Gravity and Center

I’m sorry I cannot say I love you when you say

you love me. The words, like moist fingers,

appear before me full of promise but then run away

to a narrow black room that is always dark,

where they are silent, elegant, like antique gold,

devouring the thing I feel. I want the force

of attraction to crush the force of repulsion

and my inner and outer worlds to pierce

one another, like a horse whipped by a man.

I don’t want words to sever me from reality.

I don’t want to need them. I want nothing

to reveal feeling but feeling—as in freedom,

or the knowledge of peace in a realm beyond,

or the sound of water poured in a bowl.

–by Henri Cole

24517

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

jenniferhecker.com

jenniferhecker.com

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

–W. H. Auden

What Is Death

iol.co.za

iol.co.za

Death and calamity exist
to breach the unreachable walls built up around us.
like the crumbling of Lady Liberty’s twins
our arrogant towers would fall
leaving a hole devoid of petty prejudice
delivering us back to our original state
reminding us that we are only
human.

All That Is Me

untitled (2)all that is me
brown skin
thick hair
black mostly
blackheads
acne
beauty marks
scars
mild stretch marks
knuckles
fists
chipped nails devoid of flattering polish
all that is me
words
principles
deceit
restraint
determination
laziness
contradictions
expression

With all that is me how can they love this
inch closer
closer teensy bit
crawl to the truth
that only i know its hard
not to love you

The Gamut

Soft day, be velvet soft,

My true love approaches,

Look you bright, you dusty sun,

Array your golden coaches.

Soft you wind, be soft as silk

My true love is speaking.

Hold you birds, your silver throats,

His golden voice I’m seeking.

Come you death, in haste, do come

My shroud of black be weaving,

Quiet my heart, be deadly quiet,

My true love is leaving.

–Maya Angelou

My Sadness Sits Around Me

My sadness sits around me

not on haunches not in any

placement near a move

and the tired roll-on

of a boredom without grief

If there were war

I would watch the hunting

I would chase the dogs

and blow the horn

because blood is commonplace

As I walk in peace

unencountered unmolested

unimpinging unbelieving unrevealing

undesired under every O

My sadness sits around me

–June Jordan