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Unread 02-15-2017, 11:12 AM
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RCL RCL is offline
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The second is a killer!
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Unread 02-15-2017, 11:35 AM
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Default Glory be!

I just remembered this one; it was in New Verse News several years ago, in Obama's presidency. Slightly changed, it still speaks to the current trend of cops killing Blacks and Trump being Trump:

Pied Authority

After G M Hopkins’ Pied Beauty

Glory be, by God he is a dappled being—
His house now couple-coloured as a brindled cow;
For faces all a-stipple standing by him;
For words he says for burnt-brown Black men dying;
Statescapes gutted, pieced—white, black, & now
A verbal fight in which the Trumpers mock him.

All things countered, North & South estranged;
War’s un-civil embers; inscaped Jim Crow.
With words puzzled, clear, sweet, sour, bright, dim
My president insists this will be changed:
Praise him.

Last edited by RCL; 02-15-2017 at 12:37 PM.
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Unread 02-15-2017, 08:23 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,844

Good one, Ralph. GM is happy, somewhere.

I searched around and found a few things that might fit your thread. The following is a song lyric. The song is uploaded to Soundcloud. The lyric is about racism and prejudice, and contains the dreaded N word. I hope that it is acceptable in context.

I grew up around racism. It was thick in my own family, and it caused me no end of conflict and rage. I remember crying in my room one day after my father had said something horrible about a black cadet from West Point, where my father worked, who had drowned.

My father is much older and doesn't use that word anymore, and we had a nice talk about Frederick Douglass the other day. He's almost a changed man, which gives me some hope for others.

Anyway, the song:


Smith and Jones

Mrs Smith and Mrs Jones
compare insurance policies.
They say beware the niggers, them are coming,
and the jews.

Mrs Smith and Mrs Jones
button shirts and hide their bones,
pretend to be in love with God and Christ
(but not the jews).

Mrs Smith and Mrs Jones
talk above white cups of tea
in kitchens cleanly kept and neatly swept
by hired brooms.

Mrs Smith and Mrs Jones
smile and smirk their dental work.
They dip in pools to cool and when they cry
they lie.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 02-18-2017 at 09:42 PM. Reason: added link
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Unread 02-16-2017, 12:14 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Default freckled human nature

Your family situation is similar to mine.

The song you posted reminded me of two others, not explicitly about racism but close.

Cumming's "The Cambridge Ladies" and this:


What Soft—Cherubic Creatures—
These Gentlewomen are—
One would as soon assault a Plush—
Or violate a Star—

Such Dimity Convictions—
A Horror so refined
Of freckled Human Nature—
Of Deity—ashamed—

It's such a common—Glory—
A Fisherman's—Degree—
Redemption—Brittle Lady—
Be so—ashamed of Thee—

Emily Dickinson
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Unread 02-16-2017, 01:59 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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I'll look for the Cummings. I've read all of his poems but my memory is shot.

Thanks for the Emily. She was so far ahead of her time. Compare her poems with her contemporaries', and her achievement really comes into focus.

Yes, being raised in a racist family (except for my sister), was painful, and when I was young I actually believed I was the problem. It took me a long time to get over the nonsense I grew up with.

My parents are different people now, as is my brother. Some people can change.
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Unread 02-18-2017, 12:45 AM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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If it's ok to post poems other than our own...

They Hanged Him, I said Dismissively

They hanged him, I said dismissively
having no other way to say he died
or that he was a dear friend
or that work wove us most intimately
in common tasks, ambitions, desires.
Now that he is dead: and I dare not think
of the anguish that drove him to where he was
or the pain at their hands he must have faced
or how much he was racked by my distress:
now, it is still easiest to say, they hanged him,

—Dennis Brutus


Born in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia), to South African parents, Brutus was of indigenous Khoi, Dutch, French, English, German and Malaysian ancestry. His parents moved back home to Port Elizabeth when he was aged four, and young Brutus was classified under South Africa’s apartheid racial code as "coloured". - Wikipedia.

^ Good formal poetry by the great American poet, Whitman.

No, not that one. A different one.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 02-18-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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Unread 02-20-2017, 03:21 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Default Slavery in Concord?

