A collaboration from Stephanie L. Harper and Robert Okaji (O at the Edges on WordPress. And the best part: they promise more. Enjoy!

O at the Edges


by Stephanie L. Harper and Robert Okaji

I remember what I cannot say
in the moment before
I somehow say something else,

but like a river reversing course
seeps its brackish warmth
into crisp mountain runoff channels,

my backdraft, too,
to stifle the resident cutthroats
along with their prey.

Nothing will remain safe for long
from the toxic sediments I bear
upstream, resisting

the current’s translucent
promise to rush me past the crest
of undulant reeds between
the salt marsh and open sea;

for no twist in the shoreline,
nor cloudburst’s surge could un-speak
the daylight

from its collapse
into the ocean’s black throat.

“Flux” first appeared onUnderfoot Poetry, and is one of several pieces (with more to come) written during the past year in collaboration with Stephanie L. Harper, whose wisdom, patience and good humor enrich my life daily. Thank you, Daniel Paul Marshall…

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“It’s Not For Sale, But Earned”

(January 14, 2019)

I earned my “privilege”*

a place called Parris Island

paid for it – full price!

*(Came full blown to me after hearing some mindless chatter about “White Privilege” in the ‘lectronic media. ‘Minded me of an Up-Front Black lady waxing forth on White Privilege and all its foul ills when she was interviewing a well-spoken, accent-less American male who, finally after the lady said, sure, he was a perfect example of White Privilege, when he burst her arrogant bubble: I am A Black Man, he retorted. She guffawed, hemmed and hawed and finally said “her people” had misinformed her as to his race. He, on the other hand, referred to his ethnicity and asked some other pointed questions of his own. As to my own arrogance and “privilige,” both were earned at full price on the sandspurred and sand-flea ridden sands of that patch of sea island jutting out by Hilton Head’s comforts and prices and the last few spots of Georgia still struggling out of the 19th Century and Florida. Yes, Parris Island returned my sweat and tears and some bruises too with a Green Privilege I had to again earn every day for just under a year in post-graduate studies at The University of Southeast Asia, Danang Campus with forays ito further-flung sites of study and repose. So, my “Green Privilege” sees what I learned to call “Splibs” and “Chucks” which were a concession to ethnic-correctness of a sort: I just preferred to call those similarly clad in green pickle suits AMERICANS. And, yes, The Arrogance was issued there as well…though I must admit I had carried a cheap imitation onto that small and dank island before I learned the real thing.)