Poetry from the World of Brown Skin...

 

 

NEWEST, LATEST...

 

A tribute to the late and truly great artist, Prince Rogers Nelson...RIP!

 

Family inspiration from my 3rd book, Brown Skin and the Brand New Day: A Poet's Renaissance (Xulon, 2016)...hope you like the poem and the picture of my cousin Ernestine and her super-cute grandbaby!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And from late 2019...an important and impassioned response to the times we're living in, this piece is called "They Shoot Black Boys, Don't They: A Tragedy in Five Acts" I've narrated the poem to a dynamic selection of video images to help bring the message to life... Peace, BSP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpted Works from the First two Brown Skin Books:

 

Ridin’ Up Front (2014)

 

Can’t do it.

Don’t even ask me, Black…

It’s a bus.

But I ain’t ridin’ in back.

Youngbloods—they ain’t got no idea,

of how long

we had to ride in the rear.

In the lazy South,

American apartheid.

The law of the land

was stratified…

Seats up front

unoccupied,

yet a pregnant Brown girl

can’t sit and ride.

Elders, toddlers,

just didn’t matter.

And don’t let ‘em hear

no race talk or chatter.

Red neck drivers

would put us out.

But y’all don’t know

what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

 

Then along came

courageous Rosa Parks—

tired and weary,

but full of sparks.

Took a seat

in the first few rows,

seeking not chaos,

but simple repose.

Think them whites

heard what she was sayin’?

Hell no…and them crackers

for sure wasn’t playin’…

Jailed up Miss Rosa

without dignity,

commending her acts

to our history.

 

But you

don’t have no gratitude—

no pride in self,

just attitude.

You make your way

to the back of the bus.

You drink and smoke

and holler and cuss.

You say, it’s your prerogative.

You say, it’s just the way you live.

You just don’t get it.

You just don’t care.

So cavalier…so unaware.

 

But I can’t do it.

Don’t even ask me, Black…

It’s a bus.

But I ain’t ridin’ in the back.

Free seats up front—

that’s’ for me.

I’m diggin’

Miss Rosa’s

legacy.

 

 

Pretty Brown Girl (2014)

 

Gonna fall in love again today…

not something I thought I needed to do.

She’s my boo already and my bestie too.

But here’s the thing…

She’s a pretty brown girl,

with big brown eyes

and a sexy nose.

Man she’s chocolate candy,

from her head to her toes.

She’s my brown spice of life.

She’s my brown beans and rice.

She’s my brown, pretty wife.

So I’m ‘bout to do it again today…

Seems like there’s just no other way…

What can a brother really say?

Except—

she’s a pretty brown girl.

Got it from her mama,

fine like Michelle Obama.

Fine without the drama,

you sometimes get with beauty,

that’s only skin deep.

But I don’t have that issue.

She’s pretty to the bone,

with that chocolate undertone…

Puts a brother in the zone—

just can’t leave the girl alone.

Just can’t help myself,

from falling in love again,

like I seem to do each day.

Not something I anticipate,

though still I must appreciate…

Okay, that’s it, I’m runnin’ late.

You see, I got this weekly date—

with my bestie and my boo.

By now you know her too.

She’s right over there…

She’s the pretty brown girl.

 

 

The Winds of Change (2010)

 

It’s spoken on the winds…

Rushing, with a sudden roar,

above the clouds it seemed to soar—

shouting…

People get ready.

There’s a train a-comin!

 

Sometimes silent to the ear,

Still, good Christians all could hear.

Don’t need no ticket.

You just get on board.

 

Yet amid the din of crashin’ ocean—

I was just sittin’,

Won’drin’ why the commotion?

 

Why all the tiny babies dressed in white—

And the preachers signifyin’ with all their might?

The men are up marchin’…

The women are cryin’…

something that sound like

an old hymn of Zion.

 

It looks like a bit of that “old time religion.”

But that was so long ago—

So far away…

No one remembers that today.

No gospel choirs.

No pulpit fires.

 

That has surely been replaced—

Uprooted, transplanted, technology-based…

by PC’s storing vast information

on terabyte highways traversing the nation…

by steroid shots…parking lots…micro-bots…movie plots—

enterprise zones…homeowner loans…cellular phones—

even dinosaur clones.

 

It appears that the Heavenly host

is just a “stand-in”—

a guest emcee for Letterman or Leno…

 

Can you imagine…the one true living God—

Reduced to a bit part in a cast of thousands.

The Power and the Glory—

now measured in Nielsen points…

megahurtz…millirems…angstrom units.

 

False belief has become a thief—

stealing our hopes and dreams…

For if it can’t be seen on a fifty-inch screen,

who will even bother

to suppose it could be so?

 

Suspicion is the heir apparent to compassion—

Scandal, the watchword of the tabloid temples…

Childhood heroes die.

 

No one bothers with a decent burial—

Heartfelt wishes, piled high against the shotgun shack

sand tent cities.

 

But a change is comin’…

It’s spoken on the winds.

And even if my eyes can’t see—

there still might be a place for me.

Lord I want to be among that number.

 

I’ve got to get out of this sinner’s seat,

go down to the Jordan

and wash my feet.

The sand is shiftin’.

I can’t be driftin’.

Yes, the blood of the Lamb is so upliftin’.

Lord I’ve got to be among that number.

 

So maybe soon,

I’ll be shoutin’,

Loud and long and never doubtin’—

People get ready, 

there’s a train a-comin’…

 

No slogans, rap or platitudes—

Just a glorious song of Beatitudes:

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst

after righteousness…

Blessed are the pure in heart.”

 

Don’t need no ticket.You just get on board. 

© 2014 by Terry E. Carter. 

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