Posts Categorized: Poems and Such

One moment, two versions

1. the experience, as a free-write dictation in December 2015

5 am sunrise in Napier:

The horizon flips to keep the night sky in the ocean. The sorbet lining between shades of blue. Birds chattering like 50 alarm clocks sounding at once, overlapped and enthusiastic. Dawn is so far underway that only one star/planet is visible despite my strained search of the clear sky. Two. I thought the first was an airplane. One in the east, one directly opposite in the west. The east star looks like two linked together, which I vaguely remember from either the Sydney observatory or my friend’s telescope.

The dark red amber transitions to gold, revealing a ship in the distance. It’s just the birds, ocean, trees and pathway, and myself. This is my morning ice cream, crisp to the touch. A bicyclist chirps “Morning!” as he passes in a whip of wind.

An enormous log lay beached on the sand. Did the ocean toil all night to birth you there? The waves gently lap and kiss you, to bid farewell after a tumultuous separation.

Gold brightens further to yellow. The clouded horizon softens and blurs, the cloud wisps above sharpen in contrast, cotton candy striped in orange-pink-blue. Impatiently patient. The log is a prehistoric jaw curved upward with a great warthog tooth.

The west planet now barely detected; the eastward sisters shine through bubblegum candy floss. Another greeter of dawn walks the footpath. My form is further exposed in the light: bare feet shoved into untied shoes, baggy pajama pants, ski coat, haphazard scarf. My wild nest of hair untouched by smoothing eyes or fingers after the pillow worked her night shift.

Bubblegum taffy evolves to neon orange, soft cotton of the baby blue blanket further beyond. The horizon light pales, stripping itself of depth and character. The whiteness/witness of the pastel yellow bores. Yawn. How ordinary.

I am a mountain on these black pebbles. Firmly planted and aligned, growing every breath. Tall with light and energy, casting shadows around my periphery. The she-ocean crashed along my toes, tickling to entice me away from my foothold. The foamy sirens eager and clambering for their mother to take me for herself.

A red belly grows behind the skirt of smog, the glowing orb pushing its way up from the golden-lit water at the extreme edge of the earth’s end. Then it’s lost again in thick congestion. The neon cotton bleached white in the wake of approaching sun, paled and perhaps by fear or apprehension, or cowering in reverence.

Ah, this is the bulbous glow that stretches now beyond the reflected windows, over the deco rooftops. A concentrated light forms backstage, ready for the 5-minute call.

The clouds deceived. Morning glow emerges as a surprise, catching the earthly circle off guard. The radiance is all colors at once, so intense only short glances will keep your irises intact. What a grand entrance. Swift and steadily, as if the pulleys were freshly tested and mended for this grand spectacle. Hello, Sun. Good morning. Your rays push blush to my face, carve contours on my outer layers. It won’t be long now, for you to suspend for another seven hours, leaping higher across the convex arch. I’ll see you then. Now I go, return to the woven blankets and threadbare bedding. Tell your night’s journeys to the ocean; she’s eager for company.

2. shaped into poetry or lyrics in April 2020

NAPIER’S FIVE A.M.

Multitudinous avian alarms chime and peal. The main holds the night sky in a flipped horizon.

Sorbet slices between shades of blue. This is my morning ice cream, crisp to the touch.

Deep red amber kneads to gold.

An enormous log lay in the surf. Did the sea toil all night to birth you there?

Her waves gently lap and kiss you, to bid farewell after a tumultuous separation, your prehistoric drift jaw curved into a giant warthog tooth.

Gold brightens to pale yellow.

The clouded skyline softens, blurs while wisps sharpen, cotton candy stripes canary-orange-pink.

Impatiently patient, shining on my wild nest of hair untouched by smoothing eyes following the pillow’s night shift.

Neon orange shifts to bubblegum taffy.

Shadow mountains cast on beach pebbles, firmly planted and aligned.

Skyline pales and strips its depth and character.

Soft baby blues beyond.

She-ocean crashes toward my toes, tickling, enticing me from this foothold; foamy sirens eager and clambering for their mother to take me for her own.

A red belly grows from within smog’s skirt, the glowing orb pushing its way up out of the earth’s extreme edge.

Ah, this is the bulbous irradiance stretching now beyond reflections, over the deco rooftops. What a grand entrance.

Swiftly and steadily, rising true, as if his roped pulleys were freshly tested and mended for this canorous spectacle.

Hello, Sun; good morning. Your rays blush my apples, carve contours in my creases.

Your suspense will expire, leaping higher across the convex arch.

Sing your night’s journey to the sea; she welcomes your camaraderie.

