MAP #68
Theme: Soul Food

chuck rice coral springs, florida

Epitaph In Storm

Lightening cracked the black sky
broke open the winds
reaching up through the clouds
the souls
of those born into the dust
climbed sharp raindrops
into the gentle blue
I shall, on concepts
far above language
of time and space
leave but of myself
a faint
shadow upon the ground
and returning use sparingly
the crystal clearness of raindrops
fearing their paradoxical dark gathering
for too much clearness
becomes a frightening
thundering blackness
against the naked light of day.

From Dan Byrnes, N.S.W., Australia


Her poems
like a hand feeling fabric
her words are precise covers
for uncertain shapes
coloured with ambiguous pastels.
About the shape of the hills
she is silent.
She looks from the hilltops, though,
more and more discreetly,
to the horizons of discreet anquish.
Things as are, not quite sayable -
are on the silent horizon
in recurring presence, recurring.
This is waiting for the sun.
This is waiting for the day of straightness
woven like a gown she once saw
and desired
like a draught of clear spring water.

What do you call this kind of blues?

The rhythm is right
smooth and tight
hips are swayin
but the blues are misbehavin
takin on hues in Aruba skies
and starry-eyed infatuations
all flecked with gold
like Maxfield Parrish paintings
no traces of stormy weather
What do you call this kind of blues?

The rhythm is groovy
moves right through me
but the blues keep missin their cues
steppin high on sunny sidewalks
showin up kickin their toes up
in happy high-heeled shoes
at Radio City Music Hall
and sad can't afford
that ticket at all
What do you call this kind of blues?

© 1998 anastasia

Zandria (aka Jan Houston) of Dallas

a new kind of blues

could it be
a kind of big band swing ?
kin to the high exuberance
of jump and jive freed
from old yo heave ho
the day the ball and chain
that birthed your blues
sank deep in muddy water
outta sight
leavin you prancin and dancin
to the rhythm you write
a woman in love with livin
hearin the truer tune
of the high harmonics
you dug to discover
hidden just above the bass line
sparklin like diamonds
sweat from the forehead
of every bluesman before you

blues essence, mama
you got it !

© 1998 Jan Houston

by Larry Jaffe, of Los Angeles.


hello my name is larry
and i am a white man
now mind you
i have never
felt particularly white
throughout my life
i have been known
to consort with
people of ummm color
but i am white
and there is
no getting around it
i don't particularly
like white bread
but i do like bagels
i am not all that fond
of grits
and i hate finger sandwiches
i like fried chicken
and watermelon
but leave me out
of the line waiting for
greens and ham hocks
i can do without
i have been known
interestingly enough
to eat citlins
don't ask me why
and those fried port
rinds in the cellophane
bag much to the disgust
of everyone around me
i like them too
oh and i like pastrami
jewish soul food
with a bowl of matzo ball soup
but i hate gefilte fish
i cannot even look at it
or refried beans
i don't like beef stroganoff
under any conditions
but this whole treatise
has led me to wonder
is racism more about
taste buds than color?

© 1997 lgjaffe