Tuesday, April 23, 2024

  HAPPY NATIONAL NATIVE PLANT MONTH!

Record Your Plants Progress

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HOUSE PLANT JOURNALS

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PLANT MAMA






From Nikki Giovanni's fourth volume of poetry “My House,” published in 1972.


We


we stood there waiting

on the corners

in the bars

on the stoops

in the pews

by the cadillacs

for buses

wanting for love

watching to see if hope would come by

we stood there hearing

the sound of police sirens

and fire engines

the explosions

and babies crying

the gas escaping

and the roaches breeding

the garbage cans falling

and the stairways creaking

we listened

to the books opening

and hearts shutting

the hands rubbing

the bodies sweating

we were seeing the revolution screeeeeeeeeeeching

to a halt

trying to find a clever way

to be empty

Monday, April 22, 2024

Read

&

Ruminate


Ever Want 

To Crawl



ever want to crawl

in someone’s arms

white out the world

in someone’s arms

and feel the world

of someone’s arms

it’s so hot in hell

if i don’t sweat

i’ll melt


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Read

&

Ruminate


And Sometimes 

I Sit



and sometimes i sit

down at the typewriter

and i think

not of someone

cause there isn’t anyone

to think

about and i wonder

is it worth it

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Read

&

Ruminate


How Do You Write 

A Poem?


how do you write a poem

about someone so close

to you that when you say ahhhhh

they say chuuuu

what can they ask you to put

on paper that isn’t already written

on your face

and does the paper make it

any more real

that without them

life would be not

impossible but certainly

more difficult

and why would someone need

a poem to say when i come

home if you’re not there

i search the air

for your scent

would i search any less

if i told the world

i don’t care at all

and love is so complete

that touch or not we blend

to each other the things

that matter aren’t all about

baaaanging (i can be baaaanged all

day long) but finding a spot

where i can be free

of all the physical

and emotional bullshit

and simply sit with a cup

of coffee and say to you

“i’m tired” don’t you know

those are my love words

and say to you “how was your

day” doesn’t that show

i care or say to you “we lost

a friend” and not want to share

that loss with strangers

don’t you already know

what i feel and if

you don’t maybe

i should check my feelings

Friday, April 19, 2024

I feel this poem, the pain. The baddest poetry written was in the 60s and 70s. By the late 70s some poets changed their style of poetry. They moved away from writing Black Revolutionary poetry. Was it a change of an era, ideologies, or the infiltration of a Party? They do not poet like this anymore.


Yeah...But...



i don’t want you to think

that i don’t know the pain

when you say sister diana don’t sing

like she used to

cause i heard dionne making way for just like me

and i remembered the expectation

and the little surprises her albums

used to bring

the little love notes that told someone

what i felt and the ultimate surprise

when she didn’t sing for me and my love

no more and the pain was deep

cause the pleasure had been so complete

and i can dig when you say sing

like you used to but maybe we can

remember

we don’t poet like that

no more either


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bad

Beautiful

A Black woman’s rendition of Genesis


Ego Tripping 

(there may be a reason why)




I was born in the congo

I walked to the fertile crescent and built

the sphinx

I designed a pyramid so tough that a star

that only glows every one hundred years falls

into the center giving divine perfect light

I am bad


I sat on the throne

drinking nectar with allah

I got hot and sent an ice age to europe

to cool my thirst

My oldest daughter is nefertiti

the tears from my birth pains

created the nile

I am a beautiful woman


I gazed on the forest and burned

our the sahara desert

with a packet of goat’s meat

and a change of clothes

I crossed it in two hours

I am a gazelle so swift

so swift you can’t catch me


For a birthday present when he was three

I gave my son hannibal an elephant

He gave me rome for mother’s day

My strength flows ever on


My son noah built new/ark and

I stood proudly at the helm

as we sailed on a soft summer day


I turned myself into myself and was

jesus

men intone my loving name

All praises All praises

I am the one who would save


I sowed diamonds in my back yard

My bowels deliver uranium

the filings from my fingernails are

semi-precious jewels

On a trip north

I caught a cold and blew

My nose giving oil to the arab world

I am so hip even my errors are correct

I sailed west to reach east and had to round off

the earth as I went

The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid

across three continents


I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal

I cannot be comprehended

except by my permission


I mean...I...can fly

like a bird in the sky...


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From Nikki Giovanni’s “Re: Creation.” Her last volume of Black Revolutionary Poetry.


