The Promise of a Nation


Photo by
@caldwellkelsie

Anger paralyzes,

I search for words—

Pour what I feel

Into them—

But my anger

Melts them,

Turns them molten metal,

Defiant to the forms,

The constraints,

The molds I attempt

To use to shape

This gob of white hot liquid metal

Into meaning

For feelings

Overwhelming me.



Paralysis crushing,

Submission—

It is what they want—

Make us heavy once again

With chains and shackles,

Place and close the Master’s padlock,

A designation of second class,

Something much less than they,

Round our necks once more,

Making of us an example,

So others live in fear

Of what they come for next

And so acquiesce—

Staying silent, eyes lowered,

Hoping to escape notice

By allowing them to feel smug and safe.



My anger burns bright white stripes,

Others will not die bleeding the red.

Remember the stars provide the light

Of what we know is right.

We will not live on our knees

Or on our backs, being beggars

For shredded scraps

Of what is the promise of our nation.



Handmaid’s Tale on the Horizon

Brevity of years
Right, paid in blood + death, destroyed
Fiction drips history

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2022/06/25/weekend-writing-prompt-265-brevity/

Brevity in 12 words

Spring Melting

image courtesy of southernexposure.com

Spring threatens to melt into us. 
Summer follows soon enough.

Birds will return, seeking seeds and worms,
Building nests for the young to come.
Will the birds remember the songs they sing?
Songs of summer, songs to mate?

Flowers will emerge, warming their petals 
And leaves under a brilliant sun.
Will they remember how to open
Their blossoms?
Will they remember how to dress themselves
In glorious color?

How can the birds or flowers remember
When the world walks a tightrope
Over the abyss
And sunflowers may never grow again
Tall enough to bow their heavy heads to God?

The Promise We Must Be

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/07/23/thursday-photo-prompt-darkness-writephoto/

Darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

A land we have loved with the lives of our sons and daughters,

A land we have bled for,

A land we have built upon golden ideals,

Shining as a beacon to other nations

 

But the darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

For which we have done things of shame and sin,

For we have killed our sisters and brothers

Of all different colors,

For we have kept others in chains of injustice

Because we saw others as less than.

 

And now the darkness gathers in our cities,

Creeping along the horizon of our land.                                                          

 

Now. Now is the time to carry that torch

Lifted above the water of a harbor

And see its light spread across our land.

We must be the promise

For which our daughters and sons died.

Driving out the darkness,

We must all be the promise of the dream—

Liberty and justice for all.

For White Pearls

Image courtesy of http://www.thepearlsource.com

Faceless, nameless

Are the multitudes

Who still exist

Within the air

Of a past colliding

Upon your present.

Unpleasant for you,

I know, disruption

To the course of your

Day to day

Good morning harmony,

The dripping sugar whiteness

Of your “girl next door” hood.

You are not faceless.

You are not nameless.

Your language drips privileged

White pearls of empty empathy.

Turn your television off with white pride,

The faceless and the nameless

Will not apologize for the noose

You feel tightening around

Your Good Morning Positivity

As faced and named change comes

To Our Nation.

 

We, Intrepid Shield

6th and Jefferson in Louisville. This is a line of white people forming a barrier between Black protestors and the police. This is love. This is what you do with your privilege. #NoJusticeNoPeace #SayHerName #BreonnaTaylor
Photo credit: Tim Druck

Although I am not white, I admit I enjoy white privilege because most people perceive me as white.  My mother was Melungeon, a mix raced people of Appalachia, and my real father was of Hispanic heritage.  Most people look at me and see white features and assume a Greek or Italian heritage.  Yes, some ignorant people have said stupid, racist things to me because of their assumption of my whiteness.  In light of recent events, the privilege given to me by my features and skin color demands that I stand up to help.

 

We sat silent, complacent too long

Our children safe.

 

Between threats to our black and brown

Sisters and brothers,

We must shield– intrepid, resolute,

 taking spit, hits,

 gas, lash, bricks

 even death, should it come to that

So nothing touches them.

 

We must fulfill the promise of our nation—

              All are equal

 

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/weekend-writing-prompt-159-intrepid/

 

Definitions of Us

Mother, widow,
Writer, teacher, friend
Titles I wear
That others use
To make a definition
Of me.

But I am more
Than any definition
Clown and comedienne
Actress and writer
Sinner and saint
A bit of Medea and Medusa
Shaken and stirred
With a touch
Of Mother Theresa
And Margaret Mead
And an added dash
Of Lucille Ball
For good measure.

My Lady MacBeth stays
Securely Locked Away,
Crying for some Germ-X
For her hands.
Wuornos, her cellmate,
Just doesn’t give a shit
And is it any wonder?

But I’ve no soft purr
With words
Like a Bishop or a Plath
Or a Browning,
But I could bake brownies
That might make you cry.

Yes, full of contradictions and complications
That’s what we women are
A bit of the Madonna
A bit of the Whore
A bit of the Wise One
And more
Too much and too little
To list
And define
Except by what we,
Ourselves, design

 

Tear Down the Curtain 

A battle won,

Time now to rise,

Rise in the streets to remind 

Of a time when 

With a banging shoe

Our damnation tolled 

As shouts and threats

Of our burial 

Brought us to the brink.

We must rise,

Rise, take to the streets,

Stand beneath the feet of great ones

They plan to topple and disgrace,

To show we see the link

Smelted and forged in gold

With the man behind the curtain.

We once caused a wall to fall.

Let our numbers now rip down 

A curtain made of gold.  

Power Rises

The Lady went dark,

feeling the decline.

The dawn trembled,

as the power of the mother raised

a sisterhood united.

 

While the capricious one

and his band of merry fools

turned tiny hands

to the magician’s tools

of distraction and deflection,

whipping their devout disciples

to a rabid, foamy hate,

ready to trample their different siblings.

 

Thus, the mother within the sisterhood

and a faction of the brotherhood

joins them to rise,

persisting in resisting

to protect a nation

for the next generation.

 

The Mother’s Hope

What we know of words upon a page
Read, learned over again until sated
In the richness found
Then turn to the electronic blue haze
Where even words resonate, echoing fade
For the sweetest lies hate mongers craved
Swoon over one hundred forty plastic flowers
Like the words of a lover’s refrain
Written once too often in wooing others
As cheap plated jewelry’s shine
Turns black in the bitterness
On the day the Mother of Exiles cried
For the words beneath her feet crumbled
And the book she holds nearly fell,
Upon its cover, the date when something pure,
Something of meaning and hope was born
No longer revered, respected, held dear
By those with a need to instill hate and fear.

The Mother raised her head,
Found her footing once again,
Held close her book of law
When she saw the children of her nation arise,
Stand strong against the peddlers of fear
And by their numbers shout a resounding, “NO!”