On Black Walden, an NEH supported project: From a review by Craig Lambert:

Perhaps it required an outlier like Henry David Thoreau to keep alive the memory of Concord’s enslaved residents. In a passage from Walden, Thoreau sets down some fragmentary knowledge about three local slaves—Cato Ingraham, Brister Freeman, and Zilpah White. Lemire makes these three paragraphs her epigraph. “The whole book is a gloss to explain this passage in Walden,” she says. “I started by pulling on the threads Thoreau gave me.” His famous cabin in the woods, in fact, was built in a black part of town—once freed, many local slaves had been forced onto Concord’s worst farmland, the wooded area surrounding Walden Pond. “Thoreau knew he was moving into the part of town where all the social outcasts lived,” Lemire explains. “And when he heard stories of former slaves, he wrote them down.”

One such former slave, Brister Freeman, is the hero of Black Walden. He was named with a diminutive form of Bristol, after the English slave-trading port, whose ships plied routes to both Africa and the West Indies. Black Walden’s other main protagonist is Colonel John Cuming, a wealthy landholder and doctor in Concord who was Brister Freeman’s master for twenty-five years, having received the nine-year-old slave boy as a wedding present from his father-in-law. Cuming was such an eminent Concord citizen that long after his death, the town declared holidays in his honor.

Last edited by RCL; 02-20-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Unread 02-20-2017, 03:29 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Thanks for that, Ralph.

I'd like to post the poem I originally started with, by Countee Cullen.

So much in so few lines, and so much to say about it, but probably best to let the poem speak for itself:



Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, 'Nigger.'

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.

—Countee Cullen
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Unread 02-20-2017, 11:45 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Sorry, Julie, I tried and tried to hold off until someone else posted after me.


To everyone & anyone who stumbles by,

please click this link and read every line of the poem it links to.

For those who don't or won't click the link, one stanza:

A charnel stench, effluvium of living death
spreads outward from the hold,
where the living and the dead, the horribly dying,
lie interlocked, lie foul with blood and excrement.

- describing immediate environment where slaves were held (trapped, imprisoned) during long sea voyage.


Also, please watch the film inspired by the events described in this masterful poem.

God's alive inside a movie/watch the Silver Screen.
- Keith Reid, lyricist for Procol Harum, from the song "Whaling Stories - ".

Egads: edited in. I linked to the WRONG soundfile for Smith & Jones. The Soundcloud version is the one without vocals. The vid I uploaded to Youtube contains the track where I included the vocal part (whispered so as not to wake up my son, who was sleeping in the next room):

I'll be here all week. There's T-shirts available, and please buy my CD! Enlarge your penis! The chix will love you!

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 02-21-2017 at 02:29 AM.
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Unread 02-21-2017, 09:02 AM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Posts: 4,646

Minor Miracle

Which reminds me of another knock-on-wood
memory. I was cycling with a male friend,
through a small midwestern town. We came to a 4-way
stop and stopped, chatting. As we started again,
a rusty old pick-up truck, ignoring the stop sign,
hurricaned past scant inches from our front wheels.
My partner called, “Hey, that was a 4-way stop!”
The truck driver, stringy blond hair a long fringe
under his brand-name beer cap, looked back and yelled,
“You fucking niggers!”
And sped off.
My friend and I looked at each other and shook our heads.
We remounted our bikes and headed out of town.
We were pedaling through a clear blue afternoon
between two fields of almost-ripened wheat
bordered by cornflowers and Queen Anne’s lace
when we heard an unmuffled motor, a honk-honking.
We stopped, closed ranks, made fists.
It was the same truck. It pulled over.
A tall, very much in shape young white guy slid out:
greasy jeans, homemade finger tattoos, probably
a Marine Corps boot-camp footlockerful
of martial arts techniques.

“What did you say back there!” he shouted.
My friend said, “I said it was a 4-way stop.
You went through it.”
“And what did I say?” the white guy asked.
“You said: ‘You fucking niggers.’”
The afternoon froze.

“Well,” said the white guy,
shoving his hands into his pockets
and pushing dirt around with the pointed toe of his boot,
“I just want to say I’m sorry.”
He climbed back into his truck
and drove away.
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