Category: Poetry Month 2018

Spelman As Birthplace

What many don’t know is that I was born in a small laboratory on the campus of Spelman College. Not the student but the teacher…

An assistant like a birthing coach, bringing life forward from a womb prepared for the journey.

Fertile like the crescent, I Am EGO Tripping like Nikki, turning myself into myself I have become joy.

“Sistah, what does this mean?”

The first question on the first day forced me to turn soil, uncover diamonds in the rough, mine precious metals–tough from tumble–pump oil and uranium as energetic as the sun.

Every symbol, every note, singing with the strength of that circle.


Like a miner’s tool carving answers to the brokenness that comes from failure, until the next day when water reveals the jewels, the treasure.

Like gold only better.

Life-giving, sustaining.

Like water.

Flow and hustle…one and the same.




Effect. No Affect.

You are more than what you do.

You are what I feel.



Sweet like kissed lips.



Bitter like truth.

No domino, just Morton…like the salt of the ocean on a warm and rainy day.

What you do to make me take my medicine…

Like Nikki said in “A Good Cry”

Like what it is

“If I have to hospital”

“The medicine for love is sex” but I don’t want to be cured in spite of my desire to receive your treatment.

Are you real or can I expect to be changed by your placebo affect?

Not domino

Just Morton

Though sweet, not salty

Just loving on purpose and anticipating the end of this here trial.

Where I’m From

Shadows cast by cemetery trees and skyscrapers…

Hot dog trucks along grassy greens.

City pools, train tracks and Edison’s old factory

Black Maria down the street

Super fund site in, my backyard

Next door neighbors’ grape vines sprawling over an almost unwired fence.

Two mile wild walk from the promise of well integrated schools where grateful families bused their children to greatness…

Hot pressed hair after choir rehearsal for white dress and badges on Sunday. Thank you Lord for hymnals falling apart in the pew. Lights flickering in the fellowship hall from foot-stomping joy above.

Lights out, kerosene and cornbread too salty…too sweet. Yellow like cake, not white, like right…with buttermilk and love stirred by hand with bacon grease from the can on the side of the stove.

Where’s daddy? Why daddy? Mommy when?

Subways screeching, escalator rolling, conductor mumbling


Sit down girl, get up baby, pancakes steaming love.

Where I’m from, we love on purpose, play on purpose, talk on purpose, walk on purpose, take on purpose…

Wearing her on our shoulders like grandma’s fox-faced stole.

From Brick City to O’Jays’ home, Jackie Gleason’s school across the street, Latimer’s legacy, Radon Girls, Black Girl Magic from Jersey to New York, Ohio to North Carolina…I’m from good, bad and wonderful.

Black love and joy.

One parent, two parent, three parent



Work done to grow me and show me God’s love and pure mercy.

Over dinner,

Over Roots,

Over Good Times,

Where I’m from…