Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Poetry: Poems of yesteryear (1960-1970)

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

POEM OF THE WEEK

Black to white

Call me not the son of Ham,

Call me nought but son of Man,

Man I am, and want to feel.

Are you man: then so am I.

So it is - or let me die.

Man I am, and want to feel.

Force me not to call you 'white'

Press me not by basest spite;

Man I am, and want to feel.

Press me not by constant woe,

til white-hate consumes my soul,

Man I am, and want to feel.

You first hated me - but why?

You first wronged me - hurt my pride;

You the dastard - devil man.

I forgave and would forget,

Elephantine you do sweat,

Fiend you are and cannot rest.

Wounds of body heal - but ghoul,

Now you latch unto my soul;

Fiend you are and will not rest.

Cain and Abel; you and I

But this time we both shall die,

Man I am; and so must feel.

Man I am, Oh can't you see?

Different yes, but human - me!

Man I am, and so must feel.

Hound of Satan let me rest!

Leave me now my self-respect.

Man I am and so must feel.

Let me rest in Africa,

Give me peace, America.

In the farthest end of Earth,

Let me live - a human being!

- B. J. Hanson


The Account

There should be a course somewhere

to teach people the art of counting human losses

Not bodies from wars because there might be a special reward in the mystery of dying

as opposed to living this life

Human losses, losing the touch of other humans .

Faces you see across streets and wonder what their smile is like.

Losing loves before you know them.

Spending time wondering what you did wrong

And you count your losses and move on.

There was that one who used a different approach

Or the one you knew would not stay

The one you settled for in the interim though you knew he'd go away.

You might end up keeping a book

Registering last year's losses

Balancing against a column for gains

And if things get better

you might enter a new page called hope

Or like me

you just

keep on

counting

losses.

- Lorna Goodison

We are very pleased

Dear Daddy, we are justly proud today to show our love and our esteem in some especial way

You're indeed a regular guy at times a wee bit rash but

We forgive, for in these days we all are pressed for cash

Prince Charming of the home indeed

Your gentle reins restrain and

Mem'ries of your gracious ways

Will long with us remain.

You've ever kept us free from want - Much happiness have known,

You've cared advised, appeased,

In knowledge we have grown.

Your tact and deep concern, dear Dad,

Your wish to do things right

Have stirred the embers of our love,

And set our hearts alight.

We wish you, Dad, the best of health,

Your children humbly pray

May God enrich with blessings

And help you day to day.

- Geo B. Wallace