Response to “Waiting”

The beautiful and brilliant Nikki Grimes wrote the following poem today:

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While I know it was not about me, it hit home so hard.  Hard.  After crying, I put my warrior pen in hand and wrote this response:

Julie no longer plays into the big hand,
     The heavy hand, the upper hand,
The hand that silences, shames, smacks.

She used to plead, “Pick me! Pick Me!”
     In a rush, she’d cast her heart into pools of abandonment—

Pearls to swine, like clockwork.

They could count on her to bear the secrets,
     The stains, the scarlet paragraphs and

Chapters that chronicled cries and crises.

But in the hour of need, past half the darkness
     The second hand clicked into place. . .

Safe hands and second chances surfaced.

This is her day in the sun. Love won.
     Flourishing, fostering freedom and hope,

Counting on truth—not time—to heal her wounds.

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My Tears Make Me a Warrior (Day 8)

I don’t need nerves of steel
To be allowed to grow and heal.
My tears make me a warrior.

Call me sensitive, if you will,
Emotions don’t scare me — 
I’ve had my fill.
My tears make me a warrior.

It takes courage to face the things I’ve seen.
Bliss, pain, and everything in between.
My tears make me a warrior.

Depression, sadness, and despair?
Bitter and angry beyond repair?
My tears make me a warrior.

I may scream;
I just might cry.
I won’t pretend
Something’s in my eye.
I have no need
To hide or deny.
Ask about my feelings?
Let me demystify —
My tears make me a warrior.

I don’t need to act tough.
Reality is enough.
It takes guts to cry,
That’s why I’m so fly—
My tears make me a warrior.

NaPoWriMo.net Day 8

“Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that relies on repetition. It can be repetition of a phrase, or just a word. Need a couple of examples? Try “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe, or Joy Harjo’s “She Had Some Horses”. Poe’s poem creates a relentless, clanging effect through the repetition of the word “bells,” while Harjo’s repeated use of the phrase “she had some horses” and variations thereof gives her poem poem its incantatory effect, while also deepening its central philosophical conceit of what things are the same and what things are different.”

Still Life with Elephant (NaPoWriMo 6)


Still Life with Elephant (Denial)


O.
Because I have no words—
Only images—
Memories—Pain—
I will carry as much as I can.

I.

Mommy?
Daddy?

III.

Look! Duckies!
Skip, run,
Play, hooray,
Hop,
Heavenly
Happiness.

VII.
School
Safety
Study
Serenity

 X.

 

 

XII.

Achieve
Achieve
Accomplish
Achieve
Do more.
Everything
Is fine.

XVI.

I didn’t mean to be
Rebellious,
Sassy, or
To talk back.
I just thought I
Saw an elephant,
maybe.
Whatever.


XX.

Yep. Definitely
An elephant, maybe several.
I can see the grey
And smell the evidence
Of their presence.
I can’t talk about it
Right now, though.
The stench is too
Raw.
Maybe I just need to
CLEAN
Everything.

 XXXII.

I hear rumbling.
Perhaps roaring?
Who is this
That cries and screeches for
Help? 

XL.

I was born to be a mahout.
I am becoming whole,
Learning to balance,
And I now recognize this
Behemoth as
A healer And my friend.
The elephant
That was once “in the room”
Is now free.
Together we face
Our journey.
Our pain.
Our story.
Our trumpeting.
Our victory.

NaPoWriMo.net – Day 6 Prompt “And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view. The most famous poem of this type is probably Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. You don’t need to have thirteen ways of looking at something – just a few will do!
Happy writing!”

NaPoWriMo – Day 18

The Sounds of Home

 

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Laughter
Sounds of sanders, sawdust, and creativity
10 pound bags of potatoes
spattering in the Fry-Daddy
While Dad sings and makes us laugh
Laughter

Tears, crying, sorrow, pain
Fighting, fear, fighting, fear

Hope
Healing
Takes Guts
Gut-wrenching
truth TruTh TRUTH
Gut-wrenching
Takes Guts
Healing
Hope

Fighting, tears, overcoming fear,
Dare, growing, grief, heal

Laughter
While Dad sings and makes us laugh
Spattering paint in the basement
10 gallon bucket of possibilities
Sounds of sanders, sawdust, and creativity
Laughter

NaPoWriMo