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Author: CLIFTON, LUCILLE
Matches Found: 265


Clifton, Lucille    Poet's Biography
265 poems available by this author


11/10 AGAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: Some say the radiance around the body
Last Line: Encasing your human heart.
Subject(s): Humanity; Spiritual Life


A DREAM OF FOXES    Poem Text    
First Line: In the dream of foxes
Last Line: Safe through the generous fields
Subject(s): Dreams; Foxes; Nightmares


A SONG OF MARY    Poem Text    
First Line: Somewhere it being yesterday
Last Line: I smiling an ordinary smile
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


A STORY FOR EDGAR        Recitation by Author


A VISIT TO GETTYSBURG       
First Line: I will / touch stone
Subject(s): American Civil War; Blood; Gettysburg Campaign (1863); United States - History; War; Gettysburg, Battle Of


ADAM AND EVE    Poem Text    
First Line: The names / of the things
Subject(s): Adam & Eve; Bible; Religion; Eve; Theology


ADMONITIONS    Poem Text    
First Line: Boys / I don't promise you nothing
Last Line: She don't have no sense
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


AFRICA    Poem Text    
First Line: Home / oh
Last Line: All of my bones / remember
Subject(s): Africa; African Americans; Home; Memory; Negroes; American Blacks


AFTER KENT STATE    Poem Text    
First Line: Only to keep / his little fear
Last Line: Black / and live
Subject(s): Kent State University - Riot, 1970


AFTER OZ    Poem Text    
Last Line: Deeper and deeper / asleep
Subject(s): Black (Color); Death; Rest; Dead, The


AFTERBLUES        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks


ALABAMA: 9/15/63    Poem Text    
First Line: Have you heard the one about
Last Line: Is still too bright to hear them play?
Subject(s): African Americans – Alabam


ALBUM    Poem Text    
First Line: 1. It is 1939
Last Line: She is / they are
Subject(s): Children; Mothers; Childhood


AMAZONS        Recitation
First Line: When the rookery of women
Subject(s): Amazons; Breast Cancer; Women


ANNA SPEAKS OF THE CHILDHOOD OF MARY HER DAUGHTER       
First Line: We rise up early and
Subject(s): Children; Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Mothers & Daughters; Women In The Bible; Women In The Bible; Childhood; Virgin Mary


APOLOGY (TO THE PANTHERS)    Poem Text    
First Line: I became a woman
Last Line: I grieve my whiteful days
Subject(s): Repentance; Black Nationalism; Penitence


AT LAST WE KILLED THE ROACHES    Poem Text    
Last Line: All over the place
Subject(s): Family Life; Poverty; Cockroaches


AT THE CEMETERY, WALNUT GROVE PLANTATION, SOUTH CAROLINA, 1989    Poem Text    
First Line: Among the rocks / at walnut grove
Last Line: Here lies / hear
Subject(s): Americans; United States; African Americans; Slavery; Cemeteries; America


ATLAS    Poem Text    
First Line: I am used to the heft of it
Last Line: To carry everything.
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Forests; Labor & Laborers; Strength; Black Heritage; Woods; Work; Workers


AUCTION STREET    Poem Text    
First Line: Consider the drum
Last Line: The ground you walk is holy
Subject(s): Slavery; Auctions


AUNT JEMIMA        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


€ŒOH ANTIC GOD€?    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Mothers; Aging


BATHSHEBA    Poem Text    
First Line: How it was -- it was
Last Line: Of the wife of uriah
Subject(s): Desire; Man-woman Relationships; Passion; Bathsheba(Bible); Male-female Relations


BEING PROPERTY ONCE MYSELF    Poem Text    
Last Line: Same thing for men
Subject(s): Slavery; Liberty


BLAKE    Poem Text    
First Line: Saw them glittering in the trees
Last Line: Dreaming one poem
Subject(s): Hope; Solitude; Blake, William (1757-1827); Optimism; Loneliness


BLESSING THE BOATS    Poem Text    
First Line: May the tide


BLESSING THE BOATS (AT ST. MARY'S)    Poem Text    
First Line: May the tide
Last Line: Adventure & adventurers; boats; fear;
Subject(s): Adventure & Adventurers; Boats; Fear


BREAKLIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Light keeps on breaking
Last Line: Everything they said
Subject(s): Fear; Mothers


BROTHERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Come coil with me
Subject(s): Devil; Satan; Mephistopheles; Lucifer; Beelzebub


BROTHERS: 1. INVITATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Come coil with me
Last Line: What it meant.
Subject(s): Brothers; Creation; Half-brothers


BROTHERS: 2. HOW GREAT THOU ART    Poem Text    
First Line: Listen, you are beyond
Last Line: Imperfection.
Subject(s): Brothers; Creation; Desire; Self; Half-brothers


BROTHERS: 3. AS FOR MYSELF    Poem Text    
First Line: Less snake than angel
Last Line: And to be unafraid.
Subject(s): Angels; Brothers; Creation; Mankind; Half-brothers; Human Race


