Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Five Poems by Melissa Fry Beasley

There Were Nights

where no light was seen
but a shimmer
traveling across
land and sea,
to the place where
our hearts became
Into moments
that painted our names
in breath and mornings
pressed like lilies
against a night's page
black as oleander.
I saw you stealing stars,
scratching our names
into the skin of the moon.
I saw you sniffing in winds
for more fragrance,
biting into my soft flesh
as if pomegranate,
rolling into me but
evaporating impatiently
before my eyes.

Red Clay

I remember the red clay of which I was born
With no earth to lose.
Thought slaying everything
That memory awakens.
Waiting for the peace
Of loving life,
Place becomes time
In a land of no Fathers.
Where widows and orphans seek
Mothers who work too hard,
Give too much,
Leaving little left over
Except clothes,
Hands covered in blood.
Space between being and nothing,
Between death or yesterday morning.
When we walked out
Of our bodies and sat together
So far from our destinies,
Legs dangling freely over the edge
Of this world into the next
Very present in our absence.

World of the Dead

Walking through gardens of remembrance
Clinging to walls with grief
People turned in upon themselves
Single thread in a tapestry
Fraying at the edges
No flag large enough
To cover the shame
Of killing innocent people
Shaped by waves of
Migration and invasion
Landscape scarred by
The changing of centuries
There is something in the way
Men build monuments to their fallen
This is the world of the dead
with its influences on the lives of the living


is a sad bird on its empty nest
in a desert of half mad prophets
broken aftermath of bitter hope
here all is indifference
even the moon forgets
to look lovely
and comes out
unwashed and ugly

It all began with winter,
these summers of doubt
I spit out skies
& call down imprecations
upon the heavens
perdition leads to denial

Touch is like a past
that may
or may not have been
an echo falling
through gaps between
dreams and memories
time trails on torn wings
heading toward a home or hell
to which you can never return
it is hands like a thousand
comets descending

When All That Remains

Across dark fields
Spruce sag with weight
Of Red Tailed Hawks
Evening has crept in
Like a dull ache
In the back or heart
When all that remains
Is ash and hard work
Echoes like breaking glass
Or a night train's moan
Call to lonely souls
That travel in the wind
Wide mouthed and bawling
Always begging
In a land that never has enough
Whole years pass this way
Noon seamless into night
Skies coil and darken
But lightning
Doesn't strike me


Melissa Fry Beasley is a Cherokee Poet, Artist, and Activist from Oklahoma. She is proud to have red dirt running through her veins. Her body currently resides in the northeastern part of the state with an odd menagerie of animals and others. Her heart is located somewhere between Seminole and Norman. You can find her work in print and online. She has a blog here:  She is also the literary editor for Churn: an Art, Music, & Fashion Magazine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melissa,

    I like the intensity and ambition in your work: the needs, the resonances, the yearnings and the hard won insights that come with that... Beautiful work - 'There Were Nights' is particularly spectacular, i think and touched me deeply... Thank you Scott