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vol 9 • 2011


Sparks not Flowers

Sparks not Flowers

Nanci Lee • Halifax, Nova Scotia

“In a time of
universal deceit – truth is a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell

I write

not for the notion of word
not for carefully woven images
or clever insights of a world at odds with itself.

I write for the stories in our pores

songs that burn.

I write for voice -
delicious, unfettered voice
that plays and prods,
stutters with quiet power.

I speak because I can.

Because there are unheard voices
dripping in the dank
violence of prisons

young shaking voices
trapped in throats
trapped in touch

There’s too much silence.

I speak with voices ripped from dreams
and for the stunning persistence of dreams.

Because to speak is to act
Because voice
feeds voice feeds voice

every girl
every worker
every whistle

arm in arm
with the unwavering chants
of the women who bind the
Delta, the Narmada Valleys

We are sparks not flowers
Sparks not flowers
and we will
not move.

rightly freed
ricochet, find us
words burrow
and embed themselves
find our corner of human
and open us
like seeds of
a pomegranate

brazen bursts of crimson.


N. 9 • 2011

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N. 9 • 2011