The Badness of Lonnie B.

by Ntare Ali Gault©2017


Lonnie B. was a bad man.

You know what I’m talking about when I say bad?

That brother was an entrepreneur, a jeweler

He could poet, Flow it,

Give him a seed and he’d grow it,

Two strings and and a few beads he’d sew it,

He skilled it; Give him a song and he killed it!

An Apple Jack crown wearing,

Smooth full leather cape modeling

Man… he could just stand on Allen Street

And the entire block felt cooler

He was the ruler

Could kick it with you on any subject

Could steal a show from any poet

And we couldn’t even get mad!

Because Lonnie B. was a bad man!!


And those are not even the reasons he was so bad!

My man was married for 50 years,

And you know he and Willie Dean conquered all kinds of fears.

Raised his girls to perfection

Gave them love and protection

Pointed them in the right direction . . .

Was admired by the community and most of all

Was a true man of God --

And that’s hard when you’re so bad

Because it's easy to succumb to the world around you.

But this man would school you,

Explain rules you should follow through.


This was a bad brother!!

A humble man, an honest man,

A faithful husband, a loyal father

He was royalty amongst legends

And he didn’t have to say it because everyone knew it!

He proved it over and over again

This man’s blackness was so cool

That his African-ness bowed down!


He led an amazing life,

Look at the way he honored his wife,

So forgive if I still find it hard to say that the brother is dead,

I mean, the last bible verse has not been read,

The last prayer has not been said,

And I do realize that this is all in the Master’s plan,

But one more time I have to say

Lonnie B. was bad man!

Personified Greatness

by Gavin M. Jeter

 There are never enough heartbeats

in a lifetime to truly respect genius. . .

Never enough breaths to inhale

the alphabet and exhale a masterpiece;

Never enough arteries

to carry the flow of knowledge

that floats between us.

To cease and desist ignorance and assist and increase the peace

"By Any Means Necessary" Brother Malcolm said that.

"I Have A Dream" Dr. King said that.

"On The Wings of Imagination

The Mind Knows No Destination" That's a fact.

And by the way, Brother Lonnie Harrell said that.

He held many titles -- singer, songwriter, historian, poet

Husband, father and entrepreneur

He didn't have to go out of his way to show it.

He persevered through many endeavors

just so that we could endure.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him.

An occasion I know I have surely missed.

But Mr. Harrell, you can rest assured.

That we will continue to appreciate

and celebrate your legacy

And never allow your straight lines

of history, knowledge, and poetry.

To become worn, faded,

or fall into uncultured hands to twist . . .

A Brother of Love for Us All

By Elaine Barthel


Our brother of love, compassion, artistry and peace

Will live in our hearts forever.

With song, beauty of words and inspiration

He lifted our spirits when we were down.

Who could imagine he was preparing to leave us

A quiet transition to meet his Lord. 

But oh…….such a powerful force he was.

A Brother of Love for us all!

Let us spread his love to his beautiful family

and all we know. 

God Bless You, Lonnie

We love you

To Lonnie

 My  delightful male  friend

By Shirley Sarmiento 



just a pleasure to be around

to talk with  to anshare

words words


My delightful friend

I will miss you /you left a wonderful legacy

you lived the life you talked about/and that ain't easy

take it from me



no rushing and

pushing and running

just begin in your company

you being you 

and me being me

You, Truly a treasure that

 I'm going tomiss very much.

I will continue to read your poems

as through you were still here with us.


Just delightful

I will miss your voice,

I will miss your poetry

my favorite of course was

 "You Always You"

That's published in "Drum Beats/Urban Arts book of poems.


Yes, a truly delightful man he was.

I just loved that about him.

Just a pleasure to be around

a man who was delightful in spirit and soul,

a delightful man he was to me

Cope (for Lonnie’s Queen)                                                  

by © vonetta t. rhodes 2009


Do nothing…

Move nothing.

Touch nothing.

Change nothing.

Alter nothing.

Do nothing…

Keep still.

Don’t add water unless it’s your tears.

Don’t nourish soil.

