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Ariana Feb 23

It took time for me to see
That it was neither them nor me, but simply that
never stood a chance.

For Her trunk in all Her unbridled glory,
was bound in chains,
choked out by debris
Long before Them, or Us,
or Me.
At Her inception, before
She could grow old,
the last sip of Her sap stolen,
drained, and sold.
Pieces of Her stand here to behold,
pieces of Me,
young joined with old.
Though broken as We are,
We’re a beacon of hope;
We hold secrets and memories,
stories and names,
and one day I, too,
will dance in Our shade.
Be it in vain, I will try
till the wind comes for me;
I’ll try to name Them,
praise Them,
to set Them free.
I vow to nourish, to prune, and ****,
restore what I’m able,
and take only what I need.
To tie Our trunk to Our branches—
and Our branches to Our leaves.
To honor Our roots,
ever trembling,
in the deepest parts of
This is the third part to an incomplete mess that started flowing out of me, inspired by my struggle to put together my family tree. As a black woman, it’s been an emotional experience, full of chapters lost to history. Once I have the emotional energy, I’ll upload the poem as a whole.
Carlo C Gomez May 2020
familial sea
asteroid debris
plagued black sun
the chain undone
derivation drought
acetylene light burnt out
sands of a surname
run through veins as aspartame
in departed sons & daughters
blood is thicker than water
but drains ever so faster
CarolineSD Aug 2019
The vague shadow of an ancient oak pulsing
Like an image through static
Through drifting fog
So thick that only the wind
Can lift it and let slip
The outlines of
Where I began.

My ancestry is incompletely buried.
The sharp rocks of drunken nights
Slice upon the roots
Disfiguring, pummeling, smashing,
Rendering mute the stories their craggy hollows could tell
Dissolving in that same fear
My grandmother must have known so well.

I don’t know how to find her,
To reconstruct a broken form
From all of these pieces,
These fallen leaves that
Drift like secrets,
Like the ones my mother
Whispered to me in the dark
When I was nine and old enough
To hold them, to hold her,
When she fell apart.

Because they took them, you know.
My mother, her sisters, her brothers,
The county clipping the roots like
Plucking flowers,
Like it was nothing at all to scatter
Children in the wind,
Like fallen leaves upon the shallows
Of some lonely pond,
Like broken branches
Overpowered by a system that
Only wanted them

So, you see,
It wasn't just the wind that ***** the tree,
But a system that decided
Whose voice to wipe away and
What to keep.

My ancestry is incompletely buried.
Sometimes, I'm sure I can hear her sobbing,
A broken, fragile song, emerging from the earth
Just where the roots, interlocking, stop
the dirt from completely blocking
The story of a battered woman
Buried for too long.

The vague shadow of an ancient oak pulsing
Like an image through static
Through drifting fog
So thick that only the wind
Can lift it and let slip
The outlines of
Where I began.

What if I run my hands along the bark,
The broken pieces, the empty spaces,
Where her voice might be?

Grandma, speak to me.
Antino Art Nov 2018
in this floating
world, forever
You can’t drain the ocean

Decidedly from down
south of here
You can’t un-trace the roots.

You can’t lie and say,
“This isn’t where I grew up”
You can’t deny the fruits
of what was planted two generations ago
when your grandpatents arrived from the Philippines, seeds in tow
soil for the taking
You can’t confiscate what they claimed
when they planted their flags
into the moon-white sand of a beach in Florida
on a far side of the planet
their forefarthers have never seen

You can’t say those flags weren’t there
when wind came
You can't ***** out that pride
of country,
cut off its native tongue and its acquired taste, or pass up the plate of fried lumpia and rice passed down from the kitchen of your Daddylol
feeding seven kids day in and out with tomatoes he planted,
chickens he raised, Malonggay leaves he grew
with thumbs so green they wrote in the papers about it
He was a farmer
Your grandmother, a nurse
And i was writer
And this is our story

You can’t erase the letters of your name,
your lineage written all over it
like a map
of everywhere we been
You can’t take back the words in Tagalog and Chavacano
your Lola Shirley must have sang your mother to sleep with
You can’t take their dreams

You can't just wake up one day and undo
the ripple effects their moves
created across waters 10,000 miles east of here,
the rolling waves they curled into
or the faraway shores they washed up upon
Bottled messages in hand
Our legends held within
You can’t say centuries from now that they won’t feel it
when their feet hit the sand of their own frontier
beside the waves we stayed making
a history written in deep water
for those who come after you
to sail above and beyond.
For Nali
Colm Nov 2018
Listen to the verbiage
The quietness of a different nature
The winds, the woods, the wildness
I am not my father
Though I am his son
I am me
And the past, the pretense
That's who he is
The Sound of Lineage
Amarys Dejai Aug 2018
My name is not one that is so easily forgotten. I’ve met faces
who shake my hand and admit that my name has a familiar ring. It
will wrap itself around your tongue,
take shelter in the grooves of your brain,
etch itself into your flesh,
and make a drumbeat of your pounding heart.

