For the love of words. And the freedom to love.

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Photo by H. Darr Beiser. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths!

About his being locked up as an “adult” as a 16 year old in a men’s prison.

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Photo by Gesi Schilling.

“For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers”

BY REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS

.
For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers,
green roses, chrysanthemums, lilies: retrophilia,
philocaly, philomath, sarcophilous—all this love,
of the past, of beauty, of knowledge, of flesh; this is
catalogue & counter: philalethist, negrophile, neophile.
A negro man walks down the street, taps Newport
out against a brick wall & stares at you. Love
that: lygophilia, lithophilous. Be amongst stones,
amongst darkness. We are glass house. Philopornist,
philotechnical. Why not worship the demimonde?
Love that—a corner room, whatever is not there,
all the clutter you keep secret. Palaeophile,
ornithophilous: you, antiquarian, pollinated by birds.
All this a way to dream green rose petals on the bed you love;
petrophilous, stigmatophilia: live near rocks, tattoo hurt;
for you topophilia: what place do you love? All these words
for love (for you), all these ways to say believe
in symphily, to say let us live near each other.
.
.
About his being locked up as an “adult” as a 16 year old in a men’s prison.
.
.
Tax cuts mean less time to read, fewer hours of access per month in the prison library- no they can’t go every day. Please.
Your tax cuts take humanity away from other persons.
.
Your tax cuts mean no time for therapy, no time to prepare for the living world, no time to better yourself, no strength to stay away, no better neighbourhood to return to, no vote. No voice.
.
And yes, everyone deserves to be heard, even if you sold coke or weed (that’s what the majority of black men are in prison for) or killed someone or defrauded thousands of people or paid your employees too little. They are people.
.
You have done wrong. Everybody has skeletons. If you’ve done your time, you should be given all your rights back.
.
Anyway.

James Baldwin- poet!!!

Lord,
            when you send the rain,
            think about it, please,
            a little?
     Do
            not get carried away
            by the sound of falling water,
            the marvelous light
            on the falling water.
        I
            am beneath that water.
            It falls with great force
            and the light
Blinds
            me to the light.
                   — Untitled

Black History- Poetry. John Agard celebrates the British Anthem!

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Alternative Anthem

Put the kettle on
Put the kettle on
It is the British answer
to Armageddon.

Never mind taxes rise
Never mind trains are late
One thing you can be sure of
and that’s the kettle, mate.

It’s not whether you lose
It’s not whether you win
It’s whether or not
you’ve plugged the kettle in.

May the kettle ever hiss
May the kettle ever steam
It is the engine
that drives our nation’s dream.

Long live the kettle
that rules over us
May it be limescale free
and may it never rust.

Sing it on the beaches
Sing it from the housetops
The sun may set on empire
but the kettle never stops.”
― John AgardAlternative Anthem: Selected Poems

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He has a twinkle in his eye!

Poems about The Body. Black poet Sterling A. Brown- Ma Rainey. Will pierce your heart.

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Professor Sterling Brown, Duke Ellington, G Frederick Stanton
– http://www.howard.edu/msrc/treasures_howardiana_vips-honorees.html

Poems about The Body. Black poet Sterling A. Brown- Ma Rainey.

[…]
I talked to a fellow, an’ the fellow say,
“She jes’ catch hold of us, somekindaway.
She sang Backwater Blues one day:

‘It rained fo’ days an’ de skies was dark as night,
Trouble taken place in de lowlands at night.

‘Thundered an’ lightened an’ the storm begin to roll
Thousan’s of people ain’t got no place to go.

‘Den I went an’ stood upon some high ol’ lonesome hill,
An’ looked down on the place where I used to live.’

An’ den de folks, dey natchally bowed dey heads an’ cried,
Bowed dey heavy heads, shet dey moufs up tight an’ cried,
An’ Ma lef’ de stage, an’ followed some de folks outside.”

Dere wasn’t much more de fellow say:
She jes’ gits hold of us dataway.

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Black History– poems about the body and freedom. This one is by Weldon J. Irvine.

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Black History– poems about the body and freedom. This one is by Weldon J. Irvine.

Young, gifted, and black
Oh what a lovely precious dream.
To be young, gifted, and black
Open your heart to what I mean.
In the whole world you know
There’s a million boys and girls
Who are young, gifted, and black
And that’s a fact!

You are young, gifted, and black
We must begin to tell our young,
“There’s a world waiting for you.
Yours is the quest that’s just begun.
When you’re feeling real low
There’s a great truth that you should know
When you’re young, gifted, and black
Your soul’s intact!”

Ah to be young, gifted, and black
Oh how I’ve longed to know the truth.
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth.
But my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say,
“To be young, gifted, and black
Is where it’s at! Is where it’s at! Is where it’s at!”

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3OIfuVpocU&feature=kp

Nina Simone’s rendition.

 

Black History Month- poetry. Whispers in the Country Church by Alvin Aubert

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Photos by: unknown and from corridors magazine.org

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Photo by JMU Media Services

Whispers in a Country Church.

Who’s that dark woman
Sittin’ next to the preacher
Eyeing at his feet?
Lord, look at her.
Red hat.
Flowers.
Perfume you can smell
From here.
Look. Making a move.
Asking for water.
Clumsy thing–
All over his
Brand new shoes.
Just what she wanted.
Bending down that way,
Wonder that dress don’t split.
Pretty hair though.
Got to give her that.

by Alvin Aubert.

Black History Month- poetry, 2014.

AUBERT, ALVIN BERNARD Born March 12, 1930 in Lutcher, Louisiana, passed away on January 7, 2014.

Black History Month- poetry: Samuel Allen.

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Satchell Paige was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Black.

“Satch”

Sometimes I feel like I will *never* stop
Just go on forever
Til one fine mornin’
I’m gonna reach up and grab me a handful stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin’ down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

by Samuel W. Allen (1917-)
Black History Month.