my five great loves in five verses

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Photo by Xin on Unsplash

verse one — vergence of failed lineages

groping in darkness
finding us
solace in cursed woods

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Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

verse two — piercing grey eyes

escaping colors
we immersed
smearing our real worlds

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Photo by Juliette F on Unsplash

verse three — craving her grip

she lured me to realms
of too much
and of not enough

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Image by Lindsay Stewart from Pixabay

verse four — a different lingering vibe

just like a warm bath
she met me
where touch craved her most

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

verse five — our time in smiles

soft, yielding dancer
I held you
synched by our music


Originally posted on Medium by Barry Dawson IV for A Cornered Gurl.

She is…

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

She is…

a peace profile
in sepia tones and
cotton candy dreams.

She is of crescent moons
golden curves and
star shine reflected in
half-open eyes of
REM sleep
digesting another day
on the apex of praise
attention, and even parody;

a knowing eye-twinkle at rest;

grace under any light
lunar or lampoon;
luminous
even among blackened
new moon night;

She is earthshine;
a crest of coral ocean foam
only hinting at the volume
of her riches within;

of permanent afterglow
guiding her acolyte home.

She is of resting face, lines
curving down at the corners;

not a frown, but layered
determined peace; a portrait
of meditative resolve
smoothed upon a
capricious landscape.

She is a cosmos
unto herself
but even she has
her breaking point;

she greets me at her center,
with shoulders slumped;
her horizon curves
back onto me,

and I learn of the depths
of my own strength
holding heaven aloft
with only my two frail arms
and everything I am

The nature of things is that
I am and she is.

But often I am
because she is.

Occasionally I am
so that she is.
***

Blueberries for Reina

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Blueberries for Reina

I’ve never eaten a blueberry. I confess I didn’t follow my grandma’s golden rule; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. They look vile and undignified; like grapes that didn’t quite grape correctly. But my grandbaby is housing those things like they’re nature’s candy, leaving blue and violet streaks everywhere; a little Rembrandt. Every so often, she offers me one with compelling questions of “Uhn? Uhn?” hanging beneath our sun-streaked skylit afternoon. I politely sing, “No thank you!” which always gets a giggle from her before she crams nature’s mess artlessly into her tiny face. She’s more blueberry than toddler now. Maybe I should try one next time she offers.

sea of blue and green
bird chatter and child’s laughter
we breathe together

***

Reina, destroyer of blueberries, all cleaned up now, focused hard on play. (Image by author, used with permission.)

Orion’s Lament

Photo by Simon Godfrey on Unsplash

Orion’s Lament

She was the first breath of spring
puncturing a stubborn morning frost.

She was jazz blooming from blues,
she was sacred verse bursting from psalm.

She was unrefined snorts and belly-laughs;
she was knowing eyes that knew better.

She was a midnight pub-crawl;
she was of pre-dawn shared comfort food.

She was nothing imagined
and everything desired;
she was love’s bloom; a promise kept.

And I am the fool hunter
who grasped at her corona,
eternally driving her from my reach.
***

Yes, I’m still overdosing on Hamilton. I’d ask Wifey to intervene, but we’re on this bender together. I have no regrets.

I’m sure we’ll return to normal soon, but have you seen my country’s normal? I say, let’s take all the manufactured joy we can get.

Into Nothing

Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Into Nothing

A concession
less than you planned
is often framed at a glance
as better than
nothing,

as there is nothing less
than nothing.

As in an absence of sound
where a voice should be,

a musical measure
that halts
three beats
before the melody,

an expected reply
to a query of love
that is absent
unexpectedly.

Nothing is both
beginning and end
and it is often neither;

it is nowhere we want to be
and everywhere, inevitably;

a closed door left ajar;

no closure, just a far-off view
of horizon unchanging.

Nothing is not an answer we expect,
but often by not getting it
it’s the answer that we get.

Nothing is what she said
before leaving
after leaving I love you’s
scrawled in condensation
on our shared mirror
before evaporating
into nothing.

***

I know I said that I would be back to writing more frequently, but I wasn’t expecting to become addicted to the Hamilton musical on Disney+

Seriously guys, every waking hour has been spent watching Hamilton, obsessing over Hamilton, breaking down the amazingly dense lyrics to Hamilton, analyzing the musical motifs of Hamilton, watching YouTube videos of others who’ve been analyzing Hamilton, also watching reaction videos of Hamilton, learning the actual history of the real Alexander Hamilton, and well, you get the idea.

Truth be told, the Hamilton Era is the most entertaining of this global pandemic that has exposed my nation as a failed plague-state. It’s way better than the Tiger King Era, and it’s not even close. At-me at your own peril, but I promise, I have the receipts:

Anyway, yes, I’m still alive. Here’s a poem about nothing. Now I gotta get back to watching Hamilton. See you in a week or two.

Released

Image by Wilhan José Gomes wjgomes from Pixabay 

Released

It is a
terrible gestating  
within

a low, relentless
rumbling thunder
in the distance

deep within
the abysmal well
of its own gravity

roiling and boiling
over upon itself

causing tremors

suppressed with
a trembling will
peeling steel plating
from iron bones

unsealed
it tears itself
from diaphragm

all lung
trachea
phalanx and phlegm

behold as trembles
once secured by
butterflies

now transmuted  

shattering bedrock
to find fault in
fault lines

as timid heads flinch
and even the bold
cower in confusion

oh yes
that heaven-piercing howl
is my voice

it is mine

your inherited rights
those monolithic
brittle sensibilities
are yours

for now

steady yourself
or don’t

you and I are
well past decorum.
***

Sorry I’ve been away for so long, but the world is burning, and video games have been a mighty fine distraction from it all.

