Updated: May 9, 2020
Poems written by Untold Stories poets in response to the prompt “We lay a bridge across our fears” based on Audre Lorde’s quote.
We Lay a Bridge Across Our Fears -Ugbaad Keynan I am above them While the flames below don't touch me The heat from it is suffocating The journey to freedom only has one path Peace only comes by going through Doubt paralyzes me It wraps its fingers around my ankles and holds me in my place I will never leave... I will always feel like this... Suffocating, sweating, and heart palpitating I remember the people who laid these bricks The women who built this bridge And the sound of my racing heart echoing in my ears Is replaced by the voices of those who walked this path before me. They tell me I'm not alone They tell me it will be okay They tell me I just have to take the first step Because this bridge built over fire and flame Which is mean to consume and destroy Has carried those before me And they are free now And I can be too With one painful step That burns my flesh and rips the breath out of my lungs And a second step whose pain I'm prepared for
Peaceful Stream -Zainab Chaaban I was once a very young girl, around age 13, The strongest you've ever seen, Then happened year 2020, I got COVID-19, Symptoms came to many, and we lost some along the way, Young, old, hearts of gold, We stand with the world, ready, bold, Help and harness positive energy, or so I am told, My words may be heavy on the mind, but light on the tongue, Heavy in my heart, so I need to run, I am not the only one who feels this way, A wave of emotions runs through our world today, So I act kindly towards trees of green, All shades and colors of people made from teen (clay), Come as it may, I am here to adapt, every breath is a battle, so I inhale to be ept, In my heart I hold those souls most vulnerable, old, frail, sick, weak, irrecoverable, I sing this poem as I read it with a heart full of gleam, Let your health be forthcoming in a peaceful stream,
We Lay a Bridge Across Our Fears
we call on the world
to stay home
except for the angels
who feed us
and heal us
and keep us alive
but especially today
we hold our breath
for those we love
and those we've never met
grocery drop from 6' away
is a panel
on this bridge across our fears
counting by ones
Of my spine
And it took
Your thumbs kissed their way from the
Rolls of my hips to the nape of my neck
And the sweetness of it
Made me think of the balm
Of a midwife’s palms on my hips
While i groan
Dancing on all fours
Pushing another being earthside
Gaping mouth, a singing bowl
Placenta, a talking drum
Tender, callused hands
Creeping, dragging, stomping, skimming
My body has held every part of you
I’ve collected your kisses in my clavicle
I wanted to be the bridge
But i too am a seeker
Divine and distraught
Stumbling into the light
With a toddler’s dexterity and determination
How do i become
(not fearless, but un-afraid)
Like my daughter, the archer
I am a fool
Haphazard and messy
With my kisses
Love is the only bridge
I lay a bridge across my fears..
-- Anuja Rajendra
I gurgle and gasp
In the gaps between
The relentless assault of the
Battered hands choking me
My neck contracts with the digging in
The virtual bruising
Never visible to others
Except for the tick tock rate of
Of semi precious metals
Or, am I a non precious nonessential?
Or, is it my ego that is even asking?
A boot with the sloshy slime
Of back alleys and of bountiful boulevards
And crowded political rallies
And power hungry selfish so-called saviors
And, yeah, a sneaky streak of wannabe Bollywood beauties
With invite only porch parties and lying, lingual lacerating, and backroom backstabbing
Is like a puzzle piece dug in
To the newly maligned space on
My furrowed forehead
A forehead that used to look upward
At one with the sun
And emanating light
Not just to one
But to thousands in an idealistic
Dance of heavenly duty
This largest part of my
Now dribbles with pre-scarring blood
Brought forth by the micro-needling
No, the subtly incessant silent killing
The bashing by the brutality of lives unexamined by the keepers of their flesh.
This living nightmare awakens to an unlikely escape
The solitary confinement of required increased social space.
Re-illuminating inward and filling up and stitching the wounds
Wrapped in the embrace of my loving friends and family’s cocoon.
This bridge across my fears is not what Hanuman built for Ram
It is operating slower and cellular but with a structural and energetic foundation
of the same heavenly powers
To turn night to dawn
And fear to light
And put to rest the devils who decided to create for me what they hoped would be an unbearable plight.
The final word, I will have.
The shoreline is for the pure hearted, growing stronger and brighter with our collective insight.
Today we reap
The harvest of yesterday’s
Tainted soils –
Blood. Hate. Willful Blindness.
Rains rush in
To reveal the holes
In the roof
Of the house capitalism and white supremacy built.
Winds rip away
Illusions of alright
Lift up the absurdity
Of That’s just the way it is thinking
As any way to be.
Let your heart take courage
Resist the urge
To plug and patch and catch
Rain to water
Surrounding a sordid house.
Open the doors, windows, basement
The cellar, attic and bowels
And let rain wash you free.
See me in your soul
Look behind and beyond cloudy eyes
The light is coming
The promise of a new harvest
The making of a new house.
We can always be made new.
Be and build
Dream and create
Like my first breath
Depends on you
Plant mustard seeds in fresh earth
Like my life and the lives of
My children’s children matter.
Believe you are the way, the truth, and the light
Wisdom often gathers in low places
Build a bridge
From the inside out
From your nightmares undone
To your grandest dreams
We were never meant to survive - Says who?
I will exist.
I will exist
Because you resist, you open, you see, you become, you believe, you build.
Blessed are those who believe without seeing
You are the architects of generations of tomorrows
and I die
again and again.
And I live.
Love a redemptive, unwavering love
And I live
Conciencia interior (Inner consciousness)
facilitate me with me
my sacred home
connects me with life
in my body mind spirit
allow me with permission
for self-compassion right now
bridge me with writing
as a storytelling tool
hold me with love
as I rise up in mountain pose
move me with dancing
all the joy and power in
sustains me with healing
every second every day
NURTURES me with food
and invites me to care for her much more
Building a Bridge to Our Truth
They say I should fear
an unknown virus.
But it's the disease I know
that I fear during these time of unrest.
They say I should fear
what happens when this or that group has power.
But it's those who hoard power now
that I fear will make humanity face its final hour.
They say I should fear
the violence happening at the hands of the other.
But it's what is done on the down low
that I fear will push peace away further.
I've never found fear to be that motivating.
It simply drains my energy so I don't want anything.
Now is the time to want it all anyway.
I'll focus on what can be changed through the energy.
My body stretches out to reach both here and there.
I've become a bridge between time when we learn what is near.
On one end, the fantasy of the wicked,
those who forgot how to love,
because their ancestors' deeds only left behind,
a faint memory before it became about more.
That we believe it is what I fear greatest
that the lesson in front of us, we refuse to learn.
If the path to the reality most true remains hidden,
we'll settle for fantasy instead of that for which we yearn.
By crossing the bridge I can understand all perspectives.
Today I'll choose to believe dreams come true.
I'll lay brick by brick with you toward a better future.
In times like these, what else can we do?!
Reaching backwards and forwards at the same time,
leaning into what's already been known- seeing the sign.
Leaving behind the fear that makes us retreat.
Instead, following the drums in the distance as I feel them beat.
I wake to tingles
inside my forehead
and a red sunrise
in my throat
ten thousand miles
Mild in my body
it chokes the lungs
of a mother down the street
I must carry forever
bury this mangled world
I helped to build
dig my hands
hold the roots
to let go.