Poetry Month Poems – Lady’s #28


Inclination for ornamentation
for ceremonial reflections about necessities of life
the indulgence of free time scrimshawed
on ivory, cultivation of craft culminating
in the ballroom dance of celtic knots
on niello, mandalic meditations
on damascene, gold gilded
onto the firelight of night

~ Lady


Smith & Lady March 2015 – Lady’s #29


I have my keep… there’s something about a goddess guarding a man that happens in this reality, your goddess wrangling snakes of dualism, emotions zapped to me like lightning I stand under moon and stars and cloud and big star and clouds again and whatnot, I demand banging fists against golden cliffs, I call hot dragon breath and float on mists, I make new myths and tell stories to entertain The Big Listener, yield dividends like taking my earring fishhook pull up islands for our house on rock, yes part of me I’m a lizard wahine with angry red eyes or a totem, a panther, a leaping leopard with curling thirsty tongue, and part of me I gave to you a year subtracted from my own and past lives for many more to yours–one of many barters of my myness for the world–here’s a cast for a greater span for the wise man with kindly growling voice, I do I do, like a huge hug of hand I hold and forage and push I do, I have my keep

~ Lady


Black History Month Poems – #26


Raconteurs relate trickster
beings empowering themselves with cunning
escapes, Brer Rabbit, African American fables,
rabbit escaping chain, rabbit escaping Yama,
rabbits springing from hand like ripe water
releasing jewelweed

Alex Haley lays down roots healing
robberies of the unwillingly transplanted–
griot helping ancestors rest–ash and shadow
decanted into sweet cleansing waters of an
oasis’s arms raising baby to celestial bodies
and the crescent moon

~ Lady


Black History Month Poems #18


A coriaceous book spine narrative
given jacktars, romance of masculine flounce,
marking skin with punishment proud tattoo
on roses of muscles, scrimshaw feast
for eyes

Drinking, flogging, religion and rocking courtship
of creaking boards and shifting stances, wind whipped
sunburned toughs blooming sails, tugging feel
on rope

In actuality
there was the ladening of burden
dispensed unequally on the cast of fraternity,
the clenched taking of it, muscle taxed,
mind gritted, hollowed out until what’s left
either’s hulked husk or honed bone
body polished to an ivory knife
pushing abacus’s possibility
of mutiny

~ Lady




The Morrocan men I met
had some echt fatherliness, the
responsible gentleness of which conjured
femininity to my European-American

Homegrown walks
through the neighborhood, children
dancing like dolphins alongside, tell me
a story, give me an apple, sing me
a song

Musicians in galibiyas played
a music box of sound on walks back from
parties, their late night returns adjoining
the sacred hour of early morning spiritual
commuters pattering like the shine of
ecclesiastical chandeliers

At the mosque the soaring moan
curtain of woon–call to God, call to Allah–
meet us like the slow and peaceful glide
of the crane to his nest in
the minaret

~ Lady




The Valenciennes lace on grandmother’s coffee table was a
meditation mat to rest my eyes on as I listened to her home spun
stories–that both related–because she was my grandma–and didn’t
relate–because it was hard to imagine her a neotonous young girl.
Her narrative’s cadence a candle of beautiful hands guiding me back
in time, bobbined memories of our ancestors’ escapes, exodus
spooling out the underground railroad. I remember her folding the
lace, a whole drawer of it in the credenza. Here, feel. They appear
delicate, but they’re sturdy.

~ Lady




She’s under starlight on a park bench
Lincoln park in Cleveland

Head down in her chest, she dreams
a magic hour, dreams

She wakes a magic hour world

Queen Maab on a park bench

Dream blinking from her eyelashes
meets dream under starlight

Fairies’ve laid a jam and butter sandwich
on a blanket by her side

Milk and honey
sweet cold water
fruit and nuts

A bite like a kiss into white bread
delicious provisions and memories
of her childhood

Holy feral night in her little church
in the park under the stars

Moon her sun

She picks her lyre
up out of her bag lady disguise bags

She plucks and wakes up sparrows
who adjust in roosts with nips
and muffled chirps for hours
waiting for daybreak

When lucid light of suntime comes
she visits Civilization
for coffee

~ Lady



If I could type stars into existence
I would and maybe…
I can and am

That words are handles is obvious enough…
that they are requests and creative devices, not
so obvious

The word water, it’s said, is not water

But it can be a coalescence
condensation of sorts
precursor to rain

For life wants a soundtrack,
a story, and an explanation

Who knew that God, instead of being only
an answerer, would want to be the child asking us
and direction?

~ Lady



Chinking of bells
musical bells
like the tinkering
of elves in a workshop
but it’s not little elves
and they’re not in a workshop per se

I’m hearing bells
from musicians
or spiritual practitioners
or both

They’re chinking bells
and it’s like pleasant
knocking on my ears
asking, “are you here,
can you be here?”

What can bring me
more into the joy
in the present
than a bell?

There’s a reason people say,
“I hear you, clear as a bell.”

The other day
I turned my key in the door
and rotated the doorknob

It was Sunday and it happened
to be at the time to announce
church service,
and as I turned the knob…
church bells chimed!

And I felt part of
this big clock
this big Sunday instrument
glad for the availability of
happy sunny sobriety
humane society

~ Lady