Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tributaries


Say their names, say their names:
Mikey, Mattie and Ernestine.
Say their names so their memories
can course through us like tributaries
rushing toward rivers of blood
over stones in our hearts,
across ragged fissures on our backs.

Say their names, say their names
so our throats don't close, so air 
fills our lungs and we can lift our eyes
to dreams in our third eye where lullabies
soothe the thumping in our chests, so we
can pull down stars to blanket our
heavy heaving and sighs.

Say their names, say their names:
Danny, Fred and Dandrick
so our tears become salted stitches
between pages of love and loss and grief,
weave vines of sorrow about our wrists and feet.

Say their names, say their names
so we can straighten our backs and walk
until it is our names they say, they say
winding new vines of love and loss
and remembering.

Say their names, say their names:
Larry, Faye and Daniel
so our children can follow hallow crumbs
back to where they came past hurt
and harm and betrayal.

Say their names: Love.




linked with challenge which asked for places. The example led me to people. I hope you enjoy it.
linked with Elleroy's.

20 comments:

  1. LaTonya, your words are like a smooth beverage -- so beautiful! I love the image of salted stitches.

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  2. Thank you. Sherry inspired me. Credit to her from the prompt.

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  3. first, wicked picture....i wonder at who the names are...first thought was names carved in the tree....then cemeteries...then lovers...or lost children....anyway my mind ran away with it a bit...the so our throats dont close and the one right after were most evocative to me latonya

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    1. If you're so inclined, shoot me an edit or suggestions. Love your feedback. The prompt was to remember and it asked for names. I thought naming might trip readers up but I went with it. Oh clarification, original poem named places.

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  4. LaTonya, I can feel the grief in this, those names reverberating and, at the end, equating=Love. Fantastic write, kiddo! Love the idea of the memories coursing through us like tributaries "rushing towards rivers of blood over stones in our hearts". Wow.

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  5. A beautiful poem, coming to a beautiful conclusion, I love the idea of them being tributaries, and the way that is illustrated by the roots of the tree.

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  6. I love the dramatic effect of the repetition.

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  7. This is a beautiful poem. I guess we all read our own interpretations of the names and who they are. They could represent so many different harmed and betrayed people the world over. You have penned so many wonderful images "tributaries, stones in our hearts, vines of sorrow, tears become salted stitches, hallow crumbs" amazingly vivid.

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  8. That image is gorgeous and I love the poem with it. I especially love memories as tributaries, ragged fissures, stars as a blanket, tears as salted stiches and vines of sorrow. So beautiful.

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  9. Wow. Beautiful naming, calling out, finding nourishment.

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  10. until it is our names they say, they say
    winding new vines of love and loss
    and remembering.


    I can't help envisioning this beautiful poem with the loss of loved ones... and the stanza above, to me, is my belief that heavenly souls pray for us - the ones still on earth. We pray for them, they pray for us.

    Along with that gorgeous photo, I adore

    "can course through us like tributaries
    rushing toward rivers of blood
    over stones in our hearts...."

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  11. Very nice, LaTonya ~~ I love the repetition
    with the verse getting deeper every line
    Say their names,
    write them down.
    Write them in your heart,
    then say them again,
    in your prayers!!!

    I once read that you should not say your dog's name to him/her unless you are scolding.
    I wasn't quite sure why not.
    ..

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  12. Connections are so important...this was beautiful!

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  13. I like the rhythm and flow of this. I like the repetition as well.

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  14. Kept wondering who they are. But at the end it does not matter who they are but love conquers all. Nicely La Tonya!

    Hank

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  15. Fatefully beautiful ! Incredible writing !

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  16. I read your poem last night but did not have a chance to comment. Coming back to it today, and I find it still resonates. The repeating opening line drives through to the heart of the reader.

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  17. Sorry I have been absent, LaTonya. My poem will explain it all.

    These feel like folks lost along the way, either by death, by distance, or by the simple fact that life takes us many places... that first resonates with me in many ways. Say the names means "remember," and I hold so many in my heart, so many young men... Love, Amy

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