#NaPoWriMo Day 19

I’ve made it to the halfway mark. This is a big deal for me. I am a poet and always will be, but in year’s past I havent been able to fully commit to this challenge.  This process is stirring up something inside me and it’s a good thing. The point of this exercise is to just create and not thing too much about it. Some of the poems might seem wonderful and others might be something i put in a folder and don’t use.  But to get to the useful work, I must create the rough first drafts. I must create the imperfect. ANd And right now, creating the imperfect and trusting that process is nourishing me. I hope it’s doing the same for you. Enjoy!
But, now, here I am doing it.

Today I was inspired by architecture and the lives that construct our own lives.


start with bone
if there is no bone
move on to tissue
piece it bone move on to construct it
with something else
pipe cleaners
we’ve got those
next she will need tissue
the blood and the tissues work together
if there is none find leftover dinner scraps
mix it with the soil
and compost her into existence
she will need blood
just like we discussed
and if there is none
maybe we can conjure up something liquid
something that can glide to move each organ to
pump towards the heart
maybe give her rain
let the water fall down on this woman we are building
let there be something distinguishible in who she is
we’ve got pipe cleaners
and rain and compost and making tissue out of

next we must just step back
and let her breathe
let her open her eyes look around and take it all in
this life was meant for her
that is how we build her


© 2017 Uchechi Kalu

the passport

the passport

Today’s poem was inspired by a conversation I had with my mother earlier this week. I knew her immigration story from Nigeria to the United States, but what I didn’t know was the story she told of applying for her first passport. I didn’t know what it was like for her to hold that in her hand and to also connect the dots and see the possibilities that were about to open up for her. This poem is for my mother. Thank you for applying for your first passport.


#NaPoWriMo Day 14

the passport

my mother never knew just what it felt like
to hold one
the smooth slightly pebbled jacket
the anemic yet sturdy spine
for the first time
she held her future
she took that spine
and built a whole back
for her children to stand up

In The Presence Of This Morning

In The Presence Of This Morning

#Napowrimo Day 3

T’ang Poetry is a style of Classic Chinese Poetry that began during the T’ang Dynasty. While studying creative writing, I studied T’ang Poetry and it has forever changed how I see poetry and language. The idea is to write with minimum words and maximum impact. Enjoy!


National Poetry Writing Month Challenge - in the prescence of morning by uchechi kalu

in the presence of this morning

wake turn smile touch hip

hand cup breast warm liip

sign see sun slide shine

lift head drink day sip



A Time Before This

A Time Before This

Kicking off National Poetry Month with the #NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge: 1 poem a day.


It’s not about worrying the poem to death or making it perfect. It’s about putting it out there, being vulnerable and sharing. I am grateful for this opportunity to share my gifts as a poet, lover of language and technologist. Enjoy!


it is good to remember
that there was a time before this
i see you squatting in the corner of the public restroom
i see you having locked yourself in your room
unable to see what’s next how to leave
him how to grow yourself out of this job where
the men who say they love your work at work
want you to say you love them

it is good to remember
that there was a time before this
you my dear
belonged to some body
you my dear belonged
to someone
warmth sat beside you wrapped its arms around you pulled
you in close and the skin the contact welcomed you into the world
and that was another way to explain grace

it is good to remember
just when you feel you can’t breathe just when you’re beginning

to wonder if you can expand your chest and just exhale
everything you’ve ever wanted to say
say it now my dear
say it now

it is good to remember
there were giggles before this
all of us laughed and hollered
hyena style before this
the ones without parents
the ones with the drug addicted loved ones
the ones with the perfect family portrait

all of us will one day end up curled up in the corner
in a public restroom or our own private ones
and be unable to breathe

this is when i need you
to remember
that there was a time before this moment
when you were loved

and if it happened before

it will happen once



© Uchechi Kalu 2017