Pamela Sneed Say Her Name Black Lives Matter

I had just begun to relax
celebrate the marriage equality ruling
I had just begun feeling with Obama I was
watching Ali in trouble off the ropes
delivering to his opponents the rope-a-dope
my fathers eyes
excitement
I was just beginning to breathe air
feel exhilirated at images of
Joe Biden and President Obama running
down halls of the White House with rainbow flags
like boys with kites-soaring
I was just beginning to forgive deaths of my brothers
to Aids
not forget
there should stil be tribunals
for them and every woman abused
by the medical system
I had just begun to turn a corner on Mike Brown, Freddie Gray
Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, The massacre at AME
not think of it all everyday
Then the police kill this young Black girl in custody in Texas
claim she committed suicide
I remember we’re a war nation
in war times
I imagine how James, Bayard, Nina felt
seeing a nation turn its dogs, teeth, gas, hoses, bullets,
on children, adults, humans
I cant stop thinking about Steve Biko
his battered face
they say he hung himself too
the worlds outrage
who will pray now
for us
America

Jazzonia by Langston Hughes. “oh, silver rivers of the soul” #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryYouDidntLearnInSchool #blackpoet

Jazzonia by Langston Hughes

Oh, silver tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

In a Harlem cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.
A dancing girl whose eyes are bold
Lifts high a dress of silken gold.

Oh, singing tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

Were Eve’s eyes
In the first garden
Just a bit too bold?
Was Cleopatra gorgeous
In a gown of gold?

Oh, shining tree!
Oh, silver rivers of the soul!

In a whirling cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.

 

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From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
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The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLoveMatters #BlackLivesMatter #‎thisisluv‬ #BlackWomenMatter

The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden

The dandelion stares
In the yellow sunlight.
How very still it is!
When it is old and grey,
I blow its white hair away,
And leave it with a bald head.

.

.

The african-american poet Lula Lowe Weeden started writing poems as a child to immediate success. Her poems are intricate and direct.

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“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
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Can a dream compete with onions, fried tomatoes and a hot shower? “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackWomenMatter #ValentinesDay

Do you let a dream go by because there is so much else to do? So much to cook, take the trash out, sing out loud arias and dance around. And a hot shower makes you forget everything, a luke warm shower makes you want the heat so much that you keep standing in the hope the water gets warmer. It doesn’t. And then you’re too tired or ready to go out.
Kitchenette Building by Gwendolyn Brooks
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
 .

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

For the love of food- Nikki Giovanni. #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

Knoxville Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni

I always like summer
Best
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy’s garden
And okra
And greens
And cabbage
And lots of
Barbeque
And buttermilk
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic

And listen to
Gospel music
Outside
At the church
Homecoming
And go to the mountains with
Your grandmother
And go barefooted
And be warm
All the time
Not only when you go to bed
And sleep

From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
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I love you for your brownness. #BlackHistoryMonth #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHerStory

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennet

I love you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast.
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk.

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate,
Keep all you have of queenliness,
Forgetting that you once were slave,
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

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“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

I shall drown you in love poems. By Valentine’s Day you will be able to face the chocolate hearts and red red roses!

Not typical love poems, although some are.

Freedom, summer (To my mother, reminding her of the fire)

I hold the photo of two lovers who fell into the sea. They’re dressed
.   for winter, I ask them to take off their clothes. During siestas we sit
.   beside the water pump and stare at each other: light collects in her
.   breasts again; he loved horses and one time he tried to kill himself. (1978)

La Libertad, el verano (A mi madre, recordándole el fuego)

Tengo la foto de dos novios que cayeron al mar. Están vestidos de
.   invierno, los invito a desnudarse. En las siestas nos sentamos junto
.   a la bomba de agua y nos miramos: de nuevo embolsan luz los
.   pechos de ella; él amaba a los caballos y una vez intentó suicidarse. (1978)

For more on Héctor Viel Témperley go here!

Canto IV
[…]
Rose upturned and rose returned and rose and rose
Though the warden don’t want it
Muddy rivers make for clean fishing.
[…]

Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

Stations by Audre Lorde

Some women love
to wait
for life          for a ring
in the June light          for a touch
of the sun to heal them           for another
woman’s voice       to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to their passages      sound
to their screams        for some other sleeper
to remember         their future         their past.

Some women wait for their right
train          in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow       to aim
at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
That do not return
Where they were not welcome
Naked
For invitations to places
They always wanted
To visit
To be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
Around the next corner
And call the empty spot peace
But the opposite of living
Is only not living
And the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something
To change        and nothing
Does change
So they change
Themselves.

 

From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634