I am the red flowers that bloom in the Western Cape.
I am the violet quartz, the precious gemstone,
and I may be worn around your finger or wrapped around your
neck if the month of lovers breathed life into your lungs.

I am rooted in the grounds of Israel.
I was promised by God in the Hebrew tongue.
My blood is spread over the Middle East,
my complexion is of light-bathed soil,
and I am a unity of scattered heritage.

You cannot forget me, no matter how you may try.
I am cradled in the back of your mind.
I live in shades of red, from flowers to blood.
I live in shades of purple, from gemstones to sunsets.
I am the embodiment of love,
and I linger in every inch of this Earth.
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
The son's eyes set low as green felt feigns grass stains.
The son does not cry at the father's funeral. The son
holds them in.
He, the son, is now a rung higher
and lower. Simultaneous promotions and
disappearances. He is the last line.

The son does all the planning. For the day of,
the week next.
The month's end, and the bills due.
The son does all the fathering that the father
has now left behind.
He is now a caretaker. A husband to two wives,
and his.
The son and the father
were not strong in their love.
Not a single day.

The son will find humility where once was cruelty.
Where once was impulse he finds patience.
Where once a sinner comes anew virtue.

The son is now a house where once was a home.
The son is now alone.
watching a friend mourn a sudden loss, perhaps paying too close of attention

Be well those of you suffering in the summertime
When my grandmother dies,
I hope they fill her casket with flowers.
So that the last time we see her,
she is nestled in amongst
the delicate feathered petals of mountain bluet
haloed by the bright yellow of birdsfoot
the length
of her soft
decaying body
is caressed by the long stalks of bottle brush
and bog candle
so that we can imagine her,
splayed out in a warm field
on the outskirts of St Johns
laughing in the sunlight
the weight
of such a long life,
of mothering so many children,
melting away
into the warm red soil.

I hope the service
is held in a small white church
with all the windows thrown open;
the clear air and the sunlight
tumbling down onto our heads,
onto her lightly clasped hands,
onto her soft  lips...

I hope they read poems for her
play light happy songs for her
I hope
everyone remembers to tell her
they love her.
I will ask,
that they bury her somewhere
with a good view of the stars,
lay her to rest where the wind
blows the smell of the ocean over her,
and she can admire the sunrise
under the arms of a gentle Alder.

I hope we remember
that she has loved
so deeply
that she has laughed
and lost
and been so unbearably human
all of her life
even when she has been quiet
even as she has cared for us.

I hope we remember
what a resilient woman she is
but also how tender.
How new she once was,
to love
and to it’s touch.

And when I
am someone’s grandmother
I hope they remember
that even I,
was once somebody’s lover.
K Balachandran Jun 2016
An original creation, that's what  you are
in vibrant colors nature carefully assembled,
as you sashayed through your time,till here
now all across the front page one can see you
arousing  pleasure that moves me deeply,
done in bold sweeps of a brush immersed in joy
making onlookers stand agape, thrilled
mumbling inanities as none has the grasp
of the quicksilver aesthetics that rules you.

And I, obscure , at the best like a crop circle
done in the secret hours after midnight,
or a cryptic mural on a dull wall, long past it's prime
doodled by an interplanetary traveler gone astray,
a drawing in grey fading slowly in to oblivion,
yet to be deciphered is the benediction,
it carries from light years far away,
it will be gone soon as the light from galaxies far
want to make it their own, little by little each night
Am I not transient  and  to be forgotten soon?

But you are steadfast and adamant
very rooted in your reasoning
sprung from a center devine, we both
claim together.
                         "Am I not a woman and lover first?"
Your eyes, gleam, exuding  a timelessness that speaks to me.
"I would only dream of lying naked under your
sweet heaving heaviness, to receive the nectar,
the transient ecstasy that gifts me the precious seed
that'd grow to heights immortal,on the bank of the milky way"
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