BROTHERS: 4. IN MY OWN DEFENSE    Poem Text    
First Line: What could I choose
Last Line: Could they have failed to hear.
Subject(s): Brothers; Creation; Fathers; Gardens & Gardening; Sin; Half-brothers


BROTHERS: 5. THE ROAD LED FROM DELIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Into delight, into the sharp
Last Line: And so forth.
Subject(s): Brothers; Humanity; Meditation; Half-brothers


BROTHERS: 6. 'THE SILENCE OF GOD IS GOD.'    Poem Text    
First Line: Tell me, tell us why
Last Line: That world and you said nothing.
Subject(s): God; Silence


BROTHERS: 7. STILL THERE IS MERCY, THERE IS GRACE    Poem Text    
First Line: How otherwise / could I have come to this
Last Line: But, amen, yours.
Subject(s): Creation; Grace; Mercy; Religion; Travel; Theology; Journeys; Trips


BROTHERS: 8. '............IS GOD.'    Poem Text    
First Line: So. / having no need to speak
Last Line: The rest is silence.
Subject(s): Brothers; God; Religious Education; Silence; Half-brothers; Sunday Schools; Yeshivas; Parochial Schools


C.C. RIDER       
First Line: Who is that running away
Last Line: See see rider, see what you have done.
Subject(s): Strangers


CA'LINE'S PRAYER    Poem Text    
First Line: I have got old
Last Line: And set me in the rivers of your glory
Subject(s): Deserts; Drought; Food & Eating; Rivers; Water


CAIN       
First Line: So this is what it means
Last Line: My brother is.
Subject(s): Cain; Fathers & Sons


CAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: The land of nod
Last Line: Don't rise up
Subject(s): Cain; Fathers & Sons


CALMING KALI    Poem Text    
First Line: Be quiet awful woman
Last Line: I know I am your sister
Subject(s): Caregivers; Sisters


CIGARETTES    Poem Text    
First Line: My father burned us all. Ash
Last Line: Smoldering halls.
Subject(s): Children; Fathers; Fire; Parents; Smoking; Childhood; Parenthood; Tobacco; Pipes; Cigars; Cigarettes


CLIMBING    Poem Text    
First Line: A woman precedes me up the long rope
Subject(s): Aging


COME HOME FROM THE MOVIES    Poem Text    
Last Line: They already know how to dance
Subject(s): African Americans; Motion Pictures


CRABBING       
First Line: Pulling / into their pots
Last Line: Of others?
Subject(s): Crabs


CRUELTY, DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT CRUELTY    Poem Text    
Last Line: I never know what I might do
Subject(s): Cruelty; Family Life; Cockroaches


CUTTING GREENS    Poem Text    
First Line: Curling them around / I hold their bodies in obscene embrace
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks


DADDY    Poem Text    
First Line: The days have kept on coming
Last Line: The days in the confident man
Subject(s): Fathers & Daughters; Mothers & Sons


DANIEL    Poem Text    
First Line: I have learned / some few things
Last Line: Even in the lion's den
Subject(s): Daniel (Bible); Adversity


DAUGHTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Woman who shines at the head
Last Line: Of georgia, daughter of / dazzling you
Subject(s): Mothers & Daughters; Grandparents


DEAR FOX    Poem Text    
First Line: It is not my habit
Last Line: From somebody else's life / any time
Subject(s): Foxes; Humanity


DEAR JESSE HELMS    Poem Text    
First Line: Something is happening
Last Line: Something obscene.
Subject(s): Hate; Helms, Jesse (B. 1921); War


EACH MORNING I PULL MYSELF    Poem Text    
Last Line: Say it coward say it
Subject(s): Despair


EASTER SUNDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: While I was in the middle of the night
Last Line: And lift men up
Subject(s): Easter; God; Holidays; Jesus Christ; Religion; Resurrection, The; The Resurrection; Theology


ELDRIDGE    Poem Text    
First Line: Nobody mentioned war
Last Line: Break, or / be broken
Subject(s): Civil Rights Movement; African Americans; Cleaver, Eldridge (1935-1998)


ENTERING THE SOUTH    Poem Text    
First Line: I have put on my mother's coat
Last Line: Heavy and dark and alive
Subject(s): African Americans; Animal Rights; Fur Trade; Southern States; Negroes; American Blacks; Animal Abuse; Vivisection; Furs; South (U.s.)


