Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Love

Daughter of…

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Daughter of…

By Stacey L. Joy, © May 10, 2020

I am Stacey Lorinn Johnson Joy

I am the daughter of

Gloria Lee McPherson Johnson Cooper

Adored as Mommie

Purest of people

Pristine and popular

Someone everyone admired 

Connoisseur of words and puzzles

Follower of rules and righteousness

Smoker, Bowler, Badminton Champ, Legacy Delta

I am the daughter of

Mrs. Cooper

Neighborhood Mom

P.E. teacher

Career Advisor and Counselor

Respected educator

40 years in education

Who taught me how to be me

I am the daughter of

Patsy Ann McPherson

Culinary Queen Nana

Seamstress

Family matriarch

Sweetest heart of the family

Loved to party and hated to pay bills

Taught me how to cry and dance

How to cook and eat well

I am the daughter of 

Proud independent black women

Working in my village

Auntie Joyce and Aunt Frankie

Sister Pam 

Who loved me before I was born

Cousins who have my back

Who are my chosen sisters and brothers

Who teach me that blood and water

Are both thick enough 

To bind us together

I am the daughter of 

Freedom and survival

Feminism and activism

Educators who write and break the rules

Who don’t back down

Writers who inspire me

Whose stories tell

The power of sharing our words

I am the daughter of 

God

Who creates all mothers

Who sustains all struggling women

Who heals all hurting nurturers

Who empowers and ignites all the work 

We all do and have ever done.

I’m From (Day 12 of 30)

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Today’s prompt: Write a Where I’m From poem. I have been writing these for a long time, so it was refreshing to write a new one with different content.

I’m From

I’m from “Put your hands on your hips

And let your backbone slip!”

From my mother’s strong legs and thick thighs

To wide smiles and dark brown eyes

I’m from four generations of freckles and moles

To “Stop combing your hair so much and maybe it’ll grow.”

I’m from Gloria and Jay

Both graduates of U.C.L.A.

I’m from playing school and wanting to teach

To walking on the sink to get things out of my reach

I’m from Are You My Mother?

To Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret

I’m from creating a hidden reading room in a linen closet

To card-table tents and Barbie campers

I’m from a big yellow house on a hill in “The Dons”

To pool parties and Slip ‘n Slide scratches on my knees 

From backyard baby showers and Christmas Brunch

To classy Bridge players and domino dads talkin’ trash

I’m from Hopscotch and laggers on the side of the house

To a daring first kiss that made me shiver and spit

I’m from Nestle Quik’s chocolate bubbles floating in my milk

To Gogo Burgers and Tito’s Tacos with guacamole

From burnt cheese toast and El Patio Mexican restaurant

To sardines and crackers after Saturday morning waffles

I’m from Nana’s Monday night Russian Bank and Pokeno

To Mommie’s badminton matches on Sunday mornings in the gym

I’m from “Drive safely and don’t stay out too late”

To cheerleading at Friday night football games and Shakeys after

From “You will not be driving for 2 more weeks”

To senior prom and graduation parties past curfew

I’m from “Mommie, I think I’m pregnant”

To sedation at a clinic plagued with regrets

I’m from growing up and moving out 

To dorms, apartments and owning my condo

From married with two children and too many jobs too young

To divorced, grateful, and balanced 

I’m from the suffering of my mother’s and father’s cancer

To the resurrection of hope and joy after grief

I’m from struggle, suffering, injustice, and inequalities

To taking a stand, sitting in, and marching onward

I’m from knowing my ancestors had it harder than us

To trusting that God is still the same today and always

I’m from poetry, chalk, protests, and music

I’m from breath and spirit 

I’m from love.

Isolated and Free (Day 10: Golden Shovel Poem)

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Today’s Prompt: Write a Golden Shovel Poem. Find a poem that speaks to you, use the words of that poem down the margin of your own poem, then write your poem around those words.

My poem is inspired by a poem by Reyna Biddy from her book A Psalm For Us. 

Isolated and Free

What was life like BEFORE
This pandemic thought PUTTING
Us in isolation might bring FORTH
Kindness? Are we to BLAME
Can we ACKNOWLEGE
Or consider THAT
Our collective hatred and ABUSE
Would have consequences? God DOESN’T
Like ugly, people ALWAYS
Say. But what may COME
FROM
Our solitude and shelter is AN
Embracing and gratitude of the beauty OUTSIDE
An unquenchable desire to discover our SOURCE
For peace and love. SOMETIMES
We need silence and stillness. WE
ABUSE
Others beyond repair but we abuse OURSELVES
To God’s despair. Go inward and examine yourself MENTALLY
Give your mind and soul an EMOTIONALLY
Uplifting message. Sing, dance and find a PHYSICALLY
Healing and strengthening practice. Rest assured, SPIRITUALLY
You are covered in God’s grace and mercy. Use your isolation to FREE
YOURSELF

 

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

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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.

