Poems on this page by Barbara Kidd Lawing
The doors of the ship opened we stepped out and looked around everything was strange we knew no names we soon learned those were trees waving their greetings sunrays delivering blessings but the thing called weather refused to stay the same we nestled close together we'd survive but the storm became a blizzard thievery and murder became commonplace old-timers urged us to let things be not worry that very little was the way we wanted it to be remember they said the ship will come back this planet has always been a school for the soul.
(“School,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Earth and Soul: An Anthology of North Carolina Poetry, a Russian/English volume published in Kostroma, a sister city of Durham, NC, 2001)
SEARCH FOR THE WILL
From the start she knows the nature of the fight: do or die. Every trauma finds her certain the gods will give in, give what she must have. Her blood roils, liquid steel. She wrestles, wrestles, on and on. The angel tries to bend her knee but she will not be humbled, refuses surrender till she sees a shape she can string words around. When she becomes winded, we hear from her raspy tongue: I want . . . I want . . .
(“Search for the Will,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Frontage Road, 1996)
WHEN TREES AND GRASS
When trees and grass had been pushed aside and red dirt opened to the sky, and giant mechanical monsters opened yet deeper wounds in the earth's belly, the spirits (of Pearl and Mamie and Nellie Ruth) who used to plant squash and tomatoes there, and looked from their windows onto the grassy knolls, said Now we are truly dead.
(“When Trees and Grass,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Iodine, 2000)
with something different. Banish me from the kingdom of right-thinking. Splice my neural connectors for a new state of unrest. Let me open a can of paint in a color no one's dreamed of. Stop my elevator between floors.
(“Hit Me,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Iodine, 2000)
Coeval, I am, with other casualties and refugees of the Age of Analysis. We coexist in an era of neon tabloidization and high-tech rationalization, where the present weighs next to nothing because the past has been lopped off. We are the first to know opinion poll truth, remote control warfare, cloning kingpins and cyberspace pirates, zillion dollar lotteries, shrieking game-show-contestant wannabes, soap opera education, superstore indecision, souvenirs from outer space, post-modernist modernism's have-it-your-way, nanosecond dreams, and self-serve 93 octane. We take pride in flip-flop morality, low-brow lust and high-brow cynicism, invisible money, predigested freeze-dried opinions, and the cards we carry. I'm wondering how we will be remembered - very likely for Elizabeth Taylor's fountain of youth, and democracy toppled by good-natured indifference.
(“Coeval,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Main Street Rag, 1998)
Earth Mother, you are called. You burn cold then hot, bright then dark - as I do. You blossom in summer, sigh with ripeness in autumn - so do I. You uproot your trees with your storms - as I do also. You keep some of your seeds dormant for years - I do the same. You bury some things so thoroughly they may as well never have been - like I do. You cannot if you want to go back to your previous selves - nor can I. With you, any day may turn out springlike. - It's that way with me, too.
(“Resemblance,” by Barbara Kidd Lawing, published in Earth and Soul: An Anthology of North Carolina Poetry, a Russian/English volume published in Kostroma, a sister city of Durham, NC, 2001)