Moral Imperfections | The New Engagement

Moral Imperfections

By Gerda Govine
Moral Imperfections story art


You love me so much
lifetime lifeline

lost my way
Disappear daily

Guilt  fear cling climb
My voice abandoned

Do not recognize
mirror image

l miss me and you
let’s take our love with us.



Ark of Return*

Legacy of slavery
Stings  stains shadows

Sorrow weeps tears gush
Muffle chorus of screams

Their lives death sentence
Ancestral truth lifts veil

My heart breaks heals
My breath stops starts

In Solemn space
Spread our wings

Fly soar


*United Nations  permanent marble memorial/New York City, 2015



Burn this Place Down


Pain layered inside bone

stick to skin

rides bare back


memories crochet

blood stained words

     silence still born


stayed together

secrets sleep

chose death


born under stairs

candle light flickers

dot darkness


burn this house down

ancestors’ voices call out

gut everything


ask for forgiveness

chance for reckoning

     raise head eyes


scorched earth

     turns inside out

ashes grow wings


     mayday mayday

     possibilities kneel


Gerda Govine has published three books of poetry in 2012, 2015, and 2016. She has read in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, and is the founder of the Pasadena Rose Poets. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Coiled Serpent, Altadena Poetry Review 2016, Spectrum, Journal of Modern Poetry, and Ms. Aligned. Her readings include The Last Book Store, Avenue 50 Studio, Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural Bookstore, The World Stage, and Pasadena City Council meetings.

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Contests & Prizes

Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

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