Iowa Writes

A Ghostly Place

Near the gnarled Tamarind tree
Lie heaps of rocks and pebbles;
Once a rockery with ferns,
Flowers and sparkling water.

Now two old Chameleons
Flecked with bronze and gold;
Armour-plated head to tail,
Stand motionless and silent
With bulging eyes;
Only their long tongues
Flashing in and out
Glinting pink in the sun.

Mynahs and Babblers
Hop and fly among
Gardenia and Jasmine bushes.
Descendants of old settlers,
Peacefully ensconced,
Reluctant to leave this woodland place
Of weeds and worms,
They live, surrounded by
Endless abundance.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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This poem originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by The University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Garden."

This page was first displayed
on June 30, 2009

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