Poetry is language. In my younger years, it kept me from being reckless with words. It was my sounding board.
I came with a code, you see. And that code was my poetic voice. At some point in my life, (I believe I was in my twenties.), I stopped writing poems and turned to other forms. I did well, exploring; but it was as if I had forgotten about my mother tongue.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my native language. My forms of communication. My words…when I share, what I share, and the timing in which… I am reminded of the power of the tongue. I am reminded of a very special form of communication and how much I’ve missed it as a creative outlet.
I can honestly say that I was born a poet…. the way I think, how I move in any given space, how I love, how I praise the Lord, how I speak (my words interspersed with pauses and beats), how I see and interact with the world, the constant music in my head, the dancing girl in my heart, and the evolving woman I Am…
These are my Poetics, and at the end of the day, I am my own free-verse.
It’s amazing how much time can pass before you realize you haven’t really been your natural-born self…
like newly formed flowers
that started blooming
and then, the weather changed
Now we stand,
with an umbrella over our heads
so we don’t get soaked.
We’re in deep,
and neither of us can swim.
So we wade…
forgetting to breathe…
our earth opening…
I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.
I kept you.
Tucked you inside of my life’s diary
because you were a flower,
and I wanted to remember you
like I found you.
But my pages crushed you,
drying you out.
I began to understand how nature works.
You fill my cup and then
I feel you rebelling,
corroding and then rusting,
as it were all artificial.
You didn’t notice the scuff marks
or my feet dragging as I bit and spit my nails out.
I remained unanswered
like a bolted door…
heroic and ephemeral like Serena’s black bodysuit…
Back pressed against the vinyl flat,
heart pulsing from the inside.
I sank down.
for you to see me again for the first time.
Why Would You Stay?
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.