Poetry – by Nikki Giovanni

poetry is motion graceful 
as a fawn 
gentle as a teardrop 
strong like the eye 
finding peace in a crowded room 
we poets tend to think 
our words are golden 
though emotion speaks too 
loudly to be defined 
by silence 
sometimes after midnight or just before 
the dawn 
we sit typewriter in hand 
pulling loneliness around us 
forgetting our lovers or children 
who are sleeping 
ignoring the weary wariness 
of our own logic 
to compose a poem 
no one understands it 
it never says ‘love me’ for poets are 
beyond love 
it never says ‘accept me’ for poems seek not 
acceptance but controversy 
it only says ‘i am’ and therefore 
i concede that you are too

a poem is pure energy 
horizontally contained 
between the mind 
of the poet and the ear of the reader 
if it does not sing discard the ear 
for poetry is song 
if it does not delight discard 
the heart for poetry is joy 
if it does not inform then close 
off the brain for it is dead 
if it cannot heed the insistent message 
that life is precious

which is all we poets 
wrapped in our loneliness 
are trying to say 


Nikki Giovanni