I started a podcast! It’s called Fine Words Weave, quite naturally, and it’s a celebration of poetry and other beautiful words. The first episode is out now, and the weekly show notes, and episode transcripts will be shared on this page! I’m still figuring this out, as the idea dropped in my spirit on Friday night, and I moved straight on through to creating it, so that by Saturday morning I was already sharing the link with people. I have a number of guests that I’m looking forward to bringing on. Some of the poets who’s work inspires and moves me on a spiritual level. Keep your eyes and ears peeled.
You can listen to the first episode here. It’s me and one of my poems. You can also read the full transcript below.
Black Girl’s Flight Plan.
Read Your Poem Imperfect – Fine Words Weave
Episode show notes!
This is fine words weave by Azeezat Adeola, A B A. On this podcast, I share poems, and all good things about words. Thank you for your time. And I hope you realise that fine words that have been weaved (together) are always worth listening to.
This week I’ll be sharing a poem that I wrote called Black Girl’s flight plan. I had to record it a few times. So you will hear the authentic me laughing and just, you know, getting into that space to really channell the poem. I hope you take your time to listen to it. And I’d love to hear what messages you take away from it. Okay, take care.
This is the second re-recording of Black Girl’s Flight Plan. laughter Okay, I’m going to get into position the my body all the energy that she needs to give this poem is due right.
Bismillah (in the name of Allah).
Black Girl’s Flight Plan.
I feel this first in the bottom of my throat. It feels like a hollow than a shallow tremble flutters from my solar plexus down to the clenching in my gut.
And I am tired, although I’ve rested, because I wonder if there’s enough rest in this life that will keep a black woman uplifted and replenished.
Divest from the discourse, the gender war and all the controversy. My skin will not be fodder for the pyre they are burning.
You see being stripped of my skin is not a new sensation. I remember sticks and stones may break my bones. But words will pull strips from me.
The little dark skinned black girl on the playground, gleaming like a gem. That flash of white teeth sit in a dark face, like the white stones we dig out of the concrete
It was a siren for magpies. And so the magpies came, to pick apart what they could, to steal anything that glimmered.
Medusa they called when they saw how I picked apart my irun shuku (a Yoruba hairstyle).
Shuku meant the pulling of my scalp on a Sunday evening, the top of an ilarun (comb) on my head, as my mum reminded me. Don’t let anyone touch your hair.
The eternal temptation to unplait my rows, to undo my crown, so I too might fit the magpie’s standard that I might blend in.
I was never made to blend in. Outstanding as a black girl sometimes means you just stand out.
Too talkative, the hen teachers clucked Adeola must stop distracting others, the uncrewedun-crowed subtext being smaller, little black girl.
How dare you show up in all your light. Don’t you know you can only glow when we add you to the pyre when we can benefit from your warmth and wingspan.
As I speak now, my heart accelerates like the thundering after the Bleep test or the one in your chest when you get on the bad side of your parent. And the sensation is one of danger of fear. saliva filling your mouth in anticipation of pain.
Orokpo is the nickname they gave me at home. It means your talk is too much. It means your talk is too much.
And when I talked back, I’d get a lip twist in conditioning and negative association. In if you don’t hear you will feel, in home training for the war out there.
But what that meant is that I learned to bite my tongue. I mean, literally bite my tongue. Sinking my teeth in ‘till my tongue was warm and numb but my mouth filled with saliva.
So I mean it, when I say I’ve tried and tested shrinking into myself to become more palatable, and I wonder if there are enough people with vested interest in a black woman being uplifted and replenished.
And at this point my body knows the answer, because people loved to use my body as fuel for that bonfire to lift them up, elevated on the back of a black girl.
And when I was in what I thought was a loving relationship with a black man because black love and you complete me and this is half your deen (way of life), and I want to be seen.
He opened his mouth from within his beard, and it turned into a beak as he squawked, “So you want to grow wings.”
And this one felt like just too much the last straw on a black girl’s back. It felt like squaring up, and when will I rest and if I open my mouth, the whole earth will tremble.
And who said I, black girl, who said that I had no right to wings? To soaring and flying, swooping freely far beyond the reach of those that would have my body as a log in the fire.
The gender war sharpshooters would rather Blitz Spitfire, have me in their sights, and bring my body all the way back down to set in stone earth.
And now it feels like my shoulders drawn forward, my body leaning into the wind, my big laps, I mean, these thick thighs gearing up for the run of my life.
Unclench my jaw on the runway, and lift off into flight. Because flight fight freeze fawn,
I’m not a worm or a pawn, not bird fodder nor funeral blacks, the smoking ashes open my mouth, and I refused to call these words back,
Let the earth shake.
and I’m tired of holding it all up. And if I have to leave this life behind, the one of strong black girl myths and legends, if that means that I will be uplifted and replenished? then you’d be blessed to see the tail end of me as I Loop The Loop in the sky turned into the morning’s swallow.
Yes, I’ve grown wings. But let me tell you they’ve always been there. And the hens and crows and magpies and all the other birds. They tried to clip them.
And now I black girl, uncontained swallow, am fluttering towards this World’s Solar Plexus
and I am in your gut and I know that you are hollow and I burst out
know that I’ve got all the smoke, my glow, my light my fire is beyond further for your desire.
The poetic message has been delivered. I was the receiver and then the speaker Azeezat
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Thank you for your attention. I would love to hear what meaning you made of this episode.
Until next time,
Azeezat Adeola ABA