Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 19 - landay for the lonely voice

Image source: iStock

landay for the lonely voice

I find her garden’s half-twisted strands
revealing her thigh, she beckons to me with her hands

for she, like me, is a lonely voice
she is denied many things, cloaked midnight forms her choice

halfway across the field of poppy
new moon won’t betray us if longing makes us sloppy

she shows me where the smoothness meets soft
our muffled duet sows the seeds, budding, climb aloft

am I man enough to feel her bloom?
her garden’s an oasis; if she shares, I’ll consume

exchanged cloaked kisses in silhouette

we’ll fuck among flowers till night ends our suffragette


Written for NaPoWriMo's landay prompt, and imaginary garden with real toadsGoing Halvsies prompt. The following is exerpt from the page which describes the landay in great detail:

"A landay has only a few formal properties. Each has twenty-two syllables: nine in the first line, thirteen in the second. The poem ends with the sound “ma” or “na.” Sometimes they rhyme, but more often not. In Pashto, they lilt internally from word to word in a kind of two-line lullaby that belies the sharpness of their content, which is distinctive not only for its beauty, bawdiness, and wit, but also for the piercing ability to articulate a common truth about war, separation, homeland, grief, or love. Within these five main tropes, the couplets express a collective fury, a lament, an earthy joke, a love of home, a longing for the end of separation, a call to arms, all of which frustrate any facile image of a Pashtun woman as nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa."
While my effort certainly doesn't come close to the the essential nature of true landay, after reading about the history, I felt compelled to at least try to provide some kind of voice to the voiceless.


  1. A very energetic poem! I had not heard of this form. Thanks for showing it and participating in the prompt! k.

  2. Goodness, what an amazing poem, let alone to have tackled it with form.

  3. What a tempting way to meet.. I think you tackled the form very well.

  4. A fascinating poem — and I am glad to be instructed in this form.

  5. I am playing catch-up and just did this prompt today. I immediately thought of you when I read about the form, thinking that you may like it. Then you write this piece that has me so conflicted. My first impression was that it was cool and sexy and the last stanza was funny. But then, I look at the picture again and read your commentary at the end, and I reread it, and it becomes disturbing and scary. And here I am left wondering what to think. It's a compelling ambiguity you've thrown me into, and I like it. But I think it's going to be a while before I can get to sleep.