The Newark Riots ~ 50 Years Later

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a very sad time – the Newark riots. I remember them well. There was a curfew, and when I looked out our apartment window – National Guardsmen rode by in a jeep with rifles leaning against their chests. I was nowhere near the terror-stricken interior but inhaled the tension. This was my home city, and I was 14 years old. I wrote these tanka poems in hindsight and they were published by Modern English Tanka Press in 2009, 40 years after the fact. Newark still suffers:
 ~
forty years
after the riots
three students slain
“no apparent cause”
again, this blistering heat
~
born to love
born to hunt
we do what we do…
all the songs all the poems
nothing changes this
~
coming in on
a soft summer breeze
tickling my necking
and dropping down low —
this sadness for what
 ~
warm nights
I undress by an open
window   wondering
what is freely given
               freely taken
 ~
© Andrea Grillo

Bourbon, Brine and Birthday Cake

late to celebrate
the moon is my oyster tonight

~

wolf moon
each oyster casts off
its cool light

~

wolf moon
on our lips
bourbon and brine

~

oysters in the old mansion marble stories in their shells

~

a sip of the wolf moon cycles in oyster brine a howling sea

~

the wolf moon
the mansion’s marble
the oyster’s brine
a poet’s charcoal etching
rain tonight

img_0218

 

Ode To Summer ~ revisited

Some oldie but goody haiku and tanka for summer heat. Most have appeared previously on one or another of my blog posts.

Waiting
for what ?

firefly
after
firefly

~

fireflies
float
night
into
my
bedroom
mirror

~

a cicada’s
raucous call for a mate
makes me wonder…
should I wear
my low cut
dress tonight

~

night
of shooting stars
a naked beach
and foaming waves
oh to be so seductive

Published: Take Five
Best Contemporary Tanka 2008

~

blue again
no summer sky
blue… that blue
deep into the wail
of a saxophone blue

 

Published: Modern English Tanka
Summer 2007

The Seduction of Romance