MAP #66

Theme: February is Black History Month

1. By Marvin Kimbrough of Austin (this poem is from the anthology, Heritage Blue, due for release in April.)

African American - Feb. 15, 1996

Sometimes, we think

We're unloved, unwanted, forgotten

Especially on TV, radio, and in print

But not today for

In the Austin Chronicle, page 75

There we were

"African-American History Month"

Right there under miscellaneous

© 1996 Marvin G. Kimbrough

2. From Audrey Kaufman of Dublin, Ireland

remembering Karla (3/2/99)

it should have been

a joyous occasion

where we could lift glasses

and move towards a brighter

future

where we could congratulate

ourselves

on progress

instead we share the shiver

of unbelief

when tears would not flow

and senses were numbed

so we clung to a higher self

slowly reached out

into another world

to keep our sanity

(Karla Faye Tucker was killed by the stae of Texas by lethal injection on

3rd February 1998)

Audrey S. Kaufman

4 Chapel Manor

Chapelizod

Dublin 20, Ireland

3. And from Joseph Powell, of Burbank, Ca. This poem will also appear in the Heritage Blue anthology.

Resolved:

To Be Seen And Heard

(An Invisible Man Speaks Out)

Hear me, America!

For I will not be silent.

I will not go gentle

Into that good night

Or anywhere else you wish me to go.

For I am here

And here I'll stay,

Until you acknowledge me

Or die trying.

For I am your darker brother

You'd rather keep in the closet.

The invisible man you choose not to see;

The millionth man wishing to be counted.

The rapper and the preacher,

Speaking the truth to you in love,

But by all means necessary.

I am the somebody

Standing next to you in an elevator

As you clutch your purse tighter and hope

That I'm not getting off on the same floor

as you.

I am God's child, sitting next to you in church,

And yet is as far away from you

As the east is from the west.

I am the one who got away

From the projects, the drugs, gangs, and prisons;

Who works on Wall Street, Madison Avenue,

The Wilshire District, and the Magnificent Mile;

But can't catch a cab or buy a home

Or get a loan or date your daughter

Or live next door to you.

I am Othello, the hero you love in public,

And the scourge you hate in private.

I am James Baldwin,

Malcolm X,

Martin Luther King,

Thurgood Marshall,

Langston Hughes,

W.E.B. Dubois,

And a host of others--

Still wondering, when are you going to wake up?

Wondering, when are you going to get it?

I am the ghosts of decades past:

Of slavery and lynchings,

Of white sheets and burning crosses,

Of Jim Crow and "move to the rear!",

Of attack dogs and fire hoses,

Of "Wait!" and "Be patient!",

Of assassinations and wiretaps,

Of getting the mule without the 40 acres,

Of affirmative action and Indian-giving

(If you know what I mean!)

Am I bugging you?

Have I got under your skin?

Because you haven't gotten under mine yet,

Nor have you walked in my shoes.

For if you could, you'd see

That I am you and you are me;

The reflections of your hopes and fears,

Your thoughts and dreams;

The other side of the coin;

Truth staring you in the face;

Love waiting to be received,

The dream tired of being deferred;

The voice in the wilderness

Waiting to be answered.

Will you see me as I am,

Not as waht pride and prejudice

Has blinded you to?

Will you hear me

Amidst the din and noise

Of fear and ignorance?

Hear me say,

In a still small voice, 'I love you'...

I'm still waiting.

© 1998 Joseph Powell