Dive By Andrea Gibson

i often repeat myself
and the second time’s a lie
i love you
i love you
see what i mean i don’t
…and i do
and i’m not talking about a girl i might be kissing on
i’m talking about this world i’m blissing on
and hating
at the exact same time
see life—doesn’t rhyme
it’s bullets…and wind chimes
it’s lynchings…and birthday parties
it’s the rope that ties the noose
and the rope that hangs the backyard swing
it’s a boy about to take his life
and with the knife to his wrist
he’s thinking of only two things
his father’s fist
and his mother’s kiss
and he can’t stop crying
it’s wanting tonight to speak
the most honest poem i’ve ever spoken in my life
not knowing if that poem should bring you closer
to living or dying
drowning or flying
cause life doesn’t rhyme
last night i prayed myself to sleep
woke this morning
to find god’s obituary scrolled in tears on my sheets
then walked outside to hear my neighbor
erasing ten thousand years of hard labor
with a single note of his violin
and the sound of the traffic rang like a hymn
as the holiest leaf of autumn fell from a plastic tree limb
beautiful —and ugly
like right now
i’m needing nothing more than for you to hug me
and if you do
i’m gonna scream like a caged bird
see…life doesn’t rhyme
sometimes love is a vulgar word
sometimes hate calls itself peace on the nightly news
i’ve heard saints preaching truths
that would have burned me at the stake
i’ve heard poets tellin lies that made me believe in heaven
sometimes i imagine hitler at seven years old
a paint brush in his hand at school
thinkin what color should i paint my soul
sometimes i remember myself
with track marks on my tongue
from shooting up convictions
that would have hung innocent men from trees
have you ever seen a mother falling to her knees
the day her son dies in a war she voted for
can you imagine how many gay teen-age lives were saved
the day matthew shepherd died
could there have been anything louder
than the noise inside his father’s head
when he begged the jury
please don’t take the lives of the men
who turned my son’s skull to powder
and i know nothing would make my family prouder
than giving up everything i believe in
still nothing keeps me believing
like the sound of my mother breathing
life doesn’t rhyme
it’s tasting your rapist’s breath
on the neck of a woman who loves you more
than anyone has loved you before
then feeling holy as jesus
beneath the hands of a one night stand
who’s calling somebody else’s name
it’s you never feelin more greedy
than when you’re handing out dollars to the needy
it’s my not eating meat for the last seven years
then seeing the kindest eyes i’ve ever seen in my life
on the face of a man with a branding iron in his hand
and a beat down baby calf wailing at his feet
it’s choking on your beliefs
it’s your worst sin saving your fucking life
it’s the devil’s knife carving holes into your soul
so angels will have a place to make their way inside
life doesn’t rhyme
still life is poetry — not math
all the world’s a stage
but the stage is a meditation mat
you tilt your head back
you breathe
when your heart is broken you plant seeds in the cracks
and you pray for rain
and you teach your sons and daughters
there are sharks in the water
but the only way to survive
is to breathe deep
and dive

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We Real Cool By Gwendolyn Brooks


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

The Responsibility Of Knowledge

“If you make an observation, you have an obligation.” – M.K. Asante

Blue Dream

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Que sera, sera.

Aloft, suspended thoughts fall.

Should I let all rest, so easily?
Ruminations of her memory
Whisper quietly to me.

Soft as though a gentle breeze,
And still she brings me to my knees.
I wish I could ride this zephyr home,
But she rests for nobody.

Consistently erratic,
Her signal’s often static.
I tweak the receivers to get the picture,
Remaining non-pragmatic.

She lives present for a moment,
Then she’s gone for eternity.
Sparking up my strongest affections,
Smothering them delicately.

Should I stay and drift this love supreme,
And further stretch my bluest dream?
Or let rationality reign alone,
And spit me upon the sea?

Bold As Love (Amidst The Axes)

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Your kisses,
mixed with salty tears.
A word – or two, or three;
Spoken naturally.

We know
it’s a bit early,
but are thankful
just the same.

As I get out of the car,
I drop my Nano.
I think I’m realizing
how deeply you
have made contact.

It pains me to see you drive
away; So I turn my priorities
from the work at my desk,
to extract the warm tea
that brews in my breast.

Love is bold, just ask the axis.

When you smile,
let me know that I am
the object of your affection,
I learn to fully appreciate
the meaning of grace;
And grateful joy runs
through my veins.

Amidst the blemishes,
you manage to find me,
between these reds,
blues, and greens.

Every Day Life

“Every day you can do one of the two things: build healthy, life-affirming habits, or produce disease in yourself.” – Adelle Davis