Bell’s Confusion

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Bell’s Confusion
1998

That day the Blue-Jay sang in alarm,
mistaken by the sweet peas of spring, I was charmed.
I looked lovingly at my shadow, as night grew near.
Though it was dark, I did not fear, at first.
I sang my inner child to sleep.

Bell whispersssss.

I smiled faintly and kissed her on the forehead.
Unknowingly, I tucked her into her deathbed.
As I tip-toed from the room, throughout the chilly air,
was the smell of her sweet, honeysuckle hair.
I turned out her light and waited for a new day.

Bell….Bell…your whispers scare me.

The serpent of caduceus sits on Mephistopheles knees,
living seasons upon treasons inside of me.
Oh Bell knows secrets of this I am sure, but he answers me not when I implore,
where, why, when?
Hissing, he just spits out a tear in my face.

Bell….?

I am drained of energy, life and love, while Aunt Mary says talk to the One up above, but that venom is bitter, hot, most vile, sleeping dogs do better if they are just left to lie, serpents can’t walk and I am stubborn.

Sssssss…

Somewhere in the tangles of my mind, is a smiling child I cannot find.
I remember, in Christmas she still believes, and old Bell in his chest, rattles and heaves,
“She’sssss gonna be somebody, sssssome day.”
I pick up my axe as I start to pray over a tiny etched glass with initials, “TK…
…W” and drink the poison that heals…

Snakebite.

-Tanya

On Growth…Breaking the Ground

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On Growth…Breaking the Ground

1999

Bite the Dust
Young Seedling
blinded by the light of what you can be

Cough. Cough.
a mouthful of iniquity

Young and Strong
standing tall among them
changing the winds with your will and worthiness

Ouch!
trampled by Mr. Couldn’t Care Less

“You can’t learn to lead people! Leaders are born! You are not a leader! You will never be a leader!”

withered and wilt
stooped at the neck
contemplating the fall

thinking pesticide
is it worth it at all?

so far down you can’t see up
Lost
Alone
…wanting to give up

Quick!
you need guts!

A drop of honey-morning dew
from your fragile vision
falls on the scorched earthworm

Earthworm looks up
…and smiles.

“We go places you have never been.”

-Tanya

This was published in some anthology a long time ago. I think it was called “Clouds Across the Sky,” or something like that. The book is around here somewhere. My writes in the 90s were very juvenile, in my opinion.

Pulled Pork in Summer

If I say pulled pork in the summer, you think Old green sweaty kitchen, in boiling potatoes and collards pinching your nose in desire.

In the 60’s.

Or is it sin, that keeps you awake after Boris.
Just stubborn enough, like an old rusty nail, pulled pork,

Like we know him, really.
We know him only in that place, where All Souls meet and greet,

And, nothing is forbidden.

Selling wares like Sammy Davis on a street corner,

Peddling,

You got some tiiiiiiime for me?

Little Madam.

You got some big girl blue,

that cruise ain’t no body prepared for,

That Katmandu gonna sing you,

the night they drove ole Dixie down and all the people were singing,

War and pestilence and

Blood, these hands, these bloody hands,

Painting it,

Like Botacelli in a jar sealed tight. Spice.

Sweating in the kitchen,

Sweating your soul on a surfboard, blackboard, cutting board, boardroom.

At least one fin up,

In that time of cholera, and liniment, choking, swallow, swallow, don’t swallow, going down….

In red.

the oceans.

Green walls don’t talk.

They paint, they paint me,

Sometimes.

They save me,

No, no, not in the kitchen,

In brown beans and cornbread, and a prayer.

in brown corduroy,

Ain’t nobody got time for that,

For this,

Or that.

You got nothing on green walls and cornbread,

Dripping in the milk.

Back to peeling tomatoes and killing chickens, my Love.

They think they know it all, already,

Ain’t no sunshine when she smiles.

In an old green kitchen, full of peace.

You gotta know what your walling in or walling out,

No fly zones, Baby.

Like Taj Mahal at the Improv,

Baby.

Yeah, yeah,

Tomato sandwiches.

Now we slice the bread.

Like a good girl.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.

Ain’t no shame.

You gotta want that peace like cherry pie in February.

But she says it all the time you know,

Like rain on Sunday, and ashes on Wednesday.

it gets between your teeth.

Just stubborn enough.

You got some candy in that cupboard? In that peace jar?

White starched tee shirts on an ironing board,

in an old green kitchen.

-Tanya

Time in a Bottle

imageTime in a Bottle

The real boogeyman is trigger happy

I needed you in that moment

Smelling like Tabu

Like I needed you witches in light

It was Jasmine

Like I needed you when the white shirt turned red

Now Patchouli

Like that time

Coca-Cola in Sophia

Sometimes you gotta use up all the old perfume

That’s what she said.

-Tanya

Old Bones

Clicking away, slamming doors in that robe of Ephod, the Wise One tipped his kipa.

And I,

I told the tale anyhow.

Promised.

Yaroset, secondhand, still tastes sweet.

But when that friend,

Refused to share the Matzoh Ball Soup,

Recipe of our ancestors,

I walked away spitting horseradish,

through bitter teeth.

I did not stop to ask why, carrying my Chametz on my back like an old woman carrying her bundle of tinder.

Breaking boughs,

Way down in Egypt land.

-Tanya

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