Amiri Imamu Baraka
Poet Laureate, Playwright, Speaker, Activist
This is the day the newly established homeless man stripped down to his underwear in the laundry mat and pleaded with the children to stop laughing at him because it was all he had and at least he kept it clean…
This is for my nervousness when I see a shuffled haired white man in the post office with a large duffel bag…
This is me realizing this is how white women must feel when she passes a black man on the street…
This smile is for the day my nephew put his new football on the phone for me to talk to it
then left the room
This is me imagining what his 11 month old sister thought when she walked in the room and had to choose between a football or a telephone yelling her name…
This is in spite of my prayers for love I think he’s lying when he says it..
All this is to remind us we’re human.
For daughters who hate mothers for
not being Grandma
For mothers who hate daughters
Cause she thinks she know it all
If only they’d not played with baby dolls
maybe both wouldn’t be disappointed
This is for the daughters from mothers
Who are now mothers of daughters
That meet at the shore of unforgiving
whose hearts are prematurely laid to rest
Tomb stone reading.. fear
This is for mothers who hate daughters for being just like them
This is for daughters who hate mothers for not teaching them any better
For mothers with old tricks that no longer separate the sun from recycled patio air
For daughters with paper doll necks held upright with duct taped thoughts of suicide
both parked on one way streets without life’s permission to do so
…faces marked hourly with tears
This is for way too tired mothers
Who have true dreams of stress ridden daughters with sunflower crowns
This is for mothers & daughters
who stuff their wounds with spider webs
and catch men with two legs, four lives and a thousand lies
This is a prayer for time to cancel judgment from the memory bank of what was important
For daughters and mothers facing sad reflections
Digging deep regrets
At the shore of unforgiving.
nikki skies copyright 2014
Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
Or line the crowded
With other impetuous
Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.
“I will not lend my name nor my rhythm to your beat / I will dance and resist and dance and persist
…your war drum ain’t louder than this breath…” – Suheir Hammad
I was asked to submit to UrbanKore Journal, that supports the Black Arts Scene in Kansas City, Mo. where I was born!! The City of Fountains! Most of my family still lives there 🙂
I hope you enjoy the new poem I submitted 🙂
“but when I think about my childhood, I don’t think about poverty, I remember how she
hugged me, kissed me, taught me, loved me / and I know you’d prefer another broken neck to a broken heart…”
“… you’re like a super hero that lifts me up when I fall / you bring me up when I feel 5 inches tall…”
I don’t have her name but I’m sure when she read this to her mom, it was absolute MAGIC.