Point Blank: Spoken Word event at Stivers School for the Arts

new-microsoft-publisher-documentOver the past several months, and even years, our students have been

listening. They have grown to be strong, independent thinkers, forming

their own ideas and opinions. In a show of passion, empowerment, and

laughter, these juniors and seniors provide their honest perspectives of

the world around them- point blank.


When Lilies Blossom by Adrienne Crowder

Mother by Ardella Reliford

In a perfect world.

Fresh cut dandelions and bluegrass

Make a sturdy green carpet,

For barefoot children.

They lay on it

Searching for 4 leaf clovers.

No weed killer chemical contamination

For the parents to fear.


In a perfect world.

Bacon is pork belly.

Pillows are from down.

The dining room table is where we eat dinner together.

The ladies next door

Are married.

They bake cookies and have yard sales,

Everyone comes over.

There are no whispers or rumors,

And the kids aren’t told

The women are sisters


In a perfect world.

Police are pillars of the community.

The sheriff has his badge,

And keeps his gun holstered.

The deputy is a woman,

Unafraid, protecting, serving

Giving out traffic tickets.

Not in fear for her life,

When a black youth looks her way.

Makes eye contact.

Raises his hands, walks away.

There is no fear, no anger.


In a perfect world.

Poetry is written about

Love, lust, the moon, the stars,

Kisses, kisses, cloudy days and

Smiles and giggles, as the children

Run through the spray,

Of a water fountain, on a summer day.

Lilies blossoming in the spring.


In a perfect world

Black lives matter,

Killing a black life matters,

Our tears matter,

Husbands’ and wives’ lives matter,

Sons’ and daughters’ lives matter,

Boys’ and girls’ lives matter,

Black lives matter.


In a perfect world.

I could fill your heart with

The pain I feel.

So that you would know

That you should say no.

To the florist,

Who forces the lilies to blossom from spring to summer,

Fall to winter, back to back

For the funerals.

Rack after rack after rack,

For lilies that are meant to blossom in the spring.


In a perfect world.

Death comes in the night for the very old.

Funeral homes smell of incense,

The flowers of the season,

We wake the very old for two days.

We tell the stories of their long full lives.

Lilies fill Easter baskets,

Lilies are the aroma of Mother’s Day bouquets.

Lilies blossom in the spring.


In a perfect world.

The butterflies thrive,

The rainforest cleans the air.

Our life spans caught up to our technology,

And we will all live to be one hundred and three.

Because we stopped killing each other,


Your husband will tell your son,

The truth.

About his beauty, his carbon footprint,

And his universal connection to my son.


In a perfect world.

Black lives matter,

Killing a black life matters,

Our tears matter,

Husbands’ and wives’ lives matter.

Sons’ and daughters’ lives matter.

Boys’ and girls’ lives matter.

Black lives matter.


In a perfect world.

Clean water is available to the masses in Ethiopia.

Fruits and vegetables are affordable in the dessert.

There are shoes for everyone.

Red apples are sweet.

All the families have the internet.

The bee hive in the backyard is most important.

The children learn to read.

You realize you got a dog in this fight.

And it does rain in Southern California.


In a perfect world.

We are all bilingual.

We embrace that we are all multiracial.

We celebrate our differences.

We temper our tempers.

Love is patient.

Music is the universal language.

The ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart.


In a perfect world.

Poetry is written about

Love, lust, the moon, the stars.

Kisses, kisses, cloudy days and

Smiles and giggles, as the children

Run through the spray.

Of a water fountain, on a summer day

Lilies blossom in the spring


© Adrienne Crowder 2015. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission to Poetry and Art for Social Justice.

Adrienne Crowder, a Dayton native, was exposed to the arts by her mother who worked at Antioch in the seventies. Her creativity blossomed at the age of seven after writing her first poem. She channels her experiences as a mother, airman, student and nurse into the expression of her poetic art.

Image: “Mother” © Ardella Reliford.


Poetry and Art for Social Justice: Publication Release Party

cropped-ardellas-massai-with-frame1.jpgPoetry and Art for Social Justice would like to invite you to their event on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 3pm-5pm at Antioch University Midwest in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It is free and open to the public.

Local poets will read and perform work concerning identity, social justice, and Black Lives Matter. The candid Dayton artist and special educator Ardella Reliford will present a small art exhibit and be available to answer questions about her work. The event is supported by the Antioch Voice in the spirit of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which “honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding.”

The first 100 attendees will receive a free copy of the publication Poetry and Art for Social Justice. Featured poets include Bomani Moyenda, Adrienne Crowder, Prophessorx, Maiya Celeste, Breanna McGowan, as well as local legend of poetry and Paul Lawrence Dunbar expert, Herbert Woodward Martin. Join us for an afternoon of celebrating Poetry and Art for Social Justice, in the name of peace. For more information visit Facebook.com/poetryandartforsocialjustice. *Please note that the Antioch University Midwest building is in a different location than Antioch College.

Poetry and Art for Social Justice
Antioch University Midwest
900 Dayton St.
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Call for Submissions

Original Art by Ardella Reliford

Original Art by Ardella Reliford

We’re looking for poetry and/or very short prose on themes including but not limited to: social justice, identity, and Black Lives Matter. Slam poetry is especially welcome.

We’re also looking for original artwork/ and photography.

The deadline for submissions is October 3rd, 2015.

Send up to three poems or 1,000 words of prose to wbell1@antioch.edu with the subject line Poetry and Art. You can send it as an attachment, or copy and paste it in the body of the email. There is no reading fee and no payment at this time.  All accepted submissions guarantee two copies of the print publication, and selected writers/artists may be invited to participate in a reading/ performance.

By submitting, you confirm that submitted work is your original writing/ art, that you are the sole owner of the copyright. You grant one-time rights to publish your work in print and online, after which the copy rights will automatically revert back to you, the writers/artists. Please let us know if the work you submit has appeared in print or online elsewhere.

Email Whitney with any questions. If you do not want to contribute at this time, but would like to be involved in the editorial process, email us or leave a comment below.

We look forward to reading your work.