top of page
  • Rough Draft TX Team

The Personhood Project Episode 20: Rosebud Ben-Oni

This month poet Rosebud Ben-Oni sits down with Aaron Tyler Hand for the 20th episode of The Personhood Project. In this episode, the two discuss the ways in which poetry can offer hope when all other signs point towards there not being any and the ways poetry allows us to see people more three-dimensionally. The two also discuss the pain of watching a loved one get locked up as well as the importance of writing to congress to make change in things you believe in. Rosebud also offers insight into her chapbook 20 Atomic Sonnets and the full length collection that it's developing into.

Rosebud Ben-Oni:

Poetry doesn't offer hope, it makes it real.


But Wait

January skies of

ashen tomorrows

suffocate me completely

I wrestle against

the strong hold that tends

to feed on me like a slave

In brazen defiance,

somberly the songbird sings

a song resurrecting memories of you

Can the faith of a child

stand the gap for a parent

who never found the way?

Silence again, reminds me my fate

slowly faded, emotionally jaded… but wait

“Jesus save me”

the words I manage to


For Hunter

I hear you not only in my dreams

but all around me and in every

thing I see

I’ll never forget your words

“I’m gonna tell you how we will remain


I didn’t know that would be the last

time I saw you. You were so

upset as you walked away.

Now that you’re gone, I think

about you all the time and it's hard

to keep my tears at bay.

I hope I never forget your voice

and all the love you gave me. I hope

I never forget all that you’ve taught me.

I love you Ryan Hunter Smith.

The swarm of bees taste the honey

No one will ever know what it’s been like to lose you

but the cardinal in your window is still singing

your favorite song

– saying I’m wrong

The fresh smell of cut grass and rain

soothes my soul

but the swarm of bees that chase me

say this pain I feel will never get old

I hear your laughing

I feel your touch

I close my eyes to hold tight

to the things I see

because I miss you so much

It hurts, it feels like I can’t breathe

But if I trust God I’ll see you again

I believe

No one knows what it’s been like

to lose you

I know we all live to die

this much is true

but still

Writing Prompts:

  1. Rosebud’s poem “The Songs We Know Not To Talk Over” explores themes of transformation, loss, and the mysterious connection between the living and the departed. While probing the emotions of grief, regret, and forgiveness, the poem reflects on questions surrounding life after death. The poem ends with a remorseful acknowledgment of missed opportunities and a determination to hold onto the memories of loved ones, never letting them go. Using the images of insects, birds, and the loss of the loved one, write a poem that speaks to someone no longer living. What things remind you of them? What do you wish you could still tell them? How do you keep a memory of them alive?

11 views0 comments


bottom of page