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Poetry Corner: ORANGE

Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. 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


By Julian Matthews

Today is a good day
I select an orange
Sit down to savour it
It’s a mandarin,
Even maybe of Chinese origin
But an orange does know better
It does not claim a nationality
Or a race, or a religion, or a gender
It’s humanity’s orange

I peel the orange, slowly
And it feels like I am tearing down a wall
I pull a segment from the whole
It’s cool and firm and real
Not fragile like the egos of some men

I place it in my mouth and it is good
It’s tangy and succulent and sweet
Its juice swirls in my mouth
Like gushing nectar
Like pure joy
Like poetry

This is my mouth — and I am free to eat with it
And to speak my mind with it
And to sing my joy with it
And to read poetry with it
My mouth is not a swamp to drain

This orange feels authentic
And I feel a piece of my soul return in some way
And the pain of the loss of a million souls slips away

And the one known as the Orange One
is gone
And the orange that I now savour
Is real and true and good
And today, yes today, is a good day

First published in Possible Utopias: WordsFestZine, Canada, in 2020. Written in response to the presidential elections in the USA that year.

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