POETRY

One More River to Cross by Black Satin

copyright @AyanaRAbdallah 2019All rights reserved

  • Ago Osun
  • Fricassee Blues
  • Ginger Lily
  • Lulama I Never Stole Anything
  • Joseph Morgan
  • Mind Hug!
  • Ori Psychic Detox
  • ‘Pieces of a Dream’
  • Sky Canvass
  • Superconscious

Ago Osun 

●♀☼♂●           

♫this is the morning we have made

                                                sweaty bergamot-scented arms

                                                slip into comfortable hug zones,

                                                your strong lap my honey throne

                                                honor and security,

                                                precisely what i need today

in the kitchen iya’s ironing 2 yards of white cotton cloth

on a rickety ironing board

a cherished inheritance like the

panacea of her great grandmother’s smile

not fully awake

Ifatayo Lavita’s soft hum joins an impromptu outdoor chorus

hearing dantdantdidadoont dantdantdidadoont rhythms

of a yellow glass beaded shakere in her head

its gleeful rainbow invocations sidle

sacred drumming from a backyard of women and men

dancing in white robes on patchy grass,

children searching for stones amid cracked clay pots sprouting rosemary and thyme playfully dance circles around

blooming white flowers on a parsley hawthorn tree

this is the morning we have made

ancient praise songs sidle djembe drums

swell mystic synergies

liberating my soft dark brown halo

                                                {unwrapped}

tickling your warm fuzzy chin

                                                ahaha haaa—hoom

funny how, reflexively

                                                your beautiful august head slowly pivots left then right

                                                because you don’t like being tickled really

mischievously i play with the idea

you avoiding my nappy hair

                                                you fresh as morning dew

my new day’s balm of gilead

the weight of your chin and head

sink into my nappy crown

grow satisfied fall backward

onto the cotton candy head rest

of iya sheun-renee’s white leather love seat

sitting on your lap

                                    unbound

i am liquid freedom

coconut milk drizzling over my king’s hairy salt and pepper breast

i am the joy of guardian angels the ancestors’ gratification

wise egyptian queens Heteperes,[1] Hatshepsut,[2]

Nefertari,[3] and Arsinoe[4] their somnolent

heart beats conjuring soul memories

the fragrance of peaceful visions filling your heart

in your lap

                                                i become you

                                                {the sweet ripe breakfast melon you cannot eat}

what a marvelous

surprise ancestors

bequeath us today

my love

a gift of peaceful sleep under the same roof

for the first time

waking up to each other

for the first time

you and i

this is the morning we have made

you stretch into my nothingness my

couldn’t-have-imagined morning-after

my living-present, pure heart

yawning unfathomable matter

some mornings we talk on the phone

share dream interpretations,

                                                but i do not feel to do so now

                                                thoughts and emotions shift to your narrow hips

                                                tenderly undulating beneath me

                                                there is just enough room where

                                                my left hand

                                                creates small firm circular movements

sandwiched between soft leather and your lower back

                                                relaxing you that way

moving closer in nose-2-nose intimacy

esu’s peppermint candy tumbles gently from cavernous flesh

wet, sweet, warm, pink minted-tongues

chase morning breath into poppy fields

                                                and mirthful dandelions

hip-hopping buttercups

                                                love-making between eighteen toes

this is the morning i remember, beloved

                                                when another full amber moon wanes

and you

unlike the sensational meteor blazing northeast china[5]

are not here to marvel upon

heart open as the sky.


[1] Heteperes c2600BC is one of fifteen women who ruled ancient Egypt as pharoah. Her tomb and gold treasures were discovered in 1925 and predates Tutankhamun’s tomb. For an enjoyable detailed introduction to this queen’s victories, struggles, and love affairs, see Egyptologist Joann Fletcher’s Youtube video “Egypt’s Lost Queens (Ancient Egypt Documentary) | Timeline.” Timeline-World History Documentaries .youtube.com/watch?v=E3aNbNxKS6s. Accessed 7 November 2019.

