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

Proverbs of Konfuzeus

Way way,  back in the day, when I thought of myself not only as a poet but also as a philosopher, I wrote this list of adages as a homage to Confucius.

1. Art is a way of life.

2. Only when one’s words evoke actions,
only when the authority of one’s words becomes more sustaining, will s/he impact the world.

3. Beauty is the art of original expression.

4. If & only when we can defy categorization, will humanity then & only then stand to prosper.

5. An absence of ignorance is a plenitude of beauty.

6. Mind is Reality.

7. There’s no need to choose favorite hues.
     All shades are beautiful,
     In all of us.

©1991, 2020

The Wisdom in Our Footprints

eventually, everything connects
& we speak exactly as if we’ve been
collectors who’ve been roaming
the world solely by way of curiosity
connecting the dots   along the way.


The Calm After The Storm

Rapport needs no words
Just unspoken trust, that is
Seen before it’s heard.


Stepping Stones

You should see the home
I’ve built from stones you’ve thrown
Purposely in my path

Trying to bury these
Bestowed upon me.