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Author: CLIFTON, LUCILLE
Matches Found: 625


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


1. AT GETTYSBURG       
First Line: If, as they say, this is somehow about myself


1. AT JONESTOWN       
First Line: On a day when I would have believed


1. AT NAGASAKI       
First Line: In their own order


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


1994       
First Line: I was leaving my fifty-eighth year
Last Line: From your own shivering life
Subject(s): Affliction; Breasts; Cancer, Breast; Women


1ST       
First Line: What I remember about that day
Last Line: Nothing about the emptied rooms %nothing about the emptied family
Variant Title(s): Evictio
Subject(s): Children; Emptiness; Memory


20-JUN       
First Line: I will be born in one week %to a frowned forehead of a woman
Last Line: In one week I will emerge face first %into their temporary joy
Subject(s): Children; Parents


4 DAUGHTERS       
First Line: I am the sieve she strains from


4/40/92; FOR RODNEY KING       
First Line: So %the body
Last Line: Why should we save %the pictures
Subject(s): King, Rodney (b. 1966)


70'S       
First Line: Will be the days
Last Line: Having lost some %begun much
Subject(s): Abortion; African Americans - Women


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


ADAM AND EVE       
First Line: The names %of the things
Last Line: My body opens %into brothers
Subject(s): Adam And Eve; Bible; Religion


ADAM THINKING       
First Line: She %stolen from my bone
Last Line: This creation is so fierce %I would rather have been born


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


ADMONITIONS       
First Line: Boys %I don't promise you nothing
Last Line: She is a poet %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


AFRICA       
First Line: Home %oh
Last Line: All of my bones %remember
Subject(s): Africa; African Americans; Home; Memory


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 KENT STATE       
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


AFTER THE FLOOD       
First Line: Here one island %of joy %where there were two
Last Line: It is what we are


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


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


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


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


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


AMAZONS       
First Line: When the rookery of women
Last Line: Had already written this poem
Subject(s): Amazons; Cancer, Breast; Women


ANGELS       
First Line: Two shinning women. %I will not betray you with
Last Line: And your meticulous absence %of wing
Subject(s): Absence; Angels; Heaven; Wings


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


ANNA SPEAKS OF THE CHILDHOOD OF MARY HER DAUGHTER       
First Line: We rise up early and
Last Line: To dreaming then? I fight this thing. %all day we scrubbing scrubbing
Subject(s): Children; Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Mothers And Daughters; Women - Bible; Women In The Bible


APOLOGY       
First Line: I became a woman
Last Line: I praise you %I grieve my whiteful ways
Subject(s): Repentance


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


ASTROLOGER PREDICTS AT MARY'S BIRTH       
First Line: This one lie down on grass
Last Line: At a certain place when she see something %it will break her eye
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible


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


AT LAST WE KILLED THE ROACHES       
Last Line: My hands were blades and it was murder murder %all over the place
Subject(s): Blood; Murder


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


AT THE CEMETERY, WALNUT GROVE PLANTATION, SOUTH CAROLINA, 1989       
First Line: Among the rocks %at walnut grove
Last Line: Here lies %hear
Subject(s): Americans; United States


ATLANTIC IS A SEA OF BONES       


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


AUCTION STREET       
First Line: Consider the drum
Last Line: The ground you walk is holy
Subject(s): Streets


AUGUST       
First Line: What would we give
Last Line: Oh, at least, alive?


AUGUST THE 12TH       
First Line: We are two scars on a dead woman's belly
Last Line: Tell us where you are, %tell us why you are silent now
Subject(s): Absence; Brothers


AUNT AGNES HATCHER TELLS       
First Line: After the war when rationing was over
Last Line: Slide out babies like payday from that %billion dollar behind
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Death; Family Life; Hunger; Slavery; War


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


BATHSHEBA       
First Line: How it was -- it was
Last Line: Or the wife of uriah
Subject(s): Desire; Man-woman Relationships; Passion


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


BEING PROPERTY ONCE MYSELF       
Last Line: Same thing for other things. %same thing for men
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


BELOVED       
First Line: Jonathan the son of saul
Last Line: Onto the roof of the king's house
Subject(s): Bible; Christianity; Love; Religion


BIRTH OF LANGUAGE       
First Line: And adam rose %fearful in the garden
Last Line: Did he shudder %did he whisper %ve


BIRTHDAY 1999       
First Line: It is late. The train
Last Line: More and more and more


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


BLAKE       
First Line: Saw them glittering in the trees
Last Line: Dreaming of blake, searching the branches %for just one poem
Subject(s): Hope; Solitude


BLESSING THE BOATS    Poem Text    
First Line: May the tide


BLESSING THE BOATS (AT SAINT MARY'S)       
First Line: May the tide that is entering even now
Last Line: Sail through this to that


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


BLOOD       
First Line: Here in this ordinary house
Last Line: This ordinary girl will learn %to live with it


BODIES BROKEN ON       
Last Line: Sing for red dust and black clay %good news about the earth
Subject(s): News


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


BREAKLIGHT       
First Line: Light keeps on breaking
Last Line: And I understood %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


BUFFALO WAR       
First Line: War over %everybody gone home
Last Line: Nobody dead %everybody dying
Subject(s): Buffalo (city), New York; War


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


CA'LINE'S PRAYER       
First Line: I have got old
Last Line: And set me in the rivers of your glory %ye ma jah
Subject(s): Deserts; Drought; Food And 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


CAIN       
First Line: The land of nod
Last Line: My brother %don't rise up
Subject(s): Brothers; Cain


CALIFORNIA LESSONS, SELS.       


