July Staff Poetry Collection

For the month of July, we wanted to honor the amazing poets we have on our Velvet Fields staff. Thank you all for sharing your amazing work with us and the world.


Poetry by Simona Filiposka:


“My grandma”


Her voice feels as gentle

as the waves of the ocean

and as steady

as a 100-year-old tree in autumn

with lots of leaves fallen down

in a sea of colors,

from yellow to red and brown.

You can see the scars of the tree

in its broken branches,

and if you touch its crust,

you can feel

the storms and winds it has passed.

But under the tree

in its shadows,

millions of kids and people

have found their comfort

and so have I.


Her hands are just like the tree crust,

with wrinkles

that speak about how giving she is

and how much love she holds

for the people and the world.


Her voice when she tells me

that choosing kindness

is always the answer

and it always will be

is like a mantra

that my heart has remembered

and will hold on to

forever.

When she speaks to me,

I can see the pain behind her eyes

and the wisdom of her soul.

She's the light

that will keep on leading me home.


And her heart...

I could use all the words

in all the languages

and all the poetry collections,

and I still wouldn't find

a word to describe

how big her heart is.

I could say it's as big as the universe

and the universe is endlessly huge

just like her love,

but I'm not sure if that would fit.

I'm only sure

her love will stay

even after the universe is gone.


“Coup de foudre”*


The lightning struck

straight into my heart

and now my body is on fire-

full of electricity.

The spiraling atoms of my being

have lost their state of neutrality,

now it’s all about the electrons.

But even they

are leaving their orbits

and I have become

the definition of chaos.

I’m burning faster now,

but not alone.

And if you too loved

how our hearts exploded

into tiny pieces

and came together

like a puzzle,

then I think I can say

at least for a moment

we were happy.

Maybe that moment

was all that mattered.

But if we wanted forever,

we should’ve known better

than to make the treehouse

our home.

We should’ve chosen

a nice house

on a quiet street

like everyone else does.

Because life is about security,

or is it?


*Coup de foudre-thunderbolt (French, literal translation), idiomatic expression of love at first sight




Poetry by Dani Ayala:


"proletariat"


i knew capitalism like the back of my hand

the gaze, the trance, the eyes, the wannabes, the wannadon’ts, everything.

from its birth to rise to fall to fall to fall again.

the catastrophe because how else do you

describe gentrification without using a million metaphors

i knew capitalism like the back of my hand as if it’s birth was not white supremacy and of nazareth instead.

i knew capitalism like the back of my hand because one day i’m going to be jeff bezos and shame anyone who is just trying to afford a roof.

i knew capitalism.

since birth, since that bill they gave our parents for bringing light to the world,

since the second i fed off the industry, the pretty, the ugly, the all of it,

the second i forgot i’m okay and not a peasant

just here, figuring it out with my hand in the gutter and the other one a fist.




Poetry by Eleanor Colligan:


"I Know Now"


for my roommates


Some days,

my mind is captured

and my marrow is the stuff

of bird bones,

and all I feel is

flattened on

unforgiving concrete.


But

there are

other times


I feel buoyed

by the love I feel from others

in the most concrete

sense.


In seeing their name

flash across the same

blue hued screen

that gives me nausea otherwise.


In the concrete way that

they fed me

physically

when I couldn’t make myself

move ‘cause my limbs were made

of concrete .


There are many ways

to show love,

and I’ve been shown it

the way the sun

caresses the eye’s iris

and illuminates

every speckle and dash.


Yes,

I know what it is

to be loved

and that has made

all the difference.




"Lend Me Your Ears"


To be a poet is to be a thief:

a merciless hunter of words to describe palpable anger, sadness, and grief.

A burglar of hushed conversations and the hissing of words unsaid,

all to tame the hungry roaring in their head.


To be a poet is to possess a hammerhead heart:

a heart that slams against walls and treats sleeping as an art.

It seeks to rid itself of the raw, pure pain hardened to black pearl,

pleading and pushing it out with vines in its pulsing arteries, begging to unfurl.


To be a poet is to be a liar:

to create beauty from things that are not beautiful, to cast reservations on fire.

A spinner of half-truths, pure and dainty as spider silk,

that dazzle and amaze naked eyes, no matter their ilk.


To be a poet is to be incomplete: to find meaning in the husks of words that litter the streets.

To root through memory waste bins and feelings long past,

a hoarder of thoughts that wish to be laid to rest at last.


To be a poet is to have lungs made of stone:

encasing the desire to puncture the world in search of her bone.

To not stay silent in the midst of the oppressive night,

to be loud and alive, and kindle mortality’s light.




"Niagara Falls"


And I understand why people went

down,

down

and over the

edge

or under entirely

just for a chance,

not to tame it.

Impossible,

no,

just to be a part of

the consuming chaos.

A priori tug

joins the ducks and seagulls

in their fearless

acceptance.


watch,

watch

how the wing of the moth

lights like paper.





Poetry by andrea korompis:


"Death"


I never understood

Why some people like to think

That death is something to be scared of;

Cold, dark, and black.


Death is a place

Where your worries cease to exist.


You have not known

Such a peaceful sleep.


In truth, death is not sadness nor decay;

Death is bright.


Death is the light at the end of the tunnel.


Death is your grandmother’s smile,

Greeting you, welcoming you into her hands.


Death is your long-lost childhood pet,

Waiting for you at the pearly gates.


Death is where your lost memories come to claim you,

All the things you’ve left behind.


Death can be a rebirth,

A new beginning.