Sunday, August 9, 2009

Womanist Trobadours

The intentions behind the words they compose are infused with love and hope. Sometimes I just need to be lifted.

For Witches by Susan Sutheim

Dedicated to Chip From Judaye With Love

today
i lost my temper

temper, when one talks of metal
means strong,
perfect.

temper, for humans
means angry
irrational
bad.

today i found my temper.
i said,
you step on my head
for 27 years you step on my head
and though i have been trained
to excuse you for your inevitable
clumsiness
today i think
i prefer my head to your clumsiness

today i began
to find
myself.

tomorrow
perhaps
i will begin
to find
you.


Introduction to the "Corners on the Curving Sky" section of the book Soulscript (1970) compiled by June Jordan. Source Wikipedia.

Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness. Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience. Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter. These poems speak to philosophy; they reveal the corners where we organize what we know.

<strong>won't you celebrate with me by
Lucille Clifton
won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.


to my friend, jerina by Lucille Clifton

listen, when i found out that there was no safety
in my father's house
I knew there was none anywhere.
you are right about this,
how i nutured my work
not my self, how i left the girl
wallowing in her own shame
and took on the flesh of my mother.
but listen
the girl is rising in me
not willing to be left to
silent fingers in the dark,
and you are right,
she is asking for more than
most men are able to give,
but she means to have what she
has earned,
sweet sighs, safe houses,
hands she can trust.


Tell It Like It Is Artist Tracy Chapman

Say it say it say it Tell it like it is
Say it say it say it Tell it like it is

What breaks your heart
What keeps you awake at night
What makes you want to breakdown and cry

But say you'll never turn your back
Say you'll never harden to the world
Say you'll never try to still the rhythms in your breast
Say you'll never look at the evil among us and try to forget
Say you'll tell it like it is

Say it say it say it so everyone can hear
Say it say it say it tell it like it is

What breaks your heart
What keeps you awake at night
How your anger and grief
Make you want to cry out
And tell it like it is

But say you'll never close your eyes
Or pretend that it's a rosy world
Say you'll never try to paint
What is rotten with a sugarcoat
Say you'll talk about the horrors you've seen and the torment you know And tell it like it is

Say it say it say it
So no one can forget
Say it say it say it Tell it like it is

What breaks your heart
What keeps you awake at night
What makes you want to break the ties that silence and bind
And tell it like it is

Say you'll never cover your ears and close your mouth
And live in a silent world
Say you'll only run as far or as fast as you need to be secure
Say that then you'll tell the truth
When a lie could cross your lips
And tell it like it is

Say it say it say it - Say it say it say it
Say it say it say it - Say it say it say it
Say it say it say it - Say it say it say it
Say it say it say it - Say it say it say it


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1 comment:

  1. I love lucille clifton and j jordan. THank you so much for posting these. It did me good to re-read them!

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