The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLoveMatters #BlackLivesMatter #‎thisisluv‬ #BlackWomenMatter

The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden

The dandelion stares
In the yellow sunlight.
How very still it is!
When it is old and grey,
I blow its white hair away,
And leave it with a bald head.

.

.

The african-american poet Lula Lowe Weeden started writing poems as a child to immediate success. Her poems are intricate and direct.

.

“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

All women on women: love and sex 3/4. #ValentinesDay “Her sweet weight on my Heart a Night”

My breasts are like martinis

[…]

When I have a migraine and she reaches for me, I say
Josey, my breasts are like martinis. She nods, solemn:
People should keep their goddamn hands off yours. How
could we tell these jokes to the bartender? We can’t. He’ll never know.
I say it after scrubbing the kitchen cabinets, and she gets it:
dirty and wet. Walking in the wind, Josey says My breasts
are like martinis
 and I hail a cab, know she means shaking, ice cold.

Jill McDonough, Stanford University.

Her sweet weight on my Heart a Night 

Her sweet weight on my Heart a Night
Had scarcely deigned to lie –
When, stirring, for Beliefs delight,
My bride had slipped away – If `twas a Dream – made solid – just
The Heaven to confirm –
Or if Myself were dreamed of Her –
The power to presume – With Him remain – who unto Me –
Gave – even as to All –
A Fiction superseding Faith –
By so much – as `twas real –

Emily Dickinson.

All women on women: love and sex 4/4. #ValentinesDay

Spring is short
what is there that has eternal life
I said and
made her hands seek out
my powerful breasts
[trans. Janine Beichman] Akiko

Willa Cather. The Hawthorn Tree

ACROSS the shimmering meadows–
Ah, when she came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Up from the misty marsh-land–
Ah, when she climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breasts,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine–
Not what she said to me!

All women on women: love and sex. 2/4 #ValentinesDay #lesbian

Words, Wide Night by Carol Ann Duffy

.
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.

The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine
the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with you

and this is what it is like or what it is like in words..

.

From: Poems on the Underground, edited by Chernaik, Herbert and Benson.
Buy NEW and USED at abebooks: Poems on the Underground!!!


Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”

All women on women: love and sex 1/4. #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter #BlackVoicesMatter

“those things
which yo so laughingly call
hands are in fact two
brown butterflies fluttering
across the pleasure
they give my body”

.
— Nikki Giovanni ”The Butterfly

Mariah L. Richardson
Butter Cream

She walks
like soft cake
butter sweet
and light

my appetite whet

the day
cold
snow

I was seeking
her spring whirrs
hums like the land
black and wet

inside her sanctuary
I stand stare
nervous windows sweat
to spite the cold
blackened trees
bare branches
etching
the grey, grey sky

I dream of
curling curving
into a cadence
take her in until
we occupy
the same place
the same space

caressing her
I touch myself

I feel delicious

rose chiffon light
echoes off my skin

brushing close
she says through
Cheshire grin
“if I like it,
I lick it.”

bouquet of
myrrh sandalwood
wafts and billows

faux ming vase
bursting of cattails
and pussy willow
tease in the corner

atop
the big, big bed
royal purple
gold sheets
satin raw silk
gregorian chants
whisper lusty devotions
my mouth goes dry
my eyes wide
damp palms grasp
headboard slats
for hands to hold

“breathe”
she says as
she parts me
“breathe”

her breath warms
I am made soft
wanting wanting
dancing on my skin
I stretch/contract
clutch pillow
to the place
she tastes me
I hear the color red
feel golden and sun
piercing through
eyes sliding back
fluttering behind
closed lids

“open your eyes

see,”
she sighs

I ride and ride
surrender deep
into eyes reflecting
rain and fire and all
that is song

I ride and ride
her breath
my breath
my breath
I try to catch
in earth cracks
and breaks
lava spews and
monsoons and cave- ins
and rapture
revelations
jesus
coming
coming

outside a pewter sky
flocked by crows
mirror our black bodies
rising

 

Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”

 

 

Oh, Lucille Clifton… “Listen Children/we have always loved each other” #BlackLivesMatter #ValentinesDay

One of the most beautiful love poems for black children. So much love she has, and so careful to talk simply and direct. No big words, no flowers, chocolate or stars. Lucille Clifton passed away 5 years ago after many years of fighting cancer.

Listen Children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
always
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

listen
we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on

…………………………………………………

good times

my daddy has paid the rent
and the insurance man is gone
and the lights is back on
and my uncle brud has hit
for one dollar straight
and they is good times
good times
good times

my mama has made bread
and grampaw has come
and everybody is drunk
and dancing in the kitchen
and singing in the kitchen
of these is good times
good times
good times

oh children think about the
good times

………………………………………………….

Poem in praise of menstruation

if there is a river
more beautiful than this
bright as the blood
red edge of the moon if
there is a river
more faithful than this
returning each month
to the same delta if there

is a river
braver than this
coming and coming in a surge
of passion, of pain if there is

a river
more ancient than this
daughter of eve
mother of cain and of abel if there is in

the universe such a river if
there is some where water
more powerful than this wild
water

pray that it flows also
through animals
beautiful and faithful and ancient
and female and brave

………………………………………………….

