Wednesday, August 17, 2005

John H. Johnson

John H. Johnson
John H. Johnson,
originally uploaded by ChicagoEye.
Well
Pour the wine
and before it hits the
pavement
get on up and get on
we move swiftly
follow the leader
don't be scared
all those JETS
at the barber shops and
rings of kinky hair
place holders
relentlessly changing
as black turns to grey
long to short
but it always
opened easily
to the center
pour a little down
and before it hits the ground
you are leafing through
Ebony
and you see the
eyes of our people
not once
but a million million sets of eyes
deep black to blue
chronicling the lives
in all of the million facets
of the gem we are
bracketed by advertisements for
hair straightening
and stories about corn rows and naturals
and the movement
pour it down
what's that sound
I hear Marion Anderson Singing
mixed with blues and jazz
and gospel and gutter moans
I hear the echos of a cowards bomb
I see four Little Girls
I see Marvin and Malcolm and Mahalia and Mays
I see Ozzie and Ruby not Ozzie and Harriet
I see Bird & Belafone and W.E.B
I see Shuttelsworth and Sammy
I see people like me
Chips of Ebony flying from the
Masters chisel
I see common people
uncommon heroes, thugs and saints
I read and I read and I touch the faces
I learn to read in these pages
and I know that I am
I know that I am
I know that I am
So pour the wine
and before it hits the pavement
we will commemorate his name
we will not stand still
for he has shown us ourselves
in all of our splendid beauty
from black that reflects no light
to pale and hidden in the white
we will raise him to our shoulders and
celebrate a giant that no life can hold
St Peter let him rest a while
before you make him editor and chief
BIRD

Poem Copyright
©2005 Frederick Douglass Perry, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

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