Days after my father died,
I watched my mom sink
into an armchair as if
it was an embrace from him.

She sat listless;
her face made up with
fatigue, sorrow and the
hint of a smile.

Her eyes, which were
once bright and vibrant,
held a dim and distant shine. 

When she finally got
up to go rest in the bed,
I sat in that chair and
felt a surge of memories
engulf me.

Hugs, kisses, jokes,
arguments, discipline
and family functions
came rushing in like
a December wind;

whenever I saw her sit
in that chair from that
day forward, I would go
get her slippers and ask
if she needed a blanket. 

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Another young man got shot in broad daylight.

Another young man got shot in broad daylight;
empathy for his death was narrow.

The marrow in human bones
is becoming colder than frozen stones;
feels like the earth has forgotten how to pray.

Tears turn to concrete;
a mother’s heart strings pop.

Another young man got shot in broad daylight,
not many onlookers seem to be shocked.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly




Growth hurts.

It pushes its way
up through fields
of comfort and
conformity laying
down roots of
uncertainty and fear.

It rearranges the soil
so much so that one
can’t get a proper
footing anymore;

each step wavering
between miss and wonder.

I survey those who
have grown around me
and either marvel in
their beauty or cringe
at their ugliness;

some say it was good that I was a late bloomer.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Nina Knew

After viewing the documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? a couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to put some words to what I felt when the film was done; this is what I came up with...

Nina knew
everyone will love you
but no one will know
how to love you.

That artistry would
be savior, salvation
and sin, especially
when folks detest
the skin it resides in.

That the second you
become more revolutionary
than resigned, it will be the
life and death of your
career each and every time.

That you’ll continually exist
between courage and the
urge to cower to fear;
wanting to be seen, but often
times wishing to disappear.

That folks will constantly
desire to covet your flesh,
but deliberately miss
touching the inside
of your chest.

That some of the
best moments in life
may happen when
you’re all alone;
existing so much
inside your head,
it will truly become
your only home.

That you’ll smile
at the world while
swallowing your pain;
your soul sunshine,
consistently hidden
by gray clouds and rain.

That the stage will be both
freedom and an invisible
cage; thousands of eyes
held captive by the
brilliance of a
creative sage

whose genius still causes hearts to sigh;

seems like the most
tragically gifted amongst us
aren’t genuinely appreciated
until after they die.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Nina Simone


Ode To Sleeping

Today I attended the Free Writers on The Green Line workshop facilitated by poet extraordinaire Naomi Ayala. It was informative, enlightening, and fun; this is one of the pieces that came out of today's session...

You are a welcomed

companion on life’s journey;

if an ambulance was love,

you would be the gurney.

We meet at night,

we meet in the day;

we sometimes meet

after lunch when my

boss goes away.

We meet in bed,

we meet on the couch,

we meet on the train,

I miss my stop because of you,

but I don’t complain.

I miss phone calls

when we’re alone,

I took a plane trip to Cali,

we met over two different

two zones.

I think you’re awesome,

I can’t resist your charm;

I think we should get together

and murder the clock alarm. 

© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Flying Bed


Intent (30/30)

The final prompt for day thirty over at NaPoWriMo was to take a previously written poem and write it backwards, flipping the order of the lines from the last to the first. I’m using a poem I wrote back in January of 2014 entitled Meant To to accomplish this challenge...

I really meant to love her more,

but in reality,
I am genuinely sorry
for capturing our moments

Her smile,
her aroma,
her flesh,

while obsessing
over written memories.

Beneath her breast,
a thumping quasar
the universe 

in her eyes
ink strokes
attempted to mirror.

Our dreams,
our uncertainties,
our happiness,
all immortalized effigies
lingering like
a sunset with no horizon;

every letter
a tragic beauty
delicately embraced.

She inspired me to write,
but more than her,
I foolishly loved words.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



The Inevitable (29/30)

You occupy

crevices of 

thought residing

next to imagination 

and the inevitable.

You own sunsets

and live in 3am;

the dream is to 

swim inside your mind 

and surf on its thinking,

watching synapses become 

the texture of ancestral 

sand as fingers birth 

hallelujah from 

massaging neurons so 

radiant they restore youth.

Amazing how the

mind draws up fascination

with sentences strung

together with shards of

starlight and the future;

I climb inside your words and make myself home.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Burning Bridges (28/30)

The prompt for day twenty-eight over at NaPoWriMo was to write a poem about bridges.

It burns!

It burns!

