#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: After She Cooked You a Feast for the Gods

Woman!
Loosen my belt,
unbutton my trousers,
release this belch—
there’s room for more.
And how stupid are you
to not know stuffing
from dressing? Baste
the bird, gobble its
giblets; gravy pairedfe1f64b599ed42caf657a7b99a0ee401
with rice; mac missing
cheese; ham baked
in honey; hocks season
collards, turnips; yams
from a can, needs more
sugar, overcooked like
sweet potato mash.
Don’t speak while the
‘Boys are on, spoon me
berry cobbler, pumpkin
pie; pound cake apple
chai sits like a boulder
in my gut. Still there’s
room for more.

—Nortina


Thanksgiving is next Thursday! Are you ready for the gluttonous feast? 

Originally published November 24, 2016.

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#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Eternal Energy

I feel your energy
before you touch me;
the current surges
under my skin.

Tai chi master teaches
me to move paper
without a graze;
feel the waves in the
air and push them
forward; bend the sheet
hanging over my
door, fold it in half.

I took you to the
forest once, showed
you how to hug a tree
without scratching skin
against bark. It will
hug you back—
electricity vibrating
from its trunk,
embracing you — us.

That’s how you’ll
know death is never
the end; permanent is
a relative term. We
lie our heads by
tombstones, let the
blades of grass sprout,
tickle our fingertips—
multiple kisses from
beyond the grave.

—Nortina


Written for #frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen. Prompt: envisioning the invisible motions. Originally published May 22, 2016.

I Think I Killed a Butterfly

It’s been a long time coming, but Amina and I are back at it again! Yes, I am talking about a long overdue collaborative poem. You can check out our previous collaborations here and here.

Today’s poem was inspired by a series of events that occurred while I was driving my car, which lead to me thinking that I had… killed a butterfly.

Of course, this poem has nothing to do with those events. A very abstract response to the first line (which is actually the title to the poem). As usual, we wrote what came to us, however the previous line inspired us, letting our muses (possibly the resurrected butterfly?) take us wherever the wind blew. So interpret this poem however you like, and I hope you enjoy!


I Think I Killed a Butterfly

Broken wings
Shattered dreams
Time aloof
Time away

I spy
Abandoned Cocoons
Scattered in disarray
On abandoned tree leaves

Winter’s come
Early this season
Breath caught
On a cloud
Words that never
Passed my lips
Reached your ears
Pirouette overhead
In the breezy chill

Heart beats–
flutters. Stops–
cold. And I burrow
Myself deep
In the earth
With those who
Hibernate

If I dig deeper
Will I just burrow
Further into the earth
Or will I circle round
And find myself in the skies
Broken wings
Shattered dreams
Time aloof
Time away

I find myself
Inside myself
Walking paths
Yet unfinished

I am kept warm
By thoughts unspoken
Topsy turvy

Like the hungry caterpillar
who ate himself into a shell
and emerged a butterfly
soaring above
in search of death and life,
and love.

—Nortina & Amina ❤

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: With Those Bulging Eyes

It’s Throwback Thursday once again, and in the spirit of Halloween and all things fearful, I’m revisiting this terrifying poem, originally published in fēlan magazine’s fear issue in November 2015.

“With Those Bulging Eyes” is one of my favorite poems I’ve ever written, and probably the most talked about among family and friends who’ve read it, most likely due to its extremely graphic content. (My mom’s co-worker is probably still wondering what happened to that sweet little angel she once knew).

This poem—inspired by the frightful painting, Saturn Devouring His Son, by Spanish artist, Francisco Goya—tackles the uncomfortable and controversial subject of abortion, how it can affect a woman physically, emotionally, psychologically.

Read the full poem below, and if you want to know more about my inspiration behind the poem, and more about me as a writer in general, check out my artist interview on fēlan’s website here.

By the way, I’ve been on quite the extended hiatus (two years and counting!) when it comes to new writings not published on this blog. I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I’m looking forward to 2018 being a much more productive year, as far as writing goes.

I’ve spent most of this year trying to clear off my plate and get myself better organized so that I can have more time and energy to dedicate to writing. While I don’t think I’m there yet, I feel I’ve made a lot of progress since January. Here’s to hoping 2018 will see lots more publication acknowledgements! My “Published Works” page is getting quite dusty…

First Frost

Love Haiku #10

A chill in the air
reminds me of your breath—iced
mint. Froze my lips numb.

—Nortina

I dream of wild strawberries

I dream of wild strawberries sprouting between the cracks of my dilapidated porch. Crawling on my hands and knees, I’ve regressed as this house; boarded windows replace glass, can’t block the wind, the critters from slipping in at night, drawn to the dim light—a single lamp burns on my last paid electric bill. They snuggle in bed with me, finish eating the tattered sheets. It’s been days since the storm and still no relief, but I pry up the wood planks, splinters buried under fingernails. Fruit shaped like teardrops, the color of a summer sunset, red like the stop sign bent over backwards in overgrown grass. Seeds prick my tongue like taste buds; anticipation more satisfying than the bite. A sweetness that makes me forget the flood damage, the mosquitoes, the purple welts along my arms, the fever, the declined insurance claim, the spoiled milk and molded bread. A sweetness like Fourth of July cookouts, freshly mowed lawns, homemade ice-cream nearly melted on the spoon. A sweetness that saturates the mouth, reminds me of a lover’s kiss, tasting my own balm on his lips, transferred to the back of my throat for me to swallow—until I sink my teeth and wake in darkness, cold, with drool on my chin.

—Nortina

Full

Our first night we kissed
he bit my bottom lip
pierced it through
licked blood from his fangs
howled at the moon

—Nortina


 

Fright Night Fridays:  Every Friday night, dare to venture into something spooky, something paranormal, something suspenseful, something that would surely give you a fright. Are you brave enough to stick around?

Seasoned

Hello, sweet autumn—
your falling leaves kiss my skin
like cinnamon. Ground

to dust, you sprinkle
all-spiced flavors in my mug;
taste winter brewing.

—Nortina


#MicroPoetryIsBae, so here’s a micro poem in response to Amina’s autumn inspired haiku. Check it out here!

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: October Thin

Happy Throwback Thursday! I originally published this poem on July 31, 2015, looking forward to a skinny October. Well, two years later, and I’m still trying to lose those pesky pounds. I recently told my best friend I wanted to be Aaliyah for Halloween. So . . . *clears throat* . . . it’s time to get to work!

October Thin

I want to lose at least thirty pounds by October.
Odd month to set a weight loss goal, I know.
No one aims to have their bodies bikini ready
by October. The water’s cold by then. The beaches
empty. No one’s there to see your smooth wax,
your carved abs, your lifted ass. There’s no use
in being scandalous under the water, pulling off your
bottoms, brushing up against a fellow swimmer, spreading
your legs and peeing in the waist deep ocean where the kids
boogie board. It’s hurricane season. Those rip currents
will snatch those bottoms right out of your hand,
pull you under with them. No, October’s the wrong month
to get skinny. But it’s possible there’s a skimpy Halloween costume—
equipped with fairy wings, a tutu, a lace bodice and pushup bra—
waiting for my newly thin body when the clock strikes midnight October 31st.

—Nortina

I like to watch you sleep

I like to watch you sleep,
and when your eyes flutter open,
I like to watch you rediscover the world;
the sun peeking through the blinds,
the honey of your naked skin,
the bed sheets we lie under, still damp
with the sweat of last night’s lovemaking.
I like to watch your lips
curl and fold, expand and purse
when you smile and call me “sleepy head.”
You’re wrong— I’ve been awake all along,
won’t let you out of my sight.

—Nortina