Mi no wani wan ati di n’ abi kra I wish for no heart without a soul #BlackLivesMatter #poem Surinam

Surinam is a country with the rule of law and a democracy in Latin America, but counted under the Caribbean like Trinidad and Tobago. Sranantongo is the language. The language is part Dutch, part Indonesian and also has traces of Indian-Indonesian and Chinese-Indonesian. Surinam was a country partly build by slaves and taken from many Indigenous peoples. Google it.

Awese (Winti religion: a good spirit)
Light in the everlasting Dark Moon
Johanna Schouten/Elsenhout

a mindri fu strei fu aladei
In the midst of the struggle of everyday
te midden van de strijd van alledag

.
Duman

Mi no wani
wan ati
di n’ abi kra
mi wani
wan yeye d’ e libi

mi n’e wer’
susu
di n’e fit’mi
m’e wer’
mi eigi krompu

mi n’e sdon
luku
a fesi fu sma
m’e luku ini
mi eigi spikri

Human of the Deed

I wish for
no heart
without a soul
I want
a mind who lives

I wear
no shoes
that do not fit me
I wear
my own clogs

I am not
watching
the faces of others
I look in
my own mirror

Mens van de daad

Ik wil
geen hart
dat geen ziel heeft
ik wil
een geest die leeft

ik draag
geen schoenen
die mij niet passen
ik draag
mijn eigen klompen

ik zit niet
te kijken
naar het gezicht van anderen
ik kijk in
mijn eigen spiegel

klompen: slippers met houten zool
klompen: slippers with wooden sole

.

More to read here 

Tekstredactie en vertaling D.Fance Olivieira
Libertas
ISBN 978 99914 7 048 1
145 blz.

The Gods Wrote #blacklivesmatter South Africa

THE GODS WROTE
We are breath of drop of rain
Grain of sea sand in the wind
We are root of baobab
Flesh of this soil
Blood of Congo brush elegant
As breast of dark cloud
Or milk flowing through the groaning yearsWe also know
Centuries with the taste
Of white shit down to the spine…The choice is ours
So is the life
The music of our laughter reborn
Tyityimba or boogaloo passion
Of the sun-eyed gods of our blood
Laughs in the nighttime, in the daytime too
And across America vicious cities
Clatter to the ground. Was it notAll written by the gods!
Turn the things! I said
Let them things roll
To the rhythm of our movement
Don’t you know this is a love supreme!
John Coltrane  John Coltrane tell the ancestors
We listened we heard your message
Tell them you gave us tracks to move

Trane and now we know
The choice is ours
So is the mind and the matches too
The choice is ours

So is the beginning
‘We were not made eternally to weep’
The choice is ours
So is the need and the want too
The choice is ours
So is the vision of the day

 

Natalie Diaz It Was The Animals

#

It Was the Animals

BY NATALIE DIAZ

Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark
wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag.
He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it,
peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood.
He took a step back and gestured toward it
with his arms and open palms —
            It’s the ark, he said.
            You mean Noah’s ark? I asked.
            What other ark is there? he answered.
            Read the inscription, he told me,
            it tells what’s going to happen at the end.
            What end? I wanted to know.
            He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”?
            The end end.
Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled.
His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters.
He held the jagged piece of wood so gently.
I had forgotten my brother could be gentle.
He set it on the table the way people on television
set things when they’re afraid those things might blow-up
or go-off — he set it right next to my empty coffee cup.
It was no ark —
it was the broken end of a picture frame
with a floral design carved into its surface.
He put his head in his hands —
            I shouldn’t show you this — 
            God, why did I show her this?
            It’s ancient — O, God,
            this is so old.
            Fine, I gave in, Where did you get it?
            The girl, he said. O, the girl.
            What girl? I asked.
            You’ll wish you never knew, he told me.
I watched him drag his wrecked fingers
over the chipped flower-work of the wood —
            You should read it. But, O, you can’t take it — 
            no matter how many books you’ve read.
He was wrong. I could take the ark.
I could even take his marvelously fucked fingers.
The way they almost glittered.
It was the animals — the animals I could not take —
they came up the walkway into my house,
cracked the doorframe with their hooves and hips,
marched past me, into my kitchen, into my brother,
tails snaking across my feet before disappearing
like retracting vacuum cords into the hollows
of my brother’s clavicles, tusks scraping the walls,
reaching out for him — wildebeests, pigs,
the oryxes with their black matching horns,
javelinas, jaguars, pumas, raptors. The ocelots
with their mathematical faces. So many kinds of goat.
So many kinds of creature.
I wanted to follow them, to get to the bottom of it,
but my brother stopped me —
            This is serious, he said.
            You have to understand.
            It can save you.
So I sat down, with my brother wrecked open like that,
and two-by-two the fantastical beasts
parading him. I sat, as the water fell against my ankles,
built itself up around me, filled my coffee cup
before floating it away from the table.
My brother — teeming with shadows —
a hull of bones, lit only by tooth and tusk,
lifting his ark high in the air.

