Aunt her face a blur of wrinkles & sunshine #poem #BlackLivesMatter by Al Young

Aunt

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BY AL YOUNG

She talks too loud, her face
a blur of wrinkles & sunshine
where her hard hair shivers
from laughter like a pine tree
stiff with oil & hotcombing
O & her anger realer than gasoline
slung into fire or lighted mohair
She’s a clothes lover from way back
but her body’s too big to be chic
or on cue so she wear what she want
People just gotta stand back &
take it like they do Easter Sunday when
the rainbow she travels is dry-cleaned
She laughs more than ever in spring
stomping the downtowns, Saturday past
work, looking into JC Penney’s checking
out Sears & bragging about how when she
feel like it she gon lose weight &
give up smoking one of these sorry days
Her eyes are diamonds of pure dark space
& the air flying out of them as you look
close is only the essence of living
to tell, a full-length woman, an aunt
brown & red with stalking the years

Al Young, “Aunt” from The Blues Don’t Change. Copyright © 1982 by Al Young.  Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: The Blues Don’t Change (Louisiana State University Press, 1982)

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Ted Joans sings out in love and gladness: “I SEE BLACK PEOPLE/I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE/I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE/I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE/I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE” #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

What a talented person… Painter, trumpeter and jazz poet…And revolutionary…

…and repatriate to Timbuktu and later moved to Canada where he died poor “was surviving by reading poetry and selling his personal papers to libraries. He had just completed his “Collaged Autobiography,” a remarkable memoir waiting for the right publisher.” See below for the link on this information.

Andandand short before he died he said:

“So in my rather sorrowful impecunious state, I find myself filled to the beautiful brim with love and with this shared love I continue to live my poem-life.”

Black People by Ted Joans:

I SEE BLACK PEOPLE
I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE
I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE
I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE
I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY MOMMA
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY DAD
BLACK PEOPLE IS    MY SISTER,BROTHER,UNCLE,AUNT,
.      AND COUSINS
BLACK PEOPLE IS   ALL WE    BLACK PEOPLE    EVER HAD
NOW THAT WE THE BLACK PEOPLE KNOW THAT
WE THE BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD BE GLAD

 

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 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me.

Love your mama/s and your papa/s. Loving your family!! “Monument in Black” by Vanessa Howard #ValentinesDay #BlackHistorymonth #BlackLivesMatter

I think this is a great idea. Father, mother, grandfather and brother because

they built and sweated the nation.

Easy visual way to think back to what happened and how important they are. I would like to see the aunt and the nieces on the nickels too. All steps in one time. People would forget most of the day who is on their money of course and that’s okay: it can be part of the remembering, one step, one drop or one butterfly flapping. Slow is how it goes. Too slow. Pardon the pun.

Monument in Black by Vanessa Howard!

Put my black father on the penny
put his smile at me on the silver dime
put my mother on the dollar
for they’ve suffered for more than
three eternities of time
and all money couldn’t repay

Make a monument of my grandfather
let him stand in Washington
For he’s suffered more than
three light years
standing idle in the dark
hero of wars that weren’t begun

name a holiday for my brother
on a sunny day peaceful and warm
for he’s fighting for freedom he
won’t be granted
all my black brothers in Vietnam
resting idle in unkept graves.

.

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 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me

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.

23_huarchives_sterling_brown

Black History Month: Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni. Childhood.

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Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

childhood remembrances are always a drag
if you’re Black
you always remember things like living in Woodlawn
with no inside toilet
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have
your mother
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in
and somehow when you talk about home
it never gets across how much you
understood their feelings
as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale
and even though you remember
your biographers never understand
your father’s pain as he sells his stock
and another dream goes
And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
concerns you
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good
Christmases
and I really hope no white person ever has cause
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy

Black History Month. From Arnold Rampersad, the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.

 

BUY the book:

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=oxford+anthology+of+african-american+poetry
NEW from a local bookstore: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

When you have forgotten Sunday. Gwendolyn Brooks.

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.

Aside

Lovely spring poem by Emily Dickinson.

VI. THE ROBIN.

The robin is the one
That interrupts the morn
With hurried, few, express reports
When March is scarcely on.

The robin is the one
That overflows the noon
With her cherubic quantity,
An April but begun.

The robin is the one
That speechless from her nest
Submits that home and certainty
And sanctity are best.