~Summer’s Eve ~
I am a woman!
I am proud-
I am everything you want.
The adoring wife,
A beautiful mother,
A grandmother a granddaughter
A daughter, a sister,
A lover, the aunt.
Your enemy, your friend.
I am the working lady.
A widow left behind.
The Spawn of Adam's rib-
A mentor throughout this world.
A lady with class, sometimes a material girl.
A flower, and the sound of rain.
I am the color of the rainbow.
I am deeper than the sea.
I am the pink ribbon you wear.
I am delicate like snow.
The sun and the moon in your eyes.
A twister during dark skies.
The Daughter of Eve-
And, here is the only feeling I want to endorse.
In honor and appreciation to all the women of the world.
Happy Mother’s day!
*GRANDMA WAITS IN THE GARDEN*
Hi grandpa it's me again!
Your dentures sit in an open glass
Do you remember the tears grandma sang before she passed?
The way she looked into your eyes,
Moments before she said her goodbyes
Grandpa, I found a note from grandma, she doesn't want you to cry.
Hi grandpa, it’s me again!
The rocking chair is old and dusty
Do you remember the way grandma sat me on her lap?
Read many stories before I took a nap
How she enjoyed brushing my hair with her hands
Love the way she rocked me to sleep every night until I grew.
I stored your hearing aid away
Do you remember that special musical box in grandma's drawer?
I opened it last night, to watch the ballerina dance
I wish you could hear the tiny chimes grandma lived in
I hope you don’t mind, I’m keeping grandmothers favorite scarf.
I'm caressing grandma’s picture frame
Do you like the way she looked in that pretty sundress?
Grandpa, I miss the things grandmother did for you
I like the walking stick she handcrafted, the day your needed support
It kept you in balance every time we took long hikes in the woods.
Hello grandpa, it's me again!
Here I sit holding your hand
I have no more tears
Soon you will see grandma
Please tell her hi, and I know you will be there the day I die
Give grandma a kiss, and tell her I miss her
See the woman.
See the face behind its age.
See the beauty of her form.
See the way her way becomes her.
See past her once taught skin, as it was
when it enflamed many a man.
See the way she holds her head;
the tilt of her neck, the ease
of her being.
See the strength that binds her jaw,
unrelenting in its flex.
See her hurt displayed, as shadows
fall like night upon the earth,
eager for rest and resolution -
for the one she could not save.
See her darkness. See it very well.
See it shatter like glass, glinting,
when she giggles like a girl.
See her shine.
As the shades of dark days rise,
See the years that grace her eyes,
like rays of her own sun
exponentially shining forth.
See forgiveness in her patient hands
as they weave memories with a touch.
See the breadth of her breasts,
for they have quenched her children’s hunger,
soothed their frantic cries,
and became the safe haven for her beloved.
See her empty, scarred abdomen –
round and perfect in its imperfections,
once holding the essence of all things;
carrying creation within –
see the divine home of God.
See the innocent baby,
the impetuous youth,
the voluptuous woman,
the devoted wife,
the selfless mother.
See the wisdom of the grandmother –
the epitome of every moment lived
for someone else, and the realization
of the circle.
Hear the acceptance in her sigh.
See the gifts she has given –
see the woman!
See the goddess!
The beginning and the end!
See the infinite that bares the name,
See her for all that she is and isn’t.
Smell her scent and know you are home.
Taste the strength of her words on your tongue.
Hear her experiences like your own.
To touch her soul is to touch perpetuity!
See her face in your mirror.
See the tears that fall proudly
upon the woman you’ve become,
and hope yet to become
when you have lived through all that has been
set before you –
tasted each woman’s tears as if they were your own.
When you enter that perfect union,
when you become,
when you come
you will see yourself in all things,
and your journey, will see you back
*Reposted for Chris's Get Your Rebel On, Contest! This was written with my Beautiful
Grandmother in mind. She saved my life in more ways than one. love you, Gran. This one's
for you. (and every woman, and woman lover, here)
It is thirty six years ago, and I am with her in the garden,
where July is a picnic of egg sandwiches, cress-stippled,
the fuzzy down of peaches, acid-yellow tang of lemonade.
Her fingers have the delicacy of dancers
as she deftly mixes paint on a palette blue as the sky -
blobs of acrylics bright as sweet shop candy.
Summer is a sizzling colour wheel, spinning in its heat hues -
cadmium orange, pyrrole red, gold ochre -
those fever flames that blaze across her page.
My small world is warmed by the sun in her smile.
Russian vine stitches a delicate doily over the shed roof.
The heat-glazed garden shimmers and buzzes.
There is a twilight world under sweet clusterings of lilacs:
a cool shock of shade, pendulous-legged black flies
hovering in the murky mauve.
China white stars of jasmine light my way.
Please keep me close. Let me stay.
It is twenty six years ago, a morning of mourning,
and the notes of the dead bells toll
as, mist-muffled, they roll
through November's sleet streets.
I close my eyes and the sun in her smile parts the clouds.
Sober-suited people crush and cluster in pews;
row upon row of perylene black, winter-pale faces titanium white.
Stained glass windows filter and warm the ash-grey light
until her coffin is a vibrant palette of rainbows.
There are stories - lots of stories - anecdotes,
a crimson-backed journal she wrote,
a painting she painted, coffin-propped,
a poetry reading - one of her own -
Tapestry is a wondrous thing, in it the lovely colours sing. . .
Creamed rice-colour roses heap sweet
on her stone - a slate plate serving up a dead name -
and carnations splash cadmium scarlet
like blood throbbing from the gash of grief's raw wound.
It is now, and I am alone, taking a short cut home
through evening's rich palette.
Elegiac elms shed viridian tears,
and the sky is a burnt sienna explosion.
October's umber seeps into November's sepia tones.
My mind is coloured with her and then.
I hold a small cameo box that held
the colourful spill of her pills: kaleidoscope planets
orbiting my loneliness, spinning off into nothingness. . .
Dark figures fill the park: silhouettes, shadows
following me home; spirits stepped from her portraits,
faces pushed down into coat collars, crinkled with frowns.
Paint-pinned people in their primaries and pastels,
on canvas, under glass; stopped heartbeats of the past.
Trapped moments on paper and boards.
I close my eyes and see the sun in her smile,
recall how, since her passing, life has become a free fall,
a parapet leap without parachute.
And the smudged charcoal lines of memory
are beginning to blur, fading like her watercolours. . .
in memory of my grandmother
I might make a noise right now
There will be a time when I go silent
Will you miss my racket?
In those days of silence?
I will no longer yearn for your presence
Like I do at this very moment
Will you wonder?
Will you wish?
For that good morning?
I might be a nuisance right now
I might ask you the same thing over and over
My voice will go silent
All I ask today is be patient with me
Please love me; with your ears
Please love me; with your time
Before all you will have
Is my grave and the memories…
"Thoughts of the aged - loneliness don't discriminate "
To be called ..
~ Grandma is a Honor ~
I have been blessed with 4 Grandchildren
~ one lays in Heaven " Kaleb " He is God's Angel ~
~ His twin brother he will always watch over , and be in his soul~
For he loved his Brother so much in the womb ,
he chose Heaven which gave life to his twin
~ I feel his spirit when I see the other Grandson ~
Time passed another gift to see
we are " Mickes" and Loved
Our Dad held the title in Baseball
~ that's how we roll ~
those children are Grandmas hero's
The Irish they love big and Family is everything
The brothers will protect the beautiful sister
~ as many lads will be calling ~
Every time my Grandson hits a home run
There will be a Angel watching proudly in the stand
It will be as if the Angel lifted him when he runs
~no one runs faster then my Grandson~
either baseball or Art ~ you shall find your gift given
These children have been blessed~
~ a beauty to hard to describe
If you think not ~~ Take a look at the Mom
That girl can stop Traffic
after raising three and still~
"Inspired by the gift and loss of Grandchildren "
May our precious " Kaleb " softly rest where Angels only Dwell
Imagine a lovely garden, tea for two,
and this story . . .
Here, let me take your hand
and I'll fluff up that pillow for you
How odd that the wind is nowhere today-
Whistle a happy tune for me, love
Don't you always say that whistling
calls the breeze, invites it in?
It's never failed before,
just as seeing you never fails
to put a smile on my face
...I can almost forget the pain
Whistle for me, and I shall sing for you
This is how I've always imagined us,
in a garden, the wind tickling the leaves
as we both immerse ourselves
in music and laughter,
with the birds joining us in our song...
Just hold my hands, keep them warm
as we bask in the sun's golden rays...
seems like forever since I've felt it
Don't be afraid to close your eyes, love
I'm just here
...let me watch over you for once
You haven't slept for days,
let me do this
and sing you a lullaby
Hush, wind, hush
let my voice soothe his heart this time
I can feel your pulse-
it beats so much faster
as mine slows down, slipping...
much like the sun slips from my eyes,
my final sunset.
Forgive me, love,
for leaving you this way
I know you wanted to be awake when I go
But you've been so tired,
and I don't want to see your eyes' lights die
as my own flicker and fade
It's better this way, believe me
The two of us imagining a garden,
hand in hand
As the wind breezes past,
so shall I...
forever in your breath, my love
dwelling in your heart, fanning those flames
and when you feel that wind has left you,
remember what you always do...
Whistle and I am there
My maternal grandparents were my inspiration for this,
so this holds a special meaning for me.
This actual scene didn't actually transpire, although certain events inspired
what happened in this poem.
My grandmother was a soprano, my grandfather did always say that, to
whistle to call the wind... Even if she was 11 yrs younger, she died 12 years earlier
than he did. Theirs was a beautiful love story.
They fought the tide to own this land
A fight I did not understand
They fought the plow, they fought the drought, they fought the debt
But yet,…by God,……they owned the pride
In retrospect, I'm still ashamed
It was, my flippant pilgrimage
I had come a stranger to this place
About to step upon the moon,
A cratered space of rocks and sage
Of rolling hills, with no escape
She saw it differently, of course
Although her body weary, worn
Her eyes were strong, ...she saw a home
Her age was then, what mine is now
It had been her home, and it had been her vow
To come again, just one more time.
I was thirteen, and dragged along
I overlooked the great attraction
I could not see the satisfaction
I missed the light upon her face
She saw the youth she left behind
Her gray eyes drinking up the sun,
I saw the dust, I saw the bones,
Where she saw beauty, I saw none .....
Nothing more than a sea of weeds, the crumbling brick,
A place to shuffle my restless feet
But stories came, and they sunk in….
And now I view with wiser eyes…
She told me all these things back then…but now, I smile,… remembering.
They had to fight to own this piece of land
They fought the plow, they fought the drought, they fought the debt
And yet,…oh yes,…….they owned the pride
Recited on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAchI2nu9yY
For Deb's Contest:....2nd Option..(With age comes wisdom, understanding and
appreciation. I am never too old to keep learning
and value those who came before and made me
who I am.)
The moon so bold seems cold
with a halo of midnight glow
I sit mesmerized as the night grows old.
I bleed still, even after all these years
and I wait again through the night
aching in the depths of my soul
that no other seems to know
the Loneliness that has become my companion.
In the darkness we wait and confide in the other
our deepest fears as memories fade
in and out each season of change
the nostalgia tempers the wars of pain
this tempestuous foe of ours
wails at the gates of midnight
howling the warble of humanities last grace.
How the comfort of minds and hearts
turn from light to deep dark in the face
of eternities long time clock...
I ache with wanting, with need and passion
it is a lie that time heals and wounds scar
each night is fresh like the first
when I faced realities shock.
Who can wait with me?
Who can hold this hound at bay?
Who can cherish what little love left in me
and make the broken whole?
I ache to be loved again as the love that burns
and waits inside of me.
Who can comfort this emptiness and fill the void
that so many leavings have left?
Cherish and love to honor and protect
but who can slay these demons that hold my heart in wrath?
Who will walk the sulfur clouds of hell to save my mind
and deliver my world to the gates of heaven
with life, not death bridging the distance of pain?
I sit and wait at the floor of the moon each night
waiting for that bridge to carry me yonder,
this moon who hangs heavy and ripe with the yearning of my soul
with clouds aglow as if I could sweep them across a canvas
with the brush held in your hand
I rage at her as I wait, but still I wait and weep
as Loneliness and I keep each others company
wishing the clouds of that great moon could truly create
a way to find the lost, a pathway to home, lit by the legacy our love.
They called her Nell
Her parents the brash rugged
and the shy gentle Cherokee lady
They called her Nell
for it was a good solid name
a proper name an English name
They called her Nell
The people in her southern Illinois hometown
Not Injun or half-breed
but respectfully Nell Miss Nell
Said she was a right fine figure of a woman
with her ebony hair and dark bottomless eyes
Cheekbones towering over ruby red lips
He called her Nell
The rough unpretentious laborer
who won her heart and her hand
Called her the love of his life
Teased her for her quick temper
and her no-nonsense Southern Baptist way of living
They called her Nell
Neighbors with hands holding empty cups
waiting for a little sugar or butter
Waiting for a little kitchen conversation
Calm soothing words without barb or bite
which passed the lips of a woman unlike another
They called her Nell
The doctors in town respected her
for she was nursing when they
were still in knee britches
and she never ever let them forget it
They called her Nell
Coal miners Hospital patients
with burned lungs and broken bones
waited to see her face each morning
beneath her starched white cap
Heard her no-nonsense stride moving
through the wards
Took comfort in her presence
They called her Nell
This diminutive lady who chased a little girl
through the house with a fly swatter
when she found me swinging on her four poster bed
But couldn’t bear to hit me when she caught me
so she hugged me instead
They called her Nell
when she stood in her yard on a clear
summer night and patiently taught me
how to catch fireflies and put them in a jar
with holes in the lid while hungry mosquitoes buzzed
They called her Nell
when she poured me ice cold root beer
from a glass jug and served my favorite
homemade vanilla ice cream while she
told the most wonderful stories of my ancestors
They called her Nell
when she dropped everything to fold me
in her arms and rock my pain away
As her soft lips kissed my tears
her voice whispered in my ear assured me
that I would survive Told me to always remember
what we cannot go through we just go over or around
They called her Nell
because that was her name
and she wasn’t to them what she was to me
She was Nanny
She was my grandmother who loved with all her heart
Wise Grandfather Shaman,
I am pure of Heart,
I bathe beneath the Moon,
and dry beneath the Sun,
I listen to the Wind,
I run with the Deer,
I hunt with the Wolves,
I fish with the Eagles and Hawks,
I ride with the Wild Paints,
And roam with the Buffalo,
I grow with Grandmother Tree,
Ever learning from her Wisdom,
I am skilled in Warrior Ways,
A strong Hunter,
A compassionate Listener,
A patient Tracker,
I have gathered with the other women,
Contributing to our tribes growth and strength,
I leave no tracks of moccasins in the soft clay,
My heart is pure,
And I wish to continue my journy,
Wise Grandfather Shaman,
Allow me to enter your lodge,
I will smoke from the sacred pipe,
My heart is pure.
