How do we come to be here next to each other in the night Where are the stars that show us to our love inevitable Outside the leaves flame usual in darkness and the rain falls cool and blessed on the holy flesh the black men waiting on the corner for a womanly mirage I am amazed by peace It is this possibility of you asleep and breathing in the quiet air
Before I begin posting work from many poets who haven’t appeared on this blog before, let’s start with this intricate gem by the magnificent writer and activist, June Jordan (1936-2002), who I just love so much.
Not looking now and then I find you here
not knowing where you are.
Talk to me. Tell me things I see
fill the table between us or surround
the precipice nobody dares to forget.
Talking takes time takes everything
sooner than I can forget the precipice
and speak to your being there
where I can hear you move no nearer
than you were standing on my hands
covered my eyes dreaming about music.
Welcome to my eighth round of daily postings for National Poetry Month. This past year, when so much of this fractured world filled me with bewilderment and sorrow and anger, I found myself turning to poetry more than ever before. It was through poems that I encountered some of the most beautiful expressions of the human experience we share, and through poems that I grasped so palpably all the forces that push and break us apart.
And it was through poems that I learned and re-learned to worship the strangers around me. Let us begin this month with the phenomenal writer and activist June Jordan (1936-2002), whose mountain of work I urge you to explore.
For the next 30 days, I hope the lines of these poets will reach you, wherever you are, whoever you are. Are you ready? Join me.
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
are you ready?
they are stones in the water
These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.
I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers