(poem of the day) ‘Tornado Child’ by Kwame Dawes

Tornado Child

Kwame Dawes

For Rosalie Richardson

I am a tornado child.
         I come like a swirl of black and darken up your day;
         I whip it all into my womb, lift you and your things,
         carry you to where you’ve never been, and maybe,
         if I feel good, I might bring you back, all warm and scared,
         heart humming wild like a bird after early sudden flight.
I am a tornado child.
         I tremble at the elements. When thunder rolls my womb
         trembles, remembering the tweak of contractions
         that tightened to a wail when my mother pushed me out
         into the black of a tornado night.
I am a tornado child,
         you can tell us from far, by the crazy of our hair;
         couldn’t tame it if we tried. Even now I tie a bandanna
         to silence the din of anarchy in these coir-thick plaits.
I am a tornado child
         born in the whirl of clouds; the center crumbled,
         then I came. My lovers know the blast of my chaotic giving;
         they tremble at the whip of my supple thighs;
         you cross me at your peril, I swallow light
         when the warm of anger lashes me into a spin,
         the pine trees bend to me swept in my gyrations.
I am a tornado child.
         When the spirit takes my head, I hurtle into the vacuum
         of white sheets billowing and paint a swirl of color,
         streaked with my many songs.

“Tornado Child” by Kwame Dawes, from Midland (Ohio University Press). Copyright © 2001 by Kwame Dawes.

source: Poetry Foundation


(poem of the day) ‘Explorer of Aromas’ by Toyin Adewale Gabriel

 Explorer of Aromas
English: Political map of the 36 States of Nig...

English: Political map of the 36 States of Nigeria (English) Deutsch: politische Karte Nigerias (Englisch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the fire devours the grass,
as flames consume the matchsticks,

the street swallows my steps,
my voice dissolves in soil.

I know the green bile of hunger.

I know the triumph of dust,

the sneering arrogance of the sun,
on the carcasses of sodden

rats. l have dined on dried dogs,
flavoured with acrid urine.

And at the feet of elaborate remnants,
I find the most high remains,

Of chicken thighs unloved by excess.
I, the explorer of aromas,

wading through the maze of rice,
delighting in trash. l say your refuse

can is finger-licking good.
They say the rich also cry,

dancing to soothe their shame,
their throbbing sores.

(poem of the day) George Elliott Clarke, ‘Africadian Petition (1783)’

Africadian Petition (1783)


    The Snows is iron set in.
The times act not as it Were.
Snared in snapfrost Nofaskosha:
We’s Dis Gusted by govvermint,
    We be hauling Hardships long as pines—

George Elliott Clarke

George Elliott Clarke (Photo credit: pesbo)

All White whips which you Putting
to us here Since we be breathing
And Luvving. Goddam lashings harp
our Crimsoning hirt.
    Your Onnour verry well knose
wheather Ragerlations shell change,
shift, for our Sattersfaction.
You forgit us, so we be Nothing—
Like rain, Sobbing over water.
    Is there any Nourishmen,
such as Oat meal Molassis
or Shuggar,
a Littl Wine and Speerits
to Heet our Harts?
    Is there Sum Sope
to scour up
your Cownsil’s muddying Lyes?

“Africadian Petition (1783)” by George Elliot Clarke, from Blue, copyright © 2001 by George Elliot Clarke. Reprinted with the permission of Polestar. Polestar is an imprint of Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com.

Source: Blue (Rain Coast Books, 2001)