Once a place that sold cultivated pigment, the shop has become a catacomb,
Windows entombed by cardboard boxes, deprived of the merest hint of life and
I wonder if the gallery owner had intended a display of irony or focused rage.
Gone, the watercolour weeping chartreuse, its soft backdrop of midnight blue,
And the oil on wood with knife strokes applied so thickly, it almost moved,
Charcoal sketches of thunderstorms hitting the shores of Port Elgin, greys loud.
Dark now the halls that had sheltered dreamscapes, art of all disciplines and sizes,
Squeezing themselves into corners and elbowing each other for my attention.
I ache for that one perfect dove that called to me from an azure sky, the one who
knew my name, but I did not have the funds to take him home to my little cage.
He deserved a rectory or a view that would at least provide a kind of sanctuary.
Oh, how his wings had beat against pulse points and one of his feathers tickled
out a memory of a robin that had flown towards a cloudless sky, but instead had
collided with a picture window; the contact point marred by a red, sickle shaped
smear, and my grandmother had carefully wrapped the corpse in yesterday’s news.
I had trudged out to the garbage can, unseen, found the poor thing in its shroud,
Snuck out to the garden and buried it amongst tall phlox and florid snap dragons,
I’d succumbed to tears, wrenched by a world where beauty is fragile and disposable.
Today people walk along the street, wearing blinders, holding devices that fail to
signal that something living and real slowly starved to death, atrophied, and I watch
a happy child point to a puddle, but her mother fails to see the large coin it holds.
I recall a portrait that had enraptured like a sun shower, reminiscent of light and rain,
A girl traipsing waves, almost overtaken, her footsteps disappearing under foam…
And I silently apologize to those artists unmet, the ones who continue to meet panes.
*Please click on the About my Poem link to see a picture of what inspired this poem... It has been closed for a while, but today, I walked past it and remembered the lovely art that I had once appreciated, yet was never able to afford.
those days the sun flew like corn flour
freshly ground at the millrace
even in winter it was yellow
when I pressed it down with my thumb
like an unfastened button on my chest
I hardly cut my way with a stick
through the tall weed field
until my knee high socks
were filled with thistle tassels
jumping over the fence like a thief
into our apple orchard
so no one knew where I was
when the Big Dipper rose over the barn
I slipped on the manger’s opening
inside freshly cut grass
stealing my grandma’s small chair for milking
singing for the young foal with caramel skin
those days all hearts were red and warm
in the shape of a gingerbread heart
each star was a story
whispered by fairies in the daffodils’ glade
On hearing your death
What creep in my head was
Akon's Pot of Gold
Its melody within heart
You have served your purpose
So Rest in Peace
Born to Love
But it enslaved and betrayed
And onwards you pressed
Your foils nurtured your old age
As strong as you were
Your battle on the thin line
You won hands down
I admire You
Last week I saw and greeted
You were fit
What an awesome recovery
Indeed your Maker wiped your tears
But now it is finished
As a kid I run onto your bosom on visits
Then rained on me praises
But I lost contact
Next I saw you on life’s field of war
Then despised, not long
I grew wise to know
For with time all will grow
Was in turn and showered care
Hope you recognized
Thanks for your Blessings
My half seed of lineage
May God lay you to a Peaceful rest
Where Love will search to find you
Your foils cry
Swollen red are our fragile eyes
Thousand thorns within our hearts
Pain abounds here
May your Spirit comfort us
Smile down once again
Smile down once again
Memories well built would be well kept
Strong willed, Religious, Grateful
Lord we are thankful
A Single Parent's sweat lay to Rest in Peace.
Cranking that old wore-out handle on that ice cream maker, until I thought my
arms were going to fall off. Having a big smile on my face, as I turned and
turned, pushed and pulled on that old crank begging my big brother, the whole
time to “Spell me!” so I could set on an old rag on top of the ice, using my weight
(as it was) to hold that ice cream maker in place.
I remember my grandfather coming out of the house, out on the back porch. To
make sure my big brother and I was “Doing it right.” as if, there was a wrong way!
He made sure that we
had plenty of ice, plenty of rock salt. I can still see him sticking his little finger in
the weep-hole to make sure it didn’t get stopped-up. That was most important to
him, as he
always got the first bowl. I don’t know why? He clamed, he would get the first
bowl, to make sure that salt didn’t get into the mix. Funny to me, he never made a
salty face as he was eating that first bowl.
I remember, watching my grandmother making that “mix” she picked the
freshest eggs, measured just the right amount of vanillin extract, I loved the way
her kitchen smelled. I watched her chop the bananas peal the peanuts, stir it up
with the cream and sugar. She hummed “Old Rugged Cross” as she made that
sweet ice cream mix, it was as if she was having fun; like the turning of the crank
for us boys, work for sure but still fun!
I would eat light, as that banana-peanut ice cream cured while we had supper,
waiting for grandfather to finish his third helping, we had to wait, he always got
the first bowl, I don’t know why?
tiny lass who graced this world
joyfully brightening her grandmother’s life
less than 12 short years
smile so angelic, it could crown a Christmas tree
never seeking sympathy
Joycie’s zest for life drew admiration
leaving her gracious memory
in her family’s hearts
much we can learn from Joycie
who never succumbed to self-pity
each day, a celebration of life
albeit far too brief
her smile still shines in heaven
glowing beacon in the night sky
her grandmother finds comfort
seeing Joycie’s face -- a glowing star
Dedicated to Joyce Johnson and based on her poem “Joycie”
Dancing all around
Frolicking through fields
Just like you!
I Remember last Wednesday,
I can see your smile, your eyes.
If I only knew it was the last day
I would have only stared into those eyes.
Where are you?
If I only knew
You used to visit me one day
Every week after school,
Always on Wednesday,
That was a Golden rule.
Now I know you rest,
And I always keep in mind:
to me you were the best.
There's a little history to this particular poem. I know I wrote it when I was 11 or 12 years old. I wrote it for my Grandma Dorabel, who is today 90 years old. I also wrote it for my uncle John who had been taking care of her at the time; I didn't want to leave him out so I put on the letter: For Grandma Dee and Uncle John! I wrote this short little poem along with a drawing of a cat and some flowers. However, I actually never sent the picture to her! My parents and I must have forgotten to send! To me that was unacceptable! I thought to myself today when I found the picture, I must send it now! The picture is now on its way to her, so I am happy she will at last receive it.
You can send me a bouquet of flowers,
You can order me a box of chocolates,
You can buy me a fancy outfit,
But flowers don't last,
Chocolates eventually disappear,
Outfits get out of style,
Yet Love never fades,
And it's the most precious gift of all
A pinch of salt, a dab of pepper, a spinkle of Mrs.Dash
Lets mix it all together
Gifted hands starting at the age five
Helping grandma in the kitchen all the time
Choosing to say in the house to learn all the ingredients
Instead of going outside to play hide and seek
Grandma always told me my hands are special,
You wait, watch and see what I tell you
Gifted hands is for certain people only
The miracles that you will be able to do
Don't forget what grandma told you
6 bars of 10oz cracker barrel cheese, eggs, carnation milk,
seasonings, salt & pepper
When you put it all together, this makes macaroni & cheese
One of the gifted hand's favorite dishes
It will melt in your mouth like a piece of candy
Grandma always told me my hands were gifted
Now I cater for a variety of people
Gifted hands is one of my best qualities.
Contest-With these hands
With the gentle
touch of hand
She brought feelings
Her smile lit up the
Love radiated from
You found peace and
in her warm loving
Compassion in her
A gentleness of an
in the midst of her
In all her trials
her spirit was not
It was God's
carried her through
The precious moments
spent with her
memories of my dear
I saw a picture just once a long time ago
I don't know the artist's name or from where he came
But the image I'll never forget, that much I know
I hope its beauty to you I can explain
A small child's hand reached up so round and small
Bashfully grasping from seemingly no where at all
Towards what appeared to be his grandmother's hand
Weather worn and wrinkled hanging down
Tattered clothing and swollen knuckles, calloused palms
Yet still reaching
Reaching to guide and help yet another young life
Who still needed her strength
Their fingertips touching, left me wondering
Would she live long enough for him to grab hold?
There's not much to say.
I knew her, know some things,
but certainly not all.
I know how little she put up with fools,
how her cooking surpassed so many others',
how simultaneously sweet and hard she could be.
I know about her smoking,
about her jewelry, her faith,
all these I'll hold close to me.
Every single spark, every star,
shines with such a glow, such a marvelous radiance,
that we can't gaze too closely at it,
lest we cause ourselves pain.
And yet, despite ourselves, again and again,
because it's not within us to resist
the sheer beauty of it all,
of stories and of life.
A bouquet of tulips for you.
We all miss you already, Grandma.
I miss you.
I know Heaven's got you, taking no guff as always,
making sure we're all doing alright.
I love you.
Andrew James (McGillicutty) Sprouse
Hot jasmine tea
My grandmother liked to drink
Everyday at 10
While tending to ancient herbs and oriental spices
Before Day’s of our Lives
She never understood it but she liked it anyway
And after her afternoon nap
She always had an aroma like that unforgettable liquid
In the green bottle by her bed
While the rice cooks
Steaming white fluff
That chokes your throat when you swallow too fast
Floating along the rice there’s green things
I learned not to ask
You must clean your bowl
Otherwise you’ll end up too skinny and get sick
When the sun hits your head
Eggrolls, plump and short
Loved to waddle around in fish sauce before it jumps into mouths
Just like the chickens with the head cut off that Bac Phoung
Plucked the feathers off accompanying that sticky sweet smell of death
Like sweet cake and dumplings
Stolen from the wrapper
Left on the table that grandpa forgot to put away
Cousins come and go
Hugs and kisses, fights and shows
From 36 of us
We hold games and play with the hammock
Disciplined with chopsticks
We knew better then play Street Fighter all day
Though it’s happened once or twice
New Years is the best however
A dollar from each aunt or uncle
Lasts only but a day
Until the icecream man comes and we spend
Each and every dime
On Bullets, Tweety Shaped Popsicles and Lucas
Ninja turtles and Daffy Duck with bubblegum eyes
Warming lights surround you
Quilting the sharp silence
Outside dawn begins
Earth starts stretching
Straightening out the knots
Caught from hours of slumber
Night moves on to blacken another sky
And Calmness stills the room
All is as it should be
As you drift in an endless sleep
I know not if you'll wake
Or lay your eyes on me once
Softening my heavy heart
As death appears, he waits by
Head dipped in respect
White and gold robes I study of him
I beg him for more time
An hour, a day, a second
His comforting eyes say no
It is your time and my heart stills
Now I must let you go
Aged hands under silken skin
Once tended plants and raised children
Loose their warmth
A last breath escapes your
I look at death pleadingly
But nothing can be done
I have to let you go now
You must do this alone
Death picks up your soul up as
Glittering like a large diamond
To ferry you to your kin
I see them through the void
I see them waiting
never again will we sit on the
As dew wakes up the grass
Trees shacking off the night before
Us, just being us
I'd soak up your wisdom
That resided in your soul
Every snippet a precious gem to me
Id bury them within
Where no other could reach them
Where no other could steal them
I show no tears
As they only fuel pain
From a young age
You taught me to be brave
Knowing my life would shatter
Often I'd feel pain
So your compassion carried me
Over potholes and rocky paths
Your soothing voice steadied
Till I made it safely past
Now Laying out your body
Ready for your last journey
I wonder if I told you enough
The love I have for you
I was blessed everyday
You were in my life
Things seemed easier
With you at my side
Life was not so daunting
The hill was not so steep
Now you gone I'm shattered
Watching an endless sleep
Time with you was precious
For this truth I smile
The mirror reflects parts of you
Placed in this heart of mine
Happy you left peacefully
And I was at your side
Inner gladness reigns
As not just your jam recipe
Was handed down to me
I see her
Seating on her bed
Pillows propped with cotton
Circling her like witches
Around a cauldron pot
Her skin glowing
From her light within.
Grandpa’s collage holds beloved memories.
Black-and-white photographs of long ago
strewn with tape and paste amid the glossy
snapshots, shaping a man's love of family.
At first glance, one would think he created
his patchwork of pictures in haste. But come,
look closer; no image is placed by chance.
Each scene shares a story his hands retraced -
a joke, a kiss, a tear. See the toothless grins
of growing grandchildren with playful eyes,
the knowing looks of elders and the effortless
laughter of generations, dear faces missed.
All familiar faces except for only one -
the intruder with graceful features. Head held high,
she wears her smile unfazed. I search her dark eyes
for words unsaid, dazed. She is the grandmother
I never knew. Her portraits are puzzle pieces
that will never fit, but ones I cannot unglue
or ignore; my grandpa’s attempt of tying us
to a stranger. I love him more for trying…
For Craig Cornish's A Collage Held Dear Contest,
Grandma passed along her string of pearls to me.
I knew I've been entrusted with a special gift from her.
Nothing but pride crossed my mind that day.
Taking her pearls from its box, I still feel her love,
Whether it was tender or tough,
It was done with the intent
On making me feel pride within myself.
Grandma cherished her pearls for most of her life.
This was her 'Pearl of Wisdom' she passed down to me,
"Pearls are classy enough for a fancy affair
Or just a simple dinner out.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend,
But don't get between me and my pearls.
The attachment is for life, it's beauty knows no age."
Every time I put on her string of pearls, I still giggle.
Hell hath no replete replica like an Ohiohell
memom memoboys dispelled with lovelessloss lorn laments
measured in misgiven gravid neutral grautities of cool compromised cruel
capsid cascades of dreary demented drowsy dump deep demented deny desires
with wilfull wallowing in unsupposed not to be here
herein two boys born to a numbnuts army husbodad and a
WTF what is happening in/outside this family 50's acircle
what comes next in the uneducated female nonintuition of a
deaddad accidential with a pity piss payoff and a whatdoIdo anal attitude
totally in reverse of an arkansas hope of upheaveal. GDMFSOB, who could I/we haVE
BeeN in the assinine scheme of things with someone in an intersomewhateducated semistate of minimal MFconsciousness. We play the hand we are dealt in the vast unscheme of unness.
