celebrating summer's sweet flavors, the healing touch of water on our skin, the brilliant colors of the garden... as we deeply contemplate the ways in which we might nourish and protect our precious and troubled home...
ode to my blackness
by Evie Shockley
you are my shelter from the storm
and the storm
and the troubled sea
* * *
nights casts you warm and glittering
upon my shoulders some would
say you give off no heat some folks
can’t see beyond the closest star
* * *
you are the tunnel john henry died
i see the light
at the end of you the beginning
* * *
i dig down deep and there you are at the root of my blues
you’re all thick and dark, enveloping the root of my blues
seem like it’s so hard to let you go when i got nothing to lose
* * *
without you, I would be just
a self of my former shadow
Ode to My Whiteness
by Sharon Olds
(After Evie Shockley)
You were invisible to me.
You went without saying.
You were my weapon secret from myself.
Whatever I got, you helped get it for me.
You were my ignorance.
Because of you I was not innocent.
I did not see that—you were my blinding light.
My dreams had a blank area in the center,
taking up most of the screen they played on in my sleep—
a blazing circle that blanked out the core of the scene.
I thought it was my mother’s violence,
but it was you, too.
You the unseen fat which fed me in the wilderness.
You my masonic handshake.
You my stealth.
You my drone.
You my collaborator.
You my magician’s cloak of steam,
you my dissembler.
You mine? I yours,
irisless eyeball, you my blindness,
inspiration of my helpless act,
you my silence. Evie’s blackness
a dancer, you another, the two of you moving together.