top of page
Leaf Pattern Design

Poems

96798759_10221053464679562_3769536570558775296_n.jpg
poetic license.jpg

Remarks

Something Usual In Any Other Circumstance

 

 

The afternoon is sunny after the storm

as Joe and I make our way

up the incline of Black Road

slow going in the old V.W. Bug

Our son rests on my lap

something not frowned upon

before child safety-seat laws

only he’s in a small cardboard box

inside a plastic bag

tied with a twist

 

I think of the many times

we’ve traveled this road

him wiggling on my lap

gurgling with glee

I attempt to shade his eyes

from the blaze of light

as we drive that final mile 

 

Today we take him home

for the last time

park in front of the empty lot

scorched black where our house stood

the week before

open the small cardboard box

untie the twist on the plastic bag

and one last time he is animated

playing on the sudden breeze

that rises to guide him to his rest

 

© 2004 Cynthia Bryant

Hummingbird

Love this little rhymed poem. Small but perfectly formed. I've only seen a hummingbird once, in France, and this totally captures the experience.

Barbara Scott Emmett,

UK Writer Editor Reviewer

Hummingbird

 

Tiny nervous creatures

Flitters all around

Such intense movement

Without so much as a sound

 

Stunning, all a quiver

Such a solemn face

Expending all that energy

While floating in one place

 

Cynthia Bryant September 22, 1998

Blue Hummingbird

I read your poem several times, each time crying with a new revelation. But what I’ve ultimately come to realize, Cynthia, is you’ve made your son come alive in my mind, and with every reading of your poem by every reader, your son lives again. What a gift you have given us.

               ❤️️ Becky Bishop White

 

 

Heart wrenching. Very beautifully written.   

 

               Constance Cheslock Hanstedt

 

That's an excellent poem. I also write poetry, so I never say something's good if it isn't. I'm so sorry for your loss.  

 

                               Chloe Wagner

Something Usual...

Lock Her Up

 

Somewhere 

to a nonplussed audience

 of her parents

a molested daughter

blurts out the secret

about her lately pouting tummy

how it came to pass

 

Somewhere

a mother screams 

unintelligible sounds rise

to blot out offending words

that present too hard a choice

Calls the police

on her canary-yellow kitchen phone

 

Somewhere

the fury of a father

shocks high-color to face

as he pummels daughter 

in attempts to exorcise

the madness   

that threatens exposure

 

Somewhere

nosey neighbors open front doors

stand in groups in their yards

make up minds by committee 

about what sort of folks

and who’s at fault

when laundry is aired

 

Somewhere

small town police arrive

lights flashing

as parents point to daughter 

an undone puzzle on the floor

police gather the pieces 

pile her into the back of a squad car     

 

Somewhere 

an unheard daughter 

serving one-month solitary in Juvenile Hall

revisits over and over  

the last few moments at home

   outnumbered

         incorrigible

 

Cynthia L. Bryant 

yellow phone.jpg
Remarks-Lock Her Up
 
"Powerful Poem"
Anita May, LA Poet/ Editor
"Amazing Poem"

"Eric Howard-Editor and Poet

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

 Tests

 

When I go to this favored place in imaging

Where tall grass and cattails surround 

Cool dark waters alive with reflection

A looking glass scrying questions

With no foreseeable answers

 

I gather abstract queries recovered from both sides

Dreamland and tangible tests

Mortality and frozen living    pictured in shadows

Has this been a chosen path or one stumbled upon by fate

 

Gazing into test of reflection

A horrid dark entity appears solid

Holding its space   faceless   still nameless 

Only aware of self   yet threatening 

 

I lean forward to catch a glimpse of the face

Who has come to do war over our existence 

Wanting to know what I must challenge soon

Cutting short before a face is revealed

In enough time to keep from falling into the pond

Where I surely would drown

 

©2023 Cynthia Lane Bryant

 

Epiphany

We think we know the story

heard it since Sunday school 

     And the angel visited Mary

     told her she held the fruit of the Lord

     in her womb

   

And even though her condition was such 

Joseph would take her for his wife...

