Tag Archives: roopa singh

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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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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sirens for whitney houston: february love poems, winter in brooklyn poems

february love poems, winter in brooklyn poems, and also, a poem for whitney, about the sirens.

for whitney

all i hear is sirens

red white & blue flashlights on

mermaids dashed against the cross

black and blue still singing: boss

risk means gain and loss

all i hear is sirens

wings cracking open from the shells

seashores, oil, dance floor spells

dead birds dead mice dead roaches

dead trees oh mustangs dead horses

with all their leaders gone

humanity thirsted for newness

the mermaids tail began to split

legs where only dolphins was

toes where only abalone pearl

iridescent scales was

her back itched, blood welling scars

wings cutting like teeth through gum

hungry and humble like the sun

all i hear is sirens

full moon over me in the morning

clouds alive, wolfs moaning

subway riding arrow gliding

la luna is it day or night

all i hear is sirens winning a good fight

words and melodies

islands and maladies

sickness and cure

cheeks flush with lure

white cool black heat brown pure

mouth pressed wide with sound

all i hear is sirens

when you’re not around

forget to remember love (for sinatra)


leaders dont follow

the haters are all so hollow

but baby she is

unforgettable in every way

from the hips and how they sway

to the lips and how they say

i love you

pyaar is written in the sky like stars

so many just the other night

i think if we fight there might just be three

one for the money two for the free

that i see in your eyes

please don’t you ever lie

when the choice is cut or cry

please don’t you forget to let die

ashes to ashes blow the dust and try

pheonix i know i fly

i got wings and youre part why

smile for me (for scarface and pac)

scarface said smile so sweetly

poems they ride so neatly

pools of ocean water around veins

pumping through me

shine of my heart

smile shine start

nina simone said im feeling good

funky drummer would

you please kick drum hi hat symbol

on me

cuz this winter starting to feel cold

haters only like to get bold

on the sidelines

cuz thats where they live

give give give

for brooklyn

pharcyde said can’t keep running away

white folks in the neighborhood

never had it so good

jakes had no trace of the face

change pivot with grace

joy laced

just a poem

about this place

called brooklyn


thanks for reading and for the love, rs

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