National Poetry Month, Part One

Today begins national poetry month. I offered my readers the opportunity to have their favorite poems featured here. Their poem of choice could either be written by them or one of their favorite authors in the public domain. Here are the poems.

“THE” First Story
by Kavita

She was pretty as can be
With soul sweet as cake
But she loved to be free
And rules she had to break

She was asked not to touch
The tree that bore the fruit
But her heart was racing much
And longed to grab this loot

She gaily walked and picked
This sumptuous mass of red
Her smiling lips she licked
Feeling contented and fed

But the deed now was done
The can of worms unleashed
And although she had fun
For this, she had not wished

Haven, it was no more
Instead, a world of dread
Greed seeded in the core
Wrapped in green hatred

This apple, so disarming
Who knew it was just bait
Alluring and charming
That it held a whole new fate

The Moon And The Stars Are Free
by Jamie Dedes

Why do I write this in ink so black
it melts the pages of my journey?

It is a peaceful night here.
The stars are tossed across a
clear, dark velvet sky like the
garden fairies dancing at dusk.
The moonlight reaches down
to embrace me in its silver light,
its touch delicate as a whisper.

What of you, dear brother?
And what of you, dear sister?
Are they free by you …
the moon and the stars?
Is the night sky at peace?
My ink burns to bone and
melts the pages of my journey
for you …
- who were born of violence
- who were born into violence.
Your pain and your losses are
not mandated by any god.
The murders, the maiming, the
hunger, homelessness, loneliness …
the disenfranchisement: man made.

Why do I write this in ink so black
it melts the pages of my journey?
Because I fear, because I know
my fragile, cherished kin, I KNOW -
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!*
- for what we have done
- what we have not done
- we are culpable.

I’m OK
by Toladee

As I sit here alone 15 years old, wondering
“what am I going to do?” although my life has not begun
for this seed in my womb life is anew.
Should I cry and wail out “WHY ME”
Or sit calmly unseen, unheard as the water
From the depth of my soul stream down my face
Or should I whisper I’m OK

Should I look up to the clouds close my eyes and pray
should I be still on this bench wallow in sorrow because for now that’s the only way
Or should I whisper I’m OK
And for all those who pass by and see this young sis in solemn despair
With such stress in her face trying to hold back tears with such passion it seems as though she is gasping for air
And you wonder “is she OK”

And when I see the pity in their eyes
I say to myself “Stand up girl, Stand up tall don’t let them see you cry”
One day you’ll be his boss, her boss, his loving wife, her compassionate friend
And no longer shall you whisper “I’m OK”
You will YELL it, SCREAM it, BELIEVE it and mean it
And when they see you years later look at you, squint and remember that lonely little black girl
With a swollen belly fighting back tears
They will say “Blessed be…. She’s OK

The Scent Of A Woman
by Tom Baker

Part and partake
Inhale the fragrance
Taste of the honey
Touch the juicy nectar’s goodness

Spread to make room
The buds are arriving
Your forest, cleared
For the planting of my seed

From under the hood
Peeks your deepest sensitivity
Liquid sheen tastes of sweat, glistening sweet
Between the soft folds

Lies the fountain of youth

White Girl, Black Girl
by Arletta Dawdy

On that first Sunday, Annie dressed in green plaid,
With Peter Pan collar, shoes, and purse all white.
Curly golden hair streamed down her back,
While her blue eyes tried to hide her fright.
It took three buses to cross the town,
Until, at last, she saw St. Mark’s steeple,
In a neighborhood of worn-out mansions and left-behind people.
Tawny browns and ebony blacks, mahogany and coffee-laced-with-milk
Were some of the colors meeting her at the church door.
In satins and silks or cotton worn thin,
Big-hatted women and crisp-suited men were all going in.
Children nudged and pointed at Annie, until stilled by a command.
Heavenly light showered down from stained glass
To scatter more color across each yearning face.
Thundering piano and joyful choir sang of Grace.
There, at the sanctuary door, Annie heard Mrs. James demand,
“How come you to hire that white teacher?
It’s my turn to lead our summer session.
‘Sides, we’s a black church now, Preacher!”
His answer came as he caught Annie’s eye,
“Like I’ve been saying for months now,
White folks are fleeing,
Black folks are seething,
When it should all be about believing!”
Annie slid into a pew nearby and studied the program without really seeing.
What have I done?
What a horrible blunder!
I don’t belong, I don’t fit in.
I’ve never had a close Negro friend.
I never marched against the drum to plead freedom for anyone.
I know we’re equal but I don’t know much more.
Nothing of race or culture or custom.
Little of strife or poverty or shame.
My family came first cabin from across the sea,
Not as plunder or property.

