December 0

Blog Archive

Thu, 24.09.2009


Light falls across a room,
a glass bird on a shelf
catches sunshine in early evening,
breakfast smells come up the same old stairs–
these form the seasons of a home.
A girl finds refuge in dependable light after a tough day
on the playground, or after getting off the bus
on the corner of Lake Street and 14th when the boy
with the red shirt teases her about her skinny legs.

Yet in my room kids breathe in quick- step,
stutter into my class arm and arm with anxiety.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

MOURN BY THE RIVER by Julie Landsman

Shall We?

Shall we mourn by the river?
Shall we join the Soul Patrol and hurry on down,
glide over houses and bodies of old men who used to work
at the docks, long days and slow mornings of arthritic rising?

Might we not march as a nation,
with this new Diaspora, following along the banks of the Mississippi
from the headwaters to Baton Rouge to the Gulf to Ponchatrain to Biloxi?

Let us do this American funeral up right
with trumpets and lines of live bodies, songs about
loved ones left behind– their mornings on hot porches
their evenings with cigarettes and wine.


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Thu, 24.09.2009

CHILD’S PLAY by Christi Love

Man… I can remember when I was a kid. Laughing, playing hop-scotch, Double Dutch, eeny, meeny, miney, mo, tic, tac, toe. Singing Miss Mary Mack…playing jacks.

Boy I use to have endless fun in the hot sun. While daddy cut the grass…
Mama sipped lemonade under the oak tree’s shade. Pick-up sticks, London bridge is falling down, falling down. We use to act like clowns the way we ran around. Splashing in the cool water from the fire hydrant.

We sho’ had some wet fun in the hot sun. Simon says, duck, duck, goose, red light green light til’ they turned out the streetlights.

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Thu, 24.09.2009


I see them
Puerto Ricans/Spanish niggers
Bronzed farmers look silly being doormen
Their fingers are more honest than their eyes.
Earth hands turned metallic gray
The plow rots, the mule dies, the hands rust
And the elders sit with ashes on their crowns making fools of themselves in bars.
Those fingertips will never touch then soil again.
Those fingertips will never feel the fuzz of small stones smoothed for centuries by the river.
Drunkenly wrapped around a beer can
Hatefully curled through a belt
Desperately clutching a needle
Lost their land/Losing their minds
The c

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Thu, 24.09.2009

US by Julius Lester

For so long
We looked into mirrors and hated what we saw
For so long
We did not dance to the rhythms of our Gods but writhed on the cross with christ, drank his blood and were thankful.
For so long
We proclaimed with pride “Je suis fancais”
Our black skins glistening and white teeth shinning.
For so long hot combs burned our hair and our breasts were cinched and hidden from sight.
For so long we knew not ourselves or each other
For so long
We saluted a flag not our own
For so long
We sang My Country ‘Tis of Thee
For so long
We died in wars not our own.

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Thu, 24.09.2009

TO A WOMAN POET THAT I KNOW by Pinkie Gordon Lane.

When you lie again
in the street of forgetfulness
smashed beyond recognition
courting the dark avenue,
when you wake to the alien
walls that do not touch
your battered flesh,

your other self
will fall into the locket
of your mind and wait
for truth

A creature without roots
standing on the brink
of private ruin
your voice will not save you
for you have found the power
of destruction

I weep for your lost
self that stands on the edge
of the terrible wood
whose darkness draws
If I could I would make
a gift: the magic of souls
spinning in the gr

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Thu, 24.09.2009

RAIN DITCH by Pinkie Gordon Lane

We swam in the rain-filled gully
one day
three black kids
unmindful of death’s specter:
water snakes
cow dung floating like a drowned corpse,
the level of that ditch
our shoulders’ height,
the water to our asses.

And just over the hill the weeds
bowed like cloistered nuns at vespers.
At eye distance just beyond,
our house’s top formed a gray peak
against the crimson sky.

We remembered our fun for days,
talked about it,
longed for another torrent of rain
so that we could splash again
in that death trap…

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Thu, 24.09.2009

WEEKSVILLE WOMEN by Elouise Loftin.

old Black ladies carryin shopping bags full of more memories and dreams gap their legs on buses and say things like “dont God work in mysterious ways, baby sweety, yours is just startin, sugar”
old Black ladies with wise written on their faces youth & future written in their eyes spread wide open up to me stretch out their feet cast down on their legs and adjust their veins like road maps they say where they got on when they got to leave and fan fan fan, they got so much to be hot about.

Old women will not enter Paradise: they will be made young and beautiful first.-The Prop

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Thu, 24.09.2009

NATURALLY by Audre Lorde.

Since Naturally Black is Naturally Beautiful
I must be proud And, naturally Black and Beautiful
Who always was a trifle Yellow And plain, though proud Before.

Now I’ve given up pomades
Having spent the summer sunning And feeling naturally free
(if I die of skin cancer oh well-one less black and beautiful me)
Yet no agency spends millions To prevent my summer tanning
And who trembles nightly
With the fear of their lily cities being swallowed
By a summer ocean of naturally woolly hair?

But I’ve bought my can of Natural Hair Spray
Made and marketed in Watts
Still thinking more

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Thu, 24.09.2009

RITES OF PASSAGE (To MLK jr.) by Audre Lorde.

Now rock the boat to a fare-thee-well.
Once we suffered dreaming
into a place where the children are playing
their child’s games
where children are hoping
knowledge survives
if unknowing they follow the game
without winning.

Their fathers are dying
back to the freedom of wise children playing
at knowing
their fathers are dying
whose deaths will not free them
of growing from knowledge
of knowing
when the game becomes foolish
a dangerous pleading
for time out of power.
children kiss us
we are growing through dream…

Published by permission of Audre

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Killing us one by one, in one way or another America will find a way to eliminate the problem One by one, the problem is the troubles in the black... WORDS OF WISDOM by Tupac Shakur.
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