Jessica Lima Jan 11

Mama didn't raise a player,
But here is the thing about me...
Two men want my attention,
But... 'twas once three!

When I walk my hips sway,
A rhythm hard to resist...
I turn must men down,
Yet they tend to persist.

Is it my dark, secretive eyes?
WHAT IS IT about me?
Two men love me deeply,
But... 'twas once three!

I am grateful for my luck
But the reason I sing my song
Its cause two men love me
But I only need one.

It wraps around
The porch and barricades me
Safely away from the danger of nature
Closing in to take back its own, the space
We took to make our home.
Buzzing mosquitos circle and vines entwine
The posts that hold the screen between the night and me.

Ophelia Dec 2017
one

on summer nights, all nights, you can hear the sounds of fiddles and tambourines, rustling among willow trees and fireflies.
your dog gives a growl and thumps his tail.
when the moon is out, you fight the urge to follow the sound into the forest.

They said to buy local so I tried to buy Dave Cull’s lung.
But he wouldn’t sell it.
They said to buy local,
So I tried to buy Michael Woodhouse’ heart,
But it was out of stock.
The shop girl told me she would check out the back.
They said to buy local so I tried to buy Lee Vandervis’ hands,
He said he’d sell them to me but I tried them out and they had no grip.
The said to buy local so I tried to buy Harlene Haynes nose,
But it was already in something else.
(she told me it was malicious of me to ask and threatened me with defamation)
They said to buy local so I tried to buy the Highlanders cauliflower ears,
so I’d have enough florets for a salad,
But it turned out they weren’t organic, so I left it.
They said to buy local so I tried
They said to buy local so I tried
They said to buy local so I tried
And I tried
And I tried
And I tried

They said to buy local
-but between the dilapidated hospital and the drafty-damp flats there were no good organs to purchase.

as desolate winds could charm their cymbals
and to enchant this summers' gleaming
but hot those afternoons did return steaming;

this hot dirt in palm sands there
and carpetbaggers still wondering aground
but in their lewdness they called a woman
so made this lazy day ashore and quite gooseflesh
as any who'd visited in this bungalow at port
where their dream was so alive and together
that really made bounty in her clutches

chipped tooth Aug 2017

There is a girl called Southern Ugly,
She often faces the mirror- Believing
that the reflection must be oneself.

But a woman’s essence
Lives in the light, not in our eyes.
Mother Mary, dressed in blue-

Your daughter sees her face, knowing
That she is not first to be saved for Heaven.
We come second to God

(Though Man did not refuse the apple).
Mother said, “You are a southern belle,
Just baptized in the bayou.

Virgin in the water,
The depths of the swamp do not foster
Power nor Fortune

But your birth, the prayer of the Moon.
And like a cypress knee
That has not yet broken the surface,

You’re hidden in wisdom unknown."

Old clothes hang on my bones that
Feel more mine than ever
Shedding dead weight so I
Won’t be late for my cue to
Walk through the door of opportunity
Excuse me as I strip my skin
Revealing what lies within
Patience is not wearing thin: my
Body is shrinking but my soul is
Expanding past the confines of the
Physical frame I occupy in the meantime.