Just wait until you feel impoverished and

then only scream for more supplies,

and let others take care of you by applying love gingerly.

Do nothing.

Don’t stir.

Don’t shake.

Don’t blend.

Don’t mix.

Don’t try to retrofit

or screw shut.

Don’t lock or attempt to readjust.

Peace, be still,

and do nothing…

Say nothing.

Hear nothing.

Just pause in quiet admiration and adore the beauty.

Don’t buy it a jacket to keep warm.

Don’t give it vitamins for extended life.

It will always live on.

Do nothing.

Keep still.

When the sun shines,

feel movement in your prayer and worship,

and enjoy the prism and its colors around you.

i know you are straight up home grown and root oriented

and like to dig on life.

i know you are now especially interested in God’s decisions,

and wish to reverse time

So you can experience the power of love twice,


do nothing.

Elicit joy

whenever you can.

Cry often,

Reminisce frequently (it’s healthy).

Even to smile hurts right now,

but remember,

peace, be still…

Do nothing


By Sharon R. Amos


Certainly we did not thirst

for words erupted

from the walls

 ceilings and floors


We gathered them

 for rhymes or seasons.


Our wild inspirations drove

us to poet feelings of love, anger,

desire and melancholy


We embraced them

delving into the past and times yet to come     

yesterday and tomorrow


Certainly we did not tire

as we climbed the stairs

amazed by each new landing


Then before us

an immense landscape

and we scattered

poetic seedlings

to light

our dreams.


by GMW


Our ancestors fought so we would no longer be called the N word

Yet we use the word in our songs and the way we speak to one another


On ancestors fought to stop whites from killing our people

Yet every day we continue to kill each other


Our ancestors fought for growth

Yet we don’t want our own to succeed


Our ancestors fought for better opportunities

Yet we don’t give our children what they really need


Our ancestors fought for equality

Yet we think the world revolves around us


Our ancestors fought to shed light on our problems

Yet we dance ourselves to the back of the bus


Our ancestors fought for unity

Yet it’s each other we want to shoot or beat


Our ancestors fought to give us direction

Yet we don’t know how to cross the street 


Our ancestors fought for change

Yet what we don’t understand, we get mad at or fear


Our ancestors fought to move forward

Yet our music and reality shows set us back 400 years


Our ancestors fought to expand our horizons

Yet we want to stay in one place


Our ancestors fought to be called somebody

Yet we want to wear blackface


Our ancestors fought for dark and lovely

Yet we don’t think we are brown


Our ancestors fought to have our own businesses

Yet we want to sell their drugs


Our ancestors fought for success

Yet we want to be thugs


Our ancestors fought for awareness

Yet we want to stay in the dark


Our ancestors fought because they were brave

Yet we have no heart


Our ancestors gave us everything we needed

Yet we didn’t think it was enough


Our ancestors gave us the answer

We need to WAKE UP

Back in the Day                                        

By Priscilla Hill


Our world was a city that smelled of hard work

Slaughtered animals scotch and smoke.

Our world was Willert Park

On Jefferson Avenue, with the only tree on the block.

Our world was card-playing, numbers, 641-452:

10 cent straight, nickel in the box, and . . .

House parties, Johnny Walker Red, fried Dixie Peach

And fries with vinegar at the Wil-Pine.

Our world was life at a third . . . no banks, no checks,

Cash only, for hot clothes, hot food and

Always hot fun!!!!!!!!!


Then our world started changing!

I could hear it! – I could feel it! Like the background music

At the Broadway, Plaza and Roxie Shows.

Our world was “Earth Angel will you be mine”,

 When we found love for the first time.

Our world became “Stagger Lee” and the Midnighters,

Who shouted loudly from those long sleek coffin-like

Stereos our living rooms.


Then the Processed boys came smooth talking,

Doo-Wapping on the corners, singing “There Goes My Baby”

While we sang, “Maybe, Maybe, Maybe”


The Chapel, Jimmy Lyons at the Dellwood Ballroom, The Hadji Temple

And the Michigan Y gave us the real music of our lives.


We went from “Cowboys & girls, baby dolls to boys”,

From the Pythons to the Matadors,

From Crystal Beach to LaSalle Park.


