Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Category Archives: Poetry

What I Want Is… (Day 6: Object Poem)

No Gravatar

Today’s Prompt: Choose an object to focus on and write a list describing it. Then compose a poem without using any words from that list. My object that I focused on and wrote about was Rain.

 

What I Want Is…

 

What I want is

To play in puddles

 

To kick and splash

Their bootless feet

 

To call five names

For running ahead of the group

 

What I want is

An umbrella for the world

 

To take shelter

Not in place

 

But in memories of this sacred space

Warm blankets to cover

 

People who sleep on the streets

With nothing to dry their freezing feet

 

What I want is

God to cleanse the earth

 

Wash away sickness

And nourish souls and soil

 

So sunshine can soothe

And seeds can sprout tall

 

And proud like my students

Who will lock arms and splash each other again.

Nightmares (Day 3, an Etheree Poem)

No Gravatar

An Etheree Poem follows a syllable pattern of 1-10 per line for a 10-Line poem.

Nightmares

Dreams

Return

Tidal waves

Swallowing me

Whole. No lifeguards out

Swimming in slow motion

Breathe one last breath before death

Screaming, gulping, emerge, crying

I awaken to a damp pillow

Wipe wet eyes and pray, “Stop COVID19.”

Joy for Humanity (Day 2 of April’s #Verselove Writing)

No Gravatar

Today’s prompt: Write a Blitz Poem with 50 lines and follows the pattern of repetition.

Joy for Humanity

Honoring life’s complexities
Honoring grief and joy
Joy in moments
Moments of solitude
Moments of gratitude
Gratitude for life
Gratitude attitudes heal
Heal anxious doubts
Heal the broken-hearted
Broken-hearted grandparents
Broken-hearted students
Students missing school
Students who suffer
Suffer without interactions
Suffer at home
Home but lonely
Home isn’t safe
Safe is relative
Safe isn’t equitable
Equitable for whom
Equitable provisions fail
Fail education
Fail our children
Children within the gaps
Children starving for love
Love is an action
Love their teachers gave
Gave without expectations
Gave when exhausted
Exhausted is normalized
Exhausted rat-race life
Life prescribed in dosages
Life balanced on edges
Edges of insanity
Edges of faith
Faith to jump
Faith now wavering
Wavering into fear
Wavering back to God
God knows all
God sees all
All the wrong
All the grace
Grace during suffering
Grace for humanity
Humanity being tested
Humanity on hold
Hold for safety
Hold your breath
Breath is life

Peace Divine

No Gravatar

This is 1 of 5 poems from the March 5-Day Writing Challenge. We had to use words with aural texture that create a unique sound palette. We were challenged with even creating a unique made-up word. Mine is “Prastinktidy” and you can decide what it means after you’ve explored my poem, Peace Divine.

Peace Divine

Panic

Plucking away

Fibers of your smile

Truncating prayers

As undulating heartbeats 

Rattle and trottle your spirit

Masked madmen slither 

Into your dawn to dusk

Spewing 

Botulinum toxins

Over your grocery cart

Your gas station

Your favorite cafe

Your neighbor’s greeting

Your classroom

Your snakeskin fingers

Making your faith in humanity

Oozeebboozeebb clop

And glut in mustard seeds

Then one seed falls

Onto balmy palm soil 

Your hands receiving it

To take root

Savory splendor sprouting

Piquant prayer of praise

Gratitude 

This moment of wellness

This day’s torrential downpours

Cleansing your dirty hurting Earth

This knowing

That God brings peace

In the midst of

Prastinktidy

ElevenEleven (Day 4 of 5-Day Writing Challenge)

No Gravatar

ElevenEleven

I am born of the power and mystique

Of eleven

Born the eleventh day of the eleventh month

11 days before America’s great mourning

Before a ripped nation 

would forever be severed

Born in the eleventh hour and only 120 seconds 

After the eleventh minute

I am born of New Orleans 

Oklahoma and Los Angeles

Of struggle and success

Marriage and separation

Divorce and devastation

I am born of revolutions 

seeking solutions

To injustice and segregation

100 years after Emancipation

A nation steeped in sickness and hatred

Medgar Evers 

President John F. Kennedy

And Four Little Girls

Dead

But of a King who would

March

Speak

Stand 

For equality in our stead

He had a dream!

Will we let freedom ring?

I am born of a distant father 

fighting in Vietnam 

For a country that denied

His dignity because of his color

A father who sent letters

But rarely spent time

At the house he chose for my family

Where 3 bedrooms and 3 baths

Were as easy as warm waffles for us

With hopscotch and laggers

Barbies and Beany and Cecil

I am born of a gifted mother

Who balanced her cigarette on her lip

Like she balanced parenting and parties

A master of words, pools, and school

A teacher who never stopped learning

And made us beg for crossword puzzles

Boggle and Rummikub

A woman scorned but undefeated

Someone who lived with cancer 

Like a warrior 

Adjusted her armor and kept fighting

Until she was ready to be released

Into her ancestors’ arms

I am born of strong legs and working hands

Of bright smiles and freckles

I am born of tears that fall like rain

“As a joyous daybreak to end

The long night of captivity.”

