Poems for Planets: Earth

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More planetary goodness at hand. I was not looking forward to writing about this particular planet. The association I have with said planet opens up more doors than I am willing to walk into.

It comes as no surprise than my research for planet earth opened up the mother of all labyrinths, trying to snake some content out of it was a trying affair. I picked a poetry form and go stuck in, playing on information and themes already at hand.

Enjoy.

 

Earth: Elegy

 

Looking at your face, I meet the gruiling test,

A quest to piece together your former best.

I fail to pierce the black that crowds your features,

You have bled your soul for morbid creatures.

 

What a host of wealth your body brought to light.

Boasting so much brilliance day and night.

Flora and fauna spawned in vibrant hues of truth,

Only to turn to lies for mortal use.

 

 

Your sacrifice has given us centuries of hope.

A gift we are holding close on thinning rope.

You have hosted both parasites and pioneers,

Behind the tears I celebrate the coming years.

BN.

Poems For Planets: Venus

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The second addition to the planetary poetry is here for your studious consumption. These posts are getting more and more educational by the day. Venus has been a real gem to marvel at.

Second from the sun, yet the brightest and hottest, Venus is our subject for the day. In a mythological context, Venus it is linked with Venus (The God) and Aphrodite. These two deities are linked with beauty, love, passion and eternal youth. I had no idea that Venus is the only planet to spin on its axis in the opposite direction to the other planets, just doing her own thing, and copper is her substance. Lets see what kind of sonnet I can whip up for her majesty, iambic pentameter was attempted for this serving.

 

Venus: Sonnet

 

Your bosom bursts with passions potent flare,

Rousing up the verve inside my veins.

You hold my inhibitions well impaired,

Your beauty helps to spark the lovers flames.

 

No rivers run can quench your given power,

Aphrodite, Venus, you are queen.

I dream to drink your touch and never cower

To love, I steep my longing in your stream.

 

What hope is there for mortal men as me?

What hope to paint my worthiness as true?

That crown of copper opulence I see,

Reminds me that Olympus harbors you.

 

You are the brightest smile along in this trail.

You are the burning heart where love prevails.

B.N

 

 

 

 

 

The Hands That Feed You.

“Hard hands knead dough, everybody needs bread.”

Unknown

She has shouldered this burden for years. Life had taken liberty with the course she dreamt out, veering her along a path molded by necessity. Her mornings lead her deeper into a world where the hammer and anvil speak louder than prayer.

Once upon a time she had silken palms, soft hands that busied themselves in acts of freedom. She would spend time lending life to canvas. Her fingers, tipped with magic, painted heaven into blanks sheets. Those very hands have changed, becoming shadows of their former selves, hardened souls dedicating themselves to prying sustenance from the toils of labor. They have become strangers to the paint and brush, her pallet of inks seem weightless in this new world. Having carried more than their fair share her fingertips barley recognize the easel. These strangers are lost to the rhythm of cold work, mimicking the coarseness of a granite wheels that marks time at the old mill. Lost in a colorless world, her palms remain numb to a tenderness she once knew.

Her eyes have been hostage to the low lights for too long. Its been 6 years since she began working at the mill, 6 years since seeing her spirit fade as the earth opened up to swallow her light. It seems as though she has lost touch with the world around her, I have found it harder to pieces together a semblance of my mother in those vacant stares. She is often vanishing beyond the window pane ,prospecting for hope. Though I wonder where she goes, I know the familiar song her memory play, she revisits a time when love was still in reach, Father was gone too soon.

My fathers passing saddled my mother with darkness, to carry on mother had took to working at the mill. To see a whisper of her shine through the shadows of that  building speaks volumes of her heart, a love forever lit, regardless of the odds she carries one.

Ill never know what a life without that pain would have offered her, I only know this version of things. I’m ashamed to admit that I allowed years to creep by before I took notice of the hands that fed me, the way they bartered their tenderness for my sustenance, the way they pieced together strength, the way the carried me away from ever wilting on my feet. Despite the falling of her kingdom she found the grace to raise a King. Those hands knead the hope that feeds my spirit. She is deserving of the world in return.

 

 

Naming Game


With only 7 weeks until we meet, I speak my thoughts to your future. Your mother and I are overflowing with gladness. Our sweet flower will finally find air, our legacy finally finds breath, soaking up a new world through eyes glowing with the muted knowledge of a creator that only babies know. That day can’t come any sooner.

