From The Vaults

On average, it only takes reading the headline to know which shade of brown the body is not.

FROM THE VAULT: Shyla Hardwick - “Worms” (WoWPS 2014)

Shyla Hardwick, performing during the Lit Slam at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Become a member! Support Button Poetry.

Genesis 1:1💦🙏

1 In the beginning ▶️🕛 God 🙌💫 created 🔨🎨 the heavens ☁️✨and the earth 🌏 2 Now the earth 🍃🌲was formless 😨 and empty 😱, darkness 🕳🌫👥was over the surface of the deep ⬇️, and the Spirit 👻 of God 🙏👁was hovering 🚁 over the waters💧🌊 3 And God 🐏✨said😤💬, “Let there be light,” 🌍🔦and there was light 🌝 4 God 😇☁️ saw 👀that the light 🕯💡was good👌👍 and he separated 👈😤👉the light 🌕from the darkness 🌑5 God 👆⛪️called📞 the light “day,” 🌝and then darkness😰 the called☎️ “night.” 🌚 And there was evening 🌄and there was morning—🌅the first 1️⃣day.🗓 6 And God 👨‍👧‍👦❤️ said 👏👄, “Let there be a vault between ↕️ the waters 🚰🚿 to separate🙅 water 🌊🐳from water.🌧☔️” 7 So God ✊🙏 made ⛏🛠 the vault and separated ↔️ the water🏞💦 under ⤵️ the vault from the water💧 above ⤴️🔝 it. And it was so. 8 God 👆👆called the vault “sky.” 🌥☁️🌧And there was evening😪, and there was morning😌—the second ✌️2️⃣ day. 9 And God👁👁said🗯, “Let the water 💦 💦under👇 the sky☁️ be gathered to one☝️ place📍, and let dry ⛱🌵ground appear.” And it was so.👍10 God🐏🕊 called 📞📝the dry ground “land,” 🏜🐪and the gathered waters🚿 he called “seas.”🗾 🐬And God✝️🛐 saw👀 that it was good. 👌💯 11 Then God 👏😇said💬, “Let the land produce👶 vegetation: seed-bearing plants 🌷💐and trees 🌲on the land🌏 that bear fruit 🍉with seed🌰 in it, according📖✍️ to their various kinds.” And it was so.✅ 12 The land🌾 produced vegetation: plants🌻🌼 bearing seed🌱 according to their kinds and trees🌴🌿 bearing fruit 🍎🍊 with seed🌰 in it according to their kinds. And God✝️🛐 saw 👁that it was good. 👌👌13 And there was evening💤 , and there was morning🌤—the third 3️⃣ day.🗓👈 14 And God🐏🕊 said📢, “Let there be lights 🔅🔆 in the vault of the sky☝️☁️ to separate🙅 the day🌞 from the night🌚, and let them serve💁 as signs to mark📝 sacred🔒 times⏰🕰, and days📅 and years🗓👶👴, 15 and let them be lights🔦 in the vault of the sky🌌 to give light💡 on the earth.”📢 And it was so. 16 God☁️🙌☁️ made two✌️ great lights—the greater💪🔆 light to govern the day🌅 and the lesser🔅 light to govern👔 the night.🌠 He also made the stars.🌟😍🌟17 God🐏🕊 set them in the vault of the sky🌌 to give light⭐️ on the earth🌎, 18 to govern the day☀️ and the night🌙, and to separate🙅 light💡 from darkness🕳. And God♥️ saw🔎👀 that it was good. ✅ 19 And there was evening🛌, and there was morning🛏—the fourth 4️⃣ day.📆 20 And God⛪️💒 said🗣, “Let the water🌊 teem with living creatures🐙🐸, and let birds🐤 fly above the earth🌍 across the vault of the sky.”21 So God🙌✨ created the great creatures🐋🐟 of the sea🌊 and every💯 living thing with which the water💦 teems and that moves🏊🚣 about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird🐓🦃 according to its kind. And God😇🕊 saw👀 that it was good.✅✔️22 God✝️🛐 blessed🙌 them and said, “Be fruitful and increase😉 in number 🔢 and fill🚰 the water🚿 in the seas🌊, and let the birds🐥🐣 increase🐓 on the earth.”🌏 23 And there was evening⛺️⭐️, and there was morning🏕☀️—the fifth 5️⃣ day.🖐 24 And God⛪️🙏 said💬, “Let the land🍂 produce living creatures🐾 according to their kinds: the livestock🐖, the creatures that move along the ground🐛🐍, and the wild animals🐘, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God💫👐 made the wild😜 animals🐅 according to their kinds, the livestock🐷🐮🐴 according to their kinds, and all the creatures🐛 that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God⛪️💒 saw that it was good.✔️👍 26 Then God👏🙌 said🗯, “Let us make mankind👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 in our image, in our likeness,😇 so that they may rule👑 over the fish🐠 in the sea🌊 and the birds🕊 in the sky🌈, over the livestock🐂 and all the wild animals🐯🐒, and over all the creatures🐸 that move along the ground.” 27 So God😇✨ created mankind👫 in his own image,📸
 in the image 🖼👀of God⛪️🙌 he created them;
 male👨 and female👩 he created them. 28 God✝️🛐 blessed 🙏✨them and said👄🗣 to them,“Be fruitful and increase ⏩➕➕in number😏🔢; fill the earth🌎 and subdue💪 it. Rule👑 over the fish 🐟 in the sea🌊 and the birds 🐦 in the sky☁️☀️☁️ and over every living creature that moves 🏃on the ground.” 29 Then God 🕊🙌said, “I 👐 give 🎁 you every💯 seed-bearing plant 🌱on the face of the whole earth 🌏and every tree 🌳🌲that has fruit🍅🍌with seed🍉in it. They will🔜 be yours for food. 🍽😋30 And to all the beasts 🐻🐮of the earth🌍 and all the birds 🐤🐦in the sky and all the creatures 🐛🐍 that move 🚶💃 along the ground—everything that has the breath💨 of life🌱 in it—I give🎁 every green🌿🍃 plant for food.”🍴🌯 And it was so.✅ 31 God🛐✝️ saw😶👀 all that he had made, and it was very good😁😄. And there was evening🌙, and there was morning☀️—the sixth 6️⃣ day.📅


Lesbian Literature

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson

There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other’s names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name.

Nightwood, Djuna Barnes

‘Matthew,’ she said, 'have you ever loved someone and it became yourself?’
For a moment he did not answer. Taking up the decanter he held it to the light.
'Robin can go anywhere, do anything,’ Nora continued, 'because she forgets, and I nowhere because I remember.’ She came toward him. 'Matthew,’ she said, 'you think I have always been like this. Once I was remorseless, but this is another love — it goes everywhere; there is no place for it to stop — it rots me away.’

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde

I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
I am
and not white.

Orlando, Virginia Woolf

But Sasha was from Russia, where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden and sentences are often left unfinished from doubt as how to best end them.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.

The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall

You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet–you’ve not got your niche in creation. But some day that will come, and meanwhile don’t shrink from yourself, but face yourself calmly and bravely. 

Fingersmith, Sarah Waters

I felt that thread that had come between us, tugging, tugging at my heart - so hard, it hurt me. A hundred times I almost rose, almost went in to her; a hundred times I thought, Go to her! Why are you waiting? Go back to her side! But every time, I thought of what would happen if I did. I knew that I couldn’t lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn’t have felt her breath upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn’t have kissed her, without wanting to save her.

The Bermudez Triangle, Maureen Johnson

Irony is the word I forget the meaning of immediately after I look it up, but I kind of feel like I live in a constant state of it.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

After a while I murmured to Picasso that I liked his portrait of Gertrude Stein. Yes, he said, everybody says that she does not look like it but that does not make any difference, she will, he said.

The Price of Salt, Patricia Highsmith

How was it possible to be afraid and in love… The two things did not go together. How was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? And every night. Every night was different, and every morning. Together they possessed a miracle.


Romantic Poets

The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell
Of saddest thought.

Poems Published in 1820, John Keats

Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?

Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?

Don Juan, Lord Byron

Tis strange,-but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!

Poems and Songs of Robert Burns

Had we never lov’d sae kindly,
Had we never lov’d sae blindly,
Never met – or never parted –
we had ne'er been broken-hearted

The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth - Volume 3

Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,
Is littleness; that he, who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy…

Songs of Innocence and Experience, William Blake

Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.

Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron, Edward John Trelawny

Any details of the lives of men whose opinions have had a marked influence upon mankind, or from whose works we have derived pleasure or profit, cannot but be interesting. This conviction induces me to record some facts regarding Shelley and Byron, two of the last of the true Poets.


Classic Children’s Books

Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. 
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.” 
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.” 
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.”

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

There could not have been a lovelier sight; but there was none to see it except a little boy who was staring in at the window. He had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be for ever barred.

The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

‘That proves you are unusual,’ returned the Scarecrow; ‘and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.’

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.

Mary Poppins, Pamela Lyndon Travers

If you want to find Cherry-Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross-roads.

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery

There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, Those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way.