Yells the bridge 

you’ve set ablaze;

ashes won’t hold your weight if you need to return across it.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Burning Bridge


Uprising (27/30)

The prompt for day twenty-seven over at NaPoWriMo was to write a variant on the haiku called a hay(na)ku, which is a poem that consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.


is broken

on pressurized frustration.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Baptism (26/30)

The congregation lines up in the lake,

to rescue our souls we cannot wait,

because of my ignorance, I start to clown;

hey momma, does being saved mean we have to drown?

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Speaking In Tongues (25/30)

The prompt for day twenty-five over at NaPoWriMo was to attempt a Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name...

Reverend Johnson stayed on his knees,

the women’s choir he aimed to please;

his gilded tongue gave them life,

until it was cut out by his wife.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



In Moments (24/30)

where time
dissolves into
dust and dusk
crashes into 

dawn, the world 
seems to slide
between the concrete 

and abstract,
especially in the

and floors
melt, the ceiling
into an ocean,
a Spanish galleon; 

lovers becoming
captors and slaves
sailing the high seas
of desire;

conjoined skin swimming
deep in the life

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Homage (23/30)

Poets hurl their 

hearts at the moon,

turning the night sky 

into sonnets and sangria; 

Shakespeare is somewhere 

drinking from a pitcher.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Sangria Moon


Breeze (22/30)

The prompt for day twenty two at NaPoWriMo was to write a pastoral poem in honor of earth day. A Pastoral poem usually engages with nature in form or fashion so I thought this might work…


night breeze

sneaks through my open window

like a lover’s unexpected enchantment;

it wisp across bare skin,

taking up residence in the bed sheet and bones.

Body hairs become so aroused,

they never want this




© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Open Window


Rebellion (21/30)

The prompt for day twenty-one over at NaPoWriMo was to create an erasure poem...I used a page from Kenneth B. Clark's book Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power



Stasis (20/30)

The prompt for day twenty over at NaPoWriMo was to write a poem that states the things you know; each line can be a separate statement or you can run them together.

Black is beautiful

but gets marred by

a thin blue line

which is a real shame, seems like

black lives matter most

when they are spending money

on sneakers, weaves and xbox games.

Folks want to martyr criminals

who don’t comply, but

appear to give no f%&ks

about the young black males

who every day senselessly die.

We are desensitized beyond recognition,

celebrating ignorance like it has value;

one hundred forty character

revolutionaries whose flash mob mentality

hashtags injustice and upholds privilege.

We are in an age of technology

where trading convenience for control

equals access to your soul,

salvation lying one click away.

One thing I know for sure,

this reality really needs

a log out button.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



By Yourself (19/30)

The prompt for day nineteen over at NaPoWriMo was to write a landay. Landays are usually 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming and ranging from sly and humorous to deeply ironic and melancholy. These were kinda fun to write…

A life of solitude is not that bad;
says the person who reminisces on what they had.

Being alone is never lonely;
your matchmaking grandma calls this saying baloney.

In the darkness, fingers make her moan;
she secretly wishes she could pull him through the phone.

In darkness, infidelity makes him cry;
his best friend is teaching his wife’s vagina how to sigh.

The writing life, full of sex and sin,
you make love to your keyboard, monitor, pad and pen.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Missed (18/30)

The hospital called;

car wheels couldn’t spin fast enough

to clutch your last words.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



#Randomness (17/30)

The prompt for day seventeen over at NaPoWriMo was to take elements from your social media life and make a poem out of them…I chose to take some of my old facebook status updates and add hashtags to them…

The time will come when you let go of all fear, doubt and uncertainty concerning your life's true passion; it will either be the most liberating day of your existence or you'll be too dead to give a shyt

Ink is my life's blood; I bleed on pages nightly. In the daytime, I become anemic.

I am a stranger in a strange land searching for a normalcy that doesn't exist; 3am chronicles my exploits and holds all my secrets.

It sometimes aches remembering the way her body wrapped around mine; mostly at 4am when the ghost of us haunts cold bed sheets…

Is there a rest home for unwritten words and thoughts that didn't have the courage to become poems? If such a place exist, I need to make a sojourn to it and reminisce with the lines and stanzas that almost made it

When the greatness in you makes its debut, it will shock everyone...even yourself

We crawled into each others lives and learned how to walk together under the sun; unfortunately you couldn't help me fly...I had to learn how after you pushed me off a cliff

We danced on the edge of frigidness searching for warmth that never came; permanent icicles daydreaming about an invisible summer.

