Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

The Descending Scale of Billie Holliday

Enlarge poem

“Good morning heartache” “She thought you said goodbye last night”
There’s so much story in her voice….
Saw the literature In Her Pain Stuck In The Back Of Her Throat,
Cough Me a Song That Sings the Truth,
Breathe from her diaphragm opium rasp that floats on Ivory keys,
See her words of vivid past
Scaling bass sounds over trumpet defiling her open,
Exposing musical notes raw and uncensored
Screaming the rape of innocence,
The Devil buys souls through open legs,
She escaped in grooves on brothel’s phonograph,
Sang along with Bessie and Louis,
God Bless this child with Jazz in her vein,
Give her vocals heavenly sounds to lullaby the hell…
To unlock secrets with keys only to be brazenly sung accapella,
Sleep with one eye open, dream half of a nightmare,
Eleanora in the back of her eyelid,
Billie dilated in her pupil,
The Dove flew off into the distance,
Holliday in the saliva of her tongue
That’s how Billie became…
Chose to sing her days of abandonment with the only attachment left of her father,
His name…
Lady Day sings those blues, vibrant yellows and red,
Her color’s primary purpose is to create
Improvising like wind blowing,
She sways as melody kisses your lips,
She sings as they sway like clothing drying in the wind,
Strange fruit grow like weeds these days,
Strange taste, bitter to swallow on untamed tongue,
You can hear it in Billie’s riff,
Her lover,
Kept her in check like trench coats in Harlem night clubs as if opium won’t get her high….
He slapped her into higher octaves,
Fisted music notes in her skin,
Duets of hit & miss,
Off pitch out of tone scats,
See her face sings “Am I Blue”
Her lover with an unapologetic “That’s Why the Lady Is Tramp” look,
Gestures and runs his hands across body like fingers running scale,
Keys, bass, horn, drum bedsprings tell the truth
On how sex never quite gets rid of the bruises in all that jazz,
There’s pain…insanely, strangely beautiful this caged bird sings
Poppy flowers to sleep in an arm’s reach,
Her arms reach for the microphone,
Either way….
Some would say she’s arm reach from heaven’s gate,
Her first kiss…. progressive over bass chords
Heroin takes off the edge,
That harsh melody of vocal chords linger like cigar smoke,
Or could it be the slow rasp in her breath from the phone cord around neck?
Could she distinguish these ooh’s, ahs and moans?
Whether it’s from Jazz, sex or fist?
Just couldn’t resist the high…light, center stage,
The headliner reads…….
She loved jazz like she loved her men…
They abused her like she abused the smack…. that smacked her harder than any lover can,
“Nobody’s Business What I Do” She would sing from her diaphragm
“Good Morning heartache thought I said goodbye last night” but here you are,
Stuck in the back of her throat breaking the core of her heart,
The rasp of her last breath descending in scale,
Crackling, in syncopated tone,
Harmonizing to life’s blues

Native Son

Featured Poem:

