Thursday, June 22, 2017

From my literature corner: Women Poems with Heart, Tears, Sadness, Rejection and Abandonment

Not What It Takes
Poem by Patricia 

When I was thirteen
I noticed myself becoming a woman
or what I thought was a woman then.
My first time I was allowed to wear make-up
I experimented until it was so heavy
that it’s a wonder my face
didn’t fall,
It was so thick.

I rode around and around
the block on my bicycle
where my first boyfriend lived.
I was hoping he’d notice
That now I was grown.

So I thought.

On one trip around the block
He finally came out of his house
And hollered: HELLO
So, I stopped.

He took one look at my make-up
Red lips and all,
and laughed.

Well, I knew then that’s not what it takes
To be a woman.

Poem by Chrystal

When she is asleep, she dreams
Of a lot people round her
But she can’t communicate with them.
It is as if she is invisible.
She wants to scream or move in some way
So she will be like them.

If she could just get her sister or mother
Or anyone to just touch her, she would be reality
As they are.

There are many people around her talking
And laughing.

They think she is in their presence and they talk
To her. They don’t know she can’t reply back.
They think she is normal
But she is not.

If someone would just touch her
She would be in their company
Mentally and physically.

She fights desperately and finally wakes up.
She wakes up frightened.
Why does she dream this so often?
What does it mean?
Where is she at?

I can’t stand his face
because the doorway
is always closed.

can’t let me see inside.

Doing Something Wrong

As a child I was always
doing something wrong.

Not because I was Black
but because I was a girl
and not a boy.

I didn’t like it, 
being a girl. 

Poem by Peggy Sue

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet
Smoking her pot that was dusted.

Along came a spider
And sat down beside her
And hailed:

Hark! I’m a narc
And you’re busted!

A Sense of Love   
 Poem by Sandra

The grandchildren haven’t turned out
The way we thought they would.
Their parents are hurt and angry,
Ashamed, and worried about it.

I’m not.
I like these kids the way they are, 
Open and honest, disorganized and gentle,
Scruffy and kind.

They don’t seem to mind spending time
With me. We talked about real things:
Dreams, peace, the sky.

They tell me living
Is more important than accomplishing things.
I agree.

Their parents are outraged by this.
So I don’t go into it.
I say the kids came.

The parents say, Good. At least
They have a sense of duty.

I think they have a sense of love.

(C) poems from “So I Swung: An anthology" of work by women in the Travis County Jail, (Austin, Texas) 1978

It can't Be Love  
Poem by Zandra Diane Holmes

When we talked, I never seemed to listen.
When we loved I never shared the passion.
When we walked I never walked beside you.
When we laughed I faked my smiling gesture.
But when we argued, I awakened.

Marian Anderson
Poem by Loretta Campbell
Black Forum, 1978

She opened her mouth to sing and 
the DAR called the FBI,
who called the CIA, who called the KKK,
who burned a cross in her honor.

She opened her mouth to sing and                 
little Black girls went from
Baptist churches to voice teachers and
lined up outside the Met waiting for
the doors to open.

She opened her mouth to sing and
the White House turned up its hearing aide
while Eleanor pulled her chair up closer
to hear a revolution.

She opened her mouth to sing
and the winds of change whistled through
the crack in the Liberty Bell.
America heard a symphony in the first note.
© poems from Black Forum, Fall/Winter 1978  

*** Note: On April 9, 1939 opera singer Marian Anderson, who could not sing in all-White opera houses. She was barred from hosting a concert at Constitution Hall because of her race. This what the poem is about. The protest against Anderson was activated by The Daughters of the American Revolution. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR in protest. She helped arrange for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial.

of her choosing
Poems by dorothy Charles banks
From “Black Maria”, 1979

e/z tears flood
her eyes nearly drownin
her face, washin
away Maybelline eye lashes
that waved good/bye, so long
As did her lover

and she chose to go insane
Rather than lose him

Rather than be a/lon and
lonely, watchin happy teevee 

Rather than suicide herself, seeing
him no more                                                        

she asked me, her best friend:
ain’t that nothin
showin how damn weak I am
showin how silly I am
choosin to go n/sane
cause my cheatin man left me
leavin me outdoors
but still in love with him

leavin me weepin and grovelin
at his feet, beggin for a
little kindness from him

he didn’t give me an explanation
I deserve to know his
reason for leavin me

but he did tell me in a hateful voice:
“Bitch, yo’ ass is all the 
way out of my life! Forever and ever!
You too fuckin weak and needy!”

his words stabbed hard at my heart and soul
 but I still love him with 
my bleedin heart 
my bleedin soul
I can’t even weep for myself
I hurt so much

ain’t that nothin?
I mean . . . 
ain’t that really nothin?

Cold poem unwritten

I’m trying to write
A cold poem cause
Men keep telling me
I’m cold.
I went to Alaska
To meditate 
And wait for a cold poem
To freeze itself
Inside my head.
3 days later
I left Alaska and 
The cold snow, 
Returning to the states,
Poemless and colder 
Than ever.

(C) by dorothy charles banks

I Have Decided
 Poem by Mary McAnally
From the book “We Will Make A River” 


I have decided that I own my emptiness
It is mine.
I can tap at the roof of it
with the tip of my tongue.
I can thrash around in it
when the bowels of the night
rumble across my forehead.
I can imprison it between my thighs.
I can lure it out of me
for several delicious moments
and gaze at it
through the windows of my wrists.
I can turn up my collar
and let it shrivel me to noting.
I can hurl it across the caverns of the moon
and wait for my cycle to bring it back.
I can wear it on the ark of my consciousness
or let it simmer out the corners of my mouth.
No one can fill it but me
Nor spill it across the fine silk web of my days.
This emptiness is mine
and I own it.

Drag Assing

drag assing
ass dragging
the hot ground
cause she too lazy too
prance like she is
full of self confidence.

Miss Marymay saw her one day
and fussed at her for
dragging her feet.

“Stop a minute, young lady! 
You looking awfully
Like a flat-footed hussy
Who ain’t in a hurry
To get nowhere!

''Pick your feets up like you
supposed to do, girl!
I know your
Mama taught your better!

“You supposed to walk
On your feets
Not your ass!

“Lift your feets
Off that sidewalk and 
Strut like you got some pride!”

(C) by dorothy charles banks

The Closet

Poem by Peggy Scarborough  
from“Family Violence”, 1982

Moonlight Publications
There in the closet tat whispered
I’ll be good, Momma. I’m sorry
Over and over again
A little girl lay fighting demons
With tears lapping under her chin
I won’t be bad anymore, Momma
I won’t be bad anymore
I’ll be your good little girl again, Momma
But none opened the door

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