I Pick My Hair Up #BlaPoWriMo #BlackHistoryMonth

When your hair defies gravity and systematic racism at the same damn time!

Please read another fist-clenching poem by Ericajean, written for BlaPoWriMo!

–N

The Write Web

afro by bruce mars Photo Credit: Bruce Mars

According to May Sarton in Writings on Writing,

“A poem does not emerge off of a feeling alone. It is instead created when tension that is felt releases a stirring of words and images and  this kind of creativity could bring a sufferer from their grief.”

I picked my hair

Up before escaping to

the night to march;

it’s loose coils now untamed

hardened by picks,

up like antlers

up like storm clouds

Defiant against the system

Telling me to let go

and lay down and die out

I scream no! I protest no!

My hair will defy you and gravity

at the same damn time

My crown, my dark halo

an avenging angel to the

system,

pale supremacy

over my people over their

people and the people’s people

I pick my hair up

~Ericajean

Note**Thank you for reading. Nortina has opened BlaPoWriMo to us…

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#BlaPoWriMo – from the archives

As my dear friend Emily Dickinson ( 😉 )once said…

Much Madness is divinest Sense…
Much Sense – the starkest Madness…

Don’t get it twisted!

Enjoy another poem by Ray Maxwell for BlaPoWriMo!

–N

#ThisIsMyPoetryBlog

Life is so much more like

Parks and Recreation than

Madame Secretary.

So don’t get it twisted

when you pull the curtain back.

Poetry is just streaming words –

nothing high brow about it –

painting is lines and shapes

splashed on canvas with a brush –

and dancing is shifting weight

from one foot to the other

in motion across a wooden floor.

If I were a strong wind I’d wrap

all around you – if a river,

I’d rise up to your knees –

if a song, I’d bounce tenderly

against your eardrums, until I

found my way into your inner heart.

Life. More like Parks and Recreation,

less like Madame Secretary,

nothing like The Good Wife.

Life. Don’t get it twisted.

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Decoding Poetry: #BlaPoWriMo, ‘The Young Ones'(Poem)

For BlaPoWriMo, my friend Ericajean shares her thoughts on Sterling A. Brown’s “The Young Ones.”

Looking specifically at the lines, “It’s as far as they’ll get / For many a year; / Cotton brought them / and will keep them here,” she raises two questions: What brought us, and what is keeping us here?

A question I would like to add is: What is “here”?

What are your thoughts? Please respond directly on Ericajean’s post, as comments here will be disabled.

–N

The Write Web

assorted colors of threads by Tim Savage

Welcome back fellow bloggers! It is BlaPoWriMo time again and this time we are traveling to the Harlem Renaissance era.

Today’s poem to decode is by Sterling A. Brown. He has deveoted his life to the development of authentic black folk literature. He was also a poet, critic, and teacher at Howard University for 40 years.

The Young Ones(July 1938)

With cotton to the doorstep

No place to play.

No time: What with chopping cotton

All the day.

In the broken down car

They jounce up and down

Pretend to be steering

On the way to town.

It’s as far as they’ll get

For many a year;

Cotton brought them

And will keep them here.

The spare-ribbed yard dog

Has gone away;

The kids just as hungry,

Have to stay.

In the two-roomed shack

Their mammy is lying,

With a little new brother

On her arm crying.

-Sterling A. Brown

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#BlaPoWriMo – Saturday night special sonnet

Check out another poem from my friend Ray, written for BlaPoWriMo. Show him your love!

#ThisIsMyPoetryBlog

Each universe with which we interact
demands of us a level of respect
and complicity, yes, complicity,
while we wonder if we are hypocrits,
or merely disbelievers. As if it
even matters. And what doesn’t kill us
endows us, becomes our strength and power,
our shelter in a storm. The paths we trod
we tread, the record of our deeds becomes
our judgment day, our immortality.
Be patient with me – I’m not finished yet.
Pay no attention to my southern charm,
that folksiness you underestimate
is just a steady cadence for my march.

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Slavery Museum

Dear Friends, here’s another exceptional poem by K. Morris written for BlaPoWriMo. Please show him your love.

newauthoronline

Walking around the Museum of Slavery, in Liverpool
I come face-to-face with the cruel
Past
Where ships crossed the ocean vast
With their human cargo.

Many a negro
Slave
Paid for beautiful properties to be built
By Liverpool merchants who gave
Generously to charity
To set themselves free
From guilt.

Its true
That slavery isn’t new.
It was practiced in Greek and Roman time,
Yet the crime
Of the transatlantic slave trade
Has made
More of a mark
Perhaps because those of lighter skin
Committed the sin
Of taking those of dark
Complexion
From their native land,
Which was a rejection
Of the truth that beneath the skin
We are one in nature
(Or god the creator),
Depending on your view
Of what is true.

Our love died long ago
And I know
Not what Happened to you.
But I remember walking through
That place
Just Two lovers of different…

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At Night

When love knows no color or bounds…
Please check out this beautiful poem written by K. Morris for BlaPoWriMo!

–N

newauthoronline

At night
There is no black and white.
Just the delight
Of you and me,
Converging
Merging,
Completely free
Of race
And place.

(https://lovelycurses.com/february-black-poetry-writing-month/).

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Without Shadows We Are But Ghosts, #BlaPoWriMo, #Slavery

Thanks so much Ericajean for joining BlaPoWriMo! Friends, please take the time to read her poem. Such vivid and painful imagery of our past. Truly, without the shadows we are but ghosts.

–N

The Write Web

curtain shadows by pedro figueras Photo Credit: Pedro Figueras

A shadow is a dark area produced by a body coming between rays of light. Without the sun, we would not have shadows.

Without the shadows we are but ghosts

In bodies

Carrying the implanted pain of

Abel and the soiled happiness

Of forced religion-

Without the shadows we are but ghosts

In bodies

Carrying the blood of the dark, lynched angels

Forced from a land

To a land of aliens

Where weapons fire rapidly into the backs

Of skin, of babes, of moms, of dads…

Where the cat o’ nine tails

swish into the

Toned plump back of a “pagan”

Whipping the passion of Christ into

This Foreigner

Without the shadows we are ghosts

In bodies of burnt clay and high hair, wooly

As sheeps, puffed as clouds

Such strange beauty!

Scarred for life, the umbilical cord

Still hasn’t been cut

As we float and…

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#BlaPoWriMo: Post-#SOTU2018 ruminations

#ThisIsMyPoetryBlog

It was a cold morning in the Bottom.
Reading “Trading Twelves” on the Orange Line
I missed my Red Line stop, so I continued
riding (and reading) to the Yellow Line
crossing at L’Enfant Plaza. Already late
for work anyway, I made a detour
and grabbed a hot breakfast to go at Saints’
Paradise Cafe. Picked up The Hill paper
for an update on Tuesday’s #SOTU speech
because it went on forever and I had
my bedtime to keep. Turns out the Negro Caucus
was grumpy all night, sad-faced and wearing
the kente of their African ancestry
around their necks to make a statement.

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