Wednesday 8 June 2022

One Poem by Lilija Valis



If you live long enough,

even if you never leave             

           your birthplace,

inevitably, eventually,

                       changes –

invasions, viruses, floods,

               love and hate –

eruptions of some sort

will transform or eradicate

whatever you’re used to.


I’m reading ancient history

and now can predict the future


Garden-hugged homes

where I live are being

demolished for highrises -

stacks of windows                   

               you can’t open

to release lockdowned songs --

a cement-spreading world

of fleeing people blocking

the moon and stars

                  as the sky recedes.


Moving in next door are

strangers who look away.

Your doctor, in case you

haven’t noticed, has been

replaced by a politician to pre-

scribe innovative treatments

                       to silence you.


Just a matter of time before

you will be caringly sped

with a lethal drug to exit

the home where you

                 no longer belong.


Efficient new ovens recently

perfected will leave      

   no evidence, no history,

clearing space for documentation

by those making the world

a better place

                  for the numbers

replacing the names.


Making no judgments –

the earth rules –

even the Black Death,

which removed a third of

Europe’s fourteenth century


              had its benefits,

so historians say:

more pay and freedom

for the peasant workers.


My past is in pieces            

                 in my hands.

I’m holding on to it.

It contains many countries

             and all time.

Lilija Valis has lived on three continents, in some major cities, including Washington, DC, and San Francisco when there was music in the streets and strangers hugged each other, published in book, literary and e-zine magazines, as well as nine international anthologies, and performed in public libraries, parks, old theatres, pubs, among other places. Asked to step side by COVID until it finishes its performance.


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