Poetry: Face to Face

AFABW Int Poetry of the Month

June 14, 2021 – Los Angeles: Rodney Johnson’s passion for poetry and education is tied to his deep-rooted Rastafarian beliefs and love of community.

Face to Face

The water feels like champagne chains
As beautiful as it is intoxicating
Ready to pull you in for a voyage
Or a passage

Is so cold it’ll shake your lineage
Its waves are a siren
So pure it’s seductive
So pure you get swayed in its hue
So pure you forget as you flock to its blue
There’s blood in its echoes.

Bones beneath its call
Some from before we were men and women at all
All of the souls you’ll feel in your soles

It is so cold it’ll hollow your body.
It is so cold it’ll hollow your body.

You start to understand the stories
How beautiful beings could be rendered lifeless by its floods
The stories do not do it justice.
These thoughts flood me the first time I meet the Atlantic.
As somber as it is chilling
As terrifying as it is majestic
As refreshing as it is frightening
How funny life is that relief can wash over me of all places here
That pain from the centuries has yet to be cleared

Hi Atlantic
You render socks and other protections useless
Your cold is only matched by your transparency
You never asked to house so many bodies
I’m sorry someone’s forefathers mistook your beauty for business opportunity

How many languages have been lost in your depths?
How many bodies have you accompanied to their maiden voyage?
How many knew it’d be their last trip?

I want some answers cause none of it makes sense
Can someone clear this energy?
Your aching is as heavy as your serenity
I take none of it for granted
Let these thoughts flood me the first time I meet the Atlantic

Face To Face
Illustration by Petrina Sharp

by Rodney Johnson of Washington, D.C.
Copyright © By Rodney Johnson. All Rights Reserved.