About Raivenne

I am a Big Beautiful Black Woman and I very much enjoy being one. If you want to know more about me (and you know you do), see my "About Raivenne" page.

My Words

I’m stripped soul-naked standing bare
To a universe made of blank paper
Its mocking nakedness haunts me
Seductively taunts me with its vapor

I see my words as pieces of my deepest soul
Shattered apart in my passions throes
Then brought together in a multi-hued mosaic
A stained glass window, if you will, of prose

My words reaching through time with voices of one from long ago
My words reaching for the vernacular of the street griot, ya kno’

Words lose me in the folds of its scripts
And lets me discover myself yet again
Words listen to me when no one else wants to
Words speaks to me in a way no one else can

Sometimes my words scroll across my monitor
To let me say what I want to say
Sometimes I resort to pen and paper,
To express my words in some other way

It sometimes scares me to the core, being so beholden to such
I’m scared of being pushed away, I care for my words so much

Yes, I cater to word’s selfish lusts
It’s a call I’ll always heed
Words give off a satisfaction
That’s almost carnal in need

But lately my words are not happy
With the scratch of the mighty pen
There’s this new desire to be heard
And it’s a most frightening yen

Paper no longer holds them, my words have something to say
But in the excitement to be heard, my words get in their own way

I risk the bleat of my vocals failing
Changing the meanings I devise
Yes, my words on paper are lovely
My words from my voice are otherwise

But words have trusted me all this time
In the handling of its care
Spoken word is the natural evolution
If only I take up the dare

So, I put my trust in my words, as it puts in me alike
I take a prayer and a breath and step up to this mic


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dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Take a risk!

Tricia at dVerse challenges us to explore the theme of risk. Whether it is tackling difficult subjects or laying bare a personal struggle in vivid detail, exploring a new writing form that you may find “risky” or unconventional; perhaps the risk we take falling in love.

Write on any topic as long the word “risk” is used,

A Cuppa Can’t Fix Everything

A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

Words oft said by his French grandmother flittered through his mind.

Though it is surprising what a good cuppa in good china can help get you through.

Though normally a coffee drinker, sometimes grand-mere’s advice had its merits.  The aroma of the brew wafted from the bone porcelain cup he delicately held. The translucent teacup was over a century old. It had once been part of a set of twelve. Now only five complete sets, by some miracle the teapot itself and the single cup sans saucer he used now remained.

It was soothing.

But not soothing enough.

Nearly eight years: seven years, nine months and sixteen days to be exact.  

He looked at the packet of papers before him once again.

All the appropriate boxes were checked, statements filled out and signed, copies made and the original certificate and cheque made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’ attached.  

Such a cold black and white ending to something that began so red hot nearly a decade ago.

Form D8: Application for a divorce, dissolution or to apply for a (judicial) separation order

Form D80A: Statement in support of an application for divorce or (judicial) separation on the ground of adultery

Then wait for response.

Then Form D84: Apply to court for a decree nisi, conditional order or (judicial) separation decree or order

Then wait some more.

And then finally, FINALLY Form D36: Ask the court to make a decree nisi absolute, or a conditional order final

It was going to be at least another three months before all was said and done.

He just wanted it DONE!

The inherited tea set became the lesser by one unmatched teacup as it went airborne and crashed into the wall.

He cursed as he realized what he did and cleaned it up. Another thing the marriage had ruined.

The tea had been soothing, but not anymore.

He gathered what he needed, grabbed the packet and headed to the nearest divorce center.

He heeded another piece of advice and called a friend to meet at a pub later:

And when good tea in good china no longer helps, it usually means you need something stronger. Because sometimes a  perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.


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First Line Friday: May 21, 2021

Dylan gives the opening line and challenges you to create whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to you. Feel free to modify the line as you see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired. No need to tie it to the picture, unless you want to.

Or for more of a challenge, change nothing.

The line for this week is: A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

In Flagrante Delicto

Secret lovers

Whispering
Sweet nothings

That scream
Bitter everything
To wound the one
Who bears witness
To now erstwhile secret

For no armor can protect
The heart wound in love
From the cruelty
Of that which it loves

But loves it not in return


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dVerse Poets Pub | Quadrille #128: What’s in a word?

At dVerse, Lillian tends bar and wants to know What’s in a word? And what’s the word for this challenge: wound. She makes our Quadrille poem a bit tougher by challenging us to include the word twice – using both meanings / pronunciations of the homographic pair.

Whether we use the word once or twice in the body of the poem, the poem must be exactly 44 words in length – not including the title.

The Beginning of The End

She sat among her own.

Around her were other historians of the old, the ancient, in spoken word alone. Some old, some young, all in awe of the hoarfrost woman, the eldest of the griots.

Eyes of stone that easily flashed in compliments or condemnations, were a study in consternation as she gazed among those gathered. Especially the young who dared challenge their way.

“Only mouths are we who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things!”

Bent and cane dependent, she moved boldly nonetheless to the youngest among them and held out a gnarled, aged hand.  He had tried to hide the offending item he carried, but as always, she knew.  

