“It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.”– from The Invitation by Oriah


by Carmen H Gray

What makes you smile?

Not one of those fake, necessary smiles

Rather, one of those no-strings-attached ones

Unadulterated. No filter. Just elated.

Like a leaf. Or a stone.

Something natural, of the earth

Blood and bone

Cells and tissues

Something real that issues


What makes you see?

Not the black and white scenes on display

Rather, the full spectrum of prismatic hues

Technicolor and Kodachrome.

Refracted light and shade

Something that cannot be portrayed

By anyone else but you










by Carmen H Gray

What is this place?

Seized from its tribal roots

Built on the backs of African slaves

Japanese Railroad workers

Irish street and sewer laborers

Mexican laundresses and servants

Wealthy babes nursing at the breasts of slaves

An amalgamation of colors, languages, foods, beliefs

Founding Fathers my ass

America was not lost

Therefore, it could not be found

Thus, we are still becoming

US of Another


The Lightness In You


The Lightness In You

by Carmen H Gray

Out of the darknesses

Under the scruff and froth

Beyond the bounds of heartlessness

Bursts a sanctified and transcendental light

It was always there

Waiting patiently outside of your line of sight

For the greatest depths in this life

Are not experienced

In the luxurious lack of strife

But by the beauty in the breakdown

Your lightness draws out from the night

A most brilliant, phosphorescent crown



Derelict Child

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”-Oscar Wilde

Derelict Child

by Carmen H Gray

I see past the “unloveable” parts

Of you

I see beauty that resides there

I see beyond the poisoned darts

I know you have a song to sing

To the world

To impart to others

Teach us what it means

To rise above

Take my hand

Let me walk with you

Toward unclouded love