EVERETT ANDERSON'S FRIEND    Poem Text    
First Line: Someone new has come to stay
Last Line: Next door in 13a
Subject(s): Friendship


FAR MEMORY    Poem Text    
First Line: My knees recall the pockets
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed


FAR MEMORY: 1. CONVENT    Poem Text    
First Line: My knees recall the pockets
Last Line: And certainly attended.
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Convents; Memory; Sisters; Women & Religion; Black Heritage


FAR MEMORY: 2. SOMEONE INSIDE ME REMEMBERS    Poem Text    
First Line: That my knees must be hidden away
Last Line: Than myself
Subject(s): Convents; Memory; Nuns; Prayer; Women & Religion


FAR MEMORY: 3. AGAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: Born in the year of war
Last Line: Of another life.
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; War


FAR MEMORY: 4. TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS LIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: Who did I fail, who
Last Line: Of rescue, rescue.
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Life; Sisters; Women & Religion; Black Heritage


FAR MEMORY: 5. SINNERMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Horizontal one evening
Last Line: And my own whispered / hosanna?
Subject(s): Convents; Memory; Nuns; Women & Religion


FAR MEMORY: 6. KARMA    Poem Text    
First Line: The habit is heavy
Last Line: No whole abiding / sister
Subject(s): Habits; Sisters; Women & Religion


FAR MEMORY: 7. GLORIA MUNDI    Poem Text    
First Line: So knowing, / what is known?
Last Line: In one life.
Subject(s): Life; Memory; Women & Religion


FEBRUARY 13,1980    Poem Text    
First Line: Twenty-one years of my life you have been
Last Line: Whatever I say
Subject(s): Absence; Separation; Isolation


FINAL NOTE TO CLARK    Poem Text    
First Line: They had it wrong
Last Line: Not wonder woman and not superman
Subject(s): Superman


FLOWERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Here we are / running with the weeds
Last Line: Is love
Subject(s): Colors; Flowers; Gardens & Gardening; Love


FOR DELAWD    Poem Text    
First Line: People say they have a hard time
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks


FOR HER HIDING PLACE    Poem Text    
Last Line: Straight on to our backs / like death
Subject(s): Davis, Angela


FOR RODDY       
First Line: I am imagining this of you
Last Line: Toward me, wherever, whose ever I am.
Subject(s): Imagination; Jesus Christ; Life; Resurrection, The; Fancy


FOR THE BIRD WHO FLEW AGAINST OUR WINDOW ONE MORNING    Poem Text    
First Line: My window / is his wall
Last Line: In his suicide
Subject(s): Suicide


FOR THE MAD    Poem Text    
First Line: You will be alone at last
Last Line: They will say you are well
Subject(s): Anger; Insanity; Madness; Mental Illness


FORGIVING MY FATHER    Poem Text    
First Line: It is friday. We have come
Last Line: And no accounting will open them up
Subject(s): Fathers & Daughters; Forgiveness; Clemency


FOX    Poem Text    
First Line: Who / can blame her for hunkering
Last Line: Not feeding, not being fed?
Subject(s): Foxes; Hunger; Winter


FRIDAY WAITING FOR MOM    Poem Text    
First Line: When I am seven
Last Line: Says so too
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life; Negroes; American Blacks; Relatives


FURTHER NOTE TO CLARK    Poem Text    
First Line: What I can promise to be is water
Last Line: More than your own safety
Subject(s): Niagara Falls; Superman


FURY; FOR MAMA    Poem Text    
First Line: Remember this
Last Line: For this woman's sake.
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Obedience; Women - Abused; Black Heritage; Wife Beating


GENERATIONS    Poem Text    
First Line: People who are going to be
Last Line: By their invisibility / denounce us
Subject(s): Begging & Beggars; Change; Social Problems


GOD SEND EASTER    Poem Text    
First Line: And we will lace the
Last Line: Glory in our skin
Subject(s): Easter; Holidays; Jesus Christ; Religion; The Resurrection; Theology


GOD WAITS FOR THE WANDERING WORLD    Poem Text    
Last Line: Patience is his promise
Subject(s): God; Patience


GOD'S MOOD    Poem Text    
First Line: These daughters are bone
Last Line: Adam's whining ways
Subject(s): Death - Children; Old Age; Solitude; Death - Babies; Loneliness


GOOD FRIDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: I rise up above my self
Last Line: If they want it
Subject(s): Good Friday; Holidays; Holy Week; Jesus Christ


GOOD TIMES    Poem Text    
First Line: My daddy has paid the rent
Subject(s): Family Life; African Americans; Family Life; United States; Relatives; Negroes; American Blacks; Relatives; America


GOOD TIMES    Poem Text    
First Line: My daddy has paid the rent
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life; United States; Negroes; American Blacks; Relatives; America


HAG RIDING    Poem Text    
First Line: Why / is what I ask myself
Last Line: I ride I ride
Subject(s): Africa; Hope; Life; Self-satisfaction; Optimism


HARRIET    Poem Text    
First Line: Harriet / if I be you
Last Line: Love my children and / wait
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


HEAVEN    Poem Text    
First Line: My brother is crouched at the edge
Last Line: Even when she was right, she was wrong
Subject(s): Brothers & Sisters; Death; Heaven; Dead, The; Paradise


HERE RESTS    Poem Text    
First Line: My sister josephine
Subject(s): Sisters


HERE YET BE DRAGONS    Poem Text    
First Line: So many languages have fallen
Last Line: Tongue and remain proud?
Subject(s): Language


HERE YET BE DRAGONS    Poem Text    
First Line: So many languages have fallen
Last Line: Tongue and remain proud?
Subject(s): Loss