Our world was the “good old days”, or so we thought;

Cause we listened to the Hound Dog howl on WBLK

Giving us Jackie, Ruth, Fats, Etta and Clyde McPhatter,

Sending our music soaring like birds...

Plucked by hawks,

Changing our rhythm & blues, our rock & roll

To blue-eyed soul;

Still; we danced the Skipe, the Chicken,

The Mashed Potato

And slow dragged, in the Lackawanna Wine Cellar

Until our hair napped up on one side.


Sharon Jordan Holley, 2016

“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave – O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” Francis Scott Key   (to be sung)

Even before the Wanderer, the Jesus and the Henrietta Marie docked on the shores of Africa

            To capture and enslave my family

There was no place safe

            Not the bush, nor the compound or anywhere in the kingdom

Those who did not make the journey were tossed overboard as shark bait

Those who made it – bound and sold, tortured, beaten or worked to death

No Place Safe

Hunted down on freedom paths – in fields, houses, barns, attics and cellars

No Place Safe – Even Now

On plantations –

            Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser

In Schools – be it at

            Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, or before that in Orangeburg, NC

Watching a movie

            In Colorado

In the Store

            Emmett Till in Mississippi, John Crawford in Ohio

Walking from the Store

            Trayvone Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Missouri

On the Street

            Erie Gardner in New York, Freddie Gray in Maryland

At the Park

            Tamir Rice in Ohio, Brandon Glen in California

Even at Home

            Rev. and Mrs. Harry Moore in Florida, Medgar Evers in Mississippi, Fred Hampton in Illinois,

            Amadou Diallo in New York, Akai Gurley in New York, Yvette Smith in Texas, 7 year old

            Alyana Jones of Michigan

Standing on a Hotel Bacony

            Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Tennessee

Speaking to an Audience

            Malcolm X in New York

At the Metro Station

            Oscar Grant in California

In the Car

            Sean Bell in New York, Jordan Davis in Florida, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in

            Ohio, Mariam Carey in DC

After leaving the Car

            Jonathan Ferrell in North Carolina, Walter Scott in South Carolina, Sandra Bland in Texas

Even in the Sanctuary

            Alberta King in Georgia, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robinson and

            Carol Denise McNair in Alabama and in South Carolina – Rev. Clementa Pinkney,

            Susie Jackson, Tawanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton,

            Daniel Simmons, Cynthia Hurd, Ethel Lance and DePayne Middleton-Doctor

This poem could go on – ‘cause whether you are

            Walking, running, driving, biking, sitting, talking, playing, shopping

There is No Place Safe

            Living Black under the banner of the red, white, and blue

            Spangled stars and stripes

No Place Safe

Don’t Call the Undertaker Yet

by Blackpearle76


5,000 lynchings from 1882-1968

But who was counting?

None of them are dead anyway

For the spirit of their existence

Has lived on through

their bloodlines


Don’t Call the Undertaker Yet


Dazed by heroin

That self-induced poisonous

Euphoria giver

She convulses as truth strikes

A familiar chord in her heart

That her children are hungry

Her house is dirty and

Her man is gone

She simply re-inoculates

Herself at the mainline

And remembers that

Death is not an option and

Rehab and religion are

Only around the corner

Rehab and religion are

Only around the corner


Don’t Call the Undertaker Yet


Humans marked by poverty

Stamped insufficient funds

Unable to cash a check

Of any real value

We resort to stealing

Stealing back our names

And sacred identities that were

Stolen from us the moment we set

Foot on this soil

Stealing back our cultures and

Reinventing ourselves based on

Secret formulas found only in

The magnificence of our DNA

We Are Not Dead


Don’t Call the Undertaker Yet


Back away from this

Transitory hole my people

Have fallen into

For this is not a grave, it’s a rut

Graves are below ground tombs

Inescapable catacombs

Where death dwells, while

Ruts are above ground tracks

Where simulations of life lessons

Learned by trial and error

Are replayed til the CD is changed,


Don’t Call the Undertaker Yet


Can’t you see

We are an invincible people

Welfare, workfare, bus fare and unfair

No matter what we have been

“Given” or what’s been taken away

Attempts to obliterate, annihilate,

Oppress, extinct, cease and

Desist us have been unsuccessful

Therefore, out of respect for our

Victories in the face of all adversity

In light of all failures to make

Breathing a living death for

My People

Don’t you Dare

Call the Undertaker Yet

For yet,

We live!

