Tag: black lives matter

Where Are You Langston Hughes?

Where Are You Langston Hughes?

It is in these moments
that I look for you
I struggle desperately
trying to understand
what is going on around me
I am confused and I am hurt
The pain I feel
at the atrocities I witness
leave me gasping for air
I need you to help me
You have seen much worse
in your life
You have suffered the hatred
cast upon you
and lived with the bigotry
When I am with you in Harlem
I am comforted
Looking deep into your knowing eyes
and down to your soul
You have honed the skill 
of forgiveness 
Which I do not have
and unsure if I ever will
You live in this ugly world
You face your critics and the racists
yet you are never fazed
Showing those who would do you harm
that you are always the better person 
Please teach me how
to use my words as you did
Wrapping up the hatred
and indifference in poetic verse 
I want to learn from the strength
you found by sharing with the world
how to rise up above this horror
By knowing your worth
in times of adversity
That we might also feel your pain
and soothe our own
Show me, I beg you
I want to understand
I must be released
I too, am America

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Laura Bloomsbury is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight and has prompted us to choose a favorite poet and either write about him or her or write to them directly in the first person.  One of my favorite poets is Langston Hughes.
A Harlem Renaissance poet of the 1920s whose poetry resonates with me on so many levels. The last line of my poem is from his poem "I, too"
Read about him at the Poetry Foundation

Darnella Frazier – A Quadrille

Darnella Frazier

Because you bothered
There is a record
The indisputable proof
of what actually occurred
Your fearlessness
and tenacity
in the face of adversity
will be remembered
Without your actions
this nation would never
have known the truth about
George Floyd’s death

We thank you

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

De Jackson (aka Whinsy Gizmo) is hosting Monday Quadrille
at D'Verse Poets and has prompted us with the word "Bother"
Today, here in the US, the jury will now decide on
the fate of Derek Chauvin who killed George Floyd
before our eyes in May of 2020.  The very brave
Darnella Frazier, who was only 17 at the time, took a video
of the events so we were all able to see what happened.
Thank you Darnella.  You are very brave.

A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words excluding the title.

Song Lyric Sunday – Long Time Gone

Good prompts this week from Jim Adams at Song Lyric Sunday. He gave us Long, Tall, Small and Short. There are some obvious ones but I decided to dig a little deeper and came up with this great song and video from The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks – good for them for changing that name!). They are from Texas and as I lived in Dallas for around 14 years, I watched them become very popular. The first time I saw them they were performing downtown Dallas at one of the many outdoor festivals. They were very talented singers and musicians so it was no surprise they made the big time.

This song itself does not have much of a story behind the writing of it but it’s a good one! The Chicks have a better story and that’s probably why I like them so much. The following article was on NPR.org in June of 2020.

The country trio Dixie Chicks have changed the group’s name to The Chicks in an apparent distancing from a name associated with the Confederate-era South. 

The switch was not made with any kind of official announcement or explanation but simply with the release of a new song, “March March,” on Thursday. Its lyrics and video reference current and past public protests involving racial justice, police brutality, gun violence, climate change and LGBTQ rights. The video compares current themes to historical fights in the U.S. for women’s right to vote and the struggles for Black and LGBTQ civil rights.

The video also scrolls the names of dozens of Black victims of police brutality and those who died in apparently racially motivated confrontations, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner and Amadou Diallo. The list of names that quickly flash by goes on for more than a full minute.

For years, the Dixie Chicks — Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire — served as a cautionary tale to country musicians in terms of avoiding politics. In 2003, shortly before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Maines told an audience in London that they did not support the military action and that she was “ashamed” that then-U.S. President George W. Bush was, like the band, from Texas.

The musicians experienced immediate career fallout. Despite having been massively popular with country audiences before those statements, the group was dropped from country radio stations. Some country fans also staged anti-Dixie Chick demonstrations, which included destroying copies of the band’s CDs.

The damage was lasting. Three years later, broadcast networks including NBC and the CW refused to run ads for a documentary film about the group — called Shut Up & Sing. And the band never really recovered its relationship with the mainstream country industry.

A spokesperson for the group’s label, Columbia Records (part of Sony Music Entertainment), told NPR on Thursday that The Chicks had no comment on the name change. But the switch comes two weeks after another country group, the former Lady Antebellum, changed its name to Lady A. That change was accompanied by a social media statement in which Lady A said that the country’s recent attempts to reckon with racial justice issues had made the band members’ eyes open wide to inequality.

Courtesy of NPR.org

The song, “Long Time Gone”, is about the sorry state of Contemporary Country music. The lyric, “They sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard, they have money but they don’t have Cash,” is a reference to Country legends Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. The song implies that today’s Country has no soul.

This was written and originally recorded by Darrell Scott on his 2000 album Real Time. Scott is a prominent session guitarist and songwriter as well as a performer.

The song was covered by The Chicks on their 2002 album Home, despite having been written from a presumably male point of view. Released in May 2002 as the lead single from Home, it reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart[1] and number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their version won a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Courtesy of Songfacts and Wiki


Daddy sits on the front porch swinging,
Looking out on a vacant field.
Used to be filled with burley t'bacca.
Now he knows it never will.

My brother found work in Indiana,
Sister's a nurse at the old folks home.
Mama's still cooking too much for supper,
And me, I've been a long time gone.

Been a long time gone,
No, I ain't hoed a row since I don't know when.
Long time gone, and it ain't coming back again.