HOLY NIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Joseph, I afraid of stars
Subject(s): Christmas; Night; Nativity, The; Bedtime


HOMAGE TO MY HAIR    Poem Text    
First Line: When I feel her jump up and dance
Last Line: The blacker she do be! 
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


HOMAGE TO MY HIPS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: These hips are big hips
Subject(s): Hips; Women


I AM ACCUSED OF TENDING TO THE PAST    Poem Text    


I AM HIGH ON THE MAN CALLED CRAZY    Poem Text    
Last Line: He has bitten sons
Subject(s): African Americans; Man-woman Relationships


I AM RUNNING INTO A NEW YEAR    Poem Text    
Last Line: And I leave to forgive me
Subject(s): New Year


I ONCE KNEW A MAN WHO HAD WILD HORSES KILLED    Poem Text    


I TAKE MY GLASSES OFF    Poem Text    
First Line: It is the hard
Last Line: So I can see
Subject(s): Sight


I WAS BORN IN A HOTEL    Poem Text    
Last Line: A woman jar
Subject(s): African Americans – Women; Birth


I WAS BORN WITH TWELVE FINGERS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Last Line: Through our terrible shadowy hands
Subject(s): Hands


IF I SHOULD (TO CLARK KENT)    Poem Text    
First Line: Enter the darkest room
Last Line: After me, leaping tall buildings? / you?
Subject(s): Family Life; Superman


IF I STAND IN MY WINDOW    Poem Text    
Last Line: Praying in tongues
Subject(s): African Americans – Women; Identity; Nudity


IF MAMA    Poem Text    
First Line: If mama / could see
Last Line: Clean up your room
Subject(s): Family Life; Mothers; Youth


IF SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN    Poem Text    
First Line: For instance / if the sea should break
Subject(s): Erosion; Seashore; Tides; Beach; Coast; Shore


IMAGINING BEAR; FOR ALONZO MOORE SR.       
First Line: Imagine him too tall and too wide
Last Line: Remembering him in poems
Subject(s): Imagination; Fancy


IN 1841 WASHOE CHILDREN       
First Line: In 1844, explorers john fremont and kit carson discovered lake tahoe
Last Line: Found what was not lost
Subject(s): Tahoe (Lake), Sierra Nevada Mountains; Explorers; Native Americans


IN POPULATED AIR    Poem Text    
Last Line: Their shimmering voices / singing
Subject(s): Ancestors & Ancestry


IN THE EVENINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: I go through my rooms
Last Line: Like a ghost
Subject(s): Cold; Evening; Ghosts; Poverty; Supernatural; Winter; Sunset; Twilight


IN THE INNER CITY       


ISLAND MARY    Poem Text    
First Line: After the all been done and I
Last Line: What star still choosing? 
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


IT WAS A DREAM    Poem Text    
First Line: In which my greater self
Last Line: This. This. This.
Subject(s): Dreams; Self; Nightmares


IT WAS A DREAM    Poem Text    
First Line: In which my greater self
Last Line: This. This. This.
Subject(s): Dreams; Dreams; Self; Nightmares; Nightmares


JACKIE ROBINSON    Poem Text    
First Line: Ran against walls / without breaking
Last Line: Entered the conquering dark
Subject(s): Baseball; Robinson, Jackie (1919-1972); Sports


JANUARY 1991    Poem Text    
First Line: They have sent our boy
Last Line: And them and us
Subject(s): Children


JASPER TEXAS 1998    Poem Text    
First Line: I am a man's head hunched in the road.
Subject(s): Racism; Racial Prejudice; Bigotry


JOHN    Poem Text    
First Line: Somebody coming in blackness
Last Line: In blackness like a star
Subject(s): Baptists; John The Baptist, Saint (1st Century); Preaching & Preachers


JOHN    Poem Text    
First Line: Somebody coming in darkness
Subject(s): Religion; Baptists; John The Baptist, Saint (1st Century); Preaching & Preachers; Theology


JOSEPH    Poem Text    
First Line: Something about this boy
Last Line: Jesus jesus jesus
Subject(s): Boys; Jesus Christ


JUNE 20TH    Poem Text    
First Line: I will be born in one week
Last Line: Into their temporary joy
Subject(s): Birth; Family Life


LAST NOTE TO MY GIRLS    Poem Text    
First Line: My girls / my girls
Last Line: My girls my more than me
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Girls


LATER I'LL SAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Later I'll say / I spent my life
Last Line: Loving a great man
Subject(s): Love


LEAVING FOX    Poem Text    
First Line: So many fuckless days and nights
Last Line: Until something human comes
Subject(s): Foxes


LEDA 2: A NOTE ON VISITATIONS    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes another star chooses
Last Line: Is the only shining thing.
Subject(s): African Americans; Guests; Leda; Mythology - Classical; Negroes; American Blacks; Visiting


LEDA 3: A PERSONAL NOTE (RE: VISITATIONS)    Poem Text    
First Line: Always pyrotechnics; / stars spinning into phalluses
Last Line: Or don't come.
Subject(s): Leda; Mythology - Classical; Solitude; Spiritual Life; Loneliness


LEDA: 1    Poem Text    
First Line: There is nothing luminous
Last Line: Fucking god fucking me.
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Curses; Leda; Mythology - Classical; Black Heritage


LEE    Poem Text    
First Line: My mother's people
Subject(s): African Americans; Fathers; Generals; Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870); Slavery; Southern States; Virginia (State); Negroes; American Blacks; Serfs; South (U.s.)