CALLING OF THE DISCIPLES       
First Line: Some jesus %has come on me
Last Line: Laughing like god's fool %behind this jesus
Subject(s): Apostles; Bible; Catholics; Jesus Christ; Religion


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


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


CARVER       
First Line: Sees the man %in the wood and
Last Line: The carver %brother
Subject(s): Brothers


CHEMOTHERAPY       
First Line: My hair is pain


CHORUS: LUCILLE       
First Line: Something is growing in the strong man


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


COME HOME FROM THE MOVIES       
Last Line: Show our fathers how to walk like men, %they already know how to dance
Subject(s): African Americans - Children


COMING OF FOX       
First Line: One evening I return
Last Line: Into long bright flags %of fur
Subject(s): Foxes


COMING OF KALI       
First Line: It is the black god, kali
Last Line: She knows I know them well. %she knows. She knows
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


CONFESSION       
First Line: Father %I am not equal to the faith required
Last Line: Their shimmering voices %singing
Subject(s): Confessions; Faith


CONSULTING THE BOK OF CHANGES: RADIATION       
First Line: Each morning you will cup
Last Line: If you do, you will cry forever
Subject(s): Cancer (disease); Cancer, Breast; Grief; Self-pity; Women


CONVERSATION WITH MY GRANDSON, WAITING TO BE CONCEIVED       
First Line: You will bloom %in a family of flowers
Last Line: You are a flower %that has no name
Subject(s): Grandparents


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


CRAZY HORSE INSTRUCTS THE YOUNG MEN BUT IN THEIR GRIEF       
First Line: Cousins if I be betrayed


CRAZY HORSE NAMES HIS DAUGHTER       
First Line: Sing the names of the women sing


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


CRUELTY, DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT CRUELTY       
Subject(s): Cruelty


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


CUTTING GREENS       
First Line: Curling them around %I hold their bodies in obscene embrace
Last Line: And I taste in my natural appetite %the bond of live things evrywhere
Subject(s): African Americans


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


DADDY       
First Line: The days have kept on coming
Last Line: I comfort my son with the hope %the life in the confident man
Subject(s): Fathers And Sons


DANCER       
First Line: I have ruled %for forty years
Last Line: I wonder, %the dancer or the dance?
Subject(s): Dancing And Dancers; Men; Old Age; Sex; Virginity


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


DANIEL       
First Line: I have learned %some few things
Last Line: He don't stumble %even in the lion's den
Subject(s): Daniel (bible)


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


DAVID HAS SLAIN HIS TEN THOUSANDS       
First Line: I would rise from my covering
Last Line: My wrath or my regret
Subject(s): God; Self


DAVID, MUSING       
First Line: It was I who faced the lion and the bear
Last Line: For later -- for her -- for israel -- for my sons
Subject(s): David (d. 962 B.c.); Faith; Hunger; Introspection; Passion; Regret


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 FOX       
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


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


DEATH OF FRED CLIFTON       
First Line: I seemed to be drawn
Last Line: But oh, at last, the things themselves


DEATH OF JOANNE C.       
First Line: I am the battleground that


DEATH OF THELMA SAYLES       
First Line: I leave no tracks so my live loves
Last Line: Has made it strong, I whisper in her ear %along the leaves


DECEMBER       
First Line: The end of a thing
Last Line: You know about that


DIALYSIS       
First Line: After the cancer, the kidneys
Last Line: Blessed be even this?


DISCOVERIES OF FIRE       
First Line: Remember %when the skin of your fingers healed
Last Line: Once animals and now %men
Subject(s): Fire; Smoke


DONOR       
First Line: When they tell me that my body %might reject
Last Line: Fastened to life like the frown %on an angel's brow


DOWN THE TRAM       
First Line: Hell is like this -- first stone
Last Line: They must be beautiful
Subject(s): Beauty; Hell; Nature


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


DRIVING THROUGH NEW ENGLAND       
Last Line: These wheatfields %white poets call the past
Subject(s): Fields; New England


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


EARTH       
First Line: Here is where it was dry
Last Line: Was a nice place %once
Subject(s): Earth; Wilderness


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


EASTER SUNDAY       
First Line: While I was in the middle of the night
Last Line: I must slide down like a great dipper of stars %and lift men up
Subject(s): Easter; God; Holidays; Jesus Christ; Religion; Resurrection, The


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)


ELDRIDGE       
First Line: The edge %of this
Last Line: Break, or be broken
Subject(s): African Americans; Strength


ENEMIES       
First Line: Evening, %I creep %into the tent
Last Line: Myself also. David. %the poet david
Subject(s): Enemies


ENTER MY MOTHER       


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.)


ENTERING THE SOUTH       
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


EVE THINKING       
First Line: It is wild country here
Last Line: Tonight as he sleeps %I will whisper into his mouth %our names


EVE'S VERSION       
First Line: Smooth talker
Last Line: It is your own lush self %you hunger for %he whispers lucifer %honey-tongue


EVENING AND MY DEAD ONCE HUSBAND       
Last Line: It does not help to know
Subject(s): Death; Grief; Marriage


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


EVERETT ANDERSON'S FRIEND       
First Line: Someone new has come to stay
Subject(s): Friendship


EXPLANATIONS       
First Line: Anonymous water can slide under the ground
Last Line: Or promise %or prophesy?
Subject(s): Desire


EYES       
First Line: Live where you can


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


FEBRUARY 13,1980       
First Line: Twenty-one years of my life you have been
Last Line: But I am not grown away from you %whatever I say
Subject(s): Absence


FEMALE       
First Line: There is an amazon in us
Last Line: We smile our mysterious smile


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


FLOWERS       
First Line: Here we are %running with the weeds
Last Line: And the name of the place %is love
Subject(s): Colors; Flowers; Gardens And Gardening; Love


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


FOR DELAWD       
First Line: People say they have a hard time
Last Line: For their still alive sons %for their sons coming %for their sons gone %just pushing
Subject(s): African Americans


