The Poets' Corner is open to all poets. Poems that will be published will not promote
or glorify racism, sexism, or discrimination based upon race, sex,
national origin, ethnic origin, or religion.

 

If you wish to submit a poem (please include a photo), e-mail poetry@ipoaa.com

Home Page

 

Poets on this page
 
Antwian Marcel Crawford || Oliver Mbamara, Esq. || Sarah O' Gorman || Chinye Phiona Osai || Thabiti Ojedele
Emory L. Campbell || C. Highsmith-Hooks

 

TRUE BLACK
by sheenA Kerley

 

 

 

If True black is you then tell me your name.
Tell me of the place from which your ancestors came.

Tell me if
True black is the absence of all color.

Tell me if they call you nigger does that make you my brother?

Tell me why you hate who you are,
or, is it that you hate what you have become.

Tell me if his skin is lighter
does that make him less black than the darker ones.

Tell me if you truly care if I put weave in my hair, contacts in my eyes and try my best to stay out of the darkening lights.
Tell me why you love it when I do those things, tell me why that makes you drawn to me.

Is this why you called me
a real down bitch instead of a real true queen ?

Is this why I am your gal and not you wife biblically?

If I say I am
True black does that make me a liar,

If one of my four fathers happen to be a slave owner what does that make of meÖ.

Since I heard you say that
True black canít be light like me

TOP

 

THANK HIM
by Eric Hundley






Lord I thank You for giving us eternal life

Lord I thank You for a loving and beautiful wife
Lord I thank you that You allowed your Son to give up His life for us
Lord I thank You that You didnít make me a minus but a plus
Lord I thank You for the sun that shines upon my face
Lord I thank You for making the human race
Lord I thank You for the clothes on my back and the food that I eat
Lord I thank You that in You we are complete
Lord I thank You for Your everlasting Word
Lord I thank You that the path to You is clear and not blurred
Lord I thank You for the wind and the rain
Lord I thank You for everything from You that I gain
Lord I thank You for this body my spirit and my soul
Lord I thank You that in You we are made whole
Lord I thank You for Your favor and grace
Lord I thank You that in You we are kept in a higher place
Lord I thank You for the stars and the moon
Lord I thank You that Your Son is coming back soon
Lord I thank You for the job I go to every day
Lord I thank You that it is You that I obey
Lord I thank You for my sight and the words that I speak
Lord I thank You for not making us the same but unique
Lord I thank You for every step that I take
Lord I thank You for forgiving me when I make a mistake
Lord I thank You for Your Spirit that resides on the inside of me
Lord I thank You for hearing and answering every plea
Lord I thank You for my friends and family
Lord I thank You for the animalís plants and the sea
Lord I thank You for every new and good invention
Lord I thank You for my powers of comprehension
Lord I thank You for each and every blessing
Lord I thank You that in You I am progressing
Lord I thank You for Your prophets and preachers
Lord I thank You that we were made with Your features
Lord I thank You for opening doors that no man can shut
Lord I thank You that because of You I am no longer in a rut
Lord I thank You for keeping me healthy and free of disease
Lord I thank You that to the kingdom of heaven You have given us the keys
Lord I thank You for being able to lift up my voice to You and sing
Lord I thank You that you didnít make me a pauper but a king
Lord I thank You for my hearing and sense of touch
Lord I thank You that You love us so much
Lord I thank You that You find pleasure in the good things that we do
Lord I thank You that in You we do renew
Lord I thank You that I can jump and run
Lord I thank You thru You we have the victory we have won
Lord I thank You that all the promises of Your Word You keep
Lord I thank You for watching over me at night when I sleep
Lord I thank You that with You I can converse
Lord I thank You from us You lifted the curse
Lord I thank You for giving us prosperity and abundance
Lord I thank You that You gave man another chance
Lord I thank You for my earthly dwelling
Lord I thank You that in You I am excelling
Lord I thank You for forgiving me of my sins
Lord I thank You that in You everyone wins
Lord I thank You that I am able to smile and laugh
Lord I thank You for the comfort of Your rod and Thy staff
Lord I thank You for Your Holy Bible
Lord I thank You that You are always on time and always reliable
Lord I thank You for not giving us a burden we cannot bear
Lord I thank You that in You I can place every care
O Lord I thank You, thank You, and I thank You
Is there anything youíre thankful for thank Him right now
Go ahead thank Him Just thank Him
Thank Him

