Ekphrasis 1 (NaPoMo #3)

April 6, 2016


open-mouthed sky
speaking over water

lightning punctuation

sun cowers in corner
while zeus corrects poseidon

Picture source

Sisters mine, beloveds
those bones are not my child.
I am a woman at point zero;
The wind done gone
into a dark alliance
forged from the devil’s pulpit.

Daughters of the Sun, Women of the Moon
a mercy, please.
Let’s make dust tracks
and leave the dilemma of this ghost
to those who live in a city so grand..
Those bones are not my child.

Word of mouth spread
among the not-so-little women
with no technical difficulties.
The blues people, midwives
to a people’s history,
who believed horses
make a landscape look more beautiful,
shed petals of blood
as they walked on fire
to grieve
in a land without thunder.



Book titles used in this piece:

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Beloved and A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Those Bones are not my Child by Toni Cade Bambara

Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

Unburnable by Marie-Elena John

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

Dark Alliance by Gary Webb

From the Devil’s Pulpit by John Agard

Daughters of the Sun, Women of the Moon, ed. Ann Wallace

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

Dilemma of a Ghost by Ama Ata Aidoo  

A City So Grand by Stephen Puleo

Word of Mouth: Poems Featured on NPR’s All Things Considered

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Technical Difficulties by June Jordan

Blues People by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful by Alice Walker

Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance, ed. Beverly Bell

Land without Thunder by Grace Ogot

Every year when April approaches, I find myself getting all skittery about it because since I found out about it, I have never been able to write a poem for every single day of the month. But I keep trying. The poet in me demands it. So here I am again, April 1st starting the game all over again.

This is my first piece of the month:

An Architect’s Tale

A dream
held since childhood
to see a building form
from flat paper
to a structure
that houses workers
and the engine
that pushes them.

I set to out wonder the Sphinx.
Cloaked in meekness
low-heeled shoes
and glasses
(clara, not clark, kent)
I battered battalion-like rungs
to get a building
that was mine
all mine.

But the wind and its cohorts
levelled the dream, the building
in a matter of minutes
and sent me, (clara, not clark kent)
scurrying to an ancient cave
where the only thing to build
was a fire.

I built that fire
until it consumed everything
including me.