Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Inheritance - after Lucille Clifton

Enlarge poem

Frequented in dreams
by fresh-dead loves, so I have seen
with these eyes the eyes of a spirit
who’s crossed, seen the body reject
its coffin bed and climb right out
onto the church’s plank floor
seen the dove at the bed’s foot
calling out all names, or the red eyes
of the flesh, abandoned. Do not say
I should be grateful for perfect eyes
or their ability to see such distances.
Say I should be grateful for sight,
for open and shut.

DéLana Dameron

Featured Poem:

Body, an Elegy

Enlarge poem

Suddenly the body says night.
Cyrus Cassells

The body is not
an insomniac, some
twilight sleepless walker.
It turns to lie down
as it pleases, at times
against your will.

The body chooses
its separate departures
to backrooms of the house.
Goodnight heel, boomerang
of bone and tendons.
Goodnight feet, arch-less
pestle-crush of earth.

The doctors come
to chop you down
and cover you with strips
of white linen. See,
your legs, your trunks
of redwoods stripped
of their flesh bark
are endangered. Goodnight
kidney, fallen already
to a deep coma,
needing machines to eat
and drink. For it,
there is no waking.

Your left arm long
retired and under the
sheets. Uncle, lay
your perfect right
that never knew shunt
or needle, lay it down
so the I.V. can land. Together,
we say goodnight to the heart
that has failed you once.

But the eyes, they refuse.
Your mouth does not
wish to go so soon. So
speak your farewells, Uncle.
Speak your hundred more
farewells. Watch this holy
body of birds flap
across your window.

DÉLANA DAMERON_wk_edit

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

DéLana R. A. Dameron holds a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a strong interest in the intersections of history and literature. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, 42opus, storySouth, Pembroke Magazine, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. She has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Soul Mountain and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective. Dameron, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, currently resides in New York City.

DéLana Dameron

DÉLANA DAMERON_wk_edit
DÉLANA DAMERON_wk_edit

Biography

DéLana R. A. Dameron holds a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a strong interest in the intersections of history and literature. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, 42opus, storySouth, Pembroke Magazine, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. She has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Soul Mountain and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective. Dameron, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, currently resides in New York City.

Inheritance - after Lucille Clifton

Enlarge poem

Frequented in dreams
by fresh-dead loves, so I have seen
with these eyes the eyes of a spirit
who’s crossed, seen the body reject
its coffin bed and climb right out
onto the church’s plank floor
seen the dove at the bed’s foot
calling out all names, or the red eyes
of the flesh, abandoned. Do not say
I should be grateful for perfect eyes
or their ability to see such distances.
Say I should be grateful for sight,
for open and shut.

Featured Poem:

Body, an Elegy

Enlarge poem

Suddenly the body says night.
Cyrus Cassells

The body is not
an insomniac, some
twilight sleepless walker.
It turns to lie down
as it pleases, at times
against your will.

The body chooses
its separate departures
to backrooms of the house.
Goodnight heel, boomerang
of bone and tendons.
Goodnight feet, arch-less
pestle-crush of earth.

The doctors come
to chop you down
and cover you with strips
of white linen. See,
your legs, your trunks
of redwoods stripped
of their flesh bark
are endangered. Goodnight
kidney, fallen already
to a deep coma,
needing machines to eat
and drink. For it,
there is no waking.

Your left arm long
retired and under the
sheets. Uncle, lay
your perfect right
that never knew shunt
or needle, lay it down
so the I.V. can land. Together,
we say goodnight to the heart
that has failed you once.

But the eyes, they refuse.
Your mouth does not
wish to go so soon. So
speak your farewells, Uncle.
Speak your hundred more
farewells. Watch this holy
body of birds flap
across your window.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Inheritance - after Lucille Clifton

Enlarge poem

Frequented in dreams
by fresh-dead loves, so I have seen
with these eyes the eyes of a spirit
who’s crossed, seen the body reject
its coffin bed and climb right out
onto the church’s plank floor
seen the dove at the bed’s foot
calling out all names, or the red eyes
of the flesh, abandoned. Do not say
I should be grateful for perfect eyes
or their ability to see such distances.
Say I should be grateful for sight,
for open and shut.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.