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Reflections: Be Thankful

Reflections: Be Thankful

November 30 / 17

 

 

Enjoy your Thursday, be blessed.

 

 

image source: Pinterest & HD Wallpaper
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Reflections: Urban Legends

Reflections: Urban Legends

October 31 / 17

We all know what day it is and it would be very appropriate for you guys to read some urban legends. Found these gems courtesy of ThoughtCo. The article, written by David Emery focuses on these urban legends. Are these truth or fiction? I can’t answer that. Read these stories and think for yourself. To see the rest of this article click here.


Credit source: ThoughtCo.

 

The Dead Boyfriend

Here are two examples of the urban legend known as the “The Dead Boyfriend.”

Example #1:

A girl and her boyfriend are making out in his car. They had parked in the woods so no one would see them. When they were done, the boy got out to pee and the girl waited for him in the safety of the car.

After waiting five minutes, the girl got out of the car to look for her boyfriend. Suddenly, she sees a man in the shadows. Scared, she gets back in the car to drive away, when she hears a very faint squeak… squeak… squeak…

This continued a few seconds until the girl decided she had no choice but to drive off. She hit the gas as hard as possible but couldn’t go anywhere, because someone had tied a rope from the bumper of the car to a nearby tree.

Well, the girl slams on the gas again and then hears a loud scream. She gets out of the car and realizes that her boyfriend is hanging from the tree. The squeaky noises were his shoes slightly scraping across the top of the car!!!

Example #2:

Here’s a story my mom told to me and my friends when I was about seven years old. You can imagine I was scared to death…

A woman and her boyfriend were on their way home from somewhere (not important) one night, and suddenly his car ran out of gas. It was about one in the morning and they were completely alone in the middle of the nowhere.

The guy stepped out of the car, saying comfortingly to his girlfriend, “Don’t worry, I’ll be right back. I’m just going to go out for some help. Lock the doors, though.”

She locked the doors and sat restlessly, waiting for her boyfriend to come back. Suddenly, she sees a shadow fall across her lap. She looks up to see… not her boyfriend, but a strange, crazed-looking man. He is swinging something in his right hand.

He sticks his face close to the window and slowly pulls up his right hand. In it is her boyfriend’s decapitated head, twisted horribly in pain and shock. She shuts her eyes in horror and tries to make the image go away. When she opens her eyes, the man is still there, grinning psychotically. He slowly lifts his left hand, and he is holding her boyfriend’s keys… to the car.

 

 

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Also known as “The Ghost Hitchhiker,” “The Phantom Hitchhiker” and “The Lady in White”

A newlywed couple, Nathan and Heather, were driving up the northern California coast to spend their dream honeymoon in a quaint bed-and-breakfast with a seaside view. They had hoped to arrive before dark, but a heavy fog had descended on Highway 1 and their progress was slow. They were at least an hour-an-a-half from their destination as night fell.

If you’ve ever driven that stretch of highway you know how tortuous it can be, with its narrow lanes and switchback curves. It was just as they were rounding one of those curves that they passed a solitary hitchhiker, a young woman in a wispy white dress standing on the shoulder with thumb outstretched.

“Good luck getting a ride on a night like this,” muttered Nathan under his breath.

“Stop the car and turn around,” said Heather. “Please, she’s all alone. We have to give her a ride.”

“We’re two hours late.”

“Please.”

Nathan pulled off the road and turned around. As they approached the girl from the opposite direction they could see her dress was in tatters. Her face was pale and gaunt.

“Can we give you a ride?” Heather asked as they pulled up beside her.

“Oh, thank you,” said the young woman, who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties. “I have to get home. My parents will be worried sick.”

“Where do you live?” asked Nathan.

“Just down the road, about 10 miles,” she said, climbing into the back seat. “There’s an intersection with an abandoned gas station. Across from there. It’s a white house with a rose garden. They’re waiting for me.”

As they made their way north again Heather attempted to make conversation, but the girl fell silent and slumped in the back seat, apparently asleep.

