one by one, like a gypsy: poems from jamaica

my fingers have been itching with poems lately, and now that i’m back sharing, the digits are twitching with readiness.  so, life keeps handing me these tests.  you too?  and i keep taking them, why, because its an honor. for you too?  these poems, they are from when i was in negril last weekend, in the ocean, in the dancehalls, these poems are from when i was in kingston in the streets.


take it slow

take it slow

haste makes waste

lie makes die

and why dye

when the colors of life

just be like cry

melt all down

your thigh



hands on your chest underneath me

hotel guard wounded heavily

while you was stabbing me

they straight stabbed security

blood all down the sidewalk see

he ran away

you ran up in me



i wish i had the words

to tell you how delicious

i wish i had the words

to let you know how

do i feel

i wish i wasnt the only one

the only one, the only one

but since i am

i’ll be the lovely one

the lonely one

the lion one

the growing one

the one with no words

sings and understands the birds

incredulous i am

without words

i wish, i wish i had them

to speak of the tides

of intimacy would be too rude

even for the rude girl crude

intimacy is electric blue

gemstones jade blue

turquoise in a horseshoe

the waves they adore you

open and closed like a fist

sting ray swimming right along with

bug eyed fish

feel them limbing wish

i had written like this, like this

alas only a goddess

sun strewn

oh i wish

i knew how to write this

but i don’t, all i know

is the style of fists

and yet i don’t wish a heart open

on anyone

the open hand the open heart

the open fire the open start

the lancing and the lanced heart

wide open where do i start

oh the intimate heart

never does it end and never does it start

wishing on a star

another one fi we

who open and close

mouth, starfish, sea

are you a natural sponge

is that what you showed me

there in the cove

pirates us grow


nothing wrong

nothing wrong with a morning spliff

nothing wrong with a moonlight riff

im not talking about magic

im not talking about logic

oh me say, me say, me say

nothing wrong with enjoying your day



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little dragon

this song by little dragon has me riveted:

nail shop

too young to get nails

too young to do your own hair

so we did them as soon as we could

flying on half formed wings

what power in doing grown up things

we trade stories at the shop

see what all you got

queens naturally rise to the top

end game, chess, rock.



poems from prison

what about when you sweat

and then wash under

a clean faucet

until the very thought of you

is open wide bee hives

pores drip honey down her sides


what about when you cry

so many do yoga, but why

c this all the temple i have

move like this, i get to be bad

and pray into hips

finger tips had

sparks flying off, i swear

black curling hair

cartwheel colors of care


what about parvati

and how she dance

a writer flashing stories

a fighter blind with glory

but i am forever

and this body is not

find the beat

monarch all youve got

butterflies choke the air

sound of orange raindrops in her hair



so much to say, thanks for reading!  -rs





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