Delia plays that ol' church piano,
Sittin' out on her daddy's farm.
She always thought that we'd be together,
Lord, I never meant to do her harm.

Said she could hear me singin' in the choir,
Me, I heard another song.
I caught wind and hit the road runnin',
And Lord, I've been a long time gone.

Been a long time gone,
Lord, I ain't had a prayer since I don't know when.
Long time gone, and it ain't comin' back again.

Now me, I went to Nashville,
Tryin' to beat the big deal.
Playin' down on Broadway,
Gettin' there the hard way.
Living from a tip jar,
Sleeping in my car.
Hocking my guitar,
Yeah, I'm gonna be a star.

Now, me and Delia singing every Sunday,
Watching the children and the garden grow.
We listen to the radio to hear what's cookin',
But the music ain't got no soul.

Now they sound tired but they don't sound Haggard,
They've got money but they don't have Cash.
They got Junior but they don't have Hank.
I think, I think, I think, the rest is,
A long time gone,

No, I ain't hit the roof since I don't know when.
Long time gone, and it ain't coming back.

I said a long time gone,
No, I ain't honked the horn since I don't know when.
Long time gone, and it ain't coming back again.

I said a long time, long time, long time gone.
Well, it's been a long time.

Long time, long time, long time gone,
Oh, it's been a long time gone.

Long time, long time, long time gone.
Yeah, yeah.

Writer/s: Darrell Scott 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Seventeen – In Memory of Trayvon Martin


What did you dream of?
What wonderful things did you imagine?
So young, so hopeful
Innocent still in the ways
of the wicked world you lived in
The opportunities at your feet
were just waiting for you to take the first step
Your family and friends beside you
Supporting you
on the way to adulthood

But your future was stolen
By a gun-toting, self-anointed
savior of peaceful communities
“How dare you be black in my neighborhood
and wear a hoodie?”, thought he
“Stop!”, he said, as you reached in your pocket
for your Skittles candy
You fought back the monster with your hands
but he killed you and just like that,
you were gone from this world

A silenced teenager with no ID
and no one to tell your story
A John Doe lying in the morgue
while parents agonized
over where you were
He let you lay bleeding to death
Because he wanted to
He wanted someone, anyone
that night
He was mighty whitey
and he decided it was ok
He robbed you of your life
and your mother of her son

Today, February 5th
you should have been
celebrating your 26th birthday
What would you have been?
A doctor, a lawyer, a husband,
a father, a friend.
We will never know because
an armed neighborhood watch coordinator
killed you claiming protection under
the Florida law, Stand Your Ground,
and got away with your murder

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved
In memory of Trayvon Martin
February 5, 1995 - February 26, 2012
Aged 17
Murdered in Sanford, Florida while walking to his mother’s house in a gated community, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator, . 

Rest in Peace
#Black Lives Matter

Word Prompts

Silence - RDP
Tell - FOWC

Wiki - The Shooting of Trayvon Martin

How Many More Must Die? – Walter Wallace, Jr.

How Many More Must Die?

Your words
laid dormant
in your throat 
Trapped, unsafe
to release like a
cocooned butterfly
in harsh conditions
unable to escape
its prison
as doing so
would be unsafe
Your sounds, that
of pain and frustration
Not violence
Your illness was
not a crime
Needing help
and understanding
The color of your skin
Yet misread
and calculated 
as dangerous
You died from
their hatred, power
and systemic racism,
not fear
Fear is their
convenient crutch
Worn away from
over use
They looked you in the eye
With fire power pointed
at your heart
Ordering you to drop
a knife
When you did not
you were not
wounded or restrained
You were murdered
before your
grieving family
What is one more?
Two more?
Many, many more?
Enough, it is enough
we cry!
They refuse to hear
We shout our protests
but to be heard
we have to become
like them …
… then they will listen

Copyright © 2020 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Written in memory of Walter Wallace Jr.,
a young African American man suffering from Bipolar Disorder, who was killed by police in Philadelphia
on Monday, October 26, 2020.

Bjorn is hosting Open Link Night at D'Verse Poets

We Breathe As One

We Breathe As One

My brother once again
we are in this place
of pain and hurt
Nothing has changed
Will it ever?
My skin is still your skin
My blood your blood
My skeleton
a mirror of yours
Our biology identical
We breathe the same air
Our tears flow together
in a stream
of consciousness 
Our pain is shared
as we fight together
to be heard
Our colors blend
in shades of the earth
from whence we come
The anger inside me
can no longer
be suppressed
Enough is enough
for I cannot stand by
and see one more
of my brothers and sisters
taken from this world
by ignorance
hatred and brutality
Our fight must continue
We will be heard
Black Lives Matter
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Grace is hosting D'Verse Poets
Open Link Night

Tonight I expanded on a Quadrille I wrote
in June called Blood Brothers following the
death of George Floyd. The events in recent
weeks here in the US continue to haunt me
and I needed to write more relating to
Black Lives Matter

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay  

Now is the Time

Now is the Time

One more
blue-black bruise
on society
One too many
The beast has been
Voices heard
Strength in numbers
taking to the streets
Waking the silent
Unmasking the blind
A united voice
heard by deaf ears
Heads previously
buried in the sand
A time of change
Power in the hands
of the peaceful oppressed
The dark days
are numbered
One man’s breath
choked from his body
Yet his words 
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
will live in infamy
and be carried
on wings of soaring birds 
His voice stolen
but we speak
for him, for all
Now is the time
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

In response to Sue Vincent's Weekly Write/Photo
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