A Song For You

To write a song for you…

I’m not sure

that would be enough

to conquer all the land mines

and droughts of ego,

to call back love and light and mystery

all in their due time.

You are an angel

from a sky I have not seen;

you are a fighter

sent to battle with the demons of our ancestors,

a capitalistic machine

that drowns us all in its own way;

you are the oxygen tank.

 

Take your place on the stage, my dear,

and I will hear your heart sing before your lungs,

will promise to throw every rose

from my garden up to you,

to let you take a bow,

to strike up a conversation with my neighbor

when he says, “God damn, that child sure does know how to sing,”

to which I will say, “And she sure does know how to live.”

 

May 6, 2018

Advertisements

Should

Maybe

I should

write more;

maybe

I should

change

the story;

maybe

I should

wear a shirt

when it rains

and nothing else;

maybe

I should

pretend

I don’t feel

other people’s pain;

maybe

I should

go over there

and explain;

maybe

I should

keeping looking

for love

in all the wrong places;

maybe

I should

look at a poem

and not a mirror

to fix all the broken pieces;

maybe

I should

see my throat

as a moat

and not a trap;

maybe I should

gain some flexibility

in my lines

and my words–

cut myself some slack;

maybe

I should

be aware

of the fear

in my viens

and nothing more;

maybe that voice

in your head

is nothing more

than an eyesore;

maybe

this pen

never actually

runs out of ink;

maybe

I am a person

that can help the ship sail,

not sink;

maybe

I should look for God

a little harder;

maybe

I should

keep the drain

clear of any shit

expect clean water;

maybe

I can be

the person

that person

wanted me to be;

maybe

we can see ourselves

out of this misery,

penitentiary

of American “should’s”

and personal “would’s”

and keep going,

going.

 

October 22, 2017

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes, 19021967

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!

Anxiety

When you open up about it

I’m not promising it will be easy.

.

When the air becomes thick

like white cream cheese

and you can’t simply scrape off the edges

with a knife you wonder

who else is feeling this way?

.

I thought my mother did;

but she said, “What I’m feeling is physical,”

I thought the government did;

but they said, “She’s a terrorist

and he has a mental health problem,”

I thought a suicide every thirteen minutes

would be enough to prove

our grasp on this epidemic is not tight enough.

.

I want to say,

“This is physical,”

when it crashes over me

like a war-torn tide,

daily sabotage not unlike your migraine

I wish I could go swallow an Aspirin

but one pill in the middle of an ocean

will not magically make the water calmer.

.

It is when we realize that we are

the water,

the tide,

each speck of sand we trickle onto

they are sprinkled in our bones–

not unlike the stars

the heavens will always be there,

waiting.

.

For even at your worst,

peace is always flowing;

anxiety

is not you,

it is just a word

you may not feel it now

but feel your breath–

it has not left you yet

the beauty found in nature

is found in your own skin,

still waters under roaring currents

just as Love sits

under pain,

patiently.

.

When you open up about it

I’m not promising it will be easy.

.

I’m promising it will be worth it.

.

December 20th, 2015

spread some love today and speak your truth– you are worth it