In Their Skin

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Photo: Keith Luke on Unsplash

 

Eons had passed

Since when they had

Their skins

Stolen

By man.

 

They learned to love

The life they had

Yet dreams

Cried hope

Aground.

 

Till secrets told

By men at night

Got heard

And sang

Around.

 

And off they went

The selkie all

Safe in

Their skin,

Unbound.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge: Selkie

 

 

Hearts’ Hum

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Photo: Koshu Kunii on unsplash

 

No humdrum moment.

No silent pause

Or rest.

The tempo of the chanting

Rises

As crowds flow

And crest.

 

They march to call

The winds

Of change

To come,

And heed the soul

As hearts’ pain

Hums

And drums

The need for

Better times.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: drum

 

 

 

The Street

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Photo: Robert Almonte on Unsplash

 

 

The night is not as I’d expected it to be.

The sirens are silent. The windows dark. The very air seems still.

It had been a close call. Too close, almost.

I glance at Malachi. He returns a tremulous shrug.

“Will we be alright?” I ask. I didn’t mean to say it out loud, but the words could not stay in. The sound — although barely above a whisper — boomerangs in my chest.

“We might be,” he mouths.

At least I think he does. I cannot hear much above my heartbeat thundering in my ears. Everything inside me feels tight. I don’t remember being so unnerved. Not since. You know. The other time.

“Will they return?” Fear dries my mouth.

“Who knows.”

We reach the corner and separate. The night breaths as I hurry home and we go in different directions down the imperturbable street.

 

 

 

For the dVerse prosery challenge

Prosery prompt: “We go in different directions down the imperturbable street” (from the poem “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire” by Gwendolyn Brooks)

 

 

Slip From Grip

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Enslaved persons cutting sugar cane on the Island of Antigua, 1823, (The British Library)

 

 

She fed them well so

They would

Sleep,

And silently

She gave the slip,

To all she knew

Yet did not sweep

Away the bite

Of whip.

She fled,

So the child in

Her belly’s keep,

Would not writhe, helpless,

In another person’s

Grip.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: slip

(Note: Dedicated to all who suffered and still suffer under the yoke of injustice, discrimination, racism, and pretense. We can do better than this. We must do better than this.)

 

 

 

 

If It Ain’t Broke

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Photo: Will Malott on Unsplash

 

She refused to budge

Or borrow.

She would not allow herself

The slightest

Reach.

“If it ain’t broke,” she said,

Hiding sorrow –

Holding on to life

In tatters

Yet refusing to

Give in even

A stitch –

“There is no need to seek

A fix.”

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Fix

 

 

The Footprints Of Her Years

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Photo: Louisa Potter on Unsplash

 

 

She spilled

A trail of tears

Along the footprints of

Her years.

 

At first she was the

Princess.

The apple of her parents’

Eyes.

Half-grown, she had become

The Black Beauty

Sitting on the class’s

Throne.

 

When she first met him,

He was her wizard.

Jacob

Of the dazzling blue eyes.

 

They all followed him

Like cattle.

She swooned

Into his charm.

Into what she believed to be

His tender and true

Heart.

 

But her prince charming

Turned into

The Czar

Who wielded

A sharp tongue like a

Purple sword.

Who called her

Drab.

Unlovable.

A lazy housewife.

 

With her

No longer his

Purple queen,

He left in search of

Better.

Found his golden acre.

 

 

And she,

In tears of ice

Wept storms,

As blue fire

Drew Aurora Borealis

Across her broken heart.

 

 

 

For dVerse poetics

 

 

Silly Billy

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Photo: Smadar Epshtein

 

Silly Billy was too chilly

So he too a little nap.

Silly Billy did not really

Think it would cause him mishap.

 

Frilly Tilly woke him shrilly

And with very little slack,

Sent him home and told poor Billy

That he isn’t welcome back.

 

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: silly

Note: I find this photo too delightful to use only once… So if you think you’d seen it before, you are not imagining things …  🙂

 

Central Park, New York City

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Where waters tide

‘Round canyons

Carved by time

And ice,

Other canyons

Rise

Man-made

To tickle skies.

 

Where greenery

Respite to

Millions

Provides,

Sleep memories

Of others

Who used to there

Reside.

 

Where footfalls mask

The horns of cars

And rustles hold

More sway,

There breathes the city

That like me

Many call home

Today.

 

 

 

For the dVerse challenge: take me with you

 

 

 

Her Heart Be Known

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Photo: alexandra lammerink on Unsplash

 

She did not know how

To have her heart

Be known,

Other than to

Let her spirit

Be flush with

Hope,

And to allow her

Soul to

Blush bright

With the

Intent,

Even if

Her words paused,

Timid,

From the moment

She’d left

Home.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: flush

 

 

The Order

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Photo: Linn W on Unsplash

 

She’ll refuse, for she must,

The order

To adjust.

She will hold up the laws

And go forth

Just because.

She will not, not today,

Bow to cults

Or obey.

She’ll refuse, for she must,

In her own heart

Have trust.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge: Order