Laura Grevel, You are a brilliant wordsmith sanctified by the incense of paradox, anointed by holy -waters of allusion. Your lyrical standards are beyond reach similarly to a fully ripened succulent yellow mango fruit hidden somewhere onto the apex of mother- tree. Your prosaic – poetry vehemently beat the zenith of our psychical boxes and incessantly rave our blood streams .You roast spirits and their dreams in oil pans of your metaphor .You stew lives and promises in hot pots of burning irony. Your poetry is timeless. Worries, abundance, poverty, light and decay are all weaved onto the seam lines and pleats of your word-smiting. Your metaphors are bold and your voice is brave .Your poetry is a proverbial mix of cultural interpretations, spiritual promise, political meandering, literary dexterity, moral juxtapositions and social decay. It is potpourri of decadent humanity, struggling live hoods, politically veiled freedoms, disguised merriments and unions of conveniences ready to explode .Your poetry is truth carved onto the mirror of paradox and fleecy of irony. Truth that is true and does not sit steadily in the heart caves of many readers. Truth that rattles eardrums of the expectant audience .Truth that coils into souls like worms of anxiety. Truth that wipes the mist of hypocrisy, fogs of conspiracy and clears the dew of sugar – coated but pretentious diplomacy. Iam yet to find such heart pounding whims of truth on this clay earth. Grevel, we are profoundly gratified to archive your creativity , listening and reading your thought provoking poetry. TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC is humbled and yet excited to be associated with such immense talent, dexterity is not your distant cousin and prowess is disciple (BLURB by Mbizo CHIRASHA).
Fierce Barefoot Love
who would have thought
that the fierce barefoot love of a little girl name Laura Hawkins who liked to toe the lumpy gravelly dust under the live oak that sprang up and up in the front yard, and dangled the big monkey knot swing, and who smiled running in early summer barefoot down the hot street hopping from shade to shade to Margaret Simpson’s grass to wooden boards on the footbridge to the windey trail down to the cool limestone of White Rock below and into soothing creek water dodging squishy tadpoles and leeches and water moccasins, and
who would have thought
that the fierce barefoot love took in too soon each September the walk up 30th street through the doctor’s office alley on the route to Robert E. Lee Elementary School, and afterward toward home down 31st to Katy Loomey’s house, the best friend for years till she learned that Laura’s father drank, and next on to Helen McDonald’s house that got moved away for building an extension to the doctor’s office parking, but still they played tag there as before and hide and seek with that nose-biting smell of rubbing alcohol and ether that oozed out of the building’s door and stained the parking lot, still rode their bikes, had wrecks, saw Nancy McDonald run with a coke bottle and fall slicing her wrist, and
who would have thought
that the fierce barefoot walk took in later the University of Texas where her mother worked, where they waited at the turtle pond for Mother to come out at 5 o’clock. Where Laura walked and rode a bike and drove year after year, couldn’t let go of that campus even with the frat rats, because there was such beauty in the red-tiled Mediterranean architecture, the ugly undergrad library, the pomposity of certain professors, the endless books and ideas, the blue skies and hot days, the freezing mornings,
until the fierce barefoot walk went on to West Texas to the ranch she loved with the 100-year-old pecan trees planted by her Great-grandma Walker who spoke with an English accent, and the boom of her grandfather Poppy’s voice, the smell of his cowboy hat, the sweat and dust of it, the squeaky way her grandmother said milk, and where at sheep shearing time Laura helped ink the big burlap bags, heard the shearers speak Spanish with her grandfather, watched Juan make fresh tortillas that smelled of heaven, the sun shining always, the wind blowing, the cenizo blue-gray bushes popping with pink flowers with just a dash of rain, just a taste of wet and the country lit up in blossoms, and then was again grey-green, the rises and cliffs covered in scrub, and listening to the buzz of a horsefly, the baa of a goat, the clop of a horse’s hoof, and
who would have thought
the fierce walker would find the road to Mexico, near that ranch, to the same Villa Acuña where her grandparents courted in Ma Crosby’s with the revolving reflecting ball over the dance floor, the dapper waiters in white jackets and black bow ties, the tile floor, the fountain, the arches, the photos of the REVOLUTION!, and where outside amid dust and diesel fumes, the small children called “Chicletes! Chicletes!” trying to sell chewing gum, and the pink and yellow shops sold ceramic vases, woven blankets, leather goods, bakery breads, and she gave cordial greetings to the Landos familia, friends for fifty years, owners of a shop, a restaurant, a rancho. “Buenos dias, Señor y Señora! Have you had any rain?” and
who would have thought
the fierce barefoot lover would pick up and go–-as the hot street got hotter, the shade sparser, Margaret Simpson died, trees and grass died, ………. Poppy died, and
who would have thought
that child’s fierce barefoot love would leave the limestone-solid, dusty, scratchy, ant-and-scorpion ground that she felt as her own body,
walk into Austria, to Italy, to Switzerland, to England,
and end up here.