Self-care? Self-care.

My current game of choice has obviously been the Final Fantasy 7: Remake on PS4. I’ve already beaten the game, but hey, why not go for 100% completion?

I think I’m ready to face the world again. Thanks for your patience.

Bonus video, because I couldn’t settle on just one…

Waking, Now Armed with Butterfly Net

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Waking, Now Armed with Butterfly Net

remiss bliss
I bid you stay
with a kiss
you fall away

eyelids flick
bringing freely
sudden death

a dirty trick
filling me
with your breath

puncturing softly
with careless resourcefulness
only to leave me
aloft in forgetfulness

in shrouds
on the brink
skewing blue

the clouds
lip-gloss pink
reclaim you

when my bed
became the very ground
that we unsheathed blissfully

now my head
empties of every grounded
word you breathed into me

with you along this alluring path
boding replay
a wonderful blunder

and now it’s your reassuring laugh
floating away
leaving me to wonder

if I ever knew its sound
from our beginning
or if that beginning
ever truly began

though I felt you near, around
my heart was grinning
as if we were ginning-up
the tides that ran

in this pale dawn I stand
matter ceasing to exist
I reach for your hand
scattering it in pastel mist

along with your forearm
elbow, dress-sleeve
your promises and charm
lukewarm reprieve

less than I was anticipating
leaving only me
cotton-candy cloud dissipating
where your heart should be

I’ve searched and retraced
our dreamy sham
you saw and embraced
me as I am

as no other had
and had I not leaned
in for more of you
could our moment have transcended
this trick of light?

I find myself glad
and sad that fate careened
into our floral view
as my tongue was apprehended
in thick of night

the sun won’t even pretend
to keep a fair score
can’t recall or comprehend
your name anymore

or if you ever had one
a dream of a life in retreat
dew drops of you rise, undone
but for a hummingbird’s heartbeat

I feel that I wrote
countless poems
dedicated to your eyes
shining only for me

repealed to remote
soundless moans
desiccated in pink skies
a pining, lonely sea

we won’t grow
from what plans remain
succumbing to sea
as bright fields
yawning bliss

I don’t know
what you stand to gain
when coming for me
as night yields
to dawn’s kiss

I must beg you, play not
with sleep so breezily
for next time you may not
get off so easily
***

Monday’s Coming and We’re not Okay

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Monday’s Coming and We’re not Okay

Imagine a world
where property value,
tax-paid infrastructure,
the rule of law,

justice’s infuriatingly slow
machinations,

tact, decorum,
gold prices and golden manners,

collective peace-of-mind,
tranquility of greater-good,
and the easy flow of
status-quo traffic

and blissful return to
whatever we consider
our communal normal

were all more important

than the unconscionable
completely avoidable
death of your son,
or brother,
or father,
or lover.

Really imagine it though,
and feel free to sub-out
and imagine your daughter,
sister, or mother instead

murdered by the state;

I didn’t recommend it
because I’m no monster.

Now sit with that moment,
that overcooked despair
and rage as your civic institutions
tell you with a dismissive shrug

that his death was unavoidable,
his assailants, servants of the state
are good and normal in completing
the task of snuffing-out his light

and your reaction to his
completely avoidable death
is completely unreasonable and
lives as proof of the sole reason
why guys who look like him

 – and yes, who look like you too –

are routinely slaughtered by the
state-sanctioned violence
in the first place.

He’s never coming back,
his voice forever silenced

and there is no one
with leveraged power
to champion his cause,
to validate your grief,

nowhere to turn
to wring meaning from
your loss.

What would you do?
What is your next move?

Whatever you decide,
best be quick about it.

Monday’s coming,
and you’d better be on time
with a smile on your face
and a song in your heart.

Wouldn’t want to give anyone
within the superstructure
the wrong idea
that you’re angry or resentful

or one of those malcontents
out there
disrupting
the established order.
***

“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I borrowed these helpful links from https://tumblr.theblackout.org/

Donate/Boost/Sign:

Mental Health Resources:

  • Ethel’s Club – Black-owned and operated social club offering access to Black therapists and a multitude of creative events for People of Color. 
  • Crisis Text Line – A different approach to crisis intervention, Crisis Text Line offers you help when you text 741-741. You’ll be able to chat with someone who is willing to listen and provide you with additional resources.
  • Shine Text. – Black-owned! Sign up to receive cheerful texts and tips every day. 
  • Therapy For Black Girls – A Black-owned a directory to help you find Black therapists in your area. 

Tips for Organizing/Protesting:

Stay safe. Much love.

Coyote Azure

Photo by Hugo Kemmel on Unsplash

Coyote Azure

Trailing the golden hour
everyone craves and praises,
there’s another wondrous state;

a shade of blue found
only in nature,

in latitudes nearing the poles,
nearing summer solstice,

just beyond sunset,
just before night snaps shut,

just above shadowed tree line,
when the sky reflects only
what’s needed; apology,
forgiveness, promises vowed
and kept, secrets shared

with roosting songbird and stirring frog as
coyote announces dinner to her band;

other than sunlight’s brashness,
coyote azure is the only color
that is felt and heard
more than seen.

Today is cloudless and fair,
and I look forward to
hearing this evening’s colors.
***