Iskov is the Founder of The Ontario Poetry Society. She is a Full member of The League of Canadian Poets. She is the former Poetry Editor for The Outreach Connection Newspaper, sold by the homeless and the unemployed. This was a volunteer position she held for over ten years. She is also the former literary judge for Early Harvest, sponsored by Vaughan Public Libraries. This was also a volunteer position she held for over ten years. In 2009, Bunny was awarded the R.A.V.E. Award (Recognizing Vaughan Arts Excellence), by the City of Vaughan as Art Educator / Mentor in the Literary Arts Discipline.

Author’s Statement: My poetry comes from personal experience. I love to share my poems with anyone who is interested in hearing them or in reading them. I enjoy using metaphor, alliteration and double entendres to create interesting and hopefully fresh and new phrases and stanzas to entrance, astound and impress. I employ my emotions in everything I write. Small pieces of my life story are found in each and every poem. My poetry is basically therapeutic. It helps me to release my feelings and fears in an esthetically pleasing and creative outlet. We all go through things. I take those things I go through and turn them into poems. 
The Argument
Then, I take a deep breath, start
again. I want to say what’s
in my heart.

For a while, we try to see things
eye to eye, flaunt our silence
as though it was fine silk, only
to be stroked with clean hands.

You lift your sleek chiseled chin
in a reproachful manner,
refuse to share what you have kept
inside your heart for years.

Stormy words flurry,
turn white with anger,
chill the air.

Your outburst takes all my words,
whips them into a frenzy,
funnels them through your eyes,
twisting them around and around
leaving them broken
in irreparable pieces.

Then, I take a deep breath, start
again. I want to say what’s
in my heart.
* * *
Clouds smash massive
cold crude clumps
away in the wind
on brutal nights.

Stars arrested,
sealed in prisons,
wait for liberation.

Fragile, precious
silver mezuzahs;
barbed wire,
patterned shame.

Authority of order
mighty towers,
stubborn terror.

I fight City Hall,
mountains be dismantled,
insist airplanes be
given less gravity.
The Lumbering Heart
Biology never prepared me for
the peeling pink stucco flesh
layering a tabletop
like the plucked petals of a daisy.

The familiar sparkle never
dies. It just goes into hiding.
I become second nature,
ringed with telltale scars,
knowing very little about aging.

Yet my lumbering heart demands
survival no matter how painful
the fist grips my breathing,
prevents me from swallowing
my own destiny.

Inside my chest cavity,
veins and arteries weave
a tapestry of life and death.
Hope and yearning are blocked
and their exposure to old dreams
suffocates inside a blood-lined coffin.

Perhaps the topaz sun will glitter
a new brassy spell,
put me in that wishful trance
and my heart will lumber on
until my ancient words learn
how to die.
Memory and Loss
Through molecules of glass
a bruise was left
assuming a purpose
on an empty day.

Faux wood squeezed tight
with taut strings let loose
jiggled like al dente spaghetti
nowhere near the kitchen sink.

The robin stopped chirping
over a patchwork of dandelions
conjured worms came out
willingly careless in rhythm.

I watched the light fade
where the door rehearsed
opening and closing,
opening and closing.

The hourglass left to pose
scantily clad in slumber,
dreamt of a time
wearing satin and sequins.

Passion worn down to an attribute
in a blistered tradition
swore invisible genuineness
in a fraction of a moment.

I turned white, then gray, then
like an old and tarnished silver spoon
tried to collect golden memories
forgetting everything else.

Anorexic Prospects

The continuous sky wheeled
like a runaway child.
There was no stopping
the inception of night.

I wanted to call 911.

The breeze blew nervous like the system.
Crooked air carried broken glass stories,
let white foam slowly drip,
stained shallow places.

I got lost in the dark.

Storm clouds, in blind passage,
swept across an unworkable geography
transplanted from another atlas.

Mute and inexhaustible,
the head-on collision between
remorse and helplessness
was cordoned off,
yellow-taped and
eventually left to rot in a junkyard.

As the world rotates in repetition,
my sorrow, too, slowly revolves
like a wind-wheel,
seeming to go fast, when in fact,
is worn down to the thread.

My prospects have become anorexic.

I would throw myself in the fire,
even do it backwards,
but no one would ever hear
the rest of the story.
* * *
though my voice breaks
in heavy shadows
I tread invisibly soft like a specter
on shaking graves
listening to fog
in the distance, stars comb the trees
– I am earthbound.

I was the first to lay my
heart on a sheath,
covered the weight of words
clamped down in my throat.

There is no rebirth, no emergence,
only a wingless creature languishes
like an aching muscle paining
on a hard impenetrable surface
knowing the world will never change.

A raked riddle repeats itself:
if chained stars unite in sequence
brittle and gold flecked,
what is the meaning of all this?

I hide beneath my insecurities,
sheltered vision cracks open
like a newborn sparrow
abandoned in a wintered nest.

New found words die prematurely,
unspoken ideals transform into meaningless text,
obscure the central meaning
eventually erased by time.

In the midst of moving speeches,
behind a thick wall of glass,
I boldly pronounce stillborn sayings
though my voice breaks.

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