Stopped

To conclude National Poetry Month, I attended a workshop offered by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, lead by our state Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, entitled The Poet Witnesses: Writing Documentary Poetry.

For our writing prompt she shared a cool little five minute video called Color of Reality which I’ve embedded below and we were then invited to imagine the shadows of the dead men talking to their bodies. I incorporated the final Poetic Asides prompt as my title and I think it worked out.

Thanks for reading these thirty poems in thirty days!

It’s time for our fifth (and final) Two for Tuesday prompt of the month! Pick one prompt or use both…your choice!

  • Write a stop poem.
  • Write a don’t stop poem.

Stopped

I had hoped the paint
covering my skin
would grant protection
like an invisible cloak

or make me seem unthreatening
to those whose walk safe
down streets in their shining
white armor.

Was it a matter of time
or was I just unlucky?
I just wish it didn’t take
so damn long to die

then I wouldn’t know
how many walked past
ignoring the red puddle
struggling for the gutter.

I guess invisibility only works
after you’re shot.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker was born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough, North Carolina where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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6 Responses to Stopped

  1. JeanMarie says:

    Thank you for sharing the video. It’s really quite beautiful and affecting. Your poem is a great complement to the video. Plus, congratulations on completing the April challenge! Tonight may you sleep the sleep of a champion.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! Both your poem and the video are amazing! Such talent! Congratulations on 30 days of poetry.

  3. Lisa Tomey says:

    I also was in her class on Saturday at another conference. We did the same assignment. It was amazing to hear the different voices from the renderings. I couldn’t read mine for how hard it hit me. Others bravely read through their emotions. Yours speaks to the truths. Thank You for sharing.

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