From under the magnolia’s dark green leaves,
I saw Her. For the first time I recognized a face
Of someone who wasn’t familiar; I was
Comforted by a stranger. She showed me
A vision that would one day become mine.
I was 5; She was ageless.
We danced and told secrets and
I walked along her roots
Until the street lights came on.
Then I’d be gone, only to return to her
Branches’ embrace, coming to know her divine face
Day after day. Like it was my own. She told me that I
Was a warrior; She told me that I
Would never be alone; that my own roots would always
Guide me home; that my mind contained
Knowledge that I didn’t yet know; that through me
Healing love and creation could flow, in and out.
I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew She meant well.
I didn’t see her for many years. Until:
After 17 rotations of the sun, after thinking
All I was was said and done, She returned to me
In a dream. I was
Down and out, seeping self-doubt.
I looked upon Her face but saw my own:
She said to me
     “Come in through the leaves. Sit at my roots.
      Look at me: look at my blooming flowers that will soon wither;
      Look at my deep, entangling roots, that have held on for many storms;
      Look at my leaves, evergreen, but always growing.
      I am proof things remain but there is no way that
      You will stay the same. You will yield to change.
      To feel joy amid all the strange
      Is a feeling you cannot feign,
      A feeling foreign to your brain
      There is no way it will sustain. But, find peace
      Knowing that your soul’s moonlight won’t cease
      As the same light was never extinguished in
      All those who came before you:
      Your magic is ancient. Your roots are deeper than
      Any pain you may be feeling now. You carry within you
      A potent medicine, passed down to your in your life’s blood,
      From mothers, midwives, magicians, mighty warriors
      Who bore you, who birthed the essence of who you are,
      And are becoming yet.
      Like you, I, too, was once a sapling, just beginning to feel
      Our great mother’s earth, not yet knowing what it could offer.
      She ensured my growth was not stunted; that I was not lost in the forest.
      For every snap of a branch, there have been ten more that grew;
      For every season I went without, my blooms doubled the next.
      It is not in your mind’s eye now, but it will be:
      The day when you come to know Her as you know me,
      The day you fuse your old and current selves, to meet
      Who you will become:
      The past, present, and future selves as one
      Fluid transition to your newfound position
      Giving recognition to all parts: those without and within
      To strive, to seek, to dream
      May you never lose steam
      To achieve, to fight for what you believe
      To pursue all things with hope, all things
      With love, in service to below and above.
      Illuminating dark spaces, to seek familiar faces
      In unlikely places and cherish the embraces
      That you may never feel again.”
And She is gone. The coolness of the air, not Her branches,
Wraps around my shoulders
Much of what surrounds me serves only as a placeholder
For the connection that yields direction.
The signs and prayers could all just be deception
But is believing in something not better than despair?
It’s a game of Lotería, but it keeps matters fair
But magic and all is coming, with no shortage in sight
And I can change the course of fate if I will it.
Still, for now, the Fool’s fortune is greater than my own
What power can I possible conjure when I’m all alone?
I am left with only my intuition and sheer volition
That’s wearing thin, but I’ll search for more within
Even if nothing is revealed, even to examine my scope of field
It may yet yield all which is past and now healed.
I remember the pact we made when I was five,
But, oh, how much harder it is now to keep hope alive.
I’ll continue to dream
even when I’ve lost all steam,
even when the light narrows to a single beam.
I’ll continue to hope
even when the Universe says nope,
even when I’m seeing only a limited scope.
I’ll continue to pray
even if I don’t know if I’ll see another day,
even when the response is after much delay.
I’ll continue to dance
even if I’m not granted a deserved chance,
even if my moment’s magic fails to entrance.
I’ll continue to create
even if I share my art too late,
even if my efforts are met with hate.
Magnolia’s gaze reminds me of my earth’s view
This vantage point above it all
But keeping close to those I’ll care for
Nurturing with compassion and intuition,
Healing by soft light,
Providing others with gentle protection,
Remembering my ancestors’ loving lesson
Of rooting, and growing, from deeper within.

This poem was guided by my Mexican ancestors and by the magnolia-scented memories of my childhood. Root in make room for growth.
Shofi Ahmed Jun 2017

Like a
southern song singing on a dream scene.
a smooth fairy dance facing the Moon
a thrill of exposing Stonehenge once and for all
a melodious raindrop in the serene pond
a butterfly dance on the rose
a turned on tall tale of the blue peacock
Like a pure belief in heaven without a pinch of salt!

As she comes through,
she went by.
This is America in the South,
it's full of terror and awe.
She claps the earth in fury
and pierces darkness
of the night sky,
much like a beautiful woman
illuminating a room upon entry.
She pours her heart out,
so I sit with her, drink and listen.
I hold my toast to the sky
while she cries out with furious ecstasy.
I used a little too much lime,
and it needs a touch more gin.
But she is not ashamed or disappointed.
She is divine.
And I am content.
It truly is the little things in life,
as they like to say.


© Derek Devereaux Smith 2015 - 2017

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