Imagination Garden

by Sha’ifa Dietra Malik  (Mami Watu)

c 2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Imagination Garden

there once was a little

girl whose imagination

was fertile soil

she absorbed every book

she read

like rain on the Sahara

like a sponge on the bottom

of the deepest

darkest ocean

she absorbed everything

time passed

and that little girl grew

into a woman who loved

words

words became a garden in which she could always play

words nurtured her

like the sun nurtures

a tree

they protected her

from cold winds

and changing tides

even now

this girl-woman

sees every book

that lands in the hands

of every child

as if it were a seed

being planted in the most fertile of ground

the imagination of a child

and what will grow there?

ideas as brilliant as tulip bulbs

laughter as robust as cabbages

faith-hope-charity

sprouting

from beans, squash and corn

and how can we be sure?

because there once was a little girl

whose imagination was fertile soil

she absorbed every book

she ever read

like rain on the Sahara

like a sponge on the bottom

of the deepest

darkest ocean

she stands before you now

having absorbed everything

she ever read

and so

may the planting of nature’s seeds

and

the nurturing of young minds

be forever entwined…

Kahlo and The Turn

The rain showers are nonstop.  Every ping off every surface echos a thousand times. And I wait.  Inside, the bodies wriggle and writhe like worms on the end of a fishing line.  It’s the night of the turn.  I am Kahlo.  And it’s my duty to step when called.

Even for me, a percipient being, this step is…peculiar.  Usually, the supplication comes post some atrocity.  This, this step is a forewarning.  Peculiar.  Music is making these bodies pulse.  A music analogous to the blood flowing through them.  I hear them counting.  “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, happy Newww…”

Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!

Now, wailing and the thunder of feet running towards survival.

A voice reverbrates in the darkness, “Kahlo?”

“I am not often called to witness,” I address the darkness.

“I called you for absolution,” the voice responds. The path of the storming feet forms a curvature around us.  I bend into this panic.  I reikhi calmness and clear thinking.  I answer, “There is no amnesty for you,” as I swallow my ire.  “No dancing maidens.  No celestial father with open arms.  You will roil in nothingness, blanketed by the smell of Death.”

“Kahlo, your words betray me,” is the accusatory reaction.  I shift myself to face the direction of the voice and say, “You betray yourself and your ancestors; the thirty-nine dead ones and their ancestors.  You called me and I stepped.  Go now, and let your feet join the thunder. Run to the Nothing.”

It has been silent for some time now.  Time has turned and still I sit, waiting and watching.  This step, number 784 has made me a witness.  To be a witness is to be roused and diligent.  To all witnesses I say…stay woke!

3rd-eye

 

 

 

A Kahlo Story New Year Flash Fiction

Kahlo, Anubis, and The Soldier Who Lay…

by Mami Watu

The sound of dogs barking let the soldier know she was still alive. What was it that her GeeGee had told her, about dogs being messengers?  Heat, blood, shrapnel.  Body parts littered about, none matching. Two, different-sized left legs with boots blown off, lay beside a head and torso. There were small piles of brains and entrails, as if someone had been tidying up.

“Yes,” a calming voice spoke beside her.  “Think of dogs.  Better yet, think of Anubis, the jackal.  He’s waiting patiently, to guide you on your journey.”  Her voice made a sound of protest, deep in her throat.  Pushing past the blood she was swallowing, it sounded like a chortle.  She turned her head stiffly in the direction of the voice.  Kahlo was perched there. Limbs akimbo, stretched in all four directions.  “You’re late,” the soldier managed, then turned away.  Kahlo was glad she had averted her eyes, rather her eye – as, half of the girl’s face had been blown away.

Seven hundred and eighty-one steps and still Kahlo folded inwards at the remnants of the simple small brutalities the creatures of this blue planet practiced.  Small, compared to some of the worlds-wide complex casualties that Kahlo had been called to step to.  “If they only knew what awaited them, Kahlo mused. They would forego inflicting such pain on one another.  They would treasure every breath, as well as all that breathes.”

“Beginning with their own breathing planet,” another voice growled. Both Kahlo and the Soldier-Who-Lay-Dying turned toward the new voice. “You’re early, she spat.  And I didn’t call you.  I called Kahlo.”

Anubis nodded in acknowledgement.  “True.  But Kahlo has such lofty ambitions.  Inter-galactic peace.  Sentient-evolution. Whereas, I’m here to ferry you from point A to point B; to help you navigate dark waters.” The girl interrupted, “But you’re also a messenger.  What’s your message?”  Anubis closed his eyes, and lifted his nose to the wind.  “Your GeeGee says, to pack light…”  Kahlo shook like one of the red maple trees the soldier remembered from home.  “Anubis, you never disappoint.”

“But I called for you, Kahlo,” the soldier insisted.  “And, I Am here.”  Kahlo answered.  Allowing these words to roll across the killing field.  The words unfolded into the hearts of those who lay, still clinging to life; into the departing souls of those already cold dead; and deep into this thirsty earth, which would rather have rain instead of this ceaseless river of human blood.

“You see?, Anubis smiled his jackal smile.  Lofty…”  The soldier heard the far-off sound of maple leaves rustling.  “Rest easy, Evolving One.  Anubis will see you safely to the Other Side, where your journey continues.  I will do what I can here, until I am called to step again.”  Kahlo’s senses swept across the field, forming a private prayer of hope, that the time to be spent here in the shadow of war, would be fleeting.

Anubis ducked his head toward Kahlo, “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”  He gathered up the Soldier-Who-Now-Lay-Dead.  He stood upright and began walking with her towards the horizon, where his barge awaited. “May Peace Be With You,” Kahlo whispered and turned to continue the work at hand.

Japanese-red-maple

c2015

dietramalik@gmail.com