Category Archives: Tributes

Chap Books Are On The Way

I am in the final stages of putting together poetry chap books. Stay tuned for when they go on sale, and where to get them.

Each will have color covers, and contain 20-30 pages of poetry.



“There Are Dead Here”

~Esther Mitchell, 2001~

There are dead here,
As indelible as the stone which trapped them in,
As barricaded from memory in death,
As they were from freedom in life.

There are dead here,
Their restless souls crying out,
Caught in the moments of haunting tragedy,
Never released, never rescued, never acknowledged.

There are dead here,
Clinging to iron once meant to protect,
But which became their fiery prison, their grave-keeper,
Fused to the very safety that betrayed them.

There are dead here,
Unspoken of, unseen, unheard,
They cry out for justice from unmarked graves,
For honor, and tears, for the humanity they were stripped of.

There are dead here,
I can hear them in these walls,
And tears slide down my face,
As I make a pact here – a promise to never forget.

As long as I draw breath,
The dead here will be honored, and remembered,
Flowers, from my soul to theirs.

Note from Author(2004):

This poem was written a week after June 24, 2001, when research into an unrelated event turned up an utterly shocking and sickening event that took place in New Orleans in 1973. The images in the book on LGBT history regarding the Upstairs Lounge massacre shook me to the core, and after days and nights of being unable to put the images from my mind, I was compelled to write this piece, to offer some solace to the victims of this terrible massacre that went unsolved due to the prevalence of homophobia and bigotry that’s long barred the resolution of this case. It is my fervent hope that sharing this poem on the anniversary of this terrible act of hate and miscarriage of justice will one day bring justice, closure, and peace to these restless souls.

Note from Author (2013):

The above poem and note were first originally shared via e-mail with several groups to which I belonged at the time. Today, on the 40th anniversary of this tragedy, with still no resolution, it seemed fitting to share it again, and this time with a much wider audience, as I have access to such an audience, now. This is a wrong that still needs righting, and it’s time people start speaking out.

“Mother’s Love” (A Mother’s Day Tribute)

There are mothers in every life,
Those who give us breath,
And those who hold us tight.

Yes, there are mothers for all of us,
some stay for a lifetime,
others pass through with little fuss.

Some give us life,
Some give us hope,
Some help us laugh,
Some help us cope.

But there are mothers for everyone,
whether with two legs or four,
be they mother to a daughter or a son,
for Nature smiles truly bright,
in the presence of a mother’s love.


“Against the Tide”

~Esther Mitchell, 2011~

You laugh at the jokes,
You pass them around,
You make comments,
That run others into the ground.

You ridicule as choices,
Things they had no choice about,
You fill their world with hateful thoughts,
And words that make them, about life, doubt.

You take away their freedom,
Before it’s even given,
And tell them that they’re wrong or evil,
For the way that they see living.

But what if he was your son?
What if she was your daughter?
Would you stand by,
While your own child’s soul was slaughtered?

The only way to fight the hate,
Is to take a look inside,
And with each day, every person,
Change ourselves, to change the tide.

Before you speak,
Before you harm,
Ask yourself,
If against your own child, your own self, you’ve raised the alarm.

Pride Rainbow

Brief Acknowledgement and Thanks

This isn’t a poem… But I wanted to take just a moment and thank everyone for your interest in my poetry. Your support and interest is heart warming and very much appreciated!

Thank you!


~Esther Mitchell, 2014~


I know you’re out there somewhere,

among the bleached white sentinels,

Another reminder of the cost of freedom,

Another symbol of the price of liberty.


While others hold you up as a symbol,

I scour every picture,

For just one hint, one little sign,

That points me back to you.

I promised us both I would find you,

someday very soon,

out there among the rows,

of sentries forever at attention,

unflinching in the heat, the rain, the snow.


You’re far more to me than just a fallen hero,

And I weep each time I fail to find your face among them,

I know you wait for me, out there,

You call for me,

And a promise still unfulfilled,

whispers in the night,

I swore you’d never be alone,

I’d stand there, by your side.

I promised I’d come talk to you,

Just like we always did,

And it scalds my soul to know,

I still don’t know which blank white face is yours.


I’ve made us both a promise,

I won’t rest until I know,

Until I’ve lain my head on the earth

there below the lifeless stone,

And found your face in the air above.

I haven’t found you again, just yet,

But I’m on my way,

And someday soon, my love,

I’ll finally find my way home to you.



~Esther Mitchell, 2000~


I do not speak your name aloud,

Though it lays sweet on every breath,

Touches my tongue with every movement,

Yearning to set you free.


Still, I cannot speak your name aloud,

Though I remain apostate to their rule,

Forever altered by open  heart and eyes,

Seeing the trap within their narrow views.


I have not heard your name,

In enough years my heart cracks,

Shatters in stained glass shards,

A temple they’ve torn apart.


They wouldn’t understand,

Your name upon my lips,

They stripped me of my mind,

Laid waste to my heart, my soul,

And they would never have forgiven you,

For loving me enough to make me whole.


They took my identity from me,

Shoved me in a cage,

Took away my dignity,

Silenced my voice,

And told me I could not know me best,

Because they couldn’t see past my age.


You gave me wings,

You set me free,

Had they known,

They would have punished you,

For daring to believe in me.


So, in all these years,

Your name has not left my tongue,

Until the voice with which I speak,

Has become an unwelcome stranger to myself.


I hate my body, without your touch,

I hate my heart, without your love,

I hate my mind, without your smile,

But most of all,

I hate my soul, because without you here,

It might as well be gone.


I do not speak your name aloud,

Though it leaks out in every tear,

It rips from me in every sob,

And writes itself in the resulting fog.


Yet in the stillness of my broken heart,

The quiet, soft places left of my shattered soul,

Your name echoes like pealing bells,

And it is there I still find my home.