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Happiness is a cruel joke.

Depression is more genuine.

A smile can be beguiling,

But it can’t hide these tears of mine.

I sang my pain for all to hear.

I gave them my heart to pillage.

They peeled away my skin

And ate my cancer

And made me the fool of the village.

I never smiled to beguile

I never hid these tears of mine.

Happiness always shunned me.

Depression was more genuine.

Jesus came to me in a dream

He offered me Heaven. 

I couldn’t wait that long.

I found immortality in music

And became a messiah of song.

I sang my song for all to hear.

I gave them my soul to pillage.

They peeled away my skin

And ate my cancer

And made me the fool of the village.

My smile became beguiling.

My tears fell in vain.

Happiness began to mock me.

Depression was my gain.

My blues became too authentic;

The discord too much to bear.

No song could dispel my misery.

My soul began to tear.

When my music forsook me, 

Death was my only fan.

He promised me a sweeter song

And I was born again.

He took me to higher plane

where immortals and music dare not tread.

Where I could sing about teenage angst

And contemplate my dread.

Happiness was a cruel joke.

Depression was more genuine.

It gave me the courage to rest,

And repair this empty soul of mine.

*          *          *           *           *

Rico Devante is a huge Nirvana fan.

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I see your face in the rising sun,

When the early morning skies are red.

From this time, until the day is done,

Thoughts of you dance inside my head.

I dream of you throughout the night

As the downy pillows rub my cheeks.

Each vision of you brings me delight.

Your lovely face makes my spirit weak.

I hear your voice even when you aren’t near.

No song can bring a more peaceful sound.

Your euphonious music pleases my ears.

In you, a treasure I have found.

You, my dear, are a gem precious and rare;

Beautiful and lovely beyond compare.

*          *          *           *          *

Jessie Davis is a welder who writes poetry as a hobby.

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black women are soft

                                             like the petals of a rose

                                                                                              yet hard as diamonds

*          *          *          *          *

Donna Lewis is an elementary school art teacher in Detroit.

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for momma's eyes when they made me behave

in a way words never could.  

­for momma's hands that could rub the hurt

from my heart,

for momma's heart, loving me

unconditionally, covering

me in a warm glow that said everything

would be all right even if she did have

to catch the bus in the rain or

couldn't afford to buy me a

car when i turned sixteen.

for momma's dignity

raising me above filthy streets.

teaching me about manhood

with no man around, and respect

for myself

                and life (respect

                for her is implied).­ prison wardens

                don't make gumbo as good as momma's

                and it's always too

                cold at the morgue.­

                momma taught

                me that.

and about God.

her faith inspired me to

seek salvation

but i can't imagine heaven being

much better than falling asleep

with momma stroking my hair.

 

for momma the queen of my heart

apple of my eye, soul to soul we are one.

if i could only be half the man

you made of me.

if i could only love like you love

with all my heart/body/soul.

if i could only touch others

the way you touched me

and appreciate life the way you do

then i could finally make you proud

that i am your son.

 

*          *          *         *         * 

F.J. edits Soul Portrait Magazine

 

 

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Father and then husband to desertion

Adored siblings to untimely demise

Vivacious Mother lost to perversion

Of graceful age retreat and time’s reprise

A son to undetermined primacy

A shadow daughter‘s need-ness they surmise

Cannot demolish that sweet vibrancy

She spreads her wings to rise and rise and rise

*         *          *          *          *

DL Minor is a poetry and fiction writer

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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Isn’t it amazing?
Not all colored boys can sing
You know why?

Colored  boys ain’t colored
They just boys
Yeah, they momma’s black

And  yes, they dark like that
But that don’t mean all colored boys can  sing
Cause them boys ain’t colored

They upward leaning
Listen,  singing ain’t everything
Uh, well, in church it does mean something

And  yeah, lots of choir boys can really sing
But that ain’t got nothing  to do with them
being called colored and things

Even the three  Hebrew boys didn’t have to sing
Neither were they called colored and  things
Even though they faced a very wicked king

Never once  did Nebakenezzer ever demand
That them boys sing
Old men use to  call my granddaddy colored boy

To him it was more of the same old  white noise
They’d holler at him and his friends
“Go on now  colored boys, ya’ll sing”

He wanted to say “Go on now, tell yo’  momma tuh sing”
But no sooner said would a rope be swinging
Isn’t  it amazing?