[2] Architectural developer, military leader, and visionary pharoah, Hatshepsut c 1505 BC commissioned two pink granite oblisks the tallest in Egypt to be erected across from the temple of state god Amen Ra in honor of her spiritual father Heru. Hatsheput led three battles securing two decades of peaceful reign. See Egyptologist Joann Fletcher’s Youtube video “Egypt’s Lost Queens (Ancient Egypt Documentary) | Timeline.” TimelineWorld History Documentaries .youtube.com/watch?v=E3aNbNxKS6s. Accessed 7 November 2019.

[3] Said to be the longest living pharaoh, Nefertari c1290 BC was an extraordinarily talented queen and wife of the domineering king Ramasis II.  Her magnanimous 33 feet temple includes hieroglyphics of Thoth the god of knowledge and literacy on her journey signifying, some historians posit, courage to claim her abilities as a scribe. See Egyptologist Joann Fletcher’s Youtube video “Egypt’s Lost Queens (Ancient Egypt Documentary) | Timeline.” TimelineWorld History Documentaries .youtube.com/watch?v=E3aNbNxKS6s. Accessed 7 November 2019.

[4] 900 years after Nefertari, queen Arsinoe II c316 BC is worshipped alongside Isis. A teen bride, Arsinoe’s arranged royal marriage took place in Greece but ended in upheaval when her husband mysteriously died.  She fled back to Egypt to save her life where she convinced her younger brother a pharaoh to marry her.  See Egyptologist Joann Fletcher’s Youtube video “Egypt’s Lost Queens (Ancient Egypt Documentary) | Timeline.” TimelineWorld History Documentaries .youtube.com/watch?v=E3aNbNxKS6s. Accessed 7 November 2019.

.

[5] Malik, Tariq. “Brilliant Midnight Fireball Lights Up Sky Over Northeast China.” Live Science, livescience.com/china-fireball-turns-night-to-day.html. 8 November 2019.

Fricassee Blues

●♀☼♂●

learn

communication skills sister

learn

how to talk to people

best to learn black people have rights

fuckn’ with me

you could

find yourself

waking up

from

the dead

that’s right

sometimes i surprise mahself

so U definitely don’t know me

maybe it’s

because

you’re stupid

or a scorp

just

a young

white

privileged

person

accustomed

to

having things

go your way

maybe

trouble never

knocked on your hard-earned door

practically breaking it down

never cold-socked

you into a black out

maybe

you know

nothin’’

about

faith

cuz

all your life

you felt it’s been you

just

glorious you

making things happen

or

maybe you’re just

slow to understand

too unintelligent

to know how cosmic law works

“what

goes around

comes around” eventually

whatever

the case, watch

you don’t run up

on the wrong

dark some ting

just as stupid

arrogant

and young

as you.

maybe a purple sister wid’a

borrowed switchblade

hiding in the palm of her hand

guts you swift like an island duppy

taking you outa heah—-

i’m just

saying____________________

learn

how to communicate

learn how to talk to people


Ginger Lily (Visiting the Columbus, GA Botanical Garden)

●♀☼♂●

♫♫♫

Above abundant blooming acres, a TV news helicopter

briefly overcomes chattering woodpeckers, cardinals, cuckoos and ducks.

Unlike my redhaired friend a congested victim of a summer cold,

my mood is elevated to a heavenly space

a bush of aromatic white ginger lilys hugging my back.

7:30 am

Silence abruptly returns.

Breaking it a handsome woman’s sumptuously hungry yawn

exhibiting a perfect set of new upper and lower molar implants. I’m happy for her. Smile.  It took a decade of planning and saving to fill naked gums. How devastatingly altered her economic life became adjuncting at the college after her husband died. I watch these thoughts pass like a slow-moving cloud train. My body browned naturally from plenteous melanin and June sunshine. Also floating.  Out of body now.  I observe it sitting on a wooden bench, leaning self-consciously into grass-green foliage. No judgement.

Ever treat yourself to a gingler lily high? I watch myself answer myself.

Yeah.

Plant intoxication’s the best high

—soft eyes closed breathing naturally

then slowly deeply, I daydream😊

chewing on the tender stem of a deliciously fragrant white ginger lily

time travel on the wings of its hypnotic allure back to night Jasmine evenings in Jacksonville, Fl. 

My friend sits at the opposite end of the bench

enveloped

in personal quiet revelry.

I will not interrupt to tell her how I miss those late evenings

cavorting with charming flower faeries, invisible, in the borders of wild flowers, evergreen shrubs, and southern red oaks or question if the exquisitely spicy spirit team welcoming visitors at the doorway of my Princeton Square Blvd condo have moved on as I have done.

I will not disturb her peace divulging memories of a medium

size brown Florida king snake occupying my first-floor open patio

nonthreatening not venomous, but a neighbor a nosy unlikeable white lady complained about snakes and the leasing office cut down its nesting tree, not knowing or not caring that its prey is rattle snakes and other venomous snakes, that it rarely bites.

No use fooling myself.  My open eyes drink in a brilliant canopy of vast azure. Tranquility the angel at my side.  But I am not meditating. Thoughts and feelings visit as they please. When she waves a thin swarm of flying insects away from her smooth angular face, we share a soft gentle smile–my friend and I.

Our plan was to arrive at the botanical garden before touring teachers and their students. Typically, we don’t talk much during our walk preferring submersion into rivers of morning sunshine, benevolent sky, noisy birds and early morning crickets. We walk a mile from her lavish senior community in harmony pretending we don’t hear automobile engines roaring past us on the hill.

Our plan

sit

contemplate

meditate

▲▲▲

Out of the blue she exclaims

as if channeling,

don’t concern yourself with materiality,

career, homeownership, marriage, sexual love

evolve

your purpose?

elevate souls

counsel, help people heal themselves

by loving themselves deeply

unabashedly

star seeds

spirit seeds

moon seeds

natural laws accenting cosmic views

manifest an idea for a poem a dance a song

you are

creator

you know this

░—-░—-░—-

but i am —–

disturbed

because honestly i don’t know where i am going

rather, i am igbodu

armed primarily with ancient self-knowledge

literally transforming

in the shadows of uncertain difficult times

polyps extracted during a colon resection, missing my granddaughter’s graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, a withdrawn tenure-track contract, sudden relocation, sudden unemployment, releasing romantic delusions, pretentious self-serving colleagues and friends

my good fortune?

trusting life

that’s all i have

bruised

some aspect of this thing called me fumes

SCREAMS

into the void

this friend, spirit, woman, guide, who is speaking?

spewing lofty ideas from a position of material opulence

married 61 years to the same pilot

homeowners in one house 45 years

who is she to tell me what is or is not fit for me?

am i not as grace nichols a ‘long memoried woman’

beading life’s rhythms on a calabash of never ending

black-woman-stressors trying to calm down

bathing in basil, thyme, rosemeary, vanilla bean,

white roses, carnations, and sage trying to calm down

collecting beads, cloth, stones, and fresh wild flowers

for prayer, affirmation, manifestation, ancestral altars

am i not nursing this black body back to health

after how many near nervous breakdowns (no one knew of them)

seeing my childhood dream house engulfed in flames?

Lulama I Never Stole Anything

●♀☼♂●

They met in a basement laundromat

Lulama and a blond midwestern mother

turning a typical laundry-hour into story-time

entertaining curious tenants with well spun funny tales

about bank robbers, their stupidity and how thieves deserve eternal damnation

“I’ve never stolen anything,” the blond wound down almost in a whisper.

