Black Poetry : Poets--I Need Your Help!

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by Amun-Ra, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The poem that follows has been selected for a prestigious national publication, but it needs tightening. It is long, very long, but I would be most appreciative if you could lend your talents to helping me tighten this up with some suggestions. I don't have thin skin. I am interested in excellence. Without belaboring the point--here it is.


    ST. THOMAS, ST. LOUIS BRIDGE

    Around every corner it waits-silent,
    never making its presence known.
    Its clothes are plain and unimpressive,
    a clever disguise for irresistible power.
    There are no advertisements.
    No trumpets herald. No "X" marks the spot.
    From a distance, it is clearly visible,
    but indistinct, as morning's unfocused eyes,
    but upon closer examination, clarity's illusion gives way
    to multi-faceted reality and-the truth.

    Truth is a thing of beauty unsurpassed,
    a dazzling find for assiduous searchers
    but when the truth reveals concealed imperfection,
    it is ugly and hideous; nonetheless, it is the truth,
    the same truth that is beautiful viewed from another perspective.

    Grounded hearts know it to be so,
    yet, society's vain artifice and egotism
    often blind its abundant light crystal view,
    without ambiguity and startling lucidity,
    but made minds surrender uneasily;
    they have decided not to see, and
    therefore, they are blind in ignorance.

    Knowing the truth and facing that truth,
    distinctly differ as plainly as water and ice,
    molecularly, they are much the same
    but ice makes for a tougher reality.
    Unhidden beneath formula or fantastic fable
    the truth only reveals itself to changeful minds
    unafraid of bright lights required by thought and insight.

    Search is the fuel, which powers tireless thinking
    that is the genesis of knowledge and wisdom's font.
    Without thinking, death awaits surely as loss of breath.
    Indolence and idleness excuse acceptance of blinded history
    without stirring the mind's sense of urgency and outrage.

    Search hones minds, toll gates to thoroughfares to thought
    when literal sense finally fails, oblivious that living requires
    veering off course to examine even rumors of knowledge or truth.

    Comfort assumes sameness when reality shows conceptions
    more numerous than grains of sand, various as infinity's gaseous galaxies.
    Literal thought conceal an unchallenged mind,
    accepting on faith, ignoring realty's fervent call.
    Intellectual dishonesty disregard reality's world;
    substituting fiction and fable, easing flaccid minds.
    Yet, degrees of difference twixt fact and fiction
    are infinitesimally small like the distant blink of a star,
    but nearness reveals the glowing reality and the vast chasm
    difference between reality and contrived propaganda.

    Mental in-breeding blooms from the bud of unwillingness;
    while dishonest assessment weeds distort differing opinions
    and beliefs, prevent accumulated of knowledge, ensure
    loss of understanding, while clarity and wisdom are forfeit.

    Knowledge and understanding are wisdom's children,
    unharmful nor mean, but avoided with studied prejudice.
    Knowledge's perspective tilted by source,
    adopt who listens, and what is understood truly.

    Understanding voids bigotry and intolerance
    making prejudice and hatred precarious pillars
    leaving sole choice as the lone arbiter
    of the truth, leaving wan ignorance to
    alter intent, fitting frivolous need and bias.
    Understanding's denial births the
    ignorant, intolerant and superficial;
    sprinkling fallow fields with terrified cowardice
    and shallow intellects, clay beyond the harrow of reason.

    Condemnation without understanding
    is the tyranny of totalitarian dictators and despots.
    Any quest for truth requires willing undertaking
    pushing toward internal perfection through keen knowledge.
    Searching and understanding open the world,
    tweaking the nostrils of the conventional status quo,
    fully knowing truth aborts erroneous knowledge,
    beckoning curiosity to bore deeper, refuting misguided
    and misleading gossip, thwarting sand arguments which hold no water
    and revealing agendas hidden under fictitious words.

    Diets of misinformation fed by society's blind,
    not out of human hostility, but from fear, misunderstanding
    and unwillingness to swim the waters of reality.
    Haughty self-deception thrives on inexperience and ignorance,
    providing blind men to describe the tiger's stripe through touch,
    comprising premeditated dishonesty and intellectual avoidance.
    Intellectual activity, misunderstood and even subversive, frightens.
    Having the temerity to ask "why" blasphemes those
    who holy rain has touched with all the answers.

