Excerpts. 3

“Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.”
-D. Elton Trueblood

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. “
― Vincent Willem van Gogh

“I say again: only slavery was slavery. This is utterly deranged, and [Betsy DeVos] should resign.”
—Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone

“Very few Americans will directly proclaim that they are in favor of black people being left to the streets. But a very large number of Americans will do all they can to preserve the Dream. No one directly proclaimed that schools were designed to sanctify failure and destruction. But a great number of educators spoke of ‘personal responsibility’ in a country authored and sustained by a criminal responsibility. The point of this language of ‘intention’ and ‘personal responsibility’ is broad exoneration. Mistakes were made. Bodies were broken. People were enslaved. We meant well. We tried our best. “Good intention” is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream. “
–Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”
—Leonard Cohen

“Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me – choke those little bad days. Choke ‘em down to nothing.”
~ Tom Waits

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

“her dream is red and raging.
she will remember
to build something human with it.”
—Lucille Clifton,  from “Night Vision”

Elise Valmorbida: “It is all the telling of tales.”
–from “Two Sides,” featured in Popshot Quarterly

“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”
-Emily Dickinson

“It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits”
― William Carlos Williams

“I want the line-break to tell me something about how a poem feels: where a speaker butts up against silence.”
– Dana Levin

“These days I only revise for a more passionate syntax.”
—Yeats (answering very young John Berryman’s question about the secret of poetry)

Compiled by AfroDamus Jonze


Collector’s Items

It is a lovely surprise, to remake
Acquaintances of old 8tracks, cassettes & even older
LPs & their B-sides…desperately

Trying to parley & laugh
Oblivious to the obvious recollection & retrospection
Of decks & phonographs. it is

Copacetic from a collector’s
Point of view to find love at first listen
Or fall for them all over again.

©2013 MDSHall

Irony of Faith

Today I met God
& she is black, with a natural
Ain’t that ironic.
All these years I been shown
He is blonde with blue eyes.

7/13

Compass

Do not depart 
From your direction before  
You’ve found your way. 

©2020 MDSHall

©2020

Higher Learning

By
All
Means, then–
Let us be
Autodidactic
No matter
How lost
The
Cause

Purging our minds of indoctrination

It
Will
Never
Matter how
Much shouting, marching
& rioting we carry on

It
Shall
Be in
Vain, merely
Impotent gestures

Unless we end our miseducation.

Copyright 2014 MDSHALL