Monday, January 5, 2015

More in Memory and Sorrow

When I announced the contest in memory of Michael Brown (and too many others now), my former student Jerry A. Scuderi sent me a few poems, which I will post tonight.  Although these do not directly reference recent events and their injustice, their spirit fits.  I hope that they will encourage you to submit your own work to this ongoing contest.  I also encourage you to submit poems of hope as well.

Do You Recognize Him ?

Who’s that man shouted and scorned on trial for his life ?
He is kind , a friend of mine ; is he the one with whom we dined ?

Who’s that man beaten and bruised tied to a post ?
His hands are bound , soldiers ‘round ; they crown Him with a wreath of thorns .

Who’s that man of spit and sweat assigned to a cross ?
He fell flat , under that ; how can He carry on ?

Who’s that man struggling up our hill to the garbage dump ?
He spoke to friends told of their end ; seems he loved them too .

Who’s that man with opened hand laying on a crosscut beam ?
He seems to know for no shame shows ; flint faced though his body

Who’s that man accepting nails ; being stood up on a cross ?
His eyes are sad , though He’s not mad ; He’s crying out for His Dad

Who’s that man of flesh and blood looking out over us ?
Soon He’ll sigh , then He’ll die , in this place of filth and stench .

He’s an innocent man ; our Paschal Lamb .
A man who loves us all .

He’ll take my place ; my guilt He’ll face .
For He Plans To Lead Me Home .


Sitting at a table in the dark and the cold ;
screamed at and yelled at, I’ve done what I’m told .

I’ve listened and told you "That things aren’t that way" ;
why are you angry, don’t I have say?

Your staring and glaring, your insistence on "right" ;
leaves me to cower or into a flight .

I’ve known you as honest, you appear to be true ;
your "pushing and shoving", what’s this with you ?

You’re wrecking our finances, our "home­life" is gone ;
you won’t stop and listen, you won’t say you’re wrong .

You sit ‘round, lay ‘round, spending all that we have ;
you’ve mortgaged our future, all’s gone in a dab .

The joy, the laughter, the "I’m glad to be here" ;
they’re pushed in a closet, you’ve locked up our tears .

I sit here and ponder with sadness and sorrow ;
conflicts continue; small hope for tomorrow .

You’ve taken, you’ve closed down all hopes for amends ;
your insistence on "your way", your shouting defends .

You’ve leased out our future to have things your way ;
with strife and turmoil, how can I stay ?

For school and your business, the cost’s mounting on ;
our life and our future, see all is now gone .

"I’ll sit ‘round, or work when I’m feeling good ;
you just keep quiet, I say that you should ."

"Control my spending! That’s not what I do ;
say it, again . . . I remind you of WHO? "

"Go sit down, shut up, I’m in command here ;
you don’t have a "say", just trust me here, dear ."

You are frightening and screaming that things are my fault ;
from shouting and scaring we must make a halt .

Stop with this madness, I beg you, reply !
"DO IT. . . , DO IT. . . , DO IT ". . . . Then comes my sigh . . . .

Please turn around husband, I’m pleading you so ;
where you are leading us, I can’t and won’t go .

Open your eyes, see the folly of ways ;
our life’s giving out and your answer is " PAY ".

Our money’s all gone and so sadly are we ;
go stay in command, see there’s no final plea .

So I sit here often doing what I am told ;
biding my time, growing . . . oh so . . . very old .

I sit, try and reason, it’s safe as a fawn ;
my exit will come, as hope with the dawn .

Trust’s freely given, yet earned through the years ;
broken then crumbled, now comes the tears .

A little one’s here, I’ll not teach her so .
Now, you must leave! Now, . . . you must GO !

How will we be, in these diamond of years ?
Gone, will be you. Gone, will be tears .

I will get by and see us ok .
My direction’s before me. No Way, you can stay .

Take your control. These days are far gone .
My future’s before me. I’m back to my song .

I wish you the best of all that’s out there .
I’ll see you around . I’m back to MY CARES .

Tiny Hands

Son, run a road to a little place of darkness and death .
You’ll go to a council of deceit ; be careful , I will fret .

In drive­way pulls a Porsche low ; windows shaded dark .
Their deeds hid from a caring world ; hear ne’er a bark .

Go for them brought in there , weighted with a nestled womb .
Lugging fright and hopelessness ; wandering to doom .

They’ll rip a premie from a womb ; no thought if it’ll hurt
Leave mom a shell , tie a plastic bag ; throw out the trash of murder .

Stand in their mist ; shake their hearts ; think of the little hands .
Push against injustice ; though justices say they can .

Stand tall there, son , in obstinacy ; chin high for all to see .
Speak the voice of an unknown soul ; for everyone must be free.

Love and Justice

An old man watches his darling daughter , making for them "good times"
He sees his joy , as he works for free laying down baseball lines .

A politician misuses his people's funds ; saying " that's just how things go."
His son's problems get gossiped about , and now the whole world knows.

Love and Justice, stand side by side with ne’er a corner lost .
Fairness comes with it's price ; revel in it's cost .

A graying aid snaps a jacket ; then warms tiny hands so cold .
He'll say " Hi " ; smile and five ; they'll remember him when they're old.

A pre­school beauty chatters smartly ; her opinion she will express .
When decades pass , a mountain man will love her none the less .

Love and Justice , pillars of Truth know that they are here .
Learn again to skip and jump , and leave behind your fears .

Bent and scratchy a bitter old one adds to life a sigh ;
oh , the view through his eyes of anger , hurt , and lies .

Love and Justice , look and find , and don’t you call them Fate .
Wait on them , they’ll surely come ; and they will not be late !

I will finish with some music for you, starting with Ambrose Akinmusire's "My Name is Oscar."  I have posted this video more than once, but it is still appropriate.

I've also been listening to some Dorothy Ashby this evening, and these songs fit.  First is "Myself When Young":

Next is "Heaven and Hell," also from The Rubiyat of Dorothy Ashby (1970):

I'll conclude with the Max Roach 5tet's Triptych (Prayer/Protest/Peace) from 1964:

1 comment:

  1. absolutely no words .
    beautiful poems you are on my list john scuderi... to vote
    i know I have also provided poems , but i will vote correctly
    love these poems

    ritamarie recine