WTF, and where/why does God take part and lessen a small boy's dream of donated dadhood by taking it away and leave him left to faulterflounder in a boyhood abyss. Dead, devoid, denied to the manmale circumstance of what the future folds to be delivered to doting descendents, like my three sons. with whom I struggled to
shower, impart, enable, enbibe, instill, foster, enliven, and all that I did not experience yet faux provide with an inner soulsense to a measured milestone of mannered man manufactured love and tendered texture of all mine to give with that that is mustered macro from a micro counteanace of humocapped coperal deliverance. All's fair they say unless u have been there and then it's every man for himself---and then, I dare u to get in my way---------no holds barred, look out for I am a survivor, all the way.
Hi, my name is Dave, and according to my grandparents, I wasn't supposed to live to be raised. Go figure.
With one stocking up and the other rolled down
the old lady waddled her way to town.
Her flowered dress sported stains of breakfast.
Her hair was matted, like a birds nest.
Lipstick circled her lips, like a circus clown.
The painted smile veiled depression and a frown.
While quizzically looking up at her face,
the small boy clutching her hand tried to keep pace.
As she shuffled her way down main street,
she chatted with anyone she chanced to meet.
Often she would point with pride
to small boy by her side
As the boy grew older, he began wondering
why she couldn’t tell they were pretending.
Couldn’t she hear their humoring lies?
Couldn’t she see the laughter in their eyes?
Couldn’t she sense the embarrassment in the air?
Perhaps she couldn’t care? Perhaps she wasn’t aware?
Being locked in a child like state
may not be the worst fate,
Because children can make up places
where there are no staring faces.
The Old Salt was a special man who came along in a time
when he was needed most.
A time that is now gone forever.
When men believed and sacrificed, when hero’s walked the earth in mass.
When patriotism was not just a word
by what men lived and judged the worth of each,
a man who lived a life most of us cannot comprehend.
An era now gone as this warriors tour of duty ends at this station,
and begins anew in the heavenly fleet.
Sail on Sailor into your unaccompanied tour,
we salute you.
What greater honor, that when a man moves forward,
he leaves behind in each of us the best of what he was.
A defender, protector, supporter, victor, a warrior,
the last of the breed from an era when ships were made of wood
and men were made of steel.
The Old Salt has reported for duty that takes him away from us for now.
Those of us who remain behind,
remember, and will continue to remember,
because he now resides forever in our hearts.
As I look up at night, I envision The Old Salt,
a beret draped just above the eye,
as he draws upon his pipe,
quietly he waits.
The guardian of heaven’s gate.
If I Could Have Gotten Your Embryo
Before You Were Born
I Would Have Sheltered You Safely
and Protected Your Form ...
I'd Have Put You In My Womb
& Flowed You Knowledge Like In A Tubric
& Patted My Expanding Belly
As I Played You Music
And As You Got Ready
To Arrive From The Birth Canal
You Would've Known My Breasts
Would Be Ringing Like Welcome Bells! ...
Eager To Suckle You
Breast Feed My Own Flesh & Nourish
So You Could Grow Strong
... In Love's Encourage
I Would've Held You In Wonder
& So Close Tenderly
Amazed At This Little Bundle,
Breathing, Piece of Me ...
And When You Turned One
Or As You Sucked Your Thumb
Or Eating Baby Food Jars of Plums
... I'd Have Given You Trumpets & Drums
... And Building Alphabet Blocks
& Superman Capes
& Stuffed Teddy Bears
& Oatmeal Cookies & Grapes
I'd Have Read You Stories
From Capt. Adventure Books
You'd Have Known You Were Loved
By My Proud Mama Looks
I'd Have Spent Time With You
Showing You How To Tie Your Shoe
Rocked You If You Caught The Flu
or Any Sniffles You Went Through ...
I Would Have Played With You
& Prayed With You
From Crawling To Walking
Paved The Way For You
Yeah, I Would Have Fussed At You
& When Needed Even Spanked You Too
& I'd Meant: This Hurts Me More Than You
'Cause You're The Little Symbiot, Mama Grew
So, You Would Have Known
You Were Loved & Treasured
You Would Have Known
Your Worth Couldn't Be Measured
Nor Compared To Anyone Else
At Any Point In Time
'Cause You Are The Best
Because You Were "Mine"
* * * * * * *
But I Never Knew You
But Believe Me If I Had ...
I'd A Made Sure You Had
A Loving Mom & Dad
And You Would've Never Been Abused
Or Treated Bad ...
But From Now On Find Your Joy
To Replace What's Sad
Written & Copyrighted ©: 9/12/2013
by: MoonBee Canady
God bless little angels brought unto me,
Watch over them beneath heavens grace.
My first of seven blessings most precious gift,
Treasures hearts keepsakes.
Number one the oldest, my rocker baby,
Dancing away with musics sweet lullaby.
The lyrical light of brilliance’s, a shinning note,
That strums across grandma's heart strings.
The second child is a testament to patience,
No instructions came with this wonder
Or warning labels tattooed upon her backside.
But she has the eyes of an angel and lord knows,
She try's my beliefs but I'll never give up the fight .
I love my problem child just the same.
The third times the charms, she is that for sure,
With brown eyes and a kewpie doll with dark curls.
Our grand daughter bubbles, whom can light up the
Darkest moment with just a simple smile.
The fourth grace is he, full of strength and daring,
A future NFL first draft pick this is my little RJ,
Patton had his tank and believe you me, Me maw
Diamonds are the hardest stones known to man,
But this boy sparkles with a shine more valuable,
Fifth in line is wisdom and charm, explorations
With curiosities wondering eye, but ahead of
The pack in any game of life.
My youngest grand son Issac his name means,
Laughter and joy and in this it is so true.
Tiny but mighty is my little Bella,
With dark raven hair, she has her fathers eyes,
And mommy's brave spirit.
She'll take on the world someday.
And win by all hands clapping her on,
Me Maw's future Mrs. America.
Seven was born on grandma's birthday,
A special gift given unto me is my darling,
Who knows what the future will hold for thee,
But seven has always been my lucky number,
So sky's the limit with this the youngest blessing,
In my life.
1. The blessings gift is music.
2. The second blessings gift mischief and curiosity.
3. The third blessings gift beauty's sweet smile
4. The four blessings gift strength and endurance.
5. The fifth blessings gift wisdom and charm.
6. The sixth blessings gift is a brave spirit.
7. The seventh blessings gift is lucks true fortune.
And when you add up all my many blessing,
What does a grandmother receive a full heart,
Hugs and kisses at bedtime.
Good night my little angels and sleep tight.
I'll re-sight my many blessings in my prayers,
Tonight as I lay myself asleep and dream of thee.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Outside the sterile nursery I stood,
So many snuggly swaddled newborns asleep in little plastic cribs;
my eyes hungered for only one . . .
A nurse was bathing you,
removing the remnants of the nest that formed you.
Her face filled with wonder and adoration.
"Is this one yours?"
Soundless question behind glass . . .
I had watched your head crown between your mother's legs;
rapt . . . awaiting the first glimpse of your face.
A mass of wet black curls and then your eyes;
you were born and I was smitten!
Unexpected, the rush of brand new love I did not know existed.
You opened the door to a different world,
love wild and fierce,
protective and totally absorbed.
Four more times that door has opened,
love's arrow piercing my heart . . .
when you hurt, the pain twists within me.
You are the soul sunshine I crave,
September 18, 2014
Grandmother pointed out warning signs on the apples.
Her strong voice resonated as she referenced bruises and marks.
Her wrinkled hands brushed over minute holes and obvious incisions.
She clutched the apples in her weather-worn palms
without uttering a single word.
She carefully lifted each apple to her nostrils
and then began discarding them respectively into the two bushels.
By days end, both bushels were full.
I softly said...
"What shall I do now with my bushel, Grandmother?"
She laughed and kissed me on my cheek whispering...
"We shall bring them back to Grandma's kitchen.
We will then transform these delectable fruits into an exquisite pie.
A pie pleasant to the nostrils.
A pie warm and sweet to your tongue.
A pie brilliant to behold and soothing
to your little tummy and giant heart.
A pie that will make my grandson feel happy and content inside.
A pie baked with love and truth and honesty".
And I replied..."And what are you going to do with your bushel, Grandma?"
"Well, my dear,
I will OVERTURN my bushel and THROW these apples OUT!" –
she dramatically replied.
"For they are bad and serve no purpose in my kitchen."
It's been many years later, my dearest one.
And late this evening I have been reviewing our union.
I fetched myself a writing tablet and a pen.
I leafed to a clean page where I then assembled two bushels.
To the left hand side of the page I situated your Advantage bushel.
The right hand side of the page underscored your Disadvantages.
I began to think as Grandmother would.
A keen eye for detail and clarity
whispered her loving observations into my ears
like an invisible windsong.
the blank page was now devoid of it's once white canvas.
I looked at the bushel to the left -
then quietly stared at the bushel to my right.
The bushel to the right was sated
whereas the bushel to the left was sadly barren and almost empty.
I reviewed the two bushels a final time.
I took a deep breath and
gently placed my pen and tablet atop my writing table.
My dearest one,
although you're not here tonight -
I realized my life
needs to have the bad apples banished.
I silently apologized to you
as I picked up the bushel to the right
and without uttering a single word -
I finished my last fork full of apple pie
and switched off the light.
I shed a solemn teardrop that bore your name
puffed up my pillows
gently overturned the bushel
threw you out.
Up in that old attic are an antic Raggedy Ann Doll and a rocking chair well used by my grandmother.
Grand she was and as great as she to be; she instilled value and principality.
Up in that attic is an old Raggedy Ann Doll and an antic rocking chair my great grandmother rock from.
Short in statue but tall in her stance, my great grandmother guidance departed wisdom.
In that attic is all kind of memories of how my great grandmother and I loved each other as family.
Friends bonded and she as a life-long mentor, in that old attic resides expressive art.
In a far corner that was east to the sun stood a portrait of my great grandmother.
Knowledgeable was the face with eyes of hazel brown painted at the age of seventy-five (75).
The reminiscence of youth is a mural seen as I sat down in the rocking chair thinking… (“Mama, let’s read The Bible together.”)
In this old attic is love unknown because of the time I had with my great grandmother before she was beacon home.
My dearest one -
you oft traversed my well tended garden.
A panacea I personally created
to massage your ailing id.
A garden similar to the wondrous patchworks
found in Eden.
A recreational playground
of neatly lined tree varietals.
Peach, fig, pear and apple trunks -
are surrounded by the glory of lilac bushes
scores of majestic dahlias,
and a plethora of multi-colored hibiscus.
My grandmother taught me many things,
my dearest one.
When I was knee high to her apron hem -
she wrapped me up
within a hatful of stars -
magic and miracles and morals.
These were her gifts to my soul,
and my heart.
Without ribbons or bows,
she filled my senses
with a cornucopia of brilliance and logic.
She passed unto me
the precious gifts of observation and decision.
She taught me about apples.
Grandmother guided me through her prized orchard one misty morn.
She held two bushels in her trembling hands.
She extended one of them towards me and said -
"Take this my sweetheart and follow me
for you shall learn something very important today."
She lovingly cooed..."We have two bushels.
One is for Good and the other for Bad."
She continued to liltingly sing..."Apples are like relationships.
There are Good ones and there are Bad."
"However, one should understand and determine
the signs between the two
and separate them accordingly."
When i was about 5 i was put in to a SRS. I was there tell i was 7 and when i got out i move to my grandma and grandpa. When i was 9 my older brother started to beet me up every day and all day long and then when the beating he was giving me stop working he started doing other thing to me. When i was 12 i losted my grandma and then my grandpa didn't want nothing to do with use and still don't. i took my brother *****tell i was 15 then started to beat on him. My brother put me in jail for a few year because if the *****he made me do now i am 21 and have losted and got back the girl that i love and care about her name is Holli Sczenski. Her family don't want use together so they are making her choose between them or me she dues not want to have to choose between use she loves use both and i know it and her family know it but there still doing it. On top of all that my own family is going throw somethings as while my mom is not doing vary good and we may or may not lost her in the next few years.
It was a tin-roof wooden house standing
Across the red brick cobblestone street
Adjacent to a wide open field full
Of shady live oak and sweet smelling tangerine trees where
My father’s boyhood home was nestled
Quietly in his home town.
Often times we’d travel to visit
The grandparents still living there
In that Americana corner of our lives.
We didn’t know much of anything at all except
The sky was blue, love was true and we
Youngsters were the apples of the old folk’s eyes.
We’d sit for hours in white wicker rocking chairs
I helped paint one time with newspaper on the floor
And a horsehair brush grandma gave me
To teach me that painting needn’t be a lesson
In staying between the lines. “Sometimes,” she’d say,
“It’s better to let the paint flow
And speak for itself in time.”
And granddad liked to watch the sky – especially at night
When stars were burning bright and would point towards Polaris and say:
“Heaven’s over that a-way.” And during daylight hours
When storm clouds appeared and we could hear
Thunder and lightning all around, he’d laugh and dance
As if the circus were coming to town.
We watched mocking birds and blue jays flying in and out
Of all the tree top branches and leaves singing
Their love making lullabies to us and one another and then
As quickly as they arrived,
Disappeared into the wind.
It seems we’re not much different
Rather family, foe or friend.
Accordingly, the old house still stands today
But the dear old folks have slipped away.
Perhaps to the place once pointed to
High above that night sky view
Where comets roam and grandpa liked to call “Up yonder,”
Leaving me with thoughts of gold
And memories made to ponder.
She went up to heaven, holding the angel’s hand
My great grandma Hajia
Died and went to heaven
She is watching over me
With the weariness of
A mother hen watching
Her newly hatched chicks
She likes it up there
She is having fun
With all the people there
She misses the people she
Left behind that day
In the room
The angels took away
Something I treasure so much
We miss her
I miss her
I will always love her
She went up to heaven
Holding the angels hands.
My Darling Girl,
your big dark eyes met mine
against your pale skin and yellow hair
this name sang in my heart, Susan,
my Black-Eyed Susan.
A wild flower you’ll be, you’ll be a
and always you’ll be
my darling girl, my Black-Eyed Susan
Upon his grandfather's rocking chair
on the porch in the cool crisp air
sits a man with a special gift.
For he can see the soul of a tree
within a piece of wood upon his knee.
His pile of cedar gives off a sweet smell.
He picks through the pieces, eyes closed,
his touch feels what is enclosed.
As if he were to reach within the wood
by pulling it apart from its protective bark
and removing what’s inside from the dark.
The Whittler will release this soul from its cage!
Each meticulous movement of the knife in hand
is meant to bring out something so grand.
After hours of work, fingers cramping into knots
the soul held within in this piece arose
to be a magnificent fully blossomed rose.
Beautiful just like the ones his gram
planted beneath her father's old cedar tree, by hand.
Adam Hapworth, With These Hands, 12/13/2013, Image #3
so this is the way the night tastes...
looking back I couldn't tell,
in pencil at the beginning
worn flights of steps, from before the war
smaller, until they were gone
but in the mirror, my hands
gold rims, bare here and there
out of an echo, knowing
not long after
flecked with red, blue in the depths, and polished...
I see clearly all the pieces of the flower
it was late when we started
plates stacked on shelves
next to the questions
one at a time
once there was a horizon
no color except for gray
at a perfect distance from each other
almost a thousand years later
almost in plain sight
in the summer fields waiting
it would climb up as a shadow
we planned to wait
and to whatever is still standing
the eggshell of light before dark
what was there before
remained closed on its own
along the ridge of the barn roof
only she had forgotten her name
a dried branch of bittersweet
lace on drop-leaf tables
I could not remember
part memory, part distance
leading me to the lake shore
invisible under the hood
Inspired By Charlotte's Contest: "Cut-up/Collage Poems"
and randomly "snipped" from a book by W.S. Merwin
you are a gateway to immortality,
a gateway to angelic states of euphoria
spreading open the wings of our glands,
breaking the bondage of mind-ego,
pushing thoughts closer to God.
flies lick the cap,
then they dance in drunkenness,
making them so much easier to crush.
Blast those dirty flies
and the plagues carried upon their tongues-
galloping forth from the saliva
of these vile, winged beasts.
-Thou shalt not kill-
But kill only those disgusting flies,
please, kill them all!
Yes, kill them all!
Everything else should live.
Even inanimate stones breathe,
just as trees
can hear us passing by.
Atoms waver, pulse,
twisting all about,
until reality can be seen as a
gigantic interconnected organism,
constantly moving and breathing.
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
showed his patch of magical mushrooms
to the rest of the gang,
sharing the secret of flight,
enabling dear Santa Claus
to fly around the world,
spreading the joy of psilocybin psychotropica
with everyone else.
Oh, the wonders of Christmas!
Lights and sounds
into scents and colours.
Rascally little elves
causing havoc in the kitchen,
spiking the eggnog with spores-
and we grow tall,
we grow small,
we are having a ball,
jumping through mirrors,
flirting with Alice,
exchanging recipes of cookies, cakes and brownies,
visions of sugarplums dancing through our heads.
Never want to go back,
the rabbit hole is st r e t c h i n g,
exit seems so far away
as angels fluff pillows
for our sleepy heads to rest upon.
talk with the dead,
watch spirits enter wombs
at the point of conception,
so that Grandmother can be reborn again.
And again and again and again-
an infinite string of galactic spirituality
waiting inside of this manna,
eternal life found in the spores of the
Divine Mushroom of Immortality.
*I do not advocate substance abuse,
instead I am describing a Shamanic vehicle of spirituality.
When ingesting magic mushrooms,
especially potent strains like Muscaria Angelica,
make sure to be around people who you trust
and stay away from artificial lighting and television....
Written by Gail DeBole on January 26, 2013
You thought that they were crazy.
Watching the news each night.
Your explanation was simple.
Crazy. The killers, the liars, the cheaters…
And I snuggled next to you.
Thinking how overly-simplified your conclusion was.
Your shoulder making an excellent pillow.
Your apron always on.
And after the news was over
You were back in the kitchen taking care of…
Everything and everybody.
In the video…old video…it’s now a memory.
You and your sister
Talking and laughing.
No sound video.
Can’t tell what you are saying.
Can only see the love between
You and your sister.
That will have to be enough.
That’s all that matters.
Note: Part of the Portrait Collection
Perhaps you see me
it may be your gift to see
or merit for hard work
or maybe you paid for it with the lashings you endured
but surely it is now your inescapable wretched curse
as the truth haunts you
but you cannot close your eyes
It is my fault I am as this
to be as false as I am
false is my name
I cannot love that
I have buried it inside
and run away
because it is too ugly
easier to smile and pretend.
My grandmother saw it in my blackened soul
clever and easy to lie
she hurt me
made me ashamed
to protect the world and even me
but her tricks did not work
because I have killed too many hearts
and poisoned those that survived
even my own.
I am cold
and it is right I have suffered so
because I lost my heart
and replaced it with a ticking clock
that pretends to beat like a happy butterfly
and tries to convince me I have feelings
that I cannot reach
I am a masquerader of abundant hollow emotions
that laugh and smile and cry
but I never face myself
in the dark alone
because there is nothing to see without a light
my flame has no fuel
unless I suck it from another's bloody neck.
I do not know myself
because I cannot bear to look
but I hate myself as much as you hate me
and you should
because every love I'm given
is less for the world
I am a black hole
I give to get
like Hansel and Gretel's keeper
I only give love
to fatten up my lover
and open her precious tender trusting heart
so that I can consume it in eventual flames
and steal all of their future hope
and faith in humanity.
And I don't know how to stop
and am too afraid to stop myself
with the knife I keep hidden
but never have the courage to use
because I am a dark monster
that pretends to be inviting
like a pristine beach
on a boxing day morning
to my shoreline
so I can consume them
with my hungry tsunami
and leave them writhing in pain
with all hope in shambles.
Rescuers arrive in love
one after another
I greet them with open arms
as if I am deserving
blinded behind my veil
pretending to myself until it is too late
and just as they almost open my heart
I swallow them under my next crushing wave.
When little CJ comes to visit
She asks me for her "colors,"
The bright, fat crayons that "nanna" keeps
In a recycled butter tub.
We share the color book; CJ scribbles
on the left, the crayon squeezed tightly
in her tiny fist.
I color on the right, carefully converting
the puppy outline into a masterpiece
of paper art.
The puppy must have chocolate brown;
The grass and trees need green, of course.
I stay within the lines, modeling correctness.
CJ helps me--smearing first a purple nose
on her kitten's face, trailing to my page
to add a purple splash to the tail
of my puppy.
I never am quite finished
when she decides it's time
to find new pictures and begin again.
I doubt we'll ever finish those we leave behind,
but I haven't the heart to tell her
she might be wasting pages or coloring them wrong.
Mayhap, our lives would be none the worse
for errant purple outside the lines
or a few pages left unfinished.
Times were lean but life was good
When waste not, want not we understood
In the refrigerator all leftovers would accumulate
Come the weekend Grandma scraped it all onto a plate
She really cleaned it out; nothing was excluded
All were mashed and diced with sugar and spice included
Beaten batter with raisin thrown in; placed in the oven to bake
Thick butter frosting placed atop surely completed her refrigerator cake
All the grand kids now gathered about; to taste a slice so savory
Not only did we each get a piece of cake; we also got a memory
Like us than
You will ever know.
Not of stone
But of fear.
On Memorial Day I am haunted and flooded with so much grief.
My Mother lies next to my Grandmother and they next to my Great Aunt.
My Fathers name is there, too, but blessedly he’s not there yet.
Such great memories are restored as I look at each stone.
Once again I’m a rambling child with no kids of my own.
I remember the safety they afforded me, and all the treats and their love.
All their little sacrifices they gave, when I was still too young to know.
Why did I chase after a kitten when Grandma was so close by my side?
A simple tug on her skirt and she would of hugged me and smiled with pride.
Why was I discovering butterflies, when my Great Aunt was close there too?
She made the best pies EVER from scratch while I played in another room.
Why did I take Mom for granted… when as a child she gave me so much?
What I wouldn’t give for her gentle touch… and another soothing hug…
And Grandpa lies by Grandma… he was always repairing something or by her side.
And now there are all my aunts, uncles, and cousins that are all scattered around.
They made Christmas my favorite time as their talk and laughter rang out.
They’d laugh, talk, and enjoy each other’s company, as I’m sure now they do.
I can’t imagine them in any other way, than at my Grandma’s on those wonderful
We’d sit down to a holiday feast with everyone all around and it all seemed like play.
Were they then thinking of others that they knew from long ago?
As I walk around the graveyard picking out old friends, I remember their wistful
They did the same each year, as they talked about the past even back then.
Perhaps its time my stone goes there, though I’ve a few more years to go.
That will help my children when it’s also my time to go…
And surprisingly it makes me feel I’m not leaving the older family alone.
It’s like a kiss, and a tug on a skirt to leave that something behind.
It’s a promise… they’ll be remembered until it too, is my time…
Until then I’ll bring my children and tell stories from long ago…
One day a year can’t be too much since it’s memories that I bestow.
And they all simply add up to the life that I have known.
Again death swirls its black finger
around the aura of pristine ponds.
That now sprout the stoutest weeds
where sleepy lilies and emerald songs used to breathe
where souls once rested so naturally.
Again it swirls its black finger
leaving me slightly paler than life
never quite as fleet as death,
(the cigarette popped party balloon,
the darkest swayback horse..at best)
In a corner of the town, stands a building of antiques.
Not an ordinary building but one that percepts the imagination;
sense datum begins and a scene takes place.
I am transpose to my great grandmother days.
I see the rocking chair that she owed
and the Raggedy Ann Doll given to me by her.
She is telling the store’s owner about his antiques
that this rocking chair was her favorite piece.
Oh, and she would like this doll for her grandbaby.
She said she wanted several rooms of furniture.
All must be vintage like her.
However, do not think of her as old.
She was short and plump with olive skin.
Her hair radiance gleamed.
Her smile meant everything.
She almost forgot my small gift that is when she shouted Lagniappe.
Sponsor: Black Eyed Susan
Contest Name: Antiques
Her letters came with regularity,
full of news and everyday ordinary things.
"I love your letters," she said.
"They're just like talking to you."
I wrote to my grandmother,
for all of her days.
My missives spelled graduation,
my first job,
our hurry-up wedding,
your mission in Japan,
the move out west,
return to mid-country,
and the birth of each child-
everyday ordinary things.
I think she hovers over my shoulder
as I write to the grandchildren,
those chatty emails full of news
and everyday ordinary things.
No stamp required,
say what you want,
They'll read them,
and hit delete.
My Granny's name was Edna
But no one could say it
So they called her Bonnie
And she was
My Granny watered her ferns with Disprin
Every Saturday morning
She said it made them flourish
And it did
My Granny slept with four pillows
She said it stopped her snoring
But it didn't
My Granny drove a yellow Anglia to town
Wearing her best hat
She said it went too fast
And it did
My Granny loved her Sherry a lot
All the time
She said that she didn't
But she did
My Granny only saw happiness in the world
She took me everywhere beautiful
Whenever she could
And she did
My Granny lost her husband at 44
She never remarried
She said she wouldn't
And she didn't
My Granny loved me very much
And told me all the time
She said I would be a writer
And I am
My Granny died in hospital
From Pneumonia at 84
She said you've been a brick Darling
And I was
My Granny was a special person
She was kind to everyone
I told her I loved her whenever I could
And I always will
Beneath the deep furrows
and the facial lines
cheeky little girls
''Many a time when I have talked to old people who I love, about their childhood, suddenly
something magical happens. Their eyes sparkle, and they become children again.''
Peter Dome.copyright.2013. Dec.
Our Ancestors fought to the death,
Just so we can live a brighter day,
So before you light up that blunt of meth,
Think about what you’re giving away,
It was a glad day in history when Obama rose to victory,
The first black president was all we knew,
Dark skin is in!
Haven’t you heard?
That even in our community,
You can get burned,
It’s a sad day when people would rather stay home and “Crank That Amber Cole”,
Than get up and run to a poll,
In our community,
Rockin’ Luis V is better than having a college degree,
And teen pregnancy is not only a trend,
But the single motherhood that follows should end,
Young girls learn of a wonderful prince to take them away,
Nothing should change thought their mothers prince didn’t stay,
And as the tears fade away,
She grows stronger every day,
In our community,
Fighting is no longer a word,
You argue with someone and shots are heard,
Girls showing places the sun don’t show,
So how do they expect the community to grow?
Where love is a figment of imagination,
Making a young child question her creation,
Young mothers would rather buy the iPhone 5,
Then satisfy her baby’s cries,
While her new man’s eye,
Wander up another girl’s thighs,
In our community,
Where #team dark skin vs #team light skin,
Makes others not love the skin they’re in,
Love, lust, hate, and trust,
Giving a rose on Valentine’s Day is no longer a must,
Where bad is good and good is bad,
Who would think to see their grandmother sad?
Her hurt and pain,
Shows how our community has lost everything her parents fought to gain.
rocks in the rocking chair
with her granddaughter by her side,
she’s grown into an ambitious young woman,
she asks nana how it was
when she was young &
wondering if so many people back then
were so disillusioned
with the way that things were going
in their country---
grandma asks her to turn off the tv.,
grandma turns to her to say,
“when i was younger i had hope that
things were gonna change,
i stood in the streets with my friends &
we fought against the police &
we all went to jail,
because we didn’t believe in the wars that
our country was waging,
we didn’t believe in the way that our
country was treating its own citizens &
we didn’t feel that things would change
unless we ourselves did something…”
and then there was a pause &
her granddaughter smiled anxiously,
because she always looked up to her
nana for guidance, advice & wisdom---
but her grandmother didn’t say a thing
after that---she just looked out the window
& kept rocking in her chair.
My heritage is a mixture
Of backgrounds. Let's start on
My Dad's side of the family.
My Dad's mom is Irish and English.
My Dad's dad is Irish and German.
My Mom's mom is Scottish and Irish.
My Mom's dad is blood Hungarian.
So in other words,
I'm a mutt! or as others say,
See problems they no worry Timothy
He was raised by his Great Grandmother
One day she taught him
Miho you can make life beautiful or ugly
Work hard, find a woman who has a strong back
Beauty fades it doesn’t last long
Now let me tell you
A woman with a strong back may not be your perfect companion
Times are changing, I think Faith is more important these days
I say okay Grandma, can I have the horachata now that you made me
No hush up! You can have it when I’m finished talking
Timothy come your poor Grandfather wanted you to have this
It is his Journal and I have never read out of it
She hands it to me
I am struck by it’s cover, it is brown and plain
Yet it spoke to me by it’s elegant style
These words were printed on the cover “Blanco Vendetta”
I was drawn and pulled in untill I was covered by the spell
The first page I open too it says “My first Mil Besos”
The Temptess that blew my heart away
I turn to page 33
It says “The story of an Apache Warrior”
There are no rules to an Apache Warrior when it comes to fighting
He says if you are my enemy I don’t care how but I’m gonna kill you
Page 41 is like a fist full of words thrown across the page
Barrio boxing, The protection of the Shield of Faith
Brokenhearted for my careless speech has left her heartbroken
Strengthened by Love “Amor”
Nourished by the sunshine in her hand
There is healing in its beams
Blessed by her presence Del Dios I am Greatful
I’m like Grandpa what did you say wrong
Then these words come to me
Give her your full attention when she speaks to you
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
So I close it and my finger brushes a bookmark
It’s the Last page
It says To: “Timothy my son who is as mighty as an army”
I Thank you for the Greatest Gift
For the Greatest Gifts are as small as your small hand that touched me
I plant these seeds and they will take root and grow because you are good ground
Timothy let me say That without you I would of never found my Faith in GOD
Listen for it is your Grandfather who is dead and speechless
Timothy you see the good in everything
And I know you will understand my words clearly
If a man gives you his word
Promise me not to plan your future on it
And if you give your word my son
Do everything in your Power to fulfill it
AND NEVER Promise more than you can deliver
For it is better to put out more than you promised
Everyman is considered unwise when he appears foolish
I wish I could give you some insight about women
But your Great Grandmother may help you better than I can
But never timothy, Never be quick to fall in Love
Or give your heart to a woman
Listen carefully to her words when she speaks to you
Cherish Her give her your full undue attention
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
Love your neighbors as yourself
And do not strive against another man
If he has done nothing wrong to offend you
AS much as it is possible live peacefully with all men
And it is okay for you to speak these things with your Great Grandmother
She is a very wise and God-fearing woman
Amor take the greatest care of her, I Love you Son
Timothy when the time comes to avenge my death
Hit harder then you ever have before
But not in a Duel son, not like an open Vendetta
Marry his daughter Maria
The one who is pretty and Two years younger than you
Oh! He will suffer greatly!
And it will kill him to know that I chose this way to repay him
And remember son to be ready to fight any man at the drop of a hat
I learned from my grandmother
To dry roses in windows
Hung, upside down, from a string-
Maybe because that way
All the red would flow to their head
Like when one does handstands-
Handstands are never something
That I learned how to do
I've always been a bit too-
I learned from my mother
Not to hang around windows,
That I am not a rose
To be put up to dry...
When you spend so long
Leaning over windowsills,
You can only ever be-
This Lovely Vase>
This lovely vase
So delicate and fine
Shines now by the window.
This lovely vase
Has known more years than I
Known the touch of many
This lovely vase
Once a Wedding present
So my Nana said
This lovely vase
Once stood with flowers tall
Nana’s home grown blooms
This lovely vase
A careless touch and then
Fragments on the floor
This lovely vase
Pieces now were gathered
Mended then with gold
This lovely vase
As it sits there on the window
Catching sun’s bright glow
This lovely vase
More lovely than before
Now trimmed in gold
This lovely vase
Healed by the scars of time
Still with grace and beauty
Nana told me once
how she and Pop-pop
went courting in a
How quaint I
thought, and was a
amazed how far we
humans have gone--
from a smelly
plodding horse to
an ocean in an
afternoon six miles
Then Grandma told me
she said they went
out in that carriage
to make love! Nana!
I gasped silently,
until I saw she
meant the words
my grandparents went
courting to make
the love that would
hold them together
years...and I am
because two young
people took long
buggy rides behind a
tired, smelly horse.
At the age of twenty two I gave birth to my first child to survive. A beautiful
and flawless daughter with dark brown eyes and hair like mine. When she turned five years
of age warts began to grow on her hands. My daughter cried with eyes looking to me for the
answer. The same eyes that looked up at The Healer Ms Agnes who cast away my warts so
As with me, Traditional Medicine did not work and Ms Agnes and my Grandmother were long
dead. Grandmother taught me how to use the herbs to heal when I was so young.
Remembering getting rid of warts was a BIG job made me take pause. If Grandma
couldn't get the job done who was I to think that I somehow could. I stubbornly tried all
Grandma had taught me, but only in vain. How my heart ached for the knowledge and power
of The Healer Ms Agnes.
Such fretful sleeps did come as I felt hopeless for the answer to my daughters plight. And
then it happened one calm and starry night. A deep sleep finally came so strong over me.
While sleeping, right before me came a vision of The Healer Ms Agnes. The very next
morning I awoke with an idea of something new to try.
With a calm and soothing voice I sat my daughter down. I took her precious little hands in
mine. Gently I touched and counted all the scaly knobs I could find. All the memories came
flowing back and the story I began to recant. I closed my eyes and for the first time spoke
about how my warts were taken away I felt a little detached as I recalled each
detail I could to conjure up the Spirit of The Healer Ms Agnes.
When I opened mine and met my daughters awestruck eyes her hands were still in mine.
As I gave them a gentle squeeze I said " Maybe. Just maybe there's enough of the Spirit of
The Healer Ms Agnes left in there for you too. A question came to the edge of my mind.
What if The Healer Spirit spell is reversed? It could be my curse for meddling with The Spirits
That Be. The answer came as quick as a spark. I would gladly wear mine again if it meant
my daughter' would not.
On the fourth morning after that day my daughter awoke me with such a scream. I rushed
to her bedside to see what was the matter. Lo and behold there among the bedsheets were
the remains of her warts. Dumbfounded and bewildered I was left with no comprehension
and speechless while I embraced my daughter with congratulations. As I took my leave out
of her sight I slowly stretched out my hands to see if my warts had returned. I mused aloud
when I saw they had not.
Continued in Part IV....
Eyes of piercing true,
ever so blue.
I hope you knew
as you flew on the wings of grace,
your life was like beautiful lace.
In that lace
was a place,
just for me.
I'll hold fast, cling to the echo of your fading chime.
Remember the intonations of your wisdom, revel
in the moments that were a balm to my soul as it
was young, and breaking free.
Your blood still runs, in these veins..
alive in my journey.
My heart beats in rememberance,
the song of my ancestors;
I'll hold it here, in this blood
that you gave and know
that you are still with me.
-James Kelley 2014, All rights reserved.
When I was a young woman
Just embarking on my own life
My grandmother departed and
Left me a special gift –
A small, delicately framed
Faded black and white photograph
Of a long foot worn path running
Through a tall field of wildflowers
With a pointed church steeple in the distance
And in the bottom corner -
In my grandmother’s tiny European scrawl -
A title – as I read it then –
“A Lonely Path.”
I knew she had given it to me
To remind me of her and the time
We had travelled together
A few years earlier
Back to her childhood homeland
To the small German village where
She had lived with her grandmother
And walked this very path.
In my grief, holding the picture
The title felt fitting - as I knew
From the stories I learned
On our journey to the place
Of her lost and sad youth
That she walked a lonely path
For many years of her life.
Illegitimate, abandoned by her father
Even before her birth
Sent away by her mother who
Couldn’t live with the pain of
Seeing her child’s face
So much like her absent father’s
Only to be brought back later
Like a real-life Cinderella
To care for her stepsisters
Until bravely leaving Germany
On her own at seventeen
To find a new path to walk
in America and a family of her own.
And now, half a lifetime later
Recovering from long term illness
I feel pulled to revisit family history
And realize upon studying
The photograph on the wall
In my front hall that I have walked by
For many years now with a tinge of sadness
That maybe I had read my grandmother’s title
Rereading the note taped on the back
That she had written just to me -
This is the view from Grandmother’s house
The meadow full of wildflowers
We would hear the Angelus ring from
That church steeple at six in the morning,
Twelve noon, and six in the evening –
That meant run home , no matter what play
And pray the Angelus –
I still love to hear church bells!
I see now the title she really gave the photograph -
And maybe her life too - was “A Lovely Path”
And yet, as I continue to regard
My grandmother’s handwriting
I can see both titles reflected there,
Like one of those images that changes
Shapes as the light hits it from different angles
And I knew that her real gift to me was knowing
that we each walk our own lonely and lovely path
You were so
Standing in front of
President and the
I didn’t really
Your Pulse Of
I kind of got lost
in the dinosaur
inspire Black dreams
But those Harvard
and Yale Bullies
came out the next
To criticize your
How your syllables
are too short
Too long or don’t
But in the South
We were taught to
And help them cross
And I wish you had
just read And Still
Would have loved to
The look in Bill
Your Calling Of
That would have
given Colin’s blood
Dick Cheney would
have just laughed
In the aftermath
And if you had read
Get me one Nigga
I would have grinned
As Hillary’s eyes
And part of me was
For And Still I
Rise Part II
But since you are
The Dinosaur poem
It really was a
I was never captured
Caged Bird themes
I thought it was
more about women
Less about Black
But I did like the
And when it is all
said and done
White poets will say
You were not as
graceful as Langston
Or Gwen or Rita
And Black poets will
You were never as
angry as Nikki or
Or as political as
And the Legacy
people will scramble
Trying to find a
place in History
For the sweet
dancing Black woman
That stole our
And sold a hundred
Took pictures with
Malcolm and Martin
So I write this poem
to beg their pardon
And of course
A few inner city
schools after you
There will be a Maya
In at least thirty
This will be good
And I’m sure there
a Maya Angelou
On a Martin Luther
Near a Malcolm X
Where people will
gather and stare
And on your birthday
Will congregate and
Just like they do
for Martin Luther
But they still won’t
Why the caged bird
For The Conclusion of this poem please see part II
I am ashamed that I don't have the courage to approach you
Although I crave your conversation
Feelings of nervousness arrest me
I imagine how wonderful it must be to hear you speak my name
Oh how I wish that you'd initiate the first move
Be my hero and rescues me from this solitude
I am cursed with anticipation
I intentionally stand close to you so that I may steal a whiff
Of your heavenly scent
I sneak cautions glimpses of you
Our eyes meet in startled glances
I am embarrassed—you are inspiring
I can write about your infallible features forever
I want to share this gift my Father has given me with you
Your amber skin demands attention
It's painted marvelously
As if the Angels had mixed the colors themselves
I imagine stroking this sensational canvas
So gently that only the ridges of my fingertips are felt
Individually I count the tiny hairs on the nape of you neck
A favorite of my unknown talents
You are perfect and near me and yet you are distant
Unreachable as Grandmother Moon
I imagine holding you feeling safe in your eyes
I'd address you as my darling, my woman, my love
I imagine our love making
Here is where my imagination is at its best…
We'd disrobe each other violently for we are carelessly excited
Avalanches of kisses leave traces of my breath upon your physique
Euphoria entraps me
I wish to be inside you
I lay you down
My hands exploring you finding the inside
I kiss you drawing your attention to me you ignore the pain
Your hand grips mine pushing me in deeper
Tilting your head back pleased with pleasure
Your Latin Language confuses me
But I understand your eyes...
So I taste you
The friction on my face is fantastic
Your body dances to a tune you allow only me to play
Without warning, I pause
It's not meant to tease you my love
It's only me wanting to share my spirit as you reach enlightenment
I delightfully mount you
Caressing your hair waiting for the precise moment out eyes meet
You bring me to you
I exist only for you and you welcome me in
Our bodies pulsate as we make love
You are my woman, and I, your man
And in this moment of mirage I love you
I can only imagine that one day you will love me too
Summer, and the cicadas have gone mad,
singing out their ending lives with the deafening din
of a train that envisions the wreck. I, in my
wintering time have more enduring songs to sing
in this "sad, old world," as my grandmother
would say, walking in her farmhouse flower garden,
bearing the sorrow of a husband, and a cherished
daughter, gone too sudden and, too soon.
In the present place of peace and comfort I have
somehow, against all odds, managed to create,
a former life greets guests to an island retreat: "Welcome
to the Middle Ages" say candelabra, hundred-year-old
chairs and medieval tapestries, better hung in some
hushed and darkened cathedral There's no wicker here,
just a retro flicker from another era. My "Pro Clean"
guy, accustomed to this paradox, has laundered carpet
chosen feckless white, replaced, now, with sensible
green, gleaming clean from his expert efforts.
He's come again--"The usual?" he asks, eyes
holding mine a heartbeat too long. He's two years
divorced from a young wife who walked, a mother who
deplored dates with an older woman. How Cool!,
thought I, and he's met with my inquire, "Seeing her
yet?" No, the reply, as he turns on his heel, "But
we got along..." End of story? No, not quite.
Slow fade to a question made: "Are you looking
for a date? I'm charmed by confidence, his bold audacity,
the final tenacity when he heads for his truck,
"If you change your mind, give me a call." But, "MAY
I?" Happy, Sappy!, My end of the seesaw's weighty;
he's forty, I'm eighty. Still in the game? More or
less, I guess, but where does it end? I'll tell you,
my friend: "Red Rover, Red Rover," it's when
no one comes over.
I squint just right
And capture a memory almost forgotten
Jars of fruit and honey fresh from hives
Filling shelves in old smokehouse
Home-made butter and molasses
In her kitchen
Waiting to smother
On black cast iron wood-stove
Boxes of buttons
An old cameo
Split wood in corner
Old sleepy dog on porch
The house on the hill
Where Mom's Granny rocked
I write to you my self,
Sending you myself
With words that I long for you
Need you and care about you
Hope you, miss you, and want
To share my heart, my life
With you, all these written
On a piece of paper
Capsule in time, in a bottle
On the way to you
Somewhere some time
You shall get it.
The seven seas
In lost time…
The words you force
The words you yell
The words you fictitiously pronounce
Now becomes you, becomes your energy.
Your energy flow is not lucid anymore. Was it ever?
Your demand for a delusional lie to become reality shames you.
These words you force on me have backfired.
I see the colours you wear,
I must now forgive you
The damage has been done. To yourself.
Copyright © Christina Clark
My Grandmother died, and I have not penned my loss
nor I have stooped to pick her rose
and smell the scent of her.
I can not allow the sights to emerge,
when I must close my eyes,
I can not afford to let her go
nor allow myself to go with.
There is a world of grief and screaming
covered in my intellectualizing
but I can neither nod hello or whisper goodbye,
I must stay this path she set.
I met Maxine in the 50's when I was a 5th grader
She was of mixed race and shunned, even by the teachers
I had only recently moved to the suburbs of New Orleans
And my playmates in Memphis had been little black girls
who lived on my grandmother's farm
So to me, Maxine was not different and I was happy to have a friend
We sat together at lunch and on the playground where we talked
There she told me that her grandmother was mean and punished her
because her hair was blondish and frizzy .... Of no offense to me
With the passing of time, I began to notice that I was also shunned
For many weeks this did not dissuade me from our friendship
Maxine must have also noticed for she'd bring me a daily lunch sandwich
And beg me to sit with her....I felt myself ... us...drifting away
Over time the pressure mounted and I had to let her go
Some 59 years later I still hate myself for not being stronger
Because I remember 30 years ago reading in the paper that
Maxine who worked as a bar maid had been murdered
What if I had stayed? Would that have made a difference?
