The Sewing Circle of Herat
Nadia Anjuman Herawi, Afghani poet 1980 - 2005
I did not sew my shroud. Though my hands shook, how could I know
I\'d dance so young with grinning death. No, I did not sew.
I did not hem my veil, these dark eyes looked for clarity.
My face now sand upon the wind. Even so, I did not sew.
I did not fashion this net, my fingers hennaed ritually.
Wings held shut, fruit at arm\'s length, all rotting, row on row. I did not sew.
I did not weave a shawl to shield this head with piety.
They felled me. These blood-borne words will never cease to flow. I did not sew.
I did not dye a layette with ash for my infant girl\'s journey.
They snatched her from my arms, God knows. I did not let her go. I did not sew.
I did not sew my shroud although I feared the yet to be.
Let a murdering husband deny my death. The world will know. I did not sew.
The women will gather to weep, to read, to write, and to lie low.
The circle will grow. They will not sew as I did not sew.
come and join me
let me teach you the art
of hammock sailing
suspended in this vivid slash of stuff
by twin creaking cords
around us striped lizards dart
the breeze that fills this fabric
stirs the flame tree
and a lorikeet
tastes nectar with her tongue
see how my eyes are filled with sky
I will share with you
in a sun-coloured hammock
the secret of making strong love
one foot on the ground
too much truth
is fearsome to confront
better to fudge it
wait for the moment
rehearse the litany
bide your time
bite your tongue
serve up a honeyed version
to sweeten the retort which
your hearer has not yet
begun to imagine
I tell you straight
it is not the truth which makes me shake
but the thing that lurks
in the gaps between the words
Ynes Sanz was born in Orpington, England, in 1946. She came to Queensland as a teenager and returned to beautiful Brisbane in 2001 after 35 years south of the border.
A mother and grannie, she has cleaned floors, sat with the dying, been a teacher, town planner and grief counsellor. She embraces the philosophy of voluntary simplicity.
A member of \'paper wasp\' and other Brisbane writing groups, Ynes writes contemporary verse, haibun, haiku, short stories and books for children.
In 2005 she won the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for an emerging poet with her \'Quandamooka Suite\', an affectionate reflection on Brisbane past and present, and in 2007 is a judge for the same competition.
A member of the 2006/7 Committee for the Queensland Poetry Festival, her work can be found online at Stylus Poetry Journal, paper wasp, foam:e and Contemporary Haibun Online.
She has produced two chapbooks \'Lady with Weasel\', published by SweetWater Press and \'Talking Poetry Blues\', a collection of haibun and haiku.
Committed to skill-sharing and to low- and no-cost training and mentoring for beginning writers and poets, Ynes enjoys judging poetry competitions, providing editorial assessments and running workshops.
Her most recent work is \'Fanny the Flying Housewife and other stories\' a collection about mad and magnificent women.