Learning To Read
Very soon the Yankee teachers.
Came down and set up school;
But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,—
It was agin’ their rule.
Our masters always tried to hide
Book learning from our eyes;
Knowledge didn't agree with slavery—
’Twould make us all too wise.
But some of us would try to steal
A little from the book.
And put the words together,
And learn by hook or crook.
I remember Uncle Caldwell,
Who took pot liquor fat
And greased the pages of his book,
And hid it in his hat.
And had his master ever seen
The leaves upon his head,
He’d have thought them greasy papers,
But nothing to be read.
And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben,
Who heard the children spe...
Anne Frank's Hiding Place
Even now, after twice her lifetime of grief and anger in the very place,
whoever comes to climb these narrow stairs,
discovers how the bookcase slides aside,
then walks through shadow into sunlit room,
can never help but break her secrecy again.
Just listening is a kind of guilt: the Westerkirk repeats
as if all time worked round towards her fear,
and made each stroke die down on guarded streets.
Imagine it— four years of whispering, and loneliness,
and plotting, day by day, the Allied line in Europe with a yellow chalk.
What hope she had for ordinary love and interest survives her here, displayed above the bed as pictures ...
This poem is called Summer Solstice
The Saturday morning meadowlark
came in from high up
with her song gliding into tall grass
still singing. How I'd like
to glide around singing in the summer
then to go south to where I already was
and find fields full of meadowlarks
in winter. But when walking my dog
I want four legs to keep up with her
as she thunders down the hill at top speed
then belly flops into the deep pond.
Lark or dog I crave the impossible.
I'm just human. All too human.
I was nineteen and mentally
infirm when I saw the prophet Isaiah.
The hem of his robe was as wide
as the horizon and his trunk and face
were thousands of feet up in the air.
Maybe he a...
On this day in 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in a mass shooting Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This poem is called A Poem For Pulse.
Last night, I went to a gay bar
with a man I love a little.
After dinner, we had a drink.
We sat in the far-back of the big backyard
and he asked, What will we do when this place closes?
I don't think it's going anywhere any time soon, I said,
though the crowd was slow for a Saturday,
and he said—Yes, but one day. Where will we go?
He walked me the half-block home
and kissed me goodnight on my stoop—
properly: not too quick, close enough
our stomachs pressed together
in a second sort of kiss.
I live next to a bar...
This poem is to all those that have served in the Military around the world. This poem is titled The Uniform.
Of the sleeves, I remember their weight, like wet wool, on my arms, and the empty ends which hung past my hands.
Of the body of the shirt, I remember the large buttons and larger buttonholes, which made a rack of wheels down my chest and could not be quickly unbuttoned.
Of the collar, I remember its thickness without starch, by which it lay against my clavicle without moving.
Of my trousers, the same—heavy, bulky, slow to give for a leg, a crowded feeling, a molasses to walk in.
Of my boots, I remember the brittle soles, of a material that had not been made love to by a...
I have been thinking for a way to explain the chaos that is going around my head, the thumping of my heart, my eyes wide with rage, my body stiff with disbelief, my breathing hard & heavy with anger, being startled awake in the middle of the night with fear, & exhausted with dread every day.
This is what my life has become since November because I knew what was ahead for this country with this man as the president (He doesn't even deserve that title).
With the GOP in control, women like myself have had to fight like hell more than ever before. I look in the mirror and I don't even recognize myself. Emotionally I am WAAAAYYYY beyond drained, I don't know why I even wake up in t...
Yesterday was a day filled with pure shock, disbelief, horror, and heartbreak fell across the world as the images of hell on earth flashed across the screen shook me to my core.
I along with millions of others worldwide watched in horror as an 850-year-old architectural piece of true artwork burned. My heart broke as I felt my body go numb.
The words that come to my mind to describe this genuinely awe-inspiring piece of architectural beauty are in the words of Victor Hugo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
"Great edifices, like great mountains, are the work of centuries. Art often undergoes a transformation while they are pending, pendent opera interrupta; they proceed quietly...