A Dream

by Andre James


All my life

I dream of you

I think of you


Your mind is a wonderful place to be

Your face is a wonderful thing to see

Your smile is more special than colours


All my life

I dream of you

I think of you


Nothing unclean ever comes from your lips

Those lips so tender to kiss

Kissing you must be heavenly


All my life

I dream of you

I think of you


I think of your thoughts

I think of your desires

I think of your dreams


by robert djed snead

I must guard

my heart

I have given to you

and expose my heart

to your lax…….

I must be

imperfectly vigilant

and merrily present

my heart to be marred

because my heart

no longer belongs to me,

it is your heart

that beats

within my breast,

my heart is in your care

and I am willing

and waiting

(because the mark

will be missed!)

for my heart

to be hurt

by your caress.


I now know love

is a many-edged sword

that simply

is what it is in its being,

and for my heart

to letloose

the illusions it holds

- for me to be

heartless once more –

I must give

my heart

I have guarded from you

and expose my heart

to your heat………

An Ode for Those Who Mourn

Kicia Coldspring(La Kicia Hughes)


Life is bittersweet and fleeting

Our own lives short and breathless seeming

The little time that marks our being

Is very and often soon expired 


So in the reckoning of things

When souls all gather at Peter's Gate

Will your heart falter irresolute

For your earthly sins,

resigned to fate?


Or will you stand steadfast and true

Full of knowing, absolute

That the short span which you were given

Was time well-spent in honor'ble persuit


We must always make the best of things

Of rain, of pain, of griefs labour

The quality with which we endure

Shall be in-kind our spring's reward


Our legacy is the integrity of 

all our culminated deeds 

The tensile strength of that binding fabric

Is that of which our afterbears shall sing


Whether epic or elegiac

Tragedy, comedy, or low lampoon

While our souls rest in their forever after

Our early friends shall hum our tune


Tis within the hearts and minds of others

That our spirit shall most ever abide

Mark your time most wise and goodly

That your path will serve a model-guide


And in forgiving remembrance sweet

The semblance of your essence retained

Ere long, long after this earth you part

The breadth of a life not spent in vain


by Jayla Keaton, Grade 5

Buffalo Academy for Performing Arts


Angel on the ground

Looking toward the heavens

And raising her wings

You Can’t Come In

by Carolyn Pratt

I had been to a lot of churches:  Big ones, small ones, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Apostolic, Non-denominational, and the like. Today, I went to another one -- the one where the sign reads:  “Jesus loves you, come just as you are.” When I got there, a man at the door asked: “May I help you?”  I replied, “No thank you.  I just want to go in.”  The man said, “Oh no, you can’t come in.  You don’t have on the right clothes.” I left, changed clothes and returned, only to be met by that same man who told me: “Oh no you can’t come in, you smell too bad.” With my mind made up to be in church, I left and cleaned myself up as I could. Upon my return I just knew I’d be let in. The man took one look at me and began to shake his head from side to side before I even reached the door. Before I could speak, he said: “Oh no, you definitely can’t come in here. You don’t have a bible.”  I went and got my bible, and quickly returned. This time he said, "I hope you brought an offering.” With that, I just went to my respective place. Two years later, the man at the door died. He stood outside the gates of heaven, waiting to be let in. I said, “May I help you?” The man replied, “No.  I’ve been in church a long time, and now God has finally called me home.” “Oh no” I said, “You can’t come in. You’re not clothed with righteousness, and you smell of flesh. And even though you repented with your mouth, your heart wasn’t in it. And yes, I see you are carrying one of your seven bibles, but the bible is not in you, because you haven’t done what it says. You must not have read it through. There is a scripture in there that says, ‘be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby, some have entertained angels unawares.’  You can’t dress, clean, pay, or read your way in. You have to live your way into heaven, or…You Can’t Come In.” 