After about 15 minutes Nathan spotted a dilapidated service station.

“Is this it?” he asked. “Hey, is this the intersection?”

Heather turned to wake the young woman and caught her breath. “Nathan, she’s gone.”

‘”What do you mean, ‘she’s gone’?” Nathan said, pulling into the driveway of the white house. “How can she be gone?”

She was right. The hitchhiker had vanished.

A light came on and two people, an elderly couple, stepped out onto the porch.

“Can we help you?” the man asked. He looked as though he dreaded hearing the answer.

“I don’t know,” Nathan began. “We were driving, and we picked up this hitchhiker, a girl.”

“And she gave you this address,” said the man, “and asked you to bring her home.”

‘Yes,” said Heather.

“And then she was gone?” Heather nodded. “You aren’t crazy,” the man said. “And you’re not the first. She was our daughter. Her name was Diane. She passed away seven years ago, killed by a hit-and-run driver on the highway. They never caught whoever did it. I guess her spirit won’t rest until they do.”

Nathan and Heather were speechless.

“Won’t you come inside for coffee or tea?” said the woman. “You’ve had a shock. Some in and sit down.”

“No. Thank you, but no. We’re late,” said Heather. “We have to get going.”

After exchanging uncomfortable goodbyes, the newlyweds departed, as they had arrived, in stunned silence.

 

Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?

Tales known as “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?” or,”The Roommate’s Death,” might be told around the campfire or at sleepovers. Often it is told in urban legend style as if it happened to a friend of a friend at a nearby university. You might be worried that it is recent incident and a serial killer might be stalking the campus. You can allay your fears by matching the story you just heard with long-circulating urban legends.

Here are two examples.

AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU DIDN’T TURN ON THE LIGHT?

As told by W. Horton:

Two dormmates in college were in the same science class. The teacher had just reminded them about the midterm the next day when one dorm mate—let’s call her Juli—got asked to this big bash by the hottest guy in school. The other dorm mate, Meg, had pretty much no interest in going and, being a diligent student, she took notes on what the midterm was about. After the entire period of flirting with her date, Juli was totally unprepared for her test, while Meg was completely prepared for a major study date with her books.

At the end of the day, Juli spent hours getting ready for the party while Meg started studying. Juli tried to get Meg to go, but she was insistent that she would study and pass the test. The girls were rather close and Juli didn’t like leaving Meg alone to be bored while she was out having a blast.

Juli finally gave up, using the excuse that she would cram in homeroom the next day.

Juli went to the party and had the time of her life with her date. She headed back to the dorm around 2 a.m. and decided not to wake Meg. She went to bed nervous about the midterm and decided she would wake up early to ask Meg for help.

She woke up and went to wake Meg. Meg was lying on her stomach, apparently sound asleep. Juli rolled Meg over to reveal Meg’s terrified face. Juli, concerned, turned on the desk lamp. Meg’s study stuff was still open and had blood all over it. Meg had been slaughtered. Juli, in horror, fell to the floor and looked up to see, written on the wall in Meg’s blood: “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”

THE ROOMMATE’S DEATH

As told by Jon Little:

I heard about a girl who went back to her dorm room late one night to get her books before heading to her boyfriend’s room for the night. She entered but did not turn on the light, knowing that her roommate was sleeping. She stumbled around the room in the dark for several minutes, gathering books, clothes, toothbrush, etc. before finally leaving.

The next day, she came back to her room to find it surrounded by police. They asked if she lived there and she said yes. They took her into her room, and there, written in blood on the wall, were the words, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?” Her roommate was being murdered while she was getting her things.

 

Hope you enjoy reading these. Enjoy, be safe, be blessed!