TOP
 

AFRICA
by Antwian Marcel Crawford
The Underground Poets Society





Africa, the continent from which you came,
Or did you forget you've got a slave master's last name.
We came from the place of the original man,
Where we walked as Kings and Queens and ruled the land.
Until they came and took us from where we live,
But they have the nerve to call us primitive.
They stripped us of our love of self,
We at least had that if not anything else.
And just when we thought that was enough,
They took their evil nature and instilled it in us.
They played the bible like a game,
Guilty of every sin you could possibly name.
Murder, robbery, and rape in fact,
That's why there are sixteen shades of black.
If you don't know who "they" are, let me give you a taste,
The description is a man with white skin and a pale face.
If you're caucasian don't be alarmed,
I point the finger at the one's who did us harm.
In spite of all of that, though the road was long,
Four-hundred plus years and we still remain strong.
We broke the chains and I'm sure you'll find,
You're truly free when you brake the chains of your mind.
But this is something you shouldn't overlook,
Never forget where you came from or the road that you took.
All people descended from Africa, and that's a fact,
If it's one time in your life, you should take a trip back.
Africa...

TOP

The following narrative and poem is by Oliver Mbamara, Esq.

Before the coming of colonialism and western civilization to Africa and some other parts of the world, people related with life and the environment in various ways. They lived and practiced there various cultures in ways befitting their particular societies.

Cultural practices were limited by societal or geographical delineations, and each society respected the other's cultural practices when they differed or even disagreed. No society insisted that its own practice was the best or exclusively preferable. Colonialism and modern day "civilization" came with doctrines and packaged-cultures of the colonizing powers, which were in turn imposed on the colonized territories.

Accepting colonialism and its version of civilization meant accepting other antecedent factors such as foreign religion, foreign language, and foreign law, which were all new to the societies of the colonized territories. In most cases, these foreign cultures were imposed on these societies while their ancestral cultures were either suppressed or eradicated. While some of these ancestral traditions have subsisted in some societies and in some minds, some brothers and sisters have become colonized or reeducated. Some have even joined the imperial authorities and their modern day representatives to condemn the same tradition (particularly, religion) that sustained our ancestors as a community of happy and contented people for several thousand years.

There was no alternative to accepting colonization. Our ancestors did not have the choice. Those societies that attempted to challenge the imperialist powers paid with their lives and their existence as a people. As great as they remained and will always remain in our eyes and memories by virtue of the fact that they put up such brave resistance with simple sticks, machetes and bows against the much more advanced and deadlier weapons of the invading colonialists, the truth is that they lost the resistance, and were forced to accept the cultures and traditions of the imperialist masters, regardless of how conflicting these new cultures turned out to be to what we had observed in these societies from the beginning of their times.

I am aware that religion has always been a controversial topic but this is not about what we believe or do not believe. It is about what the true facts are - our forefathers worshiped GOD before the coming of colonialism and modern day civilization. Everyone is free to practice whatever religion or culture he/she finds comfortable, but let us not distort the facts. Our ancestors were not evil or idol worshipers. They had their religion through which they worshiped GOD Almighty in the way they knew best. Their practices may not have been the best but they lived happy and long lives. My own grand father - "Mbamara Ekejiuba Duruojikeyeme" was a renowned herbalist who healed people and helped his society with what he knew about life and GOD. He respected God and lived to be at least One hundred and twenty years on record. The fact remains that we worshiped GOD before they came.

WE WORSHIPED GOD BEFORE THEY CAME
(Our ancestors were not idol-worshippers)
by Oliver Mbamara, Esq.
Nigerians in America
 

In those days before they came,
When morning came with its light of dawn,
The sun bestowed its shine freely on us.
And when our elders woke, they called on all
To express great thanks to God almighty,
For his blessings bestowed through the light.
In those days before they came,
When the season came for rain to fall, the
Heavens opened and showered its blessings (upon us)
So the soil was fertile and the trees were fresh.
And when the people farmed the harvest was rich.
So festivals were held to thank the Almighty God.

In those days before they came,
When we sought to travel to distant lands,
We rowed our boats across the river's horizon,
And fished for fishes from the lakes to the seas,
We relished the visions of the dancing ocean, and
Praised God's majesty expressed in the seas and rivers.