    Once were all were intellectuals and "why"
    was a favorite word in young vocabularies.
    Early instinct allowed answers not apparent
    to be sought without reprisal, constraint or fear.
    That we are not meant to know everything-is hearsay;
    more of a medieval excuse than honest assessment.

    I search because I seek answers,
    though my search is often disheartening and dull.
    Still, it unceasingly enlightens and instructs, saying,
    "avoid answers sleeping on selected judgment.
    Trek toward the truth, greeting reality boldly,
    as the sun seeks to light the dark.

    From the mirror, the view is unpleasant; it reveals truth and me,
    stripping back protective and exposing my untruthful skin.
    It has always been there, hidden by me from myself.
    Now, I am asea on a raft of self-pity made of my own dark folly.
    All are fools at one time and so it is with me.
    Before the world, I am naked,
    there is no interest in the folly of fools.
    Self-revelation shows I own this terrible truth,
    And I wince as it cuts like a knife, fresh alcohol to an open wound.
    I must accept its familiar embrace, feel its honesty and candor.
    In the full daylight, I will not mount my eyes with tinted lenses
    as the truth is real, no feeble attempts to block it will ever hold.
    I will realign to the truth, set my sights to the horizon,
    bend my knees to the winds and follow the blazing beam
    of truth, letting it shine into the dark corners of my soul.

    With bricks and mortar build a fortress strong and solid,
    open to heavenly rains and sunshine,
    a safe haven for truth and understanding.
    From a tiny seed it grows to surpass even the mighty Redwood
    sending roots so deep, that when withered, broken or bent-it survives the storm.
    Unlike that tree, I am tired and broken. I have tarried in the storm too long.
    Yet, I hold the truth tightly to myself, winning honesty's strong resolve.

    In my slight victory, the sting of defeat still singes my tongue,
    and parches my silent throat. A hollow victory for I saved only myself.
    My soul still writhes in the netherworld caught in dark flames of ego and artifice.
    Compromise heals the laceration while pragmatic reality
    removes my feet from pudding to mount them firmly in clay
    recognizing the unlearned among the educated.

    Where are the teachers whose only axe was the truth?
    Replaced by preachers and sermons from guilded booths,
    speaking of things unknown, but wildly guessed and speculated.
    When did this happen? Why did it come about?
    Where to start, where to begin, from the chastisers of doubt
    and the makers of myth, the original creators of sin.
    Just wish to make it so, ignore all thought and reason,
    forget truth and fact for strange hunting is never out of season.
    Matched against clear-eyed vision,
    there is no equivocation or doubt,
    no discounting of reality
    even under mountains of myth,
    the truth will always out.

    Barely an eighth of an inch sits between me and martyrdom.
    Yet, I speed along life's journey in dark lenses,
    ignoring the signs signaling disaster,
    hoping to arrive at the truth
    before god drives up in his golden Rolls Royce,
    dripping with monied promises,
    erasing reality and leaving the popes of power
    to lead lemmings to the deep recesses of fiction.

    Daring driving and daredevil stunts bring me closer,
    but I see the followers nod,
    unaware as the shackles of ignorance
    slip about their minds,
    my mind accelerates, V-8 synapses and receptors rapid-fire,
    stoking fires of indignation and disbelief,
    but arriving too late.

    My vehicle is winded and worn,
    nervous tension generates faints impulses
    but not enough. Divided and conquered they are happy
    as I drive past, I see the glee in their eyes,
    oblivious of embracing the divide,
    contented that they chose ignorance
    as shade from reality's long shadow.

    Joyous that they are prejudiced with pride.
    Smiling, that they have reason for hatred and avoidance of harmony,
    again the deceptive triad anoints all with avarice and blindness,
    passing along holy writ wrung from the pockets
    of faithful consumers of mendacious fables.

