Tuesday 5 May 2015

3 Poems by Michael Anthony Ingram


When I dream of Paris, the sky is filled with expatriate desires.
Desires that meld like Dali landscapes across the horizon.
I walk briskly along the Champ Elysees,
stopping only to drink coffee at a small cafĂ© near the river’s edge.
Yet, I must drink quickly because expatriate desires don’t linger long
when you live in small-town, North Carolina.
A place where Dali is better known
as the name of the melancholy schoolgirl,
who lived fast and died young. 

Ah, but when I dream of Paris,
my nostrils fill with transporting fragrances.
Smells, which lures and enchant like the City of Light itself.
I inhale the beauty of La Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, and Montparnasse
and sniff delicately the flowers in Les Jardin du Luxembourg.
Yet, I must exhale slowly because transporting fragrances don’t linger long
when they are bundled up in the sacks of dirty clothes
that your mama washes for neighboring white families,
and it’s your turn to sort through them. 

Ah, but when I dream of Paris,
the night is filled with the music of Josephine Baker.
I eavesdrop as her siren song carves the twilight with “J’ai Deux Amours.”
Yet, I must listen intently because the voice that I hear is not that of la femme Josephine.
No, it is the gentle hum of Miss Mary Alice Grayson,
an old woman that my family visits each Sunday at the Greater Peace Nursing Home.
In her room, in her private world, she sways and shimmies all day
to the rhythm of the music she alone hears as she smiles and curtsies
to the men she knew when she knew no loss or pain.
Breathless from antiquated memories,
she clutches her tattered purse and fingers the red silk rose that is still pinned to her dress. 

Ah, but when I dream of Paris . . . 

Eleusis: Birthplace of Aeschylus 

            My life has fallen apart
grief comforts me as I lay amongst the pieces
            and gently cleave to the remains of my existence
            now like forgotten ruins, they rest beside me
            too fragile to reassure me of my worth.
            I suffer the coldness in the air
No warm coffin to serve as my blanket. 

Dog Obit 

It was an inauspicious day
when he decided to unloosen life’s leash.
His leash had become too tight;
collaring his neck with no regard for feelings
or words bottled up in his throat.
He couldn’t scream or ask for release
to romp, to play or run free. 

He couldn't pull and lunge at everything
or heaven forbid speak to Miss June Jackson, 

the beaten down young woman
who often blushed in his presence.
So he packed up belongings
in a brown paper stained bag,
opened his unguarded gate
and ran away. 


Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram is the Executive Director of the DC Poetry Project  (http://www.meetup.com/DC- Poetry-Project ). He is committed to raising awareness about issues related to equity, power relations, and/or institutionalized oppression through the art and craft of poetry. Dr. Ingram, also known as the counseling poet ( www.thecounselingpoet.com ) has gained an international reputation as a performance poet. His interest in poetry has led him to research this art form as a viable means of therapeutic self-expression. He travels extensively reciting his works and conducting workshops on building cultural competency and empathy skills through imagery, symbolism, and metaphor. 


  1. Great poems by Michael.........Paris is a blast. Catfish

  2. Thanks for letting me know about these poems, Catfish. :) It's great to see Michael's poems in print as well as experiencing them in performance. I especially liked the poem about Paris.