Ode To Maya Angelou


Maya,

I will always miss you.

A great tree is who You were,

Roots surging past jagged stones,

Steady, sure, sifting

Through the gravel in my bones,

Waking each cell,

Feeling each bruise,

Absorbing life’s

Battered branches sprouting with light,

And giving me strength,

And breath to breathe,

A beacon in a dark land,

Hope, when all seemed broken,

A free bird soaring,

Picking up the pieces of my heart

Where your cage fell apart,

Following the drinking gourd.

In your trail of living water

I live

In your promised land,

And though you didn’t know me

Your voice was familiar to me,

Comforting, warm like honey,

A resilient old negro spiritual,

Surging, throbbing beyond southern soil,

A thriving river soft like tear drops,

Yet strong,

Running deep where cuts lashed with sorrow

Tangled in veins, and skin, and memory.

Your words healed me with your passion,

Woke me with self-compassion.

You are the rising spirit on the backs of history,

You are the dark ocean moving,

Threading a journey into tomorrow.

Bright diamond,

In the star studded sky,

Lead the way to water,

And I will follow.

 

Karen K. L. Espaniola,

June 1, 2014

 

“Word-Hoarder” Awoken


 

 

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I try to hear a word in passing,

And pause, looking back

To you,

“Word-Hoarder”

tapping that

Space,

Between breaths,

Silence,

before noise,

matter,

My mind

A surreal zone

Trapped in rough bark,

Plunging in

a vision without emotion,

Stunted roots without time to sprout.

 

How do I live without love,

How do I feed my heart

Without poetry,

A barren limb alive without living,

An Empty cavern dark without phrases,

A broken chant without sound or meaning.

I ask, I demand drumbeats

Driving sharp spikes inward,

Bleeding roots ripping spirals

Of heart breaking turf’s fresh soil,

Up-turned earth ploughing

Unmarked graves of words,

Gutted and unburied.

 

There is no place to turn but you,

A sleeping phantom of deep seed knowing,

An ancient tree with severed branches growing,

An awakening of a thousand sunrises glowing red

Chanting on the tip of a copper tongue,

Shaking free a universe of stars for words,

Pleading with an empty bowl,

Please,

Poetry for food that my heart might be fed.

 

March 22, 2014

 

Son


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I gave you everything I could,

Gave up all that I was,

A composting tree dropping leaves

To become bare bark peeling

in every season,

in every storm,

Knowing that one day you would be better,

Stronger, brighter, smarter than I could ever be,

Your small voice asking me about the stars, and the moon, and the universe,

Hoping I would know all the answers,

Waiting for my words of gold,

My thoughts that were heaven sent,

Because you believed in me

The way I believe in you now,

The way I want you to fight now,

Fight for your right to sprout leaves,

To grow strong in the blue sky,

Branches waving in defiance over all that would keep you down,

Defy the shade that would hide you in its shadow,

Defy the world that would crumple you from the inside out,

Test your mind, your spirit, your body,

And try to place you underground.

And if I could say it all again,

I would look in your small face and tell you

That You ARE the Universe,

and the Universe is in you,

That you have the power

To make time and space your own creation,

And thrive, despite the darkness

Shine, despite the pain

And reach out, despite the heat.

For there is not one word, one phrase, one action

That could ever make me love you any less.

KKLE  February 15, 2014

To A Great Tree


 

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You were like a tree,

Limbs silhouetted with love,

And all who knew you

Clung tightly to your branches

Reveling in your strong roots.

Poetry

Copy Rights

© Karen K.L.Espaniola and hinarising.com. 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen K.L. Espaniola and hinarising.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.