Your Own Private Viet Nam War

This goes out to all evangelical christians who also support ttaf, salute the flag in blind obedience, and equate “The American Way” with “godliness”.

You are in a quagmire of your own making.  You have assumed and misunderstood who and what the enemy is.  You are fighting a war you have never ever been called to…and doing so in the Name of God thus taking that Name vainly in service to your own ideas.

Like the generals and politicians of that day, you are now committed and do not want to lose face…so you double and triple your efforts.  You are creating havoc with these misplaced commitments and actually causing the very ones you purport to love and wish to save to perish and lose their livelihoods and lives.

You lack the humility to repent, and you have become exactly like the idols you have fashioned and worship.

You are exposed…naked, wretched, infected and blind.

You are in the quagmire…of your own private Viet Nam war.

Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…

This was my heart poem for that event…

“i sat in peace, calm and still
while whirling around me
excited and thrilled

the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged

pictures were snapped…”

Source: Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Sound of The Name of Your Kiss | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is written to my Beloved…I really like this lil poem
last night
i heard your kiss calling me.
in the night it sang,
flutes forlorn in fog, i think,
in mist it sang of
how your heart has missed me.

i think
i’m the only one who knows
the name of your true kiss.
it’s on my salty lips and in my utterance
it takes wing in song and then flies past me.

i breathed
out of my heart, into my throat,
your kiss’s secret song.
on my tongue it sat and pushed
with pepper palms, it tapped
its fudgy fingers on my teeth
in code to thus release me…

(Continued at Source: The Sound of The Name of Your Kiss | Charissa’s Grace Notes)

These Protests Aren’t About a Flag, an Anthem, or the Military—and You Know it

Please read this…and grapple with yourself.
“…In saying that these athletes are protesting the flag or the Military or the Anthem—you are choosing to listen to your bias and not their actual words.  You’re simply ignoring their repeated statements, in order to perpetuate the narrative you need to oppose them without feeling any responsibility to wrestle with the difficult issues they raise.

“By creating a black and white “Traitorous NFL Player vs. America” storyline, you’re able to completely ignore the stated and repeated impetus behind Kaepernick’s initial protest (and every one that’s followed): the plea for people of color to be treated with equity by law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and our government. When the President labels these men “sons of bitches” who should be terminated—he’s only proving why their protests are valid and necessary to begin with…”

Source: These Protests Aren’t About a Flag, an Anthem, or the Military—and You Know it

From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity | The New Yorker

If you are reading this…and you are white…this is the hour of your visitation.  Wake up and get on the proper side of history.  If you don’t, your hidden racism is showing

“…Kaepernick began his silent, kneeling protest at the beginning of last season, not as an assault against the United States military or the flag but as a dissent against a system that has, with a great degree of consistency, failed to hold accountable police who kill unarmed citizens.

“Since he did this, forty-one unarmed individuals have been fatally shot by police in the United States, twelve of them African-American, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post.

“The city of St. Louis recently witnessed three days of protests after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, the former officer who, while still working for the city’s police force, fatally shot Anthony Smith, an eighteen-year-old African-American motorist who had led officers on a chase.

“Stockley emerged from his vehicle, having declared that he would “kill the motherfucker,” then proceeded to fire five rounds into the car. Later, a firearm was found on the seat of Smith’s car, but the weapon bore only Stockley’s DNA.

“The issue is not imaginary…”

Source: From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity | The New Yorker

this knowing in my heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

 


“…for words to sing, we must
somehow be entered into them,
so that we are not watching them,
we must become the word incarnate
for they are us

our essence

in squiggles and symbols,
and when we have the faith
to possess them bodily
(and be possessed by them)
they become contagious,
we become contagious
beyond the most virulent virus!

our words replicate themselves
in the heart and soul of the hearer
and then…
mutate
into something else
if guided by love something grander
if guided by hate something murderous
if guided by indifference something monstrous…”

Source: this knowing in my heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I really like the moon metaphors…

*****

“…and i am the moon
growing in silence
fattening on gentleness
increasing with time
and in finding myself…”

Source: i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Another older poem…based on an overheard conversation, and then what I “saw” as I looked up…

I saw her, hair caught,
transfixed on dancing
wild breezes that lifted,
poofed, primped and pinched
braids and bangs and barettes and her eyes
lit with that autumn afternoon fading fire
gleaming from behind the clouds
carrying water for Miss Autumn in Her sudden rush and approach.

Source: Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This lil poem is a year old…

**************

and it is in night…
tumblr_n73dnpuPxz1rbl5n4o1_1280
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping

in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
tumblr_o47z33a0aK1uvues3o1_1280
then raindrops on rooftops
tingtingtingthrumthrumthrum
silver tin foil lightning…

(entire poem at Source: Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes)

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was written the same day as “For JP” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.

Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.

and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp

i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

For JP | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for a friend who occupies a very distinct and unique place in my life and history.  She is a woman that I have never met, exchange conversation with “occasionally”, or at least compared to other friends…she is of similar spiritual ilk and call, and is cut from the same cloth as me.  My beloved one and only knows about her, knows her…and we have never been anything other than what we are:  “Litter-mates”.

