Poems previously posted by WWBPS Contributors in 2011.

Just Talk to Me

I am so tired
of empty words,
words void of life
and sincerity.
Impotent words,
as profound.

Share truth,
feeding me meaning.
Empty words
are death to ones soul.

Drape me in truth,
lovingly wrapped
in smiles and laughter.
Feed me hope,
kissed with dreams
and feelings of love.

Leave me at peace
and life kissed.

©Lorraine Currelley 2011.

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Perfect Prayer
To Elise, the yoga teacher, and all mothers

No relaxation
for Mama
who teaches,
but must bring son to class,
since no money
for a sitter;
no husband
to silence his fears;
won’t cancel
or bills can’t be paid.

Teacher instructs class
into child’s pose,
the child
stretched into her skin
to climb back in,
while she moves
into downward dog,

then salutation
to the sun,
the son, smiling,
Mama, moving
(as only she can do!),
blessing our bodies
tree posed
to the earth-
a perfect prayer.

By Pamela L. Laskin

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We Tumble

We tumble
make thunder
pull down deluges
of discordant dialogue
you and me
oil and water
brick and mortar
who summoned forth
two angels
with our love
but still can't bridge
the gulf
of our resignation
to this banality
that drowns me
in its sameness
and chains me
with its necessity

We must go
inside our selves
you and me
to merge with that
pure essence
original tempest
still locked in a passionate dance
spinning new colors
eternal lovers
caged in the great unconscious
tip toeing to the front of our minds
in the twilight of slumber

I will wait with you
I will wake with you
until the clouds fade away
and you remember my true name

© Keisha-Gaye Anderson 

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Clouds suspend along the bow of Brooklyn Bridge
on the bus ride home from work.  I scrawl
in my notebook brushed with Chinese dragons:
the bridge is holding up the sky

recalling that star-gazer's expression, the one
about the old moon holding the new in its arms.
We sink into the Battery Tunnel's endless grid
of white tile. Unfathomable to grasp the weight

of the East River pressing around. Hard
not to conjure walls thinning, like glass shards
smoothed by sea, not to render them caving,
or being caved, given a hand.  One by one,

my ears deflate--pfft, pfft--as in airplanes.
This morning, like each for the past ten years,
a low-flying plane roared toward the ticking
city and I thought fuck, here we go again.

My ears filled with a deafening hum, then Om...
as I fantasized my finale.  I confess:
I'm still not ready to die, even handed
a decade to prepare.  My stomach slumped

knee-high and I was back-drafted into that
beast's nightmare, stumbling through the street
wild-eyed, tangling in dogs' leashes, muttering
sorry for everything still not said nor done. Sister

estranged.  Husband, I should have kissed
goodbye.  Piles of badly written poems.
Deep within my lungs, I remember to breathe.
We've come out the other side unharmed.

But on that many-storied day ten years gone
I was stuck inside those tomb-like walls.
Knowing but not.  Neither here nor there.
There--on a one-way lane to death, shattered

glass had drifted past, looking like fairy dust
perhaps, or freshly shed magic-dragon scales.
Or here--backed-out in Brooklyn,
where the serpent snapped its jet-black tail.

By Lissa Kiernan

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My Space 10-14-1993

No, tonight I will not find comfort in a good book.             
Blockbuster has nothing new.
The CD's, tapes and oh yes the albums have all been played a million times.

Tonight I search for clues.
This space is filled with experiences from the past.
Newness must be added but at what expense?
It is costly to keep in step.

Feelings of uselessness creep to the bedside.
Hopelessness shrouds the door.
Am I really free to leave at anytime?

Wanting to belong.
Always peeking in from outside.
Imagining how nice it might be,
to maybe once feel connected.

The balance is so easily tilted.
What keeps me from losing it completely?
The desire to run to the end of the earth to yell loudly and forever is always present.

Stacking and storing for who, for what?
Can't take it with you.
Why would you want to, if it
provides no comfort here tonight?
By Renee Bess

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            Eight Days Late

if you are thirty-nine & your period is eight days late you:
.           imagine your period scared shitless staining a white room folded up in a green chair. Her face being slapped, her hands bound while an interrogator says where were you on September 1st at 8:00 a.m.? Did you or did you not say you would be on time? Do you have any alibis to support your so called truth? This uterus you say you spent a little too much time with…where is she now?
..          imagine your period awkwardly shopping for baby clothes. how she wants to browse the girls section but she knows. she knows for sure it will be a boy. the lining always decorated in various shades of royal & indigo. she traipses up to the counter suddenly realizing she needs eggs to pay.
       imagine her in stilettos & a micro mini. the choir singing the men all pause. how the crowd gives her a last standing ovulation, the audience weeping & shouting,  job well done. her speech, long & entertaining is interrupted by a note requiring at least ten more years of work—the click clack of her leaving like a like a bloody sunset on the first day of snow.

By Anastacia Tolbert
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The Sex of Knowing

The boys and the ladies
They all want it
Welcoming, flirting, seducing me
Inviting eyes reveal their desires
Blind abject adoration 
Ever pressing down upon me, 
They see what they want to see
But they don’t see me.
If they really knew the….
Complicated, Opinionated, 
Bitchy, Conflicted, Arrogant, 
Confrontational, Selfish, Angry, 
Hurt, Happy, Spontaneous, 
Breast cancer scarred me
Would they still want it?

By S. M. Slaughter

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After birthing twins
my friend whittled
herself back to hourglass.
She desrcibes the black sand,
her turqouise bikini,
seeing herself strut again.

I will never wear one again.
I say. Then show.
The pot, the loose skin,
the lightning bolts, the rain
streaks across my belly.

I wear the turbulent body
of a stranger. Sharp,
soft until the hill
of broken muscle
announcing life
beyond my life.

I thank my bones,
my broken muscles,
I thank the woman I was,
and the woman I am.

slowly I learn
to strut again.

By Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

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Don’t think you can look away
from me like some pretty lady
afraid to look a beggar in the eye.
Your house is mine if I want it
paint and plaster, hinge and stile.
I am thick with stolen soil.
I am the voice of the cowherd
shouting after his beasts.

I am Thor’s hammer, I am
Shango’s double-headed axe.
Rise from your rocking chair
I will not care.
Build your shelters
I will not care.

By Elizabeth Lara

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The spray was a bully
that pushed her further and further
into the street,
she dug her feet deeper into her flip-flops
held the plastic stem firmly
between her big and second toe – determined,
Marcus, with his hollowed out can
in his hand
cut open at both ends
directed the water at her chest,
and it beat at her with no rhythm
just cold fists pounding and pounding against
her small breasts,
Her knees buckled a bit
then snapped back as they adjusted to
the increasing weight of her clothes,
Her afro, speckled with droplets, was like a spider’s web
attached to a mass of leaves
on a damp night,
The cars honked their desire
but the water held her,
each drop a testament
of the past.
By Regina Jamison ©6/2011

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Uptown Love

Uptown love,
Meet me by the 4,
In the corner of Kingsbridge Road and Jerome,
The Concourse is our runway in which
We secretly declare our adoration for each other.

We are confidants,
Our bond grows
As we fight the hits of despair
With resilient hope.

We are simple,
our fortitude resides
in our quiet humility.

It’s 5:30 am and our alarm goes off,
Day after day we awake together,
And sunrise finds us caressing souls.

It’s the start of a new journey
Through the battlefield,
Our eyes are heavy with tiredness,
Yet our hearts are luminous.

We seek to remain
In our sanctuary
for five more minutes,
And soon its 6:00 am.

An old clock radio plays
Reggae tunes,
And the air smells like sweetness,
Everything is still,
And we relish in our love,
Aiming to be immortal
As lovers of life.

