Day trip by Carole Satymurti

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Daytrip

Two women 70s hold hands
On the edge of Essex
Hair and strong nets
Shrieked Loughter echoing girls as single sucks from under feet
Easing in brine

There must be an unspoken point when the sea feels like
their future. no longer paddling, ankle submerge in lace
in satin ripple.
dress hems darken

they do not risk their balance
for the shimmering of ships
at the horizon’s sweep
as thigh deep they inch on
finger splayed wrists bent learning to walk again

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Like a prince, a jazz prince. And I love Your eyes flashing #BlackHistoryMonth #poem

Poem
by Helene Johnson

Little brown boy,
Slim, dark, big-eyed,
Crooning love songs to your banjo
Down at the Lafayette–
Gee, boy, I love the way you hold your head,
High sort of and a bit to one side,
Like a prince, a jazz prince.   And I love
Your eyes flashing, and your hands,
And your patent-leathered feet,
And your shoulders jerking the jig-wa.
And I love your teeth flashing,
And the way your hair shines in the spotlight
Like it was the real stuff.
Gee, brown boy, I loves you all over.
I’m glad I’m a jig. I’m glad I can
Understand your dancin’ and your
Singin’, and feel all the happiness
And joy and don’t care in you.
Gee, boy, when you sing, I can close my ears
And hear tom-toms just as plain.
Listen to me, will you, what do I know
About tom-toms? But I like the word, sort of,
Don’t you? It belongs to us.
Gee, boy, I love the way you hold your head,
And the way you sing, and dance,
And everything.
Say, I think you’re wonderful.    You’re
Allright with me,
You are.

#idlenomore #iNeedFeminismBecause Water Under World by Hannah Faith Notess! Faith and the Lost River of the Pharaohs.

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Photo by Amy Tensing of an Australian aboriginal girl/child.

Hannah Faith Notess

WATER UNDER WORLD

That river had me marked
as soon as I drifted underground.

I palmed the coins from my eyes
and leapt from the raft into dark water

as cat-eyed goddesses watched me,
whirring their displeasure. From fog

a young god emerged and gathered me
against his body, dripping, onto the bank.

Of course I worshipped him. Of course
I should begin again. Eighth grade:

I wanted a shirtless lifeguard
at the waterpark to see me, so I leapt

from the flotilla of plastic innertubes
into the waist-deep canal, where spotlit

mummies craned animatronic necks.
He came. He rustled, furious,

from a plastic hedge and banned
me from the Lost River

of the Pharaohs for life. No Nile.
No Underworld. Cast out,

sunburned, that night I drifted,
thought of diving, as the waves kept

rocking me, like hands
on my shoulders. Now I could die

because a boy had held me and
his anger made him warm.

 

Via Rattle.com’s website here.

More information on Hannah Faith Notess here.

 

#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

Billboards in the rain, Dvorah Fogel #YiddishPoetry …Today the rain dissolved the vermilion letters

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/fogel-dvoyre

“Together with her husband and son, Fogel was killed in the Lwów ghetto in 1942.

Fogel’s remarkable experimental poetry, all written in the 1930s, was, in the spirit of early twentieth-century art, radically avant-garde and attuned to all the modernist minimalisms.

She attempted to fuse modern art and poetry in a new style that she termed “white words,” striving, as she put it, to create a new lyric poetry of the urban condition: a poetry of cool stasis and of geometric ornamentation with a rhythm of repetition that can replace melodiousness and dynamism, in which monotone becomes theme.

In her creative prose she employed repetitive detached impressions (“montages”) to achieve the same goals.

Contemporaneous and later critics considered her style too intellectual, studied and obscure, and lacking in traditional Jewish and feminine thematics.

Yet Fogel herself regarded her project not as a deliberate experiment, but rather as “a necessity, achieved and paid for with life’s experience.

Billboards in the rain.

Today the rain coats gray houses
with another coat
of gray,

you, far away.

Everyone away,
there’s no one to be with.

I lean
against a wall of billboards
pasted with posters of lemon and orange.

