I Have A Voice

~Deana J. Tavares

Tattered tongue

And wicked wit

I see all this

Upon my hands I sit

A staunch advocate

Of the positive

Positively motionless

Frozen is the mind

Mindful reflections

Of the past

Past the ocean of fear

Up the mountain

Of enlightenment

Freed are the words

Revealing a voice

A voice so deep and broad

It can never be contained

Nor will it be confined

Within the dark underbrush

Of truth or reality

Really, the loudest thing

You will ever hear

And oh so crystal clear

Clarity beyond measure

With fog proof glass

Glassy eyes see through you

And miss nothing

Nothing can touch you

Like a word

Such an incomprehensible thought

Thinking, thinking

My brain is shrinking

As the words pour off

The tip of my tongue

Leaving a sweet and sour taste

Within my mouth

My mouth is my fiercest weapon

My undeniable power

My proof of existence

I exist and

I do have a voice

That can and will be heard


~Deana J. Tavares

On our next


 That’s where

I’ll see you

A pond bed

Lily pad pillows

Curly words


From barreled tongues

Everlasting sun

Floating for days


Upon words

Filtered through

The sun’s rays

Singing songs

Never before



~Deana J. Tavares

No one

Ever acknowledged

How full

The puddles

Had gotten

There was always room





          No memories

                   Of the bottom

                                        Saltwater pools

                                    Became ponds


                                                                         Became seas

                                                              A swimmer

                                                         Is what she

                                                        Was destined

                                                                               To be

                                                                       Swordlike hands

                                                                           Carved through

                                                                            Pounding waves

                                                                           Blue whale










~Deana J. Tavares

Her petals



Pollen dusting

The corners

Of the mind


That blinds


Parallel lines

A core of darkness

Absorbing light

Memorizing warmth

Enhancing sight




~Deana J. Tavares

Sometimes silence barks

It bends

It breaks

It barters


Upon the loudness

Of beauty


~Deana J. Tavares


No promises exist

We live for today

Through skies of blue

Through skies of grey

To touch the leaves

That veins run through

Maybe the last of the green

Eyes ever knew

Rain like tears

Upon battered shrubs

Pathways of fears

Never lead

To new loves


Of thick bark

To find the tender center

Where new life

And light

Find bridges

And enter




~Deana J. Tavares

The train is circling, around again

Its horn is hissing


Smoky words pass

Through stubborn


Traveling west to east

The few that board, stoic


Of the past

Caught within an awakened state

Two worlds

Shall merge at last




~Deana J. Tavares

It was all right there

At last

The entire universe

Within one dewdrop


Contained inside


Mercury in retrograde

Tall slender shadows

From sharp

Grassy blades




~Deana J. Tavares

The silhouette grabbed hold

Reeled me in

Black sharp brush strokes

Against a slate grey sky

Somedays don’t know

Where I’m going

Or why

Diving in each time

Feet together

Head first

Longing to skim the water

To wet these lips

Quench my thirst

Deep sharp frigid breaths

Enliven dormant souls

Heightened senses detect

Each and every organism

Along for this stroll

Organs made up of




Lichen spiderweb cradled heart

Lost within painted thoughts


Once more I see them



Creamy grey-blue hues

Horizons dancing



What ever shall

I do





~Deana J. Tavares

You will always rise

From hips to thighs

To sunken eyes

To bare your soul

Your face

Your breast

With eyes wide open

Never settle for less

Your beauty always

Surpasses you

Not just in the

Tied up



Or lifted

There is so much more

Yet to be discovered

With brains

With heart

With hands


Yet strong

Hidden away

For far too long




~Deana J. Tavares

When pastel breezes were blown

Upon the windows ledge

They morphed into

A grenade of words