legitimize the heavenly rape

In those times unwed with child

bequeathed a slow gruesome dissolution to an adulterer   

death by stoning

at the hands of neighbors

for your shame

 

So, what if this was your young life alone   pregnant   circumstance waived

rape or consent     death your prize

What would you say

using all imagination under heaven and earth

slacking death's desire

tugging at robes hem

to stay rocks  

bashing in your tender brains

virgin_marybillboard.jpeg
covid golden gate bridge.webp

We're trying, we're hoping

We're hurting, we're loving

We're crying, we're calling

'Cause we're not sure how this goes

Calling All Angles-KD Lang and Jane Sidberry

Diving into 2020

 

Who of us could have imagined?

Living in a time of so much suffering and loss

We scratch through the dust bin of history

For an understanding yet to be known

We revile the wagging tongues spewing poison

Daily on screens large and small

 

Pictures of dead bodies piled high

Most never able to see loved ones at the end

 

Tireless unsung service workers

Beyond weary in their bones and minds

Less cars going to work   Less planes in the air

Factories closed to save lives

Fresh products left to rot

Farm animals raised only to euthanize

 

Hungry get hungrier     poor poorer

Easy targets for a ravenous virus or selfish society

Feral creatures venture out

parade main streets USA 

Air fresher, freer of pollutants

Earth quieted hums in harmony

People bitch, yell, demand their rights

A re-opening of things   back to normal

Mother sings to those who will hear 

Opening begins with minds and hearts

(c) Cynthia Bryant 2020

Tumor.jpeg

A Mother’s Lament

 

Before he was born

only a mound

where a small fish swam

in guileless bliss

as cells knit and grew

Even then did a persona

seeking to experience

make it self-evident

to the host

 

She knows

there must come a time

when he will trudge that trail

that none may turn from

not even our precious one

 

She knows this

though she means to arrive ahead

 

For no noble cause conjured by man

holds worthy weight

to which a mother would willingly

sacrifice her child

No promise of shiny medallions

or precisely folded flag

could honor these innocent lives

or console a mother’s agony

Taken to Wing

 

My son’s taking a creative writing class

looking for a runway

to take his writing to the sky

Almost ready to be nudged from the nest

test his wings

see if they can hold the wind

buoy him up

skywrite his stories

to ant-like creatures below

The second session slams him

back to earth

as he is handed a poem to translate

into people-speak

one of his mother’s poems

praising the sun going down

 

© 2004 Cynthia L. Bryant

BIRTH MOTHER

 

I keep on Knockin',

but no one answers.

There's a "NOT WELCOME" mat

laid out in front of the door.

Debris and cobwebs line

either side of the entrance

address plainly visible

from the street

1 - 2 - 3 Where You Came From Lane

 

I keep on knockin'

The lights are on

and tacked to the door,

a small sign that reads,

" Just cuz you got the address,

don't mean you're comin' in!"

 

CYNTHIA L. BRYANT

2/28/96 10:00am

Panther

Very Atmospheric-captures Jim Morrison perfectly. What would have happened, I wonder, if the devouring had been allowed to take place?

Barbara Scott Emmett

UK Writer Editor Reviewer

Panther

The stranger's open hands

found mine

grasped them firmly

pulling me up

on to the backdoor landing

Clothed in black

leather pants

that hung low

clung to narrow hips

encircled by ovals of silver

Long-sleeved white shirt

hugged close to 

masculine shoulders

several buttons open

down his chest

Restless curls

wandered his head

wild and free

settling on his collar

Intense cat eyes

almost golden hungry with curiosity

took my temperature

With self-satisfied smile

he purred

               "Hey honey,

        What ya doing here?"

