BOOK REVIEW | POETRY
Krissy Mosley Leaves Literary Footprints in the Sands
By Claudia Moss August 4, 2016
SEVENTH FIRE: Love, Protest and Inspirational Poetry (First Short Edition)
By Krissy Mosley
65 pp. Pronoun
Publishers. Kindle $2.99
Algonquin legend has it that seven prophets came to the Anishinabe, a people living a peaceful life on the North Eastern coast of North America. Over the course of 6,000 years, these prophets shared predictions of the future. Each prophet’s message was called a fire, a telling about a particular era of a future time. It is said the Bible calls these fires “candlesticks.” And if these messages can be dubbed “the Seven Fires,” surely Krissy Mosley’s poetry collection can be titled “Seventh Fire,” for it resonates with light and a powerful hope for a brighter future for the uncounted, the overlooked, the unarmed and the socially bankrupt.
“The Seventh Fire” is a poetry collection offered in three chapters. Its themes of love, protest and inspiration are weaved throughout each chapter, creating a text that reads like an invocation to love, a summoning to the Spirit within us all to take the high road, to speak out, speak up, hope for the best and reclaim lost dreams.
The first chapter of poems opens with “Love is a revolution.” A fitting piece to set the table for what is to come, the poem reminds us that love cannot be stopped, that hurt cannot be transformed and that love has no color. It sets the tone that “love can only be felt,” and as we move through the collection, in different ways, we “feel” the poet’s hunger for readers to “let the wounds lie open,” for our wounds require fresh air and the constant rebirth of love to heal and restore.
In “The Midst,” we are challenged to dare our inner fire to burn brighter, when it threatens to dim, for we can, metaphorically, “melt the pitchforks, mummify the guns—under seven seas, breaking the yolks, wielding poverty.” In “Manifesto,” Mosley’s language shines in the line “I am falling awake, from the former lives of her people, from slavery.” In a beautiful catalogue of historical greats, she articulates the black gold from which the poem’s narrator stems. The narrator is falling awake to come into the fruition of future possibilities. And in “Response to Ferguson and the out pour of violence in the street,” three words pulse: “No Time Left.” Why? The poem calls not only black people, but all people, brown, red, white and yellow, to realize that there is no time to hide, cover our eyes, to conceal our outrage with polite smiles. The poem’s voice has a son to raise, a son she prays will one day take his productive place in society. Emmitt Till is referenced as a reason we yet cannot wait in silence, and Dr. King’s fiery quote sears: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
In the second chapter, motion, grace and action are constants, from the initial poem here, “Trees” to “When I grow up, I’ll fly” and straight through to the final piece, “Moving Out.” We are running, measuring our breaths, each mother’s child a moment away from bombing. Yet we are pumped in endurance, (and I so love this line) “Elbows rubbed in hope’s grease. A strong people, the poet’s people, descendants of slaves, glare at finish lines, strength pulsing even through despair. “Parting the mud between, the soul and body,” the poet writes, “I’ll fly.” As the poetry vouchsafes, “I’m not dead yet!” Thus, the poet’s arms will embrace the sky, “with dreams so big, something good is bound to happen.”
With ingenious use of language, Krissy Mosley shows us the might of her pen. To incite to wakefulness, to bow to love, to “release the invisible me.” By the time readers reach chapter three, they should be charged, ready to open to “A Testament of Inspiration.” The poet inspires truly. She wants her writings to reach the sun, as we should want whatever is our passion to blossom like a flower in spiritual sun. Praise is palpable. In “To Be Human,” we welcome the need to be human, to “learn” to be so, when others fall short, for we must learn to surrender the struggle, finding our praise in the balance.
Though the fourth chapter is not included in the table of contents, I accepted it as a lagniappe, a surprise summon in the T.D. Jakes’ quote that opens the chapter: “You must be true to your purpose and doggedly tenacious about your passion.” Complete with short poems, the chapter is a coda of inspiration. Stillness leads. The necessity to roll on with sunshine in our hearts. Release needed to “breed new life.” Emptying prayers in the night. And the beautiful line, “I need the sky to walk down and touch me” all give us one final shower of Mosley’s poetic gems as we reach the close of the collection.
The protest poem “Sandra Bland– For those who have lost their lives to Injustice” touches the heart. The poet shines a spotlight of fire before us, inviting us to come on and take note. We must show up to see. The lynching holes. We must come closer to hear: “I can’t breathe.” In truth, this nation should light up with a million lights, “If I could die, in police custody,” and the “I” is the ubiquitous “we.”
“Seventh Fire” is a fine collection of poetry, “an ambiance of love,” as the title of the final poem reads. The poet’s desire to publish a book of poetry has been wonderfully realized, and if readers should desire more of Mosley’s evocative art, visit her at http://www.VisionarieKindness.com.
An advocate for women’s rights and mother of three, Krissy Mosley holds a B.A. in Mental Health from Wilberforce University and a Master’s of Jurisprudence from Widener University School of Law, Health Law M.J.