Source: Poetry (March 2014).

“Is Spot in Heaven?” David Kirby

1410792_10201773201145672_1092475997_oBest American Poetry 2015 (Sherman Alexie ed) is very disappointing- 5 good poems. 4 women, 1 man. This one is fabulous.
The others: It Was The Animals by Natalie Diaz; Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez by Natalie Scentres-Zapico; Goodness in Mississippi by LaWanda Walters; Dear Black Barbie by Candace G. Wiley.

“Is Spot in Heaven?” David Kirby

In St. Petersburg, Sasha points and says, “they’re restorating
this zoo building because someone is giving the zoo an elephant
and the building is not enough big, so they are restorating it,”

So I say, “Wheres, um, the elephant?” and Sasha says,
“The elephant is waiting somewhere! How should I know!”
When I was six, my dog was Spot, a brindled terrier

with the heart of a lion, though mortal, in the end, like all
of us, and when he died, I said to Father Crifasi, “/is Spot in heaven?” and he laughed and asked me if I were really

that stupid, insinuating that he, holy father of the church,
had the inside track on heaven entry, knew where
the back stairs were, had mastered the secret handshake.

Later we saw a guy with a bear, and I said, “Look a bear!”
and Sasha said, “Ah, the poor bear! Yes, you can have your
picture with this one, if you like,” but by then I didn’t want to.

Who is in heaven? God, of course, Jesus and his mother,
and the more popular saints: Peter, Michael, the various
Johns, Jospehs, and Catherines. But what about the others?

If Barsanuphius, Frideswide, and Jutta of Kulmsee,
why not Spot or the elephant or the bear when it dies?
Even a pig or a mouse has a sense of itself, said Leonard

Wolff, who applied this idea to politics, saying no single
creature is important on a global scale, though a politics that recognizes individual selves is the only one that offers

a hope for a future. Pets are silly, but the only world
worth living in is one that doesn’t think so. As to the world
beyond this one, as Sam Cooke says, I’m tired of living

But afraid to die because I don’t know what’s coming next.
I do know Spot was always glad to see me, turning,
himself inside out with joy when I came home from school,

wears Father Crifasi took no delight at the sight of me
or anyone, the little pleasure that sometimes hovered
about his lips falling out of his face like the spark from

his cigarette when the door to the classroom opened
and we boys filed in as slowly as we could. Those
years are covered as by a mist now, the heads of my parents

and friends breaking through like statues in the square
in a foreign city as the sun comes over my shoulder
and the night creeps down cobblestoned streets toward

The future I can’t see, though across the river, it’s still dark,
but already you can hear the animals stirring:
the first birds, then an elephant, a bear, a little dog.

From The Cincinnati Review

 Buy from an Indie bookstore here 

Leila Chatti, 14, SUNDAY SCHOOL, 3 DAYS LATE. Funny and short. Muslim American brilliance!

Only recently I discovered Rattle. I think it is a great resource full of energy- never mind their youthful statement that in this century (!!) poetry has become obscure and dusty.

Typically North-American attitude and fresh from high school poetry assignments. Well, I guess they will go find other countries on their own or they won’t.

I am so glad in the Netherlands learning foreign languages is a must. I need to brush up my French and German and I have forgotten most of the ancient Greek and Latin I learned, but I was fortunate to read poetry in high school in all those languages: to feel how impossibly different a german poem is such that you can’t translate without putting your own voice in it. My english teacher said the best english was spoken and written in Ireland. It’s true. Australian english has a shorter feel/sound to it and is languid and you can read from the words, the sentences how different the landscape is.

