THE FIG. A Poem by Tony Martin-Woods

Once upon a time
I was a fig.
(Yes, a fig)
Full of little flowers inside,
Plenty of endless dreams
I was born
In a casual tree
of those that nobody grooms,
of those that never gets rain,
of those that drain you to death.
punished by birds
who picked on my white sweaty sweetness
and left me scarred,
but made me stronger.
One day,
an arrogant orange,
of a garden nearby,
called for a meeting of peers
and suggested the idea
of forming a fruital system.
(Yes, a fruital system)
The rest of fruits agreed.
So, the orange stood in the centre,
cause she was too tangy to spin.
Everyone else
came forward
in a perfect queue
that started to curl
coiling outwards
around the self-proclaimed star.
The apple, the peach, the pear,
the lemon and even the grape
found quickly a place
in a galaxy they called
“The Juicy Way”.
They all looked so lush,
as they floated
in their glorious ether
of mechanically smooth subjects.
I want a place in this system,
I said,
I want to be an aster too,
I deserve to be there,
in harmony
with you.

The apple and some others
started to giggle
with patronising
swivel-eye disdain.
I am sorry my love,
said the eloquent
sunny leader,
but this is a fruital system
where everything works
out of our own
Everyone wins,
everyone contributes.
The magnetic fields
of our respective masses
are already balanced.
that is why we levitate up here,
so graciously.
If we take you on,
we will have to open the floodgates
of the universe.
How many more fruits
could we feasibly accommodate?
So, after this rational rejection,
I had no choice,
but to become
a zero-hours planet,
also known as a comet.
(Yes, a comet)
So now,
I am a wrinkly wild comet
full of odd rugged cracks.
I am not round,
not even pear shaped,
I have no clouds,
no satellites,
no green bits,
no rings of dust,
no frozen lakes of gas…
but I don’t give a shit..
I am the cock of the universe,
planets fear my freedom,
no one knows my trajectory,
it is hard to land on my surface,
I come and go as I please.
If the calculating master of creation
messes about with my equations
I may just crash on him,
or in one of his gardenly planets.
Who knows?
If some shepherds see my tale,
flying in the night
in the skies in winter,
they may grant me godly status
an invent a religion
at my place of collision.
Who knows?
I have nothing to lose.
I am a wrinkly wild comet,
I am a pirate in an orderly show of stars
who learnt their moves
in the youtube version
of the Book of Genesis.
Unlike them,
I am my own choreographer.
Only infinite heavens will tell you
what I am made of!
Watch me!
As I fly!

Tony Martin-Woods started to write poetry in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada (Transforming with Poetry), an online publication of political poetry that he edits. Tony is a political and artistic activist who explores the digital component of our lives as a means to support critical human empowerment. He is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his non-literary name. He writes in English and Spanish and is due to publish his first book of poems in 2016.

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