Ruth Osman

Photo by Chris Hardy on Unsplash

A freeform poem about how longing can engender resonance

“It’s no good if it’s full,”
he said, blowing across
the bottle’s mouth.

Sibilant hiss to sonorous
hum, pennywhistle
to pipe organ wail.

“The emptier,
the deeper the tone.”

Like these words resounding
in my chest, a guitar

Like these poems, round
and aching as a cello’s



Photo by Nicolas Picard on Unsplash

Acknowledging the inevitable

All these years spent
circling our death
tighter and tighter
the spiral
as she squats there
awaiting our

*In some indigenous cultures, the spider (and the web) are symbols of the infinite cycle of life and death. From that perspective, death is a sort of homecoming, a doorway to new beginnings.



Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

The sacredness of a daily ritual

Don’t want dog in my coffee
I tell myself
washing my hands at the kitchen sink

The kettle sputters into song
my palms clasp the mug in supplication
steam rises like incense
she flops at my feet and sighs
heavy as unleavened bread

“This is my body that was broken for you
Take it and eat in remembrance of me”

As if I could forget
your fingers skimming
the arc of my spine

our newborn’s cry
against the alien cold

the fragrant splash
of my father’s wit

my mother’s voice
a silken cord pulled tight

the hummingbird’s morning mass
at our blooming chaya tree

As if these were not already
a part of me
in everything I do –
a teeming steaming brew.



When nature echoes your desire

Photo by Fredrik Solli Wandem on Unsplash

Gentle — 
this rain
bent over the land.

It trails along
ridges teases mountain
peaks brushes leaves and
petals lightly settles
seeps into soil that
sighing surrenders its

Oh rain
show me how it can be — 
ravage me.



Image cropped from a photo by Marianna Smiley on Unsplash

Embracing the whole …

Make room for the tender
for the cracked open
oozing sap
for the unformed
for the shadowed side
that the light never quite

Make room for the crooked
for the dappled
for the tongue that stumbles
over its desire
for the eyes that seep
salt, crusting their corners

Make room for the limping messenger
chaos bundled on his back
for the gap-toothed grin
for the limbo
sweeping the floor
for the wine-and-bend-down

Make room for the spider
sitting silent in the eaves
for the gecko watching
from the windowsill
for the lambent moon’s
lament, as she calls to the

Make room.

It is here that we are broken,
a mosaic mirroring open sky.



Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash

a free-form poem about writing

No keys —
no stilettoed words tottering
on sidewalk, clipped phrases flailing
at the sky.

I write.

Nib to paper
ink on white
feet tucked under
windows flung
wide …

kind angel.
I dim the light
so you can come closer.

Talk to me.
I am listening.



Image by Ruth Osman

A visual poetry experiment

This poem was written and shared (thanks to A Cornered Gurl) a few months ago, but I wanted to experiment with the visual element and thought that, in a way, it becomes a whole new artifact. (I really hope I’m not going against any Medium or publication guidelines here. If I am, please be sure to let me know.)



Photo taken from Canva

The lady sings the blues

Woman voluptuous,
tall in her negritude,
belts out worlds of sound,
swirls of cocoa and molasses.

Her voice,
loamy and laden with pain,
heavy with the strain of centuries,
floods the hall —
a Mississippi
overflowing its banks,
sweeping all away in its glory.

Woman voluptuous,
tall in her negritude,
wears a gardenia in her hair.

But as she sways,
ebbs and flows,
she makes it clear:

There is no wilting here.
The Lady sings the blues;
not the other way around.



Ruth Osman

Ruth Osman

Caribbean singer/songwriter/ poet who loves dogs, all things mystical, and solitude. Website: