beloved | a pantoum [napowrimo v3.30.12]

like the rain and sun, she nourishes me

with water from her tears and the fire of her love.

her light in my world’s night allows me to see,

hear her raise love’s vibration to a higher octave.


with water from her tears and the fire of her love

my emotional desert became a garden of roses.

i hear her, raise love’s vibration to a higher octave,

now my soul longs to sing all the love songs she composes.


my emotional desert is now a garden of roses,

how her nature mothered it, the subject of many tales.

now, my soul longsings every love songs she composes

except… when she takes my breath away, when… my voice fails.


how her nature mothered it is the subject of many tall tales,

i could seek for ages, searching for words to express this.

instead I accept it, she takes my breath away, my voice fails

ma’at reciprocates my surrender, seals my heart with a ‘blessed’ kiss.


i could search, through the ages, seeking words to express this

how… her light, in my world’s night… allows me to see,

ma’at reciprocates, my surrender seals my heart, a ‘blessed’ kiss…

she’s the rain, she’s the sun… she… nourishes me.


~olusanya bey

Plain Jane [napowrimo v2.30.12]

if I were a plant?

I’d be Cannabis Sativa

a plant capable of growing

in nearly any vegetation,

anywhere in the world

without nearly any

maintenance at all

I’d be able to sustain life

for all life forms who consumed me

such as humans with various

forms of cancer (breast, butt or balls)

& glaucoma

I’d be used in paper &

body care products,


food products,


house supplies

biomass fuels

clothing, soaps & oils

just name a few

I’d be the

most popular

plant on the planet

people worldwide would

utilize me in the most convenient,

logistical ways ever imagined, like

making brownies

but there would also be

humans who would use me

for tings of not such a positive nature,

they’d dehydrate me &

smoke me to elevate

their consciousness

they’d then over

excessively eat anything of

a sweeter nature to cull their

sugar rush,

people would package me &

sell me on the black market

becuz I wouldn’t be recognized by

federal establishments

due to their failure to profit from

my existence, punishing

those who do

I’d be blamed for opening

up children’s gates

to the playgrounds

of the bullies of my block:

smack, rock & ritalin

I’d be the scapegoat for all

gone astray in presidential scandals

of non-inhaling


but people would love me too,

they’d make movies

about baking me half way,

or classic gangasta rap albums

about my quality grade

I’d be given

all types of cool

names like:



mary jane,






maui waui,


purple haze (one of my favorites),




and a whole lot more

I can’t even remember

(I’ve been hittin’ myself again)

If I were a plant?

I’d be the most infamous

plant on the planet

the whole world

would know my name &

people would buy me

by the pound

(former English

currency included).


if I were a plant

I’d be the best plant

of them all…

I’d be just a plain

old, ordinary


~Fredrick-Douglass Knowles II

Me & Cookie [napowrimo v1.30.12]


Blenched every night

you cracked her cranium

against the kitchen sink,

caroming your fist into flesh.

We absorbed the horrors

through thin, apartment walls

carrying caterwauls

wrenched from her soul

like a banshee bound to hell.

We kept your secrets.

Never revealed

the devastating blow

to your bravado.

Not you?

The light skin, kool-kat

who loved to roll through,

with a quick “What’s up Cuz?”

and kept it movin’.



“What happened to Cil, Cuz?” 

The fine Cape Verdean thang

who knew how to carom

8 balls into corner pockets

while puffin’ Newports?

The dime that wouldn’t give

any nigga the day or time,

except for you?

“What happened…?”

Why does she now walk down

the same BlackRoseCity blocks

comatose? A beautiful babe

beaten into a Black Zombie.

The windows to her soul

concealing crimes committed.

The State Hospital held her horrors

within thick, padded walls.


You beat

the mind out of her.

What could we do?

You had power & control

over me & my lady too.

I drank the pain.

You walked around

like your shit didn’t stink.


You beat

the soul out of her.

Made Hitler look like a hero.

Why? Be-“Cuz” you were bitter

of being only half a legacy,

not full-blooded Knowles?

Be-“Cuz” that football scholarship

produced false NFL promises

and sent you back to wallow

with the bastards?


Who stole the soul?

You robbed the son

you beat into and

out of her womb,

of a mother.

You robbed my

niece of an aunt.

My aunt,

looks down in shame.

Her cancer concealed

her son’s crimes

until it consumed her colon.


Now I know why

your brother shoved

that needle into his vein

and vanished.


Dark Soul.

Your demons haunt me no more.

Light unveils lies.

And the next time I see you “Cuz,”

pimpin’ through the streets

with that same 70’s

tired ass, Playboy strut

new wife and babies in tow,

I will solemnly

stare into your soul

and ask you,

“What Happened to Cil?”

~Frederick-Douglass Knowles II

practicing my… [napowrimo v1.30.12]

this is the poem that gestates

in the darkness that is our mind

that is conceived instantaneously, and develops gradually,

because the roots of our soul… is the light of the Creator

because life/poetry is the bringing forth of the Light.
and when your fear of dying

isolates you in the mental prison of human mortality

this is the poem that calls you to prayer,

to the temple of your… BEing, where Thou Art!

everything… and nothing, in/at… ALL [surah 112].
Life and death are punctuation points poet.

humans Being…

mortal thoughts of a Divine mind.
if you meditated you would know

thoughts come, and thoughts they go, but…

the ONE… thinking………

NOW… HU is forever!

and we… are the Creator’s most brilliant idea!
this is the poem that reminds us…

as we dip our pens into the inkwells of our ‘individual’ ideas

that wRiting/righting poetry… is more than just ‘identifying’ wrongs

because I AM

because WE ARE
and when we are tempted by our egos

to pick up an pen and point to the ugliness of some ‘other’ humanity

this is the poem that points to the sun and says,

The Creator dipped a pen called you in there, so we…
could shine a light on the world!”

~olusanya bey

Alo mond! Hello world! Hola mundo! Bonjour tout le mond!

Welcome to Hartford Poïetics. This blog is a collaborative effort between Olusanya Bey [Poet, Mindful Life Coach, Spoken Word Artist, resident of Hartford, CT], and Fredrick-Douglass Knowles [Poet, Author, Spoken Word Artist, English Composition Professor at Three Rivers Community college-Norwalk, CT, resident of Hartford, CT], and the participants of their poetry writing workshops, held at The Hartford Public Library during the month of April 2012, commemorating National Poetry Writing month.

Professor Knowles and Olusanya Bey will be conducting writing workshops in Hartford’s public library [downtown Hartford], to encourage and promote the reading and writing of poetry among Hartford residents [particularly the youth], and to celebrate National Poetry Writing month. This blog will serve as the central bulletin board for all poets/participants who choose to share their words.

Join us as we encourage each other to tap into our creative genius and rise to the challenge of the NaPoWriMo!!!