 

Image source: YouTube

 

Reflections: Enjoying the Summer

Reflections: Enjoying the Summer

July 29 / 17

No poetry, no short story, no post….no nothing. Just take the time to enjoy the summer. Kids that means you because school is just around the corner. Be thankful and happy to enjoy your vacation with family and friends or to just be creative. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, be always blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source: Best Wallpapers & WallpaperSafar

Reflections: Summer Short Story

Reflections: Summer Short Story

June 27 / 17

Hello, all. It’s that time again and since summer has arrived, might as well keep up with the summer theme. Found a sci-fi short story titled All Summer In A Day by Ray Bradbury. It was published in the March 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I hope you like it….


cred: http://www.btboces.org

All Summer in a Day
By Ray Bradbury

“Ready ?”
“Ready.”
“Now ?”
“Soon.”
“Do the scientists really know? Will it
happen today, will it ?”
“Look, look; see for yourself !”
The children pressed to each other like so
many roses, so many weeds, intermixed,
peering out for a look at the hidden sun.
It rained.
It had been raining for seven years;
thousands upon thousands of days
compounded and filled from one end to the
other with rain, with the drum and gush of
water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers
and the concussion of storms so heavy they
were tidal waves come over the islands. A
thousand forests had been crushed under
the rain and grown up a thousand times to
be crushed again. And this was the way life
was forever on the planet Venus, and this
was the schoolroom of the children of the
rocket men and women who had come to a
raining world to set up civilization and live
out their lives.
“It’s stopping, it’s stopping !”
“Yes, yes !”
Margot stood apart from them, from these
children who could ever remember a time
when there wasn’t rain and rain and rain.
They were all nine years old, and if there
had been a day, seven years ago, when the
sun came out for an hour and showed its
face to the stunned world, they could not
recall. Sometimes, at night, she heard them
stir, in remembrance, and she knew they
were dreaming and remembering gold or a
yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy
the world with. She knew they thought they
remembered a warmness, like a blushing in
the face, in the body, in the arms and legs
and trembling hands. But then they always
awoke to the tatting drum, the endless
shaking down of clear bead necklaces upon
the roof, the walk, the gardens, the forests,
and their dreams were gone.
All day yesterday they had read in class
about the sun. About how like a lemon it
was, and how hot. And they had written
small stories or essays or poems about it: I
think the sun is a flower, That blooms for just
one hour. That was Margot’s poem, read
in a quiet voice in the still classroom while
the rain was falling outside.
“Aw, you didn’t write that!” protested one
of the boys.
“I did,” said Margot. “I did.”
“William!” said the teacher.
But that was yesterday. Now the rain was
slackening and the children were crushed in
the great thick windows.
Where’s teacher ?”
“She’ll be back.”
“She’d better hurry, we’ll miss it !”
They turned on themselves, like a
feverish wheel, all tumbling spokes. Margot
stood alone. She was a very frail girl who
looked as if she had been lost in the rain for
years and the rain had washed out the blue
from her eyes and the red from her mouth
and the yellow from her hair. She was an old
photograph dusted from an album, whitened
away, and if she spoke at all her voice would
be a ghost. Now she stood, separate,
staring at the rain and the loud wet world
beyond the huge glass.
“What’re you looking at ?” said William.
Margot said nothing.
“Speak when you’re spoken to.”
He gave her a shove. But she did not
move; rather she let herself be moved only
by him and nothing else. They edged away
from her, they would not look at her. She felt
them go away. And this was because she
would play no games with them in the
echoing tunnels of the underground city. If
they tagged her and ran, she stood blinking
after them and did not follow. When the
class sang songs about happiness and life
and games her lips barely moved. Only
when they sang about the sun and the
summer did her lips move as she watched
the drenched windows. And then, of course,
the biggest crime of all was that she had
come here only five years ago from Earth,
and she remembered the sun and the way
the sun was and the sky was when she was
four in Ohio. And they, they had been on
Venus all their lives, and they had been only
two years old when last the sun came out
and had long since forgotten the color and
heat of it and the way it really was.
But Margot remembered.
“It’s like a penny,” she said once, eyes
closed.
“No it’s not!” the children cried.
“It’s like a fire,” she said, “in the stove.”
“You’re lying, you don’t remember !” cried
the children.
But she remembered and stood quietly
apart from all of them and watched the
patterning windows. And once, a month ago,
she had refused to shower in the school
shower rooms had clutched her hands to
her ears and over her head, screaming the
water mustn’t touch her head. So after that,
dimly, dimly, she sensed it, she was different
and they knew her difference and kept
away. There was talk that her father and
mother were taking her back to Earth next
year; it seemed vital to her that they do so,
though it would mean the loss of thousands
of dollars to her family. And so, the children
hated her for all these reasons of big and
little consequence. They hated her pale
snow face, her waiting silence, her thinness,
and her possible future.