If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, then you know what litter-mates are…pups born at the same time from the same conception…and they are together until around 8 weeks when they all blast off to their families where they live…litter-mates are more than close…they are simply litter-mates…siblings.

My friend is like that to me, and when I first encountered her, I flashed on so many more things than I can write about, but HAVE written about here, and here, and a few other “here“s too…

This poem was written in that blissful innocence and joy that two people have when they meet and just know they are fast friends and sisters forever…it is my heart, flowing and pouring forth such beauty that it is capable of retaining from the Beauty That Comes With Poetry…it was in the moment and will always be my pure commitment to her, my sister.

And then I discovered to my horror and defilement that it has been used to accuse…that JP and I are accused of being “lesbian lovers”!!  Remember, we have never met…and that I myself am accused of being a “predator” who was “grooming” my incredible friend (whom I have never met, and whom my one and only till death we do part beloved knows about and rejoices in)…that I was grooming her for…this part I still do not really comprehend.

It is two years later…and my poem is now covered in shit and filth…from a literal whore-monger and thief and also from a religious dementor who is so deranged she makes the Pharisees look like the blessed meek.  One of them is sex addicted…and both of them are self-addicted…and I find out that they violate this poem, they violate JP, and they violate me…and I feel so sick and nauseous at this…this absolute shit.

Maybe it is the picture that did it in their minds…which is stupid because each woman has on her swimming suit, and even if they did not it would STILL not necessarily say anything!!  The picture represents the utter joy and abandon that comes when one is cleansed of all extraneous distraction and burden.  The water is the Divine Flow…the exhilaration is freedom.

Asshole Pervert:  I will never ever talk to you or have any contact with you ever.
Religious Dementor:  YOU I will give a chance if you ever find the One that you doll up in your shitty clothes and filthy rags imported in from the Law so you can feel like you are adding your work to the work of the One who said “It is FULL” which is usually translated “It is finished” and it means “It is totally summed up and completed”.

Sadly, for me?  This poem will ever be shit-stained by a monster and poisoned by a daughter of the slithering viper of poison tooth…but I know Mama will cleanse it, and those stains will at last be the colors which make JP and my friendship even more close, and even more surrendered to the Holy…to the good.

JP…Jennifer…I love you with my whole and true and innocent heart, dear Litter-Mate and fellow prophetess.
i clothe myself in wonder
for you, wrap myself in night
i am your pirate plunder
you can have without a fight

the milky way my shining sash
the moon my pendant true
and cricket song my lingerie
i give myself to you

you there, so strong, so brilliant
straightforward as blazing suns
your ready laugh, your brewing storms
the way your rivers run

from mountains high, jagged austere
you flow into the sea
for you i wait, indigo here
for you to give you me

we…night and day bonded and true
and joy our wonder-fates
you wrapping me, me inside you
Mama’s happy litter-mates

Source: For JP | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Lil Mama’s Run | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this two years ago for a dear friend I have never met.  I call her “Lil Mama” cus she has helped be a Mama with skin on.

*******************

i don’t run so well these days,
what with clouds of unbecoming
filtered thru rejection
inhaled into my heart
asthma my constant partner

i suck air in like water
and splutter to get breath
a leaky bellows creaky
and riddled with these tears
that steal away my power

but i like you so much
i follow here, behind you
and see the place your feet
left rainbows in the rocks
and fuzzy from your socks

so i just trot along
me, gretel in this stone
but looking not for witches
but for your heart, my friend
and your smile leads me home

and just when i despair,
and my way seems so blocked
i find your evidences
that you want me to follow
and I can face tomorrow
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Source: Lil Mama’s Run | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Keepers

The keepers are all that remain, the ones
with both feet anchored to Earth
and their hair being pulled by the stars
to the Milky Way and Beyond

They’ve learned how to swallow it all, it all,
the medicine of ghostly tragedy
they can hear the high keening stories
the stories of tender hearts’ piercings

The keepers, the ones that remain, remain
they keep the connections to meaning
they keep the transitions so sacred
and they bridge life and death with their bodies

they become that bridge, graceful, suspended, suspended
unseen and constructed from blood
and composed in the song of the blood and the sweat
and revealed in the sacred teardrops

and they stretch over oceans with skin, with their skin
they anoint with the oil so sacred
of trauma endure-ed and conquered
by outlasting its flailing last gasps

and they hold in the dark, in the still dark
like an armor that never needs donning
and that never need be taken off
they are Mama’s Heart in skin and bone

The keepers are all that remain, the ones,
The ones too stubborn to leave
the ones too persistent to wipe out
The keepers alive in Her flame

“Scars”, the Illustrated Version

Sometimes I am asked if I illustrate my poems…but please PLEASE note this:

All images are found online unless I specifically state otherwise that they are either pics taken by me or drawings done by me.