In those days before they came,
We knew God and worshipped him greatly.
We saw God in the light of dawn and the rising sun,
We saw God in the rain and lightening through the cloud,
We saw God in the moon and stars up in the sky,
We saw God in the lakes and rivers merging with the seas.

In all we saw, we gave God names to worship him,
But they came to colonize and re-civilize us.
They brought their religions, and found fault with ours.
But before they came, we worshipped God, not idols.
We knew God; we loved God well before they came,
We worshipped God, and still we do
.

TOP

ONCE UPON A TIME
by Sarah O'Gorman
Nigerians in America

 

 

There once was a time
When waters were mine
And love was small change
Given and taken everyday
Without any Great Sacrifice
Or large offering up of our
Simple natures to the Lord of Complication
Who, incidentally, swooped down
From the sky one afternoon and emptied
The contents of all the drawers
In the wooden chest all over the
Little but lovely wooden floor
Where we have on occasion laid
Ourselves down together,
All over that floor that afternoon
Were the answers to all
The prayers you ever prayed

TOP

MY LIFETIME SONG
by Chinye Phiona Osai
Nigerians in America


 

When the whispers of dawn touch you
I know it is time to hold on
And believe life will come for me.
When I try to pray
To envision my God
All that sweeps over my mind
Are the warm streams of gladness
Pouring from your sweet heart.
How do I convince God of who I love more?
When he knows who I thirst for.
Why should He take my hand?
Knowing you are the one I hold on to.

But that smile...
The one that never fades
Ever touching the corners of your lips
Resplendent and exuberant
Rejuvenating each day to my soul.
The miracles God sends
Blistering in magnitude
Can only lie by your side
For He sent me the greatest kind
When He moulded you
Like the petals in heaven.

You've healed me so many times
Saved me from myself
By keeping my flame from the rain.
You make me laugh
And this home is brighter today
Because you walk through each room
Giving meaning to those dark corners.
Your tenderness comforts my dreams
Of love and the true kiss of life
Ours is not for today alone
For each time nature's light streams in
I'll drift and awaken
To the steadfastness of your love
A presence felt every time
My fingers smoothen a face
That will never touch mine
Or kiss away my groanings
But will surely be by my side
When ever my tear-stained eyes open
To witness your beauty captured behind glass.

TOP

ROOTS AND ANCESTORS,
VOODOO AND YOU

by Thabiti Ojedele
Roots and Rooted

 

 

in america, life and death are paralyzed,
kept captive by modern silence
between women and men that brush shoulder
in combat and soul/less religions.
giving/killing birth
to/of lonely souls throughout city plantations.

educated and of material stature
many have lost their way
never calling invocations
for the living/dead
that frantically dig at coffin and soil
you can hear the whispers of regrets
"I was wrong...there is life after..."
and this pile of sorrowful corspes grows
destitute and desperate for healing
a day too late.

in america, afraid of pagan stigmas, and savage bloodlines
Black people speak of voodoo and sankofa
like they got dixie on their minds
"blk magic and that bird with the bent neck"
is as deep as their shallowness gets
they say Blk pride, but who tries to return?

in america, death is a self fulfilling prophecy
of the END.
too busy to insure their life with spiritual work
the Suits and Bankrolls grimace
"I have bigger fish to fry"

rich folk point to the backwater Old South
labelling it "empoverished and superstitious"
with the typical air of superiority
but at least here some spirits see life
in the soulwork of humble chidren
whose habits echoe like a transplanted African heart

there was some food and money on the shrine
that souls never beg
flowers for innocence and beauty
water for thirst and rest
candles to illuminate dark terrain
white cloth to remind us of pure character
-a spiritual retiring home.

My Auntie Clara's ghost would declare
america is not so advanced!
theer is no honor or respect
she knows that Ancestors do not speak
in appreciative tones
for Black people that forget
their spiritual legacy and debts


and she in the type
to laugh uncontrollably when asked
"who will dance in raffia
for those that forget?"

it is better to be poor
living on your grandmama's tinctures
and superstitions.
comtemplating moon and star
than moving around Purgatory
in big motorcars
"you mean...I didn't make it to..?"

you should have known that it is better
to be called simple and country
in these deadly times.

