How Do I Remember You Today?

How do I remember you today?

Faded ribbons holding memories
Twirling the colors between my fingers

Indigo as the night you first touched me just so

Scarlet as the blood pulsing through my veins
When I went from being your woman to being your wife
Perhaps the white as the fresh made snowball in sunlight
That I waited until I was inside the house to throw

Faded ribbons holding memories

Maybe the orange of the summer tiger lilies
You didn’t think could I grow in our yard
Oh, the lush green for the fresh-cut lawn
I had to teach you how to mow

Twirling the colors between my fingers

Perhaps the rich deep brown of steak
Well done as you loved, but I abhorred
Then there’s the aqua as crystal clear
As the waters of our Caribbean cruises

Or the slate of the morn I became your widow

Twirling the colors between my fingers
Faded ribbons holding memories

How do I remember you today?


dVerse Poets Pub graphic

dVerse Poets Pub : Meeting The Bar: Memento

This week Grace has us Meeting the Bar via mementos. Either as the poetry form itself or in a free style poetry with a theme of memento, using symbolism as a poetic device.

The Process…

And thus the process starts and ends with me
 I wake with the warmth of the new spring sun
 And break through my covers damp and earthy
 The first stages of life newly begun
Through summer I grow and
 Bloom; recreating myself and
 My brethren once more in the
 Flight of birds and bees.
From autumn’s wings we land upon the ground
 In winter’s cocoon I slumber once more
 Then like the phoenix rise again in spring
 And thus the process starts and ends with me


Theme – Thursday | Spring

National Poetry Month – Day 3

When Never Happened

Sunlight streaming through my window
May as well be a cloudy day
Heartache and desire chill my spine
When thoughts of never come into play

Waking next to you that morning
The epitome of everything I once dreamed
The dread of reality crashing down immediately
Making me want to cry and scream

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?

Ignorance is bliss it is true
What could never happen would not be so
But the morning after never – happened
And I cannot undo what I now know

The feel of you beneath me, yielding
The dance of your fingers along my spine
The wanting with every fiber of my being
All the while knowing you will never be mine

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?
Stepping back to never

And if I could, I’d give this all away
But a song I never thought to sing
Was given voice for some reason
Now forever a reminder of this thing

It’s a bitch knowing the gods played us
It’s too cruel of both joy and regret
And the thing is most days I’m just fine
But today I’m an unstrung marionette

Moving my head forward was easy,
why does my heart keep stepping back?
Stepping back to never,
to when never happened.


Drifting on a memory

Theme Thursdays | Never

Packed Away

Through the myriad rays of
Late afternoon sunlight
Dust flecks shift, flicker flow over
The slowly opening trunk of
Packed away memories, not mine

In fluid pen, on lined sheets
Harsh words of war, of need, his
Contrast the soft verbiage of home, of desire, hers
The sharp scratches, on unlined vellum
Scant hints of Chantilly scent
The barely there waxy impression of lips pressed
Of my triple, double and solo great grand predecessors

From a time not so long ago
When letters with news were already
Weeks old upon receipt
Instead of the instant access
That we come to expect now
No now, no now, no now, no now…

Baptismals, confirmations, certificates of life and death
And though it is not the same , freshly printed emails in san serif,
Screen-captures in HD sharpness and clarity join them

I jot a quick note of reference in cursive,
Giving the only human touch
To more papers becoming
Packed away memories, not theirs
Of my future solo, double and triple great grand successors
Before I softly close the trunk on it all,
Setting more dust flecks to drift
flicker, flow in the myriad rays
Of the fading late afternoon sunlight.


Theme  Thursdays | Paper

Behind the Façade

Please, don’t look too close
Ambiguity is all I ask
Can’t allow society to see
The woman behind the mask

And I have many facades
It depends on who I see
each person expecting
a different face from me

A professional face for work
Maquillage done to perfection
Spending just a moment in the mirror
Not looking in the eyes of my reflection

But I wonder are we truly fooled
Do we believe the faces we see
Or do we fall into the easier role
Choosing just to let it be

For to look behind the mask means
To acknowledge the silent tears
And to admit all that hurts
Means we’re forced to face our fears

Looking at a life of uncertainty
Despair undermining dreams
Clouded by rejection and strife
My smile is not all it seems

Theme Thursday | Faces

How I Ink It…

Rai's back tattoo

Always meant to ask if you chose that order of symbols specifically, what the order means or did it just look artistically best to you in that order, if you got them at once or “add-a-charm” …? Q

As several others have asked similar questions about my sole tattoo– thought I’d answer you all here.

