Mar 22nd

The Night Was Poetry

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan



The skyline recited a poem

           as through the life of the city

a rhythm of traffic sounds exhaled

            a freedom of innocence

free of crime –

                                for just that moment.


                     Time sighed


 and allowed the echoes


of poverty to become silent within the distance

where shouts of peace were heard. 


      There were no words, just the silhouettes

 of Chicagoans expressing

            the metaphors of language

through alliterated streets where strangers


became the voices of familiarity

inside one vision of hope


            and different faces

smiled as one society free of fear

and able to cope… together

within the urban challenges

of the city’s microscope. 


The night was simply poetry


and I was just a witness

            staring down from the highest level the Sears Tower


(on top of the world)…


            for just that moment


recognizing what the verses of unity

dream to be.


© 2015

Tarringo T. Basile-Vaughan

Apr 27th


By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

The Thirty-Ninth Song

            Written April 27, 2015


Time only pauses but for one day

            and it is during this stillness of life that I take

the time to find my own reflection  through

the shadows of yesterday,  It is during this hesitance

that I log my thoughts into the journals

of tomorrow.


Years ago when I was the mirror of innocence,

I used to celebrate this day as if

the tomorrow I stand within today was miles away.

My mind would always sway

            in a way that made me temporarily

rest the stranglehold poverty had over me.


I would always play to the many amusements of the world

Just long enough to drown out the loud

            cries of shattered dreams around me.

I saw the tears, but pretended to be blind

to the fears within me, but that didn’t mean

they weren’t there.


                        I was just a child back then, but time

still only paused  but for one day.  It was always a moment

that allowed me to smile and roam through

the streets of life freely without sacrifice,

            but that didn’t mean the sacrifice wasn’t needed.


Today, as I celebrate the brink of a new decade

            in my life, I applaud my own growth as a child

who found away to smile through the challenges

that faced me.  I highlight all the times

my adolescence was bullied by prejudice.


Still somehow, I was able to rise above

the difference of my skin and prosper.   I recognize

my young adulthood when homophobia

            threatened paralyze my mind

into a self-hatred .


Still somehow, I was able to become

            a complete man accomplished; a married man

defined and a poetic man inspired.  Time only pauses but for one day,

            and on this day, my day of birth, I salute

the next chapter as my time on this earth

            moves forth. 



© 2015

Tarringo T. Vaughan

Feb 8th

All I Need

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

All I Need

My heart - once silenced - has been captured

and these dreams - once lonely - are now shared

with your love.  You taught me how to rise above


I was once lost inside a shell

of emptiness, afraid to be me,

afraid to expose myself to this world

because I was so ashamed of what

they would see.


Words once silence and broken

have now become my strength


in the shadows of my own emptiness

I have learned that I don't need the world

to accept all of me,

I don't even need the bigotry of perception

to understand my love/this love


All I need is to become someone's difference -

that person who inspires

and ignites the flame that warms up the soul

of another.  All I need is to be someone's completeness-

that person who finishes the sentence

within the paragraphs of desired passion.


All I need is to allow these rough hands

to embrace the softness of joy that true love



for all I need

                        is you.



(c) 2015


Tarringo T. Vaughan

Dec 7th

Unbreakable Eyes

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

Unbreakable Eyes

      I’ve learned to hold on --
      to all I’ve watched (in this world).

I’ve seen beggars search for gold
in the steady heat of poverty’s cold;
caregivers going bankrupt on kindness
for all the hope and hearts they’ve sold.

      And I’ve learned to hold on—
      to all the heroes (that came before)

I’ve seen soldiers blindfolded by war
stuck in the battles of America’s allure;
singers losing voices from singing so proud
as they stand  with patriotism on foreign floors.

      Yes, I’ve learned to hold on –
      to all the dreams (I’ve seen fly)

I’ve seen the sick heal and refuse to die
as their tears have cured scars that cry;
all believers who have seen miracles live
through the heart and soul of unbreakable eyes.

© 2010
Tarringo T. Vaughan
Oct 2nd


By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

I have committed adultery.

