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Goodbye Maya Angelou

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Clinton's Inauguration 1993 You were so beautiful, Maya Standing in front of the President and the First Lady I didn’t really understand Your Pulse Of Morning Presidential inauguration poem I kind of got lost in the dinosaur theme Poems about Mastodons usually Don’t instantly inspire Black dreams But those Harvard and Yale Bullies came out the next day To criticize your Iambic feet Said your syllables are too short Too forced or didn't repeat But in the South We were taught to protect our Grandmothers And help them cross the street And I wish you had just read And Still I Rise Would have loved to see The look in Bill Clinton’s eyes Your Calling Of Names, poem That would have given Colin’s blood pressure A Rise Dick Cheney would have just laughed Or if you had read your poem: Chugga chugga Chigga Get me one figga I would have laughed As Hillary’s eyes got bigger And part of me was hoping For a And Still I Rise Part II But since you are gone now The Dinosaur poem will do It really was a beautiful poem I was never captured by your Autobiographies Always struggled with Caged Bird themes I thought it was more about women Less about Black dreams But I did like the movie And when it is all over White poets will say You were not as graceful as Langston Or Gwen or Rita And Black poets will say You were never as angry as Nikki or Sonya Or as political as Baraka And the legacy people will scramble Trying to find a place in History For the sweet dancing Black woman From Stamps, Arkansas That stole our hearts And sold a hundred zillion books Took pictures with Malcolm and Martin So I write this poem to plea their pardon And of course they’ll name A few inner city schools after you There will be a Maya avenue In at least thirty Black neighborhoods This will be good And I’m sure there will be a Maya Angelou library On a Martin Luther King Boulevard Near a Malcolm X Cemetery somewhere Where people will gather and stare And on your birthday politicians Will congregate and celebrate Just like they do for Martin Luther King But they still won’t get Why the caged bird sings Sixty honorary doctorate degrees And both Harvard and Yale never saw you They say your work is lacking in invention And in the company of Riding, Bishop And Edna Saint Vincent Your sweet name will never be mentioned And for the rest of my life I’ll have to wonder How the Pulitzer Prize evaded you for more than a half a century And ten years from now I will be working in my office And a bird will land on my window sill With wings of yellow, green and blue And if it smiles and dances And and sings like its free Than I will know its you Goodbye Maya No more cages for you...

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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Date: 2/9/2022 2:31:00 PM
There are no words in the English language to describe this masterpiece I read. Thank you for sharing! Am a fan now!
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Date: 2/6/2022 10:14:00 PM
I loved your poem, Michael. A wonderful tribute to a great woman. Easy to read with smooth flow of information and filled with strength of conviction. Great choice to have featured. Write On! Bill
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Date: 2/6/2022 12:38:00 PM
Well done!!!
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Date: 4/10/2021 8:25:00 AM
WoW! Michael, What a moving and well-written tribute piece about Maya Angelou. Your gift is outstanding. Your knowledge of poets and their works is evident in your poems. I agree Maya is no longer in a cage. Excellent job. Have a wonderful day and weekend:-) Alexis
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Date: 4/4/2021 6:34:00 PM
I am in Awe of your Miles Davis Poem
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Date: 4/4/2021 6:28:00 PM
All of a sudden I started Humming Bob Marley’s “Freedom Song”.
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