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Poems by vdgaines


Blue calm seas, rage in depths unknown, yell in hues of
purple and green. and bleed red truths. which cannot rise
to mingle with the white of foam. They try. but fall victim
to the onslaught of its armies, camouflaging their colorful
fineries, then engulfing the common enemy.


i see the room, its four walls,
its visions and its people,
with smoke before my eyes
when veiled he enters,
but i know it is not he that i seek.
the smoke
stacks itself upon itself
in its many varied colors
until it reaches the ceiling
and escapes into the night,
into the streets
where other people are
who do not see it,
or hear or feel it,
who will not seek to destroy it,
for it has become part of them,
part of all that they know.
i return to seeing the room,
smoke illumining the closed souls
of those about me.
i do not see faces
but temperaments half-covered
by smog.
i do not hear voices
but songs of discord,
of stilled agony and pain,
almost silenced by the air.
i see not people
but shadows, half-formed
creatures of life.
these shadows,
they vanish before my eyes,
(to reappear i know,)
but the smoke it never leaves.
it always stays
in hopes to conceal
the whispery air of life.
i leave the room, its four walls,
its visions and its people,
when veiled he leaves too,
but i know it is not he that i seek.
he will return to the room,
its visions, its people,
having only desired a break
still veiled and
untouched by the wind.


everyone laughed at me.
everyone, even he.
because i said,
"all of you must now
look into your soul, your insignificance,
in search for that immortality you desire."
Everyone laughed, even he.
and i cried.
knowing, but not yet able to accept.
They asked me
when i came to their door
if i knew of worldly things,
if i knew of that which was significant.
and i, i thought if i had forgotten,
i could force myself to remember.
not knowing that their world had changed.
Then they asked me
the riddle of the Sphinx.
and laughed at my answer.
They asked me my view of the world
and laughed when i asked which world.
They asked me why i wanted to enter their home
and i answered i must be fool to but i do.
i too want not to be alone.
and they laughed for they knew.
but when they were through asking me
all these trivial questions
and i had finished with my simple answer
of all is but appearances and a matter of mind;
nothing is everything,
They laughed and said that i could enter.
"Simple" as they named me,
"Simple, you may enter our home."
They wanted a continual joke behind their door.
and they laughed while i tried not to cry.
i still thought that just being there
would somehow heal the wounds of being laughed at.
not knowing.
yet i should have known
it was all but a state of their mind.
i was entering their home,
and they all laughed at me,
but for a while i put my thoughts aside
to take up theirs.
but that was not what hurt so much;
the family's laughter.
he laughed.
he laughed too. at me.
2 wks. later by their count,
using their devices of inventing time,
they came and asked me
what i thought of the rain
that seemed as if it would not cease.
they wanted to laugh,
to have another joke on me.
Simple they knew would say something simple.
all i answered
having become very tired of their insignificance,
ignorance, and intolerance was
"no more, tomorrow there will be no more.
all of you must now look into your soul, your insignificance,
in search for that immortality you desire."
"Simple" They laughed,
"you are always so funny,
always thinking you know so much more than you do.
don't you understand that we know? only we know?"
and they laughed some more.
but what hurt most
was that he laughed too. at me.
i left.
in tears i would allow them no longer to see,
that would no longer give them an added laugh.
there was no warmth within their house.
the rain would be my new shelter.
simple. was that all i was? simple.
now i could finally laugh.
and cry at their laughter.
i saw the rain
falling ceaselessly about me
and laughed and
laughed and laughed
till i cried.
tomorrow, i thought,
they will laugh no more,
he will laugh no more
finally understanding
that this rain
means no more.
why was i so funny to them?
why did they have to laugh at me?
i had just wanted them to see my thoughts
as i had for so long seen theirs.
but my thoughts were too funny,
too simple for them.
and they laughed at them.
and they laughed at me.
why did they laugh at me?
why did they laugh,
when all the time
the joke was on

darkness does not stop rainbows

the troops.
the beauty of blues, greens, reds, and yellows
dancing before you. the dance of life.
rainbows pass upon the screen. for brief moments. if you look and see.
colors are not but reds and blues.
but moods and tones and life and death.
music and dances. rhythms and blues.
sadness and laughter.
(Blue skies open up to the universe of peace,
serenity, tranquility. Reds close their eyes
to screams of tears and pain, anger and
the sun will rise, then fall again.
but rainbows will still travel.
darkness does not stop rainbows from travelling.
black nor white can conquer the beauty of color.
black's no conqueror.
it cannot enter where colors go.
it can only envelope, surround.
white finds itself too unable to destroy.
it is weak and falls prey to the beauty of its makers.
blues, greens, yellows, reds sing tribute
to their infinite beauty.
and black watches in sorrow. from behind walls.
rainbows cannot end. rainbows will not end.
if one looks and sees. what is and could be.
dancing upon your screen.
once white, sometimes black, and for always
of beautiful colors, troupes of colors
just beneath the surface.
darkness does not stop rainbows.
cannot stop rainbows.


i came to you
to lie.

the truth, it is so hard to say;
but, you are right, it should be easy.
i am afraid
and, at this moment, still too afraid
to whisper aloud to you:
"you are right."

So far away, you are
and i wonder what manner of lies
i can pass off as truth.
you will believe what i choose to say.

it was so easy, long ago,
to separate then from now and when
and to know how i got here from there
but now--nothing is simple to me.

"You are right" is the lie
as much as it is the truth
but you are right.
and you will believe me
once i am able to tell this to you.

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Biographical sketch: I am a 47-year-old African American woman, currently disabled, who is interested in just about everything. The poetry I am showcasing was written during my adolescence and deals primarily with searching for the Self and contemplating the beauty and mysteries of life.

vdgaines recommends:

Renascence and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Reason: To be honest, I haven't read this book of poems in years but her version of Renascence so moved me in my youth that I wrote a poem based on the same theme. As I recall, I loved her use of images of nature which expressed so well her rapture. Her poems also portrayed well her enthusiasm for life, her full expression of many emotions and how she dealt with life and death issues, including rebirth.

Recommendations for writers:

terseness and imagery.


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