                My marriage to poetry was rock solid until I looked in the eyes of prose and became infatuated.  We began to share words and thoughts I didn’t know was inside of me and I became a different person.  I begin to sneak around at night when I knew poetry was sleeping just to spend time with this new fascination. This lust took control of me changing my behavior and the way I touched the love of my life.  I tried to lie but I couldn’t explain the lipstick stains on another form of literature left on my soul, so I confessed.  I apologized for this transformation and promised poetry I would end my love affair with prose, but poetry took my hand and made me promise to continue because I needed prose to make my connection to my lover stronger.  This process of self-discovery changed the way I looked out at the world; it changed my vision of thought and triggered new habits of incorrect grammar.

                The love affair with prose started on a silent midnight afternoon in the middle of winter.  There was coldness in the air only my breath could see and a shiver in the wind only my wind could keep warm.  I admit I was upset with poetry for that moment because of its selfish ways and its refusal of new memories of expression; I called it a writer’s lock.  So there I was in the middle of a barren field clearing my muse and trying to figure out ways to reconnect with my dear poetry.   A whisper in the clouds looked down on me as the sky darkened into a winters gray.   The reminiscence of the moon sparkled in a residue of inheritance half hidden behind a large Birch tree that was arguing with the stars.  I saw a familiar translation but a new clarity in interpretation.  Prose became a new desire that gently kissed the neck of my tone; it embraced me with a new language becoming the piece I needed to make my poetics whole again.  This wasn’t infidelity at all because I was making love in a whole new way with poetry.  It was just a new scent in an appealing fragrance of language and in all it is all a commitment to the journey of my heart and soul and how everything around me is a story to be told. 

I confess my loyalty to the written word.

© 2010

Tarringo T. Vaughan

Aug 19th

Grown Folk

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

Grown Folk

Marinated memories soaking in the brisk air
of summer’s past.  Tender moments romancing
yesterday’s skies with  vibrancies of laughter as tomorrow’s
ancestors jazzed warm evenings with echoes
of good times and ‘dem summertime blues.  I remember
when the grown folk use to get together in the backyard;
                                 they had some real good fun – they partied hard.

Old turn tables had records spinning
and mama was always winning – at the game of Spades/ deuces wild;
somebody’s child
                          was always whining and wanting to go home
but nobody left till the midnight hour reminiscing about
the good ole’ days when times were simple
                        but tough.  Everybody had it rough
although you couldn’t tell it in their smiles – Grandaddy
                    was always sippin’ on cheap whisky cussin’ and hummin’

but (ain’t) nobody paid him no mind because times back
then were so cool and kind.  I use to watch
all the grown folk sit around and feel real good
                 cheering and singin’ along with the bluesy
sound of Billy “Blue” Bland
                  and the sweet tempo & melody of Al Green

that seemed to blend so good with the sweat
and heat of the night.  Grandma use to get up and dance
while aunts and uncles tapped their feet to the wisdom of her
motion’s beat.  She always brought out the best
                                    in us

             every time we all got together.  Those were the good
ole’ days of stories told with golden rhymes and
visions of the older folk in their prime

               and the grown folk were always talkin’ nonsense;
all kinds of bullshit about life being hard
and grown up type of problems
maybe they  made too much sense
              for a young boy like me to understand – but still I smiled

because they were teaching me
                      the freedom of youth.

Tarringo T. Vaughan

Aug 17th


By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan


On this summer day,
                      a chance of rain plays out like a refrain
                      drifting a repetitive mugginess against the glass
                      of my window pane…and

on this summer day there is a calm and gentle
                   gratitude as time quietly sifts through the music of my mind
                    as I am thoughtful of all that I’ve left behind.  Here, with fingertips
                  massaging the keys of my heart, I have found the words—

I have found the words to the emotions that have changed me
and helped me heal through all the discoveries
and all the recoveries of being.  In this life I have found poetry
to be the gratification of the human heart
as memories parade in the stillness of framed emotions;

I have found the words to explore my needs and the way
my thoughts answer questions of the past
with rhetorical translations that make living
a reason for dreams to last;

and through these words I have found the reason to remember
each face gone, but descriptively clear
forever and each voice faded, but vocally silent whenever—

I need a moment to remember
the road that has brought me here.

