old dust made new - Daniela Elza



the harmattan (d r y and c o l d) came in
couplets— fine unrimed red d us t

no matter how tightweshutthewindows
you cannot keep it out

b l u r r e d the trees the ho us es
the past— its long fluorescent lights

thin apparition— the desert came in
sifted down through mosquito nets

) t.here is no without ) no within the Sahara
breathing as if it w e r e memory (s l o w

and d i f f i c u l t) arriving on the north east winds
sinking even through the fabric of my d reams

old dust made new on our living sur f a c e s
in the morning the black table top turned canvas

where my dad left us secret m e s s a g e s
where my sister and I awoke to the wor(l)d

drew and rhymed with child fingertips
before my mom shined it clean for breakfast




"old dust made new" is the second of our series of poems on the Harmattan. New entries will be posted each week, and collected here.

8 comments:

Adjei Agyei-Baah said...

Wanna find out from Elza or Roy if this is the original arrangement of the poem or an upload error.

Dorothee Lang said...

intriguing poem. so many levels of perception woven into the lines.

loved this:

) t.here is no without ) no within the Saharabreathing as if it w e r e memory (s l o w

thanks for this Sahara moment.

Prince Kwasi Mensah said...

Ingenious use of spaces. 'old dust made new' is illustrative of the stuffiness experienced during Harmattan. It also captures the free flowing breeze that dances through silent trees at night.

I love the use of poetic license by the poet to make single words out of sentences and fragmenting words into alphabets.

Daniela brings a refreshing perspective to the table about the Harmattan.Spectacular poem about space and confinement, together with the nuances that come with such experiences.

Anonymous said...

I relish this poem--experimenting,exploring--yes think it is what-not the duty of a poet but perhaps the courage,boldness--to turn words upside down.inside out back 2 front--to stimulate food for thought.
The pauses giving the reader time to perhaps find similar moods,images. reflections--perhaps an affinity with the poet.A feeling--yes i have been there myself.

Anonymous said...

Well guess I should stand up and be counted--lol--I posted the last comment--Zilverzorro.

Adjei Agyei-Baah said...

Daer Elza,I have now discern the impression you wanted to create with the spacing and contraction of your words i.e how the Harmattan resettles dust particles with its gentle brush leaving a spectacle of dispersion and deposit.

I hope I stand not to chastise much for not seeing what others discovered with so much easiness.As the saying goes: the eyes that look are many but the ones that see are rare.This time a fellow poet has been outwitted with creativity.

Hope to put on my magnifying lens another time around.I also appreciate the beauty of this piece though designed in pieces.

daniela elza said...

Thank you all for your thoughts and encouragement.
Dorothee: You know that was my little surprise in the poem too, the past as long fluorescent lights and the Sahara helping me think about memory and its cycles.

Prince Kwasi Mensah: Thanks for your insights on how the form speaks further, about space and confinement.

Thank you Zilverzorro for bringing up experimenting/exploring and courage/boldness, a very important part of poetry. As well as relishing. I am delighted when I hear how you experience the pauses and the language.

Thank you Adjei Agyei-Baah for your honesty and for your courage. It takes courage to receive something new, and to be open to the moment. I like how you phrased it: a piece designed in pieces.

Darko Antwi said...

Great poem, superb comments.