    Though we walk in the valley of shadows,
    only that which surrounds us is dim.
    Our inner luminosity shines forth
    illuminating all with its honest radiance.
    No dark touches an illuminated mind.
    It fears neither difference nor change
    and leaves preposterous superstition far behind.

    The same knowledge brought the gods from the heavens
    and deposited them ungently on reality's ground, gasping
    as men and women of whom they were born,
    erasing covered clouds and golden gates
    where their kingdoms could not be found.
    Enlightenment and wisdom grow from reality's rational thought
    while illiterate superstition is cast among fish baited by the narcotics
    of future promise and tradition unconcerned for the light of the truth,
    nor the revealed precision of common sense mathematics.

    Walk no longer in the darkness of ignorance.
    Thinking individuals; fully sentient and wide awake
    comprehend fairy tales and fables are fiction,
    simply constructs of man's vivid inventive imagination,
    untrue despite copious words otherwise.
    Know that nature follows a regular cadence, like string to a bow,
    it bends not to mystic ideology or wishful thinking, nor hedges
    its bets in Pascal's Wager for safety and security, because if we
    do, then we are no better than the ancients we ridicule.

    Lift the darkness from our eyes and let us see clearly
    that the benign weight of truth tips the measure off center,
    while ignorance perjures itself with volumes of corroboration
    constructing houses of kindling waiting for the spark of knowledge.
    Truth sprouts inquiry and doubt, unbalancing the scales of reason,
    as untarried thought seeks its own level. Glacier like, it slides carving reality
    from mountains of dogma and rhetoric, while carbon-dated granite catechisms
    fall under the shattering sledge of logic and unforgiving reality.

    Stripped bare, naked reality does not hide in the garden
    for it knows it is naked and is unashamed, asking boldly,
    "who dares to call my name from darkness of the valley?"
    Knowledge then realizes the truth has no cost. It is free.
    Only the search asks a price.
    Ra thanks each and all for your continued support and creativity.

    :heart:
     
  2. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Classic Amun Ra. Good luck with this piece my brother. It is the work of a great writer who works at the art.

    "...barely an eighth of an inch sits between me and martyrdom."

    Say that Ra! Awesome.

    BE
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    hey Ra.......

    I'll give a long look at it tonight and offer my support
    give u my thoughts brutha .....i'll do my best ...Kay!:D
     
  4. msluciousb

    msluciousb Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    edit,edit,edit!

    EXTRAORDINARY PIECE, EXTREMELY WORDY!
    NOW THAT IS COMING FROM A JOURNALISTS PERSPECTIVE
    WORD COUNT, YOU WILL FIND THAT PERHAPS EVERY THIRD
    PARAGRAPH IS STILL CULPABLE IF SHORTENED OR OMMITTED.
    YOU SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY, BUT THE IDEA IS IN AS LITTLE
    TIME AS THE READERS ATTENTION SPAN CAN BEAR.
    I WILL GO THROUGH AND REDLINE CERTAIN SUGGESTIONS, BUT
    THAT IS WHERE I WOULD START IF I WERE YOU! BUT THEN , I'M
    NOT! PRAY AND THEN START TO PEEL AWAY THE DECORATIONS
    AND GET TO THE HEART OF WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO CONVEY TO YOUR READERS!:D :D PEACE AND PROSPERITY!!!!!!!
     
  5. alyce

    alyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I immersed my mental in the depths of this essay, Ra...and I've yet to re-surface....just taking pause to repsectfully submit that I am in awe of your skills, but even more, the inner workings of your mind as you bring us along in your ever-growing understanding of truth.

    Master work, here, my brotha!

    thank you

    a
     
  6. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Amun-Ra ... thank you for the opportunity to wallow in you. This read makes me hungry-er for that next book, felt like I was reading excerpts from it. :)

    As I read, I found what might be typos ...

    is this line correct, with "were" twice?

    also ... i never saw the closing quotation mark for this line ...

    Much Much Success
     
  7. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Destee--Muchas Gracias

    I thank you most whole heartedly--I have a new book of poetry coming soon--probably withing the next month it goes to the publisher--thank you again and I'll keep you up to date--Ra

    :heart:
     
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