Today the rain dissolved
the vermilion letters
announcing the film
of the red ballerina.

Red lines, caressing,
and other hands heavily moving
across hot yellow figures.

In a row of ten gray houses
a red and yellow wall of boards,
the only sign of life.

And one can lean against it
as against the human body
now far off,
out of reach.

Dvorah/Dvoyre Fogel

From: a Treasury of Yiddish Poetry edited by Irving Howe and Liezer Greenberg.
USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967

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Little Brown Baby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

black-baby-jesus
Photo: Matt Barnes Art direction: Natasha Romanelli, Ann Aberin

* For parents and others who love the adorableness of scallywags.
* I love how people squoosh language.
* Sometimes I look at old old poems and I feel amazing that words change and grammar too. It is pretty fantastic. “hebban olla vogala nestas bagunnan hinase hic enda thu wat unbidan we nu” Old (west) Dutch/old Kentish used to be very similar!!

Little Brown Baby
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes,
Come to yo’ pappy an’ set on his knee.
What you been doin’, suh — makin’ san’ pies?
Look at dat bib — you’s es du’ty ez me.
Look at dat mouf — dat’s merlasses, I bet;
Come hyeah, Maria, an’ wipe off his han’s.
Bees gwine to ketch you an’ eat you up yit,
Bein’ so sticky an sweet — goodness lan’s!

Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes,
Who’s pappy’s darlin’ an’ who’s pappy’s chile?
Who is it all de day nevah once tries
Fu’ to be cross, er once loses dat smile?
Whah did you git dem teef? My, you’s a scamp!
Whah did dat dimple come f’om in yo’ chin?
Pappy do’ know you — I b’lieves you’s a tramp;
Mammy, dis hyeah’s some ol’ straggler got in!

Let’s th’ow him outen de do’ in de san’,
We do’ want stragglers a-layin’ ‘roun’ hyeah;
Let’s gin him ‘way to de big buggah-man;
I know he’s hidin’ erroun’ hyeah right neah.
Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do’,
Hyeah’s a bad boy you kin have fu’ to eat.
Mammy an’ pappy do’ want him no mo’,
Swaller him down f’om his haid to his feet!

Dah, now, I t’ought dat you’d hug me up close.
Go back, ol’ buggah, you sha’n’t have dis boy.
He ain’t no tramp, ner no straggler, of co’se;
He’s pappy’s pa’dner an’ play-mate an’ joy.
Come to you’ pallet now — go to yo’ res’;
Wisht you could allus know ease an’ cleah skies;
Wisht you could stay jes’ a chile on my breas’—
Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes!

Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn B. Bennett and Gladys May Casely Hayford: poems for #BlackOutFriday

‪#‎BlackOutFriday‬ poems.

Dream variation

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While dark night comes on gently,
…Dark like me,—
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! whirl! whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening. …
A talk, slim tree. …
Night coming tenderly
… Black like me.

Langston Hughes.

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Photo: New York public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Hatred

I shall hate you
Like a dart of singing steel
Shot through still air
At even-tide,
Or solemnly
As pines are sober
When they stand etched
Against the sky.
Hating you shall be a game
Played with cool hands
And slim fingers.
Your heart will yearn
For the lonely splendor
Of the pine tree
While rekindled fires
In my eyes
Shall wound you like swift arrows.
Memory will lay its hands
Upon your breast
And you will understand
My hatred.

Gwendolyn B. Bennett

 

laluah

Baby Cobina

Brown Baby Cobina, with his large black velvet eyes,
His little coos of ecstacies, his gurgling of surprise,
With brass bells on his ankles, that laugh where’er he goes,
It’s so rare for bells to tinkle, above brown dimpled toes.

Brown Baby Cobina is so precious that we fear
Something might come and steal him, when we grown-ups are not near;
So we tied bells on his ankles, and kissed on them this charm —
” Bells, guard our Baby Cobina from all devils and all harm. ”

Gladys May Casely Hayford (Aquah LaLuah)

From: “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

Other reading:

Wall, Cheryl. Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.