Anyway, subscribe to Rattle- it is well worth it!  http://www.rattle.com/poetry/print/current/

Leila Chatti

14, SUNDAY SCHOOL, 3 DAYS LATE

I’m not stupid—
I know how it works.

But there was a time when
she was just some virgin nobody, too,

small purse of her womb
and her ordinary eggs
waiting like loose pearls.

.

—from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith
http://www.rattle.com/poetry/print/40s/i45/
__________

Leila Chatti: “People are always surprised to find out that I’m Muslim, which is funny because I was raised pretty much as Muslim as you can get—Sunday school, Qur’an classes, Fridays at the masjid.

I don’t wear the hijab and so the common assumption is that I’m not religious.

The truth is, I became a poet largely because of my faith.

As a child, I wasn’t allowed to listen to music, but I could listen to recordings of the Qur’an. If you’ve ever heard it read, you know how gorgeous it is.

It was my first realization that language, particularly beautiful language, can hold power. I wanted to try my hand at crafting language that brought people to their knees, too.”

http://leilachatti.blogspot.ca

Cavalry Way and After Reading Mickey In The Night Kitchen for the Third Time Before Bed.

Because The Oxford Anthology of African American Poetry is one of the best, most satisfying, fat books of poetry I have, you should go buy it too. Poets get paid and editors get paid and we get more poesie. This leads to joy.

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

One sad, one happy poem.

Calvary Way

How did you feel, Mary,
Womb heavy with Christ Child,
Tasting the dust of uncertain journey?
Were you afraid?
When, winding the swaddling clothes,
You laid him in the manger,
Were you afraid?
Could you trace nail holes
Under his curling fingers,
Thorn pricks on the forehead?
Could you trace them?

I should bear a warm brown baby,
A new dark world of wonder;
But I fear the nails that pierce the spirit,
The unseen crosses.
How did you feel, Mary,
On the road beyond the star-lit manger,
Up to the hill to crucifixion?
Were you afraid?

May Miller

A graduate of Howard University; did graduate work at Columbia. Teacher of Speech and Dramatics in Baltimore schools.

 

After Reading Mickey In The Night Kitchen for the Third Time Before Bed 
Rita Dove

I’m the milk and the milk’s in me!… I’m Mickey!

My daughter spreads her legs
to find her vagina:
hairless, this mistaken
bit of nomenclature
is what a stranger cannot touch
without her yelling. She demands
to see mine and momentarily
we’re a lopsided star
among the spilled toys,
my prodigious scallops
exposed to her neat cameo.

And yet the same glazed
tunnel, layered sequences.
She is three; that makes this
innocent. We’re pink! 
she shrieks, and bounds off.

Every month she wants
to know where it hurts
and what the wrinkled string means
between my legs. This is good blood
I say, but that’s wrong, too.
How to tell her that it’s what makes us —
black mother, cream child.
That we’re in the pink
and the pink’s in us.

.

Thank you Wiki: From 1993 to 1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is the first African American Poet Laureate. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1987). 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

The documentary film Rita Dove: An American Poet by Argentinean-American filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley premiered at the Paramount Theater (Charlottesville, Virginia) on January 31, 2014.

The annual “Rita Dove Poetry Award” was established by Salem College Center for Women Writers in 2004.

.

Chilling Out Beside the Thames- John Agard, black British poet.

What I did in the London month. Too. I love the humour of Agard talking about the little pidgeon looking on, Anansi the spider and the church’s promises on English ground. Ending with the day’s little pleasure strawberry.

Summer come, mi chill-out beside the Thames.
Spend a little time with weeping willow.
Check if den Trafalgar pidgeon still salute
old one-eyed one-armed Lord Horatio.

Mi treat gaze to Gothic cathedral
Yet me chant forget how spider spiral
Is ladder aspiring to eternal truth…
Trickster Nansi spinning from Shakespeare sky.

Sudden so, mi decide to play tourist.
Tower of London high-up mi list.
Who show up but Anne Boleyn with no head on
And headless Ralegh gazing towards Devon.

Jesus lawd, history shadow so bloody.
A-time for summer break with strawberry.

.

Cool video of the editor chatting about finding the poems! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qz4m6AVONE

Agard is Afro-Guyanese, Jamaican and British.

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13869647203
NEW: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781852247331