The Secret Explanation Of Where Poems Come From

If ever you are in the room with those

Lost in the reverie of poetry

And struggling to guide their thoughts, they close

Their seeking eyes to help them better see;

If ever you have watched a poet’s face

Composing line within a world inside

No other soul can witness nor divide;

Then you are not alone in wond’ring, “Where,

While all their flesh and blood on Earth remains,

Do poets take their thoughts before they bare

Them back transformed? Where is a poem’s domain?”

This verse will not reveal from whence it came,

And poets–they write poems to explain.

–Allan Wolf

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The Day Misery Knocks

Don’t fret the day misery

knocked at your door

you knew he’d come

take off his shoes

break all your rules

put a squeeze on your toothpaste tube

dirty up the tub

use all the ice cubes

He hadn’t lain in your lap

to tell you he’d stay

If he reaches the door, leaving

he comes right back immediately, saying

i left my keys

can you wash these

more time please

to gather his things

But remember this

you are king of all you survey

if misery has overstayed a welcome

show him the way

because only you have the key

Ailey, Baldwin, Floyd, Killens, and Mayfield

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

 

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.

 

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly.

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,

examines,

gnaws on kind words

unsaid,

promised walks

never taken.

 

Great souls die and

our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their

nurture,

now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their

radiance,

fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of dark, cold

caves.

 

And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

–Maya Angelou

R.I.P alwaysmaya-angelou-bruni-jazz-art-i-am-isis-300x300

Step To The Table

step to the table with a pen

release all the static within

view the universe clearly

in my thoughts sand, gravel slipping through my hands

cocoa butter memories swim around

this intellectual revolutionary

bury me with dark chocolate and a floatie

i can back stroke through the essence of life

anger and admiration raise the question

are you really that comfortable with ignorance?

ebonics has spread like the bubonic plague

devil obscured our language to make meaning vague

if you can’t comprehend what i said

let me reiterate

in communication lies peace  these words we preach

but the violence can’t cease if no one understands us

ninety percent of your speech is driven by thought

think of the truth

translate that into actions dominated by ninety percent of your heart

The Floor

knees search for the carpet

amidst the tornado from the bed to the couch

we hit it hard

the mouth moves

the thigh sways

swimming in each other

until the door creaks open

Spending The Morning Alone

watercolor

This morning someone spoke my name.

Sometimes I have trouble waking

I fall back to sleep

deep into dreaming

the weight of the voice shook me up, teeming

with a power

I have never known

I opened my eyes  to realize that

I

was alone

and so it goes

whenever I’m lost in a vortex that is the bed

a voice speaks inside my head

if I’m too heavy

it rolls me into the covers tightly

pushes the pillows over ever so slightly

& shoves the alarm right under my ear

just near enough to deafen

On occasion I’ll come face to face with a face

precariously perched on the wooden chair

from my dresser

eyes intent and steady

watching me breath, I guess

until I am startled into wakefulness

& scan the room

looking for the missing soul

that rippled my sleep

only to see once again

that I am alone

the sole person

in this home.