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


FOR HER HIDING PLACE       
Last Line: Straight on to our backs %like death
Subject(s): Memory; Sisters


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 BIRD WHO FLEW AGAINST OUR WINDOW ONE MORNING       
First Line: My window %is his wall
Last Line: And leaves me grounded %in his suicide
Subject(s): Suicide


FOR THE BLIND       
First Line: You will enter morning
Last Line: Your eyes will open %with delight
Subject(s): Blindness; Eyes; Vision


FOR THE LAME       
First Line: Happen you will rise
Last Line: Happen you will wonder at the way %it seemed so marvelous to move
Subject(s): Physical Disabilities


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


FOR THE MAD       
First Line: You will be alone at last
Last Line: You will not be better but %they will say you are well
Subject(s): Anger; Insanity


FOR THE MUTE       
First Line: They will blow from your mouth one morning
Last Line: Too many languages for %one mortal tongue
Subject(s): Speech Disorders


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


FORGIVING MY FATHER       
First Line: It is friday. We have come
Last Line: You lie side by side in debtors' boxes %and no accounting will open them up
Subject(s): Fathers And Daughters; Forgiveness


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


FOX       
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


FRIDAY WAITING FOR MOM       
First Line: When I am seven
Last Line: Mama and %everett anderson- %friends
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life


FRIENDS COME       
First Line: Explaining to me that my mind
Last Line: They are present as air. %they are there
Subject(s): Friendship


FROM THE CADAVER       
First Line: The arm you hold up
Last Line: Cold in a stranger's hand
Subject(s): Corpses; Death; Fathers And Sons


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


GARDEN OF DELIGHT       
First Line: For some %it is stone
Last Line: For them %it is a test


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


GENERATIONS       
First Line: People who are going to be
Last Line: By their invisibility %denounce us
Subject(s): Begging And 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 SEND EASTER       
First Line: And we will lace the
Last Line: And apple as we %glory in our skin
Subject(s): Easter; Holidays; Jesus Christ; Religion


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


GOD WAITS FOR THE WANDERING WORLD       
Last Line: He will not mind my coming after hours. %his patience is his promise
Subject(s): 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


GOD'S MOOD       
First Line: These daughters are bone
Last Line: He is tired of eve's fancy and %adam's whining ways
Subject(s): Death - Children; Old Age; Solitude


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 FRIDAY       
First Line: I rise up above my self
Last Line: Men will be gods %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


GOOD TIMES       
First Line: My daddy has paid the rent
Last Line: Oh children think about the %good times
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life; United States


GOOD WOMAN: POEMS AND A MEMOIR       
Subject(s): Alphabet Verse


GRIEF       
First Line: Begin with the pain
Last Line: Grief for what is not


GROWN DAUGHTER       
First Line: Someone is helping me with the onions


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


HAG RIDING       
First Line: Why %is what I ask myself
Last Line: Over the rump of the day and honey %I ride -- I ride
Subject(s): Africa; Hope; Life; Self-satisfaction


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


HARRIET       
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


HEAVEN       
First Line: My brother is crouched at the edge
Last Line: Even when she was right, she was wrong.'
Subject(s): Brothers And Sisters; Death; Heaven


HER LOVE POEM       
First Line: Demon, demon, you have dumped me
Last Line: Or hate you but I will have you %have you have you
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


HERE IS ANOTHER BONE TO PICK WITH YOU       


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


HERE RESTS       
First Line: My sister josephine, %born july in '29
Last Line: May they bed you %with respect


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


HOLY NIGHT       
First Line: Joseph, I afraid of stars
Last Line: Joseph, I shine, oh joseph, oh %illuminated night
Subject(s): Christmas; Night


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 HAIR       
First Line: When I feel her jump up and dance
Last Line: The grayer she do get, good god, %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


HOMAGE TO MY HIPS       
First Line: These hips are big hips
Last Line: To put a spell on a man and %spin him like a top!
Subject(s): Hips; Women


HOW IS HE COMING THEN       
First Line: Like a pot turned on the straw
Last Line: Like a shepherd who hears in his herding %his mother whisper my son my son
Subject(s): Jesus Christ


I AM ACCUSED OF TENDING TO THE PAST    Poem Text    


I AM ACCUSED OF TENDING TO THE PAST       
Last Line: On her own, beware, she will


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 HIGH ON THE MAN CALLED CRAZY       
Last Line: To eat devils and out of mine %he has bitten sons
Subject(s): African Americans


I AM NOT DONE YET       
First Line: As possible as yeast
Last Line: Most of my lives is %where I'm going
Subject(s): Fate


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


I AM RUNNING INTO A NEW YEAR       
Last Line: And I beg what I love and %I leave to forgive me
Subject(s): Aging; Birthdays; Holidays; Maturity; New Year


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


I ONCE KNEW A MAN WHO HAD WILD HORSES KILLED       
Last Line: He had had wild horses killed one time and %they rode him to his grave
Subject(s): Farm Life


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 IN A HOTEL       
Last Line: And it has made me %wise
Subject(s): Wisdom


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


I WAS BORN WITH TWELVE FINGERS       
Last Line: My dead mother my live daughter and me %through our terrible shadowy hands
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Mothers And Daughters


I WENT TO THE VALLEY       
Last Line: My soul got happy %and I stayed all day
Subject(s): African Americans; Slavery; U.s. - Race Relations; Virginia (state)


I'M GOING BACK TO MY TRUE IDENTITY       
First Line: I was ready to return


I. AT CREATION       
First Line: And I and my body rise


IF HE ASK YOU WAS I LAUGHING       
First Line: I wonder what become of my mama
Last Line: Pray that the lord spare hagar %till she explain
Subject(s): Prayer


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 I STAND IN MY WINDOW       
Last Line: Crying %praying in tongues
Subject(s): African Americans


