AWP 2021: Beyond Sunrise

responses

Personification

The Wind speaks in tense bursts. She tells me the world is changing. Love is not what it used to be. She is turning even the trees to nests of wire. This is not because she is indifferent, but because she cares. Why do we treat her sisters Earth Water as if they had no voice? She blows the trash bags into our fences. She tosses over our roofs and trash cans. Look, she says, here you are. You are one of us. Open your arms and feel me roar.

Lily
Colorado Springs

Repetition

As I hold my pen of peace

js
VT

Our ancestors appear

Here is my namesake, holding fire / motivating minds

Michael McGovern
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Grow human paths

Grow a human path that will not forget the blows of a virus how we fought, yet. A human path not straight but bent with trees and flowers and pure intent A human path that folds upon fold witness to the strength in our hearts we hold. A desire to conquer capture and regain. Grow a human path Of freedom once again.

Vinita Agrawal
Delhi

Grow human paths

human paths by a tree, human paths by your grumpy neighbor / step one, step two...


Baltimore

Our ancestors appear

Nuestros antepasados nunca se han ido. | Abre las puertas y las ventanas de tu alma | Y sentirás la corriente eléctrica de su sangre | Y sus suspiros pasando por tu ser. | Respira. Profundamente. | Respira con alivio.

María Luisa Arroyo Cruzado | multilingual Boricua poet & intersectional feminist educator
Springfield, MA

Grow human paths

Grow human paths, by seeking out your family who you have since become sick of. Ask them how are you doing, and listen listen as if that is the only thing in the world.

Ruslan Black
NYC

Repetition

Beyond the setting sun there is cooling of tempers./Beyond the night there is warming of hearts and laying down of arms/so limbs can lock in love./Beyond the new day there is a new era/full of drumming and dancing and dining on the delectable tastes/of freedom and peace and justice for all and each.

Jennifer A. Hudson
Stratford, CT

Our ancestors appear

THE WISDOM OF MY ANCESTORS Our ancestors appear beyond the horizon, offering wisdom... a reminder that the only thing permanent in the world is impermanence... All shapes and forms dismantle. All shades and colors faint... Every sound fizzles, and every touch is meant to be void at the end... I do not know where I have come from, where I would go... the day I'm void of touch, color, sound, and form, which identify me... The only thing I know, I come and go... Someday, I will rise on the horizon to tell this story to my children... continuing my journey... (Poem resubmitted due to an error before.)

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis
Irvine (California)

Personification

The dirt road carries our footprints, seems to hold them extra long in its wet flesh to remind us that others have recently passed by, that they are still here.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Our ancestors appear

Our ancestor appear beyond the horizon, offering wisdom,/ a reminder that the only thing permanent in the world is impermanence./ All shapes and forms dismantle./ All shades and colors faint. /Every sound fizzles, and every touch is meant to be void at the end./ I do not know where I have come from, where would I go,/ the day I'm void of touch, color, sound, and form, which identify me./The only thing I know, I come and go./Someday, I will rise on the horizon to tell this story to my children, continuing my journey.

Kalpana Singh-Chitnis
Irvine

Grow human paths

Grow human paths by sneaking out at night just to take a few deep breathes, listen to the cicadas, and have nothing to show for it but mosquito bites the next day. Grow human paths by reading to the little ones. Grow human paths by deviating from the social script at a funeral to ask an honest question, and watch the grieving smile for the first time in a while. Grow human paths with the words "I wish I knew what I could say to make it better." Grow human paths in the ocean, try to guess what I'm saying when I'm underwater. Grow human paths by accepting that your first impressions are not always right, but your gut is. Even when the land is covered in thorns, rocks, and ash grow human paths in compassion.

Shannon Rose
Youngstown, OH

Our ancestors appear

as stars in the blackness above, peering down on us like their little children playing with blocks building to reach our great grandmothers and grandfathers hoping for a chance to finally understand where we stand in existence.

Isaiah Hunt
Cleveland, OH

Our ancestors appear

Mom whispers when I vow to quit: do not bury your talents under a bushel/ keep singing even if the chorus is gone til/ strength pours forth enough to share/ enough to lift those wings a bit beyond the drag

Betsy Lynch
Plattsburgh, NY

Our ancestors appear

Our ancestors appear/to tell us they, too, were tired/to show us the plain of grass glittering with locusts/to show us the burnt pie dish/and how they chewed on even the blackened pieces of the crust/they tell us early freeze/they tell us clouded sunrise/they tell us look for the smallest ghost green/the newest blades that seem so naked in the morning air/they tell us keep walking, keep walking.

Sheila
San Antonio, Texas
Launch me