A rose by any name will still smell as sweet. Yet here we are pealing the world apart to find the right words for our blessing. With the thousand words that have shaped your mothers world and mine, we are at odds trying to choose the perfect one for our perfect one. We have been sitting around, pulling at names from old books, turning back the hands of time and revisiting the strongest branches in our family trees, all in the hopes of  anointing your presence. There is power in a name.

I’ve been thinking about calling you Faith, a word that carries weight in my world as well as hers. Your mother and I have learned Faith in many forms, all of which have offered the same warmth, the same strength, the same patience that helped endure so much. Faith has been a lifeline unhindered by any boreders, race, language and culture have never been able stifle its reach. It was Faith that kept us so sold on love, we didn’t stop to take stock of the differences culture would make. It is Faith that keeps us resilient, aiding our journey into unison.

I’ve been thinking about calling you Hope. Everyday I hope to see you grow, not so fast that you learn to leave me, just enough to watch the making of an angel. I hope to one day hear you speak, to see you learn the power of language. I hope that over time my last name wont be an inconvenience to your tongue, that you won’t care for how bitter sweet your name sounds against the tonality of my fathers own. I hope that you will always see, seamlessly, these threads that your mother and I have spent years learning to weave together. The twines of two cultures that bound together will never let you fall too far from love, stray too far from grace, the will teach you that every things that makes you less like them, makes you more like us, and together we are strong. You will always be our little princess.

I have faith that you will learn to see the beauty in a world that seems forgotten here, a world that had enough magic to craft your grandmothers smile. She still holds that magic in her tongue, so listen when she sings the songs that have preserved that world for me. I’ve been fighting to hold to the murmuring beat of legacy, I’m always hoping you grow to know the things I have forgotten. I hold but a few relics from the culture that raised me, I wanted to gift them all to you, maybe you could have worn my mothers name.

Instead of naming you in readiness for the diaspora, embellishing your name with trinkets of Africa, I could ready you for this one life the best I can. Together we can sit back and name this world in the spirit of  compassion and freedom. There is power in a name, so my promise to you is that I will take care in naming this world with you, for you, so every avenue is a door to being the blessing you have been sent to be.That murmuring beat of grace was never fading fortitude but growing power. From your crowning moment you were destined to be the queen of our hearts. A rose by any name will still smell as sweet, so let’s nurture your Eden and feed your petals grace.

With Faith at heart and Hope at heart, I’ll see you when you get here. This world is ours to take.

 

 

 

Treason


He watched his miracle curdle in the grooves of his palm. To have and to hold had grown sour the moment he decided to hold onto his ill intentions.

His lips, stained with sin, hung heavy and full of fear, he couldn’t help but sit soundless and still. The words he searched for dissolved into puddles of regret.  He had forgotten his senses, he had wondered for far too long and only wandered into his own nightmare. Sleepless will this mans mind grow with each day. A guilty man knows no rest lest his mind find justice.

It was behind a smile that his undoing sprouted wings. A smile, brandished so sweetly, walked into life holding the key to his misery. How was she to know she was a volatile tonic, prying open a mind wild with the perennial plague of unlived yesterdays. A hollow void of thoughts that when roused, seemed more than ready to unravel the bedrock of his conscience. She wasn’t conscious of the man behind the empty smile, all laughter and merriment, she was unaware of the dissolution of harmony.

An innocent taste of the possibilities seemed tangible in her words. She draped her cares loosely around her tongue, talking in tones that craved company into the thick night. He felt certain to be safe from the prying eyes of his sensibility. It was a night of secret escapes, played in the key of greed and strummed on the cobbled streets of a crumbling kingdom.

His climbing back into sense was not enough to fight off the stench of treason. It hung close to him, it followed him as he walked. When his stint with sin was spent, his face was a wasted shade of an oath he had taken at an alter, man and wife now strangers. Matrimony, once making kingdoms whole, when broken leaves holes in a frayed fabric of trust. Insecurity, fear , resentment, these are the relics of his twisted fantasy, the shackles that hold him prisoner to his guilt, the execution that hold his as ward over his purgatory.
Where do sinners go when they die?

When dreams are stolen, when trust is broken, when the blood of a promise runs thick, where does the jury convene? Maybe justice can settle the heart, for a guilty man knows no rest lest his mind finds justice.