Actually, it started from the middle out.  I sort of placed them in the order in which I learned of them. I was raised Christian, so it is first in my life and thus above the peace sign. Judaism was the second religion I learned, placed right below the peace sign as a balance. While I eventually heard of several other faiths, Christianity and Judaism were the only two faiths that I was surrounded by and had any “working knowledge” of until high school.  Before then with my very limited worldview, Muslims were who the Jews were fighting in Israel and that’s pretty much it. I realize now, that it was something of a subconscious thing to put the Crescent closer to Magen David as opposed to the cross as Muslims were more their (Israeli) problem, than ours (Americans) as I was growing up.  Who knew? Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism were foreign concepts. Seriously, some mention of such in martial arts films would be the closest thing to understanding about The Way as I would come for years.  I was not associating with followers of those faiths to ask and learn, so my knowledge was spotty to say the very least.

Entering the workforce brought my first one-on-one interactions with Muslims and learning of the Koran.  Eventually Taoists, Hindus, Buddhists came into my rapidly expanding world view.  I came to know more people and as a result their respective faiths.  Books and now the internet also help flesh out of my still woefully lacking knowledge.

Though I had known of Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies since grade school, it was the resurgence of African culture in the late ‘70’s – early ‘80s that I first learned of African mythology.  The concept of Black deities, other than the age-old argument of the ethnicity of Christ in some churches, blew my mind. I knew if I got a tattoo an Ankh would have to be a part of it.   I placed it at the bottom because I knew I was Black before I knew I was Christian, so for me it’s the base of everything (including civilization depending on who you ask). The Om and the Taijitu as the last of the major faiths I learn were placed above the Cross simply to balance out the design.

Though some will claim that the Taijitu (the Yin Yang symbol), covers it, leaving out Paganism (generally represented by a Star Pentagram or Pentacle) was an oversight on my part, one I plan correct eventually for fairness. So I guess I get to “add-a-charm” after all, Q.

The design as I originally conceived it had each belief in red within a black circle, with the peace symbol in reverse colors.  Red drops (blood) emanate from the peace symbol piercing the black circle of each belief, turning each symbol red in turn. Unfortunately, I let the tattoo artist convince me that the red really wouldn’t show up well with my complexion and did the entire thing in black.  If I ever go back to have Paganism added, I plan to have red drops swirl around the black circles and through the peace sign. I chose it to run down my spine from the base of my neck (feeding the brain where I think) to just about the bottom of my rib cage (protecting the heart where I feel).  As our spine are to our bodies, our faiths, beliefs are to our souls.

Essentially, no matter what belief system surrounds us, at our cores we are still all one blood, it is the backbone of being human and we should all be able to live together in peace. It’s as complex and as simple as that.

There you have it – Religion according to Raivenne. (Queue John Lennon’s Imagine, except I’m leaving the faith in.)

Congregation dismissed.


Theme Thursdays | Complexities


My grandma wore a blue apron with white snowflakes in winter
Stopping all hands of time with the power of one word


The scent of herbs and spices and meats
The aroma of cherries in pies and peaches in cobblers
Have sent many a tummy rumbling
The food-laden table is renaissance worthy artistry
I and the rest of us really young ones jump up and down
Trying to get one small view of it all
Before it, like the holidays, was all-too-soon a thing of the past

The pre-teen me whines at my pitiful carving efforts
“Don’t worry; it will all turn out alright.”
Her soft cooing voice promises
Delft-blue veined hands
Which smelled either of Palmolive or Jergen’s
Deftly handle the paring knife with precision
Turning fruits and vegetables into edible blossoms
That will decorate the meals
Precision were her fingers
She wipes on her yellow-blossomed apron for spring
And I recalled the crucial fact
That she once studied to be a doctor

“This was not at all
What I planned for my life
Not the life I dreamt to live, but
The hugs from my grandchildren and
The love they bring
There’s nothing as delightful, dear”
She rocks in her chair under the huge oak
Children wandering all about
Chasing fireflies in the back yard
The air  fragrant with the herbal of  fresh-cut lawn
She smiles benignly looking on
At the latest family additions
And I know there was not a thing
That she regretted or would change
Folding the blueberry print summer apron in her lap
An unconscious signal she’s done for the evening

As time goes by
I’d listen with a most attentive ear
Because no one is interested in such mundane things
As sitting by a tree– but sit I would
First on her lap, then at her knee,
Then by her side, all the while thinking
A moment so still, will just mess up my mind

