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



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.

for what ?





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


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