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  • Writer's pictureMalu Baumgarten


Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Here the vultures hover again 

Flying over the territory where my heart is tender

Where reason has no kingdom 

and I am moved by my senses 

like a blind insect, I crawl 

--a thin-skinned mole wandering the depths of the earth 

through the layers of joy and pain, 

through the pleasure and the agony that shape the world 

inside me. 

These vultures with their inquisitive beaks, 

their encompassing wings,

their promise of comfort in silky black feathers. 

They will choke me instead.

with compassionate voices 

and gangly undulating movements,

they bend over my face in sweet inquiry: 

“Who is this you write for? Who is the object of your love?”

“Who makes you wince in pain -- is that me or is it my sister?” 

“Who is it that brings up your smile? 

Which sorrow washes through your tears?” 

they wrap me in their large soft wings, 

black as the soft pillow of the night 

soft as the silk that soothes their voices

voices like feathers of silk

they hover 

the large ones and the small ones 

bald-headed kings and shrill vocal ladies 

they pry into my heart. 

Their curiosity is my doom.

They want to know the secrets inside me,

Cut me open,

Pull each and every fibre of my heart

Feed on it

The layers of joy and pain

Of bliss and agony

That round the universe that is me.

I know their promise,

Their fatal embrace.

The tenderness

And then the fall into the pit.

They hover and wander

Trying to circumvent my newly gained wisdom.

But they can’t have my heart

--a piece of it they can’t touch—

Even though the scent of it causes the blood to move under their silky wings.

I remember years ago

A man who was dying told me:

“Your love no one can control”

So, I pray and say

“My thoughts are mine too.

Even when I am tied to this rock on top of the earth

--my poetry is mine.

And my heart 

–  pitiful birds —

You shan’t have it

You shan’t have it

If I do not surrender to your rage.

Words and photography ©Malu Baumgarten - all rights reserved

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