Michael Robinson (right) and fellow contributor Joan Beebe
It shook the building with a roar,
the darkness matched the violence of the booms.
While the sound of a tremendous explosion,
Hide under the bed, I recalled from childhood.
This was no ordinary thunderstorm…
It was a finality to it all.
All my sins laid out in front of each clap of unforgiveness,
Into the night my sins were like a sideshow.
You stole, you cursed, and blasphemed, among other sins,
In the middle of the evening and into the night as the clocks blinked,
It was certain that my life would end in the midst of a roaring storm,
On a Sunday night, while my soul was in a state of panic.
I lit a candle and lay quietly in my bed…
as each drop of rain brought a feeling of forgiveness.
After the Winter Snow
For Larry and Donna
Bliss surrounds a black boy after the snow has fallen
A sign of the human heart has survived
An understanding of life and suffering
Hunger and thirst and desire
No longer does regret linger within his soul
It was a winter of solitude setting on the pew
Praying for salvation
While the flakes of snow surrounded the outside
Harsh was the winds and still was the life he had
There’s no need to be afraid he thought:
In time there would be a flower that would bloom inside of him
Today was that day.
For Crystal Johnson
Those eyes tell the story of my soul,
You see the story come to life,
Through the brightness of your glance.
Brings peace to my mind,
Your eyes reflects all that is good within me,
All that I wanted to be and all that I have become,
The beam in your eyes refreshes my soul.
God’s hand over my heart,
As the bullets fly into the sky,
Like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
It’s the kindness of Spring,
With the flowers blooming,
And my soul.
My soul is the soul of many,
Who has not died,
In the winter snows.
For Donna Simons 2017
I’ve been someplace special,
Where the sun speaks to the moon,
While the mountains listen.
I’ve been someplace where my soul dances,
And my heart speaks in its native tongue,
Some place where I come to life.
Some place where my Mother,
Sings with her soul,
And I hear every word.
Black Boys Growing Up
Tying a tail onto a kite,
Watching for the first flowers of spring,
Shaking off the winter cold that had soaked down to the bone,
Kissing a girl for the first time and feeling sane,
Staying away from strangers that carry knives and guns.
Avoiding the war when I turn 18 so that I don’t die in a foreign land,
Living in a world that grasshoppers leap high into the air
And the flowers bloom in my backyard.
Yes, I want to be a black man when I grow up.
It was my foster mother that was my salvation. I held on to her in spirit most of my life. It was her reddish tan skin and her silver gray hair that spoke to my senses ever since I can remember. I always wanted to express my love for her by kissing her on her cheek. Yet, I was always afraid of being rejected by the one lady that meant so much to me. One day, I overcame my fear and kissed her on her cheek, and she accepted it as she had always accepted me.
A Life Lived
after Carol Frost’s: Autumn Tune
I know of losses, Apples with one bite taken out of them and then thrown into the garden for the worms. Ripening bananas turned to brown, spotted sugar. Love was a picture hanging above my bed. Ideas that were spoiled by clouds moving too fast for the eyes to see. A sore tongue that had not spoken words of peace have only known of vulgar words. Women wearing mini-skirts giving me hope that I would find the right woman. Each step I took was for atonement for lost beliefs and the world was an upside down cake.
Road to Someplace
Beyond the shallow grave which once was my home
In the middle of the night which held me captive
It was a selfish life I was wanting to live.
Beyond the reality of the sinking sun
And the signs of danger and chaos
In the open skies.
I fell from the skies past the shooting stars
Into a place where life was simple
Into an unknown reality.
A clear vision of who I am and why I lived
To find this place where the grass breathes
And the trees are fifty feet tall.
A place where my stone hands are nourished
A covered heart reveals warmth
And my name spoken with love.
“Don’t hurt me!” I said, sitting in the corner of a tiny room with pillows on the floor for my bed.
It was an August night and it was cold.
“I’m not going to hurt you.”
Mary would spend the next two decades telling me that she wasn’t going to hurt me. I’d get to hear this a lot, as I went through all the mental hospitals and ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) treatments. The darkness of the nights was plentiful in my marriage of thirteen years.