So I was supposed to do a literary contest because April is National Poetry Month but I got swept up in doing Black Witch events – which, by the way, did you know Ka-Ra-O-Ke! Is next month on May 5th? – so here’s what we’re gonna do. I’mma hand pick poetry that have always stuck with me throughout the years.

Let’s start!

A poem that really caught my attention and even got me into doing spoken word poetry was Saul Williams “Om Nia Merican”

om nia merican born of beats and blood
the concert of the sun unplugged, i’m the
om nia merican born of beats and blood
the concert of the sun unplugged

o say can you – 20,000 negro leagues beneath
the sea foamed clouds laced with ink that stains
when rains. makes books of trees at once
upon a dawn’s early light, pawn bishop knight
children of night, may queens take kinds
hereafter, thereafter the trickling sands
demand that our decisions be timely i’m the

om nia merican born of beats and blood
the concert of the sun unplugged, i’m the
om nia merican born of beats and blood
the concert of the sun unplugged, i’m the

offspring of spring reborn, pledged, and
sworn – the risen ash of a flag burned and
torn, i’m the blood of the womb, the risen
tide of the moon, the dark side that the
light cannot hide, i’m the pages of history
read between the lines, the shining truth
behind your symbols and signs, i’m the son
of a minister, love a teacher, my mother
taught me well so i rebel, i’m the bell retolled
yet a story untold, the hidden force behind
a rock that was rolled. i’m the om nia
merican born of beats and blood, the concert
of the sun, unplugged, i’m the om nia
merican born of beats and blood the concert
of the sun unplugged

lift every voice and sing
til earth and heaven ring

There is an audio version but you’re gonna have to look for it but totally worth it.

That’s one of many poems! Another one I really love, the author is unknown and is a folk secular:

“He Paid Me Seven” (Parody)

“Our Fadder, Which are in Heaben!”-
White man owe me leben and pay me seben.
“D’y Kingdom come! D’y Will be done!”-
An’ if I hadn’t tuck dat, I wouldn’ git none.

I believe it was recited by Mos Def for Def Poetry, very well done!

Another piece I find memorable is “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”. 

What I find so memorable about it is its truth. Nothing can stand the test of time, not even the most famous or the most feared, it all falls to the sands of time until it is nothing but a relic of eras passed.

I’ve always found Wanda Coleman’s super on-point poem, “Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead” astounding.

wanda when are you gonna wear your hair down
wanda. that’s a whore’s name
wanda why ain’t you rich
wanda you know no man in his right mind want a
ready-made family
why don’t you lose weight
wanda why are you so angry
how come your feet are so goddamn big
can’t you afford to move out of this hell hole
if i were you were you were you
wanda what is it like being black
i hear you don’t like black men
tell me you’re ac/dc. tell me you’re a nympho. tell me you’re
into chains
wanda i don’t think you really mean that
you’re joking. girl, you crazy
wanda what makes you so angry

wanda i think you need this
wanda you have no humor in you you too serious
wanda i didn’t know i was hurting you
that was an accident
wanda i know what you’re thinking

wanda i don’t think they’ll take that off of you

wanda why are you so angry

i’m sorry i didn’t remember that that that
that that that was so important to you

wanda you’re ALWAYS on the attack

wanda wanda wanda i wonder

why ain’t you dead

As you can see, I’m a big fan of free verse and a really good poet to exemplify that is E.E. Cummings.

“It Is Funny, You Will Be Dead Some Day”

it is funny, you will be dead some day.
By you the mouth hair eyes,and i mean
the unique and nervously obscene

need;it’s funny.  They will all be dead

knead of lustfulhunched deeplytoplay
lips and stare the gross fuzzy-pash
—dead—and the dark gold delicately smash….
grass,and the stars,of my shoulder in stead.

It is a funny,thing.  And you will be

and i and all the days and nights that matter
knocked by sun moon jabbed jerked with ecstasy
….tremble (not knowing how much better

than me will you like the rain’s face and

the rich improbable hands of the Wind

Poetry. It ain’t that boring Shakespeare we’ve all had stuffed down our throats.

There are many different types of poems out there, the types shown here is not all there is. There are many great collections of poetry regardless the era or the background. I highly recommend you go to your local library and ask for various collections.

And that’s The Arts! for this month, huzzah. Next week is Ask Black Witch, send in your submissions using these methods below!

Submit to Ask Black Witch

Ask on the Black Witch Tumblr

Tweet a question to @thisblackwitch

Ask on the Black Witch Fan Page

Remember, karaoke event is on May 5th! Be there!