TOP

BECOMING
by Mark Rockeymoore

 

 

I drift endlessly

Floating upon the waters of my desires

Which rise inexorably

Towards the inner limits of sensation

 

The blue and depthless void

Confirms the ascent toward truth

Encapsulated within

The midnight of my soul

 

The call of seagulls

Rise forlorn above the lonely waves

Of wind and surf

Conveying the impression of eternity

Unchanging and impotent

In the face of human cruelty

 

The depths ring with sonorous cries

Of spirits long gone

Resigned to their fate

Of gray and forever drifting

 

Beyond the pale grasp of life’s rewards

The creaking sorrow of slave ships

Abound upon the Middle Passage

Haunting us in our dreams of insight

While false gods eat our fear

 

We sense them only peripherally

Beneath the surface of Maya

Amidst the dream-like unreality

Of the material world

TOP

FALLING CASUALITIES (no picture available)
by  Siennadawn
 
This poem in inspired by the numerous experiences I have had with young people, who are falling to the wayside because of the lack of responsibility of the adults/elders of our communities.  We now shut the doors when we would once go out and talk to them-extend our hands to them.  We now are living in a time when the generation to come is asking for guidance but we seem to turn the other way.  They are ravished by technology, violence, cloths that promote adulthood, videos, movies, and all other propaganda.
 
The Days of Our Lives are consumed by thirteen year olds acting out adult fantasies
Lying on their backs taking phallus in getting themselves locked within the vaginal walls that call them labeling them
With STDs and defected and rejected babies
Where by the age of fifteen a young girl's womb is stretched by aborted fetuses and invading fingers that poke and prod
The thought of having One Life To Live is not conceptualize for many only think on this time at this moment where they are now
Living in prizeless cracker jack boxes and thinking their only way out of the ghetto is through hoop dreams
And becoming rap stars
And booty queens
We are ravishing their penny jars
Shattered in pieces by feening mothers and molesting fathers
That penetrate both girls and boys minds
Our children no longer play with tinker toys but with guns
That shatter bodies
With grenades that blow up nations
The alienated family is viewed as Another World
A society where knowing one's father is an anomaly
Far from their grasp as we ask them to remain normal as our front door
Turn into revolving doors-letting men after men after men enter in
Wear the vagina is viewed as a vessel of pleasure
Please, released in, then it's on to the next
How dare we say this generation is lost when we decided to let them go
Getting caught up in rights of passages that ravage their spirits
Through violence breaking them in
Battered bones and broken limbs wanting family
In color coded uniforms
Our babies our being lost becoming tossed salads
To sick and distorted minds
Wanting a hand to hold but we have left them behind
They are confused by roles of women being men and men being women
Caught between playing with dolls and nursing babies
Wearing pigtails and tampons
Being boys that are forced to be fathers
Still pissing in their pants while filling crack vials
This bothers me to see our children living shamelessly
They are no longer seeing school as the answer
Only a place that microsizes their social positions
We are not helping them to resist them
Falling with them
We are not helping them to resist them
But Falling with them

TOP

BEWARE THE IRON HAND  (no picture available)
by Emory L. Campbell

There is sobbing of the strong
And a pall upon the land
But the people in their weeping
Bare the iron hand
Beware the people weeping
When they bare the iron hand

from "The Martyr" by Herman Melville
 

The time has come for us to test our soul,
to place at risk the things that we hold dear;
each now must stand and struggle for the whole
in spite of future dangers we all fear.

Weíd always thought our soil inviolate,
that terrorís fist would never smite our home.
Alas! our blindness tempted baleful Fate,
much as the Romansí failings toppled Rome.

We will not let extremist foes prevail.
Weíll take the fight wherever evil lurks--
St. George relentless on the dragonís trail--
combining might with humble, healing works.

Resolved, weíve overcome initial shock:
our precious, hard-won freedomís on the block

TOP

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
By C. Highsmith-Hooks

 

 


A phenomenal woman-that's what you see.

Phenomenal because of what's inside me.
What makes me so phenomenal, you ask?
I can summon the powers of those in my past!
Those who endured vicious evils untold:
those who were murdered, raped and sold.
Those who wore chains, those with no name,
those who bounced back from unspeakable shame.

