Author: Charleston Poets

You pick pieces out of me
Like you’re getting food out of the fridge
You get one thing
Close me
Put it back
Close me
But I don’t mind being an ice box for you
I can always survive the cold

Where did the birds go and can I come?
Now that the taste of summer lemons is gone.
Oh, Robin, Oh, Sparrow, Oh, Hummingbird, you
Take wing and leave this barren, southern plain
And me behind alone with no juleps.

The silence of early morning-deafening in your absence-
is all I have to walk with. Only left are my sweet dreams
of you and old, empty nests falling apart and drooping,
dropping piece by now brown piece onto the ground.
Browns and yellows and deep, burnt oranges is all.

Your winter cousins are more than welcome. It’s true.
To my divine hospitality; my love and affection
Come then tern, finch and owl, with no delay.
Sing your songs; please teach me the words
That I may harmonize with you on porches.

I, who am tethered to this inhospitable land,
Yearn to wear your wings. Then I could come and
Rush you back to me. I have no patience for seasons.
No need for this brutal change. So, I replay your songs

Out with your outrage, I say.
It is mis-placed.
You who care more for cloth
Than skin.
When the skin that we are in is
You are incensed with nonsense
And do not see that the clock ticks
Away our shared breath and sky.

Out with your outrage, I say,
When you will not give water
To a brother who thirsts
And you will
watch a young sister bleed
As our children disappear into thin air.
All the while baring your smile:
Painted on and eating
Your privilege on toast.

Out with your outrage, I say
For you turn deaf ears to
Screaming headlines of screaming
Men and women and
Boys and girls.
Slaughtered by a diseased system
That was by us but never for us
Yet flavored with our stolen
Drum beat.

Out with your outrage, I say,
It is plastic and does not breathe
The same air that I do.
For my air drips with peace
And although I carry a sword
It is my mind that will destroy you
Fierce calculations and righteous machinations
Condemning your pitch black

If I am but a flash
In your cold, dark winter’s night,
Then let me be a flash of purest light
To guide your footsteps through the ages.

Were I simply a face in a crowded dream
Please, wake not to find Delilah
But let me launch a thousand ships
To end the war that love began.

Should we have just one more song
But the singers forget the words
Then let me sing a duet with you
And carve the melody on your mind.

Would the gold ring be unfinished
Or the unwritten vow never said
Then let me be indigo to your white silk
And warm your meanest hours.

If . . .

A young girl sits on the floor of her living room, watching the news-

Flash another person, found dead in their bathtub, gun still in hand-

“Over the remote little girl” said her older brother “you’re too young to understand this-

Is the end of us Mathew, i don’t deserve the ridicule you-

“Are nothing, you don’t deserve to walk this world. Go kill yourself” said mommies boyfriend. hes mean-

ing to tell you that you’re gonna stay over at grandmas this weekend hun-

dred and one, one hundred and two, one hundred and three…. Ready or not here i come! i’m so glad grandma had stuff to do today-

Another person found dead in their bathtub by her daughter, gun still in hand-

In hand, 100 persons found in the woods, all seemed to have drunk poison last night-

After night i can sleep, my girlfriend killed herself in that cult, they took her in when her mom died. i should of been there for her-

ts, yeah ill tell him its my head that hurts and not my heart. dad will give me some meds and ill over-

And over and over again, it dosent stop. Kids arent taught in school how to deal with things. People arent protected from themselves. Mental abuse is just as bad as physical. This isnt anything new. Tim Carter, he was a football player, he hanged himself. Iris Chang, she was a writer, gunshot wound to the head. Chris Kanyon, a wrestler, overdose on anti-depressants. John McLemor, a watchmaker, ingested potassium cyanide. Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen, jumped in fromt of a car. No, it dosent stop, it gets worse. It becomes culture.

What if it all stopped
What if it all just went away
What if it was all just over
What if I never saw another day

Would people miss me
Or would I just be a memory
Would people come visit
Or would it take too much energy?

What if I never saw you again
What if you never saw me
What if I went away forever
What if it was a guarantee

Bio: My name is Summer Miller, I’m 19 going on 20 and someday I WILL be a writer.

Strands of her golden hair blowing in the wind,
She’s yearning for peace, convinced she’ll never feel that way again,
The sun shines on her, reminding her how bright she is, how warm she is, how indomitable she is,
no matter the storm.
She doesn’t feel warm,
She feels weak,
out of control.
The wind seems harsher now.
Memories storming around in her head,
The voices booming, hands striking, tears pouring,
The sun is no longer a source of warmth, but a reminder that each day the sun sets, and the darkness reveals itself
In the form of longing
For love
For security
For a different hand of cards
For brothers and sisters lost
For just one more chance.
The wind comes to a stop.
She opens her eyes
She survived the storms.

She felt warm again.

Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton
look away
look away
look away Dixieland

because that’s what we do
we look away

Even as we hold up signs

black lives matter
immigrants get the job done
we stand with you standing rock

but we look away
because that’s what we do

we can’t see
we won’t see
we don’t see

The black
the brown
the queer
the trans
The immigrants
The people “not not like us”

the melting pot
A transparent lot
we stir the pot

We are the problem
we are the solution.
I…am the solution.

But we look away

look away
look away

Some people hate when they like someone, 
because chances are; 
they’re already taken.

What makes it worst; those people’s feelings are not 
here today and gone tomorrow; they linger.

They can’t say how they truly feel;
it wouldn’t make sense
because they only know of their crush.
Unlike the chosen one,
who has been through the storm, hurricane, 
sunshine and rain. 

How much can you really see,
when you’re not the chosen one?

You may see a few drops, 
but the chosen one will see every weather there is.
It’s easy to say, “There are others,” 
but could you make that stalemate to the heart’s ears 
and not the ones on the head.

I guess this crush will have to stay in thee imagination, 
but don’t be like “The Temptations”
and let it run away with you,
because the chosen one
will always have the person you’re crushing on. 

So, push the feelings aside
the best way you know how;
hopefully they will disappear,
never to surface again.

Some people hate when they like someone 
because the truth is; their crush will never see
beyond their chosen one.

Kortisha Y. Baker (Ms. Yo’Londa)
born on May 11, 1989 and raised in Augusta, Georgia. The daughter of Diann Davis Baker and the late Edward G. Baker. She is the youngest of two daughters. She has been a member of Beulah Grove Baptist Church for the past nineteen years and sung in the children’s choir for five in a half years. She attended Meadowbrook Elementary, Glenn Hills Middle & high school. She is a honor graduate of “Thee Fort Valley State University” with a degree in Bachelors of Art in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism as well as Broadcasting. She always wears a heart ring on her right hand because it stands for bravery; someone that has moved beyond the fear; courage and love.

First light
First sent
First call
I linger
Your voice
To touch
My ears
My heart
My soul
While dreams
Have passed
Have gone
You yet

For I
In love
With you
Still am
And will be
Even as
The shadows grow
As the hours
Pass us by.
The warmth
Of days
The cool of night
The driving rain
Shall find us

For we are one.

-cl ward


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