“Get away !” The boy gave her another
push. “What’re you waiting for?”
Then, for the first time, she turned and
looked at him. And what she was waiting for
was in her eyes.
“Well, don’t wait around here !” cried the
boy savagely. “You won’t see nothing!”
Her lips moved.
“Nothing !” he cried. “It was all a joke,
wasn’t it?” He turned to the other children.
“Nothing’s happening today. Is it ?”
They all blinked at him and then,
understanding laughed and shook their
heads.
“Nothing, nothing !”
“Oh, but,” Margot whispered, her eyes
helpless. “But this is the day, the scientists
predict, they say, they know, the sun…”
“All a joke !” said the boy, and seized her
roughly. “Hey, everyone, let’s put her in a
closet before the teacher comes !”
“No,” said Margot, falling back.
They surged about her, caught her up and
bore her, protesting, and then pleading, and
then crying, back into a tunnel, a room, a
closet, where they slammed and locked the
door. They stood looking at the door and
saw it tremble from her beating and throwing
herself against it. They heard her muffled
cries. Then, smiling, he turned and went out
and back down the tunnel, just as the
teacher arrived.
“Ready, children ?” She glanced at her
watch.
“Yes !” said everyone.
“Are we all here ?”
“Yes !”
The rain slacked still more.
They crowded to the huge door.
The rain stopped.
It was as if, in the midst of a film
concerning an avalanche, a tornado, a
hurricane, a volcanic eruption, something
had, first, gone wrong with the sound
apparatus, thus muffling and finally cutting
off all noise, all of the blasts and
repercussions and thunders, and then,
second, ripped the film from the projector
and inserted in its place a beautiful tropical
slide which did not move or tremor. The
world ground to a standstill. The silence was
so immense and unbelievable that you felt
your ears had been stuffed or you had lost
your hearing altogether. The children put
their hands to their ears. They stood apart.
The door slid back and the smell of the
silent, waiting world came into them.
The sun came out.
It was the color of flaming bronze and it
was very large. And the sky around it was a
blazing blue tile color. And the jungle burned
with sunlight as the children, released from
their spell, rushed out, yelling into the
springtime.
“Now, don’t go too far,” called the teacher
after them. “You’ve only two hours, you
know. You wouldn’t want to get caught out !”
But they were running and turning their
faces up to the sky and feeling the sun on
their cheeks like a warm iron; they were
taking off their jackets and letting the sun
burn their arms.
“Oh, it’s better than the sun lamps, isn’t it
?”
“Much, much better !”
They stopped running and stood in the
great jungle that covered Venus, that grew
and never stopped growing, tumultuously,
even as you watched it. It was a nest of
octopi, clustering up great arms of flesh like
weed, wavering, flowering in this brief
spring. It was the color of rubber and ash,
this jungle, from the many years without sun.
It was the color of stones and white cheeses
and ink, and it was the color of the moon.
The children lay out, laughing, on the
jungle mattress, and heard it sigh and
squeak under them resilient and alive. They
ran among the trees, they slipped and fell,
they pushed each other, they played hide-and-seek
and tag, but most of all they
squinted at the sun until the tears ran down
their faces; they put their hands up to that
yellowness and that amazing blueness and
they breathed of the fresh, fresh air and
listened and listened to the silence which
suspended them in a blessed sea of no
sound and no motion. They looked at
everything and savored everything. Then,
wildly, like animals escaped from their
caves, they ran and ran in shouting circles.
They ran for an hour and did not stop
running.
And then –
In the midst of their running one of the
girls wailed.
Everyone stopped.
The girl, standing in the open, held out
her hand.
“Oh, look, look,” she said, trembling.
They came slowly to look at her opened
palm.
In the center of it, cupped and huge, was
a single raindrop. She began to cry, looking
at it. They glanced quietly at the sun.
“Oh. Oh.”
A few cold drops fell on their noses and
their cheeks and their mouths. The sun
faded behind a stir of mist. A wind blew cold
around them. They turned and started to
walk back toward the underground house,
their hands at their sides, their smiles
vanishing away.
A boom of thunder startled them and like
leaves before a new hurricane, they tumbled
upon each other and ran. Lightning struck
ten miles away, five miles away, a mile, a
half mile. The sky darkened into midnight in
a flash.
They stood in the doorway of the
underground for a moment until it was
raining hard. Then they closed the door and
heard the gigantic sound of the rain falling in
tons and avalanches, everywhere and
forever.
“Will it be seven more years ?”
“Yes. Seven.”
Then one of them gave a little cry.
“Margot !”
“What ?”
“She’s still in the closet where we locked
her.”
“Margot.”
They stood as if someone had driven
them, like so many stakes, into the floor.
They looked at each other and then looked
away. They glanced out at the world that
was raining now and raining and raining
steadily. They could not meet each other’s
glances. Their faces were solemn and pale.
They looked at their hands and feet, their
faces down.
“Margot.”
One of the girls said, “Well… ?”
No one moved.
“Go on,” whispered the girl.
They walked slowly down the hall in the
sound of cold rain. They turned through the
doorway to the room in the sound of the
storm and thunder, lightning on their faces,
blue and terrible. They walked over to the
closet door slowly and stood by it.
Behind the closet door was only silence.
They unlocked the door, even more
slowly, and let Margot out.

