Poetry In Motion: Mestre & Novice

Photo taken by Adrian Mathurin of AHD Photography

Mestre & Novice

I don’t understand the language

of this game called Capoeira

but I’m invited to play all the same.

 

Hesitant, I arrive at the circle, the roda.

Teacher explains music is the guide –

tempo determines style of play,

fast or slow, methodical or wild –

learn to trust the rhythms.

 

The mestre holds an instrument

shaped like a bow

made taut by a metal wire

with a gourd resonator attached.

He strikes three times

calling everyone to attention.

 

Timbre-like vibrations fill the air

accompanied by a voice full of reverence and song.

Teacher taps my thigh

cueing me to clap along.

Quietly, I try to keep time with the rest of them.

 

In the center two bodies unfold

in dialogue with a relaxed Berimbau.

One male, one female – the ying and yang of life –

conversing through an unscripted series of movements

played close to the ground.

Bodies bend and contort

with playful flirtation and disciplined design.

 

All the while mestre moves the gourd

back and forth against his stomach

controlling the sound’s resonance

amplified by the surrounding instruments.

The drum beat switches.

Faster now and the crowd responds,

“Hey, Mestre Bimba!”

 

Two muscular men flip into the middle

buying the game with fiery energy –

kicks thrown in sequência with such speed and variety

I  hold my breathe – what if they slip?

Around me spontaneous shouts of appreciation

sound off and the players

respond in aerials and smiles.

 

Meanwhile, Mestre passes off his instrument

motioning for me to join him

at the foot of the Berimbau.

Wide-eyed, I look to Teacher, who nudges me.

“Just Flow” she instructs.

 

I crouch to meet mestre with timid eyes.

His hands reach for mine – the touch of a master –

and together we enter this mysterious

thing called a roda.

 

Trying to Flow,

A Warrior Princess

Poetry in Motion: Risk or Reward?

Risk or Reward?

This city feels stale to me

No, I’m not on tinder

Yes, I prefer phone calls

Plastic bags dangle from tree branches

No, I refuse to be swiped in either direction

Yes, I expect dates

Somebody else’s garbage perfumes my air

No, I am not creating a profile

Yes, I am willing to take that risk

Happy Hump Day,

A Warrior Princess

Poetry in Motion: Blended Truth

blender

I am sick of being asked to swallow down my words like the last drips of warm milk leftover from breakfast. This pathetic cup you are forcing on me, is not mine to drink, you fool.  Resistance is futile though with pockets as empty as mine.  Rather, I must sit and hold your stare while my lips wrap around the rim gulping back all pride, reason, and principle, while you keep shoving Knowledge into a blender until it’s unrecognizable, even to yourself.   I’m finally starting to understand your fixation with blenders.  This new concoction is overly sweet with a thick inconsistency of meaning served over ice.  I smile and nod as you’ve asked me to do, quietly choking on the unexplainable chunks lodged in the back of my throat.

 

My Milk’s Sour,

A Warrior Princess

Poetry In Motion: To Honest Conversations

Kicking off the Democratic Convention with this poem of mine:

To Honest Conversations

You posed the question, “Why don’t people have honest conversations with each
other?” it lingered there between us – an imploded bubble asking to be popped –
but when I reached out my finger to try, you were already gone. Continue reading

Poetry In Motion

 

My First Responder

He came to me on my 30th birthday, manuscript tucked under his arm,

eyes unfiltered and focused solely on me.

Confident, he crossed over the threshold of my house, plopped down on my couch,

and placed the book there between us — a novel that took me over 5 years to write,

and him just under 2 weeks to consume.

Anticipation pulsated against my veins as he flipped through the pages

recalling his favorite parts with such intimate detail that

I knew he had read every single line.

 

At lulls, I squirmed under his inquisitive stare, not yet comfortable being so vulnerable

and bare in a reader’s presence.

Unphased, he continued with questions, lauded me with praise,

and declared himself a fan.

I exhaled; a breath I had been holding onto for so long,

contentment found anew.

My first responder, forever true blue.

 

Being Seen,

A Warrior Princess