Category: Poetry

Malaise: Un-Sonnet

My work stinks.

It reeks, actually, of failure intermingled with

putrid pretensions of deeper knowledge.

It stenches of vain attempts to write

with the  Walcotts, the Morrises, the Brathwiates,

and rots in  a hole that is called

“the block.”

I wait, like the corbeaux for the line

that  quivers slowly then drops on a

sandy page. I feed, like the

maggot on what is beyond

redemption, nourished,

to produce nothing


© Debra Providence 2013


St. Vincent,



an island

cut by


capped with


draped by




the sky,


my heart


me in

to dash




its rocks.

© Debra Providence 2013

On Monday
My sister was
and all the people
Grief flowed
like a thick grey
soul-stealing fog
through every voice
that stopped to tell.

I stepped off a bus
and hesitated,
then walked to
buy my bread.

On Tuesday
I wrote a letter
and reported to Central,
then completed paperwork
for a Smith and Wesson.

Tomorrow I will
call all my girl-friends,
it’s been a while.

© Debra Providence 2006

Phoenix Rising

Grey dust stirs

as her feet leave

fiery prints

in a well scorched earth.

Weed and orchid

insect and bird

frozen in their last

terrified gasp,


and crumble

before her stare.

Behind her

the world is

sucked dry.

In front

none will escape

the glare of

crimson death.


caged, bleeding,

a redbreast,

fluttering frantically,

balance thrown

by a broken wing

pierced by

a poisoned

iron tip… .

Her song

is taken,

in its place

a shrill wail


unwary ears.


once burned,

rises to


a stale, flat

and wicked


© 2009 Debra Providence

A black rose will spring

from a hard place;

growing brave and free in

the world’s cold face.

She will reach into her last reserves,

through the depths of bitter loam and rock

to bloom in black-rouge brilliance.

Her purple flourish is not just

for anyone.

She waits for you.

She times the moon and on the fullest night

Tilts her petals so that they are caressed

by its silvery light at just the right angle.

She waits for you.

She dances by day,

sprinkled in summer showers.

Moistened silken petals

glisten in a nourishing visual feast,

longing for your remembrance.

A black rose will spring

from many hard places:

against rock, ash and sand

or against careless, cruel hand.

She will mine her strength of ages,

even after bruised, scattered petals,

leaves torn, and stem shredded.

Through her

flows a love,

so rich it blooms in black.

By Debra Providence

©March 07, 2012

While at lunch on an

agreeable afternoon,

Debbie fiddles with

the ends of her hair

while speaking to

young male contender,

cleavage flutters as

she titters at seasoned

bids at humor…

“…that shade of tangerine goes

well with the hues on your cheeks

and the pink glimpses of flesh I

get in the space between your teeth…”

…Little Verne

clings to her latest

Terry Pratchett myth,

loving quips from

unassuming Death,

wishing she was Angua,

werewolf sleuth,

I could smell the lie he’s about to tell

Before he even says it!

Or maybe even

the Dark Knight

see how I slip this

bug quickly  under his collar?

Deborah, nodding in perfect politeness,
Stuns him with alternative view points

To the one he cherishes the most,

His own of course and, dare I say it,

Inspires awe and hatred all in the same go.

(The fish is good, we should eat here

More often, shouldn’t taste as bitter

With better company.)

©2006 Debra Providence

24th August 2008,

I wandered into a Dark Room

and sat on a lonely stool.

I felt an itch, like a phantom limb, and

tottered, balance thrown in the dim.

And in that room I searched for you,

I heard your voice, but could not see.

I felt for you in that Dark Room,

My arms outstretched, but could not reach.

And then my grief it swelled, then crested,

Swelled and crested, but did not break.

Instead it rests inside my throat

Immobile grief, as I sit still.

As I sit still on that low stool

in that Dark Room I wondered in,

I feel for you the grief of ages,

in that Dark Room as I sit, still.


you know

no love,

no passion

no style

no faith,

no truth

no eternity

no youth

no wisdom

no love.


you know


of these things


the ones

you concoct


shreds of canvas

in an

empty room,

over used


You know

no lyrics no

form no

guile no


cause those who

wrote the stories

stuffed the pages

into their yellow

pillow cases,

You are truly

anxious for authorship.


your fundamentals’


deficient in

A through E

you wet your palate on


you try eat culture

you anorexic sure,

no credential,

no credit, credo, creed,

do you


remember the

smell and feel

of  your potential?

That resident-alien,

ex-pat, ex-lover

of your anemic culture?

Last time I saw her

she was toting a tattered

canvas bag through silent

mettle detectors.


forgetful waves

nibble away

at your footprints,

may indigestion prevail,

and may the belly of this

gluttonous sea of amnesia

wretch and spew you


into the mouths

of the New Hungry

who wait, wide eyed

in empty rooms,

picking at scabs/scraps

in anxiety.

©2006 Debra Providence

While Walking up Back Street…

While walking up Back Street

in green tank, yellow mesh T-shirt

and loose blue jeans

a copper hails me from

the other side of the street,

“Ras, eh ras,

Dem breast dey look real sweet,

Ah just want dem breast dey,

Just de breast, you hear ras?”

And me, being the polite

And obliging lady

My parents brought

me up to be,

Coolly took out a

Meat cleaver

(cause you never know

when a copper is gonna

ask for your boobs)

And commenced to saw

Through them

One at a time,

first right

then left,

And I took them

Over to the copper,

Silver spittle


Shock and awe

Manifesting in his

Narrow copper face

As he stares at

two perfect melons

sitting in gouts of

blood and mucus

In my outstretched hands

(well what did he expect?

I was never one for silicone meself)

I took the melons and stuffed them into

Narrow copper’s pockets

And wiping my hands on my

Loose fitting jeans

Walked all the way up to

Peace Mo


new melons sprouting

through red patches

on my green tank top

and yellow mesh shirt,

Screw You Copper!

©2006 Debra Providence


The death is announced the “Be-There Girl”

She was caught outside in the rain

Walking home, alone, after staying

For the souring of cake and champagne,

The smell of Squeezey

Clinging to her gnawed fingernails,

She was caught in the rain

Having to “slap tar” in well

Worn shoes at an hour that was

Too late to start singing the blues,

She caught pneumonia and died

After the rain soaked into

Her marrow all the world of excuses,

Of “sorries” and of faces that could

Hardly hide the shame of disrememberance,

The “Be-There Girl” is survived

By Un,

Unsent love-hate letters,

Unspent cash for stormy weather,

Unrealized, Untold, Unmade,

Understated, Understanding,

And a porcelain sink filled with

Unuttered truths washed down

By Unshed tears, sucked up,

Sucked up like a true trooper, team player,

The “Be-There Girl” exits stage left,

An immune system compromised by patience

And other invasive virtues,

She rests at the foot

Of an unassuming hill at the back-side of town

And her epitaph reads

“Dear World,

Find Some Other Sucker.”

©2006 Debra Providence