What can I do here, a college girl, and a white one at that?
I know the church and the Bible pretty well.
I can lead songs and follow the lesson, offer up prayers,
And even wipe a child’s tears
But of life, I know so little.
Lost in reverie, Annie’s soul began to stir to rhythms surrounding her.
Song vibrated from wall to wall, people began to shout their Amens.
Her spirits lifted as Annie sang out, and looked at her neighbors.
In God united they stood and swayed to the beat of a belief understood.
Grasping hands across the aisles, prejudice and fear were set aside.
Here was a place, a people and a task
Where Annie would do as good as she was asked.

Shower
by Charlotte De Guzman

The rain is falling.
Drip-a-dropping,
It came calling.

Slowly skidding down
Window panes,
With a mournful frown
Listening to my pain.

It came sullen;
Needle sharp, downtrodden.

Flowing waters gushed.
Sordid stories rushed.
The rain fell with a crash!

Bringing …
Tales of thunder and storms!
Livid lightnings and fiery winds were born!
They relentlessly … moaned …,

“love found
love lost
love bought
at all cost
love-lust
to love-dust
from love’s bliss
and love’s kiss
to love scorned
and love forlorn.”

Tippity-
tap, tippity     -tap
Memories I chose
not to … find
Roared into my mind.
And the rain is coming
Drip-
a-
dropping
My tears
are
falling.

Nevermore
by Nish

The rainbow lights had faded,
The starry night was dark,
And as she gazed around her,
The world had lost it’s spark.

The laughter that he gave her,
That smile she knew so well,
Was nothing but a memory,
In which she could not dwell.

When had the sun stopped shinning?
And the stars come crashing down?
How could he think to leave her?
When life in him she’d found.

And as she sat in darkness,
No light could e’er erase,
The only thing she needed,
Was his loving warm embrace.

Yet as the daylight faded,
And the world turned cold and dark,
His arms had lost their warmth,
His eyes their loving spark.

That moment cruel and painful,
Her world had ceased to spin,
When breath had left his body,
She’d died herself within.

How could she tell his daughter,
Of a man she’d never know,
What answers would she give her,
Of life’s most crushing blow.

One moments careless laughter,
One persons sad mistake,
Had robbed her of her future,
With destruction in its wake.

And as she picked the pieces,
Of the life she used to know,
She faced the cruel and painful truth,
She’d see him nevermore….

The Pain…
by Karina Sparks

Falling in love is no regret.
But letting the person go, you should regret.
A chance at love is a risk worth taking

Finding someone again like that is not possible
You both should’ve known you would have trouble
But letting it each other go like this, is disappointing.

You both will suffer now
You both will pay the consequences

But one will only run away
One will cry, the other will hide
You will have a broken heart, the other will have no heart at all.
One will scream of pain, the other will leave far far away.

 

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  1. #1 by Cherlyn on April 7, 2011 - 10:29 AM

    Sorry for the delay, but at least I made it over here :). A great selection of poems! Thank you for sharing them with us – happy poetry month!

    • #2 by Tom Baker on April 25, 2011 - 11:42 AM

      Happy poetry month (even though it’s almost over), and better late than not at all!

  2. #3 by Seth Winternight on April 1, 2011 - 5:13 PM

    Interesting poems good sir! It’s been a while.

    • #4 by Tom Baker on April 25, 2011 - 11:41 AM

      It has been awhile but I am glad to see you still drop in every now and then. Take care Seth.

  3. #5 by Melinda on April 1, 2011 - 5:06 PM

    What a heartbreaking and touching collection of poetry. Happy Poetry month Tom! :)

    • #6 by Tom Baker on April 25, 2011 - 11:40 AM

      Thanks Melinda. I am glad you enjoyed them.

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