Mobile Photography & Art Saturday Poetry – ‘The Body Remembers’ by Yusef Komunyakaa with @poetry_fish

Mobile Photography & Art Saturday Poetry – ‘The Body Remembers’ by Yusef Komunyakaa with @poetry_fish

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This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘The Body Remembers’ by Yusef Komunyakaa. ‘The Body Remembers’, explains Komunyakaa, ‘sprung out of my memory of swimming in a creek in Bogalusa, Louisiana, in the 1950s when the entire culture was still segregated—especially in any joyful display of the body. However, we boys often took risks and, coming back to that past stitched with youthful energy, perhaps our bravado was fuelled by a public dare. Such a moment of play is full of celebration, especially during the months of July and August. But also, there is a reality to our naïve recklessness—and there, in the danger of such moments, we learned to come together as brothers.’

Komunyakaa first received wide recognition following the 1984 publication of Copacetic, a collection of poems built from colloquial speech which demonstrated his incorporation of jazz influences.

Source poets.org

I have matched this image entitled ‘Summer Screens’ – by @poetry_fish, with this poem.

You can view and follow her work on Instagram here.

If you would like to be featured in our Saturday Poetry section, please ensure you include the hashtag #theappwhisperer to any images posted to Instagram. This will mean we will be able to consider it.

To view the others we have published in this section, go here.

The Body Remembers by Yusef Komunyakaa

I stood on one foot for three minutes & didn’t tilt

the scales. Do you remember how quickly

we scrambled up an oak leaning out over the creek,

how easy to trust the water to break

our glorious leaps? The body remembers

every wish one lives for or doesn’t, or even horror.

Our dance was a rally in sunny leaves, then quick

as anything, Johnny Dickson was up opening

his arms wide in the tallest oak, waving

to the sky, & in the flick of an eye

he was a buffalo fish gigged, pleading

for help, voiceless. Bigger & stronger,

he knew every turn in the creek past his back door,

but now he was cooing like a brown dove

in a trap of twigs. A water-honed spear

of kindling jutted up, as if it were the point

of our folly & humbug on a Sunday afternoon, right?

Five of us carried him home through the thicket,

our feet cutting a new path, running in sleep

years later. We were young as condom-balloons

flowering crabapple trees in double bloom

& had a world of baleful hope & breath.

Does Johnny run fingers over the thick welt

on his belly, days we were still invincible?

Sometimes I spend half a day feeling for bones

in my body, humming a half-forgotten

ballad on a park bench a long ways from home.

The body remembers the berry bushes

heavy with sweetness shivering in a lonely woods,

but I doubt it knows words live longer

than clay & spit of flesh, as rock-bottom love.

Is it easier to remember pleasure

or does hurt ease truest hunger?

That summer, rocking back & forth, uprooting

what’s to come, the shadow of the tree

weighed as much as a man.

mobile photography
‘Summer Screens’ – © @poetry_fish

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