I am born of African kingdoms and royalty

Of the Bantu and the Congo

I am born of a long lineage of power

I am born of God.

February’s Writing Challenge: Day 2 “What I Want Is…”

No Gravatar

What I want is

A backyard with a lap pool

 

For daily swims and summer luxuries

What I want is

 

Two chocolate Australian Labradoodles

Who wait for me each morning

 

Through my garden path, we walk

Up to the clearing on the hill

 

Where the ocean view welcomes us

Before I sit on my meditation mat

 

Basking in gratitude and blessings

Giving God all praise and thanks

 

For sunshine, salty breezes, and lavender

For intentional breathing, and stillness, and joy

 

What I want is

Peace that surpasses all understanding

 

That shields and guides my path

Back to my home where love abides

 

Where journals and books await my hands

Where inspiration flows beside the fountain at my back door

 

Where I write, read, and live the way I want

Have what I want and when I want it.

February’s 5-Day Writing Challenge: Twenty Questions Poem

No Gravatar

This poem is dedicated to every young woman who thinks she’s fabulous and has no fear of aging.

 

Why didn’t anyone warn me?

No one talked about aging the way they talked about puberty

Didn’t they know we wouldn’t fear lean muscles and high sex drives?

Why didn’t I know the bra I prayed for would become a daily chokehold?

Why didn’t I know my natural libido would require replacing?

What happened to energy and enthusiasm to      M     o      V          e?

Why is staying asleep each night harder than falling asleep at a matinee?

Where did my muscles go?

Are they hiding inside my bones?

When did my arms start flapping?

And why are my thighs CLAPPING?

 

Why didn’t anyone warn me?

Hair down there would grow wilder?

And getting waxed would become more rattling than a root canal?

Who’s face is this?

Did my grandmother sneak inside my soul?

Is my mother reincarnated in me?

Who’s ass is this all bagged up like cotton balls?

Does my back ache because it’s finished with standing up for me?

Do my feet hurt because they’re tired of walking in my shoes?

Why didn’t anyone warn me the way I am warning you?

Wait, what were we talking about?

January’s 5-Day Writing Challenge (Day 1): Inspired by Sandra Cisneros “Abuelito Who”

No Gravatar

I am guest-hosting the 5-Day Writing Challenge on a website for teachers who are also writers. Today’s prompt is to write an “Abuelito Who” poem.

Exes Who

Exes who poured love like butter

And made us adore them

Who were plans and dreams

Who were team us and we

Whose smiles were diamonds and pearls and paychecks

Were too stupid to think we didn’t know

When they said they were buying gifts for us

When they said they would never lie

Whose promises were disguised deceptions

That can’t hide behind our bonds again

Played the victims

Who once seemed invincible and brave

Are narcissistic assholes

Are incapable of commitment

Are locked out of our houses

Where our love no longer breathes

And memories hide in fabrics in our closets

Who shuffle sappy songs on our hearts’ playlists

And bind photos in albums and gold bands in boxes

Who reformed us into steel warriors

Like nails closing coffins

Who will love them again who?

Not us.

Living Without Her

No Gravatar

Almost ten years ago today

She left our world

My mother lets us

Live now 

Without her 

Not connected to anything

 

My beautiful Mommie 

Who made childhood so cool and easy

Summer was our favorite time

Waking to funky sounds on the radio  

And aromas of her good bacon 

And warm waffles

Playing Monopoly on scratchy shag carpet

On we would go

Dancing for hours 

To Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin

And Mommie cheering,

“Get it girls! Ahhh shucks!”

 

Until it was time to dive into the pool

Sometimes filled with intruders

In ugly pink swim caps

Who she called friends and could

Be themselves

Who had begun swim lessons

Who we’d see again and again

Year after year

Until she got too sick 

Or too tired to swim 

Or teach again

 

My mother lets us

Live now without her

But she’s close

We know it’s not going to get easier

Because it’s been almost ten years since

She left here

We remember that day

She left here

The way

She left here

But she’s close

Not connected to anything

Except us

November Writing Challenge Day 2: Unmuted Muse

No Gravatar

Today’s prompt asked me to write about a challenge I had to overcome and to write about it in couplets.

 

Unmuted Muse

With a new marbled notebook and purple flair pen

I would unmute my muse’s voice again

Surrounded by teachers who love to write

We’d compose together and find our light

 

I chose to face my deepest fears

Some I’d kept hidden for too many years

Wondering if I could reveal it all

Or if writers’ block would be my wall

 

I started with Malibu Barbie, that bitch

Who made me believe I could be rich

And blonde and tanned and skinny and pretty

My hair was kinky and I looked shitty

 

Then cancer found its way on the stage

While tears bled ink on my page

I birthed words that once knotted my noose

Never expecting my spirit would come loose

 

Until that poem I titled RAPE

Would leave every mouth and heart agape

Cocked to speak and release the shame

I am not my tragedy, shout my name.