House of Abundance Poetry’s four-year anniversary event fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance Poetry and introduced an ongoing series with a single-word prompt for each writer: quarantine.
Solange Claws is a poet, performer and social worker residing in Brooklyn, NY. The artist uses her poetry as a platform for everyday feelings, social justice issues like immigration and mass incarceration, and to destigmatize mental illness. Claws co-founded House of Abundance with Tina Kachoo and is looking forward to the future with the community.
Here is her quarantine poem submission.
“Swallowed Earth,” by Solange Claws
the wind is purring, rain is
…..hard & howling through the new-green of the leaves
just born & breathing like a water birth
…..in the home of Earth, a soft swallowing of the dying
brisk Spring air, alive in protest, patient
we dance between panic & peace like a children’s game;
…..tug of war & the weights are unevenly distributed because
so are our heaps of gossip information, the she-said, the he-said
…..mostly he, who says anything, irresponsibly like an
impulse, like a house burning, we all have parts burning
some the whole house, some parts, some none but a lot of
……small matches burning for the effect.
some of us dance on the “silver lining” between two buildings while
…..some of us jump from one fire to the next & like a video game,
we play it. we watch it. we level up or we lose a life, or [they] lose a life
…..some of us, lose nothing.
the day goes blank, the stars quietly mask the sky as we end a day, or we don’t
……see the day. every day feels either new or tired,
like a disease like, dis-ease of this real-ity (show). a lived-in chess game.
…..exhaustion of always predicting the next move by a white hand
that has never held a baby like it does a wad of dirty cash.
…..can we carry each other
like the wind carries its newborn leaves, like the sun opens and
……invites a new day, with trust & natural instinct:
can we, carry
or have we lost
the strength to carry.
Find a full schedule of poems, to be released weekly in partnership with House of Abundance, here. For more information, future events, and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram at @abundancehouseof.
Top Image: Photo: Solange Claws.