by Dan Svatek

by Penn Kemp

Here I hide in darkness,
sullenly squeezing red
pomegranate seeds.

There was a field of flowers,
viper's bugloss, blue and red.
Their pink buds brighten crimson,
violet and then deep blue.

Sometime I will return.
Not now. Too much hurt
reverberates the will.
The bright sky shut my eyes.

The mothers still curse me with sharp
insatiable teeth, hissing through gaps.
His mother. Hers. Her. And likely yours.
The generations swell enraged.

I chew the pomegranate slowly.
No gaps in my teeth. Here I am
young. I am beautiful. Eating
this fruit I am almost inviolate.

I am the unfading flower.
I disappear half a year.
They seek me out. Close.
I am in. Closer. Closet.

The power grows in me.
The will to be different
from them. To effect

I become what I'm called.
Rage prances, it dances
with jabs neat and sharp.

I don't know for how long
before the red bull roars.

The sweet surge rises,
floods till it's over.

Power spent, futile.
Ineffectual. In effect.

Ranting in the wrong ears.
Pluto never listens.

from Binding Twine.

by Penn Kemp

I would eat local food only were it not for temptation.
A green invitation of open avocado in emerald halves.
An alluring variety of mango hot to eye, cool to tongue.

The seduction of dark chocolate.
The slurped fulfillment in oyster.
The simple necessity of rice.

Otherwise, I would be content with my yard's fall produce.
But having tasted the world's fare, how to return unjaded
to simple pleasures that this ground offers? Beans.
Corn. Squarsh. Corn. Beans. The tree sisters thrive.

Yes, I will eat local food mostly. Except for. Except for...
Accept. Not many claim carrots for their snack. But banana.
Or chocolate. No chicory compares to café au lait. Ole!
Import coffee; import tea! On to political rant:
Our food too cheap, our farmers ruined.
Our eyes closed, we rest easy, spoiled ripe fruit in the docks,
turning sleepy to sun-rotten. Given so much, we reach for more
even when over full. Poems break off as the lunch bell rings.


Fare Trade is presented in Penn Kemp's DVD, Luminous Entrance: a sound opera for climate action, which was performed at Brescia University College this year. It can be heard on www.

Penn Kemp is a novelist, playwright, poet, sound-poet based out of Toronto. Check her out: