I want to reach for your
twists and curls and twirl
them around my fingers
hair locked in natural curls
deep brown eyes
from head to toe
melanin on 100
o ma gawd
this young woman
is the black Queen
o ma gawd
why is she standing
from the curves
in her waist and thighs
to the curve
in her smiling cheeks
she knows she's beautiful
she knows why they say
o ma gawd
A natural woman with ***** curls and so much style
His hair so rich and thick
Spiraling upward higher and higher
Voluminous in appearance
Bold in its statement
Copious curls demanding attention
Natural, beautiful and free flowing
Standing tall to whomever it encounters
Sunlight beaming into its brown hue
It tells a story of bloodline and culture
Narrates history, prejudice, acceptance
Perseverant by nature
Resilient against criticism
I worship his hair from a distance
Yearning to feel it in between my fingers
Kiss his strands one by one
Inhale its scent like aromatherapy
Who convinced who
That curls were “in”
In the years before
I knew to know better?
The smell so strong
Of chemical power
Making my blonde straight strands
Hold the curve of the curlers
Using my pick I kept those locks
Both frothy and fairly formed
Though the pictures of me froze a smile
Inside me the doubt ran deep
Whomever speaks fondly of the 80’s clearly never had a perm.
An African girl married a Chinese man,
They spent their honeymoon in a caravan,
Soon they had a baby girl,
She looked Chinese with black curls,
They named her Mwana Dandan
Mwana is African name for child
Who else has curly hair?
I believe we can all agree it is sometimes a nightmare.
Reducing frizz is rare.
It can be messed up with the air.
Sulfates are a real scare.
Silicones are a compare.
At the end of the day, I don't really care.
Bad Hair Day
There's history in my hair please don't touch, handle with care.
It's the same as this perfect pigment,
this melanin I wear
Richly rooted in my blood
Whether dark or fair
Sun kissed and kinked in bliss
More love for my 'rough n tough Afro puff'
She shines like the Sahara sun
She smells like the salt of the Gold coast sea.
Theres a hint of the bittersweet seed of the cocoa tree.
Feels like the pillow that holds all your dreams with the dry Harmattan wind brushing against your cheek
She'll whisper secrets of the motherland.... If you get close enough
She holds like Mina
Curls with pride
Falls with grace and integrity.
Stubborn like the struggle of the ones before me.
Gravity defying masterpiece that's just a single piece of me, a reminder of my ancestry.
It's my glory, my covering
Don't take it lightly, don't misunderstand, I'm a work of art so please peep but just don't touch.
© Raphaela Israel Öbeñg
At night I dream of
waking up tangled
within the curls of your hair.