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


IF MAMA       
Last Line: Good girl %clean up your room
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Mothers And Daughters


IF OUR GRANDCHILD BE A GIRL       
First Line: I wish for her
Last Line: Wearing %extravagant gloves
Subject(s): Grandchildren


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


IF SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN       
First Line: For instance %if the sea should break
Last Line: Where will the captains run and %to what harbor?
Subject(s): Erosion; Seashore; Tides


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 POPULATED AIR       
Last Line: Their shimmering voices %singing
Subject(s): Ancestors And Ancestry


IN SALEM       
First Line: Weird sister %the black witches know that
Last Line: As she beats her ordinary bread
Subject(s): Witchcraft And Witches


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 EVENINGS       
First Line: I go through my rooms
Last Line: Shaking locks in the night %like a ghost
Subject(s): Cold; Evening; Ghosts; Poverty; Supernatural; Winter


IN THE INNER CITY       


IN THE INNER CITY       
Last Line: Like we call it %home
Subject(s): Cities; Ethnic Groups - United States; Minorities - United States; U.s. - Race Relations


IN THE MEANTIME       
First Line: The lord of loaves and fishes
Last Line: I am become death -- the destroyer of worlds
Subject(s): Bible; Death; Nuclear War; Religion; Social Protest


IN THE MIRROR       
First Line: An only breast %leans against her chest wall
Last Line: Remember the shape of an unsafe life


IN THE SAME WEEK       
First Line: After the third day
Last Line: Too little and too late
Subject(s): Innocence


IN THIS GARDEN       
Last Line: One face %swiveling slowly in
Subject(s): Household Employees


IN WHITE AMERICA, SELS.       


INCANDESCENCE       
Last Line: We are %the light
Subject(s): Light


INCANTATION       
First Line: Pluck the hairs


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


ISLAND MARY       
First Line: After the all been done and I
Last Line: What song around her ear? %what star still choosing?
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible


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


JACKIE ROBINSON       
First Line: Ran against walls %without breaking
Last Line: Over whitestone fences, %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


JASPER TEXAS: 1988       
First Line: I am a man's head hunched in the road
Last Line: I am done with this dust. I am done


JOB       
First Line: Job easy %is the pride
Last Line: Like a good baby %to breakfast
Subject(s): Job (bible)


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


JOHN       
First Line: Somebody coming in blackness
Last Line: Somebody bigger than me coming %in blackness like a star
Subject(s): Baptists; John The Baptist, Saint (1st Century); Preaching And Preachers


JONAH       
First Line: What I remember %is green
Last Line: I would send to the brothers %- be care full of the ocean
Subject(s): Jonah (bible)


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


JOSEPH       
First Line: Something about this boy
Last Line: My mouth cries only %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


KALI       
First Line: Kali %queen of fatality
Last Line: Kali. %who is black
Subject(s): Courts And Courtiers; Hinduism; Religion


KIND OF MAN HE IS       
First Line: The look of him
Last Line: Which is %the kind of man he is
Subject(s): African Americans


KITCHEN       
First Line: My mama has made bread
Last Line: Oh children think about the good times
Subject(s): Language


LANE IS THE PRETTY ONE       
First Line: Her veins run mogen david
Last Line: Love %dear sister
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Sisters


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


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


LATELY       
Last Line: Turned into most of my cousins %and left
Subject(s): Racism


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


LATER I'LL SAY       
Last Line: Listening to %my body breaking
Subject(s): Abortion; Childlessness; Death - Children


LAZARUS       
First Line: I rise from stiffening %into a pin of light
Last Line: From the door to my grave %the only peace I know


LAZARUS: FIRST DAY       
First Line: I rise from stiffening %into a pin of light
Last Line: Singing my name %in the same voice


LAZARUS: SECOND DAY       
First Line: I am not the same man %borne into the crypt
Last Line: What walked out is another


LAZARUS: THIRD DAY       
First Line: On the third day I contemplate
Last Line: The only truth I know


LEANNA'S POEM       
First Line: One %is never enough for me
Last Line: More than one %more than one
Subject(s): Hunger; Poetry And Poets


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


LEAVING FOX       
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.)


LEE       
First Line: My mother's people
Last Line: Chaining his mother to lee
Subject(s): African Americans; Fathers; Generals; Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870); Slavery; Southern States; Virginia (state)


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


LET THERE BE NEW FLOWERING       
Last Line: Let love be %at the end
Subject(s): Love; Military; Victory


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)


LEUKEMIA AS DREAM RITUAL       
First Line: It is night in my room
Subject(s): Cancer (disease)


LEUKEMIA AS WHITE RABBIT       
First Line: Running always running murmuring


LIBATION       
First Line: I offer to this ground
Last Line: This salty ground, %this gin


LIGHT       
Last Line: Mine already is %an afrikan name
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; U.s. - Race Relations; Virginia (state)


LIGHT THAT CAME TO LUCILLE CLIFTON       
Last Line: You might as well answer the door, my child, %the truth is furiously knocking.'
Subject(s): Abandonment; Reality; Single Parents


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


LISTEN CHILDREN    Poem Text    


LISTEN CHILDREN       
Last Line: We have always loved each other %children all ways %pass it on
Subject(s): African Americans


LIVES       
First Line: You have been a fisherman
Last Line: You were then. You were not there


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


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


LOST BABY POEM       
First Line: The time I dropped your almost body down
Last Line: My life will keep silent %listening to %my body breaking
Subject(s): Abortion; African Americans - Women; Death - Children


LOST WOMEN       
First Line: I need to know their names


LOT'S WIFE: 1988       
First Line: Each of these weeds is a day
Last Line: I promise, yes we will


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


LOVE REJECTED       
Last Line: Is they found out %their country don't love them
Subject(s): Love; Patriotism


