My brother, Upfromsumdirt, a.k.a Mudman, a.k.a Dirtyboy is a poet. Extremely prolific. He is 6 years younger than I. To sum up our background...I spent most of my childhood and adolescent years resenting him upstaging my 'baby of the family status'. He made me a feminist. I contributed his excessive preferential treatment my mother gave him due to him being a "male" child. It wasn't until he flunked out of college that I begin to see the "golden boy" as having the possibility of being human and thus likeable. He became a rebel. A quiet, reflective rebel. He started writing poetry about 15 years ago and has developed a raw passion and sensitivies to self-study. He still resists being defined by others even when the advice is great...as in, he should really obtain advanced degrees in literature and get paid for what he feels compelled to do already. I've tried to encourage his exposure on the local scene but he resists that also. He did read for a small venue in Atlanta 2 weeks ago at the encouragement of a girlfriend (he was trying to earn points no doubt). He, like myself, prefers to write over talk. In the last ten years we have put aside all sibling rivalries and have gotten to know one another genuinely and I have learned to respect the soul of the man. Here is one of his poems that makes me smile when I read it, followed by one of my own.
Where Babies Come From
We are all cocoons of flesh
and brittle bits of husk, housing
whatever it is that makes us us.
...spirit or soul or shadow or something...
Beneath our human coil
we are the soil of the universe!!
We are the breath of God
infested within congested lungs.
He spits us out and we are flung into creation.
That alone makes us beautiful...but we are more...
Extra-celestial and kin to solar wind,
our speech is red giant sun & blue moon with
black hole knowledge...
We speak constellation-slang with supernova breath
and ride solar flares barehanded.
We are never alone or stranded,
everywhere is our home.
We hold our love eternal,
each star is a journal
inscribing our secrets
upon their surfaces until God
decides to publish our essences.
Spirits riding down upon the tail end
of falling stars landing on womb
until BOOM! we are born anew...
and the ancestors say, "welcome to the world, little stardust".
One Mother's Blood, for Deborah
From the Underground
through Mama's birth canal
we rose to life's Jubilee.
You swam the water, tides
delivered you first into the future.
I followed by the map you inscribed
on the palms of my hands.
six years apart, separate journeys, one mother's blood
Your feet were planted
on earth before mine.
I learned to walk by
crawling in traces
left from your dances.
We grew toward the sun;
other parts of us grew
toward each other.
bloodstains marked us women, not sacrilege
We now dodge daggers
only to burn our heels
on the fire.
Damn near choke on the water
and suffocate on this air.
We kick, claw, jerk, and scream
through atmospheric pressure.
I can't hear your visceral sounds
Can you hear mine?
Sister, Sister, Sister
turn turn turning to me
reach, grip, hold, carry,
don't let go!!!!!!!!
My piece was published in an anthology of women poets from Louisville a long time ago. The name of the book is Dark Woods I Cross. Here is a family photo. Deborah is in the red. Dirty is the adult male and I am next to him.