Sharing our mornings and afternoons,
Our love has no pretensions,
A mixture of sensual bachata,
Soulful reggae, and revolutionary hip hop
Is the soundtrack of our Uptown Love.

By Malena Baizan 

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I write this poem
while you hover over me
waiting for my hand
to write you in this stanza
but my ink is all dried up.
By JP Howard

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By D.R.E.D. (Daring Reality Every Day) aka MilDred Gerestant
"I am a multi-spirited, Haitian – American, gender-illusioning, black, shaved, different, God/dess, anti-oppression, open , non-traditional, self-expressed, blessed, gender bending, drag-kinging, fluid, ancestor supported and after all that – non-labeling woMan…Womb-Man…And I can handle all that , after all I am a Gemini
Who am I? DRED, I wonder…
As I struggle through the thunder
Reaching for new heights
As I’m feeling my mighty
Just a sweet little cushion
Not appreciated
By all the haters.
So I became up a tomboy -
Feeling much joy
Through a secret male energy
That was fulfilling to me.
But in its sweet energy male
I was afraid to tell
Who I was as a woman
And didn't honor my own womanhood
Until I discovered makeup -
Creating a life-long of breakups
Of identities
All unclear to me
Because of the teasing,
And me trying to be pleasing
Just to be liked -
Yet this just didn't feel right.
Until I began to look
At what made me shook.
At what ignited my passion
From the simplest action
Of a kind word
That I hadn't heard
In a minute.
But I felt I needed more of it.
So I created DRED -
A male illusion I didn't dread.
An inner man that took over my head
And filled me with a joy I couldn't explain
And I didn't want to tame
And I didn't have to.
And girl did it grew
Into a phenomenon of gender illusion
Creating much confusion
Among blacks, whites, all colors
From here to all over.
I am too blessed to be stressed!
In a world of genderfying,
A higher purpose being
Tuned into my living.
Neither here nor there.
Just living a dare
To be who I am
To be who I can. Yes I Can!
Full moon on my back.
I do not lack.
I love you and all
And know who to call
When all seems of fear -
Just remember:  It’s an illusion to hold dear.
FEAR - F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real - Fear from my past experiences of being abused, bullied, homeless, suicidal, falsely and illegally arrested and imprisoned, put in a mental institution against my will – all these experiences used to keep me down, but now I rise like a phoenix from the ashes - loving myself more than I have ever loved my SELF before, through forgiveness and self-love.  I forgive people, including myself, for wanting to put me in a box.  Insecurity may come out in someone who feels they can’t “figure you out,” which, TO ME, is a reflection of their control issues that they have learned from the programming, domestication and conditioning of society through media, church, school, and some so called families and friends.  But don’t let that stop you, for every moment is a moment to be new.  May you live your lives passionately, without compromise.  We each have the power to transform anything negative into something positive… 
Growing up I was an ugly duckling and a nerd.  Actually let me correct that - I was Conditioned to believe I was ugly and nerdy.  I was constantly teased for the same things I once hated about myself, but now through the power of self- transformation and self-love, love about myself.  “Tar bay” becomes beautiful dark cocoa skin;  nappy hair becomes perfectly shaped shaved head;  four eyes…a mystical clairvoyance through almond shaped eyes; my crooked overbite becomes my beautiful bright smile;  Olive Oyl body - Amazonian arms and legs;  my tomboyish ways are the perfect mate to my feminine nature;  and flat feet - powerful roots to our Haitian culture – our Haitian ancestors, creating the first successful slave rebellion and first black republic.  If you don’t trust and love yourself, others will enslave you.  Honor YOUR unique expression or it will be lost forever, and Speak, knowing you are meant to survive.  Do you love yourselves out there? Well, only you can answer that.  It is time to Be and Do YOU!!!  I am here for you, welcome to you.
By D.R.E.D. (Daring Reality Every Day) aka MilDred Gerestant           


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