Saturday, August 2, 2014

Poems: 4 for brother Vincent

These poems are for Vincent Harding who died on May 19th.


4 for brother Vincent

1. Beloved

Vincent saw each one of us

not as a bent tree

leaves aslant

on a high peak

or crumpled in a thin basement

stripped of resource

urged a rent party

for a desolate artist

eating greens with friends

slept on a cot

near a young man



doing the job of life

making the

here and

not yet

belov ed community

2. Down

You went far

adopted by Jews in Harlem

saw the holocaust(s)

to the West Bank

where young Jews in helmets

of blacks and jews


fire guns

pour down

shit and urine

through cluttered mesh

live ammo

on the bazaar in Hebron

on nonviolent

see the Tamimis

stand up

with Martin


in Nabi Saleh





3. Transience

And what is

fiery sunsets

live conversations

truth teller


move mountains of bondage

in the thrownlight


of dawn

of many

this is what we are

tell fiery red Jordan


joining heart


of stories

in the brilliant moments we are here

for the shimmer that lasts

for stories

that keep

until we, too,

are gone

4. Ancestors

In the long night

many thousands gone

some shine

in the long night

many silenced for not

standing aside on a side walk


when a whiteman passed

(shadowy, arrogant, deader

than dead can be…)

living lives of courage

and endurance

some find words for the new

some imagine a future

filled with laughter

better than high power

of “race” or money

a future for all

a democratic community

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