#BlackHistoryMonth #Kenya #poem Run by Sam Mbure

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Illustrator Pat Keay in Beneath the Rainbow — a collection of mystical children’s stories and poems from Kenya, published by Kenya’s Jacaranda Design and distributed by global literacy nonprofit Worldreader.

Run
by Sam Mbure

Come down sweet rain;
Come rain on me
Like you rain on the tree,
The maize and the grass;
And they grow and grow.

Come down sweet rain,
End famine and thirst.
Soon the market will overflow;
Vegetables and fruits, maize and beans;
And I’ll grow and grow and grow.

Come down sweet rain
Wash away dust and dirt
Fill our drum with sweet rain water
So that tomorrow I can sleep till nine.
And I’ll be happy, happy to rest.

Come down sweet rain
Shut out drought and heat
Swell rivers, ponds and seas
Then as I swim naked in the pool
I’ll join the frogs singing for you.

See more, read more here!

#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.

 

Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez #intersectionality #iNeedFeminismBecause #borders Natalie Scentres-Zapico

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 9.25.21 AMPhoto by Dominic Bracco II

Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez

1. The larger portion of this text discusses El Paso, Texas, the boring sister to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

2. There are apartments that feel like they are by the sea, but out the window there is only freeway.

3. The geraniums always wilt either from heat or pollution.

4. El Canelo is the red-headed Mexican boxer that only speaks Spanish.

5. Sometimes the candles are religious, sometimes they are not.

6. The girl from Juarez is beautiful. The girl from Juarez is God.

7. The tortilla border has shanties on one side and trailers on the other.

8. Some call them Fronchis because their license plates read: Fron-Chi for Frontera Chihuahua. Some just call them fresas.

9. Some summers, roaches cross the street and travel home to home like people.

10. Campestre, Anapra, Chavena, Anahuac, Flores Magon, and Independencia are only some of the neighborhoods in Ciudad Juarez.

11. Some streets are lined in wires because it’s so easy to steal electricity.

12. Moxas graffiti walls: mee aamooo!! noo aa laas coopiioonaas!!

13. Some days saliva evaporates from the tongue.

14. The river has become the only blue vein left pulsing on the map.

15. The river is only blue on the map.

An interview with Natalie Scentres-Zapico is done on Blue Mesa Review here!

.

a flier in my hand—

 

a seventeen-year-old girl I knew

her picture splotched with toner.

Her physical description reads

 

like an epitaph looking for its grave.

I let the paper fly again. I know

she is dead.

                                                                                               From “In a Dust Storm”

 

Photo caption: “Youth hang out in the Diaz Ordaz colonia, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Ciudad Juarez. The group hangs out out a lookout above the neighborhood to see if outside gangs are coming to attack or rob them, after they had recieved death threats and a series of violent exchanges between neighborhoods left them nervous.”

“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 

The Shadow People, Francis Ledwidge

Laughing faces in the wild… Some of the images are so lovely.

The Shadow People

[…]

Old lame Bridget says to me,
“It is just your fancy, child.”
She cannot believe I see
Laughing faces in the wild,
Hands that twinkle in the sedge
Bowing at the water’s edge
Where the finny minnows quiver,
Shaping on a blue wave’s ledge
Bubble foam to sail the river.
And the sunny hands to me
Beckon ever, beckon ever.
Oh! I would be wild and free,
And with the shadow people be.

Francis Ledwidge

Oh, better than the minting
. Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
. Of a lovely thing.

Blanche Jennings Thompson

 
Some One

Some one came knocking
. At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking;
. I’m sure-sure-sure;
I listened, I opened,
. I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a stirring
. In the still dark night;
Only the busy beetle
. Tap-tapping in the wall,
Only from the forest
. The screech-owl’s call,
Only the cricket whistling
. While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
. At all, at all, at all.

Walter de la Mare

Night Dancers

Their quick feet pattered on the grass
As light as dewdrops fall.
I saw their shadows on the glass
And heard their voices call.

But when I went out hurrying
To join them, they were gone.
I only found a little ring
Of footprints on the lawn.

Thomas Kennedy

Abebooks.com: All The Silver Pennies…buy it from an Indie store!!!

“How the River” by Julia Runcie

Beautiful view of city and backlands. I like the poem better starting in the middle. The whole poem is at the bottom.

Julia Runcie

HOW THE RIVER


I know the city is not less simply
because I want less of it.
But how different it is, now,
to wade across the tumbled creek
when once I crossed
the out-flung arms of bridges
and was speechless at their beauty
and never for a moment thought
of how the river lay
beneath the bridge.

.

.

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/how-the-river-by-julia-runcie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rattle%2FCNOS+%28Rattle%3A+Poetry+for+the+21st+Century%29

The whole poem:

Julia Runcie

HOW THE RIVER

Strange that for so many years
I walked among the peopled buildings
and did not think of mountains.
I took my comfort
in the streetlight
and the stoplight.
I lay not wakeful
for the owl’s low hooting in the canyon.
I know the city is not less simply
because I want less of it.
But how different it is, now,
to wade across the tumbled creek
when once I crossed
the out-flung arms of bridges
and was speechless at their beauty
and never for a moment thought
of how the river lay
beneath the bridge.

Oh, Lucille Clifton… “Listen Children/we have always loved each other” #BlackLivesMatter #ValentinesDay

One of the most beautiful love poems for black children. So much love she has, and so careful to talk simply and direct. No big words, no flowers, chocolate or stars. Lucille Clifton passed away 5 years ago after many years of fighting cancer.

Listen Children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
always
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

listen
we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on

…………………………………………………

good times

my daddy has paid the rent
and the insurance man is gone
and the lights is back on
and my uncle brud has hit
for one dollar straight
and they is good times
good times
good times

my mama has made bread
and grampaw has come
and everybody is drunk
and dancing in the kitchen
and singing in the kitchen
of these is good times
good times
good times

oh children think about the
good times

………………………………………………….

Poem in praise of menstruation

if there is a river
more beautiful than this
bright as the blood
red edge of the moon if
there is a river
more faithful than this
returning each month
to the same delta if there

is a river
braver than this
coming and coming in a surge
of passion, of pain if there is

a river
more ancient than this
daughter of eve
mother of cain and of abel if there is in

the universe such a river if
there is some where water
more powerful than this wild
water

pray that it flows also
through animals
beautiful and faithful and ancient
and female and brave

………………………………………………….

The New Yorker remembers one of the great poets, Lucille Clifton!!

A longer, very satisfying, piece that has long lists of what to read for various age groups is at the poetry foundation.

BUY: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
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