LUCIFER SPEAKS IN HIS OWN VOICE       
First Line: Sure as I am
Last Line: I the only lucifer %light-bringer %created out of fire %illuminate I could %and so %illuminate I did


LUCIFER UNDERSTANDING AT LAST       
First Line: Thy servant lord %bearer of lightning
Last Line: There will be no peace %in heaven


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


LUCY AND HER GIRLS       
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


LUCY ONE-EYE       
Last Line: And her wrinkled ways, %the darling girl
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


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)


LUMPECTOMY EVE       
First Line: All night I dream of lips
Last Line: All night it is the one breast %comforting the other
Subject(s): Breast Feeding; Breasts; Cancer, Breast


MAKING OF POEMS       
First Line: The reason why I do it
Last Line: As I am adam and his mother %and these failures are my job
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets


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


MALCOLM       
First Line: Nobody mentioned war
Last Line: And from their holes black eagles flew %screaming through the streets
Subject(s): African Americans; Malcolm X (malcolm Little) (1925-1965)


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       
First Line: This kiss %as soft as cotton
Last Line: Between my legs %I see a tree
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Mercy; Women - Bible


MARY MARY ASTONISHED BY GOD       
Last Line: We pray for you sister woman shook by the %awe full affection of the saints
Subject(s): God; Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible


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


MARY'S DREAM       
First Line: Winged women was saying
Last Line: I joined them, whispering %yes
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible


MEETING AFTER THE SAVIOR GONE       
First Line: What we decided is
Last Line: Where you been %where you headed
Subject(s): Survival


MEMORY       
First Line: Ask me to tell how it feels
Last Line: She smiles, ask me %how it feels
Subject(s): African Americans; Childhood Memories; Memory; Mothers And Daughters; Prejudice


MEMPHIS       
First Line: I was raised %on the shore
Last Line: So many questions %northern born
Subject(s): Childhood Memories; Memphis, Tennessee


MERCY        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Incest


MERCY       
First Line: How grateful I was when he decided
Last Line: Then and now grateful how sick I am %how mad


MESSAGE OF CRAZY HORSE       
First Line: I would sit in the center of the world
Last Line: I have seen it. I am crazy horse


MESSAGE OF FRED CLIFTON       
First Line: I rise up from the dead before you


MESSAGE OF JO       
First Line: My body is a war


MESSAGE OF THELMA SAYLES       
First Line: Baby, my only husband turned away
Last Line: Turn the blood that clots on your tongue


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


MISS ROSIE       
First Line: When I watch you %wrapped like garbage
Last Line: Through your destruction %I stand up
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


MISSISSIPPI RIVER EMPTIES INTO THE GULF       
First Line: And the gulf enters the sea and so forth
Last Line: Only here. Only now
Subject(s): Mississippi River; Past; Rivers; Seashore; Time


MONTICELLO       
First Line: God declares no independence
Last Line: From this black sally %branded with jefferson hair
Subject(s): Slavery


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


MOONCHILD       
First Line: Whatever slid into my mother's room that
Last Line: I always blame the moon


MORNING MIRROR       
First Line: My mother her sad eyes worn as bark


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


MOSES       
First Line: I walk on bones
Last Line: Like a bush %god got his eye on
Subject(s): Bible; Moses; Old Age; Slavery


MOTHER, I AM MAD       
Last Line: Someone of it is answering to %your name
Subject(s): Light; Mothers And Daughters


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 BOYS       
First Line: My boys beauty is
Last Line: Questioning over and over - %what is the meaning of this?
Subject(s): African Americans - Children; Boys


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


MY DADDY'S FINGERS MOVE AMONG THE COUPLERS       
Last Line: What do the couplers know %about being locked together?
Subject(s): African Americans; 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 BEING WHITE       
First Line: Hey music and me %only white
Last Line: So I take them off and %wake up dancing
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


MY DREAM ABOUT FALLING       
First Line: A fruitful woman %such as myself
Last Line: The dream is the tree


MY DREAM ABOUT GOD       
First Line: He is wearing my grandfather's hat
Last Line: He does whatever I say


MY DREAM ABOUT THE COWS       
First Line: And then I see the cattle of my own town
Last Line: The dream about the cows


MY DREAM ABOUT THE POET       
First Line: A man. %I think it is a man
Last Line: I think he is laughing


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 THE SECOND COMING       
First Line: Mary is an old woman without shoes
Last Line: She calls it a fox %but she feeds it


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


MY DREAM ABOUT TIME       
First Line: A woman unlike myself is running
Last Line: All of the clocks strike %no


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


MY FRIENDS       
First Line: No they will not understand
Last Line: With you in your small room limbless %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 MAMA MOVED AMONG THE DAYS       
Last Line: Then seemed like she turned around and ran %right back in %right back on in
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Mothers; Women


MY NATURAL MAMA       
First Line: My natural mama %is gingerbread
Last Line: Is gingerbread, %brown and spicy sweet
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life


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


MY POEM       
First Line: A love person %from love people
Last Line: And his skin %be his heart's revenge
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Revenge


MY SANCTIFIED GRANDMOTHER       
Last Line: Not my own. Theirs
Subject(s): Grandchildren; Grandparents; Speech


MY WIFE       
First Line: Wakes up, having forgotten


MYSTERY THAT SURELY IS PRESENT       
Last Line: Or what is waiting to turn from us %even now?
Subject(s): Mystery


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


NEW BONES       
First Line: We will wear %new bones again
Last Line: How strong life is. %we know
Subject(s): Life


NEW YEAR       
First Line: Lucy %by sam
Last Line: Walks toward an ocean %of days
Subject(s): Holidays; New Year


NEWS       
First Line: Everything changes the old
Last Line: Dead things could stumble back %and kill us
Subject(s): News


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 FROM MEMPHIS       
First Line: History is chasing you, america
Last Line: It is your dog


