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Ru Freeman: New Poetry and Photographs

Let Us Then See

Young and fierce turned wise bringing with it the undercarriage gift of seeing The enemy grew into his dimensions girded with shades my clear eyes once missed Come Sit here beside me: the sound of those children’s feet can still be heard Listen to how we once sounded then When he was as I was: invulnerable I will tell you how we charged at the head of absolutes allegiant armies beside fidelity in our ears the privilege of knowing everything except that we two he and I would be the ones to die for it For all of it We see the sky and the sky sees us bring palm to palm in shades of skin This resonant on-beat pulse that now brings us the difficult thing the hard blurry whole of it
photo by Hasadri Freeman

The Old Poet

The old poet seeks no vantage of sight though the high plain of advantage recommends itself Not even the ready pastures of grass and shore where younger minds are roiled by shell and fern can woo He watches them return ransacked run dry to seek the thing they had in sightless fever missed The desert blooms for him without ado, its occasional splendor understood by he that knows no other way to do his work Un-hunted fragments and impressions come and take their place within his life Without seeing Atacama he comprehends the riot it unfolds Its gift like his is given full with flair the earth unable to resist expending all it holds He echoes that bestow A life fed by glory conscious of its end of passing through Fleshed witness not master 
photo by Hasadri Freeman

Tristesse

A koha from voice to voice unrecognized call of bird mimic echo song replay repeat The sun sets down its day into the basin grazed earth rim defined blurred edges linger No wild swans have crossed from England today only cattle remain one day replaced by new as I This stage re-set as at this hour in time The Southern Cross seen naked, old legends returned On this island of my heart I see it all and take my fill I know how it must end this moment this marbled gift true things and we

photo by Ru Freeman


Thoughts for the Unborn

Over the silent roar of distance I wait for my brother's child As-yet ungendered this newborn-to-be will come bearing himself Unboxed no world has rushed in to fill her life with categories or titles or subtexts or annotations or bibliographies to explain why she is what she is Unnamed, she waits Unnamed, he has no enemy We wait for the gift of innocence She will bring renewal a further commitment to all that is sacred: friendship rice salt family a country fighting to love despite— He will bring more than he will receive We will tremble in our eagerness to prove ourselves wanting of her gifts Over the oceans in night to his day, I wait for word of my brother's child Across the distance in different time zones amid the drums of war we wait for word of children
photo by Ru Freeman

photo by João Carlos
Ru Freeman is an award-winning Sri Lankan and American poet, writer and critic, whose work appears internationally. She is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (2013), a New York Times Editor’s Choice, both appearing in translation, and editor of Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015) and Indivisible: Global Leaders on Shared Security (2018). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Narrative, The Normal School, Zyzzyva and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University. rufreeman.com

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