The Un-forgiven

Enlarge poem

How many poems must I write to find the centre of my being?
How many internal deaths must I die until I feel like I’m living?
I want to breathe purpose throughout my inhale and exhale,
Set the rhythm of my soul fire regulated by my heart beat
Feel the adrenalin rush as I touch happiness, blood cells dancing in vein,
It’s a beautiful life without the ugly,
Ugly is so vain it’s all I see, I‘ve seen ugly before,
I’ve felt its sting like manta,
I’ve seen its pain manifest and run rampant like wild stallions free to rein prairies of hopelessness,
Like distended bellies, like desert tongue, like callous hands due to suffrage,
Like knife wounds in back, slit throats in allies, like parted thighs and DNA scrapings,
I’m sure you’ve seen Ugly,
How about that 5 year old who decided to never to tell a soul on how innocence snatched made her a man child before he was six,
How silence meant everything, how snips and snails and puppy dog tails consumed him
Cause that’s what little boys are made of,
What am I afraid of?
I trust no one… I’ve seen ugliness tear forgiveness in shreds,
Shred teenage dreams into lost identities, fear faces that show affection,
Affections have no effect on affected souls that are dug out hollowed into oblivion,
I once witnessed sunsets on fiery tongues wondering if I’ll ever see the sun,
I once thought I knew love, I once wanted so bad I gave all I had leaving empty,
I once promised I’ll never forgiven the un-forgiven for forgiveness is no company of mine,
Have you ever hated yourself so much while loving others to death, living a tortured life dressing it up to be beautiful?
Let the medium be my writing, how many poems must I write?
How many internal deaths must I suffer?
I seen beauty in God he prepped me for radiance, God seen beauty in me,
It’s that tiny splinter that causes the most pain,
It’s that struggle to grow that burning tiredness that lets you know,
That wrinkle, that vein on the temple, that strain in the eye,
Free me, let me forgive, free me let me feel, free me let me touch,
Let me find that clarity, let transparency be the skin I’m in,
Let torn dreams knit like sutures,
Rekindle soul fires, heal broken wings,
Mend broken hearts, fix broken thoughts,
Clear murky waters, purify bad intentions,
Let beautiful minds shine from that clarity,
Breathe my being into existence one more time,
Let me feel how fragile life is,
Let me touch the fire, consume the flame, become the light, transcend the breath,
Set free the wind and roam the world on a single word…. LOVE!
And maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…
Maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…..
Maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…
To forgive…..myself

native son Marvin Trimm

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Biography

Marvin Trimm aka (Native Son) is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker and musician. He has been engaged in the world of literary and performance art for 20 years. It is this passion for the arts that has led him to be showcased globally in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.

A native of the small island of Bermuda, it was there that he honed and developed his craft his craft. In the late 80’s he was able to write, produce and direct his 1st one man show entitled “Life Signs on Planet Earth” a collection of monologues depicting real life characters in social situations.

Today, he continues in the capacity as a writer of performance poetry/spoken word, which he performs at various venues such as spoken word series, poetry slams, music festivals, community events, conferences, universities and prisons. Marvin describes his poetic literary speech as spontaneously truthful. A self pro-claimed “Empowerment Poet”, he often writes about self development, self awareness and self improvement. Marvin is a charismatic storyteller that combines history , social, political issues to enlighten and bring new perspectives about the world we live in.

Native Son

native son Marvin Trimm
native son Marvin Trimm

Biography

Marvin Trimm aka (Native Son) is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker and musician. He has been engaged in the world of literary and performance art for 20 years. It is this passion for the arts that has led him to be showcased globally in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.

A native of the small island of Bermuda, it was there that he honed and developed his craft his craft. In the late 80’s he was able to write, produce and direct his 1st one man show entitled “Life Signs on Planet Earth” a collection of monologues depicting real life characters in social situations.

Today, he continues in the capacity as a writer of performance poetry/spoken word, which he performs at various venues such as spoken word series, poetry slams, music festivals, community events, conferences, universities and prisons. Marvin describes his poetic literary speech as spontaneously truthful. A self pro-claimed “Empowerment Poet”, he often writes about self development, self awareness and self improvement. Marvin is a charismatic storyteller that combines history , social, political issues to enlighten and bring new perspectives about the world we live in.

