Ed Toney

Ed Toney, poet, writer and chemist born in Queens NY, resides in Brooklyn, NY. He is a member of the Hot Poets Collective poetry writers group and on- going Cave Canem workshop participant. He has featured and read at numerous poetry venues throughout the boroughs of New York,. Ed is currently submitting work, was published in African Voices 20th Anniversary magazine, in the chapbook; Of Fire of Iron, published by The Hot Poets collective, Young’s Men Perspective magazine and just recently Mosaic magazine. He is diligently working on completion of a chapbook “Gut level” and his first poetry Manuscript entitled, “Nicks in the Tongue”.


The Baptist Growl

Oh, Preacher, you don’t know the growl
if you ain’t born of the deep, deep south
eating yellow grits, hog maws and crackling
red-dirt scars on your knees and elbows

If you ain’t got the hole in your gut
from Grandma giving you a shot of castor oil
a keloid from the thin weeping willow switch
you just got a whippin on the tender rump with

If you ain’t hung no cross around your neck
carved from a sycamore tree in a 108 heat
while sipping grandmas iced tea and reciting
all the psalms without looking before 6:30 am

If you ain’t sat in church sun-up to sun-gone
not wiping the sweat off your brow with your index finger
tapping that hardwood floor to the sweet sounds
of some backwood boys harmonizing “Goin up Yonder”

If you ain’t baptized all 280 of your church members
since the first generation born
in the back of the church in a muddy river
wearing white robes and everybody humming “Wading in the Water”

If you learned everything you know from God
and ain’t hardly been no further than elementary school
and your blessed great-great grand-pappy preached
and his daddy, and his daddy and your daddy too

Then you should know how to growl up that holiness
from the pews in your chest, sanctify some spit
from the old white church paint chipping off your tongue
throw your head back, gurgle-growl them blessings into words

make juke-joint folk shout, do the holy-ghost dance
make grandma’s knees get strong, go ahead nana, run
make Uncle Pete shout like James Brown
and make Jesus grab his binoculars to take a peek

One thought on “Ed Toney”

  1. I lovez me some Ed Toney! Not only is he an eloquent writer– opening the reader, taking her with him into every word and line, leaving prints on her psyche, her heart, her very being — but he is a beautiful soul, too…

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