On a Snowy Sunday Morning

Early Sunday morning, snow fell upon my world
Around and around it tumbled, oh how it swirled
Blinded by its beauty, its virgin whiteness ever brightened
An otherwise drab morning, I felt so full, so enlightened

Snowflakes are so different, like people I’ve come to know
Watching them dance together, spurs my love for them to grow
Even the lovely cardinals, upon the white blanket they sit
And cast tiny shadows, the hazy sun has lit

How could I not feel happy, utter Sagitarian glee
Snowflakes awaken my spirit, my sleeping soul set free
Amidst this snowy silence, God speaks just to me
Reminding me where is Heaven, that bluejay in the tree

Fort Lamar

Trees now grow where soldiers fought
Many died, more than we thought
Outnumbered Confederates, nearly three to one
Turned back Union forces, on their way to Charleston

Hallowed ground, fettered spirits still remain
Things the mind cannot explain
Yet in our hearts, their fear we surely know
Dying, not something anyone can forgo

Fort Lamar, the Battle of Secessionville
One fateful day, such a powerful clash of will
Hand to hand combat fought with pride
Brutal deaths, so many died

Towering oaks, yaupon hollies
Cover now the sins of war, its follies
Bay berries, pines now abound
The silence so loud, so profound

The Civil War over for most
Yet memories linger, some wretched ghost
A gentle breeze between the trees
The cries and whispers, only the heart does seize

Click here to see some photographs of the Fort Lamar Historical Preserve

To Those Who Took Their Pictures

Who will take their pictures?
Helping us remember the tired, hungry faces
Riding cold boxcars into the dark night
Ten long years before World War II

Who will take their pictures?
Of our parents, grandparents, the elderly man living next door
Lonely survivors, waiting with millions in long food lines
Selling a pair of shoes for only a penny

Who will take their pictures?
Those turned out in the streets
Dark silhouettes sleeping in dumpsters
Cardboard box villages under bridges to nowhere

Who will take their pictures?
Barefoot mothers clutching dying hopes
Child-like dreams of tomorrow for sale
Bits of filthy cloth left for the rag man to gather

Who will take their pictures?
Helping us remember
Hard times, here again
Set your price, all shoes and dreams once again for sale

Note: Dedicated to the wonderful photographers capturing the human side of the Great Depression. See more here.

November Songs

Rust colored leaves
Lonesome naked trees
Waving branches, wild dancing fingers
Reaching upward, gray skies, dark clouds above

Early snow, sparse gatherings here and there
Thin streams of streaky smoke
Lazily drifting from red brick chimneys
A sorrowful wind howls cold and lonely

In the distance, two bright red cardinals
Chirping November songs back and forth
Songs of plenty, winter solitude, thanksgiving
Melodies reunited strangers sing

I hope I never forget
How October brought us here
Just to hear the wind
And strangers sing November songs

Breathless Peppermint Sunset

A hint of cool peppermint
One wispy streak of fragile salmon pink
Lingering still, the far-off horizon

A skipped heartbeat
Awaiting the stars, the moon’s sweet embrace

Content resting in the moment
No wishing for a shooting star
No anticipation of what’s to come
Comfortable forgetting all that has passed

Even the wind holds its breath
Till it all fully touches us—
That momentary magic—
Being alive

She Left Me

She left me
All alone, so very blue
She left me
Reasons why, I never knew

She left me
Standing there by myself
She left me
All my dreams on some deserted shelf

She left me
Wondering where I go from here
She left me
Not so much as one tear

She left me
My lonely heart, oh so blue
She left me
Broke my heart in two

Note: Written in senior year of high school, 1969, St. Clairsville, Ohio. This poem was intended as song lyrics. They never made it, but I never really tried to use them in a song.

Pondering the Obama Victory

The neighbor’s dog chases a lone leaf
Gliding like an golden angel to earth below
Sitting at my window, I smile at the dog—
Now victoriously clutching the leaf between his teeth
He savors his prize
Careful not to destroy what was so hard won

Between calculated sips of my morning coffee
I try my best to imagine
What most Blacks are feeling this morning
After a resounding Obama victory last night
Victorious, validated, vibrant, perhaps vivacious
But surely now believing dreams come true

So much of life, chasing golden leaves
Seeking our special moment
A time to shine like the sun
Sparkle like a diamond
Twinkle like a star in full aliveness
Congratulations America on your choice