Alien

But not race

Alien:
Foreign
Different
Unusual
Strange
Out of place,
But not race
Or ethnicity–

This place
My home
Now unknown
Hatred sowed
Divided
Despair
Unfair
Unrecognizable:
Alien–

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Migrants in a makeshift encampment outside a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex., in May.

– Written for FBCWoo Poetry Group Prompt 3: List Poem. Write a poem that takes the form of a list. Photo from Loren Elliott/Reuters featured in the New York Times article, Squalid Conditions at Border Detention Centers, Government Report Finds.

Privileged to Have Known You

I weep for you –
A long lost friend,
Like a faded memory,
Of when we would play pretend –

A familiar street
Where I used to roam,
When my youth shielded me from your bitter truth
And the street lights led me home –

But with time my eyes were opened
And you did not look the same –
An empty ache still plagues me,
Something I cannot quite name –

It makes me weep –
The past that I was privileged to know,
An illusion that did not see the pain,
Just shades of perception, my ego –

Oh, America of my childhood, you shifty fellow,
You shady lady; I see you now in the shadows
Mocking me for my naiveté — and awareness —
Promising that I shall know no repose.

USA Abstract
– USA Abstract by AK Rockefeller .

Still Small Voice

A murmur from the crowd —
Raging awful sound

Cold and bold, growing louder
Stoked by fear uncontrolled —

Shouts of doubters who were sold
False narratives
Foretold —
Impending doom

Imperative truth among raucous
A still small voice still speaking veracity
To those who will listen

– Written for dVerse Quadrille #85, prompt was “voice.” WC 44.

Limbo

In between
Living and waiting to live

Songs of mourning and lullabies
Life as it were and as it will be
Tears for the loss and baby cries

A cycle that ends
And begins again with no surprise
Twilight and morning sunrise

In between
An ultrasound and looking into my newborn baby’s eyes

20180906_201250-COLLAGE
– Written for dVerse Poetics, prompt was “limbo.” I also implemented the Form for All 55 word challenge. WC 55. Photos are of my daughter. She was born 1lb. and 10oz. at 27 weeks. She is now 6 months old (3 months adjusted) and 11lbs. 7.5oz.

Be Still My Heart (Leftovers)

I said, “Be still my heart!”
Out loud this time,
So sure that you noticed
When it flung me at your feet —

Heat crawled up my neck —
So sure that you noticed
My ears were red as traffic lights, as stop signs
Warning me not to cross the line —

I stumbled with its erratic beat
And slid into the seat
Next to you —

I said, “Be still my heart!”
Out loud this time,
So sure that you noticed
The sweaty palm I ran through my hair
Before I tossed my head for added flair —

I hoped this
Time would be different,
That I wouldn’t lose my heart —

I said, “BE STILL, my heart!”
Out loud this time,
So sure that you noticed
When it leapt from my sleeve
And landed squarely on your napkin,

Though you pretended not to —

I said, “Be still my heart!”
Out loud this time,
Through clenched teeth,
So sure that you noticed
How I carried on distractedly,
My eyes darted often to it there exposed and vulnerable —

Until upon evening’s end,
Without a word, you gently wrapped
It up and tucked it into your purse
Like leftovers you couldn’t bare to waste —

My carryout heart stilled —
Happy not to be left behind on the table,
And so glad that you noticed.

– Added to dVerse Open Ink Night 05/02/2019.

Home Base

Whaddya say Ace?
Just came in from outer space?
Said you left without a trace
For a better someplace
But landed on this rock instead,
Failed plan to get ahead —
Not the best place to lay your head,
Though sunsets from here are aces.

ACE_mission_logo
Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) Mission Logo

– Written for dVerse Quadrille #77, prompt was “ace.” WC 44. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Learn more about the ACE Mission here.

What Was With That Poem I Once Wrote?

My heart spilled out in words I could not say —
Written with blood dripped from thorns of disapproval,
On petals plucked with
Wishes, that destroyed the flower but at least —
They fell in a pleasant pattern at your feet.

Things not visible on my face —
Or maybe so if you ever thought to look,
If you ever cared to, if you ever dared to —
We could’ve written a book, a collaborative effort
To make a space for people like me.

A picture painted of love and lust and passion and mistrust —
Despite the time I imagined we spent together,
Somehow I crawled like an ant up a sand dune during a monsoon
Unrequited, though I told myself undecided —
As if I had a choice.

Emotions that I could not explain —
Obsession, compulsion, depression, despair
Laid waste to the page, my soul laid bare,
My depravity displayed, codified there —
For your condemnation.

– Written for Poets United Midweek Motif: Writing Poetry. Why Write Poetry? and/or What Is Poetry? Consider limiting yourself to addressing one poem rather than generalizing.
The poem I referenced for my response is called Depraved. It was the first poem I ever had published.