Temporary warmth

We’re walking on different sides of a sunlit street

The rain has ceased, everything glistens with temporary warmth

We are no longer the children of coal and sinking crafts

Who plucked our fear from our teeth like stray pieces of meat

In undigested land devoid of dental floss

I swam once

The entire length of a pool holding my breath underwater

The teachers eyes bulging, as he asked me why I didn’t drown

I could have told him, drowning wasn’t the worst fate

Nothing to lose with eyes closed, pushing against surly weight of water

Antiseptic smell in my nostrils and your voice

Catching with laughter like much played vinyl

We hung from tree limbs to forget the welt of sad places

Drifting in sunlight as long as we could, before shadows criss-crossed satsuma sun

I could have said; when you’ve nothing to lose

It’s easier to give your all

Even as you drown on dry land

But adults never understood us then, with our suitcases of pain and secrets

They stapled confessions together and told us

Don’t make up wicked lies

Sent us home, without pebbles in our pockets

To mark the way back to before we spoke

Out.

That is why

Diving deep

I would talk to you as we

Held our mutual spearmint breath

Swam fierce, then languid, until numb

Through unyielding padlocked worlds

So similar to all we knew

Save those brief moments skipping class

With the glory of a starting over day, all her unabashed radiance

Even nightmares could be beautiful

Braid their hair with pink skirted daisies

On days like those

Among Poets Tonight- David Somerset

fatimah-asghar-610x343 (1)

The world has leaned heavy on some of us
It has broken us and then
scorned our brokenness as weakness
ridiculed our sensitivity as defects

The world cares little for us
and even less for what we have to say
it has delighted in crushing our creative hearts
But you are among poets tonight

Our small voices cry out
from a wilderness of pain and despair
lost in forests so deep that they hide the light
and so wide as to leave us, all alone

But you are among poets tonight
who have felt that pain
lived in that darkness, and have been alone
and you will be heard

Many of us come from families that never knew us
did not know what to do with us
we were aliens to their dysfunction
and strangers among them

But you are among poets tonight
here and now, nothing is out of bounds
no one will be judged or reprimanded
all words may be spoken freely

injury and anguish absorbed long ago will be disarmed
tonight, we can look for what we have lost
we can find new freedom and recovery
as our truths are revealed from within our own voices

We may share our hurricanes of imagination and
glimpses of beauty that we may only fully see
when we speak about them to each other
you are among poets tonight

Among us, you may hear words more acutely
experience images more intensely
connect with more feelings, of others and your own
this is the way of poets

But, should we forget about the pain we have felt
lose the memory of our own hurt from an uncaring world
and then say unkind or insensitive words that hurt each other
those things too will be heard

So, let us celebrate all those beautiful gifts we have
that the world once punished us for
and now we share and glory in
You are among poets tonight!

Among Poets Tonight by David Somerset

fatimah-asghar-610x343 (1)

The world has leaned heavy on some of us
It has broken us and then
scorned our brokenness as weakness
ridiculed our sensitivity as defects

The world cares little for us
and even less for what we have to say
it has delighted in crushing our creative hearts
But you are among poets tonight

Our small voices cry out
from a wilderness of pain and despair
lost in forests so deep that they hide the light
and so wide as to leave us, all alone

But you are among poets tonight
who have felt that pain
lived in that darkness, and have been alone
and you will be heard

Many of us come from families that never knew us
did not know what to do with us
we were aliens to their dysfunction
and strangers among them

But you are among poets tonight
here and now, nothing is out of bounds
no one will be judged or reprimanded
all words may be spoken freely

injury and anguish absorbed long ago will be disarmed
tonight, we can look for what we have lost
we can find new freedom and recovery
as our truths are revealed from within our own voices

We may share our hurricanes of imagination and
glimpses of beauty that we may only fully see
when we speak about them to each other
you are among poets tonight

Among us, you may hear words more acutely
experience images more intensely
connect with more feelings, of others and your own
this is the way of poets

But, should we forget about the pain we have felt
lose the memory of our own hurt from an uncaring world
and then say unkind or insensitive words that hurt each other
those things too will be heard

So, let us celebrate all those beautiful gifts we have
that the world once punished us for
and now we share and glory in
You are among poets tonight!