 

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday and be blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featured image: Mrs. Russell's Classroom

Reflections: Hello Summer

Reflections: Hello Summer

May 31 / 17

Summer – Poem by Louise Gluck

Remember the days of our first happiness,
how strong we were, how dazed by passion,
lying all day, then all night in the narrow bed,
sleeping there, eating there too: it was summer,
it seemed everything had ripened
at once. And so hot we lay completely uncovered.
Sometimes the wind rose; a willow brushed the window.

But we were lost in a way, didn’t you feel that?
The bed was like a raft; I felt us drifting
far from our natures, toward a place where we’d discover nothing.
First the sun, then the moon, in fragments,
stone through the willow.
Things anyone could see.

Then the circles closed. Slowly the nights grew cool;
the pendant leaves of the willow
yellowed and fell. And in each of us began
a deep isolation, though we never spoke of this,
of the absence of regret.
We were artists again, my husband.
We could resume the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featured image: WallpaperSafari

Reflections: Staggerlee wonders by James Baldwin

Reflections: Staggerlee wonders by James Baldwin

Feb. 27 / 17

Hello! I wanted to share a poem by James Baldwin to celebrate Black History. Notice that I didn’t say Black History Month. Black History, Native, Hispanic, Asian…..is all American History. 

Staggerlee wonders – Poem by James Baldwin

I always wonder
what they think the niggers are doing
while they, the pink and alabaster pragmatists,
are containing
Russia
and defining and re-defining and re-aligning
China,
nobly restraining themselves, meanwhile,
from blowing up that earth
which they have already
blasphemed into dung:
the gentle, wide-eyed, cheerful
ladies, and their men,
nostalgic for the noble cause of Vietnam,
nostalgic for noble causes,
aching, nobly, to wade through the blood of savages—
ah—!
Uncas shall never leave the reservation,
except to purchase whisky at the State Liquor Store.
The Panama Canal shall remain forever locked:
there is a way around every treaty.
We will turn the tides of the restless
Caribbean,
the sun will rise, and set
on our hotel balconies as we see fit.
The natives will have nothing to complain about,
indeed, they will begin to be grateful,
will be better off than ever before.
They will learn to defer gratification
and save up for things, like we do.