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


NOW MY FIRST WIFE NEVER DID COME OUT OF HER ROOM       
Last Line: Your mama %I like to marry friends
Subject(s): Marriage


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


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


OH WHERE HAVE YOU FALLEN       
Last Line: Where no eye is prepared %to see %and animals rise up to walk %oh lucifer %what have you done


OLD MAN RIVER       
First Line: Everything elegant %but this water
Last Line: Don't say nothin' %must know somethin'
Subject(s): Old Age; Rivers


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


ON THE BIRTH OF BOMANI       
First Line: We have taken the best leaves
Last Line: May the love in the art that made you %fill your heart
Subject(s): African Americans; Love - Cultural Differences; U.s. - Race Relations


ON THE DEATH OF ALLEN'S SON       
First Line: A certain man had seven sons
Last Line: And it never again %can be pronounced the same
Subject(s): Absence; Death; Fathers And Sons; Heaven


ONCE AND FUTURE DEAD       
Last Line: Weep for their history. We call it %rain
Subject(s): Death; Grief; History; Tears


ONE IN THE NEXT BED IS DYING       


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


ONE YEAR LATER       
First Line: What if, %then, %entering my room
Last Line: The room, the bed, the poetry, %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


PALM SUNDAY       
First Line: So here come I
Last Line: Waving beets %and collards in the air
Subject(s): Palm Sunday


PEEPING TOM       
First Line: Sometimes at night he dreams back
Last Line: A plaid cap, two wide eyes


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


PERHAPS       
First Line: I am going blind
Last Line: Our lives are a circular stair %and I am turning
Subject(s): Nothingness


PHOTOGRAPH       
First Line: Universe %keep them turning turning
Last Line: Round and round and round


PHOTOGRAPH: THE LYNCHING       
First Line: Is it the cut glass
Last Line: Required to view it together %under a gathering [or, the all recording] sky?
Subject(s): Lynching; Photography And Photographers


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


PITY THIS POOR ANIMAL       
Last Line: And walks on grass %and has no need for fire
Subject(s): African Americans; Ethnic Groups - United States


POEM BEGINNING IN NO AND ENDING IN YES       
First Line: No %light there was no light at first around the head


POEM FOR MY SISTERS       
First Line: Like he always said
Last Line: And holy %'all goodby ain't gone'
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Sisters


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


POEM IN PRAISE OF MENSTRUATION       
First Line: If there is a river
Last Line: And female and brave


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


POEM ON MY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY TO MY MOTHER WHO DIED YOUNG       
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 And Daughters


POEM TO MY UTERUS       
First Line: You uterus %you have been patient
Last Line: Where can you go %without me


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


POET       
First Line: I beg my bones to be good but
Last Line: Moving my skin against the wind and %tap dancing fir my life
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets


PORK CHOPS       
Last Line: Oh mammy ca'line %a nigger polack ain't shit
Subject(s): Fields; Labor Unions; Plantation Life; Strikes


POWELL - MARCH 1991       
First Line: This is that dream I wake from
Last Line: Is that dream


PRAISE SONG       
First Line: To my aunt blanche %who rolled from grass to driveway
Last Line: Accepting it all like children might, %like god


PRAYER       
First Line: Lighten up %why is your hand
Last Line: Had to come by %this
Subject(s): Faith; God; Prayer; Religion


PROPHET       
First Line: Came to me %with a poor man's tale
Last Line: Thou art the man
Subject(s): David (d. 962 B.c.); Poverty; Prophets And Prophecy; Wealth


QUILTING       
First Line: Somewhere in the unknown world
Last Line: Away from each other forever?


RAISING OF LAZARUS       
First Line: The dead shall rise again
Last Line: Stand up %even the dead shall rise
Subject(s): Lazarus


REMEMBERING THE BIRTH OF LUCIFER       
First Line: Some will remember
Last Line: They restled their three wings %they say and began %to wait and to watch


REPLY       
First Line: He do %she do
Last Line: They do %they do


REPORT FROM THE ANGEL OF EDEN       
First Line: I found them there
Last Line: What now becomes what now %of paradise


RICHARD PENNIMAN       
Last Line: He is %you bet your dying ass
Subject(s): Male Chauvinism; Men; Racism


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


ROBERT       
First Line: Was born obedient %without questions
Last Line: The color of his life %was nigger
Subject(s): African Americans; Obedience; Slavery


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


ROOTS       
First Line: Call it our craziness even
Last Line: Whatever you have to, %call it anything
Subject(s): Farm Life


RUNNING ACROSS TO THE LOT       
Last Line: Our fathers were dead and %our brothers were dying
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Despair; Ethnic Identity; Slavery


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


RUST       
First Line: Are you saying that iron understands
Last Line: Their ebony patience, their shine?
Subject(s): Death; God; Rust


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


SALT       
First Line: He is as salt
Last Line: Strain the ocean for and %what he needs
Subject(s): Grief; Tears


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


SAM       
First Line: If he could have kept
Last Line: What did you do to my father
Subject(s): Ethnic Groups - United States; Fathers And Daughters; Minorities - United States; U.s. - 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


SCAR       
First Line: We will learn %to live together
Last Line: And I will not fall off
Subject(s): Scars; Skin; Surgery


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


SHADOWS       
First Line: In the latter days
Last Line: Girl girl wake up. %somebody calling you
Subject(s): Memphis, Tennessee; Past; Southern States


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


SHAPESHIFTER POEMS (1)       
First Line: If the little girl lies


SHAPESHIFTER POEMS (2)       
First Line: The legend is whispered
Last Line: Is the poem at the end of the world


SHAPESHIFTER POEMS (3)       
First Line: The poem at the end of the world


SHAPESHIFTER POEMS (4)       
First Line: Who is there to protect her


SHE INSISTS ON ME       
First Line: I offer my %little sister up. No
Last Line: Walks past words and %insists on me
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Women


