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Poems

Some of the latest poems, from my blog.

A woman’s hands are the hands of God

(written for the Women’s March in Charleston, South Carolina) I am a feminist because our bodies are tattooed with the fingerprints of mother nature. I am a feminist because a woman’s hands hold the spirit of comfort the way the sun carries the burden of warmth. I am a feminist because my mother was with […]

the last word

one day, someone will write the last poem about injustice and it will become our new national anthem. only history books will hold the memory of hatred and museums will be built for the artifacts of our awakening. one day, someone will have the last conversation about politics because we realized there were problems that […]

beautiful.

the word “black,” by definition, means “the absence of light.” but I am much more than a shadow. yes, sometimes blackness is the darkness that haunts unenlightened minds and sometimes people talk about me as if I am a cold, night sky without the spark of a bonfire. but, being black, by definition, is luminary […]

Negative zero: a poem about fear

I look for pennies from heaven when my spirit’s balance is low. signs of secret treasures that reveal themselves even on roads that are paved with the dirt of depression. my hands have been held to the sky, cupping air like money, trying to fill my lungs with the wealth of the world so that […]

Seed

God help men’s eyes, who can look at a person and only see an object. Parts instead of a whole, a drop of water instead of an ocean. Women plant roots where men lay concrete. Communities of trees surround us. A forest of human growth, cut down with a single look. Maybe, because I’m married, […]

the pulse (part 2)

(spoken word poem. part two of the pulse) Charleston, where church steeples and cranes look over us and multi-colored houses house live-in servants. where fast-rising hotels rise above slow-moving clouds that cast floods on the corner of America Street. where parades of one color get one day to celebrate then hide in the shadows of […]

eclectic cafe, one week after poetry night

(from the tiny poems series) this time last week, the room had no echoes. silence was the night’s scorned lover as poetry spilled through each crack of the floorboards. each word painted the walls with dark hues, black love, bright light, the blues. this time last week, we were open to each other. wrapped in […]

Eight tiny poems about Charleston

A.C.’s   when the lights flash at 2a.m., every person in dimmed shadow becomes enlightened even though they are scrambling for another conversation with darkness and drama.     John L. Dart Library   the man at the pulpit says “I have faith that one day we will see her in the morning.” And I […]

… and we are the flawless

God took a selfie before the Big Bang and noticed the sadness in his eyes. Loneliness covered his face in darkness; depression awakened the need for light. Heaven was a tiny house with just enough room for God to meditate and dream of a universe devoid of vanity. Soon, space expanded from a single snapshot […]

Poem: “Mahogany”

Who decided to call us “black and white”? When I look at my skin, I don’t see black, I see brown. Brown. Like the color of sand, a brilliant tan that needs no sun. Brown, like the mahogany tree bark, grounded in the summer, whose green leaves make the transition into fall, coffee-stained by the […]

New poem – “greater than (or) equal to”

I was born the year our country celebrated its 200th birthday. Less than a decade from Martin Luther King Jr.’s assasination, 113 years after the emancipation proclimation. Here’s a bicentennial baby obsessed with numbers, released from his mother’s womb into a wounded society. He opened his eyes to a binary world where 0’s and 1’s […]

A poem about Charleston

I was blessed to be able to perform this poem at Lowcountry Local First’s Good Business Summit on August 27 at the Charleston Museum. Text is below. You can also hear my version with Quentin E. Baxter on iTunes. charleston, where the sidewalks scream on saturday nights and the corners rotate budding musicians with skin-tight […]

“circadian rhythms”

at ground zero of death, the voice of God will sound like an alarm clock, waking you up from a dream. you open your eyes and see yourself, not as a woman or man, but as a spirit who had been breathing in an illusion. on June 18, the voice of God sounded like an […]

Poem – “snapshot”

snapshot a fragmented frame holds the memory of a solid foundation. inside, rests a photo of two people. one – a woman whose bright red smile is the blood red beat of my heart’s muscle. who is centered in the frame perfectly in place, like the center of the earth’s core. the other – a […]

Poem: b r e a t h e

two words with two G’s spread hate like a disease the smoke is everywhere and i can’t breathe. it only took one arm to squeeze the life out of an unarmed man the only thing in his hands were the lifelines embedded on his palms, now we stand on the front lines singing songs of […]

Poem: “CODE.”

If I write lines of poems like I write lines of code, no comma would be out of place and every quotation mark left open would throw the whole piece off center. Maybe coding is, in fact, poetry. Maybe life is, in fact, poetry and we are the result of a Universal code where X’s […]

Poem: “the running river”

the river never broke a sweat. it went for miles around us, running in place in search of a silent moon. the darkness was her perfect partner, leading them all to the finish line, where the morning threw its hands up as the winner of the race. we stood on the sidelines, rooting for time […]

Poem: Brother Denmark

(about Denmark Vesey) the history books tell us that you won your freedom when you won the lottery, but freedom isn’t something you win – freedom is a birthright. freedom is as seamless as your name, even when it was changed by a captain who claimed to control the sea. But God is the only […]

Poem: Out of Breath

how do we start when the finish line doesn’t exist, when our mind tells us to move but our legs are reluctant to crawl, much less sprint toward expression. how do we run through silence if meditation is our preferred marathon? should we worry when lines of paper are not lines of a racetrack, even […]

Poem: The stranger is you

it will all come to this. a weary traveler arrives at your door and quietly makes himself at home. even though he may not be welcome, he finds his way inside and puts pictures of your life in the living room. each frame is a forgotten memory, each version of you looks good in the […]

The Pecha Kucha poem

  the new foundation I. every moment that you are alive is the only moment that matters. the past is a glass house and we throw stones trying to shatter walls that need to come down. we are all architects of negativity – brick by brick of bold thoughts holding together bodies bound by blood […]