kuroi akumu: black nightmare

Today Claudia, one of the founding members of the dVerse community, is prompting us to write about our emotions, about how we feel – not the feelings of the world, other people – but how we feel and to avoid using generalities. Metaphors might also be used. Come visit us at d’Verse Poetics. I have a feeling you may be amazed.  Linked to:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/11/24/poetry-as-a-vehicle-to-transport-emotions/

kuroi akumu
I move through the days like our local
weather report. Sunny and cold
and on the inside a storm is raging
threatening to obliterate me and
like many of those storms in dreams it
cannot be escaped – it rears on the horizon and
then it is there on top of you sucking the breath
from your lungs.

A restaurant.
They specialize in rare natural foods.
A friend and I go – we have been friends
since 1975 –
in the middle of the room dividing the eating areas
a huge fish tank with
fish like flashing jewels.
and then,
and then…
there are creatures in the water
like hairless black cats or small dogs
being held in the water with wires
as they shake and jerk
trying to escape and
waiters stand on ladders and with long tongs
extract long sprouts growing from seeds
embedded in their flesh – and the animals are
almost but not quite dead because they continue
to jerk and jerk and jerk and the water
slops over the side of the tank
wetting the tiled floor with water
stained with black and red.
In horror I scream why is this?
Why doesn’t someone care?
Why doesn’t someone stop this?
How can we eat this food pulled from
the flesh of dead and dying animals?
I turn to my friend – an animal rights activist
and I grab her and scream into her face
and she says but it is delicacy here.
And I stand and scream and no one cares
and the animals on their wires jerk and jerk
like tortured puppets and no.one.cares.

My husband awakens me and holds me but
still I shudder – no.one.cares.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. claudia
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 15:34:14

    oh heck – i stopped breathing
    you’ve been doing a wonderful job on the metaphor
    goes underneath the skin
    a wonderful write


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 15:35:47

    I really love the first stanza, which is almost like a separate poem.. the image of the weather report is perfect… The nightmare is so vivid, and to me there is a particular feeling of loneliness… no one cares.. that emotion is something I often carry inside…


  3. Glenn Buttkus
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 15:53:36

    Beginning in slumber, in what feels like real time, we sense the darkness descending, & then KABASH, the nightmare begins, becoming darker with every line, macabre, frightening, the slaughter of innocents as metaphors for the slain from terrorism, & yet it reminds me that even though I am a flesh eater, I do not want to watch the animal be killed in front of me–as the poem suggests, we need to humanize the victims we read & hear about, grab reality, because terrorism is not surreal, it is god damn real; too much so.


  4. Mary
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 16:26:57

    Wow, this was an emotional write, Toni! Gripping from beginning to end. I really have cut way back on eating meat, am not a total vegetarian but I eat vegetarian more and more. The images in your poem…food pulled from dead and dying animals…and animals on their wires….and no one cares. This one will stay with me!


  5. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 17:09:00

    Have to agree with Mary here .. this is one very strong & emotive write! The images will stay with me forever!


  6. Grace
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 18:25:27

    Goodness, what a story of a nightmare ~ The ending pulled me out of the situation, thankfully ~ I can’t stand eating delicate nature stuff and wouldn’t rather see them being killed ~


  7. Edward Hotspur
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 18:55:52

    Too many to mention – other than what I have already.


  8. MarinaSofia
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 03:06:34

    Two very different poems there, but then you see the connection through pain and shock between the two of them. That image of the hairless black cats or dogs being jolted with currents – so powerful, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to shake that! Glad I’m reading it in the morning rather than the evening, so I won’t have nightmares.


  9. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 03:25:17

    Phew! You have succeeded graphically in showing your emotions – so well that I felt your horror.


  10. insidetheclock
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 05:30:16

    Eeeep, nightmarish indeed. My little vegan soul squealed at this.


  11. Raivenne
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 16:52:09

    The last lines of your kuroi akumu
    “it cannot be escaped – it rears on the horizon and
    then it is there on top of you sucking the breath
    from your lungs.”

    I know this well, perhaps too well. The scene in the restaurant as you’ve laid it out before us was gripping. Even the reveal that it was a dream, it still took a moment to quench the emotions built. This was so well done.


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 25, 2015 @ 16:56:02

      Thank you so much. A lot of people read this as a poem for being vegan. it is really about that trapped feeling, the breath being sucked out of your lungs when you feel the life is being sucked out of you and you are being used. It was truly an intense dream and stayed with me for several days. Writing it out helped exorcise it. Thank you for reading.


  12. Candy
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 20:23:14

    the nightmare surprised me – no one cares – such melancholy


  13. Laura Bloomsbury
    Nov 26, 2015 @ 13:01:43

    how vivid the dream you told and water the symbol of emotions spilling over so brilliantly in your poem


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