LET THERE BE NEW FLOWERING    Poem Text    
Last Line: At the end
Subject(s): Flowers


LEUKEMIA AS DREAM RITUAL    Poem Text    
First Line: It is night in my room
Last Line: Eat the whispers, eat and drink
Subject(s): Cancer (Disease)


LISTEN CHILDREN    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Children; Racism; Childhood; Racial Prejudice; Bigotry


LISTEN CHILDREN    Poem Text    


LORENA    Poem Text    
First Line: It lay in my palm soft and trembled
Last Line: I thought it could fly
Subject(s): Introspection


LOVE REJECTED    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Love rejected / hurts so much more
Last Line: Their country don't love them
Subject(s): Racism


LUCY AND HER GIRLS    Poem Text    
First Line: Lucy is the ocean
Last Line: Lucy / was going
Subject(s): African Americans - Children; Girls


LUCY ONE-EYE    Poem Text    
Last Line: The darling girl
Subject(s): Women; Human Behavior


LUMPECTOMY EVE    Poem Text    
First Line: All night I dream of lips
Last Line: If you do not?
Subject(s): Breast Feeding; Breasts; Breast Cancer; Nursing (Infants)


MALCOLM    Poem Text    
First Line: Nobody mentioned war
Last Line: Screaming through the streets
Subject(s): African Americans; Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) (1925-1965); Negroes; American Blacks


MARY    Poem Text    
First Line: This kiss / as soft as cotton
Last Line: I see a tree
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Mercy; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


MARY'S DREAM    Poem Text    
First Line: Winged women was saying
Last Line: I joined them, whispering / yes
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


MERCY        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Incest


MISS ROSIE    Poem Text    
First Line: When I watch you / wrapped like garbage
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


MOON CHILD    Poem Text    
First Line: Whatever slid into my mother's room that
Last Line: I always blame the moon
Subject(s): Birth; Moon


MOSES    Poem Text    
First Line: I walk on bones
Last Line: God had got his eye on
Subject(s): Bible; Moses; Old Age; Slavery; Serfs


MOVE    Poem Text    
First Line: They had begun to whisper
Last Line: Move / away
Subject(s): African Americans; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Negroes; American Blacks


MULBERRY FIELDS    Poem Text    
First Line: They thought the field was wasting


MY DADDY'S FINGERS MOVE AMONG THE COUPLERS    Poem Text    
Last Line: My daddy's fingers might be men again
Subject(s): Fathers


MY DREAM ABOUT BEING WHITE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Hey music and me / only white
Last Line: Wake up / dancing
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


MY DREAM ABOUT THE SECOND COMING    Poem Text    
First Line: Mary is an old woman without shoes
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed


MY DREAM ABOUT TIME    Poem Text    
First Line: A woman unlike myself is running
Subject(s): Transience; Impermanence


MY FRIENDS    Poem Text    
First Line: No they will not understand
Last Line: But whole
Subject(s): Friendship


MY LOST FATHER    Poem Text    
First Line: See where he moves
Last Line: Of husbands fathers sons
Subject(s): Loss


MY MAMA MOVED AMONG THE DAYS    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Mothers


MY MAMA MOVED AMONG THE DAYS    Poem Text    


MY POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: A love person
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Revenge


NAOMI WATCHES AS RUTH SLEEPS    Poem Text    
First Line: She clings to me
Last Line: I can grieve in peace.
Subject(s): African Americans; Naomi (Bible); Peace; Women In The Bible; Negroes; American Blacks


NEW BONES    Poem Text    
First Line: We will wear / new bones again
Last Line: We know
Subject(s): Life


NIGHT VISION    Poem Text    
First Line: The girl fits her body in
Last Line: To build something human with it
Subject(s): Women; Sleep


NIGHT VISION    Poem Text    
First Line: The girl fits her body in
Last Line: To build something human with it.
Subject(s): Ethnic Groups - United States; Girls; Minorities - United States; United States - Race Relations


NOTE PASSED TO SUPERMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Sweet jesus, superman
Last Line: Than the one I'm from
Subject(s): Superman


NOTHING ABOUT THE MOMENT    Poem Text    
Last Line: Gods never tell
Subject(s): Mythology


OH ABSOLAM MY SON MY SON    Poem Text    
First Line: Even as I turned myself from you
Last Line: What does the lord require
Subject(s): Absalom; God; Religion; Theology


ON THE BIRTH OF BOMANI    Poem Text    
First Line: We have taken the best leaves
Last Line: Art that made you fill your heart
Subject(s): African Americans; Love - Cultural Differences; United States - Race Relations; Negroes; American Blacks


