“The Charleston Swivel,” A Haibun
Welcome to my contribution to my Weekly #Poetry Challenge, where you can write your own Haiku, Tanka or Haibun using the prompt words of “sugar and spice.”
I have decided to write my poetry using the prompt words from my weekly challenge about the Harlem Renaissance since I am a judge in Yecheilyah’s First Poetry Contest. It’s been fun dedicating my poetry to an era that ushered in some of the greatest American poets of our time.
(By the way, when you enter the contest, you can submit your poetry with any theme. It is not mandatory for you to follow the subject of the Harlem Renaissance to enter).
Wallace Thurman (1902-1934) is another poet who gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance. Click HERE to read a sample from his book, The Blacker the Berry. The following poem is one of my favorites:
Opportunity, July 1926.
I called you human tumbleweed
And chided you for sowing seed
Of misanthropic malcontent;
Yet I suspect my savage breast
Would never nurture seeds of rest,
Even if you sowed them
Image Credit: Daily Mail.co.uk (Ethel Waters)
Image credit: Pinterest – English.fju.edu.tw
I waited in the wings backstage, hovering near the red velvet curtain. I watched as specks of dust floated in the air backlighted by the flood lights at the bottom of the stage. Beads of nervous sweat gathered on my forehead. Tonight was our first appearance at the Sugar Cane Club. My best friend and I had come up with a rousing version of the Charleston that would drive the crowd wild. We were dubbed, “Sugar and Spice,” because of the different shades of our skin. We didn’t care, cause we was kin.
“You ready, Sug?” Spice shimmied in her beaded dress, and her voluptuous figure sparkled in the dim light. She always knew how to cheer me up.
I met Spice’s eyes with a grin that I felt spread across my face. “Let’s do this!” I righted the feather on my headband. We joined hands and danced our way onto the stage and into the hearts of the people at the Sugar Cane Club.
With elegant style –
Sugar and Spice woo the crowd,
all smiles, and quick hips.
Dancing to the rhythmic jazz
the Charleston Swivel is born!
©2017 Colleen M. Chesebro
(This Haibun is a figment of my imagination and is not based on a particular person or place).
Remember, the best poetry has layers of meaning.
Image credit: Dictionary.com
Write about what others are not talking about… silence speaks volumes.