Lulama’s deep brown eyes flew wide alert

the long hair line above them beguiling, black, beautiful

Quiet throughout the loud woman’s stories

she imagined never taking anything that belonged to another

remembered

the one sweet lemon drop at the supermarket

plucked from the dispenser’s sticky golden stream

filling her thin bulging plastic bag

paid for by weight, once a month

remembered

a new roll of toilet paper sealed in drab blue paper

hurriedly swiped from the truck stop’s bathroom

reeking of urine and pizza (a rest stop in the 17 hour

ride to Jacksonville, where she celebrated her 40th birthday)

remembered

a box of yellow number 2 pencils, a plethora of rainbow highlighters, two reams of copy paper, a stapler, some blue ball-point ink pens-her favorite,

meticulously arranged in an attractive wooden organizer with four cubes in her home office– guiltless reminders of office supplies the college provided faculty, but should she have returned them when her contract terminated?

and on occasion

                                    once back in the Lexus

turning the key in its ignition

                                    she remembered

that the too-skinny-to-write-with-ink pen in her purse

                                    belonged to the bank teller

Proud of herself

the young mother elaborately fanned clarifying fires as if

she could read Lulama’s thoughts

“I’ve never even walked away with a cashier’s ink pen, no matter how much I have on my mind”

Eyebrows jump high on Lulama’s forehead

before the mother completely turned her back

before she picked up a small  child’s T-shirt to fold

Lulama found her tongue

In disbelief

she pointed to a bottle of clothes softner

wedged between a box of detergent and a pile of

blue jeans in the woman’s basket

“That’s mine,” said Lulamajudgement not altogether absent

Joseph Morgan

●♀☼♂●

It’s blistering hot at 7:30 a.m.

i amble happily back to my fire red 2005 Toyota

jot down this poem on my iPhone

keeping a promise to him

impressions a cloud of pink around the entire Walmart parking lot

Beautiful souls may travel light

soft spoken his calm ultramarine eyes gulp my energy

but i am not drained in the least

its his long brown eye lashes hovering above

creative visions and day dreams

thoughts stubbornly wedded to the power of the moment

that…  …   …   fill me with a high dose of his innocent

trust and love of life

i’ve lived in this dustbowl for 11 months now and no one but

he has initiated compliment of my nappy hair style and with a sincere

welcoming smile at that!

as if he knew i would arrive today, he wraps

me with a warm smile that is pure magic

a four-foot carpet rolled out just for me

When i reach Joseph, we chat easily moving from one random topic to another like we’ve known each other intimately for a long long time

I want him to know that i care do not judge

and so listen attentively

selfconsciously policing my teacherly-person

instinctively guiding discussions

He has a lot to say about movie production

and team work, not that i understand all that he says

he’s soft spoken and some of his thoughts tangle in my ear canal

was he a movie producer in another life time, i wonder,

actor, film script writer, business executive in hollywood?

i almost giggle with happy anticipation, feeling certain

his life’s purpose must entail creative expression

My contribution to the conversation is mostly a nod

because i’m trying so hard not to really think about anything

exploring the shadows of timelessness clinging to the man before me

Joseph vibrates light one must feel not see

like knowledge and freedom coupling under protective wings of becoming

who is this gentle soul pink naked feet unclad?

navy blue flip flops the quality found at any $1 store offer contrast

a story of abundance crowning personhood and a heap of possessions

in a swollen supermarket cart

who is this gentle soul staying hydrated in desert heat

his puissant sweet smile repelling anchors of mental discord? who is this man seemingly content with his homey cart: a narrow stream of felt plaid material yellow, orange and white piles high crawling in and out of aluminum wire windows, rests on a dingy white sheet, a worn black leather jacket, other indistinct clothes, a crate of water, books, umbrella, some empty soda cans, a bunch of empty plastic 16 oz water bottles. 

