Making My Own Rainbows
Poems of love,
life, and lamentation
MAKING MY OWN RAINBOWS
Copyright © 2012 by Chriscinthia Blount
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means without written
permission from the author. This is an excerpt from a larger
collection with the same title.
Cover Design by Chriscinthia Blount
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For my great grandmother,
Mary Bougknight Floyd
Rev. Dr. Arnold Mckinney
"A true writer can't easily turn writing
off: it's in the blood; and one does
enormous damage to oneself, the human
spirit, and the fragile balance of everything
if one does not take it seriously."
Kenneth A. McClane
W.E.B. Dubois Professor of Literature
My grandmother and great aunts would not
approve of the highly technological society we live
in today. After all, only a "heathen" would update
their profile online instead of communicating face
to face. And yes, God is omnipotent, omnipresent,
and omniscient, but attending a worship service via
live stream is just going too far! How would you
shake your neighbor's hand or tarry at the altar?
Although our conversations are now peppered
with words like "diversity" and "multiculturalism";
in this fast and furious world where people pretend
to be color blind; the experiences of African-
American women continue to be summed up in a
word, a phrase, a sentence, or a "study" on the
Black family. Whether at work, on travel, at
home, or at church, we are still seen as the
cleaning lady, the hired help, that indestructible
monument robbed of all humanity.
Even labels that seem complimentary often
limit Black women and are used by those who
have very little knowledge on the subject of which
If we allow ourselves to be defined and
therefore created, we can be told who we are, how
we should look, what we can do, and where we can
go. We become dolls on strings being pulled in
every direction but our own.
Making My Own Rainbows is an attempt to
dispel the narrow definitions forced upon us and
present the wide spectrum in which Black women
find themselves. These poems speak of love and
loss, joy and sorrow, tragedy and triumph. It is my
hope to share many stories, both beautiful and
ugly, about the lives of African-American women.
Studded with thorns,
I inflicted wounds
deeper than my own.
You were persistent
as the sun;
you must have known
there were juices
running inside me.
The Power of Ambivalence
We were never introduced
but with our eyes we spoke frequently.
Through my eyes
I see that you would hurt me
and, seeking vengeance,
I would hurt you.
I never touched you
yet we were quite intimate in our dreams.
I know that you would satisfy me
but air, bitter-sweet
eliminates all satisfaction.
To dismiss your presence
cripples my soul.
Yet to acknowledge you is to reminisce.
are in my mind forbidden.
I stand before you
only by the power of ambivalence.
A Distant Love
I watched a full moon
as I walked.
It followed me
of your love
and I smiled.
Just think of me
and I will return
like a sparrow
in the spring,
on my wings.
If I allow my pride
to stand between us,
I would lose you
for something less worthy.
Talk to me
for love is a conflict
turned to compromise.
to be your seed?
in the middle
of my own dreams?
Would you love me then?
The Third Round
Having gone through
we should remain
in our separate corners.
I would rather leave
It is time
to say goodbye.
42nd Street Scan
Between 51st and 42nd
the number six train stopped
It was dark.
The lights went off
and on and off.
We were stuck
due to congestion
I wondered what death was like.
standing in high heels
on an overcrowded train
couldn't even hold on to a pole.
My body was supported by other bodies.
I stood helpless
arms at my sides
What else would come to mind
but slave ships, coffins?
At Grand Central Station
still I thought of death,
of Black men old enough to be my grandfather,
my father, or big brother shining shoes
for white men in business attire,
of human billboards passing out advertisements
for Kodak film.
What else would come to mind
when brothers wear pride on their feet
and call it Pro-Keds, Puma, Pony, and Reebok?
Each day I scan the cocaine brains,
the wide-eyed and mystified,
walking toward destruction.
Lost in the labyrinth
your gentle voice,
your eyes of endless journey...
I want to touch you
but must overcome
this selfish desire.
Go, for if I have you once,
I will want you again.
Oh How I Remember
Wet wintry morning,
you, the possibility of spring.
was a sparrow's song
like the wings of a butterfly
beneath flaming sunsets
our souls arabesque.
Then summer came
and we melted
into the fallen constellation
You are gone now,
but oh how I remember
nights when the moon
The First Time I Saw Mama Cry
when they are sad,
made mama cry.
"What's a nigger?"
And mama cried.
Maybe she was sad,
A Poem for Malcolm
the room began to pulsate
I was reading a poem
El-Hajj Malik El -Shabazz.
A student raised his hand
"Is that the guy who wrote
Soul On Ice?"
I closed my book
with no reply.
Don't leave your wounds
at the foot of my door;
you've played this game
too many times before.
You always bring flowers,
an apology, and a tear,
a buffet of things
you think I want to hear.
In my mind I see you
stripped of all pretense.
You can no longer hurt me
I feel weak
but I'll be wise.
I'm not your
Don't bring me broken pieces
when things fall apart.
You have no substance
nor have you heart.
Though it sounds trite,
I gave you my best.
You were to be
my lover not my guest.
Take your flowers,
apologies, ill-sorted ammunition;
pack up your soul
void of contrition.
Yes, I feel weak
but I'll be wise.
your consolation prize.
Chriscinthia Blount, poet, playwright, and
mixed- media artist, is a native of Bronx, New
York and graduated from Cornell University's
School of Arts and Sciences. She is a gifted writer
who can take a few words and, like a magician, stir
a slumberous spirit. She is well known for her
honest and eloquent lyricism, her quick wit, sense
of humor, and her insatiable appetite for things
artistic. Although Chriscinthia has experimented
with other literary genres, she still considers poetry
the most sacred of American letters.