ONE YEAR LATER    Poem Text    
First Line: What if, / then, / entering my room
Last Line: Of regret?
Subject(s): Foxes; Humanity


PALM SUNDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: So here come I
Last Line: And collards in the air
Subject(s): Palm Sunday; Homecoming; African Americans


PERHAPS    Poem Text    
First Line: I am going blind
Last Line: And I am turning
Subject(s): Nothingness; Nihilism; Voids


PITY THIS POOR ANIMAL    Poem Text    
Last Line: And has no need for fire
Subject(s): Racism; Fear; Pity; Blacks


POEM IN PRAISE OF MENSTRUATION    Poem Text    
First Line: If there is a river
Subject(s): Women; Menstuation


POEM ON MY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY TO MY MOTHER WHO DIED YOUNG    Poem Text    
First Line: Well I have almost come to the place where you fell
Last Line: Running like hell and if I fall / I fall
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Death; Mothers & Daughters; Dead, The


POEMS IN PRAISE OF MENSTRUATION    Poem Text    
First Line: If there is a river
Last Line: And female and brave
Subject(s): Menstruation


ROBERT    Poem Text    
First Line: Was born obedient / without questions
Last Line: The color of his life / was nigger
Subject(s): African Americans; Obedience; Slavery; Negroes; American Blacks; Serfs


ROOTS    Poem Text    
First Line: Call it our craziness even
Last Line: Call it anything
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


RUST       
First Line: Are you saying that iron understands
Subject(s): Death; God; Rust; Dead, The


SALT    Poem Text    
First Line: He is as salt
Last Line: What he needs
Subject(s): Grief; Tears; Sorrow; Sadness


SAM    Poem Text    
First Line: If he could have kept
Last Line: What did you do to my father?
Subject(s): Ethnic Groups - United States; Fathers & Daughters; Minorities - United States; United States - Race Relations


SAMSON PREDICTS FROM GAZA THE PHILADELPHIA FIRE    Poem Text    
First Line: It will be your hair
Last Line: If you do not they will
Subject(s): African Americans; Fire; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Samson; Survival; Negroes; American Blacks


SARAH'S PROMISE    Poem Text    
First Line: Who understands better than I
Last Line: Spare me my one good boy.
Subject(s): African Americans - Children; Bible; Faith; Sons; Belief; Creed


SEPTEMBER'S SONG, A POEM IN SEVEN DAYS    Poem Text    
First Line: Thunder and lightning and our world
Last Line: What is not lost / is paradise


SHAPESHIFTER POEMS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The legend is whispered


SHE LIVED    Poem Text    
First Line: After he died
Last Line: Deciding to live. And she lived.
Subject(s): Hearts; Love - Nature Of; Strength; Survival


SHE UNDERSTANDS ME    Poem Text    
First Line: It is all blood and breaking
Last Line: The same wound the same blood the same breaking
Subject(s): Blood; Slavery; Serfs


SIGNS    Poem Text    
First Line: When the birds begin to walk
Last Line: Almost lifting straining to fly
Subject(s): Birds


SISTERS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Me and you be sisters
Last Line: Got black
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Sisters


SLAVESHIPS    Poem Text    
First Line: Loaded like spoons
Subject(s): Alienation (Social Psychology); Dissenters; Exiles; Jesus Christ; Marginality, Social; Slavery; Estrangement; Outcasts; Serfs


SOLOMON    Poem Text    
First Line: I bless the black
Last Line: "for they have made me
Subject(s): Solomon (10th Century B.c.)


SOME DREAMS HANG IN THE AIR    Poem Text    
Last Line: Hang in the air like smoke / touching everything
Subject(s): Dreams


SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: Sons of slaves and
Last Line: A life of death is the death of life
Subject(s): African Americans; Slavery; Negroes; American Blacks; Serfs


SONG AT MIDNIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Brothers, / this big woman
Last Line: If you do not?
Subject(s): Women; Size & Shape; Beauty


SONG AT MIDNIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Brothers,/this big woman
Last Line: If you do not?
Subject(s): Women; Beauty; Ethnic Groups - United States; Minorities - United States; Spiritual Life; United States - Race Relations; Women & Religion


SONG AT MIDNIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Brothers, / this big woman / carries much sweetness
Last Line: If you do not?
Subject(s): Ethnic Groups - United States; Minorities - United States; Spiritual Life; United States - Race Relations; Women & Religion


SONORA DESERT POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: The ones who live in the desert
Last Line: Of green incredible light
Subject(s): Critics & Criticism; Deserts; Food & Eating; Poetry & Poets


SORROW SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: For the eyes of the children
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


SORROWS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Who would believe them winged


SPEAKING OF LOSS    Poem Text    
First Line: I began with everything
Last Line: Nothing to give you but poems
Subject(s): Abandonment; Desertion


SPRING SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: The green of jesus
Last Line: The future is possible
Subject(s): Bible; Catholics; Jesus Christ; Roman Catholics; Catholicism


