FAR SIDE of Utopia

FAR SIDE of Utopia

Margaret Randall


If Memory says it’s tired, needs to stop
for a moment and take a break,
remind it of bridges and tunnels,
dangerous byways
and passages
where water threatens blood
all the way home.

When Memory is tricked or battered
its maturity suffers.
Something is lost forever
between the hand’s warm touch
and temperature of air
as spring settles into summer
and winter remains a distant threat.

Memory breathes down your neck
even when extraneous voices
jostle from all sides
weaving false narratives.
Speeches will be made,
books written and histories stamped
with official seals of approval.

She will find you by instinct,
know you by scent
or feel,
identify your solid contours
in the shiver of her dignified spine,
depth of breath
and reach of fingertips.

And you will recognize her presence,
invite her to that place
where a child utters his first word,
poetry proclaims its relevance,
and cause and effect
curl into one another
on the far side of utopia.

When Justice Felt at Home

Something has changed.
Only old friends,
those who shared split peas
and white rice
on sweltering Havana nights
still call me compañera:
sweet designation
meaning comrade or friend
lover or familiar
in those luminous days
when justice felt at home
in our desire.

Now, more often than not,
it’s señora:
regression to a prehistory
when married or single
young or old
mattered most.

Still, compañera and compañero
are indelibly embossed
on the swaying trunks of Royal Palms,
in Sierra Maestra granite
and along the dissembling coastline
of an Island that still shouts freedom
into gale-force winds.

margaret1Margaret Randall is a poet, writer, photographer and social activist. She has authored more than 80 books. In the turbulent 1960s she co-founded and co-edited El corno emplumado, a bilingual literary journal which hosted  the most dynamic  writing of an era. “The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall” is a documentary about her life.

Posted: July 24, 2015 at 7:20 am

There is 1 comment for this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *