Riding an elephant
Down the narrow trail looking triumphant
Scanning the golden landscape
Like Hannibal with enemies in flight
Sight from a lofty height
King of the jungle moving
With lioness by his side
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Guides by my side with packs on their backs
Some paths steep with rocks
Boots slipping below our tired feet
Beautiful birds in unison flight
Moving with terrestrial light
Stunning sunlight summit on the peak
Praying in an Ethiopian Church
Preserved in rocks built by humans’ hands
Never touched by conquest plans
Protected from the invaders’ footsteps
Queen of Sheba and Solomon’s nest
Touched by Arch of the Covenant
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus once slept
Eating yam, sipping palm wine, and tasting milk
Freshly squeezed by experienced hands
Taste of life in the mosaic grassland
Sustaining and soul refreshing
Cradle of humankind adorning
Invaded for its gold, riches, and human capacity
Birth of life on earth with tenacity
Respecting its living and arduous journey
Essence of life once was and is again to come
Riding a camel across the hot Sahara sand
Once wet now dried, exported gold from Mali…
Treasures from the hearts of once African empires
That which was, is, and shall forever be
Africa the birthing Motherland
We still love and respect thee!
Seventh Place Winner
"African's Pride" Poetry Contest
Sponsored by Adeleke Adeite
June 30, 2010
Lemme tell ya' about a
I met her one night
under disco lights
up at Candies
starin' at me
grittin' her teeth
aimin' ta' see
if I wanted a piece
by way of flashin' granny panties
actin' a fool
took a shot
and one tiny glance
but got caught
lit up a smoke
and tried to play it off cool
but it was too late
she had pulled up a stool
"Hey young felluh, where ya' been all my life!"
"Sorry to burst yir' bubble, but I got a wife!"
"That don't matter kid, what she don't know won't hurt the girl"
as she fisted my collar and yelled, "I'LL ROCK YIR' WORLD! Annie the Tranny is what they call me. Bet you been wanted ta' bone me since you first saw me!"
Fear and frustration danced on my face
I begged the bouncer to
"Get this he/she outta the place!"
My pleas were to no avail,
and that sea donkey lurked hot on my trail
flailin' it's arms and grindin' bar stools with it's tail
Speakin' of tails...
a shiny blue wale tail crept up her back
Her jeans were mean, but couldn't hold her underwear's elastic slack
but at least it beat feastin' eyes upon her crack
wrapped her grimy hands around my neck and asked,
"You n' me, boy, what the heck!?!"
"Look here lady, you seem real nice for a tranny;
to hit the bricks,
and yir' Granny Panties!"
At that point the joint started to really heat up
people were glarin' like they really wanted me beat up
I can't recall how the hell I got out of there
alive and free
it was like a big manly freight train
headin' dead at me
I'm pretty sure I owe the good Lord a big favor
that beast was the devil
and Jesus was my Savior!
It's a night I thought would never end...
the night at Candies Bar n' Grill
Granny Panty Annie got a thrill
tryin' to make me her sexy friend!!!
“Well,” She asked; her eyes wide. Beads of hot sweat glistening on her brow like miniature
crystal suns. Her angst was palpable. “What is it!”
The air was still. There were no words. Just the sound of bodies breathing in – and
“Congratulations.” He held out his arms, handing the mother, her baby, “You have a son.”
The moment shone like glass in the center of the heavens – pure and eternal.
It was redemption from every wrong thing she’d ever done.
It was the shining eyes of God smiling onto her exhausted face; lighting it with hope.
It was the only place there was – the only time, the only space.
It was the only feeling that existed.
They were the only two incarnate souls in the room; on the planet, and in the universe.
This was her child –
And she was his mother.
(there are no words for such things. suddenly, I feel like an intruder. there are too many
eyes, words and moments here. so it is here, I take my leave; leaving this mother and the
only soul in her universe to their perfect moment. they will have many more moments in this
lifetime; but none as sacred, as human, or as eternal as the first look from life to life;
mother to child; heaven to earth, as the very first. None.)
“It’s a boy.” she whispered. Her throat a crumbling tunnel; stunned, but not really. Like
she’d known it all along. “My baby boy…” She smiled into his ancient, brand-new face;
tracing his delicate cheek with the back of her finger. “He’s perfect.”
She ran her palm along the bottom of his soft, miraculous foot, and laughed. “Look at
your feet – they’re huge!”
And as she wiped the tears with the heel of her shaking hand – smearing what was left of
her mascara - she looked in to his, as close to heaven as one can get, eyes, and said, “Hi.
I’m your mama.” He smiled at her. He knew. He’d known it all along. “And I’ll love you
The world closed its shades then. Leaving the sacred to its history; the moment to
eternity; and their universe to its quiet, little room.
*Inspired by Deborah's, You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, contest; and every mother
who has graced this sacred room.
No longer at desk the typewriter has been given
it's final rest.
As he cant recall the day or year.
The once strong mind is closed the body
but a museum or tribute to what once was.
he his home but locked within himself.
Vist's from thoose who once knew the man
are like people viewing a body at a wake.
he calls from within the shell for for release.
Yet his lips will not move his voice never sounds.
Inside he burns for the chance to run as the river
chases the sea.
To be the man they never knew and the one he
could admire and both despise.
The page sits in typewriter like a willing
eager lover in bed.
Waitting in stockings that cling to delicate thigh.
the tears escapes it's minds prison.
He thirsts for it like a drunk for that morning drink
of whiskey waitting hands held togather trying
to keep from shaking.
He sits as a painter without hand.
watching the most beautiful sunset fade without
a chance of ever capturing this moment.
The ink is drying he feels it everyday.
Soon he hopes like the dust that does gather
he will be swept away.
I'm running late, they will be waiting...
A busy day...so much to do..
I should be going...the clock is ticking
I'll stick my head in, a quick hello
no need to linger, ...and then I'll go
I grab my keys, and make excuses...
She seems confused....unduly quiet
Oh dear, it's useless...
"You must try a piece of pound cake. Made fresh this morning"...
"I'll put some tea on, no need to hurry"
(The clock is glaring.....I need to scurry....)
(My life is busy....this day's been crazy)
"I must not stay long..... a late appointment".... "I have to go"...
(Oh dear, it's clear, she tries to hide, sheer disappointment!)
She taps her cane, across the floor, her smile is kind...
She walks behind me, to the door
I have started to say good-bye, my hand on the knob
"Want to see my violets?" she asks quickly
How could I refuse??
We walk to the screened porch near the back of the house.
Sitting proudly in the sunlight of the northern exposure
Eleven small pots of glorious blooming African violets,
Several shades of pink, purple and blue
The most beautiful violets I have ever seen...
I express my sincere admiration
Her anxious look melts, and turns to delight...
And happiness and pleasure has taken years away from her eyes...
I ask her what is her secret to growing such beauties....?
"Yes...please tell me"......"Oh.....leftover coffee grounds? How interesting".....
"Please tell me more...."
We sit together the rest of that afternoon on the porch...
Have tea, .........and the most delicious lemon yellow pound cake.....
And as we talk .....
.... I can't help but notice....her eyes are beautiful
wise, and beautiful....and the color of violets...
We bound down the stairs, out into the light-of-day, and into the blue of the
misty breezes, heavily laden with the smell of wild sea salt roses that grow in
perfusion along the winding road, that bends and turns in gentle lifts and dips to
the other side of the bay, where it crosses the bridge and rises up and winds
away, over the hill.
Overhead the seagulls screech and glide over the ocean spray that washes on
the rocks on the lower banks behind our house along the Fundy Bay, where we
run like the wind through the fields of fresh cut hay and make our way to the
rocky mantle below .
There in the volcanic plateau, worn smooth as glass by the constant rolling
weight of the ocean, is our pool, known by all in our village, as ‘Lizza’s Bathtub’,
created by the eruption of the earth’s inner core, millennia’s ago.
We slip into the still, salty water that has been warmed beneath the blazing sun,
and float with the perry winkles and tiny crabs and listen to the sound of the
ocean, that roars beneath us as it leaves in the receding tide, while we drift
away, in our minds, my little brother the ‘King’ and I, the ‘Queen’ for a day on
the ‘Fundy Bay’.
Stumbling Through a Bewildering Maze,
Of Thoughts and Dreams, He Finds Emptiness.
The Over-exhuming Haze of a Comfortable
Life Exhausts Him, And He Sinks into Himself.
Words From His Brief Interactions Are Destroyed
By Him, Not Absorbed. It's Killing Him.
Water From His Dusty Satchel, Glints as
He Spills it onto His Lap.
-You're Losing it -
He Feels The Stares From Countless Eyes,
And Shrugs it off with Solitude as his Shield.
You've Become The Guy Your Parents Used
To Tell You To Avoid in The Street.
- You Wanna Hurt People -
He watches the Cliques of People Enjoy his
Insecurity. No-one Takes him Seriously.
