Posts for June 5, 2020 (page 2)


Silence Is a Killer

Silence is a killer
I won’t be silent
 People are being murdered 
The streets are full of smoke
 And there are tanks in the small towns that surround me
Police brutality is overflowing

Missing people
 Gates surrounding the White House 
Protecting the greasy orange hatred inside
An old man bleeds out of his ear
 It’s announced that “he’s leaking”

Shards of glass fill my dreams
And cardboard signs 
Pile up

 The Washington mayor is my favorite
 Send your letters to the White House at
1600 Black Lives Matter Plaza 

Your voice is a weapon right now
and It’s the only one our country has




She is six years old and so sweet and smart and,
“Do people just keep going?”

I stare. Fidget. Smile.

“Well,” I say
Slower than anyone has ever said,
In their entire lives,
Buying time because why
Is she asking me
About death?
I’ve never been dead before
And I’m new at this motherhood thing if you want to know and as a matter of fact

I really feel like there should have been more pamphlets
At the hospital

I close my eyes and smooth her hair

Maybe she will think I have gone to sleep.

“Do people just keep going? Do babies just keep getting born?”

Inhale. Exhale.
My mistake.
Is a question about life.

I smooth her hair with my eyes open.

This question is easy.

“Yes my honey.” I sigh a smile, 

“We do. People just go on.”



“the a.a.r.p.
is thugs. is sleeper cell” if
you wake wearing blue

i promise not not
to kill you once rights are tased
marching to new songs

every drum broken
like skull like skin like living
(just thinking aloud)

(happy birthday bre)
i beg for your forgiveness
our cities still stand

we morning run we
write poems for fun, prestige 
we tweet and hunt likes

our clean hands burning
with purell and privilege
backspace and wite-out

not once have i rinsed
pepperspray from a poem
(the milk’s for coffee)

im not a violent 
person but i promise right
now to do better.



I look upon the water
listening to
longing insect calls.
The sunset’s glint
reflected across
the mirrored surface
before me,
and I consider the trees
lending their shade,
stories embedded
within each growth ring.

Us humans are hurried
in our short years,
but the deep roots
of those trees
tell tales
through the centuries
of new ideas
and political debates –
their branches
reaching skyward
forever growing,
their only goal
to keep on,
something we

We could learn
so much if we
slowed down
to watch the ripples
formed by a fish
catching dinner
grow over
the water,
breaking up
images of clouds
drifting along the sky,
or the way the
dragonfly doesn’t
stop mid-flight
to see himself
atop the equisetum –
there’s no time
for vanity.

We could learn
so much if we
the way the
world turns
at sunset
and trees
and hillsides
all stretched
out before us,
showing us
up close
don’t always fit
into the palm
of your hand.



It’s 6 am
and sadness hits.
one memory
with another
in a domino effect.
with deaths
with lost friends
with loneliness.
I miss the comfort,
the electricity,
of a live band
and hundreds
of bodies moving
in sync.
I turn my stereo
to max
but it doesn’t
replace the
of the bass drum
in my chest.
So I cry instead.


Strawberry Moon

The moon glided
fire warm
over the planes of his face.
He turned,
saw me.
Did you know wild strawberries are edible?
And held one out to me with a smile.
I ate it
and let him taste it from my mouth. 


The Creek Is in a Frenzy

The creek is in a frenzy
all those heavy rain drops
free falling from the sky
muddy water on the rise

How heavy the sky was
before it opened up and rained
stirring up all that creek water
into an electric current rush

The sky wrung itself out
not happy with the quiet lullaby
wanting chaos in the creek
pushing stones, yanking at roots

The creek is not singing today
it is a free fall frenzy
commanding stones to move
in ordered chaos



Lemongrass foliage in terracotta
pots looking like prayer plants
on my back porch.  Respite
is over.  Time to arise with
a sprinkling of love.  Descending
like a dove, God’s Holy Spirit
rains down on those who believe.


This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I can remember every precious thing I’ve broken:
a blue and white vase, shattered by a ball that
my brother might have thrown, or me. Perhaps
it was a Bonge piece; perhaps that would explain
my mother’s tears while I fixed myself to the black
and white checkered floor, jelly-armed, refusing
to let myself be put in time out, in full faculty
of the way children can make themselves go,
like ants, ten times heavier than their own weight.
And as a careless twenty-such, I didn’t know to turn
the heater on in the sunroom to keep my grandmother’s plants
warm during a freeze. The next morning, her jade
trees limp and watery. The bird of paradise with its long neck
draped across the floor in death. Was this something someone
should have told me, or something I should have known?
And this evening, while packing, in a cabinet I found
several cutting boards I deemed too precious for use;
wedding presents. One a checkerboard of inlaid wood.
The other half marble slab, half live edge. When did
I tell myself these things were too good for me,
and my everyday everydayness? When did I start
believing I could get along fine with the splintering
bamboo board that comes apart a little more
with each use; that I’d wait for a special occasion.
I think of the multitudes of china sets, waiting
in boxes or glass curios; so precious we can
hardly touch them, so we keep them far from us.


How the world has changed

How the world has changed

The pandemic started somewhere.
That in itself is not only the give all,
but the get all.

Yellow fever wiped out the Chowning
clan, my family in Livingston, Tennessee.
In researching my maternal great

grandmother’s grandfather, I found that
bit of history, not lore, or oral tradition.
This poem is not just a rendition

of one pandemic from the past,
but is our present.
The poet, Billy Collins’ understanding

of how the world has changed,
for you, for me,
for all the world is simply words:

“So I’m 79 years old. And it sounds insane
to say that, but it’s the truth, and I’m pretty
sure if I caught it, it would kill me.

And Suzannah shares that view.
So she’s pretty willful
about keeping me in the house.”