poetry logo

MARCH 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 3



Detroit Poems


Submit | your name here


MERIN ELIZABETH KURUVILLA, a 14-year-old from the United Arab Emirates, is a contributing writer.




KURUVILLA'S POEMS: Lost in the Alleys | Hunted


Lost in the Alleys

The alley is dark and winding. Flints pave the way
Set between crumbling walls. Atop the mounts of debris,
Against flaking paint in the shroud of night,
Local tomcats seek refuge in a blatant melody.

Though grating and unending, you don't seem to hear their song,
As you plod, tired and vanquished, along this lonely track,
And the footsteps lacking owners beside you don't unman,
Because you're too broken to fear, you just want to go back.

Back to where you come from, where you explored the threads
Of untold pleasure, and you toured highroads of conquest.
And now, lost in the alleys, it's hard to accept
That once upon a time, all that met your eye was blest.

Thin lines of rain lash the flints. The cats' chorus fades
Into a last grating wail. They hunt for sanctuary in the trash,
And your soul that once exulted now wades through the sludge,
All traces of the past have vanished in a flash.

And the blast of some furious gale whips through you
On your journey to nowhere. The beads that creep
Across your face are just stray raindrops ...
There are no tears in the alley, you're too bitter to weep.


The hunt is on. The psychedelic shades of afternoon
Rouse life from the verdant, sleeping plains,
As I tear across the grass, a prayer upon my lips,
Strangled by a fear that drives my heart insane.

My ears are keened for a rush of footsteps,
Though the world remains unmoved, I daren't look behind,
For the memory of agitated cries is yet fresh,
A storm of furious oaths sweep through my mind.

The cloudless skies and the moist grasses bear
No dark threat of tempest, no hint of mist,
And every breath of the breeze whispering in the grass
Seems to be the first brush of gyves upon my wrist.

When will this game of cat and mouse end?
A game that turns the boundless green plains
Into a rank, tainted dungeon. I can almost smell
The odor that sears my soul with pain.

And I race for my life, along the green grounds,
Away from the loaded pistols, the hunter's raging call,
And the snarling hounds yet upon my track,
As at last, in the distance, the burning sun falls.