Between tied boulders on a windy mountain cliff,
slaves in rugged rags
panted and their dreams panicked.
A freedom beckoned,
and five of the barely-covered slaves
showered like raindrops to clinch it.
The freedom sparkled
but the remaining slaves rebelled against it.
The freedom hoisted itself up faster and halted mid-air,
just above The Valley of Bones.
The herd gathered round their leader
as the freedom beckoned louder.
Officers from hell, in friendly hues that day,
kept whipping through the thick trees
to inform them of their true freedom.
But the bitter bondage swelled in their bosom,
blue and raw, as the sun drenched
the spot with solid rays.
And hearts pulverised without deliberation
they all joined hands to shower too.
Their shouts tore the air, seeming bold and free,
blissful and final.
Their freed souls would later learn
that they had left free bodies.
What’s more tragic than runaway slaves jumping
off the threshold of freedom, forgetting
to leave their names along the wind?
THE LEGEND OF ANSE LA RAIE
Today for many people Anse la Raie, north of
Grand Baie, is a place popular for kitesurfing and its
Krab trouloulou. Part of its beach is strewn with countless
Holes during the low tide, and if you are patient enough,
You might see a lot of these reddish crabs. However,
Few people know that very long ago a giant ray arrived
At the tiny and gorgeous bay and soon settled there.
For some reason, though, it started to attack the small
Fishing boats. It would leap out of the water, somersault
In the air and fall spectacularly on the boats which sank
Under the impact. Several boats were destroyed and a lot
Of people killed before the fishermen concocted a plan
To destroy the monster. They had a long metal harpoon
Forged and secured upright on a boat. They then built the
Dummy figure of a fisherman, which they impaled
On the harpoon. The boat was left to drift in the middle
Of the bay. The giant ray was killed when it attacked
That boat; Anse La Raie bears its name from that time.
A bastille with open gates
Life within a bedecked cemetery
A girl who hurts no one
A sharp blade in her mind
Dreams yet to be seen
Tomorrows yet to be hers
Can’t stay sweet as cotton candy
Will end up hating herself
Every day, many people are ready to weep with her,
but she knows their tears weigh tons, for they
are crocodile ones.
Every night, kneeling by her bed, she lights a matchstick,
holding it upright like a valiant woman. She then fixes
the vacillating flame, as the proud head of the stick burns,
bending in front of her, slowly. She assumes
she’s defeated mankind. And goes to sleep,
inside the bedecked cemetery, inside the bastille.
Amit Parmessur, born in 1983, started by writing short stories for The Short Humour Site, winning their Booger Prize for best humour in October 2003. Published in over 150 literary magazines, he has been notably included in best-ofs for Crack the Spine (Winter 2012), The Writing Disorder (2012), Harbinger Asylum (2014 and 2013) and Breath & Shadow (2016). He has also been nominated for Best of the Web Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His works are inspired from childhood experiences, with a huge dose of fantasy. He currently edits The Pangolin Review, a poetry magazine from Mauritius.