Category Archives: Poetry

PONGO POETRY: Where I’m From

The Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in poetry writing to inspire healing from trauma. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery.

Continue reading PONGO POETRY: Where I’m From


by Kayla Blau

There is nothing powerful about trespassing for 400-odd years

But here we are,

Writing words on mistreated trees and calling them true

Tagging broad stripes and bright stars on purloined fabric

Directing lives, fancying ourselves unsung heroes,

Victorious sinners,

Bruised egos and bellies full of shame.

There is nothing brave here.

Include in us our pasts –

Which of course, include your pasts too,

All of them lined up like precarious dominoes

Leading you right here,

Leading me right here,

Leading us to believe whatever truths we can stomach

To absolve ourselves of the truest truth –

“Es completamente injusto,”

The mother told me.

Continue reading POETRY: Power

POETRY: Persephonic Poetry Numbers 3, 8 and 16

by Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco


I never played violin

but I did feel the bow run over my strings.

Plucked from the air, gravity claimed me

for the earth. Now

whenever the music plays,

my veins light up.

My nerves dance. 

My chest sprouts wings.

Celestial, though I’m feared.


viruses have always been clever, 

transmittable, and people do get cleverer

with time sure but what about the people

we lose right now. I don’t know what to do

with my body. I’m writing. I’m riding this wave

here. Here.

Continue reading POETRY: Persephonic Poetry Numbers 3, 8 and 16

Poetry: Stay Places

by Minnie A. Collins 

Stay Places

On kitchen window ledge

Eyes flicked; feathers flapped

In flights from red holly, evergreen cone seeds

Back to a sun-drenched rain sheltered sanctum

Of twigs, hair, bark, yarn, string, lichen,  

An annual ritual against covert predators;  

Without warning, wind gusts

Swirled needles, mud flecks, strings 

Once woven with time, love, immunity

Toppling the sheltered sanctum;

Flight wings, forlorn, futile 

Fluttered against the pane

Screeching as feet ensnared the screen;  

I took time to stare, to move closer to the pane

To find the scattered refuge

To understand our kindred nature:

Compassion, immunity, empathy and pain

Hopefully never alone!

Returning to the ledge, weary yet impatient

Twists, loops, mud, gird our shelters,  

Defying vulnerable agitations 

Circumventing catastrophes

Repositioning common places 

To stay places that you and I name.

Minnie A. Collins is a South Seattle poet, writer, and all-around amazing human being.

Featured image: by Stephen L. Harlow.

Sunday Stew: Eight Days the Light Continued on Its Own

by Nicholas Gordon

Eight days the light continued on its own:
A miracle, they say, but not more so
Than ordinary lives of flesh and bone,
Consuming wicks burned ashen long ago.
Within there is a mystic lake of fire,
Fuel-less energy, power uncelled,
Unmeasured fount of obstinate desire,
Hope burning, where no hope was ever held.
Invisible source of all that’s seen or seeing,
Unseen light that animates the void;
Unlit spark of indivisible Being,
Shard of One that cannot be destroyed:
To be so vast a miracle till death
Is why we struggle fiercely for each breath.

Continue reading Sunday Stew: Eight Days the Light Continued on Its Own