That could not be



Tepid rays


Through the morning mist

Illuminating widening eyes within

Mincing lingering dreamy thoughts

The torment would begin


Swift gulps of glacial

Stale night air

Rushed straight to their heads

Blocking blood vessels

Twinging nerves

Left motionless

In their beds




I Have A Voice

~Deana J. Tavares

Tattered tongue

And wicked wit

I see all this

Upon my hands

I sit


A staunch advocate of the positive

Positively motionless

Frozen is the mind

Mindful reflections of the past

Past the ocean of fear

Up the mountain

Of enlightenment

Freed are the words


A voice


A voice so deep and broad

It can never be


Nor will it be


Within the dark underbrush

Of truth

Or reality



The loudest thing

You will ever hear

And oh, so crystal clear

Clarity beyond measure

With fog proof glass


Glassy eyes see through you

And miss nothing

Nothing can touch you

Like a word

Such an incomprehensible thought

Thinking, thinking, my brain is shrinking

As the words pour

Off the tip of my tongue

Leaving a sweet and sour taste

Within my mouth


My mouth


My fiercest weapon

My undeniable power

My proof

Of existence


I exist

And I do have a voice

That can

And will

Be heard




~ Deana J. Tavares

Barbed wire beauty


Through the clouds

She delicately bobbed and weaved


Screamed aloud


A silken back drop of white


Her stoic presence

Hazy days blank canvas

Showcased her very essence


Quivering green stalk framed

Like flags

Fish tailing upon the wind

Tattered frayed

Brown edges

Warm metal

Slices thin




~Deana J. Tavares

The words of the ages

The ageless





Cutting through the vastness

Doggy paddling

Through an ocean of callousness

Traipsing through fields of introspection


Changing direction



Through the clovers and stalks of wheat

Whispering through the pines

The litter-filled streets


Yelling from atop anthills

Dust covered miles

Piercing chills



Within the lightning’s flash

Hailing down

Upon her

At last

Mexico 2014 692 - Copy


~Deana J. Tavares

The bars are strong

Many years

To break

Trapped within

This subtle quake

Aftershocks one by one

How many more

To come undone

After all there is a key

locked inside

A memory

The flesh

the blood

the veins

It resides

The cello’s cry

Knows where

It hides

Spongy pathways

Blurring routes

Rays shine in

Hands block out

Revealing walls

Six-thousand feet

Piled high

All concrete

White matter muffled

Music plays

Can you hear that note

Just a recollection

Lump in the throat

Break the bars

Crush the shocks

Find the key

Or pick the lock

Clear the path

Move your hands from the light

Unveiling days

Forgetting nights

Stairs six-thousand feet

Hidden within concrete

Climb them all

And then you’ll find

A symphony






~Deana J. Tavares

You gave me a world

So colorful

So clear

Beauty as far as the eye could see


You didn’t see me

A pool of glass

In which to see my reflection

I almost fell in



In a bubble

Of clarity



~Deana J. Tavares

To touch the taste

And smell the sight

Not sure whether it is day or night

My heart beats

Between corrugated walls

The constant reverberation

Exhausts the strongest of souls

Today is tomorrow

Tomorrow today

Slips through the cracks of yesterday

Enhanced is the mind

Accumulated thoughts

Rushing through for a moment

Afraid to be caught

To fill in the blanks







~ Deana J. Tavares

Our fingertips

Touched the water

Brass contained

The warmth within

Gently placed upon a cloth

Our journey would begin

With words unspoken

Unfamiliar eyes


Became familiar

Our gazes brief

No worldly ties

Ripples of kindness


A thousand cranes wings

To fly

Through every fiber

Of that moment

Bright threads of compassion

Were neatly woven

I walked through the door

Without expectations

I left

With my heart


Rock Collector

~Deana J. Tavares

She collects the rocks

Filling her pockets to the brim

Pants slide down

From the weight

That’s within

She collected enough

To build

Her very own wall

Though rocks without mortar

So easily fall

Through spaces in between

Water and light flooded in

Growing bountiful lands

Wallpapered thick

Moss and lichen

The tiniest inhabitants


Within caverns deep inside

Faint little voices

On which she can rely

The rock collector makes

Various stacks

Selecting as she goes

