Enter Home Planet News Poetry of Issue #6                        Page60
                                   
Table of
Contents



APRIL OF LEMONS
(Photographs of female circumcise in
Nairobi, Kenya)

Just a razor blade with
Blood dripping and a girl 16
With her head in her hands.
For months the young girl
Would go home terrified
Of this. A celebration, an honor.
No beauty for Seita, just pain
And mutilation. Finally
She is caught. Your girls whisper
About the pain and danger.
The clitoris and part of the
Labia are cut away in
Hopes of keeping a girl pure
Pure for marriage. As the razors
Slit Seit screamed ‘Why are
You killing me? Mom save me!”
In what must have been hours
Seita staggered out of the bush.
She wanted to see what they had
Done to her in the light.

  lyn lifshin __
IN THE BACK GROUND

A vulture at a feeding station,
A soft whimpering in the
Bush. South Africa. A 3 year old,
is trying to crawl her way
To a feeding station. Hollow
Eyes, bloated belly. A
Vulture lands nearby,
Waits. The photographer
Takes photographs then
Chases the vulture away,
Sits under a tree and cries.
The photograph runs
In newspapers all over the
World. The photographer
Receives outraged letters
And midnight phone
Calls. Why didn’t he pick up
The child? Journalists in Sudan
Had been told not to
Touch famine victim because
Because of risk of trans-
Mitting diseases. The man
Sorry he didn’t pick up the child.
A year later in an apparent
Suicide at 33 they found
Him dead

  lyn lifshin__
IT WAS THE SUMMER OF ROSES IN A SNALL SPACE
WHERE PEACE AND QUIET BREATH IN A SEA OF WAR

In the legendary city of
Mazar – I Sharif, site of
fierce Taliban resistance,
Home to the spirit of the
Son of the prophet Muhammad.
Doves blur the pale lavender
Sky. In the 16th century
20 pair of doves had been
Brought to the shrine
From Negev. They believe
The birds stayed because Mazar
Is an oasis of spirituality.
The doves leave when
There is fighting. Surrounded
By doves everything seems
Calm. There is hope in
Their wings. It’s a small
Island where peace exists
In a sea of war. In the middle
Of chaos, a barefoot Afghan
Girl stands against the wall
of a wood hut. Her eyes
connect with a man
throwing crusts. They make
contact and the world seems
stop for 15 seconds. She
was the only quiet one
watching the exchange. The
crowd becomes silent.
They too know she
Is special


  lyn lifshin__
NAIROBI EMBASSI BOMBING 1999

A girl holds her hands over
Her eyes. Was the sun bright
Turquoise before the truck drove up?

On August 7 and August 14,
The violent explosions

“I was shaken by what
I saw a young girl moans.”
Windows shattered.
Buildings collapsed. Vehicles
Burst into flames

The shock waves like a bracelet
Of earth quakes. Bodies
Were everywhere, people
Bleeding, running
Dead bodies.

Destroyed buildings. Bloody
Arms digging for
Survivors. In the morgue,
Mutilated bodies, families

Trying to identify
The dead

Even the photographers
Could barely look


  lyn lifshin__