Poems

Here are links to the poems of mine that have been published online:

Agatha

So this is love: rising from your bed to bake
two dozen cakes before the sun hits noontide.

Standing in the kitchen heat on legs as strong
as treetrunks, but more treacherous, baking

for money, cooking to pay for the garden,
to fatten the nest-egg so your men mightn’t starve.

 

Nellie

They tell me you were always stubborn,
always impatient, efficient as a hammer
and as hard. It wasn’t you your father
cut down with lead words like ballast
yellow fool, yellow fool. It wasn’t you
men took for granted. They didn’t dare.

 

Eunice

Legs long as children, and beautiful
as Egypt. As horses. As casuarinas,
but smooth-skinned, and as brown. Men
adored you in their adoring-man way:
that is to say they wanted to collect you,
place you in their killing jars, pin you
to their spreading-boards. It was your eyes
that drew them: round as does’ and soft.

 

Moving the Container Port to the Western Esplanade

The harbour is a great blue tale
of sloops and schooners, tall ships, sails
and spongers, cruise ships, clean-limbed
penny-divers, glass-bottomed boats. A tourist dream.

Lent/Elegies

Palm Sunday II

1
Go find, untie an ass.
The very stones cry out.
Strew palms along the path.

Go beat the usurers out.
Go cast the temple down.
Three days and it’s rebuilt:

but not you. Not you. You’re gone.

 

Easter Sunday: Remembrance

The braveheart women weep, and laugh.
The rain falls with the Gospel.
Christ is gone, the angel sings,
and the silver rain falls down.

sx Salon 7, 16 December 2011

Fear of Frogs: Eyes

One night, one cousin grew brave, and cruel.
There was a stick. There was a poke. The frog
crawled a little. Yet another poke. Then out came the pee!
A slender geyser, a watery arc. We screamed,
and all covered our eyes.

Fear of Frogs: Throats

I heard once that for torture, the tyrants
of the world made their enemies
swallow live frogs. These frogs had twine
tied to their legs. They went down croaking
so the squawks you heard were the men’s
and the frogs.

Fear of Frogs: Underbellies

the frogs you know are terrycloth green with piggyloves and microphones
the frogs you know dream on lily pads and crouch in grass and sit on stones
the frogs you know go swimming swimming all the time
eyes rippling water green as slime

but those are not our frogs

Fear of Frogs: Glass

Visit the exhibition. Face the fear.
All about frogs. Frogs from everywhere.
Frogs in green water, hunkered like moss
on rocks, lurking under logs, under leaves,
and all behind glass.

 

Avatar Review XIII, Summer 2011

 

Sevenling: Ocean

Ocean is spirit is secret is myth.
It is history, graveyard, remembrance. It’s cloth
of timelessness, mantle of memory, cloak

of iniquity.

Lucayos, Vol 2, 2010

The Magic Mirror Tempts Lily’s White Daughter (1951)

The Magic Mirror Tempts Lily’s White Daughter (1951)

A reading of “The Magic Mirror Tempts Lily’s White Daughter (1951)”, Mama Lily and the Dead (Poinciana Paper Press, 2010)

Easter Monday: the North Side

A blue hole swallows the unwary, offers up
its perfect mystery. A thousand feet from shore
a shelf dives undersea a thousand fathoms deep.
The North Side ridge looks down. The water’s stripes
bleed turquoise, blue, and indigo.

Town, Issue 2, January 2010

soulmama

soulmama born she baby
in the treefrog night

soulmama child he drown
he drown

soulmama fight she fight

.
Good Friday, Bleeding

……………………………………………………This is not
the secret blood that smirches thighs and seeps from wombs;
it’s scapegoat blood that quenches desert sands,
the serpent-on-a-stick that cures on sight.
This blood can heal when drawn from open wounds
by scourges, nails, Gesthemene’s dark night.

.
Sevenling: Dancer

You danced him beautiful: Baron Samedi, Ghede, Papa Bones,
your top hat, your black cane, your tails
lifting and spinning, slick sweat on your chest

Soundzine, February 2009

.

The Carpenter Seals Lily’s Widowhood (1943)

Lily checked the stove, the yard, the sky, and whispered back:
No fire here. But Eddie smiled. He knew the truth, and lacked
the words to tell it.

Wicked Alice, Winter 2009 (link no longer active)

.

The Preacher Man Saves Lily’s Soul (1914)

Isaiah set they soul afire. Lily wake, clapping hymns
to the night. Her sister sigh out of sleeping,
the dark air all live-up with light.

.
The Carpenter Seals Lily’s Widowhood (1943)

Lily checked the stove, the yard, the sky, and whispered back:
No fire here. But Eddie smiled. He knew the truth, and lacked
the words to tell it.

Anti-, Featured Poet #14, October 2008 (link no longer active)

.
The Granddaughter Sings Lily Home (1994)

She sing a song of eye and hill and help
that come from God. The last aunt die
ten days before. Don’t tell her, it gn kill her—
but Melinda know that death don’t lie
in knowing: it in lying.

.

Sevenling: Life is a Drying

Life is a drying, a journey
from water to dust. The skin hangs,
the blood slows, flesh hardens and turns

to wire and stone.

qarrtsiluni, Transformation Issue, July-September 2008

.

The Carpenter Brings Lily Home (1924)

The blue wood snapped the white and made it glitter
in April’s sun. His mother baffled cakes,
whipped whites of egg and sugar into peaks,
dropped hard-earned almond essence into batter
and sang it into flavour.

The Barefoot Muse, Issue 7, Summer 2008

.

Sevenling: The Widow Addresses Her Late Husband

Without you, I’m a bell without a clapper,
a whistle without its pea,
a drum without a head.

The Avatar Review, Vol. 10, June 2008

.

Sevenling: Flying South for Winter

The Cambridge autumn glowed.
The maples dressed in gold.
The robins were all widowed.

Eclectica 12.2, Apr/May 2008

.

Sevenling: Rock Star
Sevenling: You Dream

You dream of slips, slits, buttonholes,
an Atwood poem, an unhooked eye,
a big bed growing cold.

Words-Myth v.10 Spring 2008 (link no longer active)

.

From Mama Lily and the Dead

But Lily’s life, filed sharp by fate,
ripped that bright redemption.
Light scattered all around the yard.
The chickens pecked and clawed.

Shit Creek Review/II v.4 July 2007

.

The Scotsman Gives Lily her Name (1904)

He named her Lily, for her whiteness,
but her eyes held secrets, dark as lakes
that swallowed sons beneath their waves.

Calabash 2.2 Summer/Fall 2003 (.pdf document)

.

The Seamstress Teaches Lily How to Sew (1910)

Lily dropped the strays in tumbling heaps
on table corners and broken chairs, fiddled
them into piles. Naomi lit the lamp, picked a thimble,
sat Lily beside her, and patched scraps together.
By lamplight they stitched riddles of their own.

The Caribbean Writer Vol. 16 2001

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