Wednesday, May 23, 2012

From the Festival - The Way the World Begins Again

This year at the Split this Rock Poetry Festival, on a beautiful, wet Saturday morning, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace facilitated an intergenerational workshop on love, safety and community inspired by June Jordan’s children’s book Kimako’s Story.   

This poetry workshop was based on the successful initiation of the June Jordan Saturday Survival School in Durham, North Carolina, where whole families used concepts from June Jordan’s unpublished essays, “Towards a Survival Literature for Afrikan Children” (first presented in Washington DC in 1976) and “The Creative Spirit and Children’s Literature.” The workshop activities included collaborative marker mural-making based on quotations from Jordan’s essays, fill-in-the-blank poem-making based on June Jordan’s Kimako’s Story, and the creation of a group new age “Who Look at Me” based on June Jordan’s first children’s book. 

At the end of the workshop, the participants created 7 group poems designed to keep us inspired, connected and present.  Check out a sampling of these poems below.

Poem for the Future
Do not use the words child, children, little, or kids.

Come bright love sing us forward
to safety and wholeness
family and home outside our doors
butterflies from before and after
fluttering inside outside our dreams
our play
welcome here
our smiles welcome here forever
our souls sovereign
our souls free

 - Julia Roxanne Wallace and Ruth Forman


Poem for Getting it Done
Include the word “share”

Get schooled
Wake up to love deeply
And return to love
Share stories
And hydrate

Have babies, wake up, have babies, wake up
Live near grandma, pay mamma back
Share 29 years
And a thousand fifty five before
Into a book a play a song
Read poetry in mothertongue
Write poetry in mothertongue
Plant a whole garden

After you get it done

  - Lauren Muller and Yasi 


A Poem for Moving Your Body
Repeat the word “Black”

Black goes with everything
Black bicycle, biceps
Blue black before orange
this black
this body moving into black
running through the night
and my back and your block
and bimbimbop
push back push up
push through so black
body absorbs all colors
becoming black
throat tongue larynx
bellybutton groin toes
truth new black old
black soft black silky
shiny shifting find
the rhythm black
cartwheel on the black top
yes body yes black

 - Becky Thompson, Kathy Engel,  J. M. Schmidt

No comments: