Men Oh Pause

Georgia Varjas © 2001

Every night she wakes hot and wet

watching her body reform.

Curves flattening out

her bosom covering the view of her feet.

Frequent appointments to the hairdresser

more handkerchiefs, less tampons.

Too old to get a job,

too young to retire.

Men Oh Pause

Every night he wakes, scratching

as he walks to the bathroom two or three times.

His designer shirts are dry-cleaned.

He buys pop music and taps out of time

smiling at girls under twenty five,

even his daughter’s friends.

After work he goes to wine bars to chat.

He is tired and speechless with his wife.

She is like the ring on his finger

irritating and difficult to remove.

Men Oh Pause

She cries, laughs and shouts

all within fifty seven seconds.

Changing her clothes four times today.

She takes up knitting, crotchet and dressmaking

Gives them up three days later as

Prozac doctor knocks on her door.

But it doesn’t mix well with HRT.

She needs D cup and extra large

she is almost invisible

as she eats six donuts at the Bus Stop.

Men Oh Pause

His belly is big, so he loosens his belt.

For his promotion he receives

a larger desk and a trip to Paris.

He tells his wife it’s business

and goes with a model from an advert eating

oysters with champagne, followed by

crepe suzettes and sweet wine.

Forgetting their anniversary, he buys chocolates

and leaves the price tag on.

She protests, he stops eating at home, even breakfast.

Men Oh Pause

One day he comes home and she is still in bed.

He is furious, shouts names

but she does not move.

He storms out of the house with a small bag.

No lights come on after dark.

Nobody calls for a week.

He returns for his silk suit

and before he can curse her for staying in bed

he smells the air and vomits.

The coroner’s verdict: Death from invisibility.

Men Oh Pause

Men Oh Pause

Georgia Varjas © 2001

The Almond Orchard

Badam Bagh is the first Women’s prison in Afghanistan, it’s name means almond orchard.

Beside snow capped mountains

concrete blocks protect the world

from women with ‘bad attitude’

In sun dappled corridors they eat fluffed rice,

children run between locked gates,

mothers embroider, apply make up

henna hands and feet, and wait

for senseless sentences to run out

accusations, word of mouth,

a glance too long, a blink, a wink

that made a man think

she did something wrong.

But better than before in a Kabul jail

walled up in a six by four with three men

who took their turn to ease their shame

and shove the blame on Her.

In Badam Bagh, the Almond Orchard

sadness paints the walls

seeps through the padlocks

and yards of wrapped cloths

as tears of injustice drip

to the irregular beat of a religious clock

Georgia Varjas © July 6 2010

Pillow Talk

(Az ágy közös de a párna nem)

It started with a hand

out of the taxi,

a game of naked footsy under the table,

clinking wine glasses

till snowfall at dawn.

Sweet chestnuts roasted, and more

by the fireside.

Laughter and passion kept the icicles away.

Then, the bank offered a ladder to climb.

His teeth sparkled, pockets filled.

She smiled at the glass ceiling,

a cleavage smile and got there first.

After that, they only met at traffic lights.

The walls sighed at their loneliness.

The spiders moved in.

Whiskey spiked his words.

She threw the dictionary at him.

He put a TV in the bedroom,

she wore ear plugs

he took sleeping pills.

Routine came to visit.

Sweet love turned to cold soup.

They shared the bed but not the pillow.

Georgia Varjas © Nov. 2008


She cried like a lamb

when he hit her.

Squeaked and yelped

at the light bulb

then he gave her another

in a different colour

like it was done by a door.

Later, harder and bluer

on bandaged knees

she whined like a dog.

Filled with disgust, and lust

but not for her,

he laid her to waste. Then,

a metamorphosis took place.

On a dark starred night

she went on the trot

discarded her boots

and entered the woods.

Unafraid of her blood

she licked her wounds

and howled at the rising moon.

In sheep’s clothing she returned

with a taste for sweet meat

haunted him, taunted him

on to the street

to face him down like a man

then began to devour

even his bones.

G Varjas © June 2009

Price of Honor

My head sticks out of the earth

Punished for love

I see they put me next to Samu’s field

Where ancestral screams echo

Trees to the north

My back to the morning sun

I cannot feel my breasts

Swallowed by the dry dirt

Voices of children laughing

Please don’t let mine come here

The wind blows dust in my face

May be I could die before they come

Georgia Varjas © 2009


One Response to Poems

  1. joy lennick says:

    Men Oh Pause – Wow! Loved it. All powerful poems! Write on…Joy x

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