© 2012
Tarringo T. Vaughan
July 7th

Aug 6th

A Letter To Love

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

A Letter To Love

            written as I think of you
                        (for Dominic Basile-Vaughan)

Dear Love,

             You were delivered to me through the gentleness
of his eyes.  You were the warm tenderness – the healing
       I needed four years ago as my tears flowed
    silently on the heels of a sudden lost.

 You came to me through the beauty of his heart
          on a night my mind tried with all its might
to shut out the pain I was feeling, a night in which I tried
so hard to fight the loneliness
        that for so many years was never before
so revealing.  As I look back, it was the moment of that night
that showed me a new existence, 

            within him, through you, I felt myself matter
as our connection shared a new conversation both in words
and through our physical energy.  We have come together
as an unbreakable form of you, the bond created

 during a time neither one of us expected
           but a time that changed our lives.  Now every time I look
into his eyes,

             I am reminded of the passion I have found
within that was always there waiting for just the right person
            to share it with.  I am reminded of the thoughtfulness

and the togetherness I’ve found; the emotional foundation
and support I have gained from every touch of his embrace –

            as he has given you a face, a body, a soul
that has become my partner for life.  


            a man in love.

(c) 2013
Tarringo T. Vaughan

Aug 5th

The Calm

By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

The Calm.jpg

The Calm

Silence steadily sneaks
           upon me –
like the sudden sneeze of a swift breeze.

On this summer morning, just before the awakening
          of a new day – the ocean is breathing its calm
against my existence.  The stillness soothes my soul
without much resistance

                        as I inhale the fragrance
of a soft wind circulating through golden sand,
           then ascending over sculptured rocks

 before suddenly reaching my extended hands.  The aroma
of wild blueberries stimulates the fascination

                        of being

 just as the high tide dilates the eyes
into a hypnotism – an ease enhancing the articulation

                        of seeing.

I’ve been here before, but the beauty
of this live dream often radiates
           even when I am not here.  It relaxes me
even when I am far away, back in the chaos
of city life.  Often at times when I came

captured inside the deep thought of the sublime.

  It is a sequence
of nature that even mesmerizes the activity of time –

the hours, the minutes, the seconds
fade into just one moment

            it is the calm, this calm
that becomes the fulfillment of life.

© 2014
Tarringo T. Vaughan


Aug 1st


By Tarringo Basile-Vaughan

In 1969 a united voice stood tall; it was a voice

that fought back against oppression and a voice that vibrated

            within the echoes still heard today against

the refusal to be treated as second class-citizens;

            it was a moment in the history of this nation

that sparked a new celebration; a new pride of a people

            paving the way towards new freedoms of equality .


It started as a raid, but ended in the rise of the self-made;

            the proud members of the Gay community

who soared as founders of a movement that started

            on Christopher Street and now marches on

through every major street of every major city


in recognition of how far we have come.  The will to strive, to prosper

and to advocate ignited a flame that summer morning

in Greenwich Village; a flame that has become a fire

            of momentum that continues to burn as that united voice


still shouting from the foundations of the Stonewall Inn

            to the front stairs of the United States Supreme Court, where,

on another day in June, 2013, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act

giving way to a string of decisions

            that has ruled state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional


and has instilled hope in those who continue to follow their heart

on a path that will eventually lead to the full rights

of all of humanity. 


Today that united voice has reached out and extended

in a full force of pride



to break the inequality of anti-gay laws threating silence

and extinguish the harsh punishments gay men and women face

            in countries where laws promote homophobic violence.


And it all started on a night in June; a night where

            the liberation of a voice

fought back and sent a message to society that we are who we are

            we are proud to be who we are

                        and being ourselves is our right, our freedom, our courage
and most of all
our protection...
thank you Stonwall. 


© 2014

Tarringo T. Vaughan


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