Writer’s Quote: Cornelius Eady

Writer’s Quote: Cornelius Eady

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One of the things I enjoy doing during my free time is watching poetry recited out loud on YouTube. I don’t mean spoken word poetry, I mean those classical poems by Maya angelou, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes e.t.c. Watching them being recited adds more meaning to the poems, and increase in my understanding and love for the poems and poetry as a whole. It’s during one such occasion, I first heard the poem- I’m a fool to love you by Cornelius Eady. That poem touched me deeply; it spoke to me in ways many poems don’t and that’s why today I decided to share it with you guys for Writers Quote/Poem Wednesday.

I know I am not done with my AtoZ challenge and it’s already May, will try to roundup soon, the letter X is really not inspiring. Below is the poem

I’m a fool to love you- Cornelius Eady

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in love with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don’t want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.

My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That’s how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.

And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it’s the only leverage
You’ve got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man’s kisses
A healing.

W- When a girl is born

W- When a girl is born

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They say-it’s a girl,
And a chicken is slaughtered,
When a boy graces the earth,
A cow- he deserves.

They say- it’s a girl,
With one glance and their backs;
A boy breathes first air,
And is enshrouded by a crowd.

They say- it’s a girl,
and their shoulders feel burdened,
Cost of marriage is high-
Faces clouded with grief.

They say- it’s a girl!
In the 21st century,
The women curse their stars,
For birthing their kind.

They say- it’s a girl,
And ignorance comes to fore.
But without girls in the world,
There will be no men.

My Sister in Somalia 

My Sister in Somalia 


My sister in Somalia,
Her skin a golden brown and hair,
A curly thick nest of black strands, lay
Today- voice devoid of strength, and body
a reflection of it’s former image,
My sister in Somalia lay silent,
No words to say.

My sister in Somalia-
The pride of the eastern African
Continent, the shoulder which held
Together- family, friends, a nation in
Herself- bearing one after the other
Little ones, in succession.
My sister lay today,
Skin on bones.

My sister in Somalia-
The fighter who’d give her all
For the future generation, a wife
sharing the burdens of her
Partner, with ease. My sister lay today-
Her young ones, at her feet-
tired eyes moving across all three;
And the dreaded- who to feed?
only one morsel to eat,
I weep for my sister in Somalia.

And I wonder-

And I wonder-

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And I wonder,
If the seas,
Ever wish,
They could be me,
Free to wander,
Farther than the shore,
Unattached to the moon,
And it’s pull at dusk,

And I wonder,
If the moon at times,
Gazed at me in awe,
Dreaming up
a life
Without binds to the sun,
Free to live and shine,
Without needing a source.

And I wonder,
If the women across,
Sullen eyed,
With faces white,
Ever wonder,
What life would be like
Without a child to cater for,
Free to live and travel,
At the whim of desire.

And I wonder,
If the slates were cleaned,
And the freedom was of my choice,
Would I choose to be bound,
To be needed and need,
Would I choose my life
Or theirs..

Day 9: Close to her bosom

Day 9: Close to her bosom

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Some women hold stories,
Close to their bosom;
Stories so grave,
they believe,
It could cause a ripple effect,
And upturn the balance of life,
If repeated.
My mother- was one such.

She’d sigh at length and go off,
Staring,
Into space…
Oblivious to three munchkins,
laying on the ground,
Competing,
Who’s got,
The healthiest lung.

She’d go off sometimes,
At the sight-
Of a man in a red shirt,
Or a yell across the street,
Or something so little as,
An innocent question put forward,
By a kid.
My father would say-
Just let her be.

And so I grew older-
Mastered in the art of
Threading lightly;
Till my curiosity,
got the better of me;
And I questioned-
Why does she do that?

That summer morning,
I learnt of the horrors,
Of a young black girl,
Growing up with little to nothing,
At the edge of the sea;
Where being a dark skin,
had a price and being a female-
A burden.
And I knew why, she held those stories
Close to her bosom.


