Editor's Note: Welcome to National Poetry Month. Twice each week in April, KQED Arts & Culture will present a poem by a Bay Area poet. This series is curated by Rightnowish host Pendarvis Harshaw, who also speaks with each poet about their work.
Michael Wayne Turner III, 'Satisfied'
I look for water if ever I find myself lost.
Be lost as I may; I know how to spot a grey cloud and track it for rain.
I'm looking for oceans in the open space we hold so dear.
Dear beloved beholder; may a queer love find you.
Let it be different and unique; special in specifics to you.
May you live long enough to give it a chance.
Perchance you find yourself and find someone to love it.
Will it satisfy?
Will you ever be satisfied?
What skill may that require?
I'm sure some.....
being satisfied with who you are
and what you've come to accomplish in route to accomplishing must require some skill.
Where might we learn this skill?
Who's teaching it? To be satisfied....
who even wants to be satisfied nowadays.
It seems like no one....
yet everyone at the same time.
I'll race to it;
where my happiness lies to confront the truth of my joy.
I pray that you find yourself and find someone to love it and be satisfied.
Pendarvis Harshaw: What inspired this poem?
Michael Wayne Turner III: The work I do is in pursuit of affirmations of black life in public space. I've witnessed firsthand the magic and transformation of empathy when you blend classical string music with real, raw, and colorful stories about our lives and our collective American experience. The work I create, I do so with a promise to hold people and their stories sensitively and beautifully. I create art fashioned to uplift the joy and happiness brilliance in humanity. I am a performing artist of the last 15 years. To some of you who know me, you know this all too well—others wouldn’t have the slightest clue. For all involved, I have something big coming from you.
'Satisfied' is from Michael Wayne Turner III's upcoming production, 'Hat Matter: Thoughts of a Black Mad Hatter,' running May 13–22 at the Oakland Theater Project. Keep up with Michael Wayne Turner III on Instagram.