He handed her the scroll. Their history on vellum.

He saw it as the beginning.

She knew it for what it was: the beginning…

…of their end.


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dVerse Poets Pub | Prosery: Here’s the thing about existing

At dVerse Sanaa tends bar and welcomes us to another round of Prosery where we are asked to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of our choice.

Since it is a kind of Flash Fiction, there is a limit of 144 words. It must include a complete line from a poem in the story, within the word limit.

Punctuation can be changed, but it is not allowed to subract or insert words in between parts of the original quotation.

This week’s quote:

“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?” – from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

I’m Baaaaack!

Yesterday was my first official day back in the office. I am one of the first people on the floor and it was lovely to see one of the other early birds whom I have not laid eyes on in over a year. After the pre-requisite elbow touching in place of a hug, the first few minutes are spent catching up. It was a routine repeated as others came in. I spent the day in a bubble of working, reconnecting and organizing as we also make ready for a floor wide restructuring.

Some of it was very familiar: Coming in early, jumping into work, plugging up to my music to focus, not taking a proper break for a few hours; rolling my eyes at the one colleague who insists on wearing ill-fitting shoes that squish and clomp noisily as they pass my desk, staying late to work with a client having an issue, even the extra-long commute home was an annoying comfort of the familiar.

Still, for all its familiarity something about yesterday that felt off and I could not identify it until today.

Yesterday… 🎵 Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so fa… 🎵  

Huh? Oh, wait sorry, sorry… brain wandered off for a musical moment, I’m back.

Yesterday, because I was distracted by several things, I had not taken my mid-morning coffee run.

Today I remembered. So off went I to my home away from home, away from home.

While the trip itself was done by almost by rote, it was once I was back at my desk and sipped that did it.

My Starbucks special order, the one thing I cannot get in my neighborhood, was in my grubby little talons once more.

There was a new staff from when I was there last; no familiar faces at all. I handed my phone to the barista and watched her face as she glanced from the phone to the register to place the order and then gave me a silent but definitive are you fucking serious(?) look as she handed the phone back. I especially enjoyed the look of resigned yet annoyed belief when I informed her of the irony that it was a former Starbucks barista who worked at that location, which gave me the recipe.

Starbucks cup
Yes, I erased my insane recipe from the image.
It’s MY recipe! 😝

I have a Keurig with Starbucks k-pods at home, and I love it, but it’s still not quite the same thing because I have that ridiculous order. Yes, my favorite order is one of those orders. When I cannot mobile order, I amuse myself by watching every new barista I hand my phone read the order and then tries, but inevitably fails, to not make a face as they re-read it a couple of times before they make it.

Whether it’s the fancier machines or their precise measurements for the base, it’s just something that I cannot duplicate in my kitchen.

As that first sip slid past my palette and settled oh so warmly in my tummy, I felt it. It’s a small thing, but a needed one.

Ah yessssssssssss! I was back…


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

Come see how others are slicing it up today.

In Their Time

In their time there were so many faces
Some good fortunes, some catastrophes
It was almost premonition how one easily traces
Through their times of peace and tragedies

In their time there were so many places
Where they ran hard or walked silently
And sometimes a risk in losing the graces
For those breaking laws and compliancy

In their time there were so many cases
Created by those failing in human glory
But now all scanned and contained in spaces
For retired police officers and the stories


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The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 501

Risk, Contain, Catastrophe, Silently, Places,
Premonition, Cases, Created, Scan, Peace,
Traces, Stories

Use at least ten of the words in a poem or short story.

The Castle Keep

My steed rides roughly through the loam
We’ve traveled very wide and far
Battle weary but still on par
For all the road I’ve yet to roam
The longest road the first step home

The portion to right unjust wrong
The cost to our men’s lives was steep
The pride we sow we humbly reap
The battle fought was hard and long
Tales that become folklore and song

Glad it’s all done should truth be told
I contemplate my latest scar
Hopeful my queen forgives the mar
Small price to pay her gentle scold
To see the face I long to hold

A winter’s storm slows our advance
All far travels have their own cost
As we lose more men to the frost
My men look to me for guidance
I cannot waver in my stance

Though my own mood be very drear
It’s I alone who holds their hope
It’s by my lead I know they cope
The last goal twixt what we hold dear
My men let loose a hearty cheer

I may yet enter in a tome
The sight of the valley’s green sweep
And just ahead the Castle Keep
The wind becomes our wild mane’s comb
The shortest road the last step home


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dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice

Ingrid tends the bar at dVerse Poets and challenges us to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. It can be any character. One can introduce the character in one’s own voice, but the main body of the poem must be in the voice of the character. It can be a dramatic monologue, or create a spirit voice through whom the poem speaks. The challenge is to experiment with fictional storytelling in the poem.

I’ve gone all medieval king returning home at the end of a battle.

The Kidnapping

One moment Donna was waiting to be picked outside the music academy in the afternoon. A sedan pulled up and the next thing she knew she had awakened at night, to find her ankle was chained to the bed, the only furniture in a plain featureless room. Nothing to give her a sense of place other than she was in a basement room of some sort.