Oh, yes. They will.
We have only to make an offer
they cannot refuse.

This flag has been planted on the moon:
it will be interesting to see
what steps the moon will take to be revenged
for this quite breathtaking presumption.
This people
masturbate in winding sheets.
They have hacked their children to pieces.
They have never honoured a single treaty
made with anyone, anywhere.
The walls of their cities
are as foul as their children.
No wonder their children come at them with knives.
Mad Charlie man’s son was one of their children,
had got his shit together
by the time he left kindergarten,
and, as for Patty, heiress of all the ages,
she had the greatest vacation
of any heiress, anywhere:

Golly-gee, whillikens, Mom, real guns!
and they come with a real big, black funky stud, too:
oh, Ma! he’s making eyes at me!

Oh, noble Duke Wayne,
be careful in them happy hunting grounds.
They say the only good Indian
is a dead Indian,
by what I say is,
you can’t be too careful, you hear?
Oh, towering Ronnie Reagan,
wise and resigned lover of redwoods,
deeply beloved, winning man-child of the yearning Republic
from diaper to football field to Warner Brothers sound-stages,
be thou our grinning, gently phallic, Big Boy of all the ages!

Salt peanuts, salt peanuts,
for dear hearts and gentle people,
and cheerful, shining, simple Uncle Sam!

Nigger, read this and run!
Now, if you can’t read,
run anyhow!

From Manifest Destiny
(Cortez, and all his men
silent upon a peak in Darien)
to A Decent Interval,
and the chopper rises above Saigon,
abandoning the noble cause
and the people we have made ignoble
and whom we leave there, now, to die,
one moves, With All Deliberate Speed,
to the South China Sea, and beyond,
where millions of new niggers
await glad tidings!

No, said the Great Man’s Lady,
I’m against abortion,
I always feel that’s killing somebody.
Well, what about capital punishment?
I think the death penalty helps.

That’s right.
Up to our ass in niggers
on Death Row.

Oh, Susanna,
don’t you cry for me!

2

Well, I guess what the niggers
is supposed to be doing
is putting themselves in the path
of that old sweet chariot
and have it swing down and carry us home.

That would help, as they say,
and they got ways
of sort of nudging the chariot.
They still got influence
with Wind and Water,
though they in for some surprises
with Cloud and Fire.

My days are not their days.
My ways are not their ways.
I would not think of them,
one way or the other,
did not they so grotesquely
block the view
between me and my brother.

And, so, I always wonder:
can blindness be desired?
Then, what must the blinded eyes have seen
to wish to see no more!

For, I have seen,
in the eyes regarding me,
or regarding my brother,
have seen, deep in the farthest valley
of the eye, have seen
a flame leap up, then flicker and go out,
have seen a veil come down,
leaving myself, and the other,
alone in that cave
which every soul remembers, and
out of which, desperately afraid,
I turn, turn, stagger, stumble out,
into the healing air,
fall flat on the healing ground,
singing praises, counselling
my heart, my soul, to praise.

What is it that this people
cannot forget?

Surely, they cannot be deluded
as to imagine that their crimes
are original?

There is nothing in the least original
about the fiery tongs to the eyeballs,
the sex torn from the socket,
the infant ripped from the womb,
the brains dashed out against rock,
nothing original about Judas,
or Peter, or you or me: nothing:
we are liars and cowards all,
or nearly all, or nearly all the time:
for we also ride the lightning,
answer the thunder, penetrate whirlwinds,
curl up on the floor of the sun,
and pick our teeth with thunderbolts.

Then, perhaps they imagine
that their crimes are not crimes?