Suddenly self-conscious

I mumbled something

about my old man

being in the opening band

            "Too bad"

His lips pursed into pout,

showing me to a chair

That night so long ago

at the American Legion Hall

hand in hand with a guy

whose name I can't recall

lost in a universe of faces

on a darkened dance floor

one beam of light

shone on the Vee-Jay announcer

     "Time has come to welcome

    here from L.A. with their hit

    Light My Fire, topping the charts

    Let's hear it for ...The Doors"

Like a clap of thunder

the drums thumped solitary

As strobe lights flashed

the electric harpsichord played the intro

as the young man in tight leather pants

leapt onto stage like a panther

microphone in hand

It is only now in the luxury glint

of recorded history

I realize how closely I had come

to being devoured

 

Cynthia Lane Bryant

Cold Skin

 

Cheap masks

quiet grimaces of despair

Years survived chaotic fury

 

Graveyards layered in myriad lies

piled higher than used-up people

can ever take back

 

Trudge travailed paths

baked into finite history’s deep ravine 

Times of folks whose evil tones

Slipped out like shit from overfed crows

feasting pain and loss

 

Heretic lost    burned in effigy

hoping to create something pure

out of skid marks left by Trump

(C)2022 Cynthia Bryant

Salt

Small but beautifully formed.

Barbara Scott Emmett

UK Writer Editor Reviewer

SALT

 

Often when you touch me 

    in that familiar way 

sensation transports me

takes me to the borders of the infinite

a place where you and I are intertwined

with all that have been or will ever be

dazzling jewels like sea foam

sunbathing on the rocks

Cynthia Bryant (C)2015

Ukraine Children.JPG

Moments Before

Siren's sound

Light-flash glares

Rubble to warm

 

Tucked under a school

upon a shelf    astounded dolls

sit in lines    knees to chest

Final resting place

past    dreams of home

(C)2022

Soothsayer

 

 

Having never nursed a child properly

 

A dragon has taken up residence

Into the darkened cavern

 

She brought forth progeny

Fed them off living walls

 

We can burn them out

Use chemical warfare

 

Send in the dragon slayer

Armed with a great sharp sword

 

But because you never learned

How to correctly nurture your own children

 

The old cavern will collapse

And dragon has a chance to set you ablaze

 

Save her own

(C)2023 Cynthia Lane Bryant

Afraid of the Dark

 

A room in darkness

always seemed to hover

wanting to swallow whole

the little girl shaking under

her sheets

 

And even though

it’s been thirty years

since my father

creeping into the darkness

of my room

broke open my heart

 

I sometimes

still lay in darkened rooms

expecting the inevitable

to jolt me out of tranquil sleep

into his homespun nightmare

 

©1996 Cynthia L Bryant

At Fifteen

 

 

Held captive

in four walls sturdy

doors that locked

air sucked out daily

and someone else held the key

 

Where eyes wandered

over posters

 pictures

words that shouted

Rebel

collaged alone walls

hung across the ceiling

 

Lost into the rhythm

the sounds

of music

words that shouted

Rebel

 

Onto pages of books

that lifted spirit out

set soul free

words that shouted

Rebel

 

Something my jailers

never expected

 

(C) May 13, 2000 Cynthia L Bryant

Atlas

 

 

He must have been

on a walk that spring afternoon

stooped to smell marigolds

 

I bet that is when it happened

a casual acquaintance asked the favor

 

     Carry this

      for a moment     would ya?

 

Precariously hunched over

the weight of the world

on his shoulders

  

I know how he felt

 

Perception

an interesting game of the ages…

(C) 2002 Cynthia L Bryant

Back Alley . . .

 

 

Taken to a hovel

one of many

seemingly abandoned

away from prying eyes

outside

broken stucco

straddles cracked parched earth

rancid rusty cans

yesterday’s news

splintered bottles

 

We enter the doorway

room lit by one bare bulb

questions of sanitary conditions

answered simply by lift of eyes or nose

seated in thick silence

on stained threadbare couches

fetid women

white knuckled

dark eyes iris less

here for the cure

none acknowledge our entry

completely submerged

each in her own

cloth of shame

 

Tranquilized

corners of vision fracture

add a surreal sense to surroundings

resign to my plight

Mother by my side

chatters about decorating the living room

dispels the image in her mind

my fear rises

 

Menacing strangers

lead me down the dark hallway

a lighted room holds a table

cover ripped

equipped with restraints

pungent odor of ammonia

burns tearing eyes

my legs are placed into stirrups

lights glare above

thoughts

murderous

matched with longing

serve Daddy up

sacrificial in my stead

 