November’s 5-Day Writing Challenge: Day 1 “My Nana’s Kitchen”

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My Nana’s kitchen

Jam-packed

10 x 10

Painted in holiday memories

Turkey 

“Help me pull the innards out.”

Stuffing 

“We have to burn the toast first.”

Rice Dressing 

“Use the grinder for the onions and peppers.”

Candied Yams 

“Have you seen my marshmallows?”

Ham 

“Stick the cloves in.”

Green beans 

“You need to eat your vegetables.”

Mustard Greens

“Everyone loves my greens except you.”

Mincemeat pie

“You don’t know what you’re missing.”

Icebox cookies

“Stir the batter the right way!”

Fudge

“It has to melt all the way down.”

And her fizzy foamy fruit punch

Mixed with rainbow sherbet

Pineapple juice

And 7-up

In her antique punch bowl

“You better not break my cups.”

My Nana’s kitchen

Steeped in

Love

Family

Recipes

Life

Where I wondered 

if her cigarette ashes

ever fell into the greens

and the pie

Or if the food stuck to her dress

was from last year

or from when my Mommie was little

Where I couldn’t question her

because it was not appropriate

I had to trust her

because she was my Nana

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom

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When she went to Heaven

I thought missing her

would be unbearable

I didn’t know

she would live

in a million different ways

 

She touches my life

like scattered rose petals

She is in my selfies

the little neck wrinkles

that were so genuinely hers

the gently furrowed brow

that I can’t filter away

She is in my reflection

the eyeliner that now wiggles

the thin lips that lipstick laughs at

the leg veins that resemble lightning

on thunder thighs

 

She is in my work

her writing on my students’ tests

her lectures about making better choices

her commitment to do more instead of less

leaving frazzled at the day’s end

 

She is my bedtime at 8 p.m.

and waking at 4 a.m.

She is coffee in the quiet of a new day

and prayers for her daughters

She is tired but doesn’t quit

She smiles and laughs and loves

without limits

I am she

Together always

we will be.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Rest Peacefully and Joyously in Heaven, Mommie!

Lessons I Will Share When She Falls in Love: Prompt 6 “Worthy”

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When she falls in love

I will tell her to accept and admire who he is today

Not who she wants him to become

I will tell her that he has to love her more

Than she could ever possibly love him

I will tell her that the sun will always set

But it can not bury lovers’ anger

I will tell her that if he won’t do something

She can’t make him want to

I will tell her if she seeks more than he does

She may find it alone

I will tell her how love changes over time

It will get old but it does not have to die

I will tell her how old love writes its own story

And young love is barely a poem

I will tell her that he has to be worthy of the kingdom

Otherwise she will be the queen alone on her throne.

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons I Learned from Friendships: Prompt 5 “Holes”

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Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

Who chooses

The path

We cross

Leading us

Various places

Shopping and

Eating and

Walking or

Jogging or

Laughing after

Yoga because

Sometimes we

Can’t bend.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

Why we

Don’t take

Advice and

We defend

Broken men

Who drill

Holes into

Our skin

Ripping apart

Lives that

Never mend.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Ever wonder

If we

Listen with

Our hearts

But the

Holes won’t

Hold truth

So we

Scatter it

Like crumbs.

Women friends

Soul sisters

Keep pouring

Your love

Giving encouragement

Sharing stories

And honoring

Our connectedness

And somewhere

In between

Us it

Becomes love.

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons I Learned from Parenting: Prompt 4 “Clenched fists”

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He did not have a male role model

that he wanted to emulate

a father who would love him

unconditionally

who would rescue and mend him

like a loving parent would

He craved his father’s approval

because that is what children do

but he never heard what he did right

and always how he was lazy and wrong

He grew up asking why

wondering why he fell short

why he never felt safe

and why he and his father

always walked away

with clenched fists.

Lessons I Learned on a Saturday: Prompt 3 “Falling in love with . . .”

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What happens when you fall in love

with a project?

You plan and search

for its vital parts

and commence construction.

Your desired outcome

its inner mechanisms

perfectly sync

with your vision.

As the project takes form

obstacles begin blocking

completion.

Pieces don’t fit.

Mixtures won’t blend.

Sparks don’t fly.

Like a scientist,

you try again

with a new approach

using the same materials.

But after repeated tests and trials

you determine your hypothesis

would never be true.

He was never meant

to be your project.

He was supposed to be

your man.

Fall in love with a person

not a project.