How many will she gather

Nobody knows

Precious Ones

~Deana J. Tavares

You were forged

Within the fires

Of generations past



Cooled in the rivers

Dredged from the mud

Silt and weeds

Nile tears rested

Upon your cheeks

Cast into oceans

Crossed over countless creeks

Feet soft

Though heart thickened

From trudging across

Rough terrain

The wheat whispered the words

From cotton breezes

Sweetened with sugar cane

Wampum beads

Adorn your wrists

Energy from

The oceans core

Roars within

Hidden amongst

A Northern Atlantic haze

Other perspectives

At times

Too thin

Himilayan breezes

And Sahara winds filled your sails

Carribean squalls

Propelled you to these shores

Lungs expanded

With courage needed

To open

Unknown doors

Over rolling hills you came

Over green

And sand

Similar topography

No so distant


Hurricanes brought you here

Tides carried you in

On persecutions waves

You rode

Thunderous Wars

And Famine’s flow

Brought you here in droves

From all points of the Atlantic

Across the Pacific

And Mediterranean Sea

Tiny grains came together

To form

Many variations

Of beauty

Sand and ocean merged

And we were created



Then harvested

From within the belly of a clam

The most precious of pearls

From the waters

Of the world


~Deana J. Tavares

When the tide turns

And memories of lost loves

Fade further into

The dark


 Underbrush of your mind

When brewing storms


To extinguish every thought

Of those tired tender hands

That held you

When dark thunder clouds

Poured down

Upon your cheeks

When in your




Blurred eyes wake

Through a pounding

Heads ache

Remembrances of fingertip

Stroked hair sleep

When your tears of terror

Cried a different face

On dimly lit walkways

Blue light trances mimic

Shadowy footprints merge

When your coffee is too thick

Bringing to the brim

Charred remains

Of yesterday’s brewing

Cigarette stained lips

That don’t fit











~Deana J. Tavares

Yellow rooms echo

With melodies past

Hauntingly beautiful

Spells they can cast


Sounds penetrating ears

Drawing out verse

Plumed pens descendant

Scribbling words


Great sadness exuded

As ivory keys plunked

Empty room filled

With emptiness


Invisible junk




~Deana J. Tavares

I have a gift

For you


Spread far and wide each day

Presented without packaging

Or bows to throw away


This gift was found

Deep inside

Under layers of birds

And waves

And trees

Little messages whispered

Into harsh winds

Within the pollen baskets

Of tiny bees


If you missed it

Another one

Will come your way

Real soon

Rocketing good intentions

Bouncing them

Off the moon


This gift it spreads

Like mycelium

It grows upon downed trees

Tiny messages flutter


To the ground

Parachuting amongst the leaves


With acorns crunching

Beneath our shoes

Creamy horizons in the distance

Blues often brightened

By various hues

Our colors blending with persistence



This is my gift to you

Though you too are wrapped inside

Your thoughts

Your laughs

Our memories clasped

This gift

Our gift

It is alive





~Deana J. Tavares

The Merchant

She sells her wares

Weary from all her travels

Barrels of sorrows

Filled to the cusp

Split open with

Bows and arrows

Poised and reflective

A voice like mine

Spoken through different lips

Her breast

Her hips like mine

And a heart with many rips

Thickened ventricles


Warm pulsating streams

Calcified pebble scars

Still inviting in her dreams

Splintering repeatedly

A tree

With thickened bark

Still can stand

Her words like fingers

Slipped between cracks

Then decompressing

Within my hand

Ice Cream Cone Of Words

~Deana J. Tavares

When I was a little girl

I had an ice cream cone of words

That I could never finish



Drop by drop

Scattered everywhere

A huge puddle beneath where I sat

Carried upon the wings

And sticky feet

Of pigeons

And morning doves

My shadow hovered above

As a young girl my ice cream cone

Was still top heavy

But I managed

Lost some drops

But slurped some up

Somehow a tiny hole

Would always form

In the bottom

My maple walnut

Rocky road words slowly

Seeped out

Every time

I struggled to catch the

Drops on the tip of my tongue

Before they hit the ground

But that top heavy cone

Always came

Crashing and splashing down

Now as an adult

I never get the cone

Only the cup

Different flavors each time

