Poetry Archive

Hope Floats

Envision this want-to-be,
an airship like a bitten off piece of cathedral cake
ceramic, concrete, shale, earth and water 
lancet arched stained glass windows
bits of filigreed fenestrations
balletic balustrades
tenuous turrets from which to fling wide your arms
above factory fumed air in unglazed sun 
those tattered undersails mere décor
dove dodge and wind guides
nothing to do with propulsion
scooping ventilation by kilns and kitchens 
and those fan blade rotors like flat umbrellas, 
floral, windspinning, whirrers
must be for some other cooling or warming
directing air to heat rooms  creating thermals
because the tethered vessel is so soaked 
with buoyant magic it must be tied 
to the ruins from which it sprang, 
the remains of its making ...
an exegesis of ecclesiastic architectonics is this defiance
a maundering mobile majesty, a monumental heresy
housing children of dreamers,
rabbit ready angel spawn who learn the star spangled sky 
as alphabet, resonate and respond to air currents
rockabye baby sailors raised, by this village vessel of 
good cooks and caring creatives through love to be loving
hope floats       dagnabbit     hope floats

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Akua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments, and peace. She wrote her first speculative poems in the sixth grade and she’s been in print every year, except one, since 1974. She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies. A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, an SFPA award, Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. She has twice won Rattle’s Poets Respond. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award. A Cave Canem fellow, her collection, THEM GONE, was published 2018 (The Word Works). She’s launched Speculative Sundays, an online poetry reading series. She won a 2021 individual artist grant for her art project, Now Voyager about the immigration of her grandparents from the West Indies to New York. She’s an avid hand papermaker and crochet designer with over 130 patterns published. She exhibits her artwork regularly. A paraplegic, she founded a paratransit nonprofit. Her chapbook, Otherwheres (ArtFarm Press 2020) is available on Amazon. She sings songs from her favorite anime in Japanese, practices her soprano saxophone and prays for the cessation of suffering for all sentience.

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