No Turning Back

how

Savage

must you be

to beat a

Savage

 

how

Beastly

must you be

to conquer a

Beast

 

how

Uncivilized

do you become

when you

enjoy abusing the

Uncivilized

 

how

Low

do you descend

when you

torture

one you call

Lower

 

how

do you remain

on

your pedestal

and put others

on

auction blocks

 

Do you appreciate

the irony

in the phrase

“lazy slave?”

 

Our bleeding

and crying

and dying

mirrored the

Uncivilized, Low,

Savage Beast

back to those

who branded men such,

even though they

smiled and laughed

at it

 

But underneath their

mirthful cruelty,

eyes yet smolder

and

blood yet boils

 

 

And that is why

we must

be indifferent

if

our pride offends,

and

our standing up

to grab the lash

strikes fear

 

For while no longer afraid,

we have learned

 

You never turn

your back

on the feral…

 

 

 

Aren’t You Tired?

Hatred

takes

time and energy

 

Hatred

wears away

the good in us

by gradual degrees

of erosion until

you no longer

realize

you’re empty

inside

 

Hatred is

tiring to

perpetuate

 

Hatred is

tiresome to

its victims

and targets

 

Hatred

is based

on

private preferences

in a

public world.

 

 

Let us be done with

Hatred

and be about

the business

of rebuilding

the land

we now share

and each other

 

We will never

purge evil

as long as we

practice it

look the other way

when it occurs

take pictures of it

say “Glad it’s not me.

and

convince ourselves

‘it will never change

because we can’t change.”

 

Why not?

 

A Moment of Weakness, A Lifetime of Pain

Your life upended,

just wanting to feel good

for a moment,

 

The serpent slithered down

and flicked your ear with

a silver tongue

 

Betrayed, you were

hung up

strung out

and dying slow

 

The jester bested

the king

 

And the pain of your need

dimmed the light of your soul

 

You’d say anything

Do anything

Kill anyone

 

And now

the programs sprout

like mushrooms

pretty with disease

nutritious with bacteria

 

And you live in

cold and wretched

shadows

 

in cold and wretched

places

 

with a cold and wretched

heart.

 

and cold and wretched

voices in your head.

 

I would reach out to you,

but you won’t put your hand out,

except to pull a weapon on me

and have me supply your

demon’s need

 

Sometimes I just gave it to you,

because I knew you once

and recognized your shell.

 

I can’t return home,

And you can’t leave.

 

Is this goodbye?

 

I wish we knew

I wish it wasn’t

I hope it isn’t

 

but as we idolize

the parasite

that infested you

as he drives his Escalade,

his rims spinning as he goes

nowhere, a reflection

of both of you,

 

I can only look in from

the outside,

and say

I’m sorry

our

friendship

our

brotherhood

could not make you

feel good enough about

you

 

I still hold out hope,

my brother, that one day

through your nightmares

a dream will come instead,

and

you too, will remember

the man you

used to be

 

I’m standing in the light

calling

waiting for your

crawling shadow

to pass the dirty window

 

I’ll still be here

when you answer,

if you answer,

but

it’s up to you now…

Humanity Redeemed

3/5 of a person?

Property?

 

Stripped of dignity

No sense of civility

To the brink of insanity

 

See, the white man wears no placard

to identify himself.

He marches, but he is

 

separated,

 

to prove the point that

his species

is not in question

 

He will never be called

‘boy’ ‘Charlie’

‘nigger’ ‘coon’

‘savage’ ‘monkey’

 

He will not need to be protected

by the anti-lynching law (there had to be

a law, because lynching was addicting…)

and

Jim Crow doesn’t peck away

at his humanity

 

We would have our humanity back;

Not that it went away, but the effort

to remove it was prolonged, intense,

and relentless

 

And even now, still flares

like solar arcs

 

So yes,

we would take our humanity back,

and whether you like it or not…

 

We don’t need

your permission.

 

Of Soldiers Brave and True

Respect and honor

to our

Black soldiers

brave and true

 

Highly decorated

but also

 

segregated

 

You went

and fought

 

one war

 

they told you

they needed you for,

wishing they didn’t

 

But we all know

you went

and fought

 

two wars

 

and won

them both

 

Thank you.

 

Welcome back

to your people

 

and

 

Welcome Home

to your country

too.

The Legacy of Kings

He will rise to lead

his nation

to greatness

 

He will serve

his queen and heirs

by standing firm

keeping his word

and controlling

his spirit

 

He will guide his people

through wisdom

with knowledge

only he may

possess,

for kings do

not deal in

common things

 

Secrets revealed to him

are on a higher plane,

a riskier level

 

War is ever at his gate

Strife sniffs at his table

Death watches his bed

 

and yet, his people

love and honor him

for his integrity

and fairness

 

they delight in

the peace at their borders

and their countenances

reflect his prosperity

 

Long is he revered

and with bittersweet

Mourning he will be

remembered

 

such is

the legacy of

strong, wise

kings

 

Still On Tryal

Author’s Note: This photo was taken at the Slave Museum. As the little girl’s mother was explaining what happened, she hugged the statue and said, “Everything’s going to be okay.” This is a poem that reflects that faith…

 

 

They sure tried:

 

To strip us culturally

To bend us spiritually

To break us physically

To give us second best

To question our humanity

To question our intelligence

 

They sure tried:

 

To stop us from voting

To stop us from organizing

To stop us from demanding

To stop us from marching

To stop us from praying

To stop us from fighting

To stop us from protesting

To stop us from singing

 

They sure tried:

 

To deny us access

To reduce our numbers

To convince us we don’t belong

To tell us we had nothing

they didn’t give us

To stop us from voting

To erase us from history

 

They sure tried:

 

To tell us to get over

the very history they

imposed

on us

 

They sure tried:

 

To tell us we’re violent

Ignorant

Beastly

Savage

Sexual predators

Dopefiends

Whores

and Pimps

and

Criminals

 

They sure tried:

 

To keep us illiterate

To keep us afraid

To keep us unaware

To keep us drunk

To keep us in vice

To keep us down

 

They sure tried:

 

To keep us enslaved

 

We tried too:

 

To be patient

To be non-violent

To suffer

To fight through the system

To die on our feet

 

But we got tired of trying

because they mistook

patience

for weakness

 

So we said

No,

and we said

No longer

And we said

No more

And we said

Our lives matter

 

And now they try

to say it’s our fault

they have to kill us.

 

And now, in 2016…

We find that

the

Tryal

is far from over

 

But if we stand

and work

and build

and teach

and love

TOGETHER

the verdict

is

Victory.