Poetry: Say My Name – Monday Night Poetry

July 18 2023

Monday Night Poetry was amazing last night. From the time I arrived to the time I stepped in my door at home, it was a perfect night. The entire night felt freeing. 🖤💋🖤

The theme was, “Speaking Our Names”

What I shared, written yesterday afternoon:

Say My Name


Or as my sharecropper grandmother pronounced it, Camiller, ah Camiller.

Let me count the ways my name has been mis-pronounced.

The many times a man has asked are you sure?
After I pronounced my own name?
What the fuck? You’re asking me if I’m pronouncing my name correctly?

It was 1969 as my parents
Sat watching the Johnny Carson show.

A stunning Swedish actress, popular in the 60’s and 70’s
Was a guest.

Her name, Camilla Sparv.

My parents must have liked the name
As that’s the name they chose for me.

Hearing my name as a child, and as a teen,
Brought shame and embarrassment.
You see, it was never pronounced correctly,
Causing me to have to speak up, letting teachers, adults
Know how to pronounce it.
This brought attention to me, and I did not want attention.

Up until recently,
When I saw my name
I would only see a whisper of myself.
Not really knowing who this person was.

However, these days when I see my name.
I see all that I have accomplished
I see tenacity, strength
I see a parent who has raised two amazing & authentic humans.

I see childhood and adult trauma that is being undone
Spun into a gold thread of power
A thread I use to weave
This new life I am creating
That shines and attracts those who have
Complimentary threads.

As I got older, I grew to adore my name.
It was different, unlike anyone else’s name.
And I loved that.

With each passing year, I grow and blossom
Into this unique name.
With each passing year, I love it even more.
I love that in my desire to stand out, not conform, and be my unique, neurospicy, weird, pisces self, it is the strong and stable root that supports me and bears the fruit of these desires.

Most of my life I have wanted to fade into the crowd.

This is no longer the case.

My name tastes like honeysuckle,
Smells like magnolia
Feels like silk

I see my name as a blessing, a gift
A springboard to the chaos and magic that is ME.
Thank you to my mom and dad for giving me this name.

Camilla. It’s pronounced Camilla. Like Pamela, but with a C.

Say my name, say my name, say my name.

Camilla, Camilla, Camilla
July 2023 Camilla Downs

Wild Flower – New Poetry

June 5 2023

I went again. I absolutely adore this group of people. The poems shared were powerful, meaningful, and passionate.

I shared a new poem, written today.

Wild Flower

As a young girl she loved music,
moving her body to the beat
With her record player and 45’s
She was a Dancing Queen.

Music made everything better
The discomfort of Life melted
Leaving only the beat and lyrics.

She feels the beat, the words,
in her heart, her soul, her bones.

As a child and teen,
Soul Train, Solid Gold,
American Bandstand
Were her Saturdays.

Dreams of being a Solid Gold dancer, Being a Rockette.
She assumed these dreams to be out of reach.

As it went, as she got older,
Life took it’s twists and turns
With dreams of becoming a dancer unrealized.

As she became an adult, married, had kids
She hid that part of herself
Rarely dancing.

2023 has brought an emergence
After 8 years of withdrawing from Society,
Refraining from being social,

She says, No longer.
Fuck that!
I’m dancing.

I’m dancing when I go for walks.
I’m dancing when I’m in the grocery store.
I’m dancing in my seat while driving.
I’m dancing while working.
I’m dancing while at the gym.
I’m dancing while making out.

I’m letting the music, the beat, the words
Move my gypsy, Pisces soul
As I float into the mystic.
I’m here to let the Wild Flower Within,
sharing my scent,
My colors, my vibrance with all I encounter.

Let’s put on our Boogie Shoes
And do it all night long
Let’s Dance!
-2023 Camilla Downs

Group photo from last night. Beautiful people. ❤️❤️❤️