SHE IS DREAMING       
First Line: Sometimes %the whole world of women
Last Line: Will he murder it or %marry it
Subject(s): Dreams


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


SHE UNDERSTANDS ME       
First Line: It is all blood and breaking
Last Line: She is always emptying and it is all %the same wound the sam blood the same breaking
Subject(s): Blood; Slavery


SHE WON'T EVER FORGIVE ME       


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


SIGNS       
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


SISTERS       
First Line: Me and you be sisters
Last Line: Only where you sing %I poet
Subject(s): Poetry And 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


SLAVESHIPS       
First Line: Loaded like spoons
Last Line: Can this sin live
Subject(s): Alienation (social Psychology); Dissenters; Exiles; Jesus Christ; Marginality, Social; Slavery


SLEEPING BEAUTY       
First Line: When she woke up
Last Line: And she blamed him


SO CLOSE       
Last Line: Missed out even more than %all the time
Subject(s): African Americans; Togetherness


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


SOLOMON       
First Line: I bless the black
Last Line: For they have made me %wise
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


SOME DREAMS HANG IN THE AIR       
Last Line: Hang in the air like smoke %touching everything
Subject(s): Dreams; Sleep


SON OF JESSE       
First Line: My father had eight sons
Last Line: For my lord my brothers fathers sons
Subject(s): Fathers; Sons


SON OF MEDGAR       
Last Line: Medgar isn't %wasn't %won't be
Subject(s): Murder; Old Age; Trials


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       
First Line: Sons of slaves and
Last Line: Bricks and sticks and diamonds witness %a life of death is the death of life
Subject(s): African Americans; Slavery


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


SONG OF MARY       
First Line: Somewhere it being yesterday
Last Line: I watching my mother. %I smiling an ordinary smile
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible


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


SONORA DESERT POEM       
First Line: The ones who live in the desert
Last Line: Smile %say nothing at all
Subject(s): Critics And Criticism; Deserts; Food And Eating; Poetry And Poets


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


SORROW SONG       
First Line: For the eyes of the children
Last Line: The extraordinary evil in %ordinary men


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


SPEAKING OF LOSS       
First Line: I began with everything
Last Line: I am left with plain hands and %nothing to give you but poems
Subject(s): Abandonment


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


SPRING SONG       
First Line: The green of jesus
Last Line: In the body of jesus and %the future is possible
Subject(s): Bible; Catholics; Jesus Christ


STILL       
Last Line: And our points %sharpening good as anybody's
Subject(s): African Americans - History; Ethnic Groups - United States


STILL       


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


STONES AND BONES       
First Line: Here is a country where old men
Last Line: Red and white and blue
Subject(s): Politics; War


STOP       
First Line: What you are doing %stop
Last Line: And again %stop


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


STOPS       
First Line: They keep coming at me
Last Line: Even a little old lady %in a liquor store
Subject(s): Traffic


STORM POEM       
First Line: The wind is eating
Last Line: For you %let the windteeth break
Subject(s): Storms; Weather; Wind


STORY THUS FAR       
First Line: So they went out
Last Line: Chaos fell away %before her like a cloud %and everywhere seemed light %seemed glorious %seemed very


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


STUDY THE MASTERS       
First Line: Like my aunt timmie
Last Line: And discipline and order and america
Subject(s): Schools


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


TELLING OUR STORIES       
First Line: The fox came every evening to my door
Last Line: The terrible stories she could tell
Subject(s): Foxes; Poetry And 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: A MEDITATION       
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: CATCHING THE OX       
First Line: I whisper come
Last Line: I am cautioned by the hands


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: COMING HOME ON THE OX'S BACK       
First Line: I mount the ox
Last Line: The man claims ox. %I claim the man
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen; Travel


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


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


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: HERDING THE OX       
First Line: The hands refuse to gather
Last Line: What can be herded %is no 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: RETURNING TO THE ORIGIN, BACK TO THE SOURCE       
First Line: What comes
Last Line: In the folding %of hands


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: SEARCHING FOR THE OX       
First Line: They have waited my lifetime for this
Last Line: It is the summons from the ox
Subject(s): Animals; Oxen; Photography And 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 OX       
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: SEEING THE TRACES       
First Line: As in tracks
Last Line: And what do the hands make of that?


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 AND THE MAN BOTH GONE OUT OF SIGHT       
First Line: Man is not ox
Last Line: All things are ox
Subject(s): Animals; Life; Mankind; Oxen


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


TEN OXHERDING PICTURES: THE OX FORGOTTEN, LEAVING THE MAN ALONE       
First Line: I have been arriving
Last Line: Dearly beloved, %where is ox?
Subject(s): Animals; Memory; Oxen


TESTAMENT       
First Line: In the beginning %was the word
Last Line: Alone %in a room
Subject(s): Bible - Old Testament; God


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       
First Line: There in the homelands


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


THERE IS A GIRL INSIDE    Poem Text    


THERE IS A GIRL INSIDE       
Last Line: And the woods will be wild %with the damn wonder of it
Subject(s): African Americans - Children; Girls; Innocence


THIRTY-EIGHTH YEAR       
Last Line: I had expected more than this. %I had not expected to be %anordinary woman
Subject(s): Absence; African Americans - Women; Aging; Mothers And Daughters


THIS       
First Line: You were right, the poet mother
Last Line: Of writing the poem %about this


THIS BELIEF       


THIS IS THE TALE       


THIS MORNING       
Last Line: Survive %survive
Subject(s): African Americans - Children


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


THOSE BOYS THAT RAN TOGETHER       
Last Line: We have some fine black boys %don't it make you want to cry?
Subject(s): African Americans - Children


