Evening, morning, music, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences, Soul, Spirit, the color of moments

NaPoWriMo Day Two: Thus Sprake Us

NaPoWriMo Day 2: The prompt for Day Two was to play with voice.  Suggestions were to use an already written poem and change the content to match the perspective (a cool exercise). I chose to write a new poem, from the perspective of a friendship.  In this poem I imagine that the “friendship” is an individual member, distinct from the two people that form the union. And, in it’s naming of what exists between the two friends, it also names it’s unique identity.  The voice is based on a real, dear, and unique friendship of mine that spans the Atlantic Ocean. My friend, a fellow poet, penned the this poem’s title.

The lilt of an ancient tune hums and hems them together

A welsh

An Irish limerick, writ on volcanic mountains and highland fog and weather

Sea-water whipped eye lids blink out over an ocean 

Thought-gulfs stream and circle to reach him to reach her

These two

I am the thing between these two

Affectionate tempestuous muse

The teasing lilt of an ancient tune

I am the poem at dawn pregnant with daylight

I am the love line written at half past nine

I am the honesty wrought from hours of talking and wine

I am the bit of tobacco shred that sticks to his lower lip and is spit

I am the honest gritty ground where it lands

I am the shoe he saw on the subway and thought she’d think something of it

I am the crack of her smile and the bric and bric musical style of his voice

The lilt of an ancient tune hums and hems them together

I am the modern buzz and bustle of the world that made the poem between them possible, buzzing to reach him to reach her

These two

I am the thing that’s risen between them

Atonement, creative non-fiction, Growth, Healing, Heartbreak, Human rights, jesus, Kairos, Personal Experiences, Soul, Spirit, the color of moments

Loose Impressions Listening to Story Corps and, I don’t know what to do with this ache

“Francine Anderson grew up in rural Virginia during the 1950s. It was the Jim Crow South and “Whites Only” signs punctuated the windows of many businesses. Francine came to StoryCorps to talk about one night when she became aware of what those signs meant for her family.

“We were traveling with my father in a car late at night. And there’s a road that was long and dark. And my father did what no black man at the time was supposed to do, is he allowed his car to run out of gas.

He ended up pushing the car, and the only place he could get to was a white truck stop with “White Only” signs up. And he went up to the door and he just knocked at it. And a guy came up, he said, ’What are you doing Negro, get away from here. Can’t you read?’ And my dad, he took his hat and held it in his hand trying to make himself kind of small, ‘cause he was kind of a tall man. And he said to the guy, um, ’I see your sign sir. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to disturb you or your business. I’ve just got my young kids in the car. Can I just buy a couple of gallons of gas?’ And the guy said, ’I don’t deal with your kind.’ And he stepped back and he slammed the door.

And I saw my dad turn and walk back to the car. And I knew that my dad was afraid. And he got in the car and I can remember asking him questions: ’Why can’t we go? Why won’t he give us any gas?’ And he wasn’t answering. It occurred to me as a little kid, we’re in real trouble.

And then the door to the place opened and another man came out. And, uh, my dad stiffened up and this guy got to the passenger window and said, ’I don’t know what’s wrong with that guy. I’m going to go get you some gas, ok?’ I remember my dad was real grateful and saying, ’Let me give you these few dollars.’ And the guy would say, ’No, no, it’s okay.’

And I guess I felt ashamed at that moment for my dad, you know. Not because he’d done anything wrong but because I felt like he had been made smaller in my eyes as a child.

But now when I talk to people about that story, if I talk to whites about that story, they focus on the man and how kind he was. And he was kind. But at the same time when I talk to blacks about that story they’re more focused on the fact that it wasn’t illegal for him to deny us gas. That was the law of the land. And had my dad been defiant, that’s a risk was that you could be killed speaking up for yourself. So it’s the first time that I realized that there was real danger there. I was five years old.”


You just read the transcripts of a story told by Francine Anderson who told her story for NPR’s Story Corps  

You can listen to the audio here: https://storycorps.org/embed/86988/

I’m feeling a lot of hate.. and ache.

It feels like it belongs and doesn’t belong in my body.

I feel it moving within me, graceful, fluid, like a dancer underwater–it twists, and turns, and poses–pressing and extending outward.

It’s a particularly keen kind of hate.

Like the deep tilts of love, it takes my breath from me.

As I listen to this story my imagination unfolds the scene.

I see a father, stranded on a gravel road in a back wood. He and his family are out of gas. His children are in the back seat. Their eyes are bright with questioning. Like most children, they are expectant that their father will amend the situation.  In that moment, they are unaware of their keen vulnerability.  I see this father walk to a nearby sundry shop that sells gas and milk. He needs to buy a little gas to get his family home. On the outside of the store a wooden sign is slung from an open window and says,

“White Only”.

The man from inside the store not only denies the father the opportunity to buy the gas, but he shoos the father away like a dog, in vulgar spats.

It’s the kind of hate that aches for the man and his family. It aches for the miles he’s walked and the muscles he’s worked to push the silenced car. It aches for the sweat on his face and his humanity that is rendered inhuman, daily, in the eyes of others.  It aches for his loss of control. There are over 31 million seconds in year. And if you think of this one particular moment, and the millions like it that occurred in the 31 million seconds of every year of our country, well–it begins to tear at the fabric of our imagination… and at our nation’s soul.

It aches to lash out at the kind of humans who sling signs that say,

“White Only”

It raises in plumes–this body of hate like a dancer underwater, now, stretching and posing, now tangled in silk.

My eyes burn.

I don’t know what to do with this ache.

creative non-fiction, Grace, Growth, NaPoWriMo 2017, Personal Experiences, Spirit, the color of moments

Sunday Mukhwas

Pink and green and white

Carnation colored fennel candy

Sugar rock crystals and dried rose petals

Peppermint oil and anise seeds, spilling spice

A bowl full of holy aroma

An altar for the time


Warm and waiting

Dive in

Scoop up and make an offering

Put palm to mouth in prayer

Sweet, the crunch

The crush of the teeth

Seeds and color

Little worlds release and fill me

Spirit spreads warmth

Tongue is blessed

Mouth smiles

A mended afternoon