Monday, April 27, 2009

Lori Wall-Holloway

CLEANSING IN THE NEW YEAR

The rain slowly falls
and lands on leaves of bushes
outside my window.
The gentle pattering sound
before dawn is soft and sweet.
It brings calmness to my heart.
A new day has come in a new
month and in a new year.
I sense something wonderful
is in the works as the old days
and problems are now swept
away with the water.
A fresh joy bursts forth within
me like a colorful butterfly,
which breaks out from its cocoon.
After the struggle, victory is the result.
I listen as the rain cleanses and washes
away the dirt and hardship
from days and times before.
It offers me a new start.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Barbara Cogswell

SESTINA

Many uses have been found for a length of rope-
take the one hanging loose in the campanile
it brings to life an object of brass
what metal sounds better for a bell?
The bell ringer hangs loose with his bong
It’s what goes in it that rings his chimes

Now this ringer of chimes
has no need for a rope
or anything else but his bong
while he hunkers down in the campanile
the rest of us must wait to hear the bell
it’s his job after all, to polish the brass

but he doesn’t remember to burnish the brass
but composes a ballad, influenced by chimes
just too much energy needed to ring the bell
you’ve got to stand up and pull on the rope!
it’s nice, but why is the ceiling so high, in this campanile?
for something useful to do, he loads up his bong

he’ll sing the ballad about his bong
and make plans for polishing the brass
he’ll spend the night in this warm campanile
and hope he doesn’t run out of smoke for chimes
he tried swinging from wall to wall on the rope
inadvertently ringing the bell

which was nice, but he said “to hell with the bell”
and the ballad turned sad, about his bong
for it dropped and broke while swinging on the rope
he’ll have to replace it, if he can come up with the brass
to live happily ever after, he needs those chimes
for these lonely hours in the campanile

this bell ringer earned his PHD and left, no harm done to the campanile
the sun reflects each day off the brilliant bell
graffito on the wall reads “different times ring different chimes”
of course nobody has forgotten “bong”
which used to mean the sound induced by striking a bell made of brass
by nothing more than pulling on a rope

so every campus has a campanile
and hears at least one bong
it is to be hoped, from a bell
made of polished brass
and somebody rings their chimes
just swinging on the rope

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ed Houston

AMERICA

America for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
You stole me from another country, and now I bear your name
America, America, between a rock and a hard place is where I be
America, America, Home of the Brave, Land of the Free

America, America, Democrat or Republican is all the same to me
Makes no difference who holds the whip, if your back is the only one they see
America, America, remember when segregation was the law of the Land
Of course it wasn’t right, but at least, Blacks had there own Economic Plan

We couldn’t use yours, but we had our own banks, stores, theatres, and were always ready to give each other a helping hand.
But through the process of integration, we own nothing as a people, and about each other we don’t give a damn
America, America, you’ve really taught us well, in what’s really important in life, like Bling-Bling, and how to tap that ass
And how to stay fresh, and dress to impress, drive the Escalade, and talk all day long about how much Kobe and LaBraun get paid

America, America, you’ve been a hard task master
But truth be told there’s no place I’d rather be
Every ethnic group in the world can come here and make it
It’s no wonder they look down on me

America, America, you’ve held the carrot-stick of Freedom in front of our faces for over 200 years
We’ve got a few nibbles, but never a full bite
It’s our own fault if we keep being stupid believing you’ll be fair
No group has earned freedom without being in a fight

America, America, death to you and yours is the cry from distance lands
America, America, we will bury you, they say it’s Allah’s Plan
But every group in the world has a Plan, and you best believe Black’s will be last on every list
And if we don’t band together and get our own Plan, we’ve got no right to get pissed

America, America, like it or not, this is my country too
And there’s no other place I’d rather be
But if we don’t wake up Black America
We’ll continue to be Slaves, just pretending to be Free