FTP #BlaPoWriMo

I keep a list of names in my chest pocket

and wear it like a bullet-proof vest.

Trayvon Martin

Sandra Bland

A scroll that writes itself each

time the pigs shout “Hands up!”

Tamir Rice

Philando Castile

Then pull the trigger. It descends

to my feet, lays a path by which

Michael Brown

Walter Scott

I march toward the Capitol steps

to call for justice. I roll it tighter

Eric Garner

Breonna Taylor

The longer it gets. One day it will

be thick enough to block the

Ahmaud Arbery

George Floyd

Bullets when they shoot. But

when that happens, who truly wins?

You Never Told Me Goodbye #BlaPoWriMo

You never told me goodbye
as you slipped out the stables
we shared with the horses
and cattle just before dawn, 
and the dew on the grass 
dampened the hem of your
skirt. You only left instructions—
The Missus doesn't like her food
to touch. Mister has a Sunday
night ritual he expects you
to follow—You were tight-lipped
on what that was, only that I
should wear loose clothing
that was easy to remove. The
clarity came when he snatched
my wrist as I served him tea.
Now, as I coil in my bed of hay
under the stench of manure, 
I think how much I hate you,
even though I know—It was
never your choice to leave.

A Haiku to Kick Off #BlaPoWriMo

Hi, February—
Mother to Black History
And Black Poetry.

Every February, I like to do a little something on my blog called Black Poetry Writing Month, also known as BlaPoWriMo, a challenge to write a poem every day inspired by the Black experience or Black history, set in America or across the African diaspora, whether you’re Black or an ally.  If you’d like to join in, just use the tag #BlaPoWriMo. Happy writing!

Morning Write

a hot coffee, the bright natural sun light to bring in the new day, and the blank page: the perfect recipe to pick up a pen and write

Fresh French roast vanilla fills my nostrils—slow inhale…. ahhh, exhale…

I sit pretzel style in the middle of my bed, balancing my journal on one knee

as the sun’s rays burst through the window blinds

photo by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Written for Three Line Tales hosted by Only 100 Words

Tell Me What Depression Looks Like

Yesterday it was pizza

Tomorrow I’ll crave Chinese

I’ve got to remember to renew my gym membership

But I stop for fries and a latte instead

Credit card statement says I spend too much on food

Self-sabotage my biggest demon

And your voice a thousand ocean breezes away

Whispers, Don’t get fat

As I scavenge my purse for the buy-1-get-1 spicy nuggets coupon

I’m not hungry, I want to sleep

I’m bedridden, and you’re too far to push me out

The other side of the pillow crosses borders

And somewhere you lay your head

Dream of me in an itsy bitsy teenie weenie—

I hate to disappoint, it’s a bit tight

Can’t pull it over my hips

My stomach growls louder than

My heart beating against me for letting you go

But you promised you’d come back

And I promised I wouldn’t get fat—

I guess we’re both liars

New Laptop…New Me

Frantically, her fingers scurry across the keyboard—

And she types.

The first words to come to mind—

Those cohesive and incohesive—

She writes.

As much as she can—

New metaphorical pen in hand—

Because it’s been so long.

Months—

Years, really—

Since she’s seen so clear.

So she types—

And it feels nice.

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: No Weapon

“Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:16-17, NKJV

Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt.
The blind blessing we recited
as children over spilled food
on the dirty linoleum before
placing it back in our mouths,
swallowing with the confidence
that because God made it,
we cannot die.

But did God not create man,
and does he not hurt me
every day? From his heart
brews my downfall.
Date rape—
White supremacy—
Mass shootings—
A black, bitter coffee
he drinks with grit,
though it’s still boiling.

Shall I eat this bread
retrieved from a floor
on which a murderer may tread,
dragging my family and me
in a trail of blood behind?
God made him, right?
He cannot hurt us.


A revised version of the untitled original poem published February 4, 2015…may revise again later.

Sweet Heat

Love Tanka #11
(I believe I’m up to 11…)

We don’t talk about
the humidity—sitting
in his lap, panting
like dogs. He suggests no clothes—
A wink. I chuckle, he smiles

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Zeal (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)

Zeal

I’ll never tire
of hearing you say it—each
morning, knowing you’re mine

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Yes (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)

Yes

You had your answer
before you dropped to one knee,
flashed the ring, asked the question

2019© Nortina Simmons