on the wall
sounds of hymns in the hall
dreams of heaven
fears of withdrawal
from praising his name
exhalted her a fighter to be acknowledged outside
defending on the forefront
braven with armor
she told a white man he was going to hell due to the lack of his belief
he said, ‘and you’ll be next to me / your crime, fear and ignorance. you were given your God during slavery.’
I did not defend her.
I let her fall / scream
held her hand / tearfully & prayerfully, hoped she’d
from the poetry book, yardwork
She’s heard more eulogies than poetry so I wrote this for her.
Amidst the sips of licorice tea, I asked her
“what would she do differently.”
She replied she’d “love as fearlessly as she fought
take more time,
soak the greens instead of rinse ’em”
research his heart as she did antiquity.
She truly believed that for years she had a melody
but never a song
“conquer your souls duality” she told me
the world is depending on you to love
Nikki Skies, ©2007 Published in anthology of “His Rib: Stories Poems & Essays by HER” by Penmanship Publishing Group
The merlot on my tongue
won’t allow me to speak.
I stain my pillow with attached prayers of something
betwixt the Ghana of my mane.
I walk with a cane looped to my belt to beat a fall
design distance from cerebral lessons
I wear tight shoes to ensure carefully calculated steps
and disavow chances and dances with love.
taken from the book:
Get your autographed copy here
There’s something intensely intimate about cooking a meal for a man
then having him hold your hand across the table and say / grace.
In between the “I love you’s”
this is how we reconnect:
I straddle and clutch on to him
for my dear life and he /
recharges himself inside of me with all I have to offer / then
me and my man we go out and change
from the poetry book, Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips
She left this morning.
conveniently smooth like tap water /
Promises taped to her right palm for her to befriend the wild with food
She just wanted to be great.
Capsize time and defend her sister and brother
Look her father in the eye with familiar
Write down her Grandmother’s genius words
Learn the earth at the expense of her Grandfather’s back
She came. / throttled tone with soprano cheeks
social as corners
Intimately speaking is how she preferred things
but stories pierced her earlobes
diamonds to shine / hoops to dangle
pages to escape poverty
Like you / she survived through chances
stand offs against never and silence
She left this morning
after a cup of coffee
but prepared these words for you.
After the fall storm
comes a rainbow and the smiles
stay / don’t hide from us
Laugh at what they taught
hear my verbs and protect us
be father to all.
Stop gambling your seeds
for a night to feel human
let divineness shine.
Open / not enter
love your womb and its’ future
don’t be forgotten.
I preserve my world
in journals so my children
can eat without me.
We need passion for life
We need passion like ancestral sweat on jungle spring African violets
We need passion like the quieting of an infant’s cries for his mother’s nipples
like the drying desire to drink
let us do what we do best
detach from the world and all it has to offer
like the fall of sky tall pine trees
like a Muslim nauseous at the smell of swine
let us get away from here!
Like we did the first time
let us hungrily read Genesis to Revelation
and discover one another
let me be imperfect
not what the music and magazine say
but who I am this very second
the extent of me and you in divine disguise
the scent of me in heat for some passion
Like a 4th of July dog scratching against the screen door
We need passion for life.
We need passion like surrendering in a rain shower,
like the uncontrollable moans of a multiple orgasm
let me get this out!
let me get this out!
like the vulgar urges of bulimia
let me get this out!
I yearn this
I yearn this like Thursday evening paychecks
want me like the smell of your mother’s kitchen on Sunday
protect me like a father holding his child’s hand
let us discover God together
We need passion
Like the heaving chest of a woman giving birth
Like the finger sore of BB strumming the blues
Like a poem with a thousand metaphors
Let us make love over and over and again
We need passion like, like, like…right now.
“Stories that come to me in the middle of the night from folks I don’t know. Don’t have nothing to do with me except they know I know how to get a pray through and a story straight.”
She say for her family
she do what she can
when in reality it be for her man
who wants another mother like her son
so she wipe both they asses / and then her tears cause it be from the same shit
too tired more / more tired than / her mother who
taught her how to stay
who lived and died the same way
the palm reader etched on her palm.
now that she know,
she can remain calm
when he comes to bed
smelling like fuck nut and dried saliva
he’ll say it’s all in her head
so she close her eyes and have nightmares
of forever being a fool.
from the poetry book, Pocket Honey Wind & Hips
It landed on the kitchen table next to the watermelon. Like a Sunday newspaper on Thursday. Set aside for recycling. Or an abandoned spoon after dessert. It sat there foreign but familiar. Like an African American in America.
The carousel sang loudly. Drowned out the relief of parental duties. Playful screams resonated the atmosphere. Cotton candy decorated white faces pink and blue. Mustard stains on white t-shirts. Scraped knees caused by unattended shoelaces. The day was glee and the night carefree, as flying gravel spun under running feet.
Her bladder was full of miles like her mother’s. She watered the ground with chocolate auburn. The spices enticed the clouds to cry and capture the streets. She met him where the sun sat in the fire pit. He kissed her hand to summons a feather so she wouldn’t doubt his words. His eyes were complete like the turn of an owl’s head. The preacher announced their commitment where roads met corners with mirrors. He hung their picture in a birdcage to catch time. He told them not to be afraid.
The first season spread the hours like a bridge. He supplied water to dry, fallen branches daily. Believers of the unseen. She carried unicorns in her pockets. They wore audacious yellows and greens in a black and white world. Demanded freedom like 8 a.m. school bells. Unbalanced as thick as unjust. At night she placed sweet onions on his eyelids. He remained rooted. His tongue poignant from the aroma.
Dog’s were death’s best friend. Hydrants absent from fires. Hoses present at protests. Tilted buses full of spiritual songs. Northern boys with fresh fists. Southern boys with patched will. Northern girls with golden intuition. Southern girls with ancient maps. Laughter extinct. Spit like rain. Freedom rides. Spirits flew. Red summer. Blue years. Freedom wide. Hatred tall. Black bodies hung/ burned/ mutilated. Daylight tardy.
Soprano saxophone accompanied her screams. Vibrato in her hands. His head in her lap. His eyes meeting her’s was the prize. “Sit me up, turn me loose.” Abandoned from forever. She sat him up. Erect as pillars. Baroque rocked. Down. She sipped tea in China.
Scores for his name. His verses rhymed her forward. Her passion sweet as fruit. Seasoned. Made days wet cement. For imprints. Slops. Hills. Concrete with purpose. His remembrances sleep at our feet.
a prose from the book,
Autographed copies available here