All Articles by DaShaun Washington

Shut Up or Sing

I abhor the noncommittal
crooners of the world,

housing hummingbirds
behind dentin bars

and vibrant lips where
their languid tongues lie

heavy-laden with forgotten
lyrics and flat notes.

Shut up or sing.

Expand your diaphragm
and lyrical vocabulary

and release the deadened
songbird locked within your

ribcage. Exchange your
borrowed breath with the

wind, fly your passerine kite
and bawl your warbled squall.


when nightfall sheathes your eyes

and surrenders

sight to sound,

can you hear the red-breasted songstress

housed within

your bosom,

drumming against your cage,

beating against

your chest?

can you feel the vibrato

of her muffled


seething the rivers rushing beneath your flesh,

pulsing earworms

through your skull?


lifetimes ago, when ions were yesterdays,

and our only ancestress

was air,

freedom was an unsung praise

and unsung praises

were all that was.

then wind gave birth to breath

and birdsong gave

rise to birds

and praises ruled the skies

til praises ruled

no more,

til praises ruled no more.

Matron Misery

Motherliness masked Mama’s mentally manipulative manner

                         My                mother              misunderstood              me

Many moments Mama muttered

   “Mama makes men”

Ma’dear misled Mama

Mama misbelieved misogynistic, macho-masculine mannerisms measured manhood

           Misguidedly Mama married moronic Mr. Moore

Motor-mouth Ma’dear’s micro-managing made Mama moody

Mama’s melodramatic moods made me mad

Ma’dear’s mothering made Mama miserable

Mama’s misery matched mine

Mama missed Mr. Moore many months

Mama & Mr. Moore’s marriage made Mama meet much misfortune & mishap

Many mourned Mama