Perhaps.
Perhaps that is why they cannot repent,
why there is no possibility of repentance.
Manifest Destiny is a hymn to madness,
feeding on itself, ending
(when it ends) in madness:
the action is blindness and pain,
pain bringing a torpor so deep
that every act is willed,
is desperately forced,
is willed to be a blow:
the hand becomes a fist,
the prick becomes a club,
the womb a dangerous swamp,
the hope, and fear, of love
is acid in the marrow of the bone.
No, their fire is not quenched,
nor can be: the oil feeding the flames
being the unadmitted terror of the wrath of God.

Yes. But let us put it in another,
less theological way:
though theology has absolutely nothing to do
with what I am trying to say.
But the moment God is mentioned
theology is summoned
to buttress or demolish belief:
an exercise which renders belief irrelevant
and adds to the despair of Fifth Avenue
on any afternoon,
the people moving, homeless, through the city,
praying to find sanctuary before the sky
and the towers come tumbling down,
before the earth opens, as it does in Superman.
They know that no one will appear
to turn back time,
they know it, just as they know
that the earth has opened before
and will open again, just as they know
that their empire is falling, is doomed,
nothing can hold it up, nothing.
We are not talking about belief.

3

I wonder how they think
the niggers made, make it,
how come the niggers are still here.
But, then, again, I don’t think they dare
to think of that: no:
I’m fairly certain they don’t think of that at all.

Lord,
I with the alabaster lady of the house,
with Beulah.
Beulah about sixty, built in four-square,
biceps like Mohammed Ali,
she at the stove, fixing biscuits,
scrambling eggs and bacon, fixing coffee,
pouring juice, and the lady of the house,
she say, she don’t know how
she’d get along without Beulah
and Beulah just silently grunts,
I reckon you don’t,
and keeps on keeping on
and the lady of the house say
She’s just like one of the family,
and Beulah turns, gives me a look,
sucks her teeth and rolls her eyes
in the direction of the lady’s back, and
keeps on keeping on.

While they are containing
Russia
and entering onto the quicksand of
China
and patronizing
Africa,
and calculating
the Caribbean plunder, and
the South China Sea booty,
the niggers are aware that no one has discussed
anything at all with the niggers.

Well. Niggers don’t own nothing,
got no flag, even our names
are hand-me-downs
and you don’t change that
by calling yourself X:
sometimes that just makes it worse,
like obliterating the path that leads back
to whence you came, and
to where you can begin.
And, anyway, none of this changes the reality,
which is, for example, that I do not want my son
to die in Guantanamo,
or anywhere else, for that matter,
serving the Stars and Stripes.
(I’ve seen some stars.
I got some stripes.)

Neither (incidentally)
has anyone discussed the Bomb with the niggers:
the incoherent feeling is, the less
the nigger knows about the Bomb, the better:
the lady of the house
smiles nervously in your direction
as though she had just been overheard
discussing family, or sexual secrets,
and changes the subject to Education,
or Full Employment, or the Welfare rolls,
the smile saying, Don’t be dismayed.
We know how you feel. You can trust us.

Yeah. I would like to believe you.
But we are not talking about belief.

4

The sons of greed, the heirs of plunder,
are approaching the end of their journey:
it is amazing that they approach without wonder,
as though they have, themselves, become
that scorched and blasphemed earth,
the stricken buffalo, the slaughtered tribes,
the endless, virgin, bloodsoaked plain,
the famine, the silence, the children’s eyes,
murder masquerading as salvation, seducing
every democratic eye,
the mouths of truth and anguish choked with cotton,
rape delirious with the fragrance of magnolia,
the hacking of the fruit of their loins to pieces,
hey! the tar-baby sons and nephews, the high-yaller
nieces,
and Tom’s black prick hacked off
to rustle in crinoline,
to hang, heaviest of heirlooms,
between the pink and alabaster breasts
of the Great Man’s Lady,
or worked into the sash at the waist
of the high-yaller Creole bitch, or niece,
a chunk of shining brown-black satin,
staring, staring, like the single eye of God:

creation yearns to re-create a time
when we were able to recognize a crime.