Kidnap  Poem


ever been kidnapped

by a poet

if i were a poet

i’d kidnap you

put you in my phrases and meter

you to jones beach

or maybe coney island

or maybe just to my house

lyric you in lilacs

dash you in the rain

blend into the beach

to complement my see

play the lyre for you

ode you with my love song

anything to win you

wrap you in the red Black green

show you off to mama

yeah if i were a poet i’d kid

nap you


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

From Nikki Giovanni’s third volume of poems “Re: Creation,” published by Broadside Press in 1970.

Broadside Press was one of the biggest Black publishing companies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A Major publisher of the poetry of BAM (Black Arts Movement).


No Reservations 

(for Art Jones)



there are no reservations

for the revolution


no polite little clerk

to send notice

to your room

saying you are WANTED

on the battlefield


there are no banners

to wave you forward

no blaring trumpets

not even a blues note

moaning wailing lone blue note

to the yoruba drums saying

strike now shoot

strike now fire

strike now run


there will be no grand

parade

and a lot thrown around

your neck

people won’t look up and say

“why he used to live next to me

isn’t it nice

it’s his turn now”


there will be no recruitment

station

where you can give

the most convenient hours

“monday wednesday i play ball

friday night i play cards

any other time i’m free”

there will be no reserve

of energy

no slacking off till next time

“let’s see—i can come back

next week

better not wear myself out

this time”


there will be reservations

only

if we fail

Monday, April 15, 2024

From the volume of poetry entitled “Black Judgement.” Published the same year as “Black Talk Black Feeling,” and distributed by one of the largest Black Publication during that time. The renowned Broadside Press.


Black Judgements

(Of bullshit niggerish ways)


You

with you bullshit niggerish ways

want to destroy me


You want to preach

responsible revolution

along with progressive

procreation


Your desires will not be honored

this season


Shivering under the armour

of your

white protector

fear not

for thou art evil

The audacity of wanting

to be near the life

of what you seek to kill


Can you love

can you hate

is your game any damn good


Black Judgements are upon you

Black Judgements are upon you


Sunday, April 14, 2024

 HAPPY NATIONAL NATIVE PLANT MONTH!

Record Your Plants Progress

HOUSE PLANT LOG BOOKS 

HOUSE PLANT JOURNALS

Available @ Amazon

PLANT MAMA






Read 

Ruminate


My Poem



i am 25 years old

black female poet

wrote a poem asking

nigger can you kill

if they kill me

it won’t stop

the revolution


i have been robbed

it looked like they knew

that i was to be hit

they took my tv

my two rings

my piece of african print

and my two guns

if they take my life

it won’t stop
the revolution


my phone is tapped

my mail is opened

they’ve caused me to turn

on all my old friends

and all my new lovers

if i hate all black

people

and all negroes

it won’t stop

the revolution


i’m afraid to tell

my roommate where i’m going

and scared to tell

people if i’m coming


if i sit here

for the rest

of my life

it won’t stop

the revolution


if i never write

another poem

or short story

if i flunk out

of grad school

if my car is reclaimed

and my record player

won’t play

and if i never see

a peaceful day

or do a meaningful

black thing

it won’t stop

the revolution


the revolution

is in the streets

and if i stay on

the 5th floor

it will go on

if i never do

anything

it will go on

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Read 

Ruminate

For a Poet I Know



if you sang songs i could make a request

does the same hold true of poems


i’d like a poem about me

i’m black and exist and for real

i’d like a poem about your uncle

who got out of his read to let us screw

yeah and maybe a poem

about how i tried

to talk to you one night

and you suggested i read my own poems

what were you really thinking


i’d like to hear a poem about your wig

everybody’s got a wig

aretha’s is on her head

james brown’s is humphrey

mine is columbia

yours is the college you teach at

or the people who sent you there


i want a poem telling how tired you are

of fucking women

and relating to your hospital

experiences

or maybe a poem about who you’d like

to lay beside and dream with

and a real long poem on what you dream about


i really need a rare book poem

and what they mean to you

and a new book poem about what you read

and a joe goncalves poem about a hardworking brother

and a carolyn rodgers poem about a beautiful sister

and a father poem for hoyt fuller

and a jet poem because we’ve never been in it

and a scared poem about me taking your clothes off

then offering an excuse

and a man poem about how you reached your Blackness

or perhaps an alcoholic poem about your mother

and a climbing poem about how you reached the heights

and a you poem mostly

cause your other poems

don’t tell me who you are

and i

having felt and tasted you know

what you should know and relate to

that you should write and are capable of writing

a tall lean explosive poem

not just a quiet half white hating poem

about a black poem

called a black poet

that i know and would like to love

again


Friday, April 12, 2024

The delicate balance of life

From Nikki Giovanni’s second self-published volume of poetry entitled “Black Judgement.”


