Sunday, September 30, 2012

To the Women

To the Women

Let me cover you in water
A clean and pristine flow
From the well of your forefathers
Long dry from winds of droughts

Let me cover you in grain
Insect-less and plentiful
Enough to make bread
For today and tomorrow and them

Let me cover you in natural balms
Healing hands willing to anoint
The ache and soreness you feel
From scant walls and cold floors

Let me show you how to sew
Because that is what the women taught me
A quilt to protect in colors to delight
Market your beauty to show the world

Let me come to you soon
For in this I need to lay my hands
On the disorder of your world
So that I can bring order to my own

© NP 09/30/12

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Thrift stores
Bargains in bins
3 for 1 money
Not folded
                Just tossed in
Like leaves in fall
From the single tree
Growing in the 10X10
                Concrete square
On the hot sidewalk
Rayon, polyester
                Unwashed cotton
No lining, sheer tops
Pink bra
                Flowered panties
3 in 1 pack
Scratchy hose
Strip mall shoe stores
Patent leather look alikes
Handbags to match
Well drinks and poor lights
                No air conditioner
Wolf calls into the night
                Friday night

© NP 03/10


The songsmith says
The knee is connected to the leg
Straight and long
Center and core of strength
Dense yet porous
Carrying the weight of life
Easily broken by sticks and stones
Words can bend them
Little ones, big ones
Curved and hollow
Lots of them
Piled high in the shallow earth
Uncovered and unclothed
Unskinned and unmuscled
Unraced and unethniced
Untall and unshort
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
When I am no longer connected
Who will tend my

© NP 11/09

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Warrior King

My warrior king
The moon of my stars
Collected under a night’s sky
At the crown of the earth
Willing to decorate the realm
Of a lush paradise
Already leafy emerald hued

My warrior king
The sun of my skies
Radiantly clad by Jah
Ebony tresses flecked with wisdom
Amidst the lion’s mane
Clad as such the kenips
Delicious around your strength

My warrior king
The wind of my power
Gently guiding the rule
Of those under his protection
Serving and mastering in turn
Cooling the air with a broad smile
A tall glass of sorrel in the waning

My warrior king
The beat of my heart
I am safe in your embrace
From any jumbie strolling by
For you hold my soul
In the palm of your hand
And hide me in your shadow

My warrior king
The pleasure of my world
I know you in dreams
But know not if it is mine or yours
The beat of steel is heavy
And regulates my pulse
Only you control the rhythm

My warrior king
The keeper of our faith
I pledge to you my days
I gift to you my nights
Until every ocean gives up it treasures
Every mountain tires of standing
I will remain beside you

© NP 09/29/12

Green...clarity pyramid


Oft we get blessed 
When we least expect it 
Though it's what we asked Him for 

"I may look good in emerald."
© NP 09/28/12

Monday, September 24, 2012


Mortal clay

Good enough to eat
They are all not tasty
Though God makes them all of earth

The transformed won’t leave you hungry
© NP 09/23/12

Hip Pocket

How can I even begin to explain
From whence and where this feeling came
To a girl child living in the twain
Of day’s sunrise and moon’s wane
Who’s never had in her veins
A love leave a permanent stain
From knee to hip occluding brain
How to distinguish between the swains
That would take to task her soul in vain
Many times and over and over again
Until in darkness she must abstain
To break a the links of choking chain

How can I even begin to explain
My experience that makes this plain
As weather telling needs a vane
To show the wind outside of pane
My heart has been newly arraigned
Because I let the spirit guide and change
Prepare me for this man ordained
After much praying of a campaign
And time taken to retrain
A life that had been detained
By holding onto too much pain

How can I ever begin to explain
My high is not of chilled champagne
Nor even that of fermented grain
I had to give up on my tired refrain
And stepped into a brand new lane
The living of life I now do retain
The joy in life I have regained
And as far as I can ascertain
His love for me is pretty plain
So in his life I will remain
From mountaintops to mundane
For at his hip I have been claimed

© NP 09/24/12

Thursday, September 20, 2012

it's not about me

When I awake
I can lie still in the mornings
Waiting on you to join me
In that early morning grace
Of knowing that we have
Made it to today, whole,
Intact and in our right minds
I can immediately give thanks
That my prayers from
The night before have been answered
And while I may not realize it
In terms that I can touch
It never-the-less has happened

When I awake
I do not find you wanting
In any measurement of fullness
And I find your need
To begin the day in peace
A match to my own
So we go about the ministrations
A cup of tea, a heel of bread
A song of prayer, hums, whispers
Made by our own thanksgiving
Of a fast to be broken
When I awake
To the leaving and arriving
Of winds across a blue ocean
The scent of mangoes
And pleasant call of greetings
That await outside our door
It is good to be still
Against even pleasant intrusions
So we begin our day together
As we ended it the night before
In prayer for the things
We want for others and ourselves

When I wake
I am overwhelmed with
The extravagance of life
In placing me beside a man
Who understands that mercy
Is not a weakness
Nor love a fault of foolish men
But something to be treasured
And returned tenfold

When I awake
I realize that this day
Is not about me, but us.

© NP 09/19/12

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nick of name

My mother picked my name
Out of the base of her experience
With the foresight to make it simple
As if she already knew that I needed to travel
Nothing too heavy and nothing too light
And nothing extra, just enough

One letter with a tail for balance
Another with a hook to hold on
To my answered prayers
And two that reached for the heavens
Just four, complete, completion
Yang and yin, you and me
Fusing, marinating and blending
A synthesis of life producing
The realization of joined ideas

Four ways for a day’s labor
A work always in progress
I fell in love with words young
My crafting and showing
Me in ink, me on paper, me in chalk
Me in the stability of helium
One, two, three, four electrons
The basis of all organic life

Length, breadth, width and time
Four testaments to Christ
Four worlds in the tree of life
I never grew too tall
Or too thin and was thus spared
Being ridiculed for either
And the nick of my name
Can’t be changed or diminutivized
Without changing who I am
To you

I am as volatile as the air and fire
As calm as the water and earth
Not in contradiction
But in balancing quadrants
And always in motion
My thoughts never shut down
Patterning and reconfiguring
Turning the wheel
Clockwise and opposite
I am not interchangeable
With any one past or present
My name does not hide me
In Slavery, in Christianity or darkness
I choose to be who I am
You chose me to be yours
I accept your hypocoristic
And hold that name in my heart

© NP 09/6/12


Today I dreamed of the sun
With eyes wide open and looking
Through a window newly clean
Rag in one hand and windex in the other
And just for a moment I could
Smell the ocean wafting
A warm breeze across my feet
So I had to remove my socks
To see if I could wiggle my toes
In a sandy delight of pleasure
I can taste the greenness of
Of your heart holding onto mine
The windowpane seems a doorway
Only I have been asked to enter
When I listen, I can hear your voice
Folding the wings of brown pelicans
And whispering past the lushness
Of the bougainvillea vine
Sweet and sensuous lyrics
Sounding off tamarind clusters
And shooting carambola stars
Calling me to you throughout the day
Upon my prayers gazing beyond glass
I know that you are my overstanding
© NP 09/17/12

