Today is International Women’s Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than by showcasing two poems by Sonnet L’Abbé from PRISM’s 2009 summer issue, 47:4. You can check out more of L’Abbé’s poetry and so many other incredible pieces by scouring through our back issues here.
I wanted to give you the consciousness of a tree. Once in the final
moments of the World Cup—the home team having made it to the
finals, the whole country draining itself of red inks to wear on the
day—I went outside to see who wasn’t watching the game. Outside
were the lost teenagers, sitting in a defiant circle on the swingsets and
benches, pimping each other to each other, and the trees, who lined
the empty roads from their brick-ringed patches of exposed earth. The
trees like sentinels over the vulnerable moment, the whole corpus of
the human colony rapt at screen, the trees could have pulled out
their own roots and waved them nakedly in the street, and no one
would have seen them, no one except the pimple-faced boy staring off
and the girl clinging to him, the girl with the Korean characters carved
into her wrist.
In many languages hue is not separated into blue and green. It is all
blue, greenish. The body sits like a greenblue stem under the sun.
Human, all its greenness is inside, flowing back blue rivers from its
extremities. Tides of green sky come in, move out of the lungs. The
system sips clear green water. Mouth tears up at the taste of lettuces.
Who can know even all the blue leaves on the tree outside my
window? How many monks sit writing in the walled city of the cell?
Every breath a kind of autumn, the little green platelets reddening
For more information on International Women’s Day, check out their website here. Happy International Women’s Day!