When space is silence…

Words, sounds, and space…


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In the still…

Raised    as a fire-ignited vision
I reach the still of tonight
             far  up there
right above oblivion
I see you   kissing my lips

Freed from hefty gravity
 I look down    at our confusion
             far  up there
right besides stillness
I see us   turning around


_____Adriana Citlali
XXIV-IV-MMXVII

Quadrille #31 –today’s word: still | dVerse.
(A quadrille is a 44-word poem.)


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Then you blinked

Usually you have that diamond brightness on your left eye. Often I have the mystery that makes you uneasy. Or is it the other way around?

Occasionally, fog surrounds us, removing all except for that mysterious diamond. Then you blink. Then I doubt. Or we kiss and forget. Just… We don’t really forget; we wait.

But that November night, you became the person who scares me. The sparkle turned wicked –or so I thought.

Today I told you all –but you can’t know. Today I was the girl who shares her world in a silent conversation. I wonder if I hurt you.

Winter, under dark
northern sky –I walk alone.
No sun, no rainbow.


_____Adriana Citlali
XXIII-I-MMXVII

Haibun Monday #29 | dVerse


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A path to freedom

From left to right: Marina Nemat, Kimberley Motley, and Irwin Cotler. Panel discussion on Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum. © Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

From left to right: Marina Nemat, Kimberley Motley, and Irwin Cotler. Panel discussion on Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum.
© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016


It is Ayatollah Khomeini’s early days. Marina Nemat is only 16 when they arrest her, after leading a strike in high school. Sent to prison, she is tortured, and sentenced to death. The sentence is then changed for life imprisonment. The payment is to marry her interrogator, lose her catholic faith (become muslim), lose her name, her body, extend the pain. She has no option, refusing means jail or even death to her family and boyfriend. She endures. Days pass by. She requests solitary confinement. She can not look other prisoners directly into their eyes. She is sleeping with her interrogator! Being raped by her interrogator, to be more precise. She feels guilt of having been saved when her friends were killed. She feels embarrassed. She is sinking, only the goodness of few saves her spirits –there’s a birthday cake one day, for her, made of pieces of bread (saved during several days). Time continuous its path, she endures. The interrogator dies. His family helps her. She is released. Her family rejects her… She mentions the word dishonour, and I can only question the pervasive blindness of so many humans.

Marina tells the story with a calm rhythm that contrasts with the brutality of her experience. Marina’s face shows pain, her eyes project the sadness of telling and reliving memories. She says she gave up saving the world long time ago. She now keeps her expectations real. She is part of the panel discussion Women and the Law, organised by the Oslo Freedom Forum 2016. Janine di Giovanni moderates the panel. Kimberley Motley and Irwin Cotler share their experience advocating for human rights in troubled countries, in a troubled world. Kim mentions the dilemma of releasing a woman from prison to send her to prison –her home or a shelter. Kim, as Marina, tries to be realistic. She brings awareness to her clients, represents their interests, works to meet the goal they want. Irwin questions the red line, the times the world has said “never again” (to genocide, for example), and how that red line transmutes into pink advice. He speaks with reality in his words: “we cannot save all political and conscience prisoners, but we need to let them know that we are trying”. A member of the audience questions how much the ICC is really doing; another asks how to get our “human rights” voice passed the Kardashians and US politics. Kim states that it is not only about fighting for a cause, one has to sell it. “Do not lose faith” says Janine. Marina adds that initiating change does not have to be complex: “If 10 small voices speak up and influence to save one person, I am happy!”. Advocacy is much easier today than 20 years ago: it is one click away through social media and the internet. Marina closes the panel with a poem.

I shake Marina’s hand. I try to convey the overwhelming feeling of admiration her words inspired in me. We talk about poetry and blogs. She says how writing poetry is therapy for her, how the process soothes and recharges her. I echo her words, with a smile. With not even a close comparison to Marina’s life experience, her humanity and her way of freeing her mind make me relate to her in a new way. Writing poetry is what keeps me sane through the worst and best of times.

In awe
the skies of Oslo cry
— words show the path


_____Adriana Citlali
XXIII-V-MMXVI
IX-V-MMXVI

© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

Janine di Giovanni moderating the panel Women and the Law at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum
© Adriana Citlali Ramírez 2016

Inspired by the real-life heroes, speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2016. In response to Again, what do you do to truly rest and relax? –question asked by Toni Spencer today at Haibun Monday #14 – “Too Many Mind…” | dVerse. A Haibun is a text composed with a combination of relatively short prose and a haiku.


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Sakura Matsuri

Come –
see real blossoms
of this painful world
            by Basho

I miss the days when suicide was not a normal word. Those days when we daydreamed about the places we would travel, the smiles we would laugh, the freedom we’d reclaim, the success, and joy. Do you remember that sunny day when we drove to the Texan Hill Country? The bluebonnets and wildflower blossoms? What was the colour of the sky?

Under a tree
a hurtful word fades out —
cherry petals colour the sky


_____Adriana Citlali
XXVIII-III-MMXVI

Haibun Monday #10: Hanami | dVerse


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A flowy passage

Amelia looks at the water where moonlight transmutes into a flowy passage. She wonders how it would be to walk such path. Would it free her? Would it liberate all fears? She imagines fears released and flying away like colourful butterflies. Amelia observes the night, the fluttery rainbow leaving her body as she walks forward.

_____Adriana Citlali
VII-II-MMXVI

Poetic prose in 55 words. Written for the Flash 55 PLUS! challenge.