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Archive for the 'PSOetry' Category

On this overcast 4th of July …

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

zen

 

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again

………………………………………………………………………..

God Bless America.

She is ours and His. Never theirs and his.

xo, Angela

Dear You ….

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Today Means Amen

by Sierra DeMulder

Dear you,
Whoever you are,
However you got here,
This is exactly where you are supposed to be.

This moment has waited its whole life for you,
This moment is your lover,
And you are a solider,
Come home baby, it’s over,
You don’t need to suffer anymore.

Dear you,
This moment is a surprise party,
You are both hiding in the dark,
And walking through the door,
This moment is a Hallelujah,
This moment is your permission slip,
To finally open that love letter,
You’ve been hiding from yourself,
The one you wrote when you were little,
When you still danced like a sparkler at dusk,
Do you remember the moment you realised they were watching,
When you became ashamed of how much light you were holding,
When you first learned how to un-love yourself.

Dear you,
The word today, means amen in every language.
Today, we made it,
Today, I’m gonna love you,
Today, the box cutter will rust in the garbage,
Today, the noose will forget how to hold you,
Today,
Today.

Dear you,
And I have always meant, you.
Nothing would be the same if you did not exist.

You, who were once as small as bouquet,
Who could sleep in the laughs of strangers,
Nothing would be the same if you did not exist.

You, who’s voice is someone’s favourite voice,
Someone’s favourite face to wake up to,
Nothing would be the same if you did not exist.

You, the teacher,
The starters gun,
The lantern in the night who offers not a way home,
But the courage to travel farther into the dark.

You, the lover,
Who worships the taste of her body,
Who is the largest tree ring in his heart,
Who does not let fear ration your love.

You, the friend,
The sacred chorus of ‘How can I help you?’
Who have felt more numb than holy,
More cracked than mosaic,
Who has known the tiles of a bathroom by heart,
Who has forgotten what makes you worth it.

You, the forgiven,
The forgiver,
Who belongs right here, in this moment.

You, this clump of cells,
This happy explosion that happened to start breathing,
And by the grace of whatever is up there,
You got here,
You made it, this whole way,
Through the nights that swallowed you whole,
The mornings that arrived in pieces,
The scabs, the gravel,
The doubt, the hurt,

The hurt, the hurt,
Is over today,
You made it,
You made it,
You made it,
Here.

where does it hurt?

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

what they did yesterday afternoon

by warsan shire

they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

———————–

Read more about Ms. Shire at The New Yorker.

why you need Her

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

goddess poetry

 

 

 

 

Awareness

by John Austin

her gaze is so constant,
our every move
watched
with such affection,
a ceaseless vigil
without condition
or agenda,
silent,
patient,
unrelenting in her
embrace.

There is endless room in
the heart of this lover,
infinite space for whatever
foolishness we may
toss her way.

But she is also
crafty, this one-
a thieft who will steal away
everything we ever cherished,
all our beliefs,
all our ideas,
all our philosophies,
until nothing is left
but her shimmering
wakefulness,
this simple love
for what is.

————————

This poem was sent to me and I cannot seem to track down the poet. I think the poem speaks to what happens to a man when a woman truly mesmerizes and enchants him: he is transformed, cleansed, reborn. I’m not sure this is what the Mr. Austin was trying to say, but such is the nature of art, that whatever the artist’s intent, we experience it through our own prism.

And yes, “thieft” is a word. Who knew?

xo, Angela

 

Come. Sit. Heel. Stay.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Come. Sit. Heel. Stay.

Sierra Demulder

When I took your virginity,
I did it carelessly, like a dog
left alone in a butcher shop.
I taught you the way adults love
(quick, dry, no eye contact.)

A year later, in the back of your car,
you showed me what you had learned,
what kind of man I had trained you to be.

There was nothing playful
in the way you hit, tenderizing meat.
Scraping at skin as if you were trying
to take back what you lost inside of me.

By the time you came on my back,
my nipples were chapped
and gnawed as bones. My legs raw,
newly butchered lambs.

—————————————————–

This woman, this Poetess-Goddess, has stolen my breath. I want to write like her someday, if and when I ever grow up. I’m simply and ecstatically overwhelmed by the brutal beauty of each weighted word. This particular poem is from The Bones Below, in which every single poem is a visceral blessing of the senses.

I WILL own every single book of her poems. Or I don’t think I could live.

(Thank you, Mr. Prince, for gifting me. I couldn’t be more pleased.)