Forever Brown


I look in at the beauty of many poems
That wail human emotions
Knowing I can climb the sacred mount.
It is not the distance between heartbreak
And despair that cries louder, only what lies between discrimination
And struggle. A brown man with sooty eyes
And a jaded heart, lurks in every good man’s conscience,
The hideout of his righteous soul.
Browning little tapestries of sugar into caramel.

And like the trumpet of Dizzie Gillespie
I shout louder than the whale calf
Slaughtered by the trawlers. Remembering
How long it took Dizzy to climb
The holy mount. Through the shadow of Miles
He labored, through trail-less landscapes and blind thickets,
Until he was on top of the mountain.
And through the guillotine of subjectivity
The electrifying movements will go on
To my own humble heights.

It takes a black man or a shade of brown,
To take heartache – Like Dizzy – and make it
Into soul sounds.

Perhaps even a dish of soul food.

Some Hoppin’ John, If I may.