Red Ink

Short poety, works move, out and about Africa

I.

We used to receive, in West Germany, handwritten letters from friends in Soviet Russia.

Mail was read by censors so we established a code;
If written in blue ink,

True,
If red,

False.

Letters would arrive,
All written in blue;

Everything wonderful, stores full of food,
Apartments large, weather is good.

We just cannot buy,
Red Ink.

II.

So then I was moved by,

The shoddy silhouette,
Cut into concrete,

Of three bedraggled figures;
One woman, one man,

And a frail old lady.

The woman,
Cradling a baby swaddled in yellow rags,

Called the man, ‘…Husband.’

The man was the old lady’s Son,
And was weeping bitterly on his mother’s shoulders but,

The schooner had not failed this time,
And she was finally here,

On the dock,
Cold and withered and whispering to her son,

Grandma will be happy to learn the new ways,
Of feeding her children, soup!

Korea.

♦photo♦ yeyeolade.wordpress.com

evocative short poetry

Insurrection

image

I have always liked,
Defiant Africans,

Nelson, Patrice, Kenyatta,
Martin Luther King,

Groovy black men,
Niggers with attitude,

But they intimidate me,
Black men.

Freedom fighters,
Bar room brawlers,

And I rise from sleep,
Sheened in sweat,

Running away,
Scribbling my number,
On scraps of paper,

On foreheads and trousers,
On outstretched palms,

And I’m breathing heavily,
Feeling stained,

Because,
That one there,

The white man in Navy uniform,
With hair on his balls,

I know him,

-conquistador-

He smells of garlic and grease,
And my black friends call me,
Nigger, whore, bitch.

Will he take the lion tooth offered,
Can he make the tribal dance?

-I can teach him to love the earth,
Teach him to plant his feet in, deep-

I masturbate from sleep, supported
By thick, colonial, muscle.

I am forging steel,
Industrial iron,

I am engineering a white lover
Beneath the sheets, whilst

Apologising to freedom fighters,
Who call me nigger, whore, bitch.

 

♦photo – personal

evocative short poetry – words move

See: STAN SOLOMON