Had I but kept
in junior high school
and taken the
Intro To Kissing
instead of Algebra I
(as the system insisted),
and then, a year later,
(when summer ended),
in my sophomore season,
opted for the
(as the hormones demanded)
in place of Geometry 1
I certainly would have
notched a better G.P.A.
perhaps gained greater
status with the girls.
Ready Or Not
Despite a thousand warnings
from people who make it their
business to know,
no matter the season--
is worse than
Gramma can ever remember,
(God bless her gentle heart)
has no business except to
remember her childhood,
a pleasant time when children
played simple games like
hide and seek.
Her eyes, closed tightly against
the bark of a shade tree in the
front yard, she counted slowly--
". . . 98, 99, 100. Here I come,
ready or not!"--
so that others, forewarned,
hiding amid silent giggles--
until, muscles taut, ready for
the race back to the maple--
erupt like cheetahs
from behind the
Slender are the
Slender are the
Slender is our
Slender is the
Slender is our
And Slender are the
But Wide as the Mississippi at flood is our
Can you see a narrow path, just wide enough for one
where two men chanced upon each other a long time ago?
In the morning glory, witnessed by a wary sun—
did they stop and stare, and wonder, friend or foe?
Can you hear the roaring silence of unbridled fear,
louder than the wails of most destructive storm?
When men came face-to-face, blood pounding in the ear—
eyes wild for escape, sensing death’s true form?
Can you feel the breath of danger cold upon your face,
and hair upon your neck bristling to attention?
Were two molded statues, crafted from God’s race—
rooted as the oak or maple, actions still undone?
Can you see the younger of the two, stalwart as could be,
his empty palms extended, no killing blade secret there?
Was hatred harbored in his heart, more difficult to see—
or reflected in his eyes as youthful courage rare?
Can you hear the other man, older yes, tall and lean,
notch mute arrow and string his deadly bow?
Was language infant then, the world still raw and mean—
that no words passed between them, oh so long ago?
Can you feel a seething warmth lick across your skin,
a glistening swath where death simmers hot and near?
Were words so few that mere actions cradled sin—
and in your throat you stifle the choking grip of fear?
Can you see a selfish path where brave men often kill,
and must in desperate haste decide another’s fate?
Do you see a fiery blacksmith’s forge, hearts upon the anvil—
shaping threatened lives, facing heaven’s yawning gate?
Can you feel survival's strain, amid death’s insistent call,
when the one with most to lose, smiled and stepped aside?
Can you feel the forest’s breath release a sigh for all—
where two men chose civility over instinct to abide?
Can you see a narrow path where many came to walk,
and a pleasant widening grew, and many pause to talk?
Where empty hands were grasped to show no harm was meant—
and where a wordless truce between two men was heaven sent?
To be young and unfettered
with the burdens
is a most precious slice
of fleeting time.
The clock is ticking!
A cloud's nimbleness!
A flower's innocence!
Curiosity on fire!
The need and desire to
climb towering trees,
dive into summer lakes,
build warrior forts,
chase older brothers,
mimic freckled sisters,
and giggles without cause,
are the enterprise of children.
Leave them be.
Time will cure them
"But soft," whispered one tree to another,
"Sometwo come this way."
"If woodsmen," asked his brother,
"Will this be our final day?"
"They carry no weapons, chainsaw or axe,
perhaps young lovers, come to play."
"If so, they intend no harm upon our backs,
and are most welcome to linger stay."
"Like boats to safe harbor let them steer,
and make gentle love among us if they may."
"We counsel them to lay aside any fear,
and enjoy only boundless joy, we pray.
A Racist Bone
I don't have one.
I don't buy none.
I don't borrow none.
I don't crave none.
I don't want a single one
them racist bones,
not underside my ribs,
'tectin' my heart—
not overtop my skull,
shieldin' my brain—
not round my back,
bulwarkin' my spine.
Day I's born,
doctor don't slap me up my backside
with one them
and Mother don't feed me up my hunger
with no gnawing on those
and my school don't teach me up wrong
with no 'lectual books readin' on
and my church don't hymn me
with no musical
and my friends don't pal me up
with "we in this together"
But just a second young man—
now I been thinkin' 'bout it
indeed, mosta my life—
despite I lovin' LeBron
roarin' up court,
full steam ahead,
"outta my way!"
and marvel that Stephen Curry pest,
shootin' anywhere on court,
swishin' 'em like
why do I keep hopin'
yeah, why I be hopin'
so nobody notice me,
nobody hear me,
nobody know me,
and if I don't have no racist bone
nowhere in my body
growing inside me,
secret in my mind somewheres,
crouched down my heart chambers,
camouflaged in my soul,
all invisible like,
I'm asking you why,
do I keep hopin' some skinny
white kid come along,
Cousy, Bird, Pistol Pete,
all rolled up in one human concoction
like one them Thai spring rolls
all mixed up vegetables,
and throw a barricade up on LeBron,
shuttin' him down all good an' proper,
and hold Mr. Curry to 18 measly,
all the while putting up
a grand 42 and 12 unselfish shares
on any given Saturday night?
If I sincere got no racist bone,
then why I be thinkin' that way?
Somethin' not quite right here.
Could it be possible I got 'fected somehow
with one them racist viruses,
and it be festerin' my marrow?