All posts by jmardis2014

Poet, Writer, Quilter and Storyteller. Coordinator @ the Family Story Project. Editor of KenteCloth: Southwest Voices of the African Diaspora (UNT Press). Winner of The Pushcart Prize for Poetry. Winner of multiple NABJ GRIOT Awards for Radio Commentary. Jas. Mardis is a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

Love Field Airport BHM

The City of Dallas Aviation folks at Love Field Airport ain’t no joke! It was a pleasure to be your speaker today for the Black History Appreciation program. Not sure how many folks eventually got in the room, but let’s say 200 and shave off the edges!

This event allowed me to reach 50 displayed artworks at the same time in the same City! Of course, I didn’t get pictures of the full display of quilts 🤨. The folks flooded in as soon as I got set up. These 4 quilts were my talk focus: Social Commentary Thru Fabric Art.

Now, I’d like to claim that my fabric art and poetry had these folks dancing, but…
It’s just a cool visual to have folks dancing in front of your fabric works!

Black Aviation Employee Group

Nice crowd

Poem: Others Will Tell

   
You deserve Poetry

Others Will Tell 

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        Others will tell you
     that:   your copper dress caught their eye
        and so they smiled  and winked and took their own picture
     to be reminded of you    later
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         they will tell you
     that:  once they left you sitting there
         caught up in the camera’s eye
      they grew another head thinking of all the sweet things they didn’t say
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     they will tell you
   that:   every other lofty, wavering laughter since your’s on that day
      when the camera flashed and your face shown bright in the shadows 
    reminds them of how much sweetness and joy remains in the world
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      they will tell you
    that:   strangers and friends have begun to ask 
       for their own copy of your picture   to gaze upon during breaks in their day
    to imagine the cool shade and warmth   to want to be framed by the shadows of candles
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      they will tell you
   that: they finally understand    why others wander the earth
      cameras in hand    the new day’s sun bathing them all over 
   their eyes filling and flowing over with the hope of having such a moment with you
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    they will tell you
   that: when I heard their story of the wonderful, watchful, witness of you
      I did not weep or wail or moan    I did not blink or wink or nod
    I simply shook my head and whispered: “Yeah? Wait until she wears red”
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Jas. Mardis

I Don’t Want It All Back

“What I Miss?”

I don’t want it all back
   just that one morning 
      when I put my phone on the bumper
    and you wore that orange shirt dress
       and shook your head 
     at the idea that everything was going to 
                        work out
          that the angle was right 
     not to cut off our heads
          not to slip off the bumper 
       when the ten second timer hit
     not to have a hundred shots of sky
       on nights like this
         in the middle of the moon
      when the phone has six thousand pics
    and only one 
 of big hair   an ebony hue  an orange blur
       and endless
            endless 
                blue sky
        .

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. (Oh, well…)

Jas. Mardis

Wait

     
      When you say “wait”
     and rise to your full height 
     your full and encompassing girth 
   your full measure 
         of curves and hips and thighs
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       your full dress 
     falling like first rain
         across a blessing of breasts and belly
      across a feast of touches:
          your hand to mouth
         your palm to waist
your fingers to smooth an imagined wrinkle 
      across your lap
    your calves pushing back the chair
        your falling napkin
      against the surrendering table
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.        I know that you are going to say,
            “…I’ll be right back”
     but
       there is something about the way
     you leave the table 
           the way you press yourself anew
  the way you rejoin the world above us
          the way you enter an exiting
        that says 
        to my soul
            “It’ll take some courage
              when she does that one last time”
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Jas . Mardis

A Thought of You & Time

“She Has Her Pick…”

a-thought-of-you-time.m4a

I thought of you and time today

    about how you use it
      in conversation 
  like a belt
    a strap 
       sometimes worn
     an adornment wrapped ‘round you
    for your companion to consider 
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   picked out    especially for this moment 
       selected 
      to hourglass your presence 
     that heaven of sand above
        that ocean floor below
    and you
      giving out luxurious patience
      one grain  
          sliding out of order
        tumbling turning tilting 
    fitfully    into your companion’s histories:
          I saw your smile
         I drank in your laughter 
    I imagined the wet, soft press of your lips
         I felt the echoing air as you rose 
      and took your leave
        and 
       in the hourglass of you
 a grain of time ticks against the ocean floor 

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          in your absence
there is a remembrance of you
      tapping like raindrops on dry wood
          hammering away at my soul 
building layers of moments into joy
  taking up the grains like old dreams
     dropping their exhausted husks
        against my closed eyelids 
      and listening to their exploding songs
    lulling me to a fantasy of doing it all
            again
         again   again 
            when you return 
         pushing the air ahead of you
              back into the room where I await
         the next island drop of sand 
        to fall 
              delicately deliciously decidedly 
            into the ocean

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Jas. Mardis