SECTION NINE
  POETRY PAGE NINE

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COLUMN FIFTY-TWO, OCTOBER 1, 2000
(Copyright 2000 Al Aronowitz)


(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)

 

GROWING IN SILENCE
(Copyright 1988 Lamont B. Steptoe)

"I have a dream. . ."
CRACK  (silence)
The blood has dried on the Memphis balcony
"By any means necessary. . ."
CRACK-CIZACK-pow-pow-pow-poW-(silence)
The blood has dried on the abandoned floor of the Audubon ballroom
There is no honor here
PEACE
and FREEDOM elude us
like animals in the forest
well versed in our life styles of death
No treaties nor compromises
entice harmony within or without this nation
The skins of dreamers are wall hangings and floor coverings in the towers of Babylon
All solutions are formulas of rage
barking guns car bombs poison gas biological warfare (AIDS)
mining of harbors blockades aerial bombardment (MOVE)
answers for the dispossessed
fumbling thru these pages of history
There is no honor here  

The moon stoops
to drink from earth's scarlet waters
before dancing
back behind the sun
shouting
BEWARE DOWN THERE
shouting
BEWARE DOWN THERE
BEWARE DOWN THERE
BEWARE
leaders
are last year's cut-outs
from Hollywood's back lot
Like mushrooms
confusion flourishes
in the stench of offal
The silence is alarmed
Watergate burglars
have taped the doors again
Someone call the inter-galactic police
They have made furniture of martyrs
selling their lives like soap
The silence is alarmed
heads are cracking like liberty bells
Truth is a fugitive in every city
Living is a noisy affair
everyone is screaming but the silence
is louder
Sunrises
have fallen silent
High noons
have fallen silent
Evenings
have fallen silent
The GREAT LIGHTS of FREEDOM and JUSTICE
stand among us wrapped in the silence of their tombs
Living is a noisy affair
The silence is louder
Old Black woman
with your shopping bags
and no place to go
Old white man
with your swollen feet
and tubercular lungs
with no place to go
Brown-yellow-Black-white-red
mothers with your children and no place to go
beer-buzzed-tywol-dazed-freckled-faced-teens
have you any dreams?
X-war vets Koreaed and 'Nam'ed out
don't-speak-no-english-brown-people-yellow-people
don't-wanna-speak-no english-red-people
we must fill the silence
with our voices our songs our visions
Somebody
been goin' 'round
keepin' us all apart
keepin' us highed up
liquored up cracked up
Let's raid the silence
take back the word whose towers are anchored
in the rib cages of ancestors
This silence has not deafened us
We emerge
from these flames
With a common language
a common humanity
a common future
Here and now
we claim this silence as our own
You may join us
but you shall not stand in our way
Our legions will quake earth and heaven
with its footfalls
The door is barred
we shall break it down
The way is narrow
we shall make it wider
The road is rough
we shall make it smooth
We are a rising Nile
a rising Ganges
a rising Amazon
We shall flood this Parched land
so barren of dreams come true
so barren of JUSTICE
so barren of FREEDOM
If the silence does not belong to us
then it shall belong to no one at all
for there shall be no one to claim it
This silence is the womb of our GREAT MOTHER
in which we grow
We are about to be BORN
We are about to be BORN
We are about to be BORN  ##

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