Hold on onto life. Love. “For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide” Etheridge Knight #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

For Black Poets
Who Think of Suicide

Black Poets should live — not leap
From steel bridges (Like the white boys do.
Black poets should live — not lay
Their necks on railroad tracks (like the white boys do.
Black Poets should seek — but not search too much
In sweet dark caves, not hunt for snipe
Down psychic trails (like the white boys do.

For Black Poets belong to Black People. Are
The Flutes of Black Lovers. Are
The Organs of Black Sorrows. Are
The Trumpets of Black Warriors.
Let All Black Poets die as trumpets,
And be buried in the dust of marching feet.

Etheridge Knight

.

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
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Jane Kenyon: cat died. The Blue Bowl.

The Blue Bowl

Like primitives we buried the cat
with his bowl. Bare-handed
we scraped sand and gravel
back into the hole.
They fell with a hiss
and thud on his side,
on his long red fur, the white feathers
between his toes, and his
long, not to say aquiline, nose.

We stood and brushed each other off.
There are sorrows keener than these.

Silent the rest of the day, we worked,
ate, stared, and slept. It stormed
all night; now it clears, and a robin
burbles from a dripping bush
like the neighbor who means well
but always says the wrong thing.

Jane Kenyon