Keisha Baker Poems

Longing for Art
Ode to Manni
Idunna Poem

Longing for Art

Let me find where poetry hides
where she reclines
while we struggle in this world against the elements, against her lovers
let me eat the cake she's eating

Where does poetry slink to, that promising slacker,
when the sludge of things gets too sticky, too heavy
for her most haughty and removed being, taskmaster?
Why do my eyes sag, why have my snyapses turned plastic instead of electric . . .
my imagination celluloid and stiff as a television feed, ad nauseum
instead of Klimt, Vivaldi and Ron Jeremy swimming a barber's pole path
around the open bathhouse in my brain?

Why does poetry play such sexual avoidance
when it's so obvious she needs a good fucking
In this country, especially--in this time, especially
The most outragous of wars, the most heinous of crusades
ever carried out by an antichrist,
a long list of antichrists, and none have ever been so bold as the evangelicals
in marketing Yeshuva, in recruiting in the name of a Christ-alike
for the profit of their collection plate
for the gassing of their family tanks
grinding the earth beneath
. . . and ever more our farmers turning their backs on thier brides
out of disrespect, out of necessity
to turn a dollar out of their whore
instead of ploughing her intimately and pouring honey in her four corners
to bring an abudance they can hold in their arms just once before letting it all go
Where are you poetry, and are you even still relevant
when life is draining out of life's source?

Hardship, ever poetry's lover
ever the vulture perched upon the beds of those who would be her lovers
just renders and renders without regurgiating
and I am bare bones,
nothing of substance clothes my please and thank yous
nothing of substance backs up my best go at it
Give me a dimension of understanding
Beyond this gather and pay rut
of bad timing and hard feelings and supposed suffering of mine
to make it better somehow instead of bitching about it
Let me fly through time and circumstance over the bad parts
peeking through mom's fingers to skim the sublime only, not to be scalded by it
and see that our habits will change
that our fear will subside
and that the eldest of beings
will still be with us
despite the best efforts
of those who want their savior back


”Here's a poem I wrote that I'm particularly fond of:” K.B.

Frances came to Ohio
in her grey and violet dress
the tears of others sown neatly in her pockets
drizzle through the seams and mark her path over the soil
she is cold
her shifty, hollow eye has clouded
by many miles she is far from home
Broken, injured and emptied by her tantrum
she is tame here
Quiet, yet an eyesore all the same
my heart goes out to her rage
yet the pain she has caused
shuns my appreciation for her nature.

Ode to Manni

Sol’s mate
Peaceful eminence
Glorious radiance
I paused tonight to think of you as man

I doubted your gender
So long had I thought of you
As lady, confidant and seeker
Just like me

I look upon you tonight
Thought about you during the day
About Jesus and Freya and Odin and Hermes
Of horned ones and Great Mothers
Of nothing and everything
Mani, you filled my mind

Of whatever I believe, of whatever may come to change
What I know is this:
The earth was barren until you came
Raining rocks upon her valleys
Sending tears for want of her
This barren beauty turning, turning
This space between you, you longed to breech
While she knew not what she wanted

And when that joyous union came
A thought formed her green hair
Her blue eyes
And her bright white smiles
Fickle as the weather,
More beautiful than you’d ever hope to awaken
And in time, as you were children together
She bore you many billions more
Than all the stars lined up in heaven
To gather round your family bed

Mani, Sol’s lover
Proud sky father
Holy watcher
I paused tonight to consider your gender
And was proud for the moment, to consider you a man.

Idunna Poem

The fall of Idunna

Up & Up & Up she climbed
Idunna, through the tree of life
That mighty anchor of Midgard

She perched upon a slender limb
And being lithe, the gentlest wind
Blew her to the floor of Nifelheim

Horror struck, the youthful maid
Her terror locked the words to be said
Of her awesome fear

Of Hel’s chill breath stalking
On three legs her dread horse walking
Forward to claim the young goddess as her own

And Odin from Hlidskialf all seeing
Bade Heimdall and Bragi to Niefleheim seeking
Her chilled and shaking body on Hella’s floor

He sent with them a white wolf skin
Thick and woolly to dress her in
That she might not perish, this helpless one

And Idunna’s eyes were lifeless, unseeing
Deaf to all their gentle pleading
To rise and leave her bed in Hella’s barren pasture

And Heimdal with tales epic and long
And Bragi with his most beauteous song
Still failed to arouse the blush Idunna turning gray

Till Bragi bade his friend to depart
And leave him alone with his dear sweethart
This goddess of youth, and he, a man of whitened age

Day & night her dear kept vigil
Coaching & coaxing for some small signal
That life and love still breathed within her

But soon his harp gave way to the still
That she insisted upon untill, untill
That fateful day when she chose to fight again

But until that time, men’s ears ache from silence
And with the earth, must observe great patience
For the goddess of youth to become once more.

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