Thea Matthews is a poet / scholar / activist born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She earned her BA in Sociology where she studied and taught June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. She writes on the complexities of humanity, grief, and resiliency. She has work in the Acentos Review, Atlanta Review, For Women Who Roar magazine, and others. She is a Tin House scholar; and has delivered her poetry at various festivals including Litquake, Lit Crawl, the National Queer Arts Festival, and the Sonido Music Fest. Her first collection of poetry, Unearth [The Flowers], will be published by Red Light Lit Press spring 2020. Find her IG/Twitter/FB: theamatthews_ and www.theamatthews.com
from the artist
Poetry validates Truth. To see and be seen, feel and be felt, listen and be heard–– poetry honors the body, memory, resiliency of humanity. When I write, I reclaim my voice and feel my own Power. When I write, I see, feel, listen to Spirit. When I write, I join you in love, dialogue, tension. I am no longer alone. I tap into the Source of Strength.
Published in For Women Who Roar Magazine, Issue 2 : Power
GARDENIA | Gardenia jasminoides
A call to learn
listen to that if you need to
rather than resist
refine your lungs purify
the blood circulating the sun
inhale the scent of my evergreen
of dead trees the
pollen found only in summer
the continuous chant
the marching in your veins
The army lives within you.
RAIN LILIES | Zephyranthes grandiflora
One day you’ll read the lines on my face
know the lawlessness under my skin in my bones
and you’ll know the silence each crevice holds
from the black of my blood to the plaque behind molars
the scars of finding gold. You’ll see me shine
like a glass case of knives
and you’ll know the sharpness of each tooth
how children speak with knotted tongues
how men in power lost control of their hands
how bystanders became politicians.
I tore skin ran across the plains
sought the Pacific rested near redwoods
I am the flowers of west wind.
FUCHSIA | Fuchsia magellanica
My cracked lips and stained tongue
a burning stomach in a no-backbone bedroom
did not deter the swift flight of endurance
the remembrance of sweetness of survival.
Hummingbirds came once I tasted my
tears yet sometimes I still close my eyes
to the Sun. I see the glaring red
of my florid skin swollen inside
irritated infected from
pesticides the warmth of invasion
of his cold fingers inside.
I cry growl slice arteries with teeth.
I wrestle with the treachery of men until
I twirl prayers into beads of nectar
break the hex of hatred
ground the betrayal into fertile land.
I grow from the whispers
of sssshhhh . . . don’t tell no body. Fingers over lips
today my mouth like legs rests wide open.
He knew someone would.