Dream Seeds What do you see when you look ahead of you? Do you see all the problems or possibilities? Do you see famine ot the harvest to come do you see bread or the millions that from your seeds who will be fed. DO you see a fallen forest destroyed by hate and those depraved or the potential of another forest bursting out of your heard? What do you see within yourself? DO you see a dead end or the solution to a problem? Are you afraid that you will not make it? Or are you building a bridge on the strength of your dream seeds?
It Will Be Worth It That pool of sweat and grime that you are swimming in, it won't drown you, it will give you life. That rush of blood, marrow and spleen that attacks you will not silence you they are fuel to propel you. You think you are defeated and you wish you had retreated back into the hole to lick your wounds and console yourself. But if you just stay awhile, face this trial head first to quench the thrist of those dreams waiting to be seen. Just wait it will be worth it after all when you are redeemed.
I was speaking to my students recently about Caribbean poets and Claude McKay came up. Unsurprisingly, they were only vaguely familiar with his name. In some instances I have seen him listed as an American poet, an error which sought to erase his humble Jamaican origins. Born September 15, 1889, in Sunny Ville Clarendon, he eventually made his way across America and Europe, gathering worlds of experiences to himself. He was best known for his invaluable contribution to the Harlem Renaissance in New York and was considered a literary voice for social justice. More than any of his masterfully crafted poems, the one that resonates with me today, is the poem, “If We Must Die”.
A poem that never fails to shake me out of a defeated mindset.
“Though far outnumbered let us show us brave”Tweet
“Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting backTweet
Though this Shakespearean sonnet was written as a rebellion against oppression and its institutions, it is also for me, a call to continue going, to continuing fighting no matter what, even if the victory seems impossible. It bolsters my courage against disappointments, fear and the unseen enemies that attack when you least expect or want them. But most of all, it reminds me that there is no room to surrender or to doubt my strength which comes from the Almighty…
If we must die, let it not be like hogsIF WE MUST DIE – CLAUDE MCKAY
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Wait a minute.
Don't go any further.
What are you doing?
What do you intend to do here?
Do you think you are here to struggle?
I watched slip
so many time on that ladder.
Going nowhere but the bottom.
Why do you care
Do you know while you watch them watch you,
you go through
the empty space set there to trap you.
You flash here and there
like a fish out of water.
Like a elephant ballerina.
How odd that this is your normal.
How sad that this is what you have come to.
once so proud and strong.
A crude disfigured rendering
used to entertain and keep you in your place!
Who cares if you passed the test!
It was never written with you in mind.
Before you go down this road,
do you really care to do so.
Do you really care to put yourself through further torment?
It will never do
to start taking in
everything shoved down your throat.
As I look at you swimming in your sweat and the filth of others I have one question:
will it be worth it?