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


THURSDAY EVENING BEDTIME       
First Line: Afraid of the dark %is afraid of mom
Last Line: Says ebony %everett %anderson
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life


TIMES       
First Line: It is hard to remain human on a day
Last Line: These too are your children -- this too is your child
Subject(s): Children


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


TO A DARK MOSES       
First Line: You are the one
Last Line: I am burning %I am not consumed
Subject(s): African Americans; Moses


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 BOBBY SEALE       
First Line: Feel free
Last Line: Jail wasn't made %for dogs, %was made for %men
Subject(s): African Americans; Seale, Bobby (b. 1936)


TO JOAN       
First Line: Joan %did you never hear
Last Line: Did you not then sigh %my voices my voices of course?
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Women


TO MERLE       
First Line: Say skinny mannysided tall on the ball
Last Line: Let me call you sister, sister, %I been waiting for you
Subject(s): Sisters; Women


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


TO MICHAL       
First Line: Moving and moaning %under our coverings
Last Line: But michal from myself
Subject(s): Bible; Marriage


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


TO MS. ANN       
First Line: I will have to forget
Last Line: And it has only been forever and %I will have to forget your face
Subject(s): Farm Life


TO MY FRIEND, JERINA       
First Line: Listen, %when I found there was no safety
Last Line: Hands she can trust


TO MY LAST PERIOD       
First Line: Well girl, goodbye
Last Line: Beautiful? Wasn't she beautiful?


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


TO THE UNBORN AND WAITING CHILDREN       
First Line: I went into my mother as
Last Line: The bodies all may open wide but %you enter at your own risk
Subject(s): Birds; Cormorants


TO THELMA WHO WORRIED BECAUSE I COULDN'T COOK       
First Line: Because no man would taste you
Last Line: I am a woman and %I know what to do
Subject(s): Cooking And Cooks; Food And Eating; Hunger; Women


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


TURNING       
First Line: Turning into my own
Last Line: Turning at last %on a stem like a black fruit %in my own season %at last
Subject(s): Freedom


TYRONE (1)       
First Line: On this day %the buffalo soldiers
Last Line: Will sink the city %seek the city
Subject(s): Cities


TYRONE (2)       
First Line: The spirit of the buffalo soldiers
Last Line: We turning each other on %in this damn war
Subject(s): Military; Soldiers; War


TYRONE (3)       
First Line: The governor has sent out
Last Line: And if we buffalo soldiers was sports fans %we sure would cheer
Subject(s): Baseball; Robinson, Jackie (1919-1972); Sports


TYRONE (4)       
First Line: We made it through the swamps
Last Line: Tyrone %is
Subject(s): Ethnic Groups - United States; U.s. - Race Relations


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


VISIT TO GETTYSBURG       
First Line: I will %touch stone
Last Line: And touch stone %for this touchstone
Subject(s): American Civil War; Blood; Gettysburg Campaign (1863); U.s. - History; War


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


WAY IT WAS       
Last Line: New things was coming %you
Subject(s): African Americans; Buffalo (city), New York; Labor And Laborers


WAY IT WAS       
First Line: Mornings %I got up early
Last Line: Not touching %trying to be white
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


WHAT COMES AFTER THIS       
First Line: Water earth fire air
Last Line: After this -- whether it is air %or it is nothing
Subject(s): Air; Earth; Fire; Future; Introspection; Water


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 DID SHE KNOW, WHEN DID SHE KNOW IT       
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 I THINK WHEN I RIDE THE TRAIN       
First Line: Maybe my father %made these couplers
Last Line: In the whole white world


WHAT MANNER OF MAN       
First Line: If I am not singing to myself
Last Line: Bloody skull in one hand, harp in the other
Subject(s): Humanity; Mankind; Singing And Singers


WHAT SPELLS RACCOON TO ME       
Last Line: I can no more change my references %than they can theirs


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


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


WHISPERED TO LUCIFER       
First Line: Lucifer six-finger %where have you gone to
Last Line: Father's business %less radiant %less sure


WHITE BOY       
First Line: Like a man overboard
Last Line: Where oh where is the %saving thing
Subject(s): Boys


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


WHITE LADY       
First Line: Wants my son
Last Line: What do we have to owe %to own our own at last
Variant Title(s): White Lady; Street Name For Cocain
Subject(s): Drugs And Drug Abuse


WHY SOME PEOPLE BE MAD AT ME SOMETIMES       
First Line: They ask me to remember
Last Line: And I keep on remembering %mine


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


WIFE       
First Line: We are some of us
Last Line: If he does %we swim like a fish for his brother
Subject(s): Marriage


WILD BLESSINGS       
First Line: Licked in the palm of my hand
Last Line: The wild one, maybe not


WILLIE B (1)       
First Line: Mama say %I got no business out here
Last Line: A white man %the mother fucker
Subject(s): African Americans; U.s. - Race Relations


WILLIE B (2)       
First Line: Why I would bring a wagon into battle
Last Line: And I'm gone get her that tv %out of old steinhart's store
Subject(s): Soldiers; War


WILLIE B (3)       
First Line: Mama say %he was a black hero
Last Line: But I never heard of it %being not born till 1955
Subject(s): African Americans; Heroism


WILLIE B (4)       
First Line: I'm the one %what burned down the dew drop inn
Last Line: Willie b %son
Subject(s): U.s. - Race Relations


WINNIE SONG       
First Line: A dark wind is blowing


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


WISE: HAVING THE ABILITY TO PERCEIVE AND ADOPT THE BEST       
First Line: All the best minds
Last Line: All the wise men %on the corner
Subject(s): Wisdom


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


WISHES FOR SONS       
First Line: I wish them cramps
Last Line: Then bring them to gynecologists %not unlike themselves


WOMAN IN THE CAMP       
First Line: They murdered


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