Cradles: New and Collected Poems

Cradles: New and Collected Poems

by Salimah Valiani


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Cradles is a collection on the nature(s) and nurturing that cradle us. Womb, the first section, is the first cradle, both ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, under-acknowledged and often unmentioned. Beyond the grand and intricate physical womb of individuals, there are collective wombs that incubate on yet grander and greater scales. In Land(s), the second section, the cradles we typically identify as our ‘origins.’ but as the Cradle of Humankind in present day South Africa teaches, the many lands of today are interlaced in concealed ways and originated in a single, little understood place. Tides are explored in the third section: the physical migrations and cycles of time that shape us. Tides can shift, upset and remake the nurturing of cradles; they also cradle us in cycles of wreckage. Wind, the final section, sets us free of places and times of origin. This detachment can bring freedom, a sense of loss/lostness, and the many things in between. The freedom/loss/lostness spiral whirls with the wind and transforms. in surrendering we can alter its pace to our needs and desires.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995347496
Publisher: Daraja Press
Publication date: 10/20/2017
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Notes Verging on a Preface xii


For Maleeah 5

Arousal 6

On labour 7

Theft 8

(untitled) 9

Wealth 10

Didar 2008 12

On Unity 14

Body Memory 18


19 On the Immaterial 20

Heart in Throat 21

Breathlessness 22

Mother 24

Tenderness 26

Heroes 27

On love XVIII 28

On love XIX 29

Sudan 2016 30


Djemaa El-Fna, 2012

37 In search of language 39

On love XX 41

Offerings and convictions, National Action Day in Solidarity with First Nations June 29 2007 42

Souvenir, Cape Town2005 45

For Ottawa, [And all capital cities of the Christianised world] 46

Love or death II 48

Land of the Sky 51

Marrakech 54

Climbing to Mandara, Kilimanjaro 56

Indonesia, 2002 57

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 59

On love XXI 63

Forest Chorus 64


For matoke stems and the graveless 69

Hand Washing Story of a Refugee Family 72

For Madrid (or, On the passage of 150 modern years) 74

Yen for the Americas 75

Camera after the storm [or, On collective memory] 76

La mesquinerie 77

On Disease 79

l'Autobus 82

Drifting, or: On industrialisation and deindustrialisation

84 Wooden Dream, Kampala 2007 85

On love XXII 86

Inequality 2005/2015 87

Ice in the lungs 88

Chains 89

breathless 90


silver and stones 97

Memorial of the King of Lukembe, 2013 101

Early Morning Train 104

Cartography of faith 106

Kalisthenics of Displacement 107

Circumventing Circumcisions 109

leap of hope 111

Wind 113

Toronto, 2004 114

Letter to us via Reetika Vazirani 115

On love XXIII 127

Last Note to a Brother-Comrade 129

Clifton Sunset 131

Bleeding Heart, o rToronto 2016 132

On Methodology 133

Closet Chant 135

Liberation 136

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