I was handed a book today,
It was awkward.
The cover, half black, half white
Included the word, “Negro,” in the title.

Me, being white didn’t know
How to take the word,
Given that the man who brought me the book
Is African American.

We talked about the Steelers choking,
The loss of money wagered on the losers,
And when the book was due.
Later, he would send me two more books.

I dove into Contemporary Poets of the Negro (1921)
Unsure of what I was looking for,
But then I realized that the book spoke clearly,
White people, back then, needed to wake up.

I couldn’t agree more, only with a tenor struck
In our present, for little has changed
In the way the cultures don’t exist together,
A token acceptance based on guilt rather than acceptance.

Perhaps Kerlin’s words,
“For both races it augurs ill,” capture the problem
With the delicate existence of race relations no matter the cultures,
And its time everyone fixed things, before all our cores are hollowed out.

“Poetic facts lay their claims on us.” Jason Silva

Hatred lays waste to goodness.
It works its evil destruction through fear,
The threat of violence
Being the blade that cuts hearts united.

Goodness denies the demonic ways of hate.
Good works its magic with faith,
The belief of equality and the strength of something higher
Being the antidote to hate.

He yelled that they were becoming
Bookless, Godless, Sabbathless people
Because the commitment to the culture
Was losing faith with the youth
And immigrants to America.

He spoke of the impending death
Of the lifestyle so misunderstood
By what to seemed to be his own people.
That was 1920 and who knew the horrors
To be lived in the coming decades.

They yell today that the world is becoming
Full of heathens, infidels, or whatever coined terms
Suit their needs
Because people are still failing to understand
That there is plenty of spiritual room on this planet.

They speak of the coming dawn
Where their god will clean house
Of all those who don’t believe.
This is now and the screaming is not of one faith
It is in the wind blowing everywhere.




Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would think
Of things like a church congregation
In Danville, Va censuring it’s minister
For preaching that desegregation and integration
Were good things.

Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would think
Of Sunday sermons where the church congregation
Heard of the devils wandering the Earth
Labeled evils spirits
Because of the color of their fair skin.

Neither white nor black can claim moral cleanliness
Where matters of bias are concerned,
But it sure would be nice if people
Would heed the lessons of their scripture
And do as Jesus would have them do.

Revelation 2:2  I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.


So it is ordered
There will be an increase
In the number of fire watchers
Because we know
The use of incendiary bombs
Is a danger of conflagration
That we don’t want
Our people to experience.

Once the enemy feels the heat
They will retaliate with their own fire bombs
Bringing the same inferno
To our towns
So we must be ready for
The inevitability of their revenge.
Our watchers will direct resources
To minimize loss in the resulting blaze.

So it was written in 1942…

And it lives
In the bombs strapped to martyrs,
In the words of political candidates,
In the analysis of pundits,
In the bullets directed at the unarmed and
Those charged with our protection.
The fires spread across parched lands
Because all of the water is bottled up for selling
Yet the watchers do nothing
From their towers or lofty ambitions
Using controlled burns
To get what is best for them.

So it seems in 2016…


Photo Credit: skitterphoto.com via Pexels

It’s a running joke
That when a guy does something
Some of us might consider feminine
A dude will say,
“Give us your man card.”

In these times of long overdue sensitivity
To the expansion of what it means to be a man
There might be a lesson from the past
On how men should act
To preserve their standing.

When bellbottoms and Nixon were still around
A group of men
Held a conference to raise consciousness
Of what it meant
To be a man.

They wanted to explore
Why men can’t experience
The same feelings as woman
Or share whatever kind of intimacy
With another man, both being on the same page, of course.

Too bad they needed a conference for that.
Who cares about that stuff
As long as no one is getting hurt?
Are men not men if they can’t
Think like a woman or have a relationship with a man?

It’s a shame things were that way
Now it seems like times have flipped.
My friend opines about golf clubs and bars of old
Where it was a bunch of dudes
Shielded from the world of estrogen.

He is going crazy with bathroom reorganizations,
Political correctness, and watching sports with his wife.
I think he would benefit
From a conference
With men learning how to not be men.

Then he could crash the hallowed grounds
Of women, wherever they are, and
Accept the changing social ambiguity
With a manly shaking of tolerating hands
With those who grew from the conference forty years ago.

I’m just saying
He needs to be more understanding,
Less shackled to a threatened ego, more accepting and all.
Besides, those guys didn’t know what it meant to be a man.
I mean, why should he be different?

Rory drove from the Stonewall Jackson shrine feeling like a samurai. His vision was greater than any textbook could ever print. He could not get the old Studebaker to Smithfield fast enough. Rory arrived as the golden glow of the afternoon sun signaled his arrival to Virginia’s lost souls. He did not know who he would meet, but with Morris Day singing, “Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed,” Rory was sure he would not be disappointed.

Standing across the street from the Smithfield Meat Packing Plant was Ralph Morecock, a social misfit with hidden goodness, who was an institution from Rory’s youth. Ralph was a cross between Archie Bunker and George Jefferson, conservative white guy wanting minorities to ’move on up.’ He was crass, once playing verbal Jai alai with a kid who mowed grass for him. Ralph suggested the kid take his scrotum in for a gynecological exam. Years later, he would help that same kid, now a young man, get into college.

Rory stopped outside of the plant and rolled the window down.

“Thanks for stopping,” said Ralph.

“I didn’t have a choice,” said Rory.

Ralph opened the door and got into the truck. The engine went dead.

“Don’t worry, it will start when we are done. We are supposed to meet here. I think it has something to do with “accomplishments and challenges.”

Rory thought about what Ralph just said. This man of the past had come back and for all that he accomplished when he was alive, he must have been facing challenges on the other side.

“Ralph, you know you were never sophisticated.”

“I was honest.”

“Liar,” said Rory. “Why are you here?”

“This country needs to be fixed. Taxpayers can’t survive. Immigration is ruining the culture. Some patriotic resident needs to stand up for what is right. I’m here to help you fulfill your destiny.”

The words settled on Rory like one hundred pounds of feathers, soft and heavy.

“Alright Ralph, but I’m guessing we are supposed to help each other,” said Rory, “so here is what you are going to do for me. Your generation fought to keep the races segregated. Your generation deemed our race ‘superior.’ You knew better, though. You knew we are equal and that good people are good and bad ones are bad. You also know immigration and taxes are used by haters as divisive issues.”

Ralph said, “Studying for your urinalysis paid off.”

Rory shook his head and continued, “You need to be true to your spirit. Be the man who knew what was right and start convincing all those dead racists to let go of their hatred so the present can stop fighting ghosts. Right here, right now, in front of a responsible operation with the best ham in the world, vow to do your part.”

Ralph shook Rory’s hand and ventured back to wherever to work at changing the bad energy of the past.

The Studebaker started and Rory drove for the next part of his journey.