The New Yorker remembers one of the great poets, Lucille Clifton!!

A longer, very satisfying, piece that has long lists of what to read for various age groups is at the poetry foundation.

BUY: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me.

Green fingers :) Loving plants, trees, flowers, leaves… “Greenness” by Angelina Weld Grimké #BlackHistoryMonth #ValentinesDay

Greenness by Angelina Weld Grimké

Tell me is there anything lovelier,
Anything more quieting
Than the green of little blades of grass
And the green of little leaves?

Is not each leaf a cool green hand,
Is not each blade of grass a mothering green finger,
Hushing the heart that beats and beats and beats?

.

“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

Ted Joans sings out in love and gladness: “I SEE BLACK PEOPLE/I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE/I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE/I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE/I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE” #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

What a talented person… Painter, trumpeter and jazz poet…And revolutionary…

…and repatriate to Timbuktu and later moved to Canada where he died poor “was surviving by reading poetry and selling his personal papers to libraries. He had just completed his “Collaged Autobiography,” a remarkable memoir waiting for the right publisher.” See below for the link on this information.

Andandand short before he died he said:

“So in my rather sorrowful impecunious state, I find myself filled to the beautiful brim with love and with this shared love I continue to live my poem-life.”

Black People by Ted Joans:

I SEE BLACK PEOPLE
I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE
I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE
I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE
I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY MOMMA
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY DAD
BLACK PEOPLE IS    MY SISTER,BROTHER,UNCLE,AUNT,
.      AND COUSINS
BLACK PEOPLE IS   ALL WE    BLACK PEOPLE    EVER HAD
NOW THAT WE THE BLACK PEOPLE KNOW THAT
WE THE BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD BE GLAD

 

From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me.

Hold on onto life. Love. “For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide” Etheridge Knight #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

For Black Poets
Who Think of Suicide

Black Poets should live — not leap
From steel bridges (Like the white boys do.
Black poets should live — not lay
Their necks on railroad tracks (like the white boys do.
Black Poets should seek — but not search too much
In sweet dark caves, not hunt for snipe
Down psychic trails (like the white boys do.

For Black Poets belong to Black People. Are
The Flutes of Black Lovers. Are
The Organs of Black Sorrows. Are
The Trumpets of Black Warriors.
Let All Black Poets die as trumpets,
And be buried in the dust of marching feet.

Etheridge Knight

.

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

“The sharing of joy… forms a bridge..which can be the basis for understanding.” Love joy :) Audre Lorde #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

The sharing of joy, whether
physical, emotional,
psychic, or intellectual, forms
a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for
understanding much of what is not shared between
them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

.                                   —

to that piece in each of us that refuses to be silent.

.                                   —

The oppression of women knows no ethnic nor racial boundaries, true, but that does not mean it is identical within those boundaries.

.                                   —

You loved people and you came to depend on their being there. but people
died or changed or went away and it hurt too much. The
only way to avoid that pain was not to love
anyone, and
not to let anyone get too close or too important.

The secret of not being hurt like this again,
I decided,
was never depending on anyone,
never needing, never loving.

It is the last dream of children, to be forever untouched.

Audre Lorde

Can a dream compete with onions, fried tomatoes and a hot shower? “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackWomenMatter #ValentinesDay

Do you let a dream go by because there is so much else to do? So much to cook, take the trash out, sing out loud arias and dance around. And a hot shower makes you forget everything, a luke warm shower makes you want the heat so much that you keep standing in the hope the water gets warmer. It doesn’t. And then you’re too tired or ready to go out.
Kitchenette Building by Gwendolyn Brooks
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
 .

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

For the love of food- Nikki Giovanni. #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

Knoxville Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni

I always like summer
Best
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy’s garden
And okra
And greens
And cabbage
And lots of
Barbeque
And buttermilk
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic

And listen to
Gospel music
Outside
At the church
Homecoming
And go to the mountains with
Your grandmother
And go barefooted
And be warm
All the time
Not only when you go to bed
And sleep

From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me.

Love your peoples. “We’re an Africanpeople/hard-softness burning black” by Don L. Lee #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #ValentinesDay

From: African Poems

We’re an Africanpeople
hard-softness burning black
the earth’s magic colour our veins.
an Africanpeople are we,
burning softly, softer.
Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)

My Black Me

More about Don Lee you can read here!

From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me.

“His work is characterized both by anger at
social and economic injustice and by
rejoicing in African-American culture.

His first six volumes of poetry were published in the 1960s. The verse collection Don’t Cry, Scream (1969) includes an introduction by poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Lee’s poetry readings were extremely popular during this time.”

You. love yourself: i bleed every month. but do not die. how am i not magic. 5 poems by #NayyirahWaheed #BlackLivesMatter #ValentinesDay

i am mine.
before i am ever anyone else’s.

i fell apart many times.
so.
what does that say about me
besides
i live through
wars.

if
the ocean
can calm itself,
so can you.
we
are both
salt water
mixed with
air.

sometimes
the beauty of my people
is
so
thick and intricate.
i spend days
trying
to undo my eyes
so
i can sleep.

she asked ‘you are in love, what does love look like’ to which i replied ‘like everything i’ve ever lost come back to me.

Nayyirah Waheed