This particular illustration is from a major book I am working on for my friend.  It is unique and one of a kind.  It will be the only one, and were I to illustrate it all over again, the exact same poetry, it would look completely different.

I am really really happy with Scars though…I think I might never attempt it again, as it feels like it captured it. Oh…and for you who need a lil help mining for the diamonds, here is a lil “key” to the poem.

Like Sunlight, Like Fog | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am so enjoying posting old work for a while…
certainly so many things rushed out of me in the trauma flow that
many nuggets got carried further downstream than where people stand to pan for the gold.
I’m often told I’m confident
(like the march of blazing sun
across the hills of night
awakening each day)

I’m told I look like rushing waves
that roll in from the sea
and pounce upon the sand
in joyful swelling sounds

This makes me laugh inside my heart
because I’m more like fog
that silent moves unsure
which way it wants to go

But still committed to the march
inexorable and slow
to be true to myself
in soft embrace sold out

to be completely there
and wrapped around all things
I cherish in the hug
of insubstantial presence

there, and yet untouched.

Source: Like Sunlight, Like Fog | Charissa’s Grace Notes

When The Whole World Howls

what did you see there,
on that road when setting sun
began to blink again, again
and turned into a threatening heart
beating so slow and pumping out
the blood of stars and planet-scars?

How did it feel when phantom friends
just went on walking, on and on
oblivious to open wounds
in skies above, your breast below
and the railing reached and grabbed your hand
and tired death grinned madly dull?

You heard a noise, a scream of sun?
A scream of clouds, of blood or heart?
A scream that slashed thru everything
so real, so loud, so everlasting
What to make of that?  That sound
When the whole world howls and howls

and howls?

“I was walking along the road with two of my friends. Then the sun set. The sky suddenly turned into blood, and I felt something akin to a touch of melancholy…My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast I stood still, leaned against the railing, dead tired. Above the blue black fjord and city hung clouds of dripping, rippling blood. My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast. A great scream pierced through nature.”
Edvard Munch

The Holiness Of Empire | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Last year there was some sort of change that occurred within me…the events of 16 years ago, horrendous as they are, began to appear to me as a boil, a corpuscle, a pimple deeply infected…a symptom.

I decided that I was not gunna write anymore tribute poems, because been there done that.

Nothing else really can be said about the ones faced with horror thrust upon them in the land of ease and plenty.

But what of those, millions rather than thousands, who have had empire shoved down their throats and up their ____ …?  I started thinking about things differently.

Becoming the fuck toy of Empire never ends well.  Supporters of ttaf are soon gunna discover this.

One year ago…I think I began to nail it a bit.

“…and what of empire…
or is it Empire
and how
it sanctifies itself
in the blood
of many martyrs
in the tears
of all the saints
and quenches
every thirst
in the wailings
of the haints…”

Source: The Holiness Of Empire | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ahhhh…last year I wrote this to try and express how closely the ecstatic and the erotic dance in me as I connect to poetry and the words enter, flow and exit…

I’m asked sometimes if I write erotic poetry, and I allus laff and ask “Why?”

The question is like asking someone if they are eating McDonald’s french fries during the best feast of their life…

So anyway…this poem is about Poetry, about connection with the Divine, and yes, it can be about connection with the person you love to…connect with.

PS:  this selection is towards the end of the poem…there is a staircase that gets you there, but you have to decide whether you ascend these steps, or descend them…either one is wow!!
…I am buried living-forward
I’m resurrected dying-backward
I am stained forever always after
with that pungent glory,
with Her Glory running down
my chin and from my lips so wet
and thus I shiver deep within
all the way from my down-low throb
to the very roots of my
ecstatic shining hair…

Source: Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years ago…
Are ashes ever really dead?
Or just a different form of life?

When you see that I have died,
when you look into that place
where my odd, quirky connections
once melded resonant
and found resonant splendour
in heart…and in hearts too

and you see the ashes, chilled,
overlaying stone cold coals,
become grey overcoats
covering what I finally learned
to be so ashamed of?

Scrape those cinders up
shovel and shoe them,
trowel and trough the grits,
find a yearn to place them in,
decorative and strange,
intricate and engraved
and singing,
like me back then…

and carry that vase back
across the silent square,
and toss my ashes high,
yes toss them in the air

Let them fly across the sky
in one last kiss, then wave goodbye,
and falling, floating, snowing what made
me special and vibey…

I will let go gently…and slip away,
away…

Source: Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes

We have all experienced this, haven’t we?  Everyone?
That moment when our head goes from Bugs Bunny’s smug smile
to a jack-ass head because we feel so foolish and dumb?
Or is it just me who feels this…

it lays there, bloated
in between when you
and the other person
connected and laughed
(or that’s what you thought)

and when you speak
and your heart falls
out and open
on the floor
with the inscription

would you like
to come over
for dinner and wine?

eyes narrow,
furrowing brows
and glance off
to the side
and it shifts

and it’s game over
flowers fade
the smell of smoke
and burnt cookies
lingering

Source: That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes