poem: Upon My Brother’s Shadow Do I Lean

Upon My Brother’s Shadow Do I Lean

by Joel Howard


I cried out for a better life

for you, and now you’re gone I

lie among tears tattered and worn,

as in grief one languishes in days newly gone,


yet soon a longing eye

is dare cast

to life’s ribbon yet unfurled,

where rest memories never built

and upon uncertainty

dreams echo raw loneliness,

‘til pain insists a return to

that shared past, where


valleys laden with the beckoning vision of silver and gold

sent us young aching for all that is regal and vaulted, as

olden rules and immovable legacy swore upon riches  –

that is the why, that is the how, that is the must  –

to attain an existence worthy,

tangible and tactile, as

upon money all

value rests;


later appeared that startling hour, oh

all is exposed, life’s underbelly

disformed with lies,

possessions announcing

themselves in silent mockery as

poisoned appendages lame from greed,


and tired

adages slide fast

to hollow and passing’s breath;


last, I see that

in your death I may now stand in tears whole,

for in such sorrow was revealed your song,

that I might sing to you my small while

as the syllables of your joy yet

nourish my being.









Oriflamme: a poem by Jessie Redmon Fauset, 1920

So very many talented black writers – then and now. I am always amazed (though perhaps I shouldn’t be) at the talent of which I’ve never been made aware. Poets.org is a great site for dipping your toe into new and talented writers  –  both old and new.


by Jessie Redmon Fauset

I think I see her sitting bowed and black,
  Stricken and seared with slavery’s mortal scars,
Reft of her children, lonely, anguished, yet
  Still looking at the stars.

Symbolic mother, we thy myriad sons,
  Pounding our stubborn hearts on Freedom’s bars,
Clutching our birthright, fight with faces set,
  Still visioning the stars!

I Dream A World – a poem by Langston Hughes

I Dream A World

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!