I guess I will never know....nor feel better about Maxine or myself
Thank you for reading my haunting.............
You ask for my forgiveness,
Saying it was done in grief,
What was it then,
When you boycotted my shower,
My house warming party,
My baby shower,
The birth of my son
(Your first great grandchild)
Snubbed the both of us,
When WE drove an hour one way, to see you
Many weekends in a row.
Grandpa was alive then.
I forgave you for all of that.
I still went to every function.
But Grandpa had just days to live,
I just wanted to tell him I loved him,
To kiss his cheek one last time.
"A soft kiss" he would say.
It was our special thing.
And after driving an hour,
Preparing myself for the scene,
You wouldn't even let us in the house.
You can't blame that all on grief.
Over the hills and through the city streets
but nobody was home
Thanksgiving day was the loneliness
time of the year
went to grandmother house
but everyone ate
no one was home
No lovey family members
called and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving
no one called
I eat my Thanksgiving dinner
I watched the football game
I prayed to God why hast thou
It may seem strange to write about a battered old saucepan
but this was no ordinary one
it sprung a leak the other day
sadly without thinking
I threw it away
and now it's gone.
It had been in my family
before I was born
and it was used every day
it broke my heart after
to throw it away.
For all the delicious soups goulash and past
it had contained
the mouth watering delectable smells
from the kitchen
the shouts from my parents
''Come on now set the table dinners made''.
All the red hot broths and porridge we'd scoff
before school on a winters day
all the laughs tears and conversations around
the dinner table before it was was washed
and put away.
It was more than a simple saucepan
because it held a lot of family memories
now my parents sadly passed away
it was one of the last things to remind me
of how things used to be
and mow I have to buy a new one
and accept it's demise
like my family
it's gone forever.
Letters to my grandmother
in eight-year-old script
traversed the miles
the distance between us.
Her answers were full of news,
"I love your letters," she wrote.
"It's just like talking to you."
I continued to write to her
for all of her life.
She passed on
before I chose the written word
as my means of expression
to the world.
I think she reads over my shoulder
as my pen scratches the language
which spells my heart. My letters
still give her all the news.
HYMNS OF FREEDOM
It is a a new day, what we live today
Free of servitude
Murana! not more a slave, bonds - girl
Murana ! not more a trokosi
Shout, shout the word loud for us to hear
Murana, break the silence your voice wishes to betray
and lightened the path the Olympian torches fears
This is the way you shall be known, Murana !
To be the fearless
To be the freed
Of your grandmother Miedoafe's replica
When you dare not, the world behinds the shade, dreads.....
Is laid deep in the smoldering of the quenched fires
Where its smokes revives the echoes of yesterday
Of you, the heart felts when been abused
From the sufferings of fathers sins
Who never educate us
Who never make a wealth
Who never rules well
So today, stand firm against it
Break the chain that linked us
For freedom from imprisoned egos
Ignorance, Corruption, and bad governance
Been a freed Trokosi.
I love her so.
She is my favourite,
person in my family.
She loves to bake, paint, and sew.
She loves me, I feel, the most.
We both are artist,
of nature and of love.
We love to bake,
though we can hardly ever see eachother.
She lives in Michigan, and I in Germany.
But whenever I can, I love to see her.
She is that sort, the sweet and round kind.
She is the grandmother version of me.
She loves to read, loves to write.
We are almost exactly alike.
So here's to my grandmother,
the best in the world.
Here's to my grandmother,
The smell of my mother
It’s the Coco Chanel fragrance she wears every day
It’s the scent of her make up
It’s the aroma of coffee and spearmint candy
My grandmother smells of sugar and roses
Of thank giving dinner and sweet potato pie
Of chocolate and perfume
Of spice and chamomile tea
Did you ever stop and think
When you spent the day all alone
There was someone else too
That was just as lonely as you ?
So if you are feeling blue
Just sit down and write a line or two
For someone that loves you dear
Will be waiting from you to hear.
Written by my Grandmother Mamie Rachel Sterling/Sinner/Earl 1940
Outside with one shoe
The shoe I took from the dumpster
My hair is filled with flies
Oh do I stink
Brown flames comes up from my butt
Flies come by my way
They all die
Oh do I stink
Never in life was I applause for my smell
Can it be that bad
I guess so
Since everyone has abandoned me
My teeth so rotten
It scares the mirron into broken pieces
Yellow as a my grandmother big toe nail
Stink bomb comes my way
I can't hold it in
I let in the air
Oh do I stink
my grandfather was in a coma
my grandmother was a cripple
my family was excluded from my grandfathers estate
my father was hit by a drunk driver
my father left my brother and i an inheritance
my uncle was the executor of the estate
i havent recieved a phone call from him ever
he wanted me to have a tv, a computer and a vehicle.
my step mom has done this before
a group of people that had a problem with my father even buying me a birthday present
a group of people my father bought all the christmas presents for
that never had anything nice to say to my father about me
i could change the world,
sve the emperor of china from a hostage situation
i could be a torture victom of a drug ring scrambling away in homelessness
and get the big "so what" as they sit in my dads three houses
im not sure why the only thing they wanted me to participate in was cruelty
and shotgunning beer at a funeral party is really not classy
just for future reference when these people make the news
she sits on my shoulders, wrapping, twining
long legs warm round my neck
so tight at times, I cannot
she looks long in my eyes
deep and intent
past the glass as if to discover
to pull it all up, to
is truth a product of vanity, some kind of
as is said
I see nothing unless it sees me
and she is so much of my system
An old house
By Thomas Martin Durham III
My family is an old house:
Dad is the fireplace, which keeps us all warm.
Mom is the food, which keeps us all fed.
Paco, the Chihuahua is the television set, which provides us all with entertainment.
Kiki, the cat is the radio in the house, which makes a lot of noise.
My grandfather is the refrigerator, which stores all of our essential needs in life.
My uncle Larry is the propane tank of the house, which stores all the gas needed for the stove.
My Aunt Shana is the door of the house, which lets viewers in.
My uncle Joe is the propane tank filler which feeds the tank the gas needed for the stove.
Lulu, the pug is the carpet of the house, which keeps all of our feet warm
Sweetheart, the pug is the tile floor, which provides us something hard to walk on.
My cousin, Johnathan is the main bedroom, which people look at with awe.
My cousin Eric, is the insulation, which keeps any sound from escaping,
My grandma Eastridge is the walls of the house that keeps it warm.
My Grandpa Eastridge is the shape of the house, which people see first.
I am the foundation and the framework which keeps the house from crumbling
Chilled Pinot Grigio and Chianti
on each side of the long table,
twenty seats for twenty guests;
Antipasto with zesty dressing...
colorful vegetables with chunks
of sharp provolone and hard salami...
to be served with crunchy bread,
the kind that grandmother used to bake.
Oh, wait the Creamy Alfredo with chicken and spinach
is steaming on a huge serving plate...what a work of art!
Oh, the aroma of the Parmesan cheese
fills the nostrils with the urge to start;
one by one, the well-dressed guests walk
into the dining room...who said they are guests?
It's family: grandpa, grandma, uncles, aunts and cousins!
we'll surely enjoy this Sunday dinner as last week.
What about dessert? Sweet pastries and chocolate Tiramisu
with a strong cup of espresso and a shot of Sanbuca Romana;
would you like to join us and meet the friendly chef Mario?
There's plenty of food for everyone...Buon Appetito!
Weeping on the window sill.
A long pass love to give.
A doll that with stand time.
Like wear and tear on its strings inside.
The sand that flows in an hour glass.
Is a way to find a love that pass.
My mother holds it once again.
A cool person who love to give.
She gives it to my brothers daughter.
With it sitting on a spindle it can spin.
To thread it back into its former self.
It begins a new love with in.
where will i find her?
i will find her hiding
inside a triangle
humming, bent over
and sewed into
my many great grandmother's
for the hungriest of winters
like a swan passing
white with long leaps
locked inside her
bone tooth box
stars on either side
the sweetest prayers
work best with tears
i will go crying in to the night
red all over
i will go dangling my song
howl for dawn
you told me to come!
my woman drummers drumstick
is stored, come straight
a thick and sticky swaddle
for my dream children
for all the ideas in my mind
i am afarid of this silent birth
i believe in the cloud
you float in over me
this earth paint
every single sight and all the words combined
some say you are dead
gone with the rest of
our world hoop
i see you in the water
where you breath in the screams
woman who you collect
drop by drop by drop
skill is not enough for you
minds are not yet open
spirit i am aware that you presented yourself to me in my mind world last night and i am
here to sing to this song to beg and plead for you to pity me
prove the story my grandmother heard while inside her mother
that bled glass
a steady flow
it all fell into my palm
only one woman every thousand years
here i am
it is me
you offered me the power to create
When I was a little girl,
my only wish, was that
someday, I would be famous.
My grandmother always said,
"you can be anything you want to be,"
and I believed her, Maybe, I did not believe in me.
As I gaze out the upstairs window
Looking at a scene from yesterday
This place from my childhood
This place of cherished memories
It is early, and a burst of sun gleams proudly
As it began it's rise over the distant horizon
A string of washing waving on the line
Looking like colorful flags flapping in the wind
And the doves strutting on the cobbled path
Cooing their song, or perhaps complaining
About the chill of the October morn.
Perhaps it is not quite the same now,
As it was on a long ago October morn
Yet, something of those days hang on
The washing no longer blowing in a breeze
The doves have found a home beyond
My grandmother has long been gone
But there still prevails a peaceful song.
pulling down the shade,
i can still feel the cool breeze
still sticking to sheets
To my Grandma
November 21st 1957- May 7th 2012
A mother proudly raising her 3 beautiful children.
A son that will soon go fight for our country
A daughter that will be blessed with four children
An other Daughter that will be gifted in the arts.
That will always be there for them
To make a joke
Or heal a wound.
A Wife to a solder of the old red white and blue
For 34 years of being married on July 19th.
Always being there for him when he needs her most
And happy care for him in sickness and health.
A grandmother to four young girls
An artist and a poet
A rock-star at heart
A soon to be teacher
And a little princess
Has cared for and looked after
Was there to talk to when no one else would listen
Would love to hear or see their talents
Always had a blasted watching their favorite tv shows or movies.
That's what I think an awesome grandma is.
I go to her resting place and with a smile tears rolling down my face i say
"I love and miss you Grandma"
She has seen so much before Her eyes
they have lost their sparkle
She sits in Her chair to watch the hummingbirds
flit and sip at the bird feeders She has prepared
She has made those for years
i remember sitting with Her and talking
about boys and schoolwork
and how beautiful the hummingbirds
sounded as they zipped past the screen door
we know they will return
Her taste for pecans never
prevented Her from collecting them
off Her land for pies and candies
Her legs hurt from walking too long
how i miss picking pecans with Her
as i grew time was lost
and i visited Her less and less
with regret i think of
all the talks and fun and laughter
while we canned fruits and jellies together
i wish i could bring back those years
the summer before i was married
we talked of love and happiness
and i was privileged to know how
Pa and Ma met when she asked,
"Do You Believe In Love At First Sight?"
we stayed up 'til morning talk of
mike and how She believed he was an
angel and how She met her first husband
and the birth of mimi, i know She has
always love me
i am Her pride and joy
She has lived a long life that was hard
but worth it because She has produced
a wonderful family
that babies Her in Her old age
oh, how She hates that
She talks about Her last days as if
tomorrow Her soul will take flight
and wonders why God hasn't sent for Her yet
perhaps She is not done
or He wishes Her to see something precious
i wonder if it is for me (how narcissistic)
to see my wedding or the birth of the daughter
that will carry Her middle name
She cried when i told Her that
but that's how much She means to me
i vainly pray that She will live long enough
to see these things that are important to me
when She will be able to hold
with Her middle name
Her great-great-granddaughter, LEE ellen
now She sits in her rocking chair
watching the hummingbirds
Her soul takes flight upon a gentle
breeze that carried Her far away in time
when She could pick pecans and can jellies
when She and Pa met
or when Her children were born
i know many stories from Her past
and i am proud that i am the only one
that has taken the flight with her soul
on one of those gentle breezes
Let this day vanquish our differences
for father is still the head.
Put by our petty grievance,
let family rule the day.
Come brother let us be at peace
your heart can melt this snow.
The voice of child was always you
and the tears of ancestors
now watch with pride
of the man you have become.
Your place in life
is to be at this feast,
the family is united.
This legacy of Christmas joy
has written your story.
The manger has carried your children
and a star shines upon this house
because of you.
So remember this day
family is precious
the joys of the world belong to you
Happiness has smiled
health is in celebration.
So Grandmother be proud
for this is the legacy of you.
Joy permeates this house
The eyes of the child
look up to the family.
So drink to mother and father
for they gave roots to this tree.
Our family is the earth and the earth is you,
On this day we can all believe.
The hurt of the world be gone
It is a day of forgiveness
and that is enough.
Rejoice on this special day
Christmas was born for you.
The pages of time are yours to write
and your story will go on and on.
Sometimes its hard not to wonder what life your child might lead
youve taught them everything they know but it was there choice to listen.
It broke your heart when there was a problem they had to deal with alone or they didnt ask you for help anymore to make chocolate chip cookies
you feel useless as a parent when your kid doesnt need you
and sometimes its hard not to wonder what life your kid might lead
a simple thought that even the best parents ponder is will they be good or bad
will they help you at the grocery store
or kick and scream on the floor in front of prejudice shoppers
will they be successful or counterproductive
will you wave at them when your ordering your hamburger at mcdonalds
or will they be the ones saying we found you a new kidney
will you be a grandfather or grandmother someday watching your grandchildren do the cutest little things
or will your child even produce kids at all. Will they be sick as we know all children do
but will they be really sick something that doesnt just require
hot stew and cough syrup to get better trust youve taught them
well they know all they know because of you and greater forces at
play and because of that theyll be okay
He stalks me for all but the
Short five hours of the day while I sleep.
6am, the sun rises,
Clang, bang the pots and pans.
As grandmother cooks he creeps
From the kitchen into my room.
Frightened and annoyed by his disturbance,
I awake to my daily life
Where he continues to stalk
And sting my ears.
On the bus, in class, at home,
He lurks every corner, everywhere.
Anywhere you go he’s there,
Especially when you need peace.
The air by which I am circulated,
Is circulated by an air not of air -
But of noise.
And after breathing in this
Intoxicating atmosphere for eighteen years,
The effects and suffocation cannot be
Tolerated any longer.
If my ears were goalies,
They would fail miserably;
None of the noise is blocked out.
If noise was a murderer,
He’d pierce every time –
With no regard for the situation,
No regard for me.
