Saturday, June 26, 2010

Umbrella Seeds

I feel the heat on the sidewalk

Radiating up through the stone steps

Sitting there playing school

With rocks and chalk

Waiting on the fireflys to come out

And dance among the broken bottles

And rocks and us, twirling

Walking to school on broken sidewalks

Morning school, lunch

And afternoon school

Tornado drills in the hallways

And naps on mats, before recess

Sandwiches always and Jay’s potato chips

white and chocolate lunch ladies

The clock in the neighbor’s kitchen?

Felix, I think, black and white

Swish and swoosh, tick tock

Plastic on the sofa and chairs

Black and white table in the kitchen

Where juice cups sit and crackers

Mrs. Miller standing guard in the door

Back porches and stoops

Rickety stairs and closet tents

Creature Features and sneaky twins

Dark shadows and beating hearts

Rappidy rappidy beat beat, sweat

Big staring eyes in a small face

Screams! Laughter! I’m telling!

Emergency room visits

How many tasty orange candies

Did you eat little one?

These many, with palm up and open

The nurse said they only taste good with soda

And we wanted some too at first

But momma said no, just for little one

White lace and taffeta

Stretched all the way down the hall

Measuring and cutting away years

Snipping carefully so nothing is forgot

Not the slightest laugh, nor the smallest tear

Piecing together white space for

New stuff to be stitched in

Sisters, women, girls, mothers, ladies

Fancy, sassy, smart and pretty

All in one, place, space, heart, life

Four, three, two, three, one

Nothing stops the rain, but dammit

With grace and crass, meds and sun

We can sow colorful umbrellas

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My gardener, my love

Will plant
My roots deep
In your garden
Trusting you to care
For the weeds that may grow
Even in sheltered places
Pain may catch a ride on the winds
Scattering the tears in its wake
It is then that I will need your sunshine

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adam's Reqium

Permission for use of original artwork granted by Treason

Adams’ Requiem


……… Witness the Father’s creation, Adams.

How furrowed his brow with the intensity of being

The soul human, made in the image of truth, man

Hear us Abba Father, grateful that you felt the need

To bring us into perpetuity through this one.

Grant Adams rest, oh Lord, for the burden they have borne

The struggles of a nation of people scattered across the earth

Your people, who have felt oppression, racism, hatred and scorn

Whose only transgression was their place of birth

Though the hurt is not forgotten, the healing has begun.

Kyrie eleison

Lawd hammercy

Dies Irae

We have witnessed your goodness in the fruition

Of the dreams deferred in a multi-hued world

As told to Martin and Daniel and other possessors of cognition

For You are our rock and we cherish Your unfailing love

Carry Adams to your bosom, Lord, to take their rightful rest

Infuse in us strength to carry the torch forward.

The victory of this day is not an end to the struggle

Not just one only is charged to keep on keeping on

It is for everyone to let our hearts be troubled

And to help all who you appointed get the job done

Thank you Lord for all the Adams that looks like us.

Christi eleison

Christ hammercy

Pie Jesu

O sweet Lord Jesus, grant Adams’ rest;

Grant them everlasting rest.

Kyrie elesion

Lawd hammercy

Libera me

Liberate me to continue through this discontent of summer tears

Open my eyes to the plane of dignity, discipline and my soul force

Let me seek the satisfaction of justice that rolls down like the waters

Show me the righteousness that flows like a mighty stream source

Let us know Oh Lord that our dream is an American dream

We don’t want to be brooding over what’s behind, or looking dejectedly down

When the next four years have gone and from this day we have passed

Liberate me to look into the future, shouting out grateful and loud

Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.


Grant Adams eternal rest Abba Father, may your everlasting shine

Not only on Adams, but direct that light into our hearts.

For you are merciful and just in your own time.

Help us to keep our faith, help us to do our part.

So it was written, so it was uttered, so it be done.

One More Time

I sat apart from you on the bench
Knowing that you were going away
Everything felt green, forest green
The air, the wood, the taste in my mouth
The butterfly’s colors faded into immaturity
A seedling unsprouted from the lack of sun
Lay dry and unplanted on the sidewalk
Brown, so very brown and wrinkled

You talked or at least your mouth kept moving
The words stretched out into a sad whisper
Wrapping itself around the blades of grass
Nudging up through fun summer sandals
I wiggled my toes to dislodge the nouns
Slowly pushing away the verbs and adjectives
So the nail polish wouldn’t get smeared
On my red, vibrantly cherry red toenails

The wind played in the loose hair at my ear
Blocking out unpleasant sounds and noises
Of anything that I didn’t want to hear
Like how you were leaving for my sake
But the breeze took the s and left only ake
Winding shhh’s through the collar
Of the crisp white cotton of my shirt
A dozen buttons, 12, all lined up

Patiently I had been waiting for yellow roses
For the postman to deliver desire
Leaving it wrapped in brown craft paper
With a notecard like all florist do
Lying in wait for me after a long day’s toil
Verdant glossy leaves spelling words
Connected to strings controlling
The rise of the sun, warm morning sky

I felt you touch my hand imploring me
To meet your eyes and to understand
Though I could only see that weathers
Had begun to change to less sunny blues
The clouds in the sky darkened pregnant
Rain captured above snow white crests
Released as crystalline tears on hard ground
My heart has done it to me one more time

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fisher of Men

Drum sound
Drum beat
Beat rhythm
Beat time
Time passed
Time measured
Measured years
Measured striped
Striped fields
Striped back
Back beating
Back biting
Biting tongues
Biting hands
Hands clenched
Hands free
Mason builds
Mason casts
Casts fears
Casts net
Nets sifted
Sifted boys
Sifted men
Man molded
Man made
Made aware
Made honorable
Honorable talents
Honorable life
Life forsaken
Life redeemed
Redeemed purpose
Redeemed pride
Pride of lions
Pride of faith
Faith upheld
Faith believed
Believed strong
Believed passed
Passed lessons
Passed code
Code of men
Code of the fisher

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coconut Bunny Cake

3rd grade is a big year for little black girls
growing up on concrete pads in big cities
going to neighborhood schools under
eyes of neighbors who kept watch
eyes of aunts who kept us clean
eyes of the bricks counting cadence
so we were never late to school

3rd grade is big year for little black girls
living in poor walkup stone apartments
with so very many gypsy children
playing in vacant lots of cut glass
playing under blankets in bedrooms
playing in the high heel shoes of mothers
pretending to be like the white Barbie

3rd grade is a big year for little black girls
struggling to believe nappy hair is beautiful
hoping to believe in the after school specials
to believe that Officer Friendly made us safe
to believe that pink skates made us cool
to believe we could be more than Julia on TV

3rd grade is a big year for little black girls
when you are an oddball for being smart
when you have to be tough to make it
and you are picked to bring cupcakes
and your mother brings a store bought cake
and you know you are her little black girl