The storm…

…is upon us
Tears precipitate
in grief and gladness
millions of souls
echo the fury

Generations snap to attention
The uprising
is striking
jolting into focus, to see
what is essential, what is
valuable, what is equitable

Wind forces open
room for new fires to ignite,
fresh oxygen at the ready.
Inevitable stages:
treaties and negotiations
that mock progress and intelligence,
denying lived experience, and
more denials of lived experience
more denials of lived experience
more denials of lived experience
more denials of lived experience
proof branded as true scars

At this moment
finally
we fight for the benefit of everyone
the fight for peaceful treatment of Black bodies
is a fight for peace within white bodies
Humanity is fed up
with the divisiveness
of racism and white supremacy
That air is poisonous,
like the rising heat of our global crisis

Rock the boat, crack the hull
release the tides
swarming for tangible freedom

Starving severs patience
Have you ever been so h-ANGRY?
Change is on the menu

It’s one fight for all
that is loving and plentiful: life
the fight against greed, corruption, violence, dis-ease,
theft of time, energy, livelihoods,
looting, pillaging, exploitation
of autonomies and resources

Demonstrate whose lives you render dear,
whose light you know to be luminous.
Hearts are bursting open
allowing the pain to penetrate
and resuscitate
sense

For universal well-being
the balm prescribes a new pulse,
to harmonize
with resounding drums
once clattering in opposition,
now in opportunity, hammering
ancestral longing, and clapping
in new music, revolutionary rhythms

Pledge your allegiance
place your window signs
stand with the majority:
the people of color, the global majority,
the elders of land protection,
the creators,
the direct production workers,
the cultures smothered barely recognizable
by melting pots

The thunder baptizes
the blessed
flames
fulfilling destinies
centuries of oppression
getting what’s due
today

This is the moment
— in movement —
after hundreds of years’ messages
“Wait for it” and “When the time is right” or
“Later…”
of promises emptied

Redraw the root of power & live
Life, abundant with gifts, balancing
the great ideals: liberty & pursuit of happiness
not at the cost of another being’s existence

Life isn’t a zero-sum game.
Fabrication of the negative-to-one creates only
Haves and Have-Nots

Capitalist deception spins myth
around scarcity & competition,
making us peck at each other rather
than the rooster (that cock of bull)
manipulating smoke & mirrors

How dare we willingly believe
and throw our wealth of self
to those who sit heavily upon our labor,
who hoard and claim that nothing’s left
to go around, save the discard scraps & bones
eat up

Pervasive fears
feeding fear
and untruths unfold
insipidly slithering, scale by scale

Old placations lose their grip
on wild, fuming lightning

When bus drivers refuse to transport cops & their arrestees
when the people who truly run society uniformly & unilaterally
take ownership of their sovereignty and
make the decision to interrupt the machine,
those who think they own & operate that society look really foolish —
with somewhere to go and no way to get there

An outdated handshake
wove the reluctant agreement
a bond, unrequested
and manufactured
for protection in trade of work, but
the contract nullifies
when their promise
is indeed slaughter,
only a pretense on guard
of white “from” Black
when the reverse is necessary

Patriarchy chips away significance
dents and bends the truth
into gnarled roots of control
by violent elimination

Let’s buck the insistence
that some lives are second-rate, at best
of a duty to cower and kowtow
to a false sense of superiority
and insecurity masked as purity

One crises layered upon another,
holding isolation in new light —
it’s all the same fight for justice;
everyone trod upon
fights for the same future:
another day on this planet
Life choosing Life
in times of chaos and upheaval
it’s coming; it’s happening

(and where are the imprisoned in all this clatter? Are they locked down by the watchmen, for lest they drink of the rage waging war on the corrupt police state of this country, and create an uprising of their own, to destroy the cage doors once and for all?)

Time to rip up the rules
written for us, not by
or on behalf of us

We vibrate, breathing
into our instrumental essence
for this storm.

Reparations must be made
for us to reconnect.
After so many repeat inflictions, restrictions,
invasions of boundaries,
healing requires honest and thorough action:
every defined and refined proclamation,
proven in motion.

Blazes sweep through, so we look to the horizon for elements of rebirth and renewal

for return to the tree of
knowledge with open curiosity, with hearts forgiven
and instead bejeweled by beams of compassionate clarity.

Time to paint your door frames:
signify your support
sign your contract
in the cause and effect
we’re fighting for
peace, and
violence is the only language
understood by oppressive power

Today’s fight is to redesign equality,
on the heels of barricades and obstacles
forcing flight from foes,
and place power in the hands of the people
where it’s belonged this entire time,
yet has long been robbed & extorted

This storm erodes every past provision, and
draws green trenches in the soil for us to imagine anew
Permeate, refresh, rejuvenate;
The environmental fight is the people’s fight is the right fight
Hurry to this space before we outrun and overwork the pace of earth to tread

Hold us sodden in stillness and self-reflection
to see and be seen exactly as we are:
flaws, mistakes, regrets, injustice, hurts, monsters, injuries…
Wholeness of selves
best lit from the shadows
of creation’s image;
which warrants a little more care and effort
in listening
for signals of distress

The storm is upon us —
for a thorough drench of possibility,
nourishment, reprieve,
exaltation, and exhalation.

Time to improve the rules
without chokehold trade-offs
It’s completely possible to have
every essential met and supported by
and within the society.

Grasp hands, link into unbreakable
chains of universal liberation–
when one is free, we’re all free
from the bondage of suffering
That celebration is ours to share

We’re supposed to be together
as accomplices
to survive and thrive
in life’s mundane profundity

Let us traverse, two by two billion,
arm in arm, united as one,
repairing the brokenness of the original sin:
the kidnapping of innocence

Mend the pernicious wounds with a deafening demand for justice.
Flip the switch.
Create the effects.

We are the storm
the collective deluge in countless drops
pounding the pavement and prairies
from sea to shining sea
and then some

Roar, clap, echo
the demands of a people for their freedom
once hung to dry
let the flag fly
drenched in this monsoon of clasped hands
raise the call
announce the arrival
of the great tempestuous reckoning so
we may revel within an unsuppressed, non-oppressed
undivided resonance
forevermore.