These Long, Slow, Lovely Sunsets

These long, slow, lovely sunsets

are bittersweet to see.

They mark the passing of time,

the ending of things once held dear,

the seasons,

the deceptively rapid maturing

of children,

as the present day

is stamped by the last rays

into the book of the past.

I watch, and grieve, and rejoice,

and wonder how many more

I have.

But I will also

treasure those

I’ve been blessed to see,

and remember,

knowing that at least

the long, slow, lovely sunsets

will never outshine

the love we leave behind,

when our own light,

now extinguished,

is rekindled

in another place,

to rise anew,

and start again.

 

Words Like Water

Words

gather, build up, swell, and rise

to spill from the mind,

flow through the fingers,

and spill out of  pens, pencils, and keyboards

caught up in currents

of concentration

and creativity.

Words,

free falling in a

joyous cascade of

imagination,

wild and swift as

horses thundering past.

 

Words,

smooth and silent

as owl wings

cleaving

the cold midnight air,

hunting for

just the right one,

plump with meaning,

searching with

keen bright eyes

full of

otherworldly intellect.

 

Words

channeled like water,

fleeting as an eddy,

powerful as tides,

flowing, rushed, and moving

at the

glorious sunrise,

rippling, dappled, and calm

in the

bittersweet sunset.

 

Words

for seeds of fading hope,

and fragile sprouts of love,

sown

in random rows

of longing need,

are poured down

from the poet’s well,

and for a moment

thirst no more,

and grow

a little stronger.

A Story Told in Song

From the savannah,

the deserts,

the grasslands,

the veldts,

and the jungle,

 

The music played.

 

From the empires,

the gold and diamond mines,

and the pyramids,

The music played.

 

From the ivory tusks,

the red clay,

the ebony wood,

and the skins of war drums,

 

The music played.

 

On the ship,

In the cabins,

In ‘massa’s house,

In the whipping sheds,

and the cotton and tobacco fields,

 

The music played.

 

And at sunset,

Heads lowered over

Unmarked graves of

Old men and

Innocent children,

 

The music played.

 

From the Underground Railroad

through the rise of Pullman Porters,

 

The music played.

 

Through Jim Crow,

chain gangs,

and Sunday morning services,

 

The music played.

 

Through hard times

and celebrations,

and through vibrant

ululations,

and our rising expectations,

 

The music played.

 

In the Deep South,

through the screams

and cries wrought

by night riders

and cross burnings,

 

The music played.

 

Over the sound

of barking dogs

and high pressure hoses,

 

The music played.

 

Through Malcolm and Dr. Huey Newton,

and Martin and Jesse,

and Barack Obama,

 

The music played.

 

Through the first black…(insert pioneer name here)

 

The music…(still playing)

 

We must teach the songs

that kept the voices lifted

though hearts were heavy,

 

Kept the flames of joyous spirits

and the love of hearts

lit,

though our dreams of freedom were

constantly extinguished.

 

Kept hope alive through our best

writers, artists, and orators,

Proud Black Men

and Beautiful Black Women

united in one purpose:

Us.

 

The music played, and plays still…

 

And it will play on

as long as we remember.

 

And if

we

teach it well,

long after

we’re gone.

Cupid’s Arrow

How tenderly, how tenderly

the arrow cleaves the heart.

I fall into the pit of love

and play a thankless part.

For Cupid’s arrow’s savage barb

can only go one way.

To pull it tears the heart apart

and turns it to decay.

“O pierce me not, black arrow!

Not tomorrow, nor today.

I’ll use my shield to knock aside

what arrows come my way.

And with a lethal dagger thrown

and knifing through the air,

I’ll cut your wings, cursed cherubim,

to see if you fight fair.

So go your way, and fly above me,

staying sight unseen.

I look no more for one to love me,

staying as I’ve been.”

And in the gathering darkness

winged Cupid takes his leave.

And as the raindrops dry my tears,

it’s at love’s grave I’ll grieve.

 

*Dark Cupid by hipolilo*

They Will Answer

In the flurried, frenzied madness

are the words that never come.

There’s a sorrowful, silent sadness

like a rain soaked, broken drum.

 

When your spirit’s badly broken,

when the mocking page stares back,

and you’re reaching, reaching, reaching

down a hole that’s cold and black,

 

When the thirst is quenched within you

and imagination dies,

And the fire’s banked inside you,

no one’s there to hear your cries.

 

Go and order a tequila.

Go and throw a ball or two,

and somewhere between the sun and moon,

the words return to you.

 

For they never really leave you.

You’re a writer, after all.

When you give them life and purpose

they will answer to your call.

 

In the frenzied, flurried madness,

they will answer to your call…

What Becomes of What Remains?

A clock ticks,

a ball drops,

and fire kisses the

lips of the sky

as lovers kiss on the sidewalk.

It is the hour of dreams

and hopes,

plans and purposes,

love… and its ending.

The rain comes now,

to wash the day’s revelry

away.

In the deluge I stand,

renewed, alive,

and oh-so-very-cold

from a longing, and absence

undefined.

The sand is warm,

the ocean pulls at it like

a child pulls its blankets up

when the monsters come.

What becomes of what remains?

I hold the warm sand,

but I can’t keep it from

slipping through

my fingers

like a fading dream.

What becomes of what remains?

The sliding sand

seeks its own

and leaves me powerless.

What becomes of what remains?

Of us?

Love is lost in the rubble,

engulfed by flames,

curling in on itself.

It will be reborn another day,

unknown to us, and if it tarries long enough,

unseen by us.

What becomes of what remains?

A history unlearned from,

a human sea of sadness,

or something far better,

and visible on the horizon?

How close can we come to it

without being burned?

What becomes of what remains?

We decide.

And we depart

And travel on

to find out

the answer.