Balances


in life

one is always

balancing


like we juggle our mothers

against our fathers


or one teacher

against another

(only to balance our grade average)


3 grains salt

to one once of truth


our sweet black essence

or the funky honkies down the street


and lately i’ve been wondering

if you’re trying to tell me something


we used to talk all night

and do things alone together


and i’ve begun

(as a reaction to a feeling)

to balance

the pleasure of loneliness

against the pain

of loving you

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Read 

&

Ruminate


For Saundra


i wanted to write

a poem

that rhymes

but revolution doesn’t lend

itself to be-bopping


then my neighbor

who thinks i hate

asked—do you ever write

tree poems—i like trees

so i thought

i’ll write a beautiful green tree poem

peeked from my window

to check the image

noticed the school yard was covered

with asphalt

no green—no trees grow

in manhattan


then, well, i thought the sky

i’ll do a big blue sky poem

but all the clouds have winged

low since no-Dick was elected


so i thought again

and it occurred to me

maybe i shouldn’t write

at all

but clean my gun

and check my kerosene supply


perhaps these are not poetic

times

at all

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Gotta give the Beautiful Black Men their flowers.

Beautiful Black Men is from Nikki Giovanni’s second self-published volume of poetry entitled “Black Judgement.” Which was also printed as a poster accompanied by art in 1969.

You can also listen to the spoken word rendition of the poem. On the album “Legacies: The Poetry of Nikki Giovanni.”


Beautiful Black Men 

(With compliments and apologies 

to all not mentioned by name)



i wanta say just gotta say something

bout those beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight

black men

with they afros

walking down the street

is the same ol danger

but a brand new pleasure


sitting on stoops, in bars, going to offices

running numbers, watching for their whores

preaching in churches, driving their hogs

walking their dogs, winking at me

in their fire red, lime green, burnt orange

royal blue tight tight pants that hug

what I like to hug


jerry butler, wilson pickett, the impressions

temptations, mighty mighty sly

don’t have to do anything but walk

on stage

and i scream and stamp and shout

see new breed men in breed alls

dashiki suits with shirts that match

the lining that complements the ties

that smile at the sandals

where dirty toes peek at me

and i scream and stamp and shout

for more beautiful beautiful beautiful

black men with outasight afros


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A Revolutionary Playlist!

Turn it up!



Revolutionary Music



you’ve just got to dig sly

and the family stone

damn the words

you gonna be dancing to the music

james brown can go to

viet nam

or sing about whatever he

has to

since he already told

the honkie

“although you happy you better try

to get along

money won’t change you

but time is taking you on”

not to mention

doing a whole

song they can’t even snap

their fingers to

“good god! Ugh!”

talking about

“i got the feeling baby i got the feeling”

and “hey everybody let me tell you the news”

martha and the vandellas dancing in the streets

while shorty long is functioning at that junction

yeah we hip to that

aretha said they better

think

but she already said

“ain’t no way to love you”

(and you know she wasn’t talking to us)

and dig the o’jays asking “must i always be a stand in

for love”

i mean they say “i’m fool for being myself”

while the might mighty impressions have told the

world

for once and for all

“We’re a Winner”

ever our names—le roi has said—are together

impressions

temptations

supremes

delfonics

miracles

intruders (i mean intruders?)

not beatles and animals and white bad things like

young rascals and shit

we be digging all

our revolutionary music consciously or un

cause sam cooke said “a change is gonna come”

Monday, April 8, 2024

Nikki-Rosa is a nickname given to Nikki by her sister Gary.

This poem is from Nikki Giovanni’s second published volume of poetry entitled “Black Judgement.” 


Nikki-Rosa


childhood remembrances are always a drag

if you’re Black

you always remember things like living in Woodlawn

with no inside toilet

and if you become famous or something

they never talk about how happy you were to have

your mother

all to yourself and

how good the water felt when you got your bath

from one of those

big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in

and somehow when you talk about home

it never gets across how much you

understood their feelings

as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale

and even though you remember

your biographers never understand

your father’s pain as he sells his stock

and another dream goes

and though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that

concerns you

and though they fought a lot

it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference

but only that everybody is together and you

and your sister have happy birthdays and very good

Christmases

and I really hope no white person ever has cause

to write about me

because they never understand

Black love is Black wealth and they’ll

probably talk about my hard childhood

and never understand that

all the while I was quite happy