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Poetry Corner: THE COMPASS

by Julian Matthews

 

Tears are an ancient compass
constantly pointing south
for the Sabina Nessas of the world:
Muslim, Brown, South Asian descent,
and for the 700 indigenous women missing—
from the same area Gabby Petito was found

Tears are an ancient compass but
N-E-W-S without the N is only ews to you
Your compass is a screen coloured with your flighty bias
You are not lost—just feathering your nest with your fears
Your needle is magnetised by “influencers” who flock together
and never fly south,
nor east nor west,
every winter of our lives—
as if we even needed a winter to remind us
of all the seasons of killing

Our tears are an ancient compass
the tracks of which
lead to an ocean that will never wet the cheek
of you

Your compass is broken. 

First published in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, based on the prompt “Tears are an ancient compass” from Taylor Mali’s Metaphor Dice. Sabina Nessa was a 28-year-old teacher murdered in south east London, United Kingdom on September 17, 2021. Her killing was not initially reported widely in the media. Gabby Petito, 22, was murdered in August 2021 and her body found in Teton County, Wyoming, USA. Her case was widely covered in the media relative to the under-reporting of missing persons or murder cases of nearly 700 indigenous women in the last decade in the same area, many still unsolved.

Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine,  Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc

Link: https://linktr.ee/julianmatthews

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