Gas hastily given

squeals   crash

orange yellow red lights   flash

assault my senses

awake into a nightmare

the sound of terror screams

white-hot pain

my womb surrenders

body contracts to hold on

sounds of a ruinous remedy

run into a far away bucket

outraged

my mind screams again

 

I come to

two tampons

fill the ravaged wound

overloaded mind splits

beyond belief or care

Father’s sin scraped away

     clean

murderers paid in full

 

I am encouraged to leave

    post haste

forget the bodies

buried out back

shoulder the shame

 

March 18, 2000 12:01 PM

Cookies for the Children of Haiti

 

On any given day

kids of every age are seen sitting

legs crossed  squatting 

nibbling this much sought-after staple

in the La Saline slum

 

Women up early

cross an open sewer

to buy dirt

$5 to make a hundred cookies

 

Climb rope ladders carrying buckets

up to the abandoned prison roof

   sift out stones and twigs

   infuse dirt with water

   on occasion add some sugar, salt and butter

fill over-sized clay pots

thoroughly mixing with hands

some while nursing

 

Scoop out a handful at a time

arrange into cookies on the ground

left to dry in the sunshine

 

Sell to others waiting

offer hopes of rich minerals held in the earth

a way to slow the rumble of empty dreams

Crematory New York City 9.11.01  

 

Incinerated

except those souls

who take flying leaps

out of 100 story windows

claw the air for breath

no wish to be consumed

by evil intent

 

Thousands 

vaporized in seconds

reduced to ash

inhaled into heaving lungs

as the terror filled flee

hopes and dreams fall

like paper tears from heaven

 

Cremated residue

settles in hair   on clothing

as death masks

Leaves folks

all the same color of shock

never mutes

the horror felt beneath

 

Blocks away

medical teams ready 

for legion of injured      

the dead

Few escape the pyre 

to fill beds    

body bags for burial

Saviors of souls replace savers of lives

 

Soot layers parked cars

neighboring buildings

Fills in gasps of anguish

at every breath

From manmade ovens

the smell of death rises

innovates New York skies

 

Firefighters and police remain

mangled among iron wreckage  

mingled with concrete dust and earth

While the undead dig for bodies

or shuffle quietly   in orderly fashion

across the Brooklyn Bridge

away from the scene of the crime

 

© 2001 Cynthia L. Bryant

Crazy Is . . .

 

Chaos

from one end of my world

to the next

Uncertainty set up bivouac

unpacked its demolitions

removed the pin from grenade

early on

 

Came in the guise

of father flying bombers

over sleepy villages

of Viet Nam

at dawn

 

On patrol

roaming daughters’rooms

to feed his craving

for something sweet

after dark

 

Covert campaigns

    hidden

from hair-trigger mother

who exploded into obscenities

expletives that flared

hourly

 

A maniacal dictator

she catapulted

over the borderline

of her own disorder

into inner worlds

where another war raged

 

March 1, 1998 1:09 pm

Southern Breeze

Beautiful description brought the heat and perfume of the South right off the page. Then we get to the grit. We get to see the sad reality behind the beauty. Things have changed since Rosa Parks sat down-but not enough yet.

 

Barbara Scott Emmett,

UK Writer Editor Reviewer 

Dedicated to Rosa Parks

who went to her final glory

 October 24, 2005.

 

Southern Breeze 

 

Summertime in the south

was slow with thick wet air

smell of magnolia blossoms

fragrant mint grew in yards

Swamp-coolers and overhead fans

moved like molasses poured over fritters

 

Black tea, sweet and well iced

hushpuppies served with syrup     

grits drenched with butter, on the side

Where sensible white-folks with means

hired colored women with hungry children 

for pennies on the dollar to do their bidding

 

Syndicated Amos and Andy Shows 

played by under-employed black actors

brought peals of laughter across the South

on black and white televisions 

in proper white homes 

where blacks were allowed only as servants

 

White-hooded Klansmen still came by night 

continued to burn crosses

hang bitter crop reminders of hate 

from white poplar trees 

that Billy sang about at 78 r.p.m.  

