Black Poetry Day

I would like to share two poems from black poets, Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks. I do not officially have permission to reprint these poems so I am including the copyright information. Sadly, I could not replicate the exact formatting for Brooks’ poem. Please visit the source website for the original formatting. Share your favorite poem by a black poet.

The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks

They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.   
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,   
Tin flatware.

Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes   
And putting things away.

And remembering …
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Bean Eaters” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Source: Poetry Foundation

Silhouette by Langston Hughes

Southern gentle lady,
Do not swoon.
They’ve just hung a black man
In the dark of the moon.

They’ve hung a black man
To a roadside tree
In the dark of the moon
For the world to see
How Dixie protects
Its white womanhood.

Southern gentle lady,
Be good!
Be good!

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 305. Source: Song of America

Flashback Friday Poetry: The Moments After

left behind with a sense of disaster
trapped in a tub covered up by plaster
sounds of the wind seem to have subsided
a light which would cause one to be blinded
penetrates a hole in the wreckage
this small ray of light gives one the message
that the terrible event is over
a great rush of relief comes over her
crawling from the heap of devastation
now begins the life of reconstruction

Early poetry from James. From the poetry collection Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.

Throwback Thursday Poetry: A Grateful Dead Christmas

tis merry and bright
all through the night
everyone sleeps without cares
dreams of happiness
none are restless
the dwelling is a calm lair
upon arrival
in such style
make for the dancing bear
he’s down the chimney
it’s all empty
except a fat man who stares
“Not again!”, he sighs
shame in his eyes
“You can’t be me again, Jer!
People think you’re dead,”
the fat man said,
“you can’t be seen anymore.
I understand man,
I am a fan,
but too many people get scared!
Jerry Garcia,
nice to see ya’!
Now catch a ride on a Reindeer!”

Early poetry from James. From the poetry collection Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.