J.C. Bloem, “How notably stiller death is compared to sleep.”

The rhythm is slightly off, but I think it conveys the mood better.

And this stayed with me forever,
How notably stiller death is –compared to sleep,
That it is a daily marvel to live,
And that we, with every ‘wakeningawaken     as if from death.

Another ending, bit more awkward:

And this stayed with me forever:
How notably stiller death is compared to sleep,
That it is a daily marvel, to be alive,
That we with every ‘wakening    are       resurrected.

En voor altijd is mij bijgebeleven:
hoe zeer veel stiller dood dan slapen is;
dat het een daaglijks wonder is, te leven,
en elk ontwaken een herrijzenis.

J.C. Bloem

“Reconciling Life With Death,” Early Verses by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, ship’s doctor.

Early Verses by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, ship’s doctor. Loose translation by me.

Autumn comes with storm and gusts of wind around the forests
Those, moaning, shake their leafage loose,
Make bunched-up-fruits cascade from branches,
Over-ripe summer fruit plop down to earth,
In moist soil-layers silently forming,
Composting into elemental matter:
All life obeys the seasons.
This then is reconciling life with death:
That all harvests are rooted in decaying matter;
That drab gray grounds paint roses blushing red;
That out of moulding thickets; out of the unwanted,
A Freedom will arise, a blossoming laden with fruit.

— Eerste Verzen. J.J. Slauerhoff

Herfst komt met storm en floersen om de bosschen
Die van hun loover kreunend zich verlossen,
Doet vruchtentrossen uit de takken storten,
Het vooze zomerooft ten gronde ploffen,
In vochtige bodemlagen stil verworden,
Verteren tot oorspronkelijke stoffen:
Het leven is gehoorzaam aan seizoenen.

Dit is het leven met den dood verzoenen:
Dat alle oogsten wortlen in het doode,
Dat grauwe gronden rozen overrooden;
Uit de vermolmde woeker, het verfoeisel,
Zal Vrijheid stijgen, een volvruchtig bloeisel.

Tender-heartedness, Harry Graham.

My dad would always giggle when he recited this to me and my sister. He had a couple of others too that were racier.

Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes;
Now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven’t the heart to poke poor Billy.

— Harry Graham. The poem is called Tender-heartedness.

The Bees’ song. Walter de la Mare

Non-sensical ballad! Hurrah!

The Bees’ song.

Thousandz of thornz there be
On the Rozez where gozez
The Zebra of Zee:
Sleek, striped, and hairy,
The steed of the Fairy
Princess of Zee.

Heavy with blossomz be
The Rozez that growzez
In the thickets of Zee.
Where grazez the Zebra,
Marked Abracadeeebra,
Of the Princess of Zee.

And he nozez the poziez
Of the Rozez that growzez
So luvez’m and free,
With an eye, dark and wary,
In search of a Fairy,
Whose Rozez he knowzez
Were not honeyed for he,
But to breathe a sweet incense
To solace the Princess
Of far-away Zee.

Walter de la Mare

– Poet Ross Gay in an extraordinary essay in The Sun (sez Lillian Allen).

Feels like some kind of poetry!

“What if we acknowledged the drug war, and the resulting mass incarceration of African Americans, and the myriad intermediate crimes against citizens and communities as a product of our fears? And what if we thereby had to reevaluate our sense of justice and the laws and procedures and beliefs that constitute it? What if we honestly assessed what we have come to believe about ourselves and each other, and how those beliefs shape our lives? And what if we did it with generosity and forgiveness? What if we did it with mercy?”

– Poet Ross Gay in an extraordinary essay in The Sun (Lillian Allen).

Joel Dias-Porter, “I did not write this poem– in anger”

I did not write this poem
in anger,
I did not write this poem
in “Self-Defense.”
I did not write this poem.
Because my pen is empty from
having already written & written this poem.
– Joel Dias-Porter


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Black* Transwoman to Black Cis/Transman: An Open Letter/Poem for Trayvon and the Rest of Us





From the drug dealers, heart surgeons, stuck at rock bottom, ten years sober, servin’ a dime to life, ex-con turned youth-minister, trans*, gay, D.L., paraplegic, Olympic gold-medal winnin’, current U.S. presidency presidin’, illiterate, artistic, broke as a joke, ballin’, dark-skindid, light-skindid, country-bama, Brooklyn-bred, OG, GD, Rasta bombaclot, to the European transplant and etc.

