Drive by

Drive by

Candles on

urban street corner

Youth, age––?

 

 

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Visiting Hours

Visiting Hours

By the wet, leaping dance of lake waters,

we wrote our futures in the air.

Silence doesn’t show itself in a vacuum;

it must be fashioned and embraced.

We built and accepted this stillness,

siting before a peeled-paint, crimson porch,

a tree bowing over moss-hued lily pads,

dressed in bark brown and mint green

and a motionless fish torn open from within.

I wondered then if you knew, or cared,

as you sat there in a wheelchair and brace,

that I spent last night with your best friend;

as if the pain of injury, aborted aspirations

and a six month rehab stint felt like death

enough at age eighteen.

 

 

 

 

 

Black body count

 

Black body count

He wasn’t shot for terrorist activities

He wasn’t shot for engaging cops in a drug bust

not for breaking-and-entering

not for running from justice

He wasn’t shot for resisting arrest

He wasn’t shot for public disorder

He was shot.

He was shot for wearing a hoodie

He was shot for resisting a stop-and-frisk

for walking in a gated neighborhood

for threatening looks on the subway

for removing hands from pockets

for driving too slow by

He was shot for playing music too high

He was shot for using coarse language

wearing a bandana

pants hanging too low

style of walk too ‘thuggish’

He was shot.

He was shot because he was young

He was shot because he was Black.

To be young now

There are times when I thank God I grew up in the 2000’s. There is so much happening.

To be young now

I won’t with modesty say I’m not a spectator

In the stadium of passing, changing times.

I’ve seen risen and fallen powers, personalities,

regimes and even the White House become

 as dark as Belgium’s bitter-sweet delicacy.

To be young now time warps me

back to the days of Spring ’68,

to a world under the strain

of social defiance and change.

To be young now…

now…

now…

now…

Sounds as stirring as Dylan’s protest song:

‘‘The times they are a-changin’…’’

Generational Curses

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

Parting words to Passing youth

I will be on leave all next week so this will be my last post until Christmas. The poem I leave you with is one I read at my school’s cultural evening (talent show for American readers) and one I promised myself to share on this blog as soon as I finished high school

Parting words to Passing youth

Farewell I say

to the end of days

to blissful innocence

and rebellious adolescence.

For we are butterflies

and our soft cocoon

has opened us to the world.

Where the wind will pull us,

birds will try and consume us

and until we mature,

a resting place will forever elude us.

I still recall with some sad irony

how the school and the home

reigned like monarchs,

and reminisce with passive longing

how parties seemed to never cease,

love brought shots of joy and pain

and long weekends were like paradise.

How like fools we tested and experimented

with that loosening domestic lead

like amateur scientists with Uranium

and how we who knew so little

thought we knew so much.

Those were the days when the future

was but a line on the horizon

and family, career and degree

was on a bucket list for a later time.

For we lived for today.

We were bold.

We were alive.

We were – young.

And only the law,

parental lectures

and careful doses of reality

kept us mortal,

kept us sane.

From across that threshold to adulthood

were I came of age,

I stare back, perhaps wondering,

if that concluded stage

will let me be in its six act play once more.

But it has ended.

The ovation, the applause, the last hurrah

has happened

and the curtains have closed.

All I can do is turn around,

spread my wings,

and fly.

With sweet memories of yesterday,

hanging by my side.

 

Always in November

 Always in November

November should be the child’s month,

as much as June or July.

In those fraternal twin summer months

the joy of summer vacation

has often worn off to be replaced

in late July by high temperature

boredom and monotony.

In November, Fall’s blood and gold child,

the mind and body are trained as one

in the classroom, Football field

and soccer pitch.

These equal involvements, sport and school,

are features near December; always in November.

There, too, is the seasonal sensation I’ll personally

claim to be the same as diving into the community

swimming pool or blue and ochre ocean:

squealingly bombarding a poor leaf pile.

In the company of brotherly buddies

we would leap in, dust hang-ons

from our smokey wool jackets,

reform the pile and leap in again.