I’ve always believed that sharing poetry is one of the most beautiful things there is. It’s like letting somebody in to the world of all that you believe in, and all that you want the world to be like.
On the occasion of World Poetry Day, here’s a curation of some of my favourite words weaved together by Andrea Gibson, one of my most favourite poets. I think their (preferred pronoun) poetry is a constant reminder that words carry within them the power to heal, and to touch the lives of people you’ll never be able to meet.
- On discovering that her mother thought LOL stood for Lots of Love:
“What do we owe to the truth?
Certainly not our mother’s smiles.
I couldn’t think of a worse thing to take from her
than the comfort she had offered others.
So I stayed quiet, and prayed that if she became
the laughing stock of town, the laughers would
Laugh Out Loud and she would hear it the way she always had.
Just Lots Of Love. Just Lots And Lots And Lots Of Love.”
(Excerpt from LALALOL: http://andrewgibby.tumblr.com/post/105708558109/lalalol)
- On reminding us that we’re all part scared to say we’re scared, an part say it anyway:
“You panic button collector.
You clock of beautiful ticks.
You run out the door if you need to.
You flock to the front row of your own class.
You feather everything until you know you can always, always shake like a leaf on my family tree and know you belong here.
You belong here and everything you feel is okay.
Everything you feel is okay.”
(Excerpt from Panic Button Collector: http://ohandreagibson.tumblr.com/panicbuttoncollector)
- On knowing that hope can get you through most things:
“Ya’ll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
To wake the music in our bones.”
(Excerpt from Birthday, For Jenn: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Andrea-Gibson/Birthday-for-Jenn)
- On realizing that Privilege is being the featured performer at a University’s Women of Colour Symposium, instead of a Woman of Colour:
“Honey, do you have any idea
How much privilege is takes,
To think it’s cool to dress poor?
You wear that dirty shirt and you’re a radical
Saving the world. I wear that dirty shirt
And I am a broke junkie thief
Getting followed around every store.”
(Excerpt from Privilege Is Never Having to Think About It: https://feministfindings.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/andrea-gibsons-poem-privilege-is-not-having-to-think-about-it/)
- On the things that really matter, and questions we must always ask:
See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate
And if that day still trembles beneath your bones
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree
to build your snowman arms?
Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek?
(Excerpt from Asking Too Much: http://ohandreagibson.tumblr.com/askingtoomuch)