*Geneva, You Old Woman
you old woman covered in sores who loaned me a terrible old pot for making spaghetti,
you teenager named Cedric careening down the Route de Malagnou on your roller blades to school,
you bearded Swiss German with a creek running through your living room filled with money,
you young American man with your head held high speaking no word to nobody,
you Lebanese daughter of a Beirut book publisher who made me an herbal tea for my tummy troubles,
you Bolivian mother taking care of a Spaniard’s children to send money to yours,
you French doctor named Bruce married to a French woman named Peggy?
you who are the daughter of a running Mafia man, and who teaches at the school for the psychotic dangerous ones,
you worried man in a wheelchair, born and bred on the Malagnou, renting out your rooms, living hand to mouth,
you Sri Lankan upper class refugee, working at the UN, and married to an Italian architect,
you tall sinuous Russian red-head cavorting in silks on the top floor,
you Brazilian nanny for the babies of African diplomats,
you Finnish activist, speaking English to your Flemish husband, while your children school in French,
you sad, penniless orchestra director, refugee from Bosnia, working construction six days a week,
you sheik in long tunic leading your entourage from your private jumbo jet to the Lac Leman Summer Fair,
you toddler of Argentine and Venezuelan Harvard graduates,
you nervous-trumpet-playing-Serb-son of parent psychiatrists,
you woman born here but adopted and actually a cross between a Tennessee country western singer and a traveling Canadian girl,
you five-year-old child of grateful-to-be-from-China couple,
you rabbi with-your-great-festive-wagon-wheel-hat and full-robes-headed-into-the-Hebrew College,
you old man from Venice who courted me, a married woman, and held my hand in the Parc de Malagnou,
and you, my kind Swiss Jewish friend, who’d lived in America and Israel, who liked to speak English to me while our children played together, tell all the others to shout out now!
‘Geneva, you City of Foragers, tell me your truths!’”
*This poem addresses the city of Geneva, Switzerland.
Let’s watch a girl walk across Europe:
walk across Europe with a backpack and a cat named Hermaniwab,
and as she walks people join her,
not to tell her to go home, not to warn her off the borders,
but to give her flowers and biscotti and an embroidered cloak,
and to walk beside her across the boot of Italy,
where the sea captain did not get arrested for saving her from the sinking boat
but was lauded and crowned with roses,
where the embroidered girl walks on with Hermaniwab,
to arrive at the Austrian border
where she is not sent to a refugee camp,
but where the Chancellor greets and gifts her with a handsome horse-drawn carriage,
where she rides and parades with a brass band
through a Vienna that throws her kisses,
where at the city’s edge she gets out and asks to walk on,
calling Hermaniwab to her side,
walking along the Danube,
with blue in her hair and honey on her lips.
Where she waltzes on,
copper skin shining, singing an ancient chant.
*For the performance poem “Girl Walking” I am trying to find people to collaborate with. There is currently a project called Walk With Amal, in which a huge female child puppet will walk from the Turkish-Syrian border up through Europe to arrive finally in Manchester, England, in July 2021. This project’s purpose is to highlight the plight of refugee children. I hope to donate my poem to this project. Further, I hope to find a group to help make a video that would enlarge upon my poem with a diversity of voices speaking of walking across Europe, to highlight the plight of all refugees and immigrants.
A performer and writer of poetry and fiction, Laura Grevel is a Nottingham, England, based member of this UNESCO World Heritage city’s Writers’ Studio, member of the DIY Poets, participant in Big White Shed events, and the Beeston Paper Cranes poetry collective. Laura began performing in Texas in the 1990’s at the Performance Art Church (PEACH), the Austin International Poetry Festival, and the Austin fringe festival of short plays FronteraFest, and frequently over the past several years across the British East Midlands, including at DIY Poets’ events, Nottingham Poetry Festival, Little Ed Festival in Derby, Hockley Hustle, and Beeston and Leicester WORD! Her work has been published in U.S. anthologies and newspapers, digital video series, podcasts, and the DIY Poets’ Zine. Her themes and styles are wide-ranging, tackling the immigrant and migrant experience, depression, gun control, and the absurd, in enthralling prose poems, dynamic character sketches, rhythmic stompers.
Mbizo CHIRASHA( Time of the Poet Republic Curator) Author of a Letter to the President. co-Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi. Co-Edited Street Voices Poetry Collection (Germany Africa Poetry Anthology). Co- Editor of the Corpses of Unity Anthology. Associate Editor at Diasporia(n) online. Chief Editor at Time of the Poet Republic. Founding Editor at WomaWords Literary Press. Publisher at Brave Voices Poetry journal. Curator at Africa Writers Caravan. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist at University of Glasgow. 2020 Poet in Residence Fictional Café. 2019 African Fellow, IHRAF.ORG. Project Curator and Co-Editor of the Second Name of Earth is Peace (Poetry Voices Against WAR Anthology). Contributing Essayist to Monk Arts and Soul Magazine. Poetry and writtings appear in FemAsia Magazine ,Wrath -Bearing Tree, Inksweat andtears journal , One Ghana One Magazine, Ofi Press, World Poetry Almanac, Demer Press , Atunis Galaxy poetry online , IHRAF Publishes , The Poet a Day , Bezine.Com , Sentinel UK, Oxford School of Poetry Pamphlet , Africa Crayons, PulpitMagazine,Poetry Pacific, Zimbolicious , Best New Poets ,Poetry Bulawayo , Gramnet webjournal, Diogen Plus , Poeisis.si , Festival de Poesia Medellin and