 

 

On Remembering Life

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It’s started to sound impossibly vague.

“Act normal!”

A fatigued cape that hang low to the floor, collecting dust as he walked around. Weighed down by this cloak tailored by the men and women who had lost the spectrum of their childish enjoyment, eager to fight the cold of a world without play. It had become dangerous to shut his eyes and run free, to forget the turnstiles and painted borders. The threat of losing his footing and falling naked in all his humanness was very real.

“Act Normal!!” They said

He had started to wear his frown comfortably. It was no longer painful to his cheeks to keep them pinned to the scaffold of normalcy. It required no effort to appease his need for mischief when the little voices inside his heart regurgitated an age old song that accompanied his finest memories.  I’m sure he had forgotten how high his lips would leap as his hands would reach for the fruits that teased his gaze, beckoning him through the over hanging leaves, blades of sunlight gifting a spotlight to a hiding place in the tallest branches of his curiosity. It was in the throes of play that he learned the value of a strong hang shake. Now a mere shadow of that grip that kept him hoisted in the swaying branches of his youth, he reaches out his palm to his fellow man with practiced smiles, climbing deeper into the frost..

He learned to walk in fine shoes, toes pined together in leather points, a world away from the freedom of the earth on the soles of his feet. The neck that crafted the songs that lit up the night and mirrored the campfire, had now been tied down by the perfect knot, ready to walk into the empty rooms filled with hollow promises, muted by time. “This is the making of a man,” they told him. He swallowed this medicine as he lashed another layer of normalcy over his shoulders, hiding a horror story of loss beneath the sharp lapel of his double breasted jacket.

Parchments marked by learned men gave him permission to impose his knowledge on the world, now they know he knows.Before he had earned their approval, his words were open to criticism and disbelief. What has been lived and not written was counterfeit in worth to them, they needed proof.

His Grandfathers grey hairs and speckled eyes warmed themselves over the fire as he talked about the worlds he remembered. He didn’t fill his tattered bag with papers to persuade his attention, father time had written enough in the groves in his cheeks to speak volumes, the hardened skin on his palms were always reminder enough that he wrestled his own truth on his pilgrimage into wisdom. The sun sets he had seen  colored his life with hate, with love, with pain, with joy. Even as his mind failed him, his heart was the last to sing this mans song.

Sometimes he’d gift him with yams tilled from the pocket of earth he had nursed for years. They would eat together as his grandfather walked him through stories he had heard as a boy, stories he had lived as a man and the songs her knew that banished the rain. They were the motifs that returned to him time and time again, as compass points, guiding him while he wondered out of the wily maze of childhood.

His grandfather has passed away a few summers back, now the stories that lit those fires are only conjured into the air sparingly. Returning to the land of the living after the sky light was low and the taste of life returned to his mouth once the sterile air of fiscal responsibility lost the power to numb his tongue. His eyes would tear at the punchlines of old jokes that were the sweet nut fleshed out by anecdotes of the campfire. These memories were survived through quiet moments, the power of prayer allowed him to play pretend that man who nurtured his imagination was willing him forward into the fray.

He wondered what the man by campfire would make of this polished world. With no time for fire song, cold hearts are draping themselves in currency to stave off winter. When so much is changing, maybe he will understand. Maybe he would see the sense in bartering the things he had, for the life he had made.

He heard the echoes of the fire inside his longing for his teacher. He knew that his time to teach would come, and the parchments mounted on his walls, vouched for by learned men, would take a back seat to the story that father time will write into his flesh. The music in his heart and the color of his truth would be the fuel for budding flames. He would have to wrestle with his own truth on his pilgrimage into wisdom, till his pocket of this world and feed another hungry heart its fill of laughter and song. Write the notes that would steer their feet through the maze.

All roads will hopefully lead to home.

 

I Call Him Brother 

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Raised under the same roof we each earned our names, though I have always called him brother. Children of the sun, sprung from what cultured raised, carved bold under the gold pip of Africa’s scepter. The fiery flesh of that mighty watcher  colored us with grace, showered our shoulder with the warmth needed to see family in unfamiliar faces.

“I am because we are,” Ubuntu was sold to us, and value was offered in. Ubuntu was sewn in us with a power of greater kings, threaded into our souls in the taut threads of culture. We were thirsty, young tongues lapping up the streams of what was learned before us. We heard the drums of dreams from the bosom of the bearded men and the tongue of queens who wrapped there crowns around there heads would sing up the sense to stave off evil spirits. Under the same sun we each earned our names, though I have always called him Brother!