“Hush now sleep for twilight falls”
Is sung soft, soft as the arms that now rock my young
The same soft arms that once rocked me
Having no way of knowing my baby
Would be the last one held
Within the April Downy fresh scented ruffles
That trimmed her favorite red and gold autumn apron

And I’m forced into the reality
That despite her heavenly ways
She’s naught, but real flesh and blood and bone and feeling
And I am alone with my cravings
For the youthful girl with Swan’s Down cake flour on her nose
And a dab of grandma’s Chantilly behind the ear
Standing at her grandma’s elbow
Listening most attentively

You have been so gentle, so kind,
You gave me memories to last ever after
I can tell you, I feel a smile form on my face
As  I am thankful for the time
I get to spend with family and friends
These precious moments though brief they may be
They are near and dear
And as the sands of life shall run
I am now much older and wiser
With my own grand ones standing at my elbow
Watching Brown Betty -well- brown,  in the oven
The smell of apples and butter and cinnamon and brown sugar
Watering their young mouths
As I tie on my white winter apron with blue and silver snowflakes


Abhra has given us Food for Thought as the prompt at dVerse.  Normally I would create something new, and I may yet do so if time prevails, but I was immediately put to mind of this old write laden with food and heart and I had to post it.

dVerse ~Poets Pub | Poetics : Food For Thought

Theme Thursday | Scents

The Bloom

I saw this little sprout one day
A sprout like none I’ve seen before

Rising between a concrete crack
From time to time I would notice
The growth

Against the forces deigned to halt,
Something so delicate and free
It thrived

From spindly bud to luscious bloom
One day it caught my eye and held
Me there

I knew then any further growth
Would need the help of one who cared
Like me

For I then young but determined
Had learned sometimes even the tough
Need help

That I needed this bloom as much
Was revelation in itself

The bloom that grew to be my wife
That watched me grow from boy to man
To hers


Today’s form: Synchronicity

“Synchronicity” (The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous; synchronism. coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related.). This form consists of eight three-line stanzas in a syllable pattern of 8/8/2. This poetry type has no rhyme and is written in the first person with a twist. The twist is to be revealed within the last two stanzas.

Theme Thursday | Evolution

dVerse Poets | OpenLinkNight – Week 47

He Sits

He sits
on a rock in the dark of night
Watching the nearby airport’s planes in flight

In the distance, city lights sparkle like gems
An hour ago, he stood among them

He knew he should have taken that first plane
But he was on a hot streak to leave was insane

His streak quickly went on a downward slope
Cashed in the plane ticket, a bus he could cope

“I believe just one more hand, and I’ll have it beat”
Now another person sits in his Greyhound seat

Resolute he tossed in the last token
Doomed, before the dealer had spoken

The wheel slowed to a pause, and he yelled “Stay gold!”
Worries over, he’d swear he saw heaven unfold
But gravity turned the wheel that one last click
Yes, fate had pulled off another cruel trick

He sits
on the rock, the eerie silence bliss
Shakes his head on how his life came down to this

Calm in this dark orchard of desert sand
Night creatures the least of his minds demand

Ordered to stay out of the Fool’s Paradise
God, how he wishes he had taken that advice

His brief streak ended, he couldn’t make book
Down to the last coin, his goose was cooked

He embarked on this weekend to have fun
Now he prays his wife forgives what he’s done

Wondering how is she going to cope
He’s taken every dime of theirs down the slope

He doesn’t try to run when the dark suits appear
Inside the loan shark’s mansion, he’s beyond tears

Not the first, not the last he falls in queue
As the suits do what they’re hired to do

So this is how it ends, the thought does occur
In the split seconds before the silencer

He sits
on the rock in the dark thick
Doesn’t even flinch, when he hears the click



Danse Sensual

A smoky haze billows upward
in the tangible heat that surrounds us
on the crowded dance floor
but for all the notice we give it
it may as well be
just you and I

The feelings
you stir up inside of me
as the air around us
with the electricity of us
the slow tempo
that achingly throbs
deep within

Your fingertips stroke
first softly here,
then a gossamer whisper of contact
caresses me
leaving me little
to imagine how it would feel
if you were stroking me

What is it…
…the music?
…the Chianti?
…the manly scent of you?
what is the driver
turning my
aphrodisiac screws

You breathe
so sensually
unto my neck
making me close my eyes
and embrace your touch
you could take me
right then
right there
and we both know it

A deep throated moan
escapes my lips,
lips as parted
as my trembling thighs
wish they could be

you softly whisper
indicating the exit
saving me from myself

too late


Entered in:

Theme Thursday| Intoxicate