Prompts: Day 9 (a story), Day 10 (Summer). This poem is in response to December Poetry Challenge. 31 poems in 31 days.

the above picture is courtesy of Legend.az

I am my mother’s daughter

I am my mother’s daughter

 

Raised with the fire,
Of a self learned woman;
Cradled under the shade,
Of bamboo trees;
Laid on an arched back,
Whilst toiling clay lands;
Don’t mind, when I declare-
I am my mother’s daughter.

Waved off to school,
With hands- worn from milking,
Fed whilst her stomach,
Growled of hunger;
Appeased with a smile stamped,
On a face darkened from wood’s soot;
Don’t mind, when I declare,
I am my mother’s daughter.

Raised her girls to be queens,
In a land ruled by men;
Bore the brute of words,
For demanding education;
Believed- in their strength while
The world tried to break them;
Don’t mind, when I declare,
I am my mother’s daughter.

The beautiful painting above is the artwork of Claudia Tremblay

Imprisoned without shackles-

Imprisoned without shackles-

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They say,
If you’ve been a bride’s maid,
For five times or more,
It’s time to quit weddings,
Till your Prince Charming comes.

They say,
If you’ve been a wife,
For ten years with no son,
Bundle your things for,
A new woman to come.

They say,
If your husband’s riches,
lesson after you arrive;
Then oh wife you have black feet,
And must leave his house.

They say,
If your child is smart,
Well, his dad is to be praised,
If the child turns out faulty,
‘Course, you are to blame.

They say,
A housewife you must be,
With no wealth of your own,
And if your husband passes,
They take away your home.

They make living hard,
Making rules without regard;
Leaving women imprisoned,
Without shackles to leave marks.

The image is courtesy of Black women art.com

And She Ran-

And She Ran-

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Raised with the notion to never,
Get burned by the same flame twice;
So she ran and sought for cover,
While the moon was on her side;
But the night doesn’t last forever,
And he found her- claimed “I love you”;
Five grim years had thought her better,
She said, “apparently your fists do too”.

The hovering clouds dissipated,
Golden rays streamed right through;
There was a time she’d have trusted,
The honey which from his tongue drooled;
But she’s been raised with the notion,
Mama didn’t raise no fool;
So she ran and sought for cover,
From the one she once loved true;
Sweet words were magic until
They get bruised onto you.

She’s my person-

She’s my person-

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Here’s to the girl who reminded me- the importance of being fractured and cracked, as the only way light could illuminate my heart; always at hand with her cheery smile.

Here’s to the girl with the huge nerdy glasses who’s face, always embedded in the pages of a book, spared her hours to hear my baseless rants.

Here’s to the girl who curled up beside my trembling body, her silence speaking and endearing more than any words could.

Here’s to the girl with books as her weapon and dreams as her shield, who opened her secluded world to a friend in need.

Here’s to the girl, who schooled me in the saying, broken is another word for “not quite there yet”.

Here’s to the girl, an outsider turned family, through tears and adversity.

Here’s to the girl, my proof- that a woman can uplift another woman too.

Here’s to that girl, my person.

the Above image is courtesy of Smmadellc.com

Liberation-

Liberation-

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I see you conceal dark circles
And apply your mascara,
I hear you silence your sniffles
With pillow every night,
I see you cover with henna
The bruises on your arms,
But I know, oh mother
Who the knight Is In the battle.

He calls you names like lousy
Scarring you with his venom,
And he claims he does love you
Body and soul, fist and punches,
You take his storm and thunder
Shielding us under the weather,
Love and mercy go hand in hand
And his is just one sided.

He exposes your errors
Shaming you even in public,
And you shrink with every word
Antagonizing your existence,
And your kids are your solace
To us, you are a temple,
You’ve been fighting this battle
We say- it’s time you retire.

He can’t hurt you anymore
For your kids will be your armor,
And the patience you practiced
From your lord will be your reward,
Take one step into the pathway
There’s a whole world beyond this,
It is time to break the shackles
And step into liberation.