For the First Words Spoken after a Long Silence


after Terrance Hayes’s lines:
sing until our blood is jazz,
we swing from June to June

Our skin is too tight. We need to sing,
our spirits folded into cranes, until
we can no longer stop our
words from spilling like blood,
each drop telling a truth that is
unfolded, unplanned, trumpeted jazz.

As our inner life spirals outward, we
bleed our truths, on an upswing,
remembering poet-words from
Brooks to Hayes, in beats of hot June
nights, city pulses, country hums, to
crescendo every reckless, starry June.

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: Golden shovel poems pay homage to the work of other poets, yet bring something new from the borrowed words. From their birth, these poems shed new light in the dark places of our hearts. My first golden shovel poem is a tribute to the first written by Terrance Hayes, who made speaking truth look easy. Want to try your own? You take each word from an excerpt/quote of your choice and use it to end each line of a poem, making sure to give credit.

28 thoughts on “For the First Words Spoken after a Long Silence

  1. Thanks for sharing your golden shovel! I love “our spirits folded into cranes” and the image of cranes trumpeting. This poem really is a tribute to Brooks and Hayes. I love that you wove them into it. It was tricky with two June words, but I think the last line is fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: For the First Words Spoken after a Long Silence — Friendly Fairy Tales | By the Mighty Mumford
    • Thanks, Beth. It’s a challenging form. I really wanted a different last line, but having to end in “June” really stumped me. I’m still thinking wondering if I accomplished what I wanted. Writing is imperfect sport. No clear winner or loser.


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