left to right: grandma at age 72; grandma holding my younger son; grandma holding me as a baby; grandma and grandpa one Christmas.
Her name means little free man.
A little woman, she was not free,
in tether to home, ills, and pills;
yet clan flocked to her oasis for
coffee, cards, laughs; to recall; to forget.
She gently worked rats from my hair
and tucked me in under feather tick.
Today’s Kwansaba form poem is also a Praise poem to my maternal grandmother. She was a lively little woman who stood four foot ten. Born of Irish and French Canadian heritage, she was raised in a lumber camp in Northern Michigan. She always made me feel loved.
This is the final dVerse prompt for 2021. We are on a holiday break until January 3, 2022. Wishing every person reading this a blessed rest of the year. See you at the poets pub again in 2022.
Grace is today’s host of dVerse’ final Meet the Bar for 2021. Grace says:
Kwansaba is an African American verse form of praise. The Kwansaba, (swahili kwan- first fruit /saba-principle) was created in 1995 by Eugene B Redmond, East St. Louis Poet Laureate and professor of English at Southern Illinois University-East St. Louis. The form was developed in honor of the celebration of Kwanzaa . The poetic form adopts the number 7 from Kwanzaa’s Nguzo Saba (7 principles) as well as embraces its roots in the South African tradition of the Praise Poem.
The defining features of Kwansaba are:
•a celebration of family and African-American culture, a praise poem.
•a septastich, a poem in 7 lines.
•measured by 7 words in each line.
•written with no word exceeding 7 letters.
Today’s writing challenge: You have 2 options: 1) write a Kwansaba poem using the guidelines as described above, or 2) write a response poem to David Whyte’s Blessing for Light and Blessing for Sound poems.