And no matter how many Jim Crow laws you revise, nothin’ can change that. I grew up with black* men. I’ve fought with black* men. And black* men have fought, for me. Hell, I was supposed to be, a black*, man. I’ve been insulted by black* men. I’ve been consoled by black* men. I’ve been schooled, had my socks knocked off, and mind blown by black* men. I’ve loved black* men, and had the privilege of having them love me back.

Therefore I KNOW BETTER. Black* men are human. They come complete with contributions as well as flaws. And black* men have a seemingly generational immortal dream to live. Therefore I KNOW BETTER than to believe you when say they deserve to die. Therefore I KNOW BETTER than to believe your propaganda. Therefore, I won’t.


Black* transwoman to black* cis/trans* man. I revere and respect you for living brave in a world that hunts you with hypocritical indignation. I thank you for living in the body I couldn’t and doing it with such swag, intellect, and a vengeance.

As a black* transwoman I want you to know that I never abandoned you or took the easy way out. A war was waged on black* bodies the moment the first slave touched Virginian soil in the 1600′s. So I transitioned from “male” to “female” because I just needed to be in more comfortable battle fatigues.


Trayvon Martin was my little brother, Emmitt Till, my North Carolina sharecropper forefathers, and me before I transitioned. Young, black*, male-bodied, and trying to figure out why my body owes the world an apology. Black* communities across the world, please hear me. Before I knew what trans* meant, I knew how black* felt. Non-LGBT black* people I beg of you. Discard your fear and join forces with your LGBT black* siblings. Because everyday we lose more and more of our sons. Ase.

All work published on BGD is the intellectual property of its writers. Please do not republish anything from this site without express written permission from BGD. Yes, linking to this post on Facebook and Twitter or elsewhere is okay.

KOKUMỌ is an African-American transgender woman and product of Chicago’s South Side. To KOKUMỌ surviving is passé. Therefore, she believes in sanctioning artistic, political, and actual space for other Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and Intersex (TGI) people of color to thrive in. In accordance to this belief and her name, she created KOKUMỌMEDIA. KOKUMỌMEDIA uses film, music, and literature to create and generate realistic depictions of TGI people of color.

SUPPORT BGD’s writers and help amplify the voices of queer and trans* people of color!

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‘Midlight the Stable Place.’ R.P. Blackmur

From ‘Midlight the Stable Place’ (that word midlight!)

‘Below the southern, seaward ledges, where,
Such is the heavy weathering away,
No flower grows, no silence hearts the air,
Each rock gives slowly from its utmost bay,


It is midwaste of breaking and the foam,
Midblack the upward curve, the flecking lace,
There always order gives disorder room,
There always midlight is the stable place.


R.P. Blackmur

“Why He Stroked The Cats” by Merill Moore.

Merrill Moore, a psychiatrist in Boston, born in 1903 in Columbia, Tennessee, is one of the poets I love most.

His poem “Why He Stroked The Cats” always fills me with such happiness over language (laconic) and imagery, I have read it many, many times.

I have posted it before and here it is again- Why He Stroked the Cats
He stroked the cats on account of a specific cause,
Namely, when he entered the house he felt
That the floor might split and the four walls suddenly melt
In strict accord with certain magic laws
That, it seemed, the carving over the door meant,
Laws violated when men like himself stepped in,
But he had nothing to lose and nothing to win,
So in he always stepped. Before him went
Always his shadow. The sun was at his back.
The ceilings were high and the passageway was so black
That he welcomed the great cats who advanced to meet him,
The two of them arching their soft high backs to greet him;
He would kneel and stroke them gently under their jaws,
All that is mentioned above being the cause.
–Merill Moore