my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958
my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot
what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away cuz
colored chirren believin in magic
waz becomin politically dangerous for the race
& waznt nobody gonna be made white
on the spot just
from a clap of my daddy’s hands
& the reason i’m so peculiar’s
cuz i been studyin up on my daddy’s technique
& everythin i do is magic these days
& it’s very colored
very now you see it/ now you
dont mess wit me
i come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies
on our side
i’ll listen to yr problems
help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin spouse
make yr grandma’s stay in heaven more gratifyin
ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son
how to clean his room
YES YES YES 3 wishes is all you get
scarlet ribbons for yr hair
benwa balls via hong kong
a miniature of machu picchu
all things are possible
but aint no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you white
this is blk magic
you lookin at
& i’m fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life
& you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it
love it/ bein colored/
Photo Credit: Cast photo from the movie “Colored Girls.” Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular. Directed by TylerPerry. Original play by NtozakeShange. (Source IMDb)
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face
catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes
with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well:
that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young for ever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy
men who need to be seen with passable women.
But now that I am in love with a place
which doesn’t care how I look, or if I’m happy,
happy is how I look, and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake, my waist thicken,
and the years work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather-beaten as well
that’s little enough lost, a fair bargain
for a year among the lakes and fells, when simply
to look out of my window at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors and to what
my soul may wear over its new complexion.
The butterfly’s loping flight carries it through the country of the leaves delicately, and well enough to get it where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping here and there to fuzzle the damp throats of flowers and the black mud; up and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes for long delicious moments it is perfectly lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk of some ordinary flower.
The god of dirt came up to me many times and said so many wise and delectable things, I lay on the grass listening to his dog voice, crow voice, frog voice; now, he said, and now, and never once mentioned forever,
which has nevertheless always been, like a sharp iron hoof, at the center of my mind.
One or two things are all you need to travel over the blue pond, over the deep roughage of the trees and through the stiff flowers of lightning—some deep memory of pleasure, some cutting knowledge of pain.
But to lift the hoof! For that you need an idea.
For years and years I struggled just to love my life. And then the butterfly rose, weightless, in the wind. “Don’t love your life too much,” it said, and vanished into the world.
🎂Happy Birthday Mary Oliver (September 10, 1935 -)🎂
The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain — and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world.
🎂Happy Birthday Ted Hughes (August 17, 1930 – October 28, 1998) In Memoriam🌹
To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men. The human race Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised Against injustice, ignorance, and lust, The inquisition yet would serve the law, And guillotines decide our least disputes. The few who dare, must speak and speak again To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God, No vested power in this great day and land Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry Loud disapproval of existing ills; May criticise oppression and condemn The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws That let the children and childbearers toil To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast Of independence in this mighty land. Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link. Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave. Until the manacled slim wrists of babes Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee, Until the mother bears no burden, save The precious one beneath her heart, until God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed And given back to labor, let no man Call this the land of freedom.
Listen to a reading of the poem Protest by Winston Bart from Poems Cafe here.
I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets; My overcoat too was becoming ideal; I travelled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal; Oh dear me! what marvelous loves I dreamed of! My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them. – Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way. My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear. – My stars in the sky rustled softly. And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine; And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows, I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!
In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained;... We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. — Henry David Thoreau