Homesick, by Astrid

copyright: Astrid, August 6, 2006. Poetry.  Photography Igor Polk.

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I am homesick for the land I am willing to remember
The land I hope to have lived in
The land where falseness did not exist
Where we trusted each other
The house where one received you with open arms
The apron I could hide my face in
The smell of cookies baking in the stove
The hot milk and the chamomile tea
When I was sick
And the coloured paper I was given then
To play with and
Cut figures from.

I am homesick for the place that was full of laughter
Of clinking coffee cups and spoons made of silver
Flowers on the balcony
And toys in the garden

I am homesick for the eyes and the look in them
I knew so well and did not think about
I am homesick for hands that stroked my face
And put braids and ribbons in my hair

I am homesick for the stories
Told to me at night
An aunt at my bedside
Telling me of the soup
They cooked in the war
Of glycerine and bones
When they had nothing

Listening while wrapped in a blanket
And fire crackling in the stove
To the story of how
Our house burned down
And they had to flee
And buy butter in exchange for
A watch

Listening to the story of Jesus
And being taught a prayer
For poor children
And bread to keep them alive

I am homesick for listening
To the news on the radio
That I did not understand
And that did not worry me
And that sometimes made us laugh
When the Americans were the good people
Who helped us survive

I am homesick for TV
That showed theater and comedies
And commercials
Instead of smoke
From Israeli bombs
And dead children
And grinning politicians
We need this war

I am homesick
For peace
And carelessness
And warmth

I am homesick for the time
When we loved each other
Without thinking of
Being used

I am homesick for the time
When I was too innocent
To see the signs
Of betrayal.
For the time when
I did not see the signs
Of what is bound to happen
sooner or later

I am homesick for the time
When I wanted life to move
For the time
When we lit candles
For a politician
Who died being shot

I am homesick for the time
When I had not
Seen it all before
And happening again
Because people have not learned
Their lesson




He says, she says

“Hello, do you remember me?”
“Who is this, what is your name?”
“It’s me, do you remember me?”
“Tell me your name!”, she says, pretending not to know.
“I met you on the train. My name is Hicham.”
“Yes, you met me on the train and tried to grab me. And now you want to ask me to have coffee with you, right?”
“I am sorry !” He giggles.
“I gave you my phone number and you think, that gives you the right to put your hand on my ass? Do you think, I am a whore?”
“I am sorry !!I I am Sorry! ” he repeats a little louder. She can still hear him laughing.
She is starting to enjoy this.
“I would like to meet you, but not in Shibuya. In another place.”, he begs.
“You have watched too much satellite TV. So, when you meet me, what do you want to do with me?” she demands to know.
Silence on the line.
Then: “Sorry, sorry…So, when do you have time?” she can hear him faintly.
“You understand nothing about us. We are not like the women in those porno movies. Tell that to your friends.”
“Sooorry”, he squeaks.
“Well…” she says. “I am not going to meet you today, and I will not meet you tomorrow.
I am tired and I have work to do.
Call me next week, and then we’ll see.”
“I would love to meet you. I’ll call you.”
Arabs love this, she thinks.
She knows, her market value has just gone up 300 percent.
“Bye”, she says.
This felt good. She hopes, he’ll call more often.
It is only Tuesday, she tells herself, I am getting pretty good at acting.
And goes back to her computer.





(Questions of a woman in the middle of summer )

When you dance, you use another set of senses.
Your thinking switches off, and your tactile senses and your ears take over, he wrote.
Recently, I have been dancing an awful lot.
Question one: Why can everyday life not feel like a dance?

“Do you want to feel like a guest in your life forever?” he asked her after he returned.
She hugged him and burst into tears of pain.
The next morning she went back to her husband. Stupid movie.
Question two: Why did the director want his audience to fell safe?
The plot must have been written by a man.

In the station kiosk in Ginza I was sold a bottle of mineral water.
I knew that brand. It is from the U.A.E.. Once had it on the Maledives.
Now wait a minute !
Why do the United Arabic Emirates have to sell oasis water to Japan?
Which has plenty of water and no desert?
Must be for the desert inside.





From “A Satire against Reason and Mankind” by John Wilmot, Lord Rochester
(my fascination with him hasn’t faltered)

His wisdom did his happiness destroy
Aiming to know that world he should enjoy
And wit was his vain, frivolous pretence
Of pleasing others at his own expense.
For wits are treated just like common whores:
First they’re enjoyed and then kicked out of doors.
Women and men of wit are dangerous tools
And ever fatal to admiring fools.




The cinnamon rabbit

In the darkness you can see something move
A shadow in the grass
The soft sound of feet touching the ground
The light of the moon
Reflected in dark eyes
The feel of it is soft and
All you can think is
Dark eyes
A soft touch
Small sounds, hardly audible,
And a rabbit smile
Bodies on the ground
A giggle
It is the cinnamon rabbit again
Going about what it likes to do
On a full moon night
When the leaves rustle softly
In the wind
The grass has been flattened for a while but maybe
Noone will ever know
That they were there
In the middle of the night
With only the stars
As a witness.





Turkey, I fell into your lap
like cherries into the skirt of a girl
You closed your arms around me and
I felt your heartbeat
I danced for you and
you were enchanted
I waved my hands at you
and let my arms
move like young snakes and
you were bewitched
and when you fell in love with me
I breathed with you
like sucking in
the smoke from a waterpipe
Turkey, I roll in your lap
like ripe cherries in the skirt of a girl.



More poetry by Astrid: Rules of Addiction | To a lover

Published with permission.

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This page is made available to you by a dancer of Argentine Tango in San Francisco Igor Polk.

Copyright©2006 Igor Polk and Astrid
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