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 poetry plea for the life of Van Nguyen
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John Kinsella

5 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2005 :  20:27:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am writing a poem a day - a plea every day - for the life of Van Nguyen, in the hope that people will listen... I am against capital punishment everywhere in the world, not just Singapore. Earlier this year I published a poem in the Yale Review against executions in Ohio, USA. As far as I am concerned, state execution is state murder.



Preservation Haiku — sixth plea for the life of Van Nguyen


Elevated birds;
Plants photosynthesising;
No execution.

We celebrate birth
To enrich the biosphere;
No execution.

Eyes preserve distance;
Up close makes large of the small;
No execution.

The grime wasn’t there;
Rain over the window pane;
No execution.

The boat cuts water;
Its wake is soon forgotten.
No execution.

The curved horizon;
The intactness of island.
No execution.


John Kinsella



Lightning — a fifth plea for the life of Van Nguyen


We observe night places
so intensely
when rips
of lightning
underscore:
though we look
harder for it,
harder
at the ragged edges
of rock and foliage
levelling apostasy?
The storm ranging
through the valley,
still the smell
of cut oat-stalks:
so brittle
earlier in the day,
broken open
to fuel violence
everywhere
around us.


John Kinsella



Singapore Orchids — a fourth plea for the life of Van Nguyen


The moon and sun
Have fused as one;
Tiger orchids —
Unseasonable.

Mirrors inflect
Inside out — flecked
Trees suddenly
Cool — bright perfume:

Pigeon Orchids.
And Kasem Gold
On Orchard Road.
Taste evening.

Light in the cell?
Growers desire
The exquisite
Seraman live

Longer. Mandai
Orchid Garden.
Botanic light.
Controversy:

In accepting
The Vanda Miss
Joaquim Orchid’s
journey to light?

Singapore — your
Orchid... your light.


John Kinsella



Tradition: a third plea for the life of Van Nguyen


Even storm clouds of crushing weight
Bring life — brood and effervesce.
Even those who feel it’s too late
For clemency, might reassess.


John Kinsella



Doina: another plea for the life of Van Nguyen


The serrated fronds of palms waver at the airport;
The condemned is cut off from flight.

The ripe durian fruit is sweetest eaten when the smell’s offensive;
The condemned eats, is killed, the bitter-sweet unbalances.

The flowering strands of rice exhale inflorescence;
The executioner eats a meal — before, and after.


John Kinsella



Grace: a plea for the life of Van Nguyen


The humidity is increasing here,
and stretched taut through a time zone
we share, there is no argument of nation,
but rather a simple equation
of what’s done between sunrise
and sunset — our washing, our eating, our prayers.
In taking a breath that feeds the air
with embodiment, we gasp,
struggle to fill our lungs,
struggle to fill our days
awaiting the sleep we will wake from:
fresh, contrite, enlightened.


John Kinsella


www.johnkinsella.org

alf

Singapore
92 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2006 :  02:04:30  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Kinsella

I am writing a poem a day - a plea every day - for the life of Van Nguyen, in the hope that people will listen... I am against capital punishment everywhere in the world, not just Singapore. Earlier this year I published a poem in the Yale Review against executions in Ohio, USA. As far as I am concerned, state execution is state murder.




Hi John

So you DID post here as I suggested after all. Not sure what you think about the rest of the forum content though. See you in Perth!

p.s. if you read this, your email seems to be bouncing, so drop me a note if able?

Edited by - alf on 30 Jan 2006 02:09:09
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