Check Point

Life, Poetry, politics

It is the mosaic scene on the ceiling 

that helps you bare the line. & then you 

notice a single colored body building a 

nation amongst a hard-hat army of white. 

You recall receiving news of a relative that 

made it elsewhere, via waves, on a vessel too 

small to hold its burden. You imagine some 

ancestor must have made it here, via waves, 

to build a nation not their own. But you didn’t 

make it here with the trauma of a journey. Your 

journey was via wings, belongings strapped on a 

shoulder & rolled on four wheels. & after an officer 

inspects your passport & your body, his phone call 

escorts you to a separate room, while the mosaic 

scene observes the episode from the ceiling above.

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Cornerstones

Faith, Poetry

This is an edited version of a poem that I recently published in Emmanuel College’s literary magazine “The Saintly Review.”

Twin-hilt spires 

loom above bodies 

that built them. 

The crucifix is  

a golden weight 

hauled to its apex 

throne. 

Osnaburg shirts hide 

taut arms &  

striped, glistening backs 

lifting oak shingles 

into place. 

On Sunday morning 

eyes watch mosaics 

reflect a hope, 

sacrifice greater than 

themselves. 

Beneath consecrated piety 

names hide in 

beating breasts of 

plastered bricks, aisle 

seats & nave. 

Leagues away absent 

bodies sway, hands 

raise in unbowed 

praise, souls convulse, 

enraptured in 

the mystery.

Mid-season Crucible

Poetry, politics

Mid-season Crucible

Locked out in the Commons;

Squatted, shivering against

Ghostly patterings of seasonal flakes.

A maple tree leans over you,

Its ice-thin fingers fracturing the sky,

& chugs you across the Mason-Dixie Line.

To bony hands picking through

Sizzling seas of cotton stems.

A shadow descends upon these hands,

Animated by the Southern drawl

“Pick that cotton boy!”

& a crack like static discharge

That makes those hands contort & contract.

A searing sting chugs you back

To that same squat, shivering

Condition, that same place.

You wonder if there’s still family

In those post-Confederate states.

Stumbling up and forward

You pray you have enough to get

from Boyleston to South Station

& a Greyhound to Macon.

Lessons

Uncategorized

 

Lessons 

Remember.

Remember

Remember.

History

repeats

itself

like

re-runs

of

TV

episodes.

Only this

generation

can

compose

a new

refreshing

script.

Anthem for Black Empowerment

Faith, politics

This extract from Bob Marley’s Redemption Song sums up this poem nicely: ‘‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery…’’

Anthem for Black Empowerment

I shouldn’t be here

In this space of surrender

where every street

and avenue seems

shut to advancement

and opportunity.

Has the Black Man not left

that defeated place

where our wrists were bound

in shackles of racism and slavery?

Have we not scaled the convoluted

road to political and cultural power?

Still a defeated logic holds us back

not in Jim Crow and the lynching South

of old

but in degraded projects and police captivity

of now.

But just as God’s love remains

so too does the faith that once sealed up minds

and corridors will be shattered and like the Israelites

we’ll walk at last into the promise land.

Generational Curses

Poetry

Too often we accuse the past of being responsible for our present problems instead of getting our heads down and working to solve them.

Generational Curses

 I was once told to just blame

this generation’s current issues

on generations that came before.

History, I was told, has handed

us the baton of cross-era curses,

troubles transferred from parent to offspring.

I imagine tomorrow’s inhabitants

will soon blame their tribulations on us too,

unless we exorcise our current demons,

hushing the roaring blaze of maturing woes

in the cleansing rainstorm of forgiveness;

with sociopolitical redemption