The Descending Scale of Billie Holliday

Enlarge poem

“Good morning heartache” “She thought you said goodbye last night”
There’s so much story in her voice….
Saw the literature In Her Pain Stuck In The Back Of Her Throat,
Cough Me a Song That Sings the Truth,
Breathe from her diaphragm opium rasp that floats on Ivory keys,
See her words of vivid past
Scaling bass sounds over trumpet defiling her open,
Exposing musical notes raw and uncensored
Screaming the rape of innocence,
The Devil buys souls through open legs,
She escaped in grooves on brothel’s phonograph,
Sang along with Bessie and Louis,
God Bless this child with Jazz in her vein,
Give her vocals heavenly sounds to lullaby the hell…
To unlock secrets with keys only to be brazenly sung accapella,
Sleep with one eye open, dream half of a nightmare,
Eleanora in the back of her eyelid,
Billie dilated in her pupil,
The Dove flew off into the distance,
Holliday in the saliva of her tongue
That’s how Billie became…
Chose to sing her days of abandonment with the only attachment left of her father,
His name…
Lady Day sings those blues, vibrant yellows and red,
Her color’s primary purpose is to create
Improvising like wind blowing,
She sways as melody kisses your lips,
She sings as they sway like clothing drying in the wind,
Strange fruit grow like weeds these days,
Strange taste, bitter to swallow on untamed tongue,
You can hear it in Billie’s riff,
Her lover,
Kept her in check like trench coats in Harlem night clubs as if opium won’t get her high….
He slapped her into higher octaves,
Fisted music notes in her skin,
Duets of hit & miss,
Off pitch out of tone scats,
See her face sings “Am I Blue”
Her lover with an unapologetic “That’s Why the Lady Is Tramp” look,
Gestures and runs his hands across body like fingers running scale,
Keys, bass, horn, drum bedsprings tell the truth
On how sex never quite gets rid of the bruises in all that jazz,
There’s pain…insanely, strangely beautiful this caged bird sings
Poppy flowers to sleep in an arm’s reach,
Her arms reach for the microphone,
Either way….
Some would say she’s arm reach from heaven’s gate,
Her first kiss…. progressive over bass chords
Heroin takes off the edge,
That harsh melody of vocal chords linger like cigar smoke,
Or could it be the slow rasp in her breath from the phone cord around neck?
Could she distinguish these ooh’s, ahs and moans?
Whether it’s from Jazz, sex or fist?
Just couldn’t resist the high…light, center stage,
The headliner reads…….
She loved jazz like she loved her men…
They abused her like she abused the smack…. that smacked her harder than any lover can,
“Nobody’s Business What I Do” She would sing from her diaphragm
“Good Morning heartache thought I said goodbye last night” but here you are,
Stuck in the back of her throat breaking the core of her heart,
The rasp of her last breath descending in scale,
Crackling, in syncopated tone,
Harmonizing to life’s blues

Featured Poem:

The Un-forgiven

Enlarge poem

How many poems must I write to find the centre of my being?
How many internal deaths must I die until I feel like I’m living?
I want to breathe purpose throughout my inhale and exhale,
Set the rhythm of my soul fire regulated by my heart beat
Feel the adrenalin rush as I touch happiness, blood cells dancing in vein,
It’s a beautiful life without the ugly,
Ugly is so vain it’s all I see, I‘ve seen ugly before,
I’ve felt its sting like manta,
I’ve seen its pain manifest and run rampant like wild stallions free to rein prairies of hopelessness,
Like distended bellies, like desert tongue, like callous hands due to suffrage,
Like knife wounds in back, slit throats in allies, like parted thighs and DNA scrapings,
I’m sure you’ve seen Ugly,
How about that 5 year old who decided to never to tell a soul on how innocence snatched made her a man child before he was six,
How silence meant everything, how snips and snails and puppy dog tails consumed him
Cause that’s what little boys are made of,
What am I afraid of?
I trust no one… I’ve seen ugliness tear forgiveness in shreds,
Shred teenage dreams into lost identities, fear faces that show affection,
Affections have no effect on affected souls that are dug out hollowed into oblivion,
I once witnessed sunsets on fiery tongues wondering if I’ll ever see the sun,
I once thought I knew love, I once wanted so bad I gave all I had leaving empty,
I once promised I’ll never forgiven the un-forgiven for forgiveness is no company of mine,
Have you ever hated yourself so much while loving others to death, living a tortured life dressing it up to be beautiful?
Let the medium be my writing, how many poems must I write?
How many internal deaths must I suffer?
I seen beauty in God he prepped me for radiance, God seen beauty in me,
It’s that tiny splinter that causes the most pain,
It’s that struggle to grow that burning tiredness that lets you know,
That wrinkle, that vein on the temple, that strain in the eye,
Free me, let me forgive, free me let me feel, free me let me touch,
Let me find that clarity, let transparency be the skin I’m in,
Let torn dreams knit like sutures,
Rekindle soul fires, heal broken wings,
Mend broken hearts, fix broken thoughts,
Clear murky waters, purify bad intentions,
Let beautiful minds shine from that clarity,
Breathe my being into existence one more time,
Let me feel how fragile life is,
Let me touch the fire, consume the flame, become the light, transcend the breath,
Set free the wind and roam the world on a single word…. LOVE!
And maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…
Maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…..
Maybe then I’ll be courageous enough…
To forgive…..myself

