love.poem for wild.seeds
for these who breathe like seeds in hair
and guts in ruts of ships
that made it here
to plant the peace of new world truths
i grow for you my brambled heart
for mine who deep of dug and dirty dreams
have flexed and tensed your cores beyond the seams
of what seems real into the field of what we feel
i come soil in my nails
ready to heal
for you who brave of skin and light
dare to birth
not the world we have
but one of worth spun out in sun
and blessed by moon
i can’t wait to see you
see you soon
Last week I had the joy and honor of being the first ever artist-in-residence with the New Orleans Wildseeds Emergent Strategy Collective. We started the week off by attending the Wind and Warrior Retreat in Magnolia Mississippi at the Flowering Lotus Retreat Center and were met in New Orleans by Dark Sciences Dream Retreat Alumni Ayana and Rockie!
The residency took place at a vibrant black-women-owned Community Books in mid-city New Orleans.
We opened the residency with a Revolutionary Mothering panel on mothering beyond gender and the healing practice of legacy breaking/new legacy making featuring a brilliant, brave and emotionally nuanced panel of New Orleans wise nurturers Monica McIntyre, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy, Amanda Emily Smith, Savannah Shange and Adrien Ysaye McElroy.
We also co-curated an altar in honor of the lives of black women and girls and the infinite worth of black and brown people of color in communion with the altar building #sayhername coordinated around the country.
The next day, I got my whole entire life at the Inner-Child Playshop Soraya facilitated. I was able to realize that my inner child had decided that her heart was not safe in her chest…so she sent it to the cloud…for digital storage and protection. Now I get to redownload my heart into this spiritually fortified body and more fully experience my embodiment.
Here is the board book that Soraya creatively facilitated me to create!
And we closed out with a Love is Lifeforce Workshop where we created circles and dedication of love and accountability.
Here are the blessing poems we wrote for each other’s communities of accountability.
the night, dark, dancing
we are the lights you can’t see
we are the drums laughing
Dem told ya be small?
Queer sa’pozd ta be ik’spansiv
Shade is LIFE, fux dat!
Love across time, space, mouths, hearts
I owe that to you
tween their world and ours
feels safe, just like home
Spread your wings and fly
Beautiful black queer folks
to our shared dreams.
Students of color
San Francisco, keep them safe
From police and hate
ancestral waters call her
remember to play
inner child shine bright
run, sing, play, dance, skip, fly, soar
fill skies with black joy
Rockie knows ratchet
is without condition, love
just like black femme-ness
Fierce light so rightly have feared
warrior, know your truth
as child denies connection
in crime against us
for alexis (on black mothers)
passed from womb to bome, but her
magic let(s) us breathe
for kaiden (and all queer/trans hoez that do too much)
a sunstar shines bright
for herself and each other
we never too much
fieldwork. (for isis)
second birth bends her
closer to whole. you, daughter,
write this homecoming.
Clouds are not alone
even with a field of sky
songs of rain feeds us.
in b/w fist fights
for justice. we searched each other
for the love within.
Centering fat black
women as health-fully whole
heals public healthcare.
Loving Lifeforce in Southern Black Women
4 southern blaq womyn
in @ deep southern astral plane
carrying mothers, grandmothers & others
bl@ck womyn behind bars, counters,
picket fences, alcoholism, fundamentalism,
in fences, coffins, gardens, gas stations
and shotgun houses
caring to carry & carrying care
like flaming white bouquet
from plate to vanity to pass(t) to
-Xena X. Ellison
for Chris and any being locked in a cage
pain is a mirror
but love is not made of steel
love is much stronger
steel is a mirror
and you are not made of pain
you are made of love
-Alexis Pauline Gumbs
I am so grateful for the resplendent love I experienced during this community residency. Love especially to core crafters Desiree Evans, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy and Monica McIntyre of Wildseeds and Ayana Omilade Flewellen and Racquel Gilford of the Dark Sciences Dream Retreat Crew for making this experience sustaining, transforming and abundant.
I am excited to collaborate again with Wildseeds and other queer people of color collectives. Holler at your girl!