He Picks The biggest Guy, His Shank, more
Powerful Than His Fist, He walks towards Him.
- It's About To Go Sour -
His Feet Crunches Aeons Beneath Him, And
Stamps Out His Future Genetics.
The Shank, Concealed in his Sleeve. Here it
Comes, This Was his final mark of Respect.
- His Veins Pump Hard -
The Adrenaline Sends Tears to his Eyes,
And Weakens His Legs, he'll Fight or Cry.
The Shank Slides Like Threading Silk Into
His Victims Stomach, Eyes Locked.
- Control it, Stay Calm -
There Was To be No Assistance, Retaliation
Was To be Swift, and Effortless.
He Smiled as They Withdrew Their Weapons
From His Chest.
- Fall To Your Knees -
Choking on Muffled Screams, behind The
Blood and Mucus Filling his Mouth.
- Close your Eyes -
The Light Seemed To Bend in and out of The
Dark patches, It hit his eyes, and blinded him.
- This Makes Sense -
His Face hits Sand...
Wading through flooded streets as hurricane rain poured
A man fell into the flow when sharp thunder roared
As a journalist reporting live from the scene
I saw lightning crack through the sky, heard the man scream
“Is he homeless?” I asked the emergency crew
The director shook his head; the answer he knew
“He lives in our park now, but served in Vietnam
He saved his entire unit from the Viet Cong.”
The team pulled him from the gutter to the shelter
I brought him tea, forgot I was a reporter
I asked why he’d screamed, his memory seemed hazy
“Did you hear the bombs drop?” asked Captain Bob Mazy
The emergency director took me aside
“We call him Crazy Mazy,” he did confide
He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder
Can’t live with the lives he took following orders.”
When Hurricane Kate passed o’er the Gulf Coast
I’d seen much destruction, but remembered Mazy most
His story I broadcasted and vets contacted me
The donations poured in; so many gave freely
Soon we’d accumulated twenty-five grand
Just enough to buy Mazy an acre of land
Then people from his home state gathered one weekend
To build him a home, much effort they expended
Several social workers set up counseling services
To meet all his needs, everyone made concessions
Local stores gave him clothing, food, even a job
No longer “Crazy Mazy,” he was now just Bob
A gentle man who soon overcame all his fears
On Memorial Day, he was greeted by cheers
Accolades he’d never heard when he returned from Nam
But attitudes had changed and people’s hearts had warmed
With just a little coaxing I can remember when
Excitement ruled my early days when you'd come home again.
I was a boy, just seven or eight and you were fully grown.
And it was a very special time when "Brother" would come home.
You and your special Mildred, The two of you and "Wart"---
You see, I can't remember the three of you apart.
Since you were up and married before I was ever born,
I can't remember all the things that happened on the farm.
But, things I do remember -- I can remember well --
Like the gifts you brought at Christmas none others could excel. –
Like the places you would take us, Mildred, me and "Wart" --
We'd race the train to Cameron if that old Ford would start. –
Like the times we'd all go riding and it seemed the car would wiggle --
We'd look and see you steal a kiss and me and "Wart" would giggle.
Looking back, I realize the young love you both shared
Began a life together that God himself prepared.
So, no matter where I wander,
No matter where I roam ---
No thrills can match the ones I knew
When "Brother" would come home.
This was written for my oldest brother and his wife, Mildred, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.
During WW2 he held a most critical position with the government in New Mexico.
“Brother” was a nickname we used for him and “Wart” was a nickname he gave his oldest son, my nephew, only one year Younger than me. He was an inspiration to everyone he met. His life story is motion picture material.
A shaman prays, the Spirit hears
While a Seventh Calvary regiment waits
Unarmed, a tribe endures a Union's hate
Their animosities, and their fears
As the blue coats begin to circle...
Their wrath begins to circle.
That shaman saw but a single Spirit
That was split between different beliefs
He could accept the white Spirit Chief
But the white men would not hear it
They would not blend their God
With the red heathen God.
Anger explodes behind powdered shot
Spraying death from muzzled shame
Cruelly winning their ill gotten fame
Painted heroes claim a tainted spot
History claims the Ghost Dance...
As death claims the last dance.
A Dakota creek runs darkly red
Forever silencing the Ghost Dance
A chanting shaman dies in his trance
One hundred fifty Sioux lay dead
Now, only blue coats remain...
Only the blue remain.
A creek ran red with Union shame
When a shaman called the Spirit Great
And that Spirit did not hesitate
He fell on Wounded Knee and came
To take His people home...
His people swiftly home.
Timothy I. Brumley