~~As a child of God we must always strive to love and to treat people right. We will one day have to give an account for our deeds, and every idle word.~~


by Toni White


Tears flowing down my face

Amazing grace

Why oh why must one die

We cry and cry


To all beginning there is an end

Another one is gone home to rest

But God knows what’s best


My heart pains deep inside

Because it’s so hard to say goodbye

Memories that we hold are so clear

But still I wish that loved one was here


We all know that we must go

Today we are the audience

Tomorrow we may be the show

It’s not that hard to understand


Because when God made us

It was a part of His plan

Look up to the hills

Whence our help


Live your life because

You only get one




There was a man who had a

Troublesome son

Who for him respect was never won

Until he decided to exercise his election

Proceeded to apply to him the

Rod of correction

Had you known him then (the son)

And should see him today

He’d tell you his change came

When he no longer could have his way


Beautiful and Handsome!

by Annie Jorden-Staples  


I am a beautiful girl!  My brother is a handsome boy!

We were born with all our senses, limbs and organs

We are unique people

We can do or be anything we wish

We must stay positively focus to accomplish this


We wrote a list of dreams

Even while the bullies are so mean

We will keep our thoughts clean

Even while the bullies are so mean


Our actions will beam

Even while the bullies are so mean

We will still go to church and sing in the choir

Even while the bullies are so mean


We will fix our computers

Even while the bullies are so mean

We can design clothes on our computers

Even while the bullies are so mean


We will help our mother with our brothers

Even while the bullies are so mean

We will learn how to drive

Even while the bullies are so mean


We will go to college and earn a degree

Even while the bullies are so mean

Each one of us will marry and raise a family

Even while the bullies are so mean


When we finish college at age twenty one

Even while the bullies are so mean

We will become counselors or psychologists

Even while the bullies are so mean

To help all the bullies not to be so mean!

Time Travel

By Martin Bryant© 4/6/2017


Stamp my Passport

I wanna travel back in time

To places where my lineage was born


Send me to the Garden where Jesus prayed

Send me to the tomb where Jesus laid

I just wanna stand in awe

I wanna feel what they felt

And see what they saw


Send me back to the cotton field

So I can thank my ancestors for being brave

I wanna get them water for their thirst

I would be their slave


I would formulate a plan with them

And carry out the mission

There’d be no separation of reparations

We’d all gain a pension


Send me to the Audubon Ballroom,

The Baptist Church before the arson

Or the Motel Lorraine

Would want to feel their presence

Already feel their pain


Send me back to the date and time

My kids were born

I’d make sure, times weren’t torn

Send me back to them in my arms

I’d repeat this sentiment

“I’ll protect you from harms”


I’d go everywhere to trace my history

To partake in their glory, but share in their misery.

"Inspired to be, Empowered to see, Encouraged because of the God in Me"

MELANIN on Fleek

by Charleen K. Walker ("Kedra")


Vibrations are at

highest frequency possible 

With this MELANIN of mine

One of a kind

The truth 

And Divine

Which fuel my scale

Of Consciousness 

That keeps my mind on

The higher things

Beyond my Ego

Moving forward past  

The Linear mind

Soaring past Spiritual Reality

Set in stone straight to the

Enlightenment state

While the third eye is open

And MELANIN is on Fleek 

Afrika Town

By Betty Jean Grant


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could see.

She saw tired, old, suburban johns

on streets named Moselle and Genesee

driving around and eyeing young girls

like flower-starved honey bees.


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could see.

She saw graffiti on every wall

aimless boys on every street

wearing Tommy Hilfiger on their backs

and Michael Jordan on their feet.


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could see.

She saw winos living in vacant houses

and boarded up grocery stores

and drug dealers plying their deadly wares

behind self-entombed concrete doors.


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could see.

She saw children with sunken eyes

scrounging around garbage-filled streets

looking for money, or for something to sell

or maybe a morsel or two, to eat.


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could see.

She saw people whose poverty was used

to fund the other side of town

and pay for hand-out social programs

that kept them poor and beaten down.


Annie Mae went to Afrika Town

to see what she could do.

She was discouraged by a gang on Box Avenue

and, by a suit-wearing gang at City Hall

but, although each gang's motive was different

neither wanted a thing to change, at all.

Hair U Wear

by Bethany Powell


Waves, dips, curls, flips, spikes, trick(s),

Bangs, twists, lock(s), nappy weave

Old weave, new weave

Pushbacks, ponytail snaps, wigs

2 ponytails, B.K.A. pigs

Brand new weave, nappy weave

Pink weave, black weave, burgundy weave

Red weave, blue weave, purple. . . 

Long hair ↓ your back, short weave 2 your neck

Curled weave, straight weave, real hair weave

No hair, hair tight curls, jerries,

Town fades perms, natural wave

← pushback(s) coils, lonelytails, onlytails,

Then there’s ponytail(s)   male/female cuts,

Edge up, touch ups, brush ↑ s


People look, people stare,

You like it or not. . . it’s Hair…


by Gail Lyons


                                       i reached

                                                 my man

                                        but u was not



                                        i called

                                                 my man

                                        but u did not



                                       i cried

                                                my man

                                        but u did not





                                          i left

                                               my man

                                            w/sweet Blk memories


                                                                                      never to return.


By “Goodness”


Listen close black girlz

We are the mother'z of this earth*


We are the onez 2 bring life forcez

Into this realm*


We are the creatorz of this world*


It is us – it is our black girl magic

That spanz across the galaxy, throughout this u & iverse*


And if u believe what i just said

Than u - urself & i are the sole reason 4 this verse*


Nothing would exist without

The presence/ the essence of a woman

Un2 nationz we give birth*


We live in a world of domination controlled by man ...

But only we can - instead of hell ...

Execute a plan to have peace on earth*


In order 2 live on we must create

Cultivate and strengthen our bond

Stop treating ur fellow sistahz like dirt*


Why let someone else take the pleasure &

Try 2 measure

 b'cuz u and only u can validate ur worth*


Measurez that may be drastic 

But wouldn't it be fantastic

If we could start putting each otherz feelingz 1st*


Listen close black girlz 

We have 2b t he onez who are

Encouraging - supporting & uplifting 2 the next*


It'z bad enough

We already have it rough

 taking junk from the opposite sex*


Let triumph come from tragedy 

Not viewing everything as tragic*


The ability 2 clearly see - collectively  

Hat we are a necessity

To this planet*


B'cuz we were blessed with the power ...

The gift 2 uplift ...

We were blessed –

We are blessed

With that black girl magic*

The Smooth Cool Lonnie

By Allie H. Freeman

Lonnie, some kinda brother

Smooth is your number
Cool, smooth, spiritual Lonnie,

allowing for freedom of thought 

Speaking the truth
Learning . . . an experience none could imagine
Sup at the cup of intelligent, diverse conversation

Allen Street Connection
Listen with the third ear,

so much information
Buy his creations,

can't pay for deep conversation
Just sit and get a real education
Leaving was hard

(It was re-entry to a world of confusion)

Smooth could sing soothing to the ear
Poetic genius -- oh the poetry!

Magnificent, innovative, contemplative
Sing Lonnie Smooth, you personified soul
Once, spoken from the stage

to his dear Willie Dean
He made the words sound like silk,

like fine wine, love divine,

like alone, no one else anywhere
She smiled and blushed

while we sat in awe, pretending it was us
Loved his family, always mentioned

His darling grandsons,

Charmed by his precious daughters                     

Lonnie Smooth

you made us feel at home

Southern exposure mixed with northern devotion
You gave us a feeling of hope, peace,

brotherhood when things looked bleak
Rest, you mighty king

Rest on your laurels

until we meet again

In that land of grandeur,

purity of faith

Love and understanding,

Troubles of this world no more

Strawberries And Champagne

By Celes Tisdale


That’s what I’ll call you:

            Strawberries and Champagne

A golden red, like California sunset

            a blushing sun, that is.

