Day 20 of NaPoWriMo 2014 – Homegoing (Original Poem)

I placed your body east
with the door open to
relieve your pungent odor.

Catholics believe that flowers
are smelled at the moment of death
when the soul ascends.Your smell
remained bitter like fruit that
has sat too long and gone bad.

I tied your thumbs and toes with
red ribbon. The bows curled at
sloppy angles until the right
knife had been applied. Then I
stood at your feet like a sentry
and waited.

Folks streamed in, like fast moving water,
and nodded their heads in respect, dressed
in white, and leave like ghosts. Then the fire
is started and you are burned until morning
when the vultures leave out of boredom and I
pick your ashes and take them to the river.
The ashes sit on top and float downstream
and out of sight.

Day 15 of NaPoWriMo – Birdsong (Original Poem)

Light peers through
fitted curtains,
finding its way
through spaces
on the floor, where I lay.

I extend my fingers,
but light only reaches
my tips. Darkness fills
the rest. Then I hear it.
It started with a twitter,
then a chirp, and finally a melody.

A birdsong. Its gentle melody
filled the room with light.
I rose and walked out
into the light.

Day 14 of the NaPoWriMo 2014 – A Family Secret (Original Poem)

A Family Secret

In a wealthy neighborhood
outside of the nearest access to downtown
sits the house of my parents.
A tacky, white edifice
covered in ivy to hide a crumbling façade.

The house stands coldly shuttered.
I suppose my mother still sits in the kitchen,
Nursing her third or fourth gin and tonic, watching soap operas,
waiting for my father to tell her wait to do.
My father, now retired, sits in his study, watching the stock market,
His only field of interest, rise and fall, rise and fall.
Buy, sells and trade are his only catchphrases.
My parents traded me for their outside interests long ago.

I left home when I was fourteen.
I doubt they noticed.
I hung out downtown in a homeless shelter, waiting for someone to pick me up.
No one ever came.
So I hit the road, keeping track of my wanderings in a journal.
Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, California, British Columbia
were my temporary homes.
I experienced every heartache, every pleasure, every drug imaginable.
Then one day, I decided to come home.

I missed those days of freedom.
When I hitched a ride on the back of the truck,
The sun was setting and the wind was blowing through my hair.
I didn’t have to pass by my parents every day on the way to work
And look for a sign of life from them. Now,
I stand in front of their house, clutching my journal and I wait
And I wait and as I wait, the sun sets and the house becomes darker.
I turn up my collar against dimming night air and walk away.
I would come back tomorrow and have my say.
I would do it for sure tomorrow.

Day 10 of NaPoWriMo – Miss America (Original Poem)

Miss America
Dedicated to Langston Hughes and his vision of a Dream Deferred

Miss America
waits tables
for 25 cent tips.

Her crown
tattered by
late night binges

With boys twice her age.

selling Cristal dreams
and platinum credit card wishes

Teetering on too high heels,
she tip toes
amongst the rows of tables

Until she slips
and all she holds


lay broken and
soaked in backwash
and half-eaten breadcrusts.

patrons toss a dollar
onto the mess
and walk to freedom

while Miss America
stands on bruised feet,
contemplating what happens next

Day 9 of NaPoWriMo – The Lotusflower (Original Poem


Wrapped in a veil of white,
my brown skin is dried
and pruned by the sun.

Sitting outside the temple,
salt water fills the air as
coins clink in my beggar’s bowl.

My blue eyes attempt a
sightless thanks to the
temple faithful.

I rock back and forth
to a noiseless beat as
silk saris rustle past me.

Worshippers mutter curses at
my ungodly smell, forgetting
my former beauty.

They resent my reminder of
what age bring to those
who deceive.

I grew up here, a place
where three oceans swill
into warm water.

There the sun and the moon
make love on the horizon
before drifting apart.

At night, I would bury myself
in the sand as ocean waves
rocked me to sleep.

A bright sun brought morning
to my eyes and a new world
waiting to be discovered.

I encountered you, eating
sweet mangos and worshipping
Kali Mata.

Your brown eyes entered mine
and pierced my soul
without permission.

I fell to my feet blinded
and awoke to despair.

Now I beg for my redemption
as the huddled masses
pray for peace.

They don’t know –
peace cannot be found
in love.