Monday, September 10, 2012

oh death

Out of the corner of my eye

A shadow briefly passed

And only just for a second

A refraction of light

I should not have seen it

No one else seemed to have

Or were too afraid to acknowledge

A moving darkness in the sanctuary

Cloaked in blindness

A momentary patch

Over the third sight

Of the multitudes of pew sitting folks

The hallelujahs were loud

The lights grew dim in the noon hour

And it seemed a hot chill passed

While we all called on the Lord

Weeping for private dreams

Praying for private wants

Ignoring private needs

And the reaper walked unmet

To the tares hiding

In amongst the wheat

 I averted my eyes lest

He would find me wanting

Offering to make a crossroad deal

Though I knew full well that

This is now the harvest season

And I understood the word mercy

In that moment

For maybe I hadn’t done it right

But I am still favored as wheat

And at the dimming of this morn

Death passed me over


© NP 09/10/12


Monday, September 3, 2012

Noli Me Tangere


Transitioning into self

I am

Here for just a while

Clay feet warm my path

And laughter follows

And even as light twinkles

Over a mountain sky

My star is brighter, clearer

You see

Only a mirrored surface reflects

And all that you fathom

In glassy tears

Is not what is lost

But the best of you

Love me

As I do you

For I am happy

You have much yet to do

Hold me not

I am only climbing

To a place with a better view


© NP 07/29/12

Why do you love me?

And you will know me

Beyond pain

Beyond passion

Beyond need

I seek your heart upon wakening

But only after thanking God

For grace

For waking me

For blessing you

As is my daily request

That always comes in the form

Of greatfilledness

For simple things

Like sun

Like rain

Like running water

And toothpaste

So why do you love me?


When you have yet to hear my heart beat

Under the palm of your hand

My smile

Across a table

The corner of your eye

In memories

There was a time when I trusted desire

To move beyond love




Until it could hold no more faith

And I was wrong

To trust it



So damage you find me




Through no fault of yours

So why do you love me?


I know you are not he

And I not she

I cannot pay

And you do not owe

A debt not my own

Nor yours to bear

And I will hold you faultless

If you only trust me

So why do you love me?


Yet hide

What’s in your heart

On your mind

In your soul

For a burden shared

Is halved in its heaviness

And like two equally yoked

My furrow must



And be directed

By your ordered steps

Of faith

You must be the head of the house

Because it is written thus

And I will be contrite

In obedience

To my God

So why do you love me?


I have to know that you

Won’t shut me out

When it’s tough

When you need

When you don’t

Because I will need you too

To feel that I am a part

Of your life

And you mine

And to know

Beyond a doubt

Without question

And in all confidence





© NP 08/12



I want my poetry to...

I want my poetry to prepare you for death

Not for the grave

Nor the cemetery

But death

The end of all words

The end of all light

When you can sigh

And close your eyes in peace

Rested, relaxed


Satisfied that everyday

You healed yourself

From the trials of the day before


I want my poetry to prepare you for death

At the end of the conversation

Where thoughts meet pain

And pain meets joy

And joy is God

And God is good

Love conquers all, even the grave

I lower your body

Into the ground

And take your song

Into my soul four nourishment

Mind, spirit, breath and light


I want my poetry to prepare you for death

Starting this day

Let’s not make a plan

To edify and rectify

Those that require one or both

Feed bellies and lay hands on brows

With a cooling touch

Set off fireworks in the streets

Just for pleasure of the blind

Let’s do it


I want my poetry to prepare you for death

With words read

And colors painted

Threads running crookedly through a quilt

Linking, touching

The rough and smooth

Of moonlight

Broken glass prism-ed

Into beautiful satin


Imagined in mentally challenged minds


I want my poetry to prepare you for death

The race run

And well set in clay

Steps to follow

A good example of a life fully lived

Under grace

Sometimes in sand

At the edge

Of tomorrow

But always looking


Prepared to follow the Son


© NP 8/13/2012

you are what you eat

Power in its simplest form

Returns itself into the void

It can never be consumed

In the gnashing of teeth

Or the burning of anger

Simple chewing breaks

Ire into swallowable chunks

Chasing satisfaction wanes

After its twin is caught and

Though tasty, does not fill

A belly bloated with hunger

For importance and success

We suck the marrow

Out of life with no thought

To tomorrow’s meal

Second helpings call to us

Through the halls of buildings

Late night when we should be home

Saying grace for little birds

Lying dead in gravy on dinner tables

We eat dreams in one gulp

Never savoring the incense

Of the burnt offering

On commerce’s altar

The offering of ourselves

And all who we say we love

Because they are dressed

In disguises of our fabrication

Reason for climbing down

Ladders in our mind

To sup with our egos

 © NP 9/12


A Predisposition
To Pen