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poems of the week

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Dear Mother,
this story is a song sang
into minds....our minds, your
mind, her mind, his
speaks of nothing new; it is old, but it is new.
This letter, it speaks of tears

of mothers crying
for their sons falling
by the wretched sea; it speaks of scars
carried long,
long on the heart, on the mind.

And everywhere I go I
stumble on these scars. It is
on the breast of the ocean, on the streets

of the sky, under the armpit of the
wind. It is on the face of our smiles.

It confronts me, you, he, she,
night and day, moon and shine,
dripping blood in every space.

They stand in the shadow of the
rivers, stroll
on roads to the golf course.

They shoot pathetic death
into loins, firing musketry
into minefields.

We dress them for
the table, for postmortem,
and we weep floods
for flames sparked in
Mississippi, Oklahoma,
Alabama, Soweto, Burundi, Rwanda.

They shred our dreams to dirges
our festival to nightmares, dine flames
into our eyes.. our minds....our arms....

You need not come
with me down this road to hear

we die.........hungry free men

homeless sons of Malcolm X,
King Jr. Marcus Garvey, Lumumba,
Kwame Nkrumah, and I remember
the kingdom without your


And we fade, we fade,
fade into arms of Guns and
and we fade.

Have we not
lost Toussaint, Macandal,
Lumumba to the savage
haste of gnomic gods? What
about the profiteering

Did you hear the
wife of the Circus Manager, Rome
rode the mule to the market?
We bought the viruses in
the restaurants, in the grocery
shops, and at school
we read our names
from the bottom to the top of the page.

There were men without
names, even, in the telephone directory.

Who remembers then wives
bereft of husbands, women weeping,
mothers wailing for sons falling
to the hangman, daughters
lost to a wretched Sea that washed
shores long, long ago? It is a story not
told in history, nor read in books,

nor remembered in memories.
And this story speaks of time
not named; nor quoted by lips
to you, me, he, she, and we.

And these eyes get widened
to dress another skin.
Tell them from me
"We all are children of AFRICA"

Padmore Agbemabiese (c)

        revolution conversation piece

                gotta be
  a little bigger than just you and me
          outside appearances
        or individual strategies
      see we're dying out there
    and just maybe you don't care
  cause it's not directly affecting you
      your world revolves around
            whether or not
         i look black enough
         or if my words are
           or big enough
 but little boys know how to break down
             a compound
             of cocaine
              and kill
     as if they've gone insane
 and what once was a world filled with
              pink houses
               baby dolls
             and lipsticks
         is now our reality of
         babies having babies
             cheap tricks
 and little girls who think that having a man
              is the sh.. 
         revolution you say
       i'm hearing every word
  i can't seem to focus on the situation
         see my people are dying
 and we don't even cause a commotion
           don't give a damn
        just don't have time
         for those emotions

Angela (Genez) Singletary (c)


skin bleach---soft as a peach
chemical peel---to spin his wheel
hair weave---please don't leave
colored contacts---see, I ain't so black
in the unappreciated 
body of a black girl
trying forever to
shake it like a white girl
in hopes of catching a "brotha"
Doin' all the hip flips
to the fly beats and 
funky tracks of a 
hip hop tune 
in between trips to
Sheila's Hair Emporium
for a touch of that
chemical magic.

Forever reminded of
my darker hue
by the way I always seem
to disappear
before the eyes of a "brotha".
Being invisible makes it harder
to be noticed
in a hair shakin'
bright smilin' world.
What do you when
your hair don' bounce and 
your smile ain't so bright?
Fade to black I suppose.

I say fade to emphasize
how gradual the process of
building in a vacuum is.
Discover a niche
a notch
a place where they'd expect to see
women like you.
Lose yourself in a groove
toward you.
See yourself in a frantic 
race to escape.
before it's too late.
"Free South Africa"
a cry leads the march
"Africa for Africans"
and the realization starts.
I am an African/can't you see?

Where is the place for 
women like me?

Locked outside
by a perm and a name
Locked inside 
a culture opposed and vain.
There is no balance for
women like me.

Like a coke a smile
some brotha's caught the wave.
Bits of me reappeared
it eased my pain 
for a while.
How long could he ride that
cresting wave
the rocks approached
and reality remained.
On his arm I'd never be 
'cause it wasn't the place for
women like me.

In the final chapter
when white ain't so right
when brothers throw caution 
and put up a fight.
When a brown paper bag
loses it's sting
and we let the crab before us
go up and sprout wings.
When black becomes righteous
and real to the roots.
When sisters like me ain't
just for "da boots".
Then there will be a place
to let our light shine and
women like me
will be just fine.

Ajani Kush (c)


Who am I?
I am a rainbow.
I am filled with the spirit and blood, 
of a long dead slave.

Who am I?
I am a rainbow.
I am the daughter of a decedent, of a 'Yellow' man,
who migrated to the west, and mixed with a 'Red' woman.

Who am I?
I am a rainbow.
I am the granddaughter of that 'Yellow' man, and that
'Red woman'. 
I married a black man.

Who am I?
I am a rainbow.
I am the great granddaughter of the yellow man, 
and the red woman, that married a black man,
who was the decedent of a king.

Who am I?
I am a rainbow.
I am the best of all of my seeds.
I speak English, Spanish, and French.  
I am a mixture of Cultures, yet I 
embrace only one.

Who am I?
I am a black woman.         

L.K. "Rose" Ford (c)


Expresso skin and chocolate eyes:

These are the visions that arise,

But there's more to him than we could surmise

	or ever understand.

Painful hardships and stereotypes

Are known too will before his mind is ripe.

Who knows how many tears he has wiped

	and wasted into the sand.

To tear him down until he is weak

Break his heart and bruise his cheek

Dim his soul, make his future bleak--

	its all in the ultimate plan.

As society's scapegoat for every crime,

He's overpaid his price, over-done his time.

Yet, his presence remains sublime,

	and with pride he continues to stand.

Little has changed from how things were.

Those remembering the past may cause a stir, 

But nothing in life will ever deter

	The soft, sweet, irrepressible,

	lovable, determined, intellectual,

	forever, strong and always powerful


Trend (VeraCity) Truesdale (c)


Are you gonna blame me for my
color, or because I have an 
attitude?  Can you blame me 
for I know not what I have done?
Is it because I'm black that you 
treat me so primitive?  I can't help it!
Are you trying to enslave me or 
destroy me?  But you will not break me
or enslave me because I am the child 
of my colored Father, Jesus.  I can't
help if my blackness is universal.  

Alonzo Carr (c)

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