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Blog Archive

Thu, 02.08.2018

AMERICAN SONNET (10)  by Wanda Coleman

our mothers wrung hell and hardtack from row and boll. fenced others’ gardens with bones of lovers. embarking from Africa in chains reluctant pilgrims stolen by Jehovah’s light planted here the bitter seed of blight and here eternal torches mark the shame of Moloch’s mansions built in slavery’s name. our hungered eyes do see/refuse the […]

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Fri, 25.11.2016

HOMAGE TO MY HIPS by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

Lucille Clifton, “homage to my hips” from Good Woman. Copyright © 1987

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Thu, 24.09.2009

STEVEDORE by Leslie M. Collins.

The enigmatic moon has at long last died.
Even as the ancient Cathedral Saint Louis
Peals has lazy call
To a sleepy solemn worship,
Night’s mysterious shadows reveal their secrets
And rise into nothingness
As honest days unfurls her bright banners.

The stevedore,
Sleep spilled on his black face,
Braves the morning’s rising fog,
The saturating chill.

As the sun burns itself out in summer brilliance,
Though his heart he sweated out
In water glistening from gargantuan shoulders,
He finds strength in his voice,
Singing of Moses in Egyptland,
Of yesterday’s untrue love.

By ev

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Thu, 24.09.2009

MISS ROSIE by Lucille Clifton.

when i watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels
or
when i watch you
in your old man’s shoes
with the little toe cut out
sitting, waiting for your mind
like next week’s grocery
i say
when i watch you
you wet brown bag of woman
who used to be the best looking gal in Georgia
used to be called the Georgia Rose
i stand up
through your destruction
i stand up…

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Thu, 24.09.2009

SONG IN SPITE OF MYSELF by Countee Cullen.

Never love with all your heart, it only ends in aching; And bit by bit to the smallest part That organ will be breaking.
Never love with all your mind, it only ends in fretting; In musing on sweet joys behind, Too poignant for forgetting.

Never love with all your soul, For such there is no ending, Though a mind that frets may find control, And a shattered heart find mending.
Give but a grain of the heart’s rich seed, confine some under cover, And when love goes, bid him God-speed.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

EVICTION by Michelle Clinton.

White men handed papers to my mother
through a cracked door. We had to
get boxes from the liquor store
& watch her get drunk.

Before, just yesterday, my mother
brought home purple heart doilies
& gave us large silver coins
we held tight in our hands
running to catch ice cream bells.

Yesterday she baked macaroons,
she talked to her plants & scrubbed
even the air with her sure, careful
movements.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

SONNET TO NEGRO SOLDIERS by Joseph Seaman Cotter Jr.

They shall go down unto life’s Borderland,
Walk unafraid within that Living Hell,
Nor heed the driving rain of shot and shell
That round them falls; but with uplifted hand

Be one with mighty hosts, an armed band
Against man’s wrong to man-for such full well
They know. And from their trembling lips shall swell
A song of hope the world can understand

All this to them shall be a glorious sign,
A glimmer of that resurrection morn
When age-long faith, crowned with a grace benign,
Shall rise and from their brows cast down the thorn
Of prejudice.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

PRAY FOR THE LOVERS by Jayne Cortez.

Pray for the lovers
for those who are suspicious
for those who are jealous
for those who are revengeful
Pray for the lovers
for those who are unsatisfied
for those who are frightened
for those who are disappointed
pray for those who are lonely lazy & limited
Pray for the lovers
for those unwilling to reveal & unable to revolt
for those who are helpless
for those who are hostile
for those whose flesh goes dead upon touching
the frigid
the passive
the latent
the soft
have mercy on the lovers in heat
pray for those with pain in their bodies
pain in their minds

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Thu, 24.09.2009

MY CLOSEST COMPANION by Ashley Lauren Coleman.

My closest companion as a thug was my gun.
It shot and killed; now the case in undercover for what I’ve done.
Why did I do this?
I’m causing so much pain-it was my companion that committed that shame!

As my companion reached another’s hands-my life was taken as I ran.
Now I lay in stupidity-Yes-its killing me.
Why does it have to be this way, it was a companion, that got rid of me.

It’s either you-or the gun.
That’s why there are decisions.
If you make the right decision and be positive, trust me-non of this would have begun….

Copyright Ashley Lauren Coleman, January 1999.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

I’M JUST A STRANGER HERE, HEAVEN IS MY HOME. by Carole Gregory Clemmons.

The first sign was your hair, un-straightened, shortened from worry,
and it had only been a year since the wedding, but you had grown older, Mama.
I felt your usual care in the mustard greens, sweet potatoes and chicken, yet you smelled of whiskey and prayer.
I showed you the pictures, asked which you’d like remade and watched you fidget, unable to see them.
Raising your arm, you spoke of your rheumatism, it seems life left your arm first, like crumbs given to front-yard robins.
Age and need, those simple weeds, were gathering around and taking you away….

Reprinted by permission of

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But oh! LEARNING TO READ by Frances E. W. Harper.
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