for whites and blacks to sway to 

 

The time before Martin had his dream

that ended in a nation’s nightmare

Days when thousands of people marched

singing “We shall overcome”

and a tired working woman took her place

defiantly in history, just by sitting down

Cynthia Bryant (C) 2005

Still Small Voice

 

They made me come see her

those folks that protects kids

Last year they took away sissy

for getting too fat or sumpin’

Next day police grabbed papa Joe

took him straight aways to jail

Mama says same thing happened to her

with papa Sam 

Seems like womens are always causin’ problems

 

One time 

after my baby brother Buck went to his rest

Mama told me her mama passed when she was ten

At Eleven, sissy born almost dead 

could barely whimper

When she was thirteen I came into the world

screamin’, her daddy’s face grown on to mine

she slapped regular for no good reason 

 

I saw the whole thing 

clear as softball every Saturday afternoon

behind the old school

Papa Horace came knockin’ round midnight

singin’ Amazin’ Grace how sweet your mouth

lookin’ for some sugar

no more childs that way

 

How mama told him 

she was fixin’ to have another child 

he stopped singin’ then

turned all mealy-mouthed 

mama shouted no, then screamed

Horace’s shiny black boot

caught her side, her open mouth

then landed on her belly over and over

‘til she was quiet as night

 

Mama’s in a high bed on wheels

her mouth split open like rotten peaches

left on the ground, spittle bubbles

runnin’ from the corners of the black hole

where teeth used to be 

open to no man  no how

 

The red bandana mama wore to bed 

Is missin’, ripped off 

Head wrapped with a clean white rag

stained with red patches like the berries

she puts up the end of every summer

spreads on our bread all winter long

 

Everyone of my papas run off or run in

No papa to take me in

Show me man stuff

Tell me how lifes gonna be

State foster folks my familys now

 

Grace is gone 

Left me like her mama left her

no good for nothin’ mama just lays there

No more mouthin’ off, no more nothin’

Just like her papa Sam told me

Before he took off 

Women’s ain’t nothin’ but troubles

They gets what they deserve

All of them bitches

 

Cynthia Bryant  (c) 2018

 

Remarks: Still Small Voice

"Passionate. Heartbreaking. Wonderful poem." 

 

Cindy Anderson, Monterey

"Heartbreaking, I am moved beyond words."

 

Sheila Landre

 

Knot Knowing

 

Braided rigidly in childhood

Gently unwoven without thought

   Santa tied to gifts faded with years

   Followed by giant hopping rabbits

   Colored boiled eggs that nobody ate

 

Huddled in mollycoddled upper middle-class

my country always the righteous leader of the free

where a Christian God determined choices of liberty for all

Everyone’s propagandized experience the same view

above the fog of reality

 

Ruminate on rote holidays loosely based on Pagan myth

A first Thanksgiving of wrongly named Indians   savages

losers in cowboy games

Trinkets exchanged Indian givers

dry paper treaties that choke going down

Colonization stealing words   beliefs   lives

 

African Americans casual mention in textbooks like footnotes

Pictured serving betters in fields of cotton with simple song-joy

kidnapped   chained close quarters below deck

wallowed in vomit   shit     tears for ancestors lost

So severe the treatment administered

Nazis used our blueprint to oppress Jews

 

Yes, we learned how Germany treated their Jews

In 1930’s America   we excluded them

Doled out neighborhoods to live   clubs to join   jobs to seek

Our final solution, turn back ship-filled escapees

To concentration camps   bullets   gas    then ovens

 

Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Massacre of 1921

Most knew nothing of before 2019

As a graphic novel Watchmen

released on HBO   watched in horror

Streets of successful blacks of Tulsa

awash with killing   burning   

chasing reminders    those who earned the same

or more than hate riddled whites

 

Millennium stories color our nation

The lies, the lynchings, the Jim Crow South adorned postcards

Buffalo soldiers   escaped and emancipated slaves  

drafted and enlisted   fought    died here and over there

maintain American moxie

Still treated like filth   no jobs   no honor

 

