New Poetry: the true independence day

Tragedy always inspires the best art, doesn’t it? Here’s new poetry inspired by the recent events in my country.

Digital art by Dre Moore

the true independence day

My neighbor wished me Happy Juneteenth yesterday.
I felt alive saying it back –
Yeah! Happy Juneteenth!
Now! We can say it without feeling threatened;
without feeling alone or lame.
We can say it minus that chip weighting our shoulders
and absent the lump of shame sitting on our chest.
We can sing out, Happy Juneteenth!
in a new melodic tune.
Like when we wished each other, Merry Christmas!
We can say it loud with joy and release
and uplifting confidence
that if one doesn’t wish it back
that one is one of the sad and sorry lost who must suffer.
Juneteenth, you say? Who ever heard of that holiday?
Mrs. Horton would stare you down
like you don’t know your tongue
from your asshole,
she heard you say that.
I learned of the true independence day of our nation
as a young student of 17 in public school.
Learned truths my programmed parents couldn’t teach
from one of God’s messengers of truth
manifest in the form of a high school teacher.
I found out because I wanted to know;
know why the fucked up shit I saw each day
happened mostly to people who were brown
and mostly not to people who weren’t that color.
And, I wanted to know why.
To really get to the crux of why –
even though my skin is peachy tan cream –
why I’m black too?
What’s that mean anyway?
Really, you don’t know. Do you?
Not till someone who knows shows you too.
Or, you just forget who they told you you were.
Then you too will be able to find the truth.
Only because of desire and pure will to understand.
But, if you don’t wanna know –
or cared not to know –
then you never knew of Juneteenth.
And this is all new.
And you think – How do these folks know just what to do?
On a brand new holiday
that trumps the other one they tried to fake.
Cuz no nation is free while it enslaves its own fundamental roots;
choking truth to hide its own crimes.
Holding back light to wallow in pitiful darkness.
J4 is nothing.
Juneteenth is all!
You never were free till you freed all your sons.
And you cannot be till you see all offspring free.
Until you hold the truth in your heart
you can never really be free to be what you are.
So really, any independence day was of undercover bondage –
a reminder of the lie.
While enslaved mothers and fathers,
sisters and brothers walked with free minds on this land
and you celebrated your own cruel spiritual demise,
without understanding or true purpose defined.
But now! Look at the colors we have given you again!
Oh nation stained in blood and terror,
look at what we have given
as a token of our love and forgiveness.
Juneteenth! All is Juneteenth!
The one and only true day to symbolize
the day you finally took the first step –
to step away from your own chains
and the ones you tried to use to bind me.
This one day we give you –
symbolizing that this nation is finally now and forever
a sponsor and supporter and endorser of the free!


Check out my new poetry collection, Dialogue: Poetic Conversations for sale at Amazon.


Bonus poem from Dialogue: Poetic Conversations!

tattooed heart beloved mind

I tattooed
the very word
no one said I was
onto the most sensitive flesh
of my right arm.
The wrist.
So delicate
at rest
and imbued with the might
of a willow.

I grip my pen
and hold my plate
by virtue of courage
incarnate in those fine bones
and flexing muscles
of my right wrist.

Beloved.
I was never that
to anyone
but you,
and your heart,
beat the blood
of your beloved to sleep
and thumped her awake again.

She knows you
like the back of her shaking hand

and the pep in her eager step.
And you know her
like the drumming of hard core bass
and the diastolic pulse
of your last heartbeat

You couldn’t see my tattoo.
And so, she recorded the buzzing
of the needle
and the vibrations
that came with the carving
of each letter,
each piercing skin prick.
Proof she was alive.

Life will never be the same
now that she knows.
But, I will always remember
it was you.
You, who told me
to get the tattoo
all those years ago
so that I would not forget her.

New Poetry: Sick Savage Nation of Shame

Poems always come at the best moments – always the best.

Photo’s by Flavio Gasperini, Spenser and frankie cordoba on Unsplash

Sick Savage Nation of Shame

Pretend shock or chaotic mind
making judgement known?
All of my country is ablaze
with the discontent of its offspring
It’s birthing of a violent and privileged youth
who know the world of their dreams
is more real than the world of a grand other reality
They saw the slave master’s overseer
on the neck of Kunta Kinte
but their grandparents just saw
a black man getting smart
What kind of twisted psychological manipulation
had to happen for that thought to happen?
Think of the programming involved?
Then think of the gargantuan task of re-programming
And I see with more than eyes –
with the sense eyes fail to capture –
I see that the anti-fascists and the pacifists
marching with placards shouting their pain
they are only two halves of the same t-bill
One is me on a good day
And the other is me on a day
when my favorite uncle George
got murdered by a cop
I can’t judge neither one

I watched some young people looting some stores
The people moved quickly and indiscriminately
These ones were amassing large quantities of toilet paper
Or maybe it was paper towels
And other loot too …but it was the TP that grabbed me
How to be angry with this?
Why are you out in the mayhem, young man?
Sweet young lady, why you wasting your heaven on a clean behind?
If we cleaned our own messes today would be different.
You can’t look away from young people looting paper goods
Just because you thought the TP fairy
supplied every household with a fresh daily roll
What want and clawing need drives a person to loot
and to loot the basics
Some other kind of slave master for sure
If we are so rich –
so abundantly wealthy and blessed with good fortune
why are we watching men murder men in our streets?
And watching our youth burn and loot our cities behind it all?

This is all of us
each and every one of us
If you refuse to claim it
you ain’t one of us
You know how this started
and from where we Americans came
Karma plays out in each according to its own
Violence begets violence
and love begets love
If we want change –
if we care to do more than just dream –
and create a better world for ourselves
and our little ones future little ones
than the one that was made for us
then you know what must be done
Only love – all the sayings and cliches are true
Say them, sure, but more –
live them in truth
Lay down all weapons of attack
Violence can only fail to never quench or suffice
Drop all hatred at the source
cutting the power and ending all strife
We have this choice now
or the other hellish death
Choose now – tick tock –
time damn near gone
I bet you never stand around again
like a crowd at a lynching again
And watch a man kill a man in the streets again
America again?!
You sick savage nation of shame!
Show yourself and be judged by your own justice


Check out my new poetry collection, Dialogue: Poetic Conversations for sale at Amazon.com.

From Washington Park, With Love

Today’s post includes a new poem inspired by walks with my dog, Zora, at one of our two favorite South Side Chicago parks. These walks have always been therapeutic for me, especially now during the current quarantine. I’m finding more and more joy in less and less.

Also, check out my new poetry collection for sale on Amazon, Dialogue: Poetic Conversations.

Washington Park, Chicago USA
The fishing pier and thorny tree
Washington Park, Chicago USA

From Washington Park, With Love

Meet me under the thorny tree
near the fishing pier, my Love
and I will sing a song you will want to hear
above all man’s kind of sirens
A melody to drown out popping death cracks
and stomping footsteps of captivity
And I will paint for you a memory
in shades of purple and green
to recolor spinning red flames
that glisten in flowing crimson
stains of our demise
Come sit with me, Dear Heart
and I will show you a clearing in the path
you always knew was here
even if you couldn’t see it
past the pretty city lights

Washington Park, Chicago USA