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By January 20, 2014January 23rd, 2014No Comments

They said you blew up America

            With verse and words no one dared speak

A poet laureate politics sought to silence,

                      whose robes were decked

            With Obe awards , Fellowships

Voice blown to the wind

   The  chant of America’s dirge remained

                                 forever ratlling in an empty bowl

                                                filled with forgotten promises

The told me you were the Dutchman a sailor on a doomed

                                    Ship of state

A griot  calling to us that we are a beautiful people

To write poems that were mirrors of our souls

             That sang of our passage through this vale of tears

The told me you were our memoir,

          A wandering with the Beat Generation,

         A twenty volume  preface to a suicide note

                        Counting the holes stars left in the sky

                        Hearing voices in the rooms next door

As we prayed into our folded chained hands

Our own music brought you home

            To the recognition of our own natural selves

Blues People singing in the shadows

            Weeping in the shade of the willow tree

You were our Leon Damas  telling us

            We looked ridiculous

                        In their clothes

                             their manners

     their politics

Telling us we were

Fresh Zombies stinking in neon

           House nigger crazies

                                  dragging behind them

                                                that thumping horrible sound

Which was not music, not  drums, but shuffling

Our Aime Cesaire

   Waiting for us at the end of daybreak

 we who were the vomit of slave ships

            Alone imprisoned in the whiteness of

                        a scream caught at the top of a dry stalk

                                                Standing up to the waters of the sky

            Calling us to return to our native land

But now,

now that you are gone they tell me

                     that you belonged with Lanston Hughs, Fredrick Dougas

                                                Richard Wright, or Zora Neal Hurston

Now that you are gone they sing

               Your praises, pour libations in your name

Now that you are gone I will remember  your words

            that we have been captured

            that we labor to make a gateway

                        into the ancient image, the new

                        that we are in search of the sacred word



IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.