Thursday, June 18, 2009

Edited Workshop Poem Pt. 2

One more poem from the Calabash workshop

Baby Steps

The wooden floor groans with each step
the night air whistles through the house
she clutches her stomach , looks down the steps
Dante's pillars and layers to hell.

She remembers the beatings and the cursing
the bleeding and tearing between her legs,
fighting for breath under dark sheets
not knowing how to see God in a tainted womb.

Her sisters sing Kumbaya and speak tongues
rub oil oner her belly to bless the child
she gets sick at the sight of baby shoes
cribs,toys and the sound of children.

She looks down the steps with pain and regret,
as she falls she feels the baby kicking.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Edited Workshop Poems Pt. 1

I decided to edit some of the poems I wrote in the Calabash poetry workshops with Kwame Dawes and Greg Pardlo. Here are the edited versions


A father screams for his son
who was thrown into the sea
wishing the gods will spit his son
back into his arms.
The ship feels lighter.

Moonlight creeps into the ship,
it allows me to see his eyes
purple shades of his bruised face
that hides in shadows.

He sucks milk from a woman's breast
while she hushes her dead baby
I suck hard on the blood
beneath the shackles on my wrists.

I try to suppress the vomit
rising in my chest
I can see the silver leaking from his eyes,
but he never looks at me.

We work together
but he never looks at me.
How can we connect in these fields
if he does not speak to me.

When the family passes us,
he watches them
while leaning on the stone wall.
His palms flat on the rocks,
like a wolf looking into a full moon.

His eyes tell a story,
Yellow and red shades of the Sclera
Scarred eyelids and eyebrows.

His face shows his struggles,
his cheeks, the cuts
on the skin that hugs his jawbones.
I want to know more,
but he never speaks to me.

The day he did,
I was filled with regret.
He planned our exodus
their punishment.

We stood in the woods
waiting for the moonlight
before throwing handfuls of sunlight
onto the roof.

I could not concentrate
I was distracted
by the confused screams
of a little girl.

I wanted to find her
but I couldn't follow the sound.
So I ran to the rivers,
haunted by the screams.
The moon guides me like a torch.

As I swim down the river
and the water steals my breath
I wonder if the girl would suffocate
before turning to ash and smoke.

Sun and Snow

Layers of cotton
slide on face like silk
makes crunching noise
underneath my boots.

The leaves burn
in the sunrise.
Red leaves, white snow
freezing and melting.

God and the Devil,
making art together.
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Simon Phillip Brown's Poetry by Simon Phillip Brown is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.