Magnolia Flowers- Langston Hughes

This poem was featured in a book that I picked up earlier this year in one of my favorite bookstores in New Orleans. I wanted to share a Hughes pieces that I wasn’t familiar with but something evocative of his work and this poem jumped out at me. Magnolias are one of my favorite flowers and in this corner of North Carolina they dot the landscape. As I read through this poem, I was enthralled by the juxtaposition of the ugliness and the beauty of magnolias.

flowers spring magnolia white flower

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

The quiet fading out of life

In a corner full of ugliness.

I went lookin’ for magnolia flowers

But I didn’t find ’em.

I went lookin’ for magnolia flowers in the dusk

And there was only this corner

Full of ugliness.

‘Scuse me,

I didn’t mean to stump ma toe on you, lady.

There ought to be magnolias

Somewhere in this dusk.

‘Scuse me,

I didn’t mean to stump ma toe on you.

Advertisements

Who Said It Was So Simple -Audre Lorde

I selected this Audre Lorde poem because I love the title. It reminds me of being young, and a younger adult when I was trying to figure out which version of me was the real one. What I love about the poem itself, is the way she layers in the experiences and imagery making sure that the reader understands the complexities that cloud the poem.  I also love that it catalogues a period in American history and provides a glimpse int the time. In light of today being America’s Independence Day, I wanted to share something that touched on the idea of liberation. Even if only in passing.

green tree photo

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

 

 

 

There are so many roots to the tree of anger

that sometimes the branches shatter

before they bear.

 

Sitting in Nedicks

the women rally before they march

discussing the problematic girls

they hire to make them free.

An almost white counterman passes

a waiting brother to serve them first

and the ladies neither notice nor reject

the slighter pleasures of their slavery.

But I who am bound by my mirror

as well as my bed

see causes in colour

as well as sex

 

and sit here wondering

which me will survive

all these liberations.

Won’t You Celebrate with Me-Lucille Clifton

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite poets, and although she is no longer here, we should still celebrate her life. I am so grateful for her life and words; in many ways, Lucille Clifton is one of the reasons that I continue to write. Her works resonate through me and I am always inspired by her. I have decided that my next poetry purchase will have to involve her work.

Enjoy!

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Stages of Regret

I finished this earlier today. It’s a piece that I’ve been struggling on for several months. It’s something that popped up and I felt compelled to start working on. This morning, I stumbled across it and decided to go ahead and work on it. I will probably go back to it and work on it more to fill it out a bit. I would like to make the format more uniform and possibly inject more imagery. But this rough version is very honest and sharp.

As always, enjoy!

female beside on plants

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

I’m trying not to regret it
That first step towards you,
the smile, passing you my number
Wishing that I didn’t want to burn you from my memory
The way I burned old diary pages
Lamenting our love
I’m trying to pretend that this has been a learning experience
Like it’s as valuable as all those degrees
When I really just want to rewind time
And walk away at your first words
I’m trying to remember all of the good things
Not the tears, years and emotion
That we’ve put each other through
Like we were magnets drawn to one another
I wish that I regretted every moment
But the grown up version of me
Chooses to simply think of it as you sharpening me as steel sharpens steel

Amid the Roses- Alice Dunbar Nelson

Given the heat and summer, I felt that sharing this poem by Alice Dunbar Nelson would be perfect to share. As I sit here, I can smell my grandmother’s rose bushes and the current heat that we’re experiencing in North Carolina feels as though Satan is peering through all of my windows so this poem felt totally appropriate for me.

Hopefully, you’re all staying cool.

pink petal flowers in shallow focus photography

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

There is tropical warmth and languorous life
Where the roses lie
In a tempting drift
Of pink and red and golden light
Untouched as yet by the pruning knife.
And the still, warm life of the roses fair
That whisper “Come,”
With promises
Of sweet caresses, close and pure
Has a thorny whiff in the perfumed air.
There are thorns and love in the roses’ bed,
And Satan too
Must linger there;
So Satan’s wiles and the conscience stings,
Must now abide—the roses are dead.

Holy Sonnets:Death, be not Proud-John Donne

It’s Sunday and I am feeling spiritual so I thought that I’d share one of poet John Donne’s Holy Sonnets. As a poet, I have a special affinity(and disdain) for sonnets. The disdain is probably because I associate them with The Bard but I respect them because I have difficulty composing my own.  Regardless of my feelings, I love the beauty of the form and was delighted to share one with you this weekend. This sonnet was one of the first of Donne’s Holy Sonnets to catch my attention. In my defense, I was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II yesterday and got caught up in Harry bravely speaking to his parents, Sirius and Remus. I think that’s why this one captivated me.

As always, enjoy!

birds cloud fog gloom

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

 

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

A Love Song-William Carlos Williams

This poem is so full of color that I thought it would be perfect to share today. I hope that it brightens up someone’s Monday.

As always, enjoy!

woman in yellow and blue dress lying on a grass field

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I lie here thinking of you:—

 

the stain of love

is upon the world!

Yellow, yellow, yellow

it eats into the leaves,

smears with saffron

the horned branches that lean

heavily

against a smooth purple sky!

There is no light

only a honey-thick stain

that drips from leaf to leaf

and limb to limb

spoiling the colors

of the whole world—

 

you far off there under

the wine-red selvage of the west!