Dr. Aprilia Zank, GERMANY

(A Woman's Lament)

What have they done to my eyes?
They are sore with the sorrow of the world,
blinded by the smoke of smouldering flesh,
dazzled by the flashes of evil unfurled.

What have they done to my words?
They have torn them off my aching tongue,
thrashed and crashed them in taming attempts,
squashed the pulse of life from rhymes unsung.

What have they done to my dreams?
They have screened my brain, altered my cells,
manipulated my cortex with new paradigms,
dragged my innocence to the gates of hell.

What have they done to my Earth?
They have poisoned my waters, burnt my trees,
fractured Gaia's ribs to rob her entrails of gold,
spread wreckage and waste in my valleys and seas.

But I shall stand tall, not let my words be silenced,
will raise my voice, speak my mind loud and clear,
will clean the earth and plant the seeds of new trust,
will teach mankind to live with no grief or fear!


tell me about beauty
about Ophelia
sleeping on a bed of weeds
with little fish
weaving nests
in the shelter of her eyelashes

tell me about beauty
about Desdemona
dreaming figments of innocence
while black-feathered Death
rotates with vultures
above her immaculate sheets

tell me about beauty
about Cleopatra
snaking her splendour
among spikes of jewelled crowns
but doomed to touch the skin of the viper
for the thrill of the final embrace

tell me about beauty...


words fall
like hot wax
on skin

oh, God,
teach us to be kind

teach us to be kind
to the grass under our feet

teach us to be kind
to the shadows
dragging behind us

the half-blind woman
stops the other half-blind woman
tells her
about those bad numbers
creeping under her door
about how they besiege
her place
and grin from the shelves
how they snigger
behind her back –

the other woman
nods sympathetically
takes bread crumbs
out of her pocket
feeds imaginary pigeons

oh God
be good

be good to recycled angels
and to homeless warriors

be good to what is left of the day
and to the darkness to come

Dr. Aprilia Zank is a lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation Theory from Germany. She is also a poet, a translator and the editor of two anthologies: the English–German anthology poetry tREnD Eine englisch-deutsche Anthologie zeitgenössischer Lyrik, LIT Verlag, Germany, 2010, and the anthology POETS IN PERSON at the Glassblower (Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2014). She writes verse in English and German, and was awarded a prize at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. BAREFOOT TO ARCADIA, her bilingual collection of poems translated in Telugu by the eminent Indian poet and translator Dr. L. S. R. Prasad. was launched in 2018 in Hyderabad, India.  Aprilia is also a passionate photographer: many of her images are prize winners and have been selected for poetry book covers.

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