Kind like a caress on a bayou cat, lazy by the window
Kind like a dollar given to a limping, sweating out of
rehab, black man on the street
Kind but not fooled, a lie is between him and his maker
Kind like the soft wind he doesn’t feel because his pain is too deep,
his feet too swollen to take a deep breath
There does not seem to be any relief in sight
Unkind like the fake smile of an un-felt “nice meeting you” and a slew
of so called polite and stale formulas that make up
superficial social norms
Kind like the sadness of regrets of a life gone by
Kind like the gnawing of love lost, of lies believed in
and finally truths untold
Kind like a clear blue sky revealing that one is utterly alone
But longing for a kind caress creeping slowly at dawn
Kind like a summer night drenched in blooming jasmine stinks
Kind like memories shedding tears of never more
Kind like a rising sun bringing strength to the searching souls
Kind like the tongues that cry hurricanes and earthquakes and famines
Kind like words that denounce presidential manipulations and schemes
It is kind to the earth and the soul to speak our truth
Kind it is to join in the chorus against profits makers
who destroy Mother Earth
It is Kind indeed to protest the continuation of slavery
by mass incarceration, death penalty
and wages that do not allow one to live decently
It is kind to “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”
To sing what I sing
To sing what I hear
To sing what I feel
To sing where I’ve been
To sing where I am going
Something akin to the Blues
Les larmes des mères, Mothers’ Tears
Tears of tireless mothers
The anguish of separation, the bashing strikes on the head,
the slamming baseball bat in the stomach:
The death of a small child, robbed of its may-be-bright future
Mothers having lost the strength to watch their babies die of malnutrition,
so emaciated with distended bellies and pleading eyes, usually black.
The death of children in war zones. There is no protection against
flaming lethal weapons
The anxiety of waiting after the last earthquake, hurricane or mass shooting.
The excruciating hours of not knowing.
That bitch “hope”, that will make you believe that there might be a chance,
after all. Sometimes there is, but most time, the drama and tragedy
of love and life and death enfold, pitiless, in all its raw humanity.
Then folks remember they are human and connected…for a split,
very split second.
The holler when your baby is pulled away from you by force
because a master’s profits, from cotton or sugar-cane,
killed his very soul
Secret tears behind bars at midnight, or tough tight-lipped glares,
still the same longing for your child; the not knowing,
the not hugging, the not kissing, the not watching
and listening to their everyday stories…
Mothers who want to be mothers again to a child that seems distant and aloof,
lost in the malls and mazes of 21st century animated epopees,
until the wake up, sometimes brutal, will bring the child back.
Mothers get tough, and resilient, the tracks of their tears
created the valleys of their wisdom…well, sometimes.
Unless there are junkies’ tracks. Your daughter? Your son?
Your mother? your lover?
Junkies’ tracks are etched deep in pain and desolate solitude.
A silent cry through toothless mouth, screaming separation,
alienation, pain and “where is the love I thought
I was promised?”.
All separations of the most sacred bond, another day to see the day when,
Inshallah, the joy, the laughter, the dance, the euphoria, the silliness
will hum and resonate around much awaited reunions.
Tears of Joy!
Mothers get tough.
Mothers’ tears, shed for thousands of years, give the world its humanity,
mostly denied but still present, nevertheless, yin and yang in action,
Mothers will always get tough.
That’s life for most of them. Pick yourself up, raise children by yourself,
there is no giving up on the life you gave.
Childbirth made you tough, this was your rite of passage.
Mothers tears, as abundant as we are strong!
Tears, the water and salt that feed compassionate strength.
People Who Loved Too Much
people who loved too much
you see them in the streets
they look like winos and crack heads
they are winos and crack heads
the bum, the mad
people who cared too much
broken hearts and shattered dreams
people who loved too much
The Teeth of Solitude
or another lonely night in the hood!
Inexorable bite burning thru the night.
Splashed by gunfire in the darkness
of tortured souls left to their plight.
The dawn forgets to soothe the hound.
The blood of too many deceptions trickle on
the concrete of broken promises.
The teeth of solitude laugh in the face of
lonely old men and abandoned women
treading deep into blinding high-noon light.
Slowly returning to the broken silence
of a glowing sunset riddled by
She is still there, Solitude,
gnawing, biting, doesn’t let go,
awaiting the night
night after night...
night after night…