#BlackHistoryMonth #poem i am running into a new year by Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year by Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

—Lucille Clifton, Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir 1969-1980

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

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Moon in virgo- James Lee Jobe

You are not beaten. The simple music rises up,

children's voices in the air, sound floating out

across the land and on to the river beyond,

over the valley's floor. No, you cannot go back

for those things you lost, the parts of yourself

that were taken, often by force. Like an animal

in the forest you must weep it all away at once,

violently, and then simply live on. The music here

is Bach, Vivaldi; a chorale of children, a piano,

a violin. Together, they have a certain spirit

that is light, that lets in light, joyful, ecstatic.

"Forgive," said The Christ, and why not? Every day

that you still breathe has all the joy

and murderous possibilities of your bravest dream.

Forgive. Breathe. Live. The moon has entered Virgo,

the wind shifts, blows up from the Delta, cools this valley,

and you are not beaten; the children sing, it is Bach,

and you are brave, alive, and human.

 

– Poet Ross Gay in an extraordinary essay in The Sun (sez Lillian Allen).

Feels like some kind of poetry!

“What if we acknowledged the drug war, and the resulting mass incarceration of African Americans, and the myriad intermediate crimes against citizens and communities as a product of our fears? And what if we thereby had to reevaluate our sense of justice and the laws and procedures and beliefs that constitute it? What if we honestly assessed what we have come to believe about ourselves and each other, and how those beliefs shape our lives? And what if we did it with generosity and forgiveness? What if we did it with mercy?”

– Poet Ross Gay in an extraordinary essay in The Sun (Lillian Allen).