Crystalline Quiet

Snow-swept,
these softened crags
belie their lethal silence
with a peaceful scene
of still and silent lakes
of ice, and mournful windsong.

The cold tranquility of the whole
speaks to something
inside.

A longing for beauty unattainable,
love yet unrequited but holding
a glimmer
of hope.

*************
An explosion of spring!
Life in hiding
resurging with new energy
of colors and songs

The crowning note
in the music of
our spinning world
among her sisters.

We welcome now
the challenge of a new
slow-dawning day.

Poetry’s Lament

Her sad eyes
looked into my own,
and I looked away,
unable to bear the weight
of her gaze.

How did you not know?
she asked.
“I never set out to do it,
not deliberately.”

And yet, it is a part of you now.
“So it would seem.”
Will you nurture it?
“I’ve little choice.
I’ve written way too many now
to turn back.
I don’t think they’ll let me anyway.”

That seemed to bring her comfort,
and she smiled
as I wiped
her tears away.

I would have hated to leave you.
“I would’ve hated to see you go,
but peace now, Poetry.
I’m not leaving, so
come take my hand
and open your gift.”

Cobwebs & Raindrops

Those ideas that drift

down

into your mind

in the small hours,

 

The images come

like refracted light

in raindrops on cobwebs

after the storm is passed.

 

These mental photos

etched in words,

but no less

an essence

of captured time.

 

Caught like raindrops in cobwebs,

a symbiosis

of water and silk

that slip away from your mind

in the

light of dawn.

Wilting

The force behind the hand grows tired.

The field where words roared and played

is barren of life,

full of bare trees, hard soil, muddy snow,

lost time, and regret.

I own the irretrievable

and the unacceptable.

My idle hands have doomed

my legacy to obscurity.

I tell myself

I do not care,

and wonder why

I’m weeping.

The Burden of Poetry

These words, each one,

holds a piece of me,

pulling apart like fingers in

a warm loaf of bread.

Then other words come

and add their own flavor to it:

some bitter, some sweet

some tart, some tasteless,

but always the words remain.

While I am here to tend them,

they’ll continue to gather me

from every hidden corner

of my mind.

A Story Told in Song

From the savanna,

the deserts,

the grasslands,

the veldt,

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.