May 01, 2005

Poem On Your Blog - Sunday

I conclude "Poem on Your Blog Weekend" with a classic from Essex Hemphill.

The Father, Son and Unholy Spirits


We are not always
the bravest sons
our fathers dream.
Nor do they always
dream of us.
We don't always
recognize him
if we have never
seen his face.
We are suspicious
of strangers.
is he the one?


I stand waist deep
in the decadence of forgetting.
The vain act of looking the other way.
Insisting there can be peace
and fecundity without confrontation.
The nagging question of blood hounds me.
How do I honor it?


I don't understand
our choice of angers,
your domestic violence,
my flaring temper.
I wanted tenderness
to belong to us
more than food or money.
The ghost of my wants
is many things:
lover, guardian angel,
key to our secrets,
the dogs we let sleep.
The rhythm of silence
we do not disturb.


I circle questions of blood.
I give a fierce fire dance.
The flames call me.
It is safe. I leap
unprepared to be brave. I surrender
more frightened of being alone.
I have to do this
to stay alive.
To be acknowledged.
Fire calls. I slither
to the flames

= = = = = = = = = =

And check out perhaps Hemphill's best known (and loved) collection:

Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry by Essex Hemphill
Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry by Essex Hemphill

Posted by ronn at May 1, 2005 07:00 AM