MAP #87



II. Featured Poetry Theme: Villanelles

1. Villanelle on the year of our introspection by Tony Masalonis

We slumber while external wars are raging.

The strife within's what sounds the battle call;

The war within's the only one we're waging.

You're cordially invited to my caging!

Bring your own sponge, the Lord provides the gall.

We slumber while external wars are raging.

Recall that spring when all sights were engaging?

When blossoms dove like leaves do in the fall?

The war within's the only one we're waging.

Then, stranded in the area of staging,

That summer all that fell was my resolve -

We slumber while external wars are raging.

Dark angel thru' the book of life is paging...

The footnote, hid, says you're absolved of fault!

The war within's the only one we're waging.

That dying light which wise men were arranging?

'Twas just a long sweet winter, that was all:

We slumber while external wars are raging -

The war within's the only one we're waging -

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2. THE KINK FELL OUT OF MY HAIR by Patricia Johnson

They killed G.P. and the kink fell out of my hair

He was my cousin, blood brother, bond of felicity.

They said, “Another nigger dead; white folks don’t care.”

Here a Negro that doesn’t know his place is rare,

Been trained since slavery to smile, nod and agree.

They killed G.P. and the kink fell out of my hair

Four white people and broken, black G.P., unaware

That party was his garden of Gethsemane.

They said, “Another nigger dead; white folks don’t care.”

Trussed like a pig, doused in gasoline, set afire,

White cross or clothesline T, it was a gallows tree.

They killed G.P. and the kink fell out of my hair

Reeling in the blaze, only his body for pyre,

A maul extinguished his plea, “Why don’t you shoot me!”

They said, “Another nigger dead’ white folks don’t care.”

Like rain in the desert, dissipates, so did his air.

They hewed him, hacked his head off, then watched TV.

They killed G.P. and the kink fell out of my hair

They said, “Another nigger dead; white folks don’t care.”

© Patricia Johnson

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3. Calorescence by Claibie Walsh

She repeats herself often in her old age

Saying the same things over and over again

As if she were an actress and life was her stage

If misunderstood, she frequently screams out in rage

At professionals, assistants; often family, old friends

She repeats herself often in her old age

It becomes harder to tell, harder to gauge

Where her memories end and they begin

As if she were an actress and life was her stage

I listen closely each time as if she were sage

Starting and stopping, her life's thoughts now blend

She repeats herself often in her old age

She struggles valiantly to get all her thoughts to engage

Though some of her synapses misfire and bend

As if she were an actress and life was her stage

I can see her fabric begin rip up and rend

This final curtain never to mend

She repeats herself often in her old age

As if she were an actress and life was her stage

© Claiborne Schley Walsh