In the Garden

Over in the garden, Kenia offered a prompt on Poetry in Afghanistan.

image credit: Drew Harron via Compfight

Kenia shared with us:  The folklorist Margaret Mills called Afghanistan, “The most literary illiterate society.”, with generations of women learning poetry through the rich oral tradition and passing it down to their children.

Women write and recite landai, two-line folk poems that can often be humorous, sexy, raging, tragic and  also deal with love, grief,  war, exile and Afghan independence. The success of the poetry form is attributed to it being easy to memorize, which is really important in a culture where women are poorly schooled and forbidden to write or read.
The word landai means “short, poisonous snake” in Pashto. The poems are collective — no single person writes a landai; a woman repeats one, shares one. It is hers and not hers. Although men do recite them, almost all are cast in the voices of women.
Kenia's Challenge:

I invite you to find your voices and write a bunch of landai. Use a word or part of a sentence in someone else's poem for inspiration if necessary. Let landai pieces communicate among one another and resonate a message of non-compliance with the status quo.
Here is what I wrote: 
Memory like a curtain parts
revealing slate blue sky, my chance to embrace the light~

I must contain myself with words
they lift me out of darkness
like a kite soaring high above the bluest hope~

Without words-
darkness would swallow me whole.

Eyes like shadows form
words like yellow light shine in my endless garden of thought
protecting my sanity~
In the dark
faceless pods claw n' clamor to steal my soul
I tuck my secret dreams in whispers, to the sisters of my heart~


Sherry Blue Sky said…
These are simply stunning. Really really beautiful and powerful...Love the "bluest hope"......the importance of words.......your final line is so poignant. Love the cotton bolls up top!
Wanda said…
That ladies eyes are so piercing as if she's see straight through you. I agree with Sherry that last line is very powerful.
Unknown said…
I must confess, I strolled over here when I saw the 'garden' title because I thought there might be a picture of the Hound (and Bugs--what I'm calling his rabbit friend).

However, I'm leaving satisfied because of the beautiful poem. :-)
Grace said…
I love the new header ~

And I love the light and hope, soaring above the blue sky ~ That last stanza is specially touching ~
Ella said…
Grace-Thank you, so much! ;D

EJ-I did get some rabbit photos yesterday. The hound was not involved, but there is a rabbit with a white puff tail that was outside my front door step. Maybe tomorrow he should be my header ;D Thank you!

Wanda-I know, it is a photo you won't easily forget. It gets the message across :D Thank you~

Sherry-The cotton is gorgeous! I call it southern snow~ I am known for picking a bit, when I see it side the road! ;D Thank you....I wrote these on the way to the hospital to visit a friend! No, I wasn't driving, lol~

Margaret said…
Whispers can be very powerful. Beautiful expressions
Sreeja said…
these are beautiful expressions....there is soul in it....
Susie Clevenger said…
Their whispers speak louder than shouts...great work!
I really like the second set - it has hope!
Laura Maria said…
That third one is so powerful and true! It is the whole point of landai.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Such excellent images to portray your message in each landai, Ellen. I loved the curtains, the light, the blueness of freedom.
Jolly said…
I liked all of them, but liked the last the most.
Kay L. Davies said…
Oh so beautifully said, my dear Ella. Your images ring with truth.
Luv, K
Gorgeous. Beautiful, stunning. Love xoxo
Helen said…
I tuck my secret dreams in whispers .... what a great line ~ I believe this applies to many women. Your landai are beautifully composed.
Ella said…
I'll be back to comment! :D
Hope everyone is having a happy Friday, so far...
Ella said…
Helen-Thank you so much~ I do think you are right :D

Kristin-Thank you. You are sweet! :D

Kay-Oooh, love that line Kay-so beautiful! xo

Jolly-I love your name ;D Thank you!

Kerry-Thank you! I do think we all tuck ourselves away, sometimes. We need to embrace our freedom, so many do not have it~ It is so horrible n' sad~

Laura-Thank you! I can't imagine-Our voice is what makes us unique, our insight, and our expressive nature~ As horrid as it all is-at least they have found a way to communicate. It still haunts me, to think about it!

Alex-Yes, we all need hope! Thank you :D

Susie-So beautiful! I love that~ I heard it in a whisper, loud n' clear ;D

Sreeja-I love that :D Thank you~

Margaret-Thank you so much! :D

Mystic_Mom said…
Love these...powerful words.