Poetry

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Midnight

Volunteer Sunrise

The Grand Collage: “99 Pix”

Two Views of a City (reWrite)

Forethought: Celestial Road to Zion

The jungle is a skyscraper

With its balconies bursting
With fate in a pleasant mood

Festooned
By flora and fauna
In the form of ebony
Moonbeams, the zodiac
& lunar sunrises sown in the skyline
Of a constellated canopy

As we speak in tones of time

Meandering
Like the Nile & the Niger, in
& out of streams
Of consciousness

Telling history
Along the way, from Eden
To where we’re inscribed today

On the wings of dreams
At the speed of night’s
Curious conjures about the cosmos

& its strange celestial road.

Afterthought: Down Here on the Ground

The jungle is a skyscraper

Still standing
On the 1926 bricks
Of a manifesto

That foretold the fact
Of nothing great arising
Out of assimilation or

Imitation, rooted in

The racial mountain penned by Langston
Amidst a Renaissance

Happening in Harlem
Where Africa talked
(& is still talking)

To you, down here on the asphalt, but

The message
Keeps getting lost
In translation

Amongst the urbanites, who do
Not necessarily see any grass
Or trees nor do they believe
In any American dream…

& each & every soul
Echoes the motto:
“It’ll be a good day
When we don’t have

To deal with police brutality
& equality actually extends back
Into the inner city that dwells

In me.

©2018, 21stcenturygrio

Ex Libris Life and the human condition Pt.4

Two Views of a City

Forethought: “Strange Celestial Road”

The jungle is a skyscraper

With its balconies bursting
With fate in a pleasant mood

Festooned
By flora and fauna
In the form of ebony
Moonbeams, the zodiac
& lunar sunrises sown in the skyline

Of a constellated canopy

As we speak in tones of time

Meandering
Like the Nile & the Niger, in
& out of streams
Of consciousness

Telling history
Along the way, from Eden
To where we’re inscribed today

On the wings of dreams
At the speed of night’s
Curious conjures about the cosmos

& its strange celestial road.

Afterthought:”Down Here on the Ground”

The jungle is a skyscraper

Still standing
On the 1926 bricks
Of a manifesto

That foretold the fact
Of nothing great arising
Out of assimilation or

Imitation, rooted in

The racial mountain penned by Langston
Amidst a Renaissance

Happening in Harlem
Where Africa talked
(& is still talking)

To you, down here on the asphalt, but

The message
Keeps getting lost
In translation

Amongst the urbanites, who do
Not necessarily see any grass
Or trees nor do they believe
In any American dream…

& each & every soul
Echoes the motto:
“It’ll be a good day
When we don’t have

To deal with police brutality
& equality actually extends back
Into the inner city that dwells

In me.

©2018, 21stcenturygrio

Writes of Passage V1

1

“It is an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.”
~Nina Simone

2

“I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.”
–Anais Nin

3

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.”
-Nina Simone

4

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them.”
~Galileo

5

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~Albert Einstein

6

“Armed With The Knowledge Of The Past, We Can With Confidence Charter A Course For Our Future.”
-Malcolm X

7

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”
-Douglas Horton

8

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
-Leonardo da Vinci

9

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
~Thomas Carlyle

10

“But you grow if you stand still in the greatest doubt,
and therefore steadfastness in great doubt is a veritable
flower of life.”
~Carl Jung

11

“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow – whether there is a market for it or not! The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward.I would tell all of you watching this screen: Before you go to bed, write a four line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don’t show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward.”
~Kurt Vonnegut

12

“For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks…the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

13

“If you walk through life and don’t help anybody, you haven’t had much of a life…”
-Fred Hampton

14

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” ~Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

15

“Love yourself; get outside yourself and take action. Focus on the solution; be at peace.”
—Lakota proverb

16

“The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person,for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will.”
~Czesław Miłosz

17

“It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of brotherhood. That’s the only thing that can save this country. Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society. The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the oppressed people.”
–Malcolm X

18

“To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.”
―John Ruskin

19

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.”
~George Orwell

20

“This is the NOW we’re living in! Do not be distracted by the claims of tomorrow or the worries of yesterday.”
—Unknown

Compiled by 21stcenturygrio

The Closest of Kin

September, 2016.

Written in part for my wife’s Aunt Janice, please check out my poem…The Closest of Kin.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
–Proverbs 18:21

{Death}

Death
Arrives, adorning
Our door in the mourning time
Like closest of kin
Weathered by tears of weary
Blues, until the seraphim
Sing.

{Life}

This is my story, this is my song
Echoed — to & through me — so
Unapologetically who I am, as I
Speak in spirits, breathing verses

Bleeding streams of consciousness
Becoming what I say when I say it…

Always remembering the details
From within the poetry of its arms
Tapping into the tapestry of time

Verbatim, sound

For word for line–as though all
The endeavors of forever were
There, anthologized in the ebb

& flow of our bodies & souls

Till death
do them
Part. {fin
…begin again.}

In Remembrance of the Bard of Harlem

“Hey! Black soul being told…”
(with “permanence, perseverance & persistence”)
–The Last Poets
(& Thomas Carlyle)

I am the progeny of your
Jazzical folk lore, Mr. Hughes —
Your presence is the essence
Speaking life
Into why I
Even write

Words are my warriors
Fighting off
The censors & critics
Of freedom for all

Who’d take pride in
Killing the messenger
For they are unrealizing

Of the extent
That the message
Has been sown

Which is exactly
Why I continue
In the name of truth
& let it be known
Because that’s where
Wisdom is found.

©2018, 21stcenturygrio