Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DAILY GRIND, by FENTON JOHNSON

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THE DAILY GRIND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If nature says to you
Last Line: God has blest you.
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks

If Nature says to you,
"I intend you for something fine,
For something to sing the song
That only my whirling stars can sing,
For something to burn in the firmament
With all the fervor of my golden sun,
For something to moisten the parched souls
As only my rivulets can moisten the parched."

What can you do?

If the System says to you,
"I intend you to grind and grind
Grains of corn beneath millstones;
I intend you to shovel and sweat
Before a furnace of Babylon;
I intend you for grist and meat
To fatten my pompous gods
As they wallow in an alcoholic nectar,"

What can you do?

Naught can you do
But watch that eternal battle
Between Nature and the system.
You cannot blame God,
You cannot blame man;
For God did not make the system,
Neither did man fashion Nature.
You can only die each morning,
And live again in the dreams of the night.
If Nature forgets you,
If the System forgets you,
God has blest you.

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