POWER OF POETRY #53: CHRISTINA SPRINGER

My heart is pacing & muttering under its breath at my mind. 
Feel the wind. Feel the air racing. Feel the heart’s whisper bumping 
across lichen scratched tombstone teeth marking 
Black bodies on the ground. Scattered spartoi. Unrisen, unspoken. 
So unnatural how nurture cuts them young. 

A ratchet Willow tree twerks with Gale 
who got them both syncopated with Lightning until 
a perfectly respectable Birch tree screeches “slut!” 
& was invited to fall over after being kissed with electric kindness. 
Her roots jeer at the sky hoping to cause enough of a commotion 
that no one notices how shallow she’s always been in the first place. 

The poet stood on the front porch in the whipping 
wet to write all that nonsense down. She is powerful eh? 
Eh? You’re reading this jibber jabber. 
You want to know why the willow tree came to twerk with the wind. 
‘N why Birch got herself bent. 
‘N why my heart is 
muttering under its breath. The poet 
takes her heart inside with some side 
snide comment pinging like a BB bullet 
on a hand blown glass panel set 

in an underground railroad house. How about the disorganized organizers 
arguing about the newest dead Black boy ‘n what we all gonna do 
about undoing all of these police dead women and children 
we try to resurrect like dragon’s teeth with words 

marching down a page like a street of protestors. 
Firstly we’re here to talk in abstractions 
No. Shut up, 
mutters the stricken heart. Now, 
finally the overloaded ossuary aches 
enough to offer. Unwatered words. Unrisen 
syllables, unverbed action, unspoken nouns 
proper. We box our bones. Paste our photos & bury 

oursouls. Cover pages, 
petition partitioned hard drives, 
cascade style sheets, surf html boards 
over raging electrons who anti-matter. We cool. 
S’okay. We Blacks in space are Hoovers. 
Who gonna be cryin’ in the 23rd century? 
Not this hole’s grand grands. We define 
the light until we all done letting stars be bright 
‘N suck up all the credit for nothing 
they do ‘cept sit there burning. 

& we out there dancing. 
We went out with words in our hearts 
about dead Black boys & we left them unspoken 
or unwritten and some(white)one pushed her. 
Just tried to walk right through her 
like she was a breath in her heart trying to talk its own mind. 
Some(white)one attempted murder by police 
on my friend last night. She went all Oya on them 
and they tried to 911 her to death. 

You see, what I’m talking about here? 
The power of poetry. 
You gotta let all that stuff out in order to rise up. 

Learn from nature. A manatee controls it buoyancy 
by passing gas from its anus. My heart is hissing. 
Feel the fat ass farting. Feel the squish pump. 
Boom. Boom. 
Boom Boom. 
Aha! 
Sigh. A diary entry. The heart, 
lighter now, can turn to crafting poetry 

beating life into brains by writing us down to lift us up. To unbury oursouls & free them from where where we set us up 

for safekeeping to rest and dream into being that technicolor individual Black Power consciousness ~ so vivaciously contagious when contained in a poem it transubstantiates into a taste of what living in a state of grace is like … sort of maybe what the dirt on God’s sole might feel like in a sated mouth ~ pungent, sweet, biting ‘n soft beautiful so much, we free ourselves & talk about other things 

like babies, coconut macaroons & the perfect position of the Sun for the optimal nap time vision experience in that other timeline which is our liberated future drinking clean water we drew from the well on land our ancestors grew calm, from the calabash gourd we dried and carved with vevers or other sacred symbols 

‘N say, “Look. You stayed with me this long. 

N’at solved nuthin but that one time in your mind when my heart was muttering about the way persnickety Birch trees oughta stay quiet. ‘N you said, yeah, what about that? So I wrote about coconuts instead ‘n we had a good laugh together.” See the power of poetry? 


Christina Springer is a text artist who uses poetry, dance, theatre,
film and other visual expressions.  As an Outreach Artist for the Historic Royal Palaces, she delivered  four projects with youth: “Rapping On Walls,” “Black Birds & Bars,” “Bling & Beheadings”  at the Tower Of London and “Dragon Drap D’Or” at Hampton Court Palace from 2006 until 2007.  She has also taught creative writing at CityLit College and The University Of East London. Recent dance-theatre scripts include: “Living Ancestry” and “Kikombe Cha Umoja: A Kwanzaa Myth” produced by Umoja African Arts Company and “The Splooge Factory” produced by Composer’s Collaborative.  

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