Kayla Turner is a poet, speaker, and writer from Boston, Massachusetts. She is passionate about literature and is an advocate for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Featured are three of her poetry works, “The Planted Protest”, “A Note for Glinda the Good Witch”, and “Have You Ever Seen a City Burning Underwater?”. Be sure to check out her takeover on our Instagram stories on June 3, 2020 for resources on BLM, a live poetry reading, and tips on activism and allyship!
The Planted Protest
By Kayla Turner
Planted protest And the people were stuck Which mean when one of their fruit been strung Left to root for the world to witness in all of its white wonder The people remained planted As if to say stay in place Dig, and you will find dirt darker than you that been bolstered the world of winter above Who said A rose could break out of concrete anyway Without bleeding it’s beauty onto cemented soil Who said roots belong in these parts Where well meaning whitefolk spread seeds of Silent mouth smiles or surrogacy Claiming themselves nurturer A transplanter before the trespass was ever done A terrorist before the blood dried in the broad daylight sun And who said, that boys covered in the current of their Own cremation are not already casket Who said black baby could place one foot in Front of the other and flail their fingers without asking forgiveness Who said you could outrun this gun cross the mason Dixie All under the burning gaze of the sun Who said the limbs of his loved ones can’t surround him, cocoon him in a cave of cleansing, praying for a resurrection Who said you could move n**ga. So we put one fruit in front of the other Pull up our petals over our powerful and poignant cries Wrap our children in the vines of ivy we once thought poisonous Now protecting them, from seeing the sun
A Note for Glinda the Good Witch
By Kayla Turner
You let your white wand wander over this green like it wasn’t already good As if this green was envious and not gratitude This green was greed and not grounded This green was vomit and not virtuous Deemed all this not painted pale wicked As if the wicked west isn’t your gentrified gleaming smile Your “no one mourns the wicked” Your grounding of all things different and defiant desiring a chance to fly Your broomstick brushing the darkening dust under the rug Your goodness knows I no longer am your dress up doll I do not know how to be pink, popular and pretty I do not know how to be your wicked shadow anymore But I do know goodness lies in this green I do know wicked lies in that white
Have You Ever Seen a City Burning Underwater?
By Kayla Turner
Have you ever seen a city burning underwater? The warm weathering of our white world held in icy isolation The flickers of flames floating in Waiting waters Have you ever seen a body of water burn black Blue lives turn back to singe the sand line Black babies feel too many emotions at one time Anchor weighs his option with the tale of two cities One black and burning, the other winter wonderland with comforting currents of blue And what if we are both The city, that burned underwater grows into a parade of blistering blues and oranges Ash, mingled at the bottom of the ocean floor Reminding us, the aftermath of black bodies burned, and white murders frozen in time. downpour as enigmatic embers gleam in the gaseous gaze of warriors Watering wells, overflow with a burning trail of tears Reminding us, of this natural destruction