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Three Poems by Alice Lovelace

from "Remembering My Birth"
Recent and Collected Poems

by Alice Lovelace
Atlanta, Georgia

Alice Lovelace.
Alice Lovelace. Photo by Nic Paget-Clarke.
Omo Olokum by Tunde Afolayan Famous Jr. - Tempera, 1991
Cover design: Omo Olokum - Tempera, 1991, Natchez, Mississippi by Tunde Afolayan Famous Jr. Artist statement: In Yoruba culture children with locks are considered gifts from The Sea Goddess and spiritually endowed.

These three poems are from "Remembering My Birth: Recent and Collected Poems" by Alice Lovelace, (Introduction by Dr. Ja Jahannes). Atlanta. Horizons Press, 1994.
Tomahawk Poem

I want to write you
a tomahawk poem
to aid you in
your / our struggle
This tomahawk poem

will be sharp
will be treacherous
will be notched to your grip
will be singular in purpose
(to extract the fangs of would / be profamers)

I want you to wear it
this tomahawk
don't let anyone
get in the way
of our love poem

Fondle these lines in the night
preserve it under your pillow
employ it to amputate poison
from hemorrhaging tongues
(this tomahawk poem is yours)

Carry it with you wherever you go
and if anybody challenges your
universal humanity
you yank out this poem
and axe that action

('cause this poem is your defense)
This poem is yours
when you being lover, friend
banker, craftsrnan, cook, provider
teacher, preacher, organizer...

This is your poem
A Tomahawk Poem
to lacerate the skulls
of your enemies
A poem you can
pick your teeth with

Grip the handle
mosaic wood
sculpted to your hands
A tomahawk poem
to split the wood

To fuel the fire
of audacious humanity
burning three hundred and sixty degrees









I want you to wear this poem
slung across your shoulder
like an Uzi


In your defense

This is your Tomahawk Poem!

Remembering My Birth
For Lucy: She Lived in Hadar, Ethiopia
3.75 million years ago / Great Mother of Us All
For Lake Turkana in Kenya / where it all began?

The fat face of the moon swollen with sorrow
Sends her regrets; licking the surface of the river,
she separates salt from sand, mist from fog

eat the tension in each. I come, walking
between the waves balancing my genes,
my atoms, resisting the moon’s advances.

I will you a tear surrender to the sacred
Sun all else, cunning night cannot hold me
In the dark cradle of his journey.

The fat face of the moon, pregnant
with reason, smiles through a thicket of glaciers
while this belly (this belly?) impersonates history.

Where are you, Lucy? come,
dance with me, once last dance,
Lucy before the sun swallows you

And I must flow with the mist
Add the residue of my tears my tongue
To this most ancient of waters

This river creeps between the barnacles of my smile,
This river pierces my fresh ploughed fallows,

This fickle carcass, supple, constant
Lug history in the shifting tracks of her borders.
Nomadic one vanquish me in the hard perfection of your shadow,

Mighty one you flex and the captured moon quakes
Great mother of us all protect these bones
Testament to your grave arrangements

Tell me, where are you from?
(sing) take me to the water

Where are you from?
(sing) take me to the water

Where are YOU from?
(sing) take me to the water to be baptized

Remembering my birth.

Bud to Bloom #3

When the fantasy begins
I can't restrain it

Bud to bloom
It grows
Like hothouse
Flowers lusting
For the bee's ernbrace

Fingers haunt my body

Your nectar lingers
On sheets
Your Afrikan wrap
I sleep

And the fantasy dances

You are the General
In swaths of

You guide me to the Sea

You are the
Mesmerizing male
To bone
You are
My warrior proven
A rebellious wind

Caressing me with tongue familiar

In the space reserved
For you to know
All knowledge takes root
In my weakest sigh...
You smile

The fantasy dances
Bud to Bloom
(bud to bloom)

Published in In Motion Magazine November 16, 1995

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