Day’s inn hotel in/on buckmans that’s where i can find him later

Instinctively  i frown uncertain

did  i got the location of the inn correct?

what’s his plan for the day I ask

lay in the grass he pipes and i smile

most of us are too “civil” to “cultured” too “miseducated” too busy

Joseph’s shifting his weight throughout our chit-chat

me too, each of us ignoring strangers who glare through us circle wide into the recently smelly tarred road, avoiding close contact

I think i told him he dresses like a dancer, commented

on his grace and style and artistry                  his lithe body a living canvas

When i ask permission to take his photo to write a poem by, he’s excited says he hasn’t seen himself in a photo for quite some time, then strikes a pose back against a brick corporate wall, right arm stretched out horizontally entire body decorating cement and capitalist invention

with honor, humility, forgiveness.

Joseph’s a person who has acquired many things throughout unpredictable travels, I think about this throughout the photo shoot

Images

the suggestive oversize red low cut T with 9 wide oblong slits heart to navel, strings of intriguing black leather and silver necklaces their dangling pentacle, chains, washers, a yellow and green beaded choker; cool pale blue cut-off jeans naughtily set off atop black thigh high tights, and fish net stockings barely holding on to original shape.

Take a look at the “man in the mirror” his figure seems to plead

a pink body-wash glove with cut outs for fingers and thumbs

and indigo adidas cap boast his delight.

awesome, we chime in harmony studying his photo

the addidas cap is the only thing he doesn’t like

inexplicably our worlds turn inside out

nothing he says is clear enough for me to make sense of

i read the first draft of the poem dedicated to him

ask first if he’s listening cuz he breaks into a ramble of thoughts that

have nothing to do with the photo as far as i can tell

respectfully, kindly, he responds

yes

quiets down stands tall with knotty hands

folded limp resting in front of him

listening now

when the poem concludes his eyes sparkle

he says he likes it but after that some aspect of him recedes deeply

like his voice even lower softer than at first meeting

I should leave and continue running errands for the day

part of me does not wish to leave him there

the flow of his essence spilling out into a careless

world of blind heartless fearful people

So i stand with him a little longer listening to his

melodic incomprehensible messages

enjoying the respite of his blue-green eyes

Mind Hug!

●♀☼♂●

the next time

            you gaze

            upon a full silver moon,

                        get your mind hug on!

            languish there

            dissolve in brilliant

            invigoration

            new beginnings

            cheerful

            faithful

                        baby steps

let moon shadows

scratch that annoying

brain itch

smile


Ori Psychic Detox

●♀☼♂●

in the land of ancient Iz[1]

what is veritable and to whom pales

beyond

boundaries of phenomenology

like the colorful costumes of flesh and blood and bone and roots—

masks the unfathomable wears

in fact, one errors referencing a nomenclatural space called Iz

but how else to relieve the pressures of that something blanketing

a zoo of manifestation with mesmeric veils of ignorance?

as a small child we look to the sky feeling inexplicably one with it

believing like a bird we too can fly

if we’re fortunate someone perhaps a teacher at school

will introduce us to physics and expand

our childhood inquiry into matter

or it may be at an airport we glean a sky magazine article

and learn a new hypothesis that the infinitely imperceptible

space we know exists but can’t touch is no more than a tiny point of departure

nearly an octillion[2] a 1 followed by 27 zeroes. from a point of reality tinier than mere naked eyes perceive explodes the protons, electrons, neutrons all the particles we commonly refer to as Self, sky, boat, Facebook, moon, oranges, heaven, drum, lion, purgatory, D flat major scale, water, peppermint every manifestation.

but what’s behind that tiny point of departure the bare eyes don’t see?

can it be Izzness

the unfathomable

the void of conceptualization

thus, that space where

            no victimization

            no depression

            no outside

            no inside

            no sickness

            no wellness

no east

            no west

no courage

no fear

no slavery haunts

no judgement

no manichean maxim breeding opposites, light and dark, good and evil no mythic rendering the epic of gilgamesh and its sumerian clay cuneiform tablets fictitious

no poverty

no wealth

no success

no north

no south

no injustice

no justice

no failure

no love

no hatred

no greed

no success

no generosity

no clarity

no confusion

no winning

no losing

no death

no life

no enemy

no friend

no peace

no fury

no age

no time

     ?