Redlining kept America white    segregated and racist

In the Bronx landlords bribed

beyond poverty-stricken neighborhood kids

to burn it down in the 1970’s

create slums    collect insurance money

cleanse area of color    build ritzy apartments

 

Sundown towns still exist in America today

As do people of color chosen to die for our honor

Still fight for the rights of others

Voting roles stripped    to drive while black

Or walk street paying a price   the final one

 

History muted annexed protect fragile whites

America bans books to hide shame

Keep folks from shuddering at two-faced mirrors

Knowing has escaped   loosened

Knot untied

(C)2022 Cynthia Bryant

Rope Circle

At 70…

 

There’s a hollow

in the space youth once grew

 

Bits and pieces strewn

without prejudice

 

Stretched thin in process

seen through to the other side

 

Some still full of fluff

float to the surface

 

An amusement to ponder

a nightmare I wandered

 

Never filling the void

sacralize memory or thought

 

A hole bombed out

left to challenge non-believers

 

© 2022 Cynthia Bryant

I had the dream again…

 

the one I am given finite moments

to gather what is needed and get out

 

Over the years urgent details have changed

an earthquake

a flood

a hurricane

sometimes an hour

fifteen minutes

Always the heart pounding

blood pumping push

for safety

 

As a child I remember packing the hand sewn

leather purse full of raisins, half a roll

saved from supper the night before,

pennies recycled from daddy’s dresser

enough to make do for an afternoon

of hiding in bushes to avoid an angry mom

 

I woke to the alarm screeching

windows breaking

smoke replacing air

with only seconds to grab my purse

run from the hellish scene

my babe asleep in his room

at the top of the stairs

MAN_Atlante_fronte_1040572.JPG
interior of dark room. shadow of the rays falling on the wall through the louvers. Light f
soothsayer-rachel-asherovitz.jpg
As Far as anyone knows.JPG

Big Lies

 

Someone’s boning up on fascism

Feeding folks propaganda

Chanting catchy tripe

Repeat Repeat Repeat

 

Dumbing down folks

fed anger   fill empty spaces

Where nutrition   education   clean living

No longer recognize home

 

Chaos has been sewn

Fear rages through streets

Littering pathways

disparities abound

 

Democracy has greedy hands

Wrapped around its neck

Choking out life  liberty

The pursuit of happiness

 

Vote   Take to streets  call it out

Resistance is our job

Righteousness our moral compass

Repeat Repeat Repeat

 

©2022 Cynthia Bryant

thCALP7KPY.jpg

Change is Going to Come

 

 

It was rumored for years

Nobody believed

 

The scientists

Playing around in the gene pool

 

Day 1

After the bombs fell

All awoke

Still perfect in every way

Only changed

 

I no longer female

Aware of the subtle weight

Between thighs

chest pulled taut

Against me

 

My mate appeared before me

He no longer he

He now she

With full ripe breasts

Smooth soft cheeks

 

In those short sweet moments

As magnetic poles shifted

As men became women

Women, men

Wars suddenly ceased

 

Precious time spent

Coming to terms

Self exploration

And then full out

Joyous coupling

 

Life flourished anew

 

 

(C)October 5, 1997 Cynthia Lane Bryant

"Ban the Bomb, Burn the Bras”

 

As with so many of her works, it is the searing honesty that first appeals - writing about an intimate subject in a way I have never heard before - a subject that many might find uncomfortable or too personal.  But that is exactly what I want to hear - the Band-aid line is so telling and revealing (or not!) - a real experience, a human experience I can relate to even though I am not a woman.  Again, as with many of her poems, Cynthia mirrors the intimate against the impersonal world - a backdrop where names might change but the horror never does.  A lovely piece of work on so many levels, quintessential Cynthia.