Grandma would sit on her rocking chair
Rocking all day long.
The chair was her joy each day.
As she grows old.
She loved to rock on the porch.
As the car drove by she would smile.
Now the rocker is old.
It sets in the cold of the day.
Now that grandma is off her rocker!
Nana awakened from her nap with a smile,
She said ninety-five years is a whole lot of living.
I shook my head and smiled as I agreed.
She looked around the room,
She said I’m just an old gray bear
Her eyes were trained on me…
No, you are just my sweet grandmother, as beautiful as can be ~
We began to walk through many life memories;
She’d kicked the devils behind with one foot,
And flew with one wing, still managing
To knock it too its knees…
Who knew, that she was preparing me to take up the mantle?
A task that seemed a little hard to touch;
Yet, I did it anyway and in that moment,
She began to be spirited away
To the golden gates of heaven
To sit amongst the saints, and feast
In our Lord’s brilliant presence ~
I can still see her sweet smile
And hear her tender whispers till the winds…
When the battle’s truly over, I’ll see you again.
I arrive early for the meeting.
Row upon row of chairs
face forward, like a flock of sheep,
nose to tail, waiting for a shepherd.
My grandmother raised sheep,
cows, pigs, geese, and children.
Grandpa buckled under tuburcolosis,
leaving her seven kids to raise.
"Waste not, want not," served well
as a mantra over rugged paths,
and pastured her fleecy days.
With no aid from government,
church, neighbor, or relative,
she prevailed where others failed,
sharing the bounty garnered
from those wooly mammals
of endless grazing.
As these empty chairs fill,
what shepherd will lead us
into the fold of words;
power words for change,
wisdom words for growth,
magic words for dreams,
with teeth piercing to the core,
strong jaws for chewing,
and sensitive tongue
to taste those other words
floating around these chairs
of tail-wagging writers?
I shall try to explain,
but the world is not logical.
the bank notes are old and crinkling.
your face appears like it's own negative
the wind glows and the sun howls.
why is the rain blue?
i wanted a new weapon but the rainbow was
too long,i need something small and portable,
like a pen i once had.
just a pencil and paper will be fine,
but please look round.
we're all related in the DNA
but the fighting goes on, for what?
does it matter my great grandfather was a Viking
who killed when necessary
or my grandmother sang in Gaelic
and swooned over dead children?
i can't see but i hear their voices murmur.
a blue and a brown will go together
like Harris tweed.
shall i give you some needles to patch yourself
before it's too late?
i have long threads and connections for you,
if you will listen.
you don't need the A to Z of London
in this world
it's not relevant any more
to know exactly where you are,
just use the finger tips to feel the cave walls.
do we know whether to go back or forward
or even upside down?
trust the sense of bones and nerves
and the sea in our veins
linking us all
into a human whole.
Past times have come,
they lurk within the darkness,
as I sit here fighting to continue on with my journey,
tears roll down my face thinking of....
the things that no longer exist.
Lost a Tia to death by drugs, a mother to abusive men and drugs,
a father to child molestation, a grandmother because I had a kid at fifteen.
I can't tell you how many times as a child I was abused,
how many schools and homes that I have been in.
No family support, so I do this on my own,
All I got is my pen and paper and that's all I need.
No tears can come for there is no emotions in my life.
Foster care for five years, two kids by the age of 17,
both wound up in homes with adopted parents,
How was I to raise them with no one on my side to help,
Family hates me, because I chose life over murder.
I don't understand how people can be that way yet claim to be Christians.
I worship my Father on High and sing praises to all.
Past times have come but now its time for me to defeat them once and for all
by using the power of God.
A bend, a pirouette--a flower's dance
reflects in his shadowed eyes, and in her
thorned steps, the atrophying force rooted and redoubling.
Promise me, he breathes behind a teacup
while she is encapsulated in a globe of fading light.
The briny-dotted atlases sit reverent,
assembled beside the living-
room's songs of foreign heartbreaks, each seeded and
grown rampant ivy on her mind's towers, those unseen
cracks of weathering leaving only dreams
of dreams to recirculate like seasons in a day.
Worn linen florals ebb about her body, settling in her late autumn
and hoary winter languishes beyond the pane
where wind-animate limbs, a veiny applause, galely
knock, and her upon the balustrade of
Hermetic roses beneath her toes.
Were we ever as good as frozen petals?
Every Sunday we set time aside to hang out together
Just him and I...
We are the best buds in the whole wide world
And when my son drops him off at my front door I remember why
He thinks I am the greatest thing next to sliced warm apple pie
He thinks I am the greatest opera singer
And I am the best dancer too
Today we hopped around to some crazy tunes
The Beach Boys and some other oldies but goodies
This afternoon I sang him Bible songs and taught him
How to equally slobber on both shoulders
He is my golden ray of sunshine--My Elijah!
I think of him often
I rehearse what songs I will sing to him
I even write him into the story lines of my upcoming prose
Oh you should see his rounded pink nose!
He coos and he giggles
And when we lay down for a nap he wiggles and wiggles
Til he finds the perfect spot under my arm
I love being a grandma
And I love our Sundays together
Eli and lola--best friends forever!
Written by Gwendolen Rix
The insence smoke makes my eyes water.
The candles flicker natural light onto magazine-cut-out-stained cement walls.
The ipod is plugged in. it’s charging its own battery.
Kent wafts melodies into me.
There are no tears
Because I’m doing what I want to do
I’m not doing what was assigned,
Desired of me.
I’m doing what I want to do
And it feels fine.
The cat made the appartment smell again,
I don’t want to clean it up.
I will let the common room stench itself
But I’ll burn the smell out of my own room
So I can at least
Have that something to myself.
There are colors here that aren’t in nature.
There are colors together that can’t exist together
There’s a longing here
That can be fulfilled!
Yes it can be fulfilled by one easy brushstoke
There are eyes here that need some sleep
And they may have it
Before or after the sun goes down;
Whenever they want.
I don’t want! I don’t need! I long, I desire
With a hunger so deep
I long with a longing not need
But a long
Longer than the longing of mankind.
What was that longing anyway.
I can wear my jewelry when I paint.
I used to have to take it off to run the relay.
Here I can wear the ring grandmother gave me
Which is good because it makes me feel powerful and godlike.
I am not a goblin
But they do haunt my dreams.
I am not a person
But they do haunt my life
And this is what is peaceful about art
It can be done,
Out of the hills of St. Catherine and the plains of Linstead
emerge a warrior princess…
A victor not a victim of her circumstances, struggles or plight
With warm, loving, industrial hands she raised a large bunch of children…
Curry saltfish, roti, curry goat, fried chicken,
Mackerel run-down, roast yam, bammy
She could cook it all…
Fierce, blunt, tell it like it is –Miss Claris
She has an endless list of alias for everyone-
Miss Uptown (that’s me), Dunnie, Baugh, Tony, Pauline, Junie, Mellow, Mousy, Sueie, Manchin, Chu-cho, Lovene, Darkie, Sam, Tin-Tin, Troy, PAULINE
A fantastic sense of style, unconventional sense of religion, devotion to family and friends and a beautiful smile:
Opal grandmother eyes,
watery milk glass veins
in stick arms
tense tight white thread
into frayed, thin quilts.
There is a slight rustle
of desperation, a hope
as smudged pigeons
and winter gives up
its gin clear grace.
The author of the bible must have been god
for Jesus himself never wrote it
and i wonder if Jesus truly existed
then why are we not studying timeless works of art written by the first people
that learned how to read and write?
Another question plagues me
why are there legacies of family traditions of stories in families talked about
handed down from generation from generation
that yes your gret great grandmother was a witch burnt at the stake
or your great great grandfather was a black slave
but why I ask do we never hear those who brag
through the testimonies of legacies of stories around campfires
that did you know your ancestor touched the hand of christ?
and this story of those days has been in our family for generations?
no one using logic how the world works?
true how quickly we forget
even war veterans pass down terrors of war tortures and terrors of such things
so why did we stop passing down the story of a god?
Is it because the author of the bible was god?
and he knew everthing that happened with jesus and Job
cain and Abel?
or was it just that one day there was a belief
and it was accepted
replaced an old belief
and murdered the old
and we praise it now?
Is this proof we are brainwashed?
the fact that the old religion has more stories handed down in generations
than this supposed god
who taught us all how to read or write?
I'm sure if i was there to be the first people to learn how to read and write
id write down some stories of the lessons i was taught
tell everyone i knew
of the man i had met who taught me
if the bible is true
and there were that many witnesses
I know id pass it down to my children
and my grandchildren
nieces and nephews
I see you South Carolina’s motherless child….
The chains of slavery set you free…
You are my history book and the link to my pit less soul…
Love began with you Mississippi midwife…..
Smells of Sage and Catnip, fried green tomatoes and pot liquor…
Your veiny swollen hand healed the sick and brought in new life….
Missy Anne played for your time without a lamenting thought your sister you chose ….
With loving respect I see you gazing back at me on Murdear’s bedroom wall…
Your picture yellow and cracked yet fresh with the dawn….
As your soft brown eyes and pomaded hair blew your aura into the busy confusion
of my present…
I wish for you….
I long for you…though you have transcended poverty, inadequacies, and time…
You are the balm of ancestral roots…
My darkest love is your eternal strength…
Your great gift of strength challenged me to be….
You weren't my Grandmother by blood,
but you sure were in my heart!
You were so very special to me!
I loved you right from the start!
You always treated me like family,
even though I wasn't your own!
Whenever I was around you,
you would lift me up!
Whenever I was lonely,
you would make me feel at home!
The Lord came back for you today!
He carried you On High!
He gave you a brand new body!
He took you to our Father in the sky!
I know you're dancing for The Lord,
and His Perfect and Beautiful Face you will forever see,
and if you could be talking to me right now,
you would say;
" DRY YOUR EYES!
DON'T CRY FOR ME!"
we never knew why
what sadness broke her heart
what busy-ness took her anxiety back
leaving her time to be with us,
her hugs warm and long
but in her eyes
deep brown eyes filled with longing sadness
a secret, a happening long ago that still had hold of her heart
I see your smile within my mother
I hear your laughter in my own
I miss you every waking moment
The first granmother I had
And the first grandmother that died
I love you Francisca but I never got to tell you that
I know you look down on me from Heaven because that is your new home
I hope I can be some one that you will be proud of
I love you very much for the beautiful person on the inside and outside that u were
I know our family struggled but you were always there to help us
My mother misses you so dearly but she lives in your wonderful memory
Mi Abuelita you are my true grandmother
You loved my brothers and I before you knew us and you still do
So this is for you my Grandmother you who smile down at us each and every day
I apoligize for the wrong my aunts and grandpa did you but they were so confused
I love you forever and always Mi Abuelit en el Cielo ( My grandmother up in Heaven)
One day we will be together again you and our family.....
Metaphors dance in my mind
and there's a word I'm hoping
to find, a line familiar as
"I want you to be mine."
Relying on the fact that
poetry hasn't failed me yet
I hope you approve the way
God chose Moses's mouthpiece
and includes all thou's,
ye's, I's and me's
I want you to possess me
the way a forty-niner
Blaze a trail through
Oregon greenery and
I'll follow you like
and hereditary genomes
wearing Nike shoes
till two becomes unified
I promise to pursue you.
I pictured sunflowers and
spilled rutabagas on grandma's
corner peeled linoleum.
She wore a halo and
shooed away storms
Her hello sounded like hallelujah
and hummed Blessed Assurance
as her dentures soaked
in baking soda.
You're reminding me of
the women of my youth
The qualities of a praying woman
has been man's best protection
The metaphor, word, and
line familiar found:
"He hasn't failed me yet,"
I can hear her saying.
I picture you praying.
Glamorous, fun and full of life
Always an interesting and loyal wife
Around the village she is known
For living life in her own particular tone
For her family she does prepare
Many a feast beyond compare
For the animals so oft alone
She has given much love, shelter and even her home
Come Christmas time the house is all a glitter
As Audrey runs around doing the annual jitter
Smiling from within is this special being
Generous, giving and all seeing
Her energy would seem to overflow
Never one to leave others low
This is my grandmother The Great Grandy
Whose life runs circles around those less than 80!
To my life you have brought
Something which can never be taught
You gave yourself, you made me smile
As I saw you go the extra mile
Within my thoughts I hold you dear
And in that way you are always near
I close my eyes and picture your face
And know that time cannot displace
The essence of the inner you
That in my life now follows through
Thank you for always being such a dear
Your effect on my life is more than clear
The kitchen, on the weekend mornings
When company came for a visit,
Habitually simmered like a cauldron of furious activity.
Despite a balmy morning on a September day,
The temperature rising by the moment
My grandmother would stand,
Red faced at her kitchen table
Rubbing flour and butter briskly
Through her fingers into a large mixing bowl
Apples already peeled and sliced would lay
Like pale green petals in the pie plate,
Waiting for the crumbled topping.
She may have fallen asleep the evening before
In her big, fat, over-stuffed chair
Long before her house guests had even
Stifled a lazy yawn
But on this bright, sunny morning
She was as young as a new bride.
As I stand here gazing upon
A row of trees nearing their demise
My mind is overcome by a barrage
Of paralyzing truths
That have contaminated my spirit
Like a river transposing itself
Into an infested swamp
Nonetheless, the sight before me
Whispers to my imagination
This family tree is crooked:
What compels ones sister
To seduce another sisters husband?