The one thing about life that is certain...nobody makes it outta here alive

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Terzanelle: The Burn (16/30)

The prompt for day sixteen over at NaPoWriMo was to write a terzanelle, which is a combination of a villanelle and terza rima. Form poetry...oh what fun!

Her kiss burned down my bones,
setting fire to lips and skin,
ashes turning into a love jones.

Her glance, a piercing sin;
eyes the color of sun and coal,
setting fire to lips and skin.

My spirit she has stole,
becoming my secret salvation;
eyes the color of sun and coal.

Between her legs lies damnation;
perdition has the sweetest taste,
becoming my secret salvation.

Limbs freeze; time becomes chaste,
trapped in her scorching flame;   
perdition has the sweetest taste.

My curiosity is to blame,
her kiss burned down my bones,
trapped in her scorching flame,   
ashes turning into a love jones.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Dear Poem (15/30)

The prompt for day fifteen over at NaPoWriMo (woohoo the halfway point!) was to write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self...

You steal sleep

and hijack thoughts;

always the center of attention,

you're a mistress,

a mystery,


You impregnate blank pages,

sometimes abandoning lines in their infancy;

you are prayers reincarnated as ink,

moonlight searching for a home,

words seeking immortality,

deep sighs splattered 

upon a broken canvas.

I try escaping you

but you hunt me down

like a jilted lover

not ready to end the romance;

I secretly enjoy

the chase.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Discussion About Polygamy (14/30)

The prompt for day fourteen over at NaPoWriMo was to write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue...

Ayo baby in

Afrika men are allowed

to have more than one

wife, would you allow me

to bring another

woman into our life?

She said...

go find Umfufu

if you want mister,

but if you bring another

woman into this house

I will be pulling the trigger;

you must have fell

and bumped your head,

the only way you'll have

another wife in this life

is when my ass is good and dead.

But think of all those

righteous women

without a good man?

Wouldn’t having

a sister wife be grand?

You know polygamy

is in Allah's plans…

…see this is what happens

when you stay up late

watching Shaka Zulu;

alright Mr. I Want Another Wife

No Maybe TWO

let me go find another

man to bring into this

house, then we'll see if you like

having to share a spouse...

Aiiiiiiiight cut that s@#t out

because it ain't funny...

Oh but me sharing you

is in Allah's plans???!!

You need to shut the hell up

A.S.A.P. before your head

starts to share the bottom

of this frying pan.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Ice Queen (13/30)

eyes were 
the color of ice 
and sapphire, telling 
the story of a thousand 
lonely blizzards.

crown made 
of crystal and 
starlight reflected
a sacred truth
few could ever 

of warmth is indeed
a cold place 
to be.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly

Ice Queen


Pulling Teeth (12/30)

Because of years
of mistaking candy for
one of the four food groups,
I have teeth that need to be

I'm reluctant to see
a dentist because I've
become accustomed to
the pain;

sharp stabbing lighting
that strikes at any given
moment, electrifying
nerve endings.

Reading about dental
horror stories from the
times when there were
no dentist is how I try
and motivate myself to seek
medical attention,

they don't work;

the pain passes
like a storm in the

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Bullets & Bulldozers (11/30)

in a trendy
restaurant trying
to enjoy the company,
food and ambiance of a
Saturday night, but the
sterilized view of the street
from where I was dining gave
me an uneasy feeling;

I could see
were the ghost
of former residents,
family owned businesses
and taped off crime scenes.

voices and clanging
of dinnerware drowned out
by the memories of bullets and

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Commonality (10/30)

I've been busy off-line for the past couple of days, so for these next few poems I'm gonna skip the NaPoWriMo prompts...

I was riding
a packed afternoon 
metro train full of 
wide eyed and
curious looking tourist,

the giant yellow W on my
t-shirt amplifying my
difference from them.

As I tried to ignore 
their stares, a cherub 
faced lad approaches me,
gazes straight into my 
eyes and pulls up his 
right shirt sleeve;

his skin read:

© 2015 abruvanamedsly



Known Elements (9/30)

The prompt for day nine at NaPoWriMo was to come up with a visual poem or calligram...I used a program called Tagxedo to create this word cloud...

elements from the
periodic table of
Sankofa are
they paint 
onto the minds of
those who know
just how powerful
galaxy rays can

© 2015 abruvanamedsly


Inevitability (8/30)

The prompt for day eight over at NaPoWriMo was to write a palinode, a poem in which a poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem to make a new one. I decided to use words from my piece *Saddening...

*you lie under my skin
taking up the space between
muscle and tomorrow


more like;

you live in my sighs
taking up the space between
probability and today.

© 2015 abruvanamedsly