Ms. Kay

featured in the poetry forum April 18, 2024  :: 0 comments

The soul is nothing more than love, limitless, endless…
Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses

Hope can surprise you, It can survive the odds against it…

She is a coloring Aztec and Afro
That always has a pixie smile
Some inner joke perhaps about
Those who have the most
Who foolishly think they have better
Who will inherit the earth
I offer her cho chos but she never accepts
Even when I beg
She has a teacher’s enunciation
Street residents call her Grandma Kay
Church outreach workers tell me
she’s been out here a long time
I slipped a bogo hamburger in her bag
She hugged me wished me blessings
She favors my mamma
Transitioned this 8 years
One day before Mother’s Day
I look at the sky that looks like
A song sung off key

editors note:

And sometimes, a sweet melody filters through. – mh clay

To Amber

featured in the poetry forum November 12, 2023  :: 0 comments

One day when you look at the dust
of the dust that you are
Miss her wish her voice
see the aggravating twinkle
when you feel born to a new world
Hear a song she sang off key
her laugh carrying you around the room
her hands with the weight of your tears
wish her food fed you
in another your life
wondering where your dreams went
To fast like her dust
your dust inside you
in the mirror of you
is her

editors note:

Such sweet remembrance words come jumbled like random rain to fill the hole remains. – mh clay

Spring Perfume

featured in the poetry forum September 3, 2022  :: 0 comments

Her scent announces
the riot about to occur
in one of those places
that will always be your favorite
even if the food is lousy

Her gift makes you feel
like you’ve gotten
a king’s ransom
queen’s pardon
and royal flush
her sly wink
seals the chaos

The birds and sky
had better well
put on a grand show
because you feel like
out the diner
to the stares
your vacant smile

editors note:

A sip of spring to soothe our summer swelter. Let’s dance! – mh clay

Momma Loved My Banana Pudding

featured in the poetry forum December 24, 2021  :: 0 comments

evaporated milk

condensed milk

heavy cream


instant vanilla pudding

momma laughing at us human beings
my loud sister putting bows on the tree
momma’s favorite grandbaby’s present
in place of pride
instant banana flavored pudding

Cinnamon to taste

1 8×10 baking dish

vanilla wafers (you can also use store bought pound cake, just cut into thirds to layer in pan)

Two large pans of chicken and dressing in the oven
sauteing spinach and peppers with butter and olive oil
arguing and laughing with my sister

Prepare pudding with milks and cream, let the pudding sit

Watching my brother trying to beat momma at dominoes
My sister smoking weed on the porch

While you’re preparing the bananas and other ingredients

Place layer of cookies or cake on bottom of pan,

add pudding add bananas in layers.

Finish with cookies or cake on top with whipped cream.

Chill for 30 minutes

What is Neecee bringing
Fixing my momma a drink
Sending my brother for a bag of ice and moms cigs
The Temptation’s, Silent Night
Mom’s eyes misting
Mahaila Jackson’s, Sparrow is soaring

editors note:

On the night before Christmas, what’s all through your house? – mh clay

She had a zoot suit smile

featured in the poetry forum October 20, 2021  :: 0 comments

Envying my mom in her mirror
liquor in a crystal glass
cigs in an ornate tray
Liquid makeup
pressed powder rouge
lips copper
Baby, fix me a bourbon and coke
I sip a taste of dizzying joy

editors note:

Yes! Sweet mems! Locked in ice cubes, splashed with bourbon and coke. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 16, 2020  :: 0 comments

The beach in 1989
such hills
Wild rosemary and juniper
Baloney sandwiches
Secondhand beach towels
Second and possibly third hand
But we were free
The importance of
Reused brick frame duplexes
Once used to frame
A country sure of itself
Now assured of the
Freedom of its consequences
Before the earth shrugged

editors note:

All foundations shake when the earth quakes. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 5, 2019  :: 0 comments

The media portray someone’s last breath
slowing beeps on the monitors
one long continuous beep
When they took my daughter off the machine
There was silence
my halted breath
She sighed
looking like she was having
the most beautiful dream
I stood over her
willing her to let go
Letting her know we would be ok
I told her your grandmothers waiting
I pictured her running until
her granny laughed swooped her up
I hope that’s what really happened
My hands like Rosary beads
On the train from Bakersfield
A needed visit with my son
Sharing grief, joy and belly ache stories
I stood in the observation car of the Amtrak
from mountains to desert
A pretty good description of my emotions
Somebody wrote Help Me
in the sand in El Paso
under a duct tape sky

editors note:

Some go out, some come in. Hello! Goodbye! – mh clay

Aint It Like

August 3, 2019  :: 0 comments

Momma, Ms. Betty, Poppa Turtle, Ervay and I went to Tyler’s so named cause that was the headliner that night. They goan go someplace, do something out this joint, was Ms. Betty’s critique. She aint no Tina mumbled Pops. No, Ms. Peaches smelled like the clean sweat of honest work. She sang with her man, Tyler on bass, a daughter …

The Living

featured in the poetry forum August 28, 2018  :: 0 comments

Isn’t easy Sister Pigeon
you could be screaming inside your head
This city wouldn’t know or care
Trust me on this
the connective cries of so many

Common truth alone is quickening
There are no tender arms
No listening heart
You can try to weave the impossible
from the possible
join the illusion of what everyone knows
Full of the luster of lies easily told

You find shade and balm in forgotten skies
the singing of nature bodes warnings
harmony of a million beats

Lean across the stanchion beams of reality
embrace the sudden shock of your lack of uniqueness
Clasp to your soul the unending pleasure
Scoop it up
Get a platter of wisdom
That dish they serve cold

editors note:

Hard lessons, somehow softened by a hard life. – mh clay

The Further Adventures of Juvenile Delinquent

September 23, 2017  :: 0 comments

What I heard in my head was William De Vaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got.” There wasn’t a diamond in the back. What was actually playing was a loop of the same five rap songs that apparently our driver picked to put him in El Capo/Pimpin’ mode. I could make some under the table paper, let the driver. You …