My brothers stubborn features refused to forget the blessings of home. Although the cold days and frosty nights of a new world made horse a voice that has forgotten the rhythms of home, his crown remains thick with the coils of a tightly knit family. I’ve never had to ask if Ubuntu remains known to him, his actions have always reminded me that home is never far from his graces. His tongue may be forgetful but the estuaries of his heart echo with the roar of the mighty rivers that nourished our mothers brothers. There is enough of him in us to always learn a new picture of home.

One day he asked me, “Whose brother am I?”

These were bitter seeds, they grew sour on my tongue as I watched him question his blessings. As I watch him question his world I am forced to swallow his truth.

“Whose brother am i?” he asked.

My Brother was lost.

You see it seems to some that he wears a counterfeit crown. Because their pictures of his brothers are painted by men, finite and foolish, they draw borders around love and leave him wanting for a home. They don’t know there is a brush whose strokes paint wonders into a mans heart, words are worth too little to count who is kin to your kind. Be kind to your kin lest your mind swim with waste as you allow tall walls to stifle the flow of a love that runs deep. Brother, they have mistaken prison bars for castle gates, yoked their eyes to there tongue, they have forgotten the warmth that recognizes family in unfamiliar faces, pay them no mind.

I am because we are. Their mothers brother might never have looked like us, every part of their soul shares our spirit. Raised under the same sky each of us must earn our own name, though I would always call them brother.

 

Him for Her

There was a cruel miscarriage of justice written in ash and embers. The amber glow of spent vigour twisted the vines that once hugged the old tree. Once brilliant with chlorophyll and teaming with life, the luminous veins were the symbol of a hope that lived before the sky summoned it’s executioner. Now ashen and frail they lay strewn amongst the blades of grass, robbed of vitality, bearing no semblance to there original beauty.

From the speckled screen of privilege, I was kept safe at a distance, watching the ruckus unfold. The storm would rile itself up with that thunderous call and response that claimed the stormy nights. The room would shake as the air, taught by the rain and imposing clouds, was cut clean by the limbs of lights that stretched down. Outside my looking pane, out of reach of the reality of it all, nature was claiming its dominion over nature. My mother told me that lightning never strikes the same place twice. I’ve heard the words repeated time and time again, now looking on at the remains of the old tree, smitten by the sky, I prayed the heavens would spare that patch of earth another bout of fury.

I can’t remember when it was that I stopped running from those thunderous claps. I never took note of the way the fear molded itself into fascination. I out grew the cowering and faced into the storm from the safety of my window. A veil clear enough to never hide whats there to see, but veil enough to to ensure I didn’t taste the sting of the moment.

The elements wear their emotions on there sleeves, never resigning themselves to the judgment of onlookers. The thunder has been praised and vilified, none of this had altered its readiness to do its bidding. Staring at the remains of the old tree I see that beauty has hidden bite, nature has hidden might, the sharp sparks of heaven could strike as marvelous, or touch upon earth with ugly hues of destruction. There is a pantomime of ether that will wind to unfold in unexpected endings, in unexpected beginnings, unexpected majesty and mourning.

 

 

There was a cruel a miscarriage of justice written in ash and embers. The amber glow of unchecked rage, rattled off in storms that ate away at her. Such jagged diction, then taken as norm, was gifted thoughtlessly until they touched on the sinews of that lone soul brave enough to stand tall in the open, weathering the storms.

I hate that I wasn’t the only one watching as another cloudy day claimed her smile as the hope that coursed her veins was claimed by thunder. Her voice was lost in the wash of a horse wind begging her to “Remember her place.”

“What place?” I thought.

Sadly I knew.

There are only so many storm that privilege can shelter me away from. With out the rain on my back I’m numb to the reality of the stand, I forfeit forever my watching post.

My sister. I will be counted in the forest that will grow around you. I will be there to stand by you when the world is all raindrops and fire. I will stand tall, rooted deeply, footing firm and far reaching so every storm will tread tentatively before washing the ground around you. She fights for her right to stand tall in the bitter air. She stands tall to outlive the roar of the witless lumberjacks chains, intent on binding her strength. I have watched those branches tapped for way too long, limbs leaking with majesty, bleeding your sustenance dry. Your crooked bark outlines the story that was written in silence, the broken Armour that recounts the nights fighting against the storm.

