Thursday, June 30, 2016

If I Die In The Mourning

Life spilled out like unspent tears
watering a desert of
dried up promises
scattered like sand
on an ocean floor
absent water
and mist
to
quench
love's
thirst.

Left shrived up and parched in
the bright sun of expectation
that the perfect
shell would
open up like
an oyster
waiting
for the pearl
to drop.

Lying on the bottom of the
pebbled walk
stepped on
like shards of brilliant
glass clouded by
the wetness of
blood poured
out.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Other Side of The Story

Slaughtered
- - - daily
for the
unpardonable

Sin

of being born
female
in
a
black
body

When
he wanted
a man.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lemonade by Beyoncé

Rarely, if ever, do I use my creative space to review another poet or creative's work, the reviews I do are on Tayé Foster Bradshaw's Bookshelf.

This release by Beyoncé has rested in my spirit for the past day, on the end of a week where a childhood friend died unexpectedly from a stroke and aneurysm while her granddaughter was being born and a few days after learning that Prince unexpected died sending purple rain upon us all.

It is only fitting that the week ended with imagery of my black woman, Creole Haitian heritage displayed with every bit of Yoruba spirituality and generations of mother's prayers.

The poet, Warsan Shire, a Somalian born woman squarely in the womanist voicing of her millennial generation, has given her sisters, mothers, and foremothers a gift, the gift of acknowledgement.

Sojourner Truth once asked, "Ain't I a Woman?" in a time when white womanhood was treated like a delicate flower, Beyoncé's musiciomentary seems to capture the completeness of that question with a resounding, "yes." The imagery of the past, present, complexities of being a black diasporian woman when we have been uncovered and unprotected, only feeling safe in the surroundings of our sisters, grieving together, celebrating together, growing together, she gives us release.

Listen meets Life is But a Dream meets Formation meets Lemonade and in it all, this young woman revealed the complexities of our emotions. We are giving back the lemons, refusing to compromise voice and presence, presenting ourselves in the fullness of our connectedness along Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, every place where our melanin adds color to the sky.

This poetic work will be examined and explored more, still something that black women understood from the depths of our soul. Lemonade is a celebration, an acknowedgement, a redemption.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bridges by Tayé Foster Bradshaw

Walking
across time
©Antona Smith, taken in Alabama, 2014
Bringing me to you
or
you to me
over a way through-
tears and fears
to bring us to
the other side of possibility
probability
reality
reality
crossing
structures
through
over
under
Crossing from New Jersey. ©Antona Smith 2016
hold on
don't look down
look down
walk on over
dance on over
wheels on over
over over over
water and roads and
all the modes that
bring
me
to
you
or





you
to
me
collectively
connected
collaborating
across
the great
wide
way


©2016. Tayé Foster Bradshaw Group, Antona Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Bridges used to scare me as a little girl. In the town where I grew up, in order to get from my neighborhood over to the swimming pool or summer activities, we walked. I was always fine until we reached the crest of the hill and that looming structure that connect roads-to-roads, over cars zooming beneath, promising me opportunity on the other side, if I just trusted the weight of my tiny skinny nine-year-old self against the wind blowing or the sun streaming over this manmade steal structure.  My little brother and older step brother used to dance or bike ride or run over them. My late parents drove us over them to even leave our big city to make this smaller town on the river our new home. When I was a little girl, they frightened me, my legs tensed up, fear made me trimble, would I fall? Would it hold me up? Stop running! Stop riding! Cars would drive over while we were supposed to be walking on the sidewalk. Overcoming that fear and learning to love these structures, to enjoy the ride, to pull out my camera every time I encounter one, has become a treasured part of my life. My daughters and I even play "roller coaster" rolling down our windows and waving our arms out, exhilerated by the rush of the wind against the force of the car zooming from one place to another, almost always over bodies of water. What bridges are connecting you?

The poet and her daughters live in the St. Louis region, connected by bridges over rivers, roads, and highways, trying to reach the greatest good in the people they encounter from every walk of life.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Roar of Her Silent Scream

She sat down to look around her and wonder what happened
to her life
waiting for
time to be on her side

to be wanted
noticed
appreciated

LOVED

until she sat  up
stood up
reached up

...and walked out

screaming at the top of her lungs
 silently
tired of
time to show what she did not mean

to be loved
to be nurtured
to be wanted
to be admired
to be needed

so

she ran

into the arms
of
herself

and loved herself

and nurtured herself

and wanted herself

and encouraged herself

and

and

and

ROARED

I AM HERE AND I AM WORTH IT

then she flipped her dreads

and shashayed

to a brighter tomorrow.



River City Sisters Speak Currents

©2016  – All Rights Reserved. Tayé Foster Bradshaw is a poet, writer, essayist, nurturer, teacher, mother, wife, mentor, teacher in the St. Louis suburban area.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Burden

This isn't mine anymore

What?

This.

She stretched out her hands
the parcel neatly wrapped
brown paper
with a
red bow

What is this?

Take it, it is your's.

But

No, it is not mine to carry
Anymore

What do you mean?

I mean that I am giving it back
it was never mine
anyway

I don't understand

You never did.

I don't want it.

Take it.

No.

So she
dropped
it
right
where
she stood.

And turned
and walked away.

The package was never her's to hold.
So she let it go.

                                                                                                                                                                  
Tayé Foster Bradshaw is the poet's nom de plumme. She resides in a suburb of St. Louis surrounded by her family, her books, her pens, and her lattes.

This poem is inspired by the lives and burdens of many women, particularly women of color, who are forced to carry the cares, thoughts, and expectations of others without regard to their own wants, needs, and health. This poem is a release.




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Erased

Opaque

Covered

Dark

Cloudy

----Until scrubbed
 
Clear

Transparent

Crystal

----Until smudged


Until

----Invisible----

Because

Unseen

Unnoticed

Unwanted