SPRING SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: The green of jesus
Subject(s): Christianity; Bible; Catholics; Jesus Christ; Roman Catholics; Catholicism


STONES AND BONES    Poem Text    
First Line: Here is a country where old men
Last Line: "their tongue is somebody else's child
Subject(s): Politics & Government; War


STOPS    Poem Text    
First Line: They keep coming at me
Last Line: In a liquor store
Subject(s): Traffic


STUDY THE MASTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Like my aunt timmie
Last Line: "and discipline and order and
Subject(s): Schools; Students


TELLING OUR STORIES    Poem Text    
First Line: The fox came every evening to my door
Last Line: The terrible stories she could tell
Subject(s): Foxes; Poetry & Poets


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: A MEDITATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Here are the hands
Last Line: They belong to the ox
Subject(s): Hands; Meditation


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: CATCHING THE OX    Poem Text    
First Line: I whisper come
Last Line: I am cautioned by the hands
Subject(s): Oxen


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: COMING HOME ON THE OX'S BACK    Poem Text    
First Line: I mount the ox
Last Line: I claim the man
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen; Travel; Journeys; Trips


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: END OF MEDITATION    Poem Text    
First Line: What is
Last Line: Ox is / what
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: ENTERING THE CITY WITH BLISS-BESTOWING HANDS    Poem Text    
First Line: We have come to the gates
Last Line: They tremble as they rise
Subject(s): Animals; Cities; Oxen; Urban Life


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: HERDING THE OX    Poem Text    
First Line: The hands refuse to gather
Last Line: Is not ox
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: RETURNING TO THE ORIGIN, BACK TO THE SOURCE    Poem Text    
First Line: What come / when you whisper
Last Line: In the folding / of hands
Subject(s): Oxen


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: SEARCHING FOR THE OX    Poem Text    
First Line: They have waited my lifetime for this
Last Line: It is the summons from the ox
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen; Photography & Photographers


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: SEEING THE OX    Poem Text    
First Line: Not the flesh
Last Line: We are coming to the ox
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: SEEING THE TRACES    Poem Text    
First Line: As in tracks
Last Line: And what do the hands make of that?
Subject(s): Hunting & Hunters


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: THE OX AND THE MAN BOTH GONE OUT OF SIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Man is not ox
Last Line: All things are ox
Subject(s): Animals; Life; Mankind; Oxen; Human Race


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: THE OX FORGOTTEN, LEAVING THE MAN ALONE    Poem Text    
First Line: I have been arriving
Last Line: Where is ox?
Subject(s): Memory; Oxeb


THE 1ST    Poem Text    
First Line: What I remember about that day
Last Line: Nothing about the emptied family
Variant Title(s): Eviction
Subject(s): Children; Emptiness; Memory; Childhood


THE ASTROLOGER PREDICTS AT MARY'S BIRTH    Poem Text    
First Line: This one lie down on grass
Last Line: It will break here eye
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


THE BODIES BROKEN ON    Poem Text    
Last Line: Good news about the earth
Subject(s): Slavery


THE COMING OF FOX    Poem Text    
First Line: One evening I return
Last Line: "into long bright flags
Subject(s): Foxes


THE COMING OF KALI    Poem Text    
First Line: It is the black god, kali
Last Line: You know you know me well
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


THE DEATH OF CRAZY HORSE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the hills where the hoop
Last Line: As I enter the actual world
Subject(s): Crazy Horse (Oglala Sioux Chief)


THE EARTH IS A LIVING THING    Poem Text    
First Line: Is a black shambling bear
Last Line: Feel her brushing it clean
Subject(s): Earth; Life; World


THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: For some/it is stone
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed


THE KILLING OF THE TREES        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Trees


THE LIGHT THAT CAME TO LUCILLE CLIFTON    Poem Text    
Last Line: The truth is furiously knocking
Subject(s): Self; Knowledge; Truth


THE LOST BABY POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: The time I dropped your almost body down
Subject(s): Abortion; African Americans - Women; Death - Children; Death - Babies


THE LOST WOMEN    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: I need to know their names
Subject(s): Women


THE MAKING OF POEMS    Poem Text    
First Line: The reason why I do it
Last Line: And these failures are my job
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


THE MEETING AFTER THE SAVIOR GONE    Poem Text    
First Line: What we decided is
Last Line: Where you headed
Subject(s): Survival; Civil Rights Movement


THE MESSAGE OF CRAZY HORSE    Poem Text    
First Line: I would sit in the center of the world,
Subject(s): Crazy Horse (Oglala Sioux Chief)


THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER EMPTIES INTO THE GULF    Poem Text    
First Line: And the gulf enters the sea and so forth
Subject(s): Mississippi River; Past; Rivers; Seashore; Time; Beach; Coast; Shore


THE PHOTOGRAPH: THE LYNCHING    Poem Text    
First Line: Is it the cut glass
Subject(s): Lynching; Photography & Photographers


THE POET    Poem Text    
First Line: I beg my bones to be good but
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


