Poems by Marguerite G. Bouvard

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VERTIGO

The falcon soars far above us,
a denizen of light and air
circling different wind currents
in a vastness that eludes us

until he sees the smallest speck,
a rabbit emerging from its hole,
and he zooms down to capture it
in less than a minute  — like the vertigo

of parachuting words on the pages of life
as Zahur Ahmad Zindani who lost
his eyesight, and his father
from a bombing, walks on a march

he founded for peace to Kabul,
for forty nights and forty days,
400 miles under a burning sky,
under the night-sorrow of memory

and the day-sorrow of the war
torn road, reciting his poetry
for his lost love, my eyes did not
shut waiting for you.

 

A LOST ART

For Annalisa Spoljaric

There is the blong of cowbells, the insects
buzzing in the high heat. Yet we have lost
the art of listening to each other

as a woman tells the story of her days
to a person who may look at her,
but is turning inward to her own thoughts.

Then there are the children who were separated
from their families at our border,
sobbing while the guard who surveys

the prison where they are held grins
and comments there should be  a conductor
for these sounds. There are so many languages

and tones. Some break the threads that bind us,
turning away a boat filled with migrants.
But in a corner of Trieste there is a woman

who teaches the refugees Italian and opens up
her life where there are no strangers
as she listens to Rosa from the Congo

who recounts the atrocities
in her village, Addis, a child bride
and illiterate, left her five children behind

as she escaped the violence in Ethiopia.
This woman who spends her time
listening with kindness to a long list

of heartfelt stories is a friend to poverty, grief,
and tragedy, considers the refugees
as sisters, and as a grandmother to a tiny

Nigerian boy who giggles before her with laughter
in his eyes, as they celebrate our diversity
shining a light on a troubled world.

 

TWO WORLDS

There are the morning newspapers
with stories of war, corruption
and political strife, but there are also
the evergreens rising towards

the sky, enfolding us in their scent
and majesty, despite the steady
rumble of construction behind them,
gouging the earth and transforming

greed into progress. But there is
something called hope with
a million translations; the Mt. Blanc
which was once reduced to barren rock

is now covered with a fresh mantle
of snow, and by the road leading
to the parking lot, a shimmering
green field is aflame with buttercups,

and below the clouds towering
above, the buildings and roads
are but a grain of sand in the endless
cycle of creation.

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Marguerite Guzman Bouvard is the author of ten poetry books, two of which have won awards, including the MassBook Award for Poetry. She has also written numerous non-fiction books on womens' rights, human rights, and social justice. She is a former professor of Political Science and Poetry.

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