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

The Descending Scale of Billie Holliday

Enlarge poem

“Good morning heartache” “She thought you said goodbye last night”
There’s so much story in her voice….
Saw the literature In Her Pain Stuck In The Back Of Her Throat,
Cough Me a Song That Sings the Truth,
Breathe from her diaphragm opium rasp that floats on Ivory keys,
See her words of vivid past
Scaling bass sounds over trumpet defiling her open,
Exposing musical notes raw and uncensored
Screaming the rape of innocence,
The Devil buys souls through open legs,
She escaped in grooves on brothel’s phonograph,
Sang along with Bessie and Louis,
God Bless this child with Jazz in her vein,
Give her vocals heavenly sounds to lullaby the hell…
To unlock secrets with keys only to be brazenly sung accapella,
Sleep with one eye open, dream half of a nightmare,
Eleanora in the back of her eyelid,
Billie dilated in her pupil,
The Dove flew off into the distance,
Holliday in the saliva of her tongue
That’s how Billie became…
Chose to sing her days of abandonment with the only attachment left of her father,
His name…
Lady Day sings those blues, vibrant yellows and red,
Her color’s primary purpose is to create
Improvising like wind blowing,
She sways as melody kisses your lips,
She sings as they sway like clothing drying in the wind,
Strange fruit grow like weeds these days,
Strange taste, bitter to swallow on untamed tongue,
You can hear it in Billie’s riff,
Her lover,
Kept her in check like trench coats in Harlem night clubs as if opium won’t get her high….
He slapped her into higher octaves,
Fisted music notes in her skin,
Duets of hit & miss,
Off pitch out of tone scats,
See her face sings “Am I Blue”
Her lover with an unapologetic “That’s Why the Lady Is Tramp” look,
Gestures and runs his hands across body like fingers running scale,
Keys, bass, horn, drum bedsprings tell the truth
On how sex never quite gets rid of the bruises in all that jazz,
There’s pain…insanely, strangely beautiful this caged bird sings
Poppy flowers to sleep in an arm’s reach,
Her arms reach for the microphone,
Either way….
Some would say she’s arm reach from heaven’s gate,
Her first kiss…. progressive over bass chords
Heroin takes off the edge,
That harsh melody of vocal chords linger like cigar smoke,
Or could it be the slow rasp in her breath from the phone cord around neck?
Could she distinguish these ooh’s, ahs and moans?
Whether it’s from Jazz, sex or fist?
Just couldn’t resist the high…light, center stage,
The headliner reads…….
She loved jazz like she loved her men…
They abused her like she abused the smack…. that smacked her harder than any lover can,
“Nobody’s Business What I Do” She would sing from her diaphragm
“Good Morning heartache thought I said goodbye last night” but here you are,
Stuck in the back of her throat breaking the core of her heart,
The rasp of her last breath descending in scale,
Crackling, in syncopated tone,
Harmonizing to life’s blues

Comments

Your email address will not be published.