THE PROPHET       
First Line: Came to me / with a poor man's tale
Subject(s): David (D. 962 B.c.); Poverty; Prophecy & Prophets; Wealth; Riches; Fortunes


THE RAISING OF LAZARUS    Poem Text    
First Line: The dead shall rise again
Last Line: Even the dead shall rise
Subject(s): Lazarus


THE ROUGH WEIGHT OF IT    Poem Text    
Last Line: Gathered in sorrow or joy
Subject(s): Love - Erotic


THE SON OF MEDGAR / WILL SOON BE / OLDER THAN MEDGAR       
Subject(s): Evers, Medgar (1925-1963)


THE STORY THE SHEPHERD TELLS THE SHEEP        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Shepherds & Shepherdesses


THE THIRTY-EIGHTH YEAR    Poem Text    
Last Line: I had not expected to be an ordinary woman
Subject(s): African Americans – Women; Mothers & Daughters; Middle Age


THE TIMES    Poem Text    
First Line: It is hard to remain human on a day
Subject(s): Children; Childhood


THE WAY IT WAS    Poem Text    
First Line: I walked out quietly
Last Line: Trying to be white
Subject(s): African Americans – Women; Identity


THE WHITE BOY    Poem Text    
First Line: Like a man overboard
Subject(s): Boys


THE WOMEN YOU ARE ACCUSTOMED TO    Poem Text    
First Line: The edge / of this
Last Line: Your burning blood, your dancing tongue
Subject(s): African Americans – Women; Negroes; American Blacks


THE WOMEN YOU ARE ACCUSTOMED TO       
First Line: Wearing that same black dress
Last Line: Your burning blood, your dancing tongue.
Subject(s): Dreams; Women; Nightmares


THE YETI POET RETURNS TO HIS VILLAGE TO TELL HIS STORY       
First Line: ...Found myself wondering
Last Line: What we are
Subject(s): Story-telling


THEL       
First Line: Was my first landscape
Last Line: Of birds.
Subject(s): Spiritual Life; Women & Religion


THEM AND US       
First Line: Something in their psyche insists on elvis
Last Line: Death and elvis, but watching for marvin gaye.
Subject(s): Death; Fame; History; Presley, Elvis (1937-1977); Dead, The; Reputation; Historians


THERE IS A GIRL INSIDE    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Old Age


THERE IS A GIRL INSIDE    Poem Text    


THOSE BOYS THAT RAN TOGETHER    Poem Text    
Last Line: Don't it make you want to cry
Subject(s): African Americans – Children; Boys; Conduct Of Life


THURSDAY EVENING BEDTIME    Poem Text    
First Line: Afraid of the dark / is afraid of mom
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life; Negroes; American Blacks; Relatives


TO A DARK MOSES    Poem Text    
First Line: You are the one
Subject(s): African Americans; Moses; Negroes; American Blacks


TO BOBBY SEALE    Poem Text    
First Line: Feel free
Last Line: Was made for / men
Subject(s): African Americans; Seale, Bobby (B. 1936); Negroes; American Blacks


TO MICHAL    Poem Text    
First Line: Moving and moaning / under our coverings
Subject(s): Bible; Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


TO MS. ANN    Poem Text    
First Line: I will have to forget
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


TO THE UNBORN AND WAITING CHILDREN    Poem Text    
First Line: I went into my mother as
Last Line: You enter at your own risk
Subject(s): Birds; Cormorants


TURNING    Poem Text    
First Line: Turning into my own
Last Line: Only here. Only now
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


UNTITLED    Poem Text    
First Line: Surely I am able to write poems
Last Line: Another poem?
Subject(s): Love - Nature Of; Poetry & Poets


WALNUT GROVE        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Plantations; Slavery; Serfs


WHAT DID SHE KNOW, WHEN DID SHE KNOW IT    Poem Text    
First Line: In the evenings / what it was the soft tap tap
Last Line: When did she know it
Subject(s): Girls; Mothers; Sex


WHAT HAUNTS HIM        Recitation by Author


WHAT THE MIRROR SAID    Poem Text    
First Line: Listen, / you a wonder
Last Line: Damn / body!
Subject(s): Self; Women


WHITE LADY    Poem Text    
First Line: Wants my son
Last Line: To own our own at last
Variant Title(s): White Lady; Street Name For Cocaine
Subject(s): Drugs & Drug Abuse; Narcotics; Opium; Cocaine; Crack; Heroin


WIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: We are some of us
Last Line: We  swim like a fish for his brother
Subject(s): Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


WISE: HAVING THE ABILITY TO PERCEIVE AND ADOPT THE BEST    Poem Text    
First Line: All the best minds
Last Line: On the corner
Subject(s): Wisdom


WISHES FOR SONS    Poem Text    
First Line: I wish them cramps
Subject(s): Sons


WON'T YOU CELEBRATE WITH ME    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Last Line: And has failed
Subject(s): African American – Women; Racism; Perseverance


[IF MAMA / COULD SEE]    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Mothers; Family Life; Relatives