Those who ruled kingdoms in a faraway land.
Those who built pyramids and the Sphinx by hand.
Those who work miracles through prayer and song.
Those who have kept an oppressed people strong.
Those who are here despite every attempt
To disgrace and destroy-yes, I come from THEM.
I AM a phenomenal woman, you see.
Phenomenal, simply, because all that's in me

TOP

 

 

FREEDOM

by Esther Agbejimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is one thing

I wish to be

It will be a bird

Flying freely in the air

Without criticisms

Not bothered about what others are saying

And if only I were a bird,

And couldnít fly,

Iíll flap my wings harder

If flapping my wings did not make me fly,

Iíll go to the tallest mountain

And get my friends to push me

From the tallest mountain

What will come after the big push

I donít know.

I might fly or fall

But for all I care

I just want to be free

As a bird in the sky.

 

TOP

 

INVINCIBLE
by Peta Gay-Murray

 

 


I don't care what they say about me,

they can slander my name i'll always be free.
Go right ahead throw your best shot,
look i'm still standing!.... is that all you've got?
Proceed, say i said what i didn't say,
my courage and strength won't go away!
 
What's that you say? i'm a coward , i won't fight back?
Why should i when i know i'm strong and black?
I'll never stoop to your level, destroy your name,
because we're simply not the same.
 
Go ahead try to cause me pain,
enjoy your so called fame.
my ancestor's hands aren't blood stained.
So continue to say what's what's not,
the legacy of my african heritage and pride are two treasures i've got.

 

TOP
comments to
poetry@ipoaa.com

Lord I thank You for giving us eternal life

Lord I thank You for a loving and beautiful wife

Lord I thank you that You allowed your Son to give up His life for us

Lord I thank You that You didnít make me a minus but a plus

Lord I thank You for the sun that shines upon my face

Lord I thank You for making the human race

Lord I thank You for the clothes on my back and the food that I eat

Lord I thank You that in You we are complete

Lord I thank You for Your everlasting Word

Lord I thank You that the path to You is clear and not blurred

Lord I thank You for the wind and the rain

Lord I thank You for everything from You that I gain

Lord I thank You for this body my spirit and my soul

Lord I thank You that in You we are made whole

Lord I thank You for Your favor and grace

Lord I thank You that in You we are kept in a higher place

Lord I thank You for the stars and the moon

Lord I thank You that Your Son is coming back soon

Lord I thank You for the job I go to every day

Lord I thank You that it is You that I obey

Lord I thank You for my sight and the words that I speak

Lord I thank You for not making us the same but unique

   Lord I thank You for every step that I take

Lord I thank You for forgiving me when I make a mistake

Lord I thank You for Your Spirit that resides on the inside of me

Lord I thank You for hearing and answering every plea

Lord I thank You for my friends and family

Lord I thank You for the animalís plants and the sea

Lord I thank You for every new and good invention

Lord I thank You for my powers of comprehension

Lord I thank You for each and every blessing

Lord I thank You that in You I am progressing

Lord I thank You for Your prophets and preachers

Lord I thank You that we were made with Your features

Lord I thank You for opening doors that no man can shut

Lord I thank You that because of You I am no longer in a rut

Lord I thank You for keeping me healthy and free of disease

Lord I thank You that to the kingdom of heaven You have given us the keys

Lord I thank You for being able to lift up my voice to You and sing

Lord I thank You that you didnít make me a pauper but a king

Lord I thank You for my hearing and sense of touch

Lord I thank You that You love us so much

Lord I thank You that You find pleasure in the good things that we do

Lord I thank You that in You we do renew

Lord I thank You that I can jump and run

Lord I thank You thru You we have the victory we have won

Lord I thank You that all the promises of Your Word You keep

Lord I thank You for watching over me at night when I sleep

Lord I thank You that with You I can converse

Lord I thank You from us You lifted the curse

Lord I thank You for giving us prosperity and abundance

Lord I thank You that You gave man another chance

Lord I thank You for my earthly dwelling

Lord I thank You that in You I am excelling

Lord I thank You for forgiving me of my sins

Lord I thank You that in You everyone wins

Lord I thank You that I am able to smile and laugh

Lord I thank You for the comfort of Your rod and Thy staff

Lord I thank You for Your Holy Bible

Lord I thank You that You are always on time and always reliable

Lord I thank You for not giving us a burden we cannot bear

Lord I thank You that in You I can place every care

O Lord I thank You, thank You, and I thank You

Is there anything youíre thankful for thank Him right now

 Go ahead thank Him Just thank Him  

Thank Him