When the sky is all raindrops and fire, I promise to stand with you.

A Beautiful Mind 

Somewhere in secret you are casting spells. Behind the fashioned glow of everything here and now, you find a way of stealing a piece of where you’ve been, transmuting a life already lived and lending wonder to the willing ear.

I wonder if you’ve thought about it that way. Maybe you’re too consumed by your muse, too far taken to see the wake of you diction, ultimately, my addiction. I wonder if you know what it is you do, because I worry about the day you wake up to your cunning, the day you find kinship in the clouds. One day you’ll step away from this mortal relm. Oshun, don’t swoon to far when Apollo calls, you’ve swayed the rooted mountain range that stood in my way, unveiling a hidden world.

I guess that in sharing your story you’ve grown immune to the wealth of what is new to me. I often lent only half of my heart to my art, I sold so many stories short of there worth because of lessons in living that I confused as finished, I though my vulnerability would stifle my strength. Where I was crooked in sight, your softly spoken truth had shattered a curse, you showed a fuller frame through uninhibited zeal.

At first there was culture, you painted your history in new hues, a kaleidoscope of every thing you, and everything home. I hadnt the faintest idea that there were somany ornaments blessed in your character that words have only started to show justice. Trinkets from a never forgotten world still reverberate there richness in the contents of your spirit. There is no truer beauty than those vulnarable petals that wilt from the fully flowered thoughts you were brave enough offer into this cold world. You became brave enough to share their radience with a soul that is ready to listen and accept its presence, whole heartedly, I savour them.

How hurried and controlled I was in youth, how stern and caution I remain in youth. I’d forgetten than not everyone neglects the gardens of their minds. Here I stand speechless, I have no strength to resist the allure of a beautiful mind.

My brothers had taught me to be greedy with my attention, lest I plunder my value and worth. There was talk of unwritten ettiquette that I was more than ready to disown when I was allowed a chance to walk inside a mind so alive. Beautiful minds are kept safe from the tumulous tides of the everyday. They are built while breaking away the constricting landscapes of the prescribed mind frames and feeding the beauty of body and soul. It was after I decided to take the time to learn the pyramids of your minds that more wonders breached from this lowly desert.

I’m waiting eagerly, searching with keen eyes for more flowers to disown their obscurity. I will always find time for a beautiful mind.

The Fast 

Hearty handfuls of everything here and now have well and truly clouded the system. Arteries are thick with the residues of satisfaction. The breath is now shallow. Tasting the sweetness of now has stolen from a true enjoyment of the atmosphere. The peripheral mind atrophies when it’s allowed to dwindle in the somber swirls of comfort. The obesity of malcontent hasn’t been an issue to the body well suited to the wasted patch of immediacy.
Starve the ego, let it drain its own energies with the complaints it’s more than ready to deposit, but too cowardly to withdraw from. Sometimes that lethargy needs to meet its match. Fast, sweat out the evil seeds. Something offers itself up when the slate is wiped clean.
Don’t act as though you’ve never though about it. You washed up on the shores of your greatest dreams and found yourself prisoner to the harbour. The helm of your vessel was too sweet a temptation to touch on the uninterrupted forest that lines the coast. The vessel isn’t a bad omen or an enemy to your voyage so far. It kept you in good stead, when the waves were peaking over the bow and testing the firmness of your journey it was there for you. Your ship held fast, though you were lost and wondering, it kept you far enough above the swim to afford you breath. Beaching on the coast was a blessing and a curse, you haven’t found your Atlantis, but el dorado is within reach.
Burn that cask of fermented thought, let the plumes of distress signal in your intent to be the next brave soul to wonder “what if?” and journey far enough to find an answer.
Fast.
Sweat away the labours of your fears and give in to the little spark of effervescence that weened you off the shores of the other world and into the tumultuous sheet of adventure you survived, to make a home on the shores of possibility.
I can never promise safety. If I did you’d be unamused by such a sterile venture. You have managed to conquer the seas of uncertainty and found a new adventure. The new night that shrouds your courage illuminates when you are brave enough to part with the match sticks that steal from the wonder of the naked stars.
Adventure is calling. Fast your heart, mind and body. Weed out the impurities, allow the garden of your true potential a fighting chance to sprout wonders.