And I never

Miss a drop


~Deana J. Tavares

Those swords

Just to intimidate

I shall fear no weapons

Small or great

I will gently pass them

Back your way

Meant for you

Not me today

Though many cracks

I have found

I’ve sent them crumbling

To the ground

Towering walls

Kicked them down

Mortar mixed

Quickly patched

They stacked the bricks

Repaired the latch

Although my tools

They are strong


As the day is long

Carving through

Sand and dust

A task like this

Feels unjust

Gently removing

Brick by brick

Billowing clouds

Grey and thick

Repaired again

Then reinforced


Must resume the course

The smog


It led me in

There was a box

Tall and thin

Tucked deep inside


What did they hide

Made of the finest

Hardest woods

A question to continue

I thought I should

Then I found

One rusted nail



Weathered and frail

So I decided

To peer right in

Just a glimpse

And I was sold

Stacking and building

Brick by brick

The mortar they would fold

Blocking out the light

Sealing every crack

Without knowing

About my tiny hack

I started removing them

At the base

Before the mortar dried


Sunlight flooded in

Everything was visible


Ethereal Friend

~Deana J. Tavares

The wavy trees

The wavy trees

Wave in between

The buoyant leaves

A feathery blur

Glides in to greet

A magical friend

Suddenly at my feet

Over and over along my path

This long-necked wonder

My attention

She grasped

No words to be shared

Just a silent connection

A heart instantly full

Within a grey days reflection



~Deana J. Tavares

Time rests upon

Low hanging branches

It is its fruits

That we all pluck

Between juniper berries

And robins nests

Our time is neatly tucked

A rose petals

Gentle folds

Can hold many

Of our minutes

Needly pine abysmal skies

Some time gets lost

Within it

Encapsulated inside

Glass-like spheres


Upon leafy green slopes

Sliding down ridges

Keeping us afloat

Gently grazing

Translucent wings

Throughout the air it swirls

Around us


Time’s tendrils

Slowly curl


~Deana J. Tavares

The lichen knows

The lichen grows

Down from the brain

Out through the nose

Crawling covering

Lips of rose

Trailing down

This winding road

Suddenly the pace is slowed

Sprouting looms

Silken arms

Weaving webs of witful charms

Tangled strands

Latch onto sleeves



Smoldering thieves

Enveloping asterisks

Question marks


Breaking free

To salutations


Blown in the wind

Wispy chains

Adhere again

Flapping wings of songs contained

Subtle wrinkles

Still remain


~Deana J. Tavares

I am so much more than

That stereotype

Within your brains catalog

Where preconceived resides

And the past leaves behind

A fog

I am so much more than

Just red

Just green

Just yellow

Just ivory, brown

Just tan

So much more than

Just woman

Or man

You see

I am energy

I am color

I am light

Dark globs within palettes

Splashes of bright

I am many thickened layers

Tertiary colors of paint

Neither a demon

Nor a saint

I am so much more than

Breasts and butts

What lies between the thighs

The chitter

The chatter

The buzzing

You hear in hives

I am

Distressed and sanded

Then smoothed

Sometimes new colors

Always adjusting

To new hues

I am, open

I am, real

I am, convex

I am


Reaching out to the world

Beautifully complex

~jummyjeenz D.T.




~Deana J. Tavares

Reverberating humming strum

Drawing in

The lonely one

Deeply wailing

Calls abound

Feet quickly lifted


Off the ground



Crying eyes

Swaying trees

Familiar sounds

Open doors

Something heard

In lives before

Glistening notes

Pulling near

A beautiful sadness

Not to fear

Tired strings

Plucking hearts

E minor echoed

Worlds apart

Bringing back a moment

Lost in time

This intrinsic journey

And it’s all mine



This poem is dedicated to the memory of Olive H. Prouty and the beautiful gifts that she gave to so many over the years through her healing garden, The Prouty Garden. Many of us have benefited from her generous gift. Not only plants grew in this garden but compassion, kindness, understanding, acceptance, and hope were generated there as well. Many will continue to spread these gifts around. Thanks again Olive Prouty!

(Please consider donating to the making of the film honoring her gift of a healing garden, all of those that it touched, and the struggle to save that sacred space.)




