We love the poem…Seeing Cerulean, the Blue which is Our Blue by Freida Jones

Seeing Cerulean, the Blue which is Our Blue


Dancers in a room

Boxed in by heat

Gyrating in the smoky blue night life light:

the satin, fur, sequins, and spangles

  almost forgotten regalia—ready for ‘Grand Entry.’


Underneath the surface,

 the pulse of smooth and packaged beats.

 Beneath the skin of drum lies substance:

that deep vein, that blue feather:

 Carl Van Vechten saw it.

 Langston perceived it.

 Cortez praise-sang it.

 Ellison discussed it.

 Guillén regaled it.

Ted Joans embodied it.


Beneath the curtain of Asian hair,

 shelter of inch-long lashes,

a primeval beauty unmatched by Mac makeup.

 Miles of flawless melanin,

 sinuous river of curves,

herald a timeless femininity.

Seeing cerulean, men let their cigarettes burn down

to the tips of their fingers,

 forgetting the blind euphoria of weed

they stumble.


Do they recognize the beauty of their women?

At times…streetlights glaze eyesights

& toxifies chakra.

What it once looked like:

under glove tight gowns

a faded calligraphy of lost identity.

What lies beneath when stripped away?

 A network of DNA pulsing throughout this web of ancestry:

Jumbies, Masquera, & Junkanoo,

the twist and turn of punta,

 early morning prayer vigils

marches to cemetery

 returning the breathless to our ancestors.

We, hand-clapping clave in morning mist,

holding umbrellas and praise trumpets.

Yes, second line.


Our drumbeats had purpose, then.

Like Ochún,

like gold and honey,

like the velvet petals of just picked orchids,

like lanterns with sweet oranges on a night sea,

ah, Yemaya… We are

the sweating dancers in a blue box

which is a room


 to the sky

releasing smoke

toxins & hype.


We see cerulean, finally.

Finally meshing, our music,

coats our damaged souls

& loves us until we are ripe

 & spilling with sweetness.


–by Frieda Jones

© 2019




Freida Jones is a visual artist and writer. She is the author of Music Masquerades as Honey in My Hands, monologues and poems dramatizing our African American jazz legacy. The Midnight Ride, published in 2020, is her tribute to the Bronx. Freida is published in anthologies including CallalooDrumAfrican Voices, and Soul Sister Review. Freida, along with April Jones, Robert Gibbons, Marilyn Thomas King, and other local poets have spearheaded a “Garden Collective” to grow writing in the Bronx, New York.