by Alexander Majendie

Published in Issue No. 295 ~ December, 2021

In exile, the sons and daughters of this place wrote sad songs,

And wept for a country they had never seen

as though it were a mother.

They wove elaborate tapestries,

And developed highly mannered styles of elegant cuisine

with subtle, delicate flavours,

Which reminded them of what they thought was home,

As though to eat at unfamiliar tables would be renunciation, resignation,

A recognition of defeat at the hands of their misfortunes.


Their artists painted landscapes they had dreamed

and called them memories, and then they dreamed their pictures

until none among them could distinguish between memory and dream,

(only the old remembered that there was never any difference).

Each wedding ceremony was a ritual of invocation,

Whereby the fertile ground of home was conjured

under every couple on their wedding night,

And it bore them children as it had when they had tilled its fields

and reaped its harvests

and tended vines upon its slopes.


In exile, the sons and daughters forged a boom chain,

To lay across the entrance to their secret harbours.

In their lonely exile, the sons and daughters of this place wove threads

from spider silk and lashed their weary hearts together,

Like a raft, to save them from the unkind sea.



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Alexander Majendie is a half-Scottish, half-English poet based in the South-West of England. His favourite poets include Marya Zaturenska and Edgar Allen Poe, and he is currently enjoying work by Maxine Kumin, Clark Ashton Smith, and a translation of Wislawa Szymborska. His work has appeared in The Moth.

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