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Siddartha Beth Pierce
United States of America

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
Siddartha Beth Pierce is a Mother, Educator, Artist, Poet and African and
Contemporary Art Historian.  She was featured on PBS in 2001 for my art show as Artist-in-Residence at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia which
included 20 poems as well as artworks.  Most recently I have been published or
will be by the end of the year in Troubador 21, The Dead Mule School of Southern
Literature, The BluePrint Review, Incandescent and in the chapbook 'The Artistic Muses'.

Each of you
came to me
stroking my silence.

Each of you
loved me
and we walked as One.

Each of you
looked at me
questioning my thoughts.

I answered
I walk alone again.

Each of you
listened to me
but never heard,
a word.


Darkness settled

Colors deepened

My red robe
the bedpost
a shadowed burgundy

A chill in the air
four white walls

Deafening the tick of time.

The Sting

I found the hole
near the entryway to
our old barn
once a house to the
Mountjoy family here on
Mountjoy Mountain
where my parents
built our new home
in the countryside of

Immediately, I rummaged
about for a stick
that would fit the hole-
went about cramming
it in to reveal the
bees within-
I placed my bare foot
over the hole
feeling their quick stings
upon the sole of my foot.

Why did I do such a thing
I can not say-
my grandpa had visited
that day
I had been left with a
feeling of wanting
attention to some degree.

Quickly, I ran inside
screaming for my parents-
my father came
asked what the ruckus
was about-
I simply swung my
swollen foot up into
the air
after having jumped
to my bed for safety.

Hurriedly, he went for aid
brought back wet tobacco
in paste form
he had made from his
very own cigars
placing it carefully
upon the ten or more
brutal stings upon my foot.

Angered, resentful
yet loving and caring
he was even though I had
been so foolish as to
step on a bees' nest-
perhaps he knew
I had done it on
were my thoughts
as it seemed he knew-
yet it was like
that moment
in the middle of the
night when my stomach
cramped, running for the
bathroom I threw up
on the floor just before
reaching the bowl.

Then, again, awakened
from his Papa Bear sleep
he was angered, resentful
yet loving and caring
gagging at the cleansing
of his daughter's mess.