detoxing

in

a

panacean

void


[1] Although the language varies from person to person, it is the metaphysics of oneness, emptiness, and the infinite shifting into the finite that have preoccupied poets, healers, sages, and philosophers throughout the ages. I first heard the term “is-ness” while contemplating a Mooji baba question: “can the perceiver itself be perceived?” For the

fundamentals on Mooji’s is-ness, see Ms Direwolf. “Mooji Stay As The Isness.” You Tube, 13 June 2014. www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mooji+isness. Accessed 13 November 2019.

[2] Childers, Tim. “We May Finally Understand the Moments Before the Big Bang. “Live Science, livescience.com/physicists-model-reheating-universe.html. Accessed 13 November 2019.



‘Pieces of a Dream’

●♀☼♂●

what quality of peace do you expect? dream about? hope for?

it matters what we create honoring a time of peace

            like

everything else, peace is illusory         a feel good

            prayer

            affirmation

            intention

                                                harmless

                                                                        toothless

            yet the peace my people adhere to bears jagged fangs

            in waning moonlit hours that turn milk into blood scavengers thirst for

clinging to our skin like salty perspiration is May 14 1985

hard-to-die memories of city officials dropping a bomb on MOVE

a peace-loving lock adorned communal-living household of black

families living country style in a West Philadelphia inner city neighborhood,

eleven people died five of whom were children

did MOVE members die because a few negroes complained to city officials about the chickens waking them up at 5 am? not likely

for us

always the threat of systematic institutionalized

violence

against us lurks

mildly asthmatic and breathless

below the ===space where white flags signify surrender

memories of a police robot killing freedom soldier Micah

form rivulets of exhaustion wearing down nerves and patience and faith

there’s no doubt about it

peace is the justice my people die for and it bears sharp fangs

            see us crying over graves swelling with corpses of children, women and men

murdered at the hands of police officers abusing their authority with impunity

Wow, you’re doing all of this for a failure to signal?” 

That’s 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s response on July10, 2015 to a police officer in Hempstead, TX, demanding she exit her car as he pointed a stun gun in her face threatening “I will light you up!”  Sandra’s cell phone video shows her thrown to the ground and the officer’s knee holding her down. Three days later this Prairie View A & M alumnus and newly hired university ambassador was found hung in a Waller County jail.

unprotected

and caught up in the system

that’s my people

so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the peace = i claim

for myself and for this species i call huwamity

            well, its unattainable

living run-of-the-mill days in ordinary ways

peace is gotten only in the beatitudes of a divinity so high she forgets to breathe

[i]


[i]Huwamity is a linguistic symbolic debunking the word humanity as biased language. Here the term “humanity” is interrogated as inherent reference to females and children, for “man” is the only visual inspired the only identifiable agent of power.

SKY CANVAS

●♀☼♂●

Hail white cloud big foot!

From my country home sunroof,

I am transfixed by your floating artistry gliding in and out of yourself

banishing anxiety

Is that a cavernous mouth sticking out its fat tongue?

In my sudden minute of distraction,

you become a dog lapping up musky campfire smoke

then a wispy tail of a small case letter y

inside a bull’s eye

now turning a vaporous 8

What giant’s legs you have white cloud big foot?

wide as boulders

they float-stretch beyond distinction

like my worry never to return

goodbye

Superconscious

●♀☼♂●

we all,

                                    feeling

unprotected,

            respond differently

            to the vicissitudes of life

            manichean dynamics

            challenges

            surprises

            disturbing currents

            of events

            some steal

            become bitter, depressed

            others are alcoholics

            each

            fully

            in

            control

            whether we know this

            or

            not