~Deana J. Tavares

For some

Maybe the hospital

Was quieter than their home

Maybe close proximity

Made patients feel

Just like family


For me the garden was


Illuminating my darkness

Bringing light into the life

That I was constantly blinking

In and out of

Where horizontal perspectives


The tallest most gentle giants

Green leafy and blue

Healing with hues

Grey seemed miles away

Down fluorescent lit

Corridor freeways

That garden

My Ellis Island


From amidst the fog

Oxygen after a long

Difficult journey

Giving me the strength

To go on

Reconnecting again

And again

Like an IV

Directly from a plant

A tree

To them

To me

We are all interconnected

Don’t you see

Metasequoia umbilical cords

Feeding and nourishing

Tiny lives


The little ones knew

It too was alive inside

Long after they were gone

That garden

It would thrive

Little did they know

The cord would be cut

And a building just might

Swallow the Prouty up


~Deana J. Tavares

I Am them

And you are they

She is him

And he is she

Humans inevitably

Strip us of our skin

Our hair

And we would be


Unaware of the fabric

From which we were cut

Unaware of the patches

That stitched us up

Unaware of the chains

That held us down

Unaware of the differences

That we had found

Instead we would see

Red muscles

Ivory grey tendons

Green veins

Beneath bone

Coils of information

Similar brains

Would we then see

All of our similarities

Or focus

Upon size

Or merely the fact

That we have

Different colored eyes

Would flexion occur

Or tension persist

My ulna and humerus

You don’t have to twist

I’m ready for change

With all of our skin


When our differences

Unite us

And acceptance

Becomes fact



The Artist’s Mind

~Deana J. Tavares

I am an artist

I write

I paint

I dream

I sculpt

Whichever way

It all comes out

I’m not in control

It bowls me over

Storming out of the gullet

A torrent of soldiers

Semi-automatic ideas

Too fast to be counted

The lucky few will be

Stuffed and mounted

Never doubt their power

Or their force

Just let them out

To run their course

Organic matter splattered

Across canvas







Floods out of this hole in my head

Staining my hands and face

Charcoal and paint

Stroke after improvised stroke

Until I faint

My brain is a musical and fluid instrument

Unlike the outside world

Maybe a curse

Or just a beautiful pearl

My art a choreographed dance

That I am always learning




Constantly churning

Its innumerable steps I follow

A student of my own mind

Diving deeper and deeper under each time

Diving until the images are defined

Released in peaceful waves

Released in shouts

Choking on bile-like words

Until I spit them out

Unveiled with an urgency

They made it to the light

How suddenly day becomes night

Giving birth again and again

With a new idea

More clarity emerges

No more fear

They Are With Me

~Deana J. Tavares

There are faces

Behind my eyes

Behind my smiles

So many faces


Within every rough ridden mile

Within every starry-eyed sky

And tumble weed scene

The glassy

The glazed

The big bright eyes still gleam

I take them all with me

Down every dusty road

Through every open door

I feel their footprints

Reverberating, the wood planks

Upon every floor



Collaged Life

~Deana J. Tavares

Clip the stories

Clip the ages

Clip the smiles

Magazine pages

Clip the words that you like best

Clip the positive

Forget the rest

Clip the beauty

Flip past the death

Clip the life that you like best

Clip the yes and leave the no

Clip the places you want to go

Clip the girls

Or clip the boys

Clip your favorite colors and toys

Clip away images that haunt

Flip past the parts that you don’t want

Clip expressions

Clip the eyes

Clip the truths

Flip past the lies

Clip what you want at the start

Flip right past the broken heart

Clip the love

Flip past the hate

Clip which roads to navigate