Just yesterday they were sharing
Clothes and make-up
Today, they share the same lover
The tree has become withered:
Susie flees from home again
While Uncle Jake is far too under
The chains of influence to notice
I thought children came first
Then alcohol was second
That tree has shaded to grey:
Tony searches for drug money
While Aunt Sara is on the prowel
For a new husband at
The corner tavern again
However, I did not realize
New uncles were so easy to find
The branches are twisted:
Mommy never kissed Santa Claus
On Christmas eve night,
Instead, Aunt Sharon was kissing
Her husbands brother under the mistletoe
After everyone went to sleep
Or so they thought,
An old song takes on a new meaning
All the leaves have fallen:
Great grandmother loved reciting
Stories of the family history
It is now that I understand why,
She left some tales untold
So I wonder,
Who planted these trees?
my uncle was married
before he met her
sure it was to his first cousin
My brother was trying to help her
she cried for days about being raped
My grandmother gave her a job
and a place to stay
Friends with benefits
to my uncle and brother
not realising she is a con artist
My brother and Uncle
kindling a family feud
over a woman who conned my grandma
my brother and then my uncle
I live in the same building as her
after my brother lost his head
and i don't blame him
evicted from a whole village
leaving me stuck here, trapped
she walks into a room
the men bend over backwards
I try to tell her to stop wasting men's time
for their money
lieing about love is a dangerous game
men get upset when they have been conned through sex
when they could have spent that time
with someone genuine
The village in unrest
busy trying to justify her for being the victom she claims to be
In this situation at no fault of my own
I just sit here and wait for her to make the same mistakes
so it will be clear to them what the truth is when i tell them all
she conned my grandma
lied about love to my brother
split up my aunt and uncle
and now shes in a position of power over what people here think of me
Not for long though
the truth will rise
They will all know soon
the black and white of her inbetween the lines
She is babylon to me
a headless beast with breasts
apparently no oone thinks of the situation through my eyes
just easier to use babylon for sex
your grandmother died
a few years back
the mean old witch
left you with a 'lil chunk of change
& lots of strings attached
you sista been "walking" dead for
what, like, 5 years now
Mom's are queen of denial
just like us all
maybe lessen the pain
not face what's in your face
and the beat goes on
the sadness in each of us
could fill every single void
so you say your family died
not true for all involved
you live you give you thrive
we are here now
closest ones around
not into competition
just want everyone to win
share the constant load
just don't break the dream
by going off to parts unknown
H/A/W got what it takes
to make it worth a fight
don't take away the boy's joy
life ain't perfect but it's real
please see us over here, still the same
you are always our girl
come back and share our world
this is a good as it gets
wield your power to our favor
please please dear dear
sweet beautiful child
Peace and love to you!
I hear the world is going to end is it true?
Earthquakes, poverty, and wars are going to govern the world
Is it already happening?
Throw and burn all lucrative materialistic goals and put God in first place
Will he really bless me?
If I start to adore you
Will I be doing it the right way?
Oh lord oh lord my grandmother heard these very same words
And to you she gave her soul
Still, the world hasn’t ended yet
Then when will it come?
I hear the world is going end is it true?
It was just another story, my grandmother told
I wish I had known, what I've learned since then
How the dust from the hills swept over the plains
and how months without rain, would change everything.
Out of water, had been no worry
Until it changed their life, back then,
It was how she met the man
It is partly her own story
It is part of who I am
I can see it all so clearly,
How they paid a price, so dearly,
She was Kansas born and bred,
They had built a life securely
staking everything they owned
on a home, on a life, in the loam.
Short of water, was the motto
It had changed her life, back then,
It was how she met her man
It is part of her old memories
It is part of who I am
On the homestead, growing barley,
growing wheat, and corn, and kids
Sharing love she had for family
but the drought had come instead.
No water for their crops, no feed to fill the stock
The hardship and the illness
And drought upon the hills
No coin the pay the bills.....meager water in the pail
Quivering trees, and stiff shocks of corn
Withering slowly, from the winds
Sandstorms covered scores
of farmland till the end
Her husband growing ill
A grave dug in the sand
Out west, another land
No man to hold her hand
In the west they found the water
It had changed her life, back then,
It was how she met her man
It is partly her own story
It is part of who I am
"Out of Water" Contest: Sponsored By Sheri Fresonke Harper
I didn’t know what had happened.
Suddenly my world was turned upside- down.
One day he was fine.
The next day he was sick, very sick.
The day after he was lying helpless in a white hospital gown on a bed not his
and he seemed to be getting stronger.
The day after that he was gone.
He used walk around the house high.
Smiling and laughing like some demented fool.
Once he knocked my mother’s favorite crystal glass off the dining room table and
all he did was laugh,
laugh right in her face.
But of course he had complete control.
He could stop whenever he wanted to.
They just made him feel good; they weren’t addictive like that other stuff.
Each time my mother, or aunt, or grandmother confronted him about it,
this was his response.
But soon he needed more.
He slowly but surely progressed from a puff to a snort to a
needle in the arm.
Until one day he was addicted,
completely and totally dependent.
The days when he leapt out of bed on Saturday to play basketball with my
brothers were gone.
He simply lay there in the hospital bed,
hopeless and scared. We were all scared.
As I sat my his side with my Mama I remembered the last time I saw him outside
of that white hospital gown—
at a family barbeque my mama invited the whole family to.
The sun was shining brightly and I was sweating pretty heavily but as I looked
over at my uncle I saw he kept shivering, violently.
I wanted to talk to him real bad
and no one else seemed to notice how lonely he was,
so as frightened as I was by this strange shivering I went over to him.
He spoke kindly to me but most of the time he just kept scratching himself a lot,
and rocking back and forth in his chair, muttering to himself,
like he didn’t even know I was there.
It was just days later that he passed.
Mama said he was out of his misery now,
in a better place,
and that God would give him a second chance.
I resolved never to walk that path.
Idiots around me say I will become curious,
that it doesn’t hurt to give something a try.
My uncle was curious too.
I love him but I cannot be like him.
Curiosity has its limits.
The instructor said:
Right a poem expressing yourself
using Langston Hughes’ first poem
as your model.
When my mom had me it was just me and her.
We went through hard times yet she never let our
problems effect me. Now that I have grown up
I see things differently. I can understand when there is
a problem and know when things aren’t right.
Now I’m just looking for my chance to shine. I am preparing
to see the world through my own eyes. And it is hard. But I
get through. Most kids my age are academically preparing themself
for their future. They go to school and they learn but me I am creating
mine. My voice is my instrument and as long as I have it I plan to use it.
My passion is singing and my heart is in performing but my money always
gets spent on shopping.
Yes I am a women and I was created to be of a helpmate to my spouse
but that doesn't mean that I am not human. Though I may have breast and
my hips may make the shape of my body different doesn't make you
suprerior. I have a mind and I am an individual. I can think and
make decision for myself, all while taking care of all responsibilty.
I am your mother and your grandmother I was responsible for your up bringing.
Don't belittle me because of my sex!
They told me things
That left me on memory's wings
Long ago ...
When I write I show
The white eye of the page
Things that my own heart caged.
The almond like a miser
With its nut, the sun like a fire
Stoking my gut,
The journey that dawn my history
Snatched from unmuddled memory
The child playing alone
Pounding stone on stone
His only friend was solitude
And that shaping of him
Is my sum, span and latitude ...
To break the shell of wooden bone
And move the kernel
From its throne,
To the disgust of the sun
Till I was over done
My brother's hands took me out
And served me to my father's eye
So to grandmother I was en route
But I did not cry
Though things were sailing by
The world moving backwards
Leaving the sky
Cradled on my eye.
My mother's heart was snatched that day
It was my fault to play ...
A child at one needs a protecting eye.
It was my first train ride
And the only train I did not break
It was more than a toy
And too big for the sensibility of a boy.
The thing just swallowed up my pride
But I not quake
For I who defeated the sun
Would let my father see his son
To return to solitude and fun,
I have watched carefully
My solitude when now I play, ruefully.
My grandmother gave me this darkness
of eyes and hair. Our ancestors were gypsies
begging, wide skirts, skittish heels
before the doors to cathedrals.
My grandmother gave me this quivering
chin and sharp nose. Our ancestors were insane.
They emigrated thick satchels over shoulders
to the madhouse. We strapped them into bed.
My mother gave me this sleeplessness
and these delicate hands. Hers were chapped,
the threads hanging in graceful threads
so long she never began, she never ended.
I gave me this mutiny heart.
With your hands on my hair
and eyes just below my lips, I
am only aware of the door.
I Go Back…
I see her standing next to a man who would never do her wrong,
I see my grandmother in the green grass
touching an inanimate body, the
blue shirt a reflection of her feelings
always blue because of what her husband has done, I
see her happy now without him near
standing alone waiting for information to solve a
marriage gone wrong, the memories still lingering, back
when love was strong and everyone happy,
she was still young though, she was not bored,
she was in love, she was ignorant, all she knew is that she was
caring, for her children and theirs also.
I want to talk to her and say Careful,
don’t be a fool in love--the kids will feel the consequences,
you fell for the wrong man, together you will do things
that will end your love forever,
that will leave your daughters blue like you,
that their children will never understand,
that will make you want him dead. I want to speak to her
there in the clear summer light and say that,
her ignorant loving face listening to my every word,
her misunderstood caring soul,
her full broken heart never to love again,
her naïve experienced soul,
I will never do it though. I want to experience it all. I
take her in my hand like a helpless
empty scrap and throw her out the window,
by an edge like a simple worn image, as if I
wanted to knock some sense into her, I ask
Do you want you daughters to feel unloved, and their children to ask why?
how many dead grandmas?
one idiot calls into work saying their grandma died &
the next week that same idiot tells their professor
that they missed class because their grandmother
died & the very next week calls into work saying their
other grandma died & a day later tells their prof that their
other grandma died & the classmates & coworkers talk
amongst themselves saying that the same idiot held other
jobs before this one & frequented other classes before
this one overflowing with dead grandmother galore---
how many dead grandmas can one idiot have?
In your restless slumbers you feel me,
I know you feel me.
Always by your side like an iron rusted sword
Dull to the touch and stranded to the length of your back.
Your sudden sighs will be the ocean churning and
The waves that collapse against the shore.
Every ache you undergo will emit a moan
So loud and locked away that even the sky will mourn
And it’s rains will fall for you alone.
Each dripping drop will attempt to match your insides
From the moment the first moon beams hit your windowsill
Till the sun ascends in an incandescent dawn
That pinkens the walls of your chambers.
You look beyond a naked field to
A moon which eases with every passing moment.
Beckoning you to dreams and thoughts that lay like scars and stains.
Come, they whisper.
Come listen to the symphony of our affairs.
Come watch these green waters turn to gold.
Travel the world and reach the end
Only to find that you still want.
But here, with no one around in this volatile room,
With no eyes peering but the licks of lighted candles,
You’ll plead no to a nameless fear
As you swallow the back of your mind.
Let an open mind in,
Allow it to listen.
And as you glance over to vacancy from
Your worn and heated side,
The skies will shudder with every hope and every lie
That even Socrates cannot deny these tries.
But in the half light of my own room
I wish to be your broken record
Or the lead singers private microphone.
Kiss my finger tips and drink in the residue of fountain pens.
I will plaster each phrase to my bedroom wall
Where I live to see that the writing never flows.
That each excerpt is choppy and final.
That every quote is bold and blush.
The frayed and shredded nursery wallpaper,
Shimmering pink with sudden audacity,
Will reflect moodily and ambiguously of my shattered thoughts.
With kudos to a grandmother Mary,
I slowly lift a frozen face from underneath a pillow.
After a minute of self doubt and realization
That settles like pin pricks on the palms of my hands,
I slide the idle face back into it’s sheath
Then contemplate the curiosity of my own slumber.
While ignoring every hope of sleep,
I’ll thread two nimble fingers through an open flame,
Stare provokingly into the shadows on the ceiling,
And think of you.
Last seen in the newspaper shop.Susan.Susan
Deakin.About 11am.Small blonde girl of eight.
An impassive constable was recording the statements
Inwardly weary with the usual hysteria.
Inwardly quailing at the thought of her daughter's reaction,
Her frantic grandmother was stumbling over the details.
Once the story rippled through the village,
A miasma of fear settled like a haar
Upon the sunlit streets
Where mothers now kept their children tight to them.
Little knots of elderly women stood chattering,
Every utterance dripping with deadly speculation,
Drowning any pious hope that she was off safe with her friends.
Solitary males must have keenly felt
The sharp glances of suspicion and wondered why.
Beneath the warmth of an otherwise bright sky
Swam an icy current of deepening distrust
Threatening the community with its riptide of rancour.
There was now nothing to be done but wait.
I have no idea what I'm going to write
But the wings of fortune
Have proclaimed my fingers gods
And even now this line
Is manifested by the continual clicking of the brain
Meld like confused and watery metals
Like my own tricyle
Sliding down a dilated pole
Where my grandmother cowered around
Looking for her purse
And now the meanings,
The catch-alls come shuddering around our...our...our...
**written for my own "Write Now!" contest...did not pause in typing until the last line...**
My Grandmother use to hate the rain
Said it reminded her even angels share her pain
But when the sunshines and the clouds clear
The world will be clean and full of cheer
Here lately the world is covered in clouds and gloom
The bright days are left in the shadows to loom
Wondering what the morning will bring
Will it be sunshine or rain
Angels are crying
young men and women dying
This world needs a bright clean new day
We could use these cloudy ones to pray
I remember grandma’s hand
She raised us oh so well
She taught us the art of patience
And love for your fellow man
Oh, how I remember grandma’s
She held you with her motherly
Although we were her son children
She raised us as her own,
A mother taken away from her
Babies way to soon.
I remember grandma’s hand
She taught us the meaning of
And learn us to respect ourselves
As well as our fellow man..
She cooked and clean, washed our
She nurture she even bath us when
We couldn’t bathe ourselves
She took on 3 small children including
A very small baby in tow..
I remember grandma’s hand''s
She would sing while she was in the
Kitchen preparing each and every
Listening to those pots and pans
Her dropping them on the floor
She tried to shield and protect us from
All the trouble of the world
I remember grandma’s hand’s
She played doctor on every cut
Bruises that came along with
She Issued out the butt whipping
That went along with the hugs
But, yet kissed the tears away
She handed out sugar cookies
Issue us out doors to play
I remember her sitting on the
Porch and saying
Don’t get in that dirt, be careful
My daddy use to tell her “Ah Momma
Let the kids play”
The dirt will wash off..I truly remember
Carried a lot of love and
I remember my grandmother oh, so
We call her “Momma Etta”
Have you ever heard the old saying, 'You can ride a willing horse to death," well
my grandmother told me this many times, during my growing years.
Now that I am older, and I pray much wiser, I know exactly what she meant.
Out there in this big old mean world are people, and some of these people don't
have much sense when it comes to piling things on you, "farming you out," so to
speak. I have been a taxi, I have been a nurse, I have been a teacher, I have
been a sitter, I have been a cook, I have been a receptionist, I have been a bank, I
have been a mechanic, I have been a painter, I have been a mother, I have been
a carpenter, I have been a decorator, I have been a mover, I have been so many
things, for so many people, I have forgotten who I am.
Standing by the lake of
Wanting to heal this broken
Throwing coins for each wish;
Wishing my true love will find
It's way in my heart
I looked around hoping that
Some way he will be stand along
And mend this old lonely heart!
I wish to end my heart from tear
I still remains without love
Growning old with know promises
Just pains of migraines
Trying to wish upon the wishing
I think my grandmother said this
Would make all your wishes true
Just stand by the lake of wishes
And throw a coin for a wish!
My brain might have remember
Because I have grown a little
My mind never settle on one
Thing at a time
I wish for a improved mind
But yet, of today it have not
Poor me remains alone without
Still by the lake of wishes....