       

David Marrow

Ban the Bomb, Burn the Bras

 

Women ripping them off

taking to the streets in numbers

that staggered imagination

everyone was protesting something

 

In midst of fray

   breasts became important to me

   checking delicate buds daily

   couldn’t wait for them to grow

 

With time came the first brassiere

   cinched the diaphragm

   covered the obvious

   promised to lift and separate

   suddenly we were shapelier

 

The first time out without

mom insisted 

Band-Aids be placed over aureoles

as if nipples were eyesores

that would wound

 

Out of the house, out of the harness

revel in every bounce and jiggle

expand ribcage without duress

no more dents in shoulders

as if I carried the world

 

I suppose

the shelf-life of my breasts shortened

   a day, a week, a year

for the rebelliousness

only to redress once more

a few years later

 

As for the bombs

they still fall

   off and on

but put your minds at ease

   Word is, they are smart now 

 

Cynthia L Bryant                                                     

Missing in Action

 

 

He walks the neighborhood

halted step - jump - step

left leg wounded in the war

Shoulders hunched

from years of holding belongings on his back

Stringy hair

dusted with white

like the donuts he devours

at the soup kitchen

 

He stalked the jungle once

like a leopard

hunted by the enemy

trained to kill

or be killed

the life he once knew

obliterated in napalm

exchanged for this nightmare

 

He walks in night terrors now

prefers the safety

of the enemy he knows

to those yet to materialize

His freedom allows no square box

with walls or doors

to hold him hostage

moving daily to avoid capture

 

He stalks the neighborhood

after dark    in fatigues     

face painted with mud

(C)1998 Cynthia Lane Bryant

Missing in Action  

 

Powerful, tender poem!

Louise Moises Donleavy

Agony of Jim Crow

 

 

I can’t comprehend

the mindset it must take

to hate on the cause of skin

tainted a shade too dark

in one’s mind eye

 

At what point

in the spectrum of color

does pigmentation bleed

over invisible line becoming a target

 

Hue casts shadows

that stalk then stain

an entire lifetime

 

Moment upon

mealy mouthed hatred

must pick away

while Crow feasts the soul 

a constant reminder of crime   

being born black

(C) 2018 Cynthia Lane Bryant

Rinse Cycle

 

Ocean at high tide

slowly recedes

belching up treasure

 

Yesterday's creatures caught 

exposed unaware

In the giant net of twilight

 

Spotlight of gloaming

Gently displays

Iridescent jewels

discarded by mermaids

grown tired of it all 

(C) 2014     Cynthia Lane Bryant

lynching.jpg

“Our new Constitution is now established,

everything seems to promise it will be durable.

but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes,” 

Benjamin Franklin 

 Acoustic Shadowing

 

War brewing just out of sight

Rumbles not heard for years

Become a constant irritation

 

Eclipse over folks a flutter

Unwilling to register whirling balls

Of fear and hate as they explode

 

Close enough to leave craters

Filled with leaded lies

Varnishing a thin coat of

How things are interpreted

 

Whether a response

Warranted or no

Is worth the effort

(C)2023 Cynthia L Bryant

Ode to Orange

 

Oh orange resplendent aum

Buddhist robes whisper above the path

 

Garfield with a Cheshire smile   dry wit

Goldfish, pets for those not allowed dream

Monarch’s flit amongst marigolds warming the day

 

Carrots pulled from mother   revealing vitality to serve

Peppers brighten a meal    a party made

Marmalade a cheery hat on toasted bread

 

Jumpsuits revive an afterlife to those who dwell

where black and white stripes once ruled

Safety vests command attention from the timid

 

Tangerine, apricot, yam, cantaloupe and amber

brighten a blank page of possibility

Autumn leaves and pumpkin lanterns salve

towards coming darkened days

 

 

Cynthia L Bryant © 2022

CRIMSON

 

 

INTRODUCTIONS I DESPAIR

ALL THE FEAR

MY ACHING HAIR

 

 HELL ON EARTH

NO WORDs TO SAY

NOTHING TO TURN

THE JITTERS AWAY

 

KNEES ARE QUAKING

ALL IS LOST

SAID I’D BE HERE

NO MATTER THE COST

 

LOST IN SPACE

I AM TODAY

ALL MY RESOLVE

SEEMS FAR AWAY

 

AND SO IT GOES

BUT HERE I BE

HOPE THE AUDIENCE

WILL LIKE ME

 

 

MAY 15, 1997 4:31 PM

bottom of page