Sometimes a prickly sweet

            And bubbles golden

Like that early breakfast afternoon

            you ate so hungrily

After loving me for appetite

            From the squint of dawn

            to wide-eyed afternoon.

Sure that’s what you are:

            Strawberries and Champagne

Sometimes, a prickly sweet

            burst/popping for me


I know just what you are :

            Strawberries and Champagne





Lessons for post-racism Coloreds

By Annette Daniels-Taylor


How I Love you,

can love protect you ?

Love does not in all ways protect

a colored body      

So I tell you, it use to be

Be polite, speak clearly

Always remember

love does not in all ways protect a colored body  

So I tell you, it use to be

Always remember

Keep hands visible around men in uniforms

No to:

Sudden moves

Always remember love does not in all ways

protect a colored body

Your job includes survival

If Police stop you:

No to:

Reaching in pockets.

Always remember love does not in all ways

protect a colored body

Yes to:

Am I free to go?      

So I tell you , it use to be

Know the rules, your rights, your responsibilities

Always remember love does not in all ways

protect a Colored body

Be Aware of who’s behind you,

Always remember love does not in all ways

protect a Colored body          

 I want to remain silent.

Be aware of who’s in front of you

Don’t run while wearing your hoodie…

(FromAnnette Daniels-Taylor’s latest book entitled“Street Pharmacist”)


Every since I was very young,

I’ve always wanted to write a poem so powerful.


A poem so powerful…


And I still wish I could write a poem so powerful;

A poem so powerful.


I just want to write a poem so powerful

It could tell My Mexican Brothers and Sisters

That I stand with them!  (NOT ONE BRICK!!)


I just want to write a poem so powerful

It could send a message of hope and peace to

My Muslim Brothers and Sisters!


I just want to write a poem so powerful it could

Let My Native American Brothers and Sisters know

That I agree Water is the sustenance of life and

Oil is a crude stranger that should be left in the earth!


I just want to write a poem so powerful that it could shield

My Young Black Brothers and Sisters from

Bullets, violence, and uncertainty!


Yes! A poem so powerful! 

A poem so powerful!


I just want to write a poem so powerful

And send it to Democrats and Republicans;

Whether they be Democrat or Republican!


Yes! A poem so powerful!


Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,

That all men are created equal,

That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

That among these are Life, Liberty

And the pursuit of Happiness.”


Whether Democrat or Republican:

“We hold these truths to be self evident,

That all men and women are created equal.”

Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“We the people of the United States,

In order to form

A more perfect union,

Establish justice,

Insure domestic Tranquility,

Provide for the common defens                           e

Promote the general welfare, and

Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and

Our Posterity,

Do ordain and establish this

Constitution for the United States of America.”


Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

“No nation can endure half slave

And half free.”


Whether Democrat or Republican:

“The only thing we have to fear

Is fear itself.”


Whether Democrat or Republican:

“Ask not what your country can do for you;

Ask what you can do for your country.”


Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“I have a dream that one day [our] little children

Will live in a country where they will not be judged by

The color of their skin but by the content of their character.”


Whether Democrat or Republican:

“We shall overcome.”


Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“Let’s pledge allegiance

To the Flag and give new meaning

To the United States of America, and

To the Republic

For which it stands

One Nation

Under God,



With liberty and justice for all.”

Yes! With liberty and justice for everybody!!!!


Whether Democrat or Republican:

“Don’t just see things as they are

And ask “Why?”

Dream things that never were

And ask Why not!?


Your dreams must become “the moral equivalent of war.”

Your dreams!

Must become!

“THE MORAL EQUIVALENT OF WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

Do you remember when the preacher said,

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”



Whether Democrat or Republican;

Whether Democrat or Republican:

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America-

There’s the United States of America.

There is no Black America and

White America and

Latino America and

Asian America and

‘Arab America and

Jewish America…’

There is the United States of America!”

And if only I could write a poem so powerful!

A poem so powerful!  A poem so powerful!!

I just wish I could write a poem so powerful!


Dr. Anthony Neal ©February 1, 2017

(Samples and quotes: Preamble to the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson/Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, George Bernard Shaw,  Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama)