Black Poetry : A Type of Family: No Photos Here

RonPrice

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Dec 15, 2005
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Very rightly the poet lets his thoughts wander in an intoxicating labyrinth of speculation, but his words are no dainty adornment of life, but rather an armed guardian of the land.
-In Poetry Criticism, Vol.17, Gale Pub., NY, 1997, pp.48-54.


My home is not here in the garden,
underneath this roof or in these rooms,
out on this shire’s roads, by the cemetary,
near my neighbours, with memories of
childhood running through my ears, by
the old creek where the trees still grow
like soft music on my heart-strings. This
romance of the past is not home, none of it.

I left my home thirty-six years ago
and a new home has grown up
around my eyes with His Word
in these books, old ones and new,
like friends, thick on the shelf,
got into my head, wondrous words,
went deep into my bones.

I felt them when it was 60 below zero
on Baffin Island with that golden haired
beauty I married to keep me warm--and she did.
I felt them when the temperature on Katherine
streets reached 50 celsius and it seemed like
my spirit was thinning fast amidst massive indifference
and the discouragingly meagre results year after year.
This is my home, these words in my veins.
I’ve tasted them so long they’re like family.
I must savor them slowly or they slip by
this deft practitioner, these propocols of piety,
this reheased petitioner, joyless and empty-handed.
This home, carries me to too soon from innocence
and exaltation into a borrowed and embellished
choreography of reverence. It carries me whistling
through life’s places as I take up familiar burdens
and into despair, into God, sin and danger
in this dark heart of an age of transition.

Ron Price
28 December 1997:band:
 
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