Donna was young and smart. She knew enough of the world to understand that her family was wealthy. It had been told to her, and her siblings, that despite their best efforts at security, a kidnapping was always a possibility for a family as hers. She never imagined it would be her that was taken.

She spent the first few hours screaming until she was held down and gagged. She knew it was less so that her screams could not pierce to the outside than for those on the inside not to hear her. After the first full day she realized wherever they are, there was no foot traffic. Thus, no passersby to hear her screams if they could have been heard.  

The only light sources in the room were a lamp on the floor by the door that stayed on even in the daytime. She could not reach it without dragging the heavy bed across the room. At ten years old she certainly did not have the strength to ram the bed into the metal door which opened inward with any discernable force. There was a clearstory window too high for her to reach. It had amused her captors to discover, that even with the chain, she had managed to turn her bed on its short edge to try.

She never left the room, except to be taken to a bathroom. The men wore masks and made a point of showing her a gun before she was blindfolded and guided to a loo which had no windows at all. She had been given food the second day. If a couple of protein shakes, and bottled water could be called food. She read it as a good sign that they did not expect to keep her for long. Still, she had started to grow hungry again.

She sometimes heard her captors through the door. She understood the leader had a plan and that demands for her release were sent. Some of the things heard would sometimes send a chill through her. She deduced they knew she can hear them, and they purposely said horrible things. She also knew her parents would do anything for her release and/or to find her. Anything. She also knew once she was free it was going to be a bit not good for her captors once they met her Papa.

She just had to wait for a sign and be ready.

Donna had been held captive four days when she heard a slight screech sound above her that fourth night. Her head automatically popped up to look at the window. She recognized the sound as something that had scratched against the glass. But it was night, she could not see anything and nothing else was heard.

Then a miracle happened.

A feather landed in her lap.

Not just any feather; a black raven feather. A raven was on the family crest, she knew what it meant. It was a sign. The sign.

Her father was there!

Suddenly there was screaming and gunfire in the outer room. She dived under the bed in fear of the just as sudden silence. It felt forever as though had passed before the metal door that had once locked her in opened and Donna knew it would never close on her again. Her father ran to her while her ankle was freed at last and she tearfully threw herself into her father’s arms.

It was over she was going home!


The Sunday Whirl #500 words: Leader, Release, Edge, Feather, Grow, Send, Demands, Days, Force, Plan, Read, Four
e
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The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 500

Leader, Release, Edge, Feather, Grow, Send,
Demands, Days, Force, Plan, Read, Four

Use at least ten of the words in a poem or short story.

Self

I remember a time when
Someone like I
Would never consider
Myself being worth anything, let alone everything
Funny how life can change a thing like that
As my self-worth, my self-care and love of self grows


National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 30

First time ever completing thirty whole days of original poetry – YAY!🎊

I end National Poetry Month, keeping it short and simple, with my first Golden Shovel poem using the opening line of Sonnet 15 by William Shakespeare

The Golden Shovel form was created by Terrance Hayes in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. The rules are simple:

  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as the end word for each line in your poem.
  • If you take a single line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you take two lines and the first line has 19 words, and the next has 13 words your poem would be 32 lines long in total and so on…
  • Keep the end words in order of the original poem.
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).

She Tells Him

Standing there by the old fence
She sure is a pretty sight
He forgot just how her eyes do shine
Under the bright sun light
He ain’t seen her in over month
Truth be told not since that night
And he knows the call bringing him here
Can’t be for something right

She tells him the baby is yours
And he knows she ain’t lying
Inside her a life slowly grows
But inside him he’s slowly dying
Being a dad at seventeen
Wasn’t part of his plan
A baby makes him a father
But it don’t make him a man

She leans against the old fence
Not enjoying the cooling breeze
The silence between them is deafening
It’s not meant for times like these
She remembers how he held her close that night
How he made her weak in the knees
Not this distance she feels now standing next to him
Like she’s got some kind of disease

She tells him the baby is yours
And he knows she ain’t lying
She should be happy about this life that grows
But she’s on the verge of crying
Being a mom at sixteen
Wasn’t part of her plan
A baby makes her a mother
But it don’t make her a woman

He’s thinking how two together
Can sometimes add another one
She’s thinking she can’t raise herself
Let alone a daughter or a son
Both want to stand their own ground
Both of them want to run
And neither wants to dare to think
What the other thinks should be done

If he offers his hand would she be his wife
And somehow together maybe make a life
Or let it be something that they just let go
The distant dreams only the two of them will know
She tells him the baby is yours
And he knows she ain’t lying
No matter what they decide
Its knot that’s never untying

Having a child in their teens
Wasn’t part of their plan
A baby makes them parents
But she’s a long way from a woman,
And he’s a long way from a man


dVerse Poets Pub | Open Link Night #291

Today Mish tends the bar for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets where there are no prompts. Post the poem you want.

National Poetry Month Day 29 in a narrative mood.