Look for poems around the city being painted in various locations during Norfolk Visual Arts Month and be sure to #ShareNorfolkPoetry. A selection committee lead by Luisa Iglora, Poet Laureate of Virginia selected the following poems.

(we all have stains)
when the
watermelon juice
drips onto your
white shirt,
wouldn’t you
rather eat more
fresh fruit than
change clothes?
Mickey Arndt

COVID Haiku Duet
I told my sister
that it would all be okay
because it wouldn’t.

Which one is the worse:
pretending that you know, or
believing you do?
Evan Benedict

Assurance
You are worth
many sparrows, you
are a full room.
The light of you
is bright enough
to be someone’s
whole world. Be
tender with yourself.
Be kind, be good.
Remica L. Bingham

Love, Holding
Sometimes we lose
each other and how
hard it is to imagine
life differently.
But what love
there is in longing,
what joy in memory.
All we’ve held
is always ours.
Remica L. Bingham

How to Smile
be ruthless, regal.
let your past know
what it didn’t steal
show your future
the possibilities.
repeat as often
as you breathe.
Shanisha Branch

Ode to the Afro
you are
water’s refuge
alive in
conditioned coils.
a wonder you furvived
the drought
of affirmation.
Shanisha Branch

In the morning, birds
are chirping their
song they’ve been
rehearsing
year round.
Shaaron Hernandez Chamul

Daily Restoring 
early morning
come now
stretch your legs and wings
come too
lovliest company
wind and breeze

pull dawn strings
teach me again
opening

let’s go on our walk again
Rachel Cropper

Art’s not just
Art’s not just a drawing
It’s a feeling that you
Can’t see or hear
Brea Harvey

Graffiti poem
I wonder if the grass
is greener and the
sidewalks cleaner
on the other side.
If there is a walkway
not littered with
dirt, glass and
graffiti.
If so, does it envy
me for mine?
Cassandra IsFree

Self-revelation
Climb got easier
When I learned
I’m the mountain.
Cassandra IsFree

Level Ground
As the sea level rises,
raise more than
the streets.
Elevate the people
to equal ground.
Kristen Kemp

Norfolk Greets Lord Dunmore
Listen for the bells
of old St. Paul.
Spared a torching
in 1738, but marked
by a cannonball
in her south wall.
Carol P. Krauss

To My Love After George Floyd
I couldn’t sleep
last night.
Why not?
I lied awake, listening
to you breathe.
What?
I wanted to savor it.
Oh?
Yes, it’s now
the thing
I love most about you.
Lili Louzhi

Sightings
In a city of mermaids
one can believe in
any possibility.
Kindra McDonald

Where are you
Are you here
Right now

Stop
Be here
Right now
Craig R. Nicol

Flitting Pleasure
A Luna Moth drinks
a gardenia into bliss
then flies home,
now both alone
Charles Rhodes

Dear Brown Boy
Dear brown boy,
you were birthed
out of tragedy,
and yet you still beam.
Oh, how brilliant
is your audacity!
Shana Shanell

Evening in OV
Foamy tide rolls,
Divulges secrets:
Shells,
Crabs,
Jellies,
And a fish or two.
Waves rush back,
Hides them from view.
Sun cusps horizon,
Burning amber hue.
Cool sand, warm breeze.
Sharayu

Lafayette Park
On the courts
sneaks slip-slide
to the basketball’s
bang and bounce.
The brothers glide
smooth to the hoop—
the orange fruit
offered to the sky
like a gift
for the gods.
Tim Seibles

Planted
Can you see
Sunflowers nodding,
Bopping to beats,
Leaning in
Rain
Waiting for the sun
To Shine
Again in
Norfolk?
MaJora Shamone

Think About It
An outgoing tide
leaves behind
more than reeds.
Shorelines
wear bottle caps
and plastic straws
like barrettes
enmeshed
in the river’s
unbrushed hair.
Beth Williams

eveningly
let’s stroll
somewhere magic
tonight
these stars, just
little candles
afloat
in the indigo ocean
may our whispers
shut the porch lights
off
may the sun
wake
late
Skye Zentz

The Tide-Queen
Arrives,
All glitter
And July heat
Pork belly
And cheese grits,
A plate
Of homecoming
Blasts the radio,
Dances thru
The sprinkler–
She is summer,
Embodied.
Skye Zentz

(song of the sidewalk)
sneakerpalace
gumarena
shadowsprawler
treasuretray

chalkcanvas
rockgallery
wormgraveyard
wheelrunway

bugpatio
seedcantina
antholehaven
crumbcafe
Skye Zentz

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