Alas,
my stricken kinsmen,
the party is over:
there have never been any white people,
anywhere: the trick was accomplished with mirrors—
look: where is your image now?
where your inheritance,
on what rock stands this pride?

Oh,
I counsel you,
leave History alone.
She is exhausted,
sitting, staring into her dressing-room mirror,
and wondering what rabbit, now,
to pull out of what hat,
and seriously considering retirement,
even though she knows her public
dare not let her go.

She must change.
Yes. History must change.
A slow, syncopated
relentless music begins
suggesting her re-entry,
transformed, virginal as she was,
in the Beginning, untouched,
as the Word was spoken,
before the rape which debased her
to be the whore of multitudes, or,
as one might say, before she became the Star,
whose name, above our title,
carries the Show, making History the patsy,
responsible for every flubbed line,
every missed cue, responsible for the life
and death, of all bright illusions
and dark delusions,
Lord, History is weary
of her unspeakable liaison with Time,
for Time and History
have never seen eye to eye:
Time laughs at History
and time and time and time again
Time traps History in a lie.

But we always, somehow, managed
to roar History back onstage
to take another bow,
to justify, to sanctify
the journey until now.

Time warned us to ask for our money back,
and disagreed with History
as concerns colours white and black.
Not only do we come from further back,
but the light of the Sun
marries all colours as one.

Kinsmen,
I have seen you betray your Saviour
(it is you who call Him Saviour)
so many times, and
I have spoken to Him about you,
behind your back.
Quite a lot has been going on
behind your back, and,
if your phone has not yet been disconnected,
it will soon begin to ring:
informing you, for example, that a whole generation,
in Africa, is about to die,
and a new generation is about to rise,
and will not need your bribes,
or your persuasions, any more:
not your morality. No plundered gold—
Ah! Kinsmen, if I could make you see
the crime is not what you have done to me!
It is you who are blind,
you, bowed down with chains,
you, whose children mock you, and seek another
master,
you, who cannot look man or woman or child in the
eye,
whose sleep is blank with terror,
for whom love died long ago,
somewhere between the airport and the safe-deposit
box,
the buying and selling of rising or falling stocks,
you, who miss Zanzibar and Madagascar and Kilimanjaro
and lions and tigers and elephants and zebras
and flying fish and crocodiles and alligators and
leopards
and crashing waterfalls and endless rivers,
flowers fresher than Eden, silence sweeter than the
grace of God,
passion at every turning, throbbing in the bush,
thicker, oh, than honey in the hive,
dripping
dripping
opening, welcoming, aching from toe to bottom
to spine,
sweet heaven on the line
to last forever, yes,
but, now,
rejoicing ends, man, a price remains to pay,
your innocence costs too much
and we can’t carry you on our books
or our backs, any longer: baby,
find another Eden, another apple tree,
somewhere, if you can,
and find some other natives, somewhere else,
to listen to you bellow
till you come, just like a man,
but we don’t need you,
are sick of being a fantasy to feed you,
and of being the principal accomplice to your
crime:
for, it is your crime, now, the cross to which you
cling,
your Alpha and Omega for everything.

Well (others have told you)
your clown’s grown weary, the puppet master
is bored speechless with this monotonous disaster,
and is long gone, does not belong to you,
any more than my woman, or my child,
ever belonged to you.

During this long travail
our ancestors spoke to us, and we listened,
and we tried to make you hear life in our song
but now it matters not at all to me
whether you know what I am talking about—or not:
I know why we are not blinded
by your brightness, are able to see you,
who cannot see us. I know
why we are still here.

Godspeed.
The niggers are calculating,
from day to day, life everlasting,
and wish you well:
but decline to imitate the Son of the Morning,
and rule in Hell.

Enjoy your Tuesday, be blessed!
featured image: National Jazz Museum in Harlem