Clip the art

Flip past the war

Clip the windows

And open doors


~Deana J. Tavares

Yellow dawn

Yellow trees

Yellow floating

Painted leaves

Casting light

Upon textured bark

Distant sounds

Curiosities sparked

Colors change

As moonlight dims

By morning

Wrens will sing again

Swaying branches

Milky abyss

Howling winds

Frigid kiss

Come one

Come one

Come one and all

Heed the bluejays

Warning call



I Am

~Deana J. Tavares

I am the ebb and flow

Of every rolling wave

Crashing upon your shore

The roar

The rush

The gentle gush

Of tides

That have come before

I am a vibrant blend of ivory






With many other colors

Scattered about

Some still yet to be seen

I am the voice of many

Screaming aloud

So every word can and will be heard

The tears of birth

The screech of death

On the wings of every bird

I am the wind

The trees

The blowing leaves

The song that pops into your head

Then suddenly

When you change your mind

That road you take instead

I am the positive voice

Echoing and repeating

When negativity is blocking the path

The tickle

The sigh

The kiss goodbye

The thought before the laugh

I am ten million oak leaves

Bursting from their tender buds

Come spring

The arms that hold

And keep you safe

The hand that fits the ring

I am the words

To every heartfelt song

Softly whispered into your ear

After the windshield wipers

Swish and swash

The first thing that is clear

I am that perfect puffy cloud

High up in the sky

Allowing sunshine through it’s rain

The beating


Steady heart

That tells you you’re alive

And holds you close

Even when there’s only pain


Heavy Silence

~Deana J. Tavares


I lost my words

I lost them

Within a flood

Under quaking rubble

Land sliding

In the mud

Windswept thoughts


In wires and trees

Would it even matter

If they were seen

Knotted within stomachs

Lodged within throats

Mangled and shredded

Banished without boats

I think the words

Found their way


To my eyes

Seeped out slowly

One letter at a time


As they ran



To make sense

While my phrases

Tied with red tape

Now, a past tense



Churning all around

Feet no longer


Upon sturdy ground

Words take on new meaning

Water means breath

Money and jewels

Are useless

When nothing is left

~jummyjeenz D.T.

Mexico 2014 566


~Deana J. Tavares

Within my chest

There’s a vacant place

A microscopic girl

Lives there

With a nameless face

I sustain and nourish her

In the absence of light

Though she lingers there

Both day and night

Curled up tightly

Between my ribs

Telling her stories

No one to call them fibs

Filling lung cavities

With salinated woes

Gently rocking

To and fro

Climbing rungs

To my esophagus

I quickly swallow

The journeys


Now waist deep

In acidic streams

She climbs again


Up high are dreams


(I’m extremely honored that this poem was chosen by the Poet Laureate of Boston Danielle Legros along with twenty-nine other poets for the City Of Boston Mayor’s Poetry program April of 2017. They are all currently on display at Boston City Hall the 9th floor for Woven Threads. These poems about Boston will remain on display for one year.)

Woven Threads

By: Deana J. Tavares 2017

Have you seen the little fruit truck

It’s mangoes he sells

How about the pride flags

Wind-blown upon sills

The workers they scurry

All through the town

Suddenly emerging from underground

Dog walkers roaming

With handfuls of leashes

And the man who sells mangoes

Sometimes sells peaches

On moving day

Furniture stacked high

Upon sidewalks

Children drawing colorful pictures

With chalk

Crowds gather to see

Concerts on the lawn

How clean the streets look

Once the street sweeper has gone

Students lie upon blankets

One minute enveloped by grass

The next quickly running

To get back to a class

A vast sea of marchers

A towering call

Have you ever seen anyone



Dividing us

With walls?


