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Ariana Francesca Thomas- Summer Issue 2021

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Ariana Francesca is a Black, mother poet of the Deep South, born and raised in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her work explores the positions, reflections, and interconnectedness of Black motherhood, womanhood, spirit and epic memory. With roots as a performance poet, Ariana’s work has been featured at The Kennedy Center, The Verizon Center, The National Black Arts Festival, on America's Next Top Model, The HistoryMakers, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other international stages, recordings and compilations. Ariana is also a Queens University of Charlotte MFA, Poetry candidate and Watering Hole Poetry Fellow. Her work is featured or forthcoming in/on Netflix’s Strong Black Lead, Burrow Press, Jelly Bucket Magazine, and elsewhere.


Listen to podcast interview here: https://anchor.fm/melodie-rodgers/episodes/Ariana-Francesca-Thomas--SOREN-LIT-Summer-issue-2021-e13i427




Affirmations in AAVE

by: Ariana Francesca Thomas


I be writing God poems

sound like prayers

read like praise

bellow like promise

easing down Georgia streams


I be baptized in Living Water

soaking in Spirit

saturated in truth

that be bitter sometimes


Sometimes I spit it all out on Holy Ground

stomp a muddy swamp

to quicksand my ankles

swallow flesh ‘til spirit left

and laughing at God’s grace.


Faith be the deliverance

I be reaching for on most days.

In the wee wink of the morning

I find salvation long before the sun

says so. When the Son

says “Don’t blink.” I be witness,

be called qualified

by the Most High.


Ain’t no credential like me.

I be ram in the bush,

be battle horn

that basket on the Nile

floating newborn

that brought the drought,

that split the sea

that pebble in the sling

be all them thangs

too mighty for defeat


I be miracle for testimony

manna every morning.

Every morning I rise

and find Him still

living inside me, still.

Ready to speak,

teach trust to my right foot

enough to go out on the limb

shimmy to the safest place on the planet


while the rest of the world be looking up

Like “How, Sway?”

“How the branch don’t break?

How the storm don’t shake her limbs,

loose chains instead?

How she be just that free?”

Nothing to hold back

bold bravery. I be left

unto Him who is able

to keep me from falling.


I be favor scripted Black ink

cause God love a good love song

love poems soar on winged thanksgiving

from my lips to His ears

I be proof, be clarity

be all He ever wanted,

that’s all I ever want to be.



BIO:

Ariana Francesca is a Black, mother poet of the Deep South, born and raised in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her work explores the positions, reflections, and interconnectedness of Black motherhood, womanhood, spirit and epic memory. With roots as a performance poet, Ariana’s work has been featured at The Kennedy Center, The Verizon Center, The National Black Arts Festival, on America's Next Top Model, The HistoryMakers, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other international stages, recordings and compilations. Ariana is also a Queens University of Charlotte MFA, Poetry candidate and Watering Hole Poetry Fellow. Her work is featured or forthcoming in/on Netflix’s Strong Black Lead, Burrow Press, Jelly Bucket Magazine, and elsewhere.


Listen to podcast interview here: https://anchor.fm/melodie-rodgers/episodes/Ariana-Francesca-Thomas--SOREN-LIT-Summer-issue-2021-e13i427

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