My Mother, My Poetry

By Tiana Thais Ramirez

Poetry, a pillow filled with feathers of comfort. In the literature world, poetry is literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas using distinctive style and rhythm.

Poetry in New York City can be such a euphoric experience. In a city where time is so fast-paced, in a city where time is drained, in a city where you are surrounded by thousands yet feel so lonely. In a city where technology has our youth wrapped around its fingers, where our city needs healing. Poetry slows life down for at least a little bit, making things worthwhile. Poetry is an art where the people of New York can express their emotions. Whether it’s to relieve their mental distress, shake off anxiety, embrace a kind of love, or to even elaborate their numbness, poetry is an outlet the poets of the Brooklyn Poets Yawp, located in Brooklyn, New York, can fulfill these feelings along with sharing their purpose.

On November 14 spoken word artist, poets, and writers performed at the workshop and open mic, some for the first time ever. Many of the spoken word artists shared heart-warming poetry about their mothers or mother figures. The mother poems were soul-touching, yet sad. They expressed mental distress, traumatic responses and abandonment issues. Naomi Johnson shared a very powerful mother poem that lightened the mood, and the audience wiped away tears and started grinning.

Lavender Soap a poem by Naomi Johnson

“My mother is Lavender Soap. A soothing all embracing, Comforting promise of relief from the burning, Pains of dermatitis my sisters and I both endured when we were children. In desperate times the cold winters where’d we’d, curled up too close to the heater and dried out our hands lavender soap was there to kiss our broken skin dip us into the small pink bathtub and go against the impossible to heal the wounds we all thought we were going to die from, one time or another. “

Naomi Johnson, an Australian poet who traveled overseas and performed for the first time shared her poem called Lavender Soap. This poem, Lavender Soap, is about her and her three sisters being comforted by their mother. The imagery in this poem is insanely neat and comforting, because it portrays a delicate tone of when children cry for help, or are going through obstacles, they can easily turn to mother for guidance.

Poem snippet from the reading:

Motherhood is one of the hardest journeys on this planet. Not all people have a good relationship with their mothers. I do not and it has traumatized me as an adult. As I sat in the audience and listened to the mother poems, I could not help but shed tears.

As Naomi Johnson shared her poem, you can hear in her quavering voice how important this poem is to her. Poetry is an escape from our traumas, and our fears. Yet also it’s an acceptance of both. You don’t have to think hard enough to create a poem, you can just spill. And that is the beauty of it all. There are no right or wrong answers, there are no directions needed. Poetry in New York City allows our tough skin to soften. While getting out of this robotic routine, poetry connects us to our true being.

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