Finding Hope

~Deana J. Tavares

Please don’t hope less

Help US

Hope more



I’ve been called worse things before

The very word hopeful

Can inspire


Open doors

Hopeless is final

The elevator doesn’t go any lower

We’ve reached the bottom floor

Hope is eagerly waiting with bated breath

That answers and solutions

Will soon arise

The lack of hope will not

Let anything living


Better yet survive

Lungs and hearts are crushed

By hopeless bricks

Though there are hope filled hacks

And hopeful tricks

There are many cancers that hope has kicked

Hopeless never won awards

Never saw what was behind

Unopened doors

Hopeless never found new paths

New roads to follow

For hopeless there was no tomorrow

But hope will tread a different route

Find the light, not block it out

Even under layers of wood

And dust

Slabs of concrete

Stand up and walk

Upon broken feet

This hope it lives inside us all

Wake up

Shake off the dust

Break down those walls

Preconceived notions



Will only divide

Put it all out there

Then nothing can hide

Or break

Or crack

The earth around US

Rumble and shake

Everything that grounds us

Creating a fissure

A rift

 A crevasse

For without hope

We are all lost

A hopeless world

Will swallow us whole

Flush all of our dreams

Right down the bowl

Please don’t hope less

Help each other

Hope more



Strength Of A Woman

~Deana J. Tavares

The strength of a woman

Comes from various different places

Influenced by many

All with different faces

My mom taught me

Not to fear someone’s

sickness or disability

Nothing should keep you from

Comforting someone in need

I can say that she exemplified

Just that


Rosa Parks taught me

That I am worthy enough

To sit just where I please

With calmness

And with grace

Just not down

Upon my knees

Joan Baez once conveyed

Dylan’s lyrics

The answers

Were blowing in the wind

And she was right

When I listened

Very carefully

I found many

Still in flight

Billie Jean King showed me

That a woman with skills

And dedication

Can and will be a winner

Ashley Graham

Clearly demonstrated

That models don’t always

Have to be thinner

Professor Kellerman

Encouraged me to express

My deepest thoughts

And emotions

Of course

This was contrary

To some men’s

Preconceived notions

Frida Kahlo showed me

That even with great adversity

Your talents

They don’t have to vanish

We speak a common language

Although it is not Spanish

Mrs. Mello

My second grade teacher

Taught me

If I really look

If I really see

The words to describe

Were right there

Visible in front of me

Oprah displayed

All at once

Great strength and vulnerability

Two things many of us

Never thought possible


Froiline Maria’s character

Reminded me

To always sing

No matter how tough

Circumstances get


It shall bring

Jane Goodall

Demonstrated how

A little compassion

Could turn the wildest creature

Into a gentle giant

We are all capable of this

Whether you believe in

Religion or Science

Sara Bareilles told me

To stop holding my tongue

Then I looked

Between the lines

To my words no longer a slave

So I took her advice

And I learned

Just how to be brave

Mrs. Nobrega showed me how

Fresh baked cookies

And phone calls

Can turn neighbors into family

And quiet noises

Between walls

Ellen Degeneres told me

Through a tiny fish

To just keep swimming

What your looking for

You will find

But throughout your journey

Just always remember

To be kind

Michelle Obama said

That there is no room

That I cannot

Proudly walk into

I am worthy

No matter who I am

Or what

I have been through

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Reminded me

We can no longer be silenced

Especially after decades

Of oppression and violence

We all have our words

That we want seen

And heard

We all have a voice

Whether we use it or not

It will be our choice!





 (We all must ask ourselves this question)

Will You Stand By Them

~Deana J. Tavares

Will you stand by them

Though they are from another nation

Will you stand by them even when there is retaliation

Will you stand by them

When they are no longer strong

Will you stand by them

When crosses burn upon their lawn

Will you stand by them

When tattoos are placed upon their arms

Will you stand by them

When they are shot down, with a right to bare arms

Will you stand by them

When their children are ripped from their loving embrace

Will you stand by them

A different culture

Another race

Will you stand by them

Immigrants just like me

Just like you

Will you stand by them

Becoming the many

Instead of the few

Will you stand by them

When the lack of pigment in your skin

Keeps you safe from danger

Will you stand by them

An ethnic



disabled stranger

Will you stand by them

When hijabs, flags, and melanin are prominent

Will you stand by them

When it’s negativity that is dominant

Will you stand by them

Tearing down walls before they are built

Will you stand by them

Because this is the hand that we were dealt

Will you stand by them

Mixed races

Different creeds

Will you stand by them

I will indeed!


We Were Poets

~Deana J. Tavares

(To: my fellow Joiner Institute writers)

We were just poets


Through the headscarves and beards

The childhood fears

We were poets


From between the lines

And the pages



Brave and courageous

Just poets


Within word drenched rooms

Puddles converged

Energy consumed




The world can be filled with a great deal of negativity at times, but we all have the ability to uplift one another. ~This poem by jummyjeenz was inspired by Gabby Douglas


~Deana J. Tavares

Gabrielle Gabrielle
With the strength of many
Don’t let them tap your reserves
Because girl you have plenty

Handed down from those
Who came before
They broke those chains
Unlocked those doors

Your discipline, your essence
Your torch burns strongly within
Heed the words of those who fan your flames
Whenever they are dim

Others hide behind the keys of a message board
Aloud they never would utter such insensitive words

Afraid to come into the light
That you have shined so brightly by day
But unfortunately some
Know no other way

They have been taken down
Then choose to take others with them
While you have uplifted
Inspired millions

Your hair connects you, a source of pride
Each strand woven
With the DNA of your ancestors
Locked deep inside

You have moved mountains for many
Clearing away some hurdles
Opening new paths
So many young girls can follow your lead at last

Words on a screen
Not the same as in person
Said to your face they would bear
An exhaustible burden

Not hatred, just inadequacies, insecurity, and boredom
Sparks they may have found
But never had the chance to explore them

Your accomplishments are so extensive
Your journeys not over
For in a field of many
You are that four leaf clover

Keep your head held high
Retain your calmness
Your grace
Continue to let the light beam
From your beautiful face