Not all colored boys can sing
You know why?
Colored  boys ain’t colored
They just boys upward leaning

Copyright  2009 Emmett Wheatfall
All rights reserved
www.emmettwheatfall.com
 Audio Recording CD“I Speak”, Emmett Wheatfall,  Peterson Entertainment, LLC, April 2010

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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Scalding sunlight on a winter Wednesday

A crown of thorn and leaves; my rage on this day

A whirl of ice and snow soak through my skin

My mouth a spoon half-filled; my thoughts of kin

A tree’s silent reproach; my mind on kin

The stones and air cathedrals to my sin

His face my face our faces strain and reach

He came to take me home but not to teach

He sought me out to school but not to teach

My empty mouth is set against his preach

The snow and sky engraved upon my skin

The light is colder here; I think of kin.

*          *          *          *           *

DL Minor writes poetry and fiction.

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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making love to a black woman

is like…

slow dancing

sweating

as she melts on your chest

and drips down your thighs

whipped cream & cherries

sliding down your leg

too fast to lick

her afro/disiac

lips, teeth, tongues

touching, tasting, teasing

in love, in motion

stroking a kitten

purring

stroking

an angel at dawn

skinny dipping

in a pool of icecubes

listening to Duke on the piano

bumping, grinding, singing

imagination music

in the dark

listening to Coltrane

playing his horn on his knees

horn on his knees

horn/knees

horn/y

feeling her body

dripping down your cheek

around your neck

into your soul

feeling her body

merging into your soul

plugging into her

rhythm

planting a rose in heaven

oooooooooooooooh

making love to a black woman

is like…

being born again

*          *          *          *          *

Gino Ramone is a musician and writer.

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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thank you

for the gift of shackles

heavy metallic removal of freedom

the addition of your iron ornaments

to my wrists and ankles

was the subtraction from my native land

my home

and the introduction to my new existence

thank you

for the Bible

i was living a life of blasphemy

until you told me the story of Jesus

and how He died for you and prayed for me

showed me the righteous path

preached “your skin is sin.”

i listened to you

and trusted in Him

and repented

and repented

thank you

for my purpose

i awakened before morning star’s appearances

to work in your wicked fields

repeatedly beaten

never esteemed

frequently mistreated

at dusk you allowed me to rest

and under moonlight

i dreamed

about a life that was no longer mine

thank you

for English

i was wise in my native tongue

and became ignorant in yours

you taught me how to be common

with words

i learned to be subservient

and spoke

with bro-ken language

one night, while you were sleeping

i escaped

your gift of “purpose” prepared me

my body was strong

my mind was ready

i did not tire

i did not stop

i ran

and ran

and ran

to freedom’s destination

this place was my gift

to me

and to myself I said,

“thank you.”

*          *          *          *          *

Speaks Beliefs is a poet, a writer and a father.

© Speaks Beliefs, 2010. All rights reserved.

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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Suddenly, everything stops.

An all-consuming silence

Envelops the living room.

The sound of his hand

Slicing through the stagnant air

Is all that remains.

She winces, cowering underneath

The black lacquer coffee table.

Her spirit, cracked like ice; her body,

A crumpled heap of sullen flesh.

His thick, leathery fingers

Slide across his weathered face

Leaving a trail of heartbreaks,

Disappointments, fears.

He stands a broken man.

Her shriveled body

Crawls across the carpet,

Through the broken glass.

In the dark, she brushes

Past his dingy pantleg.

He stares into the shadows.

Gin ­and sweat permeate the air.

He reaches out and touches her hand.

The crackle of bones

Jars the clock into motion.

*          *          *          *          *

Leslie Duran is writer who has published work in the Katmandu Journal, Poetry and Prose, and Gospel Weekly.

This poem is a part of Soul Portrait Magazine’s “30 Days of Poetry” to celebrate National Poetry Month. If you’d like to participate, please submit a poem.

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