Category: Uncategorized

My Blackness 

 

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

Like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman 

No, she doesn’t always wear a cape.

Her daily life isn’t a special occasion I guess. 

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

Like Hawkgirl, Thor, Spiderman

Except no he doesn’t wear one

’cause he’s always caught up in a web

Like I am

But he creates his own webs

While I get stuck in someone else’s

With My Blackness flying all around me 

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

’cause Ric flair is the greatest of all time

But he’s also the Nature Boy and his robe tells you it’s true.

Same as I’m telling you about my life

and this heavy fucking cape around my neck 

 

See, I wear My Blackness like a cape

Because that weight makes me stronger and braver and prouder and bolder

than you could ever understand.  

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

Because It reminds me that on any

Tuesday night or Friday morning

I might need a cape to protect me from the rest of the human race. 

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

Because some folks still pretend that they just don’t see

The very first thing they notice about me. 

 

I wear My Blackness like a cape

Because It helps define me for me.

Because It contains multitudes.

And because I love it. 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2020

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

 

Justified Use of Force (for DaDon)

 

Every year there are

Untold more of us

An Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean,

Eric Garner, Tamir Rice or me

 

Then a loud clamor

Our broken faces on TV

We ask so many questions

That no one’s forced to answer

 

With sympathy’s short half-life

Most just wait for the noise to stop

So the questions

Can disappear once again

 

Just like us

In our lives

And our deaths

 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2020

A poem by Franklin Oliver

Survivors

 

 

Hunted and sought

Captured then bought 

Still we do survive 

 

Shackled and chained

Whipped to be trained

Still we do survive 

 

Raped and abused

Scarred, misused 

Still we do survive 

 

Worked just like dogs

Fed worse than hogs

Still we do survive 

 

Freed then discarded 

Our progress retarded

Still we do survive 

 

Separate but equal 

Slavery’s sequel 

Still we do survive 

 

The Movement fights

For basic rights

Still we do survive 

 

A change from the past 

With “Free At Last”

Still we do survive 

 

Dreams still deferred

Our consciences stirred 

Still we do survive 

 

The POTUS is Black

So racists fight back 

Still we do survive 

 

A Movement anew

Now what will we do

 

More than just survive 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2019

A poem by Franklin Oliver

April’s Last

 

 

Soon will be May again

That darling month of poems, flowers,

Gaiety and holidays

Till then though, 

April will hold fast

To its power to sway

The fragile moods of humans

With wind, sun, buds and storms

Performing their spontaneously choreographed dance

Raw and intemperate

In full, unceasing view of us all

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2012

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

 

 

Our Budding Spring

 

Bony trees flex

Their pubescent arms skyward

In obvious prayer

As they ask for more light

More life

More time for their quickly growing branches

Presenting the beautiful colors we admire

While we point

Our failing eyes skyward

No obvious prayers

As we ask for more light

More life

More time for our quickly growing branches

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2011

 

 

Neighborhood Watch 

 

It was raining like hell

 

When they cuffed me 

I told the cops

It was simple

 

An eye for an eye 

Leaves the whole world blind 

Just like Lady Justice 

Except that I have a smile 

Not a smirk

On my face 

 

See, Trayvon carried skittles 

But I packed heat 

When I followed George

From his house 

Until he idled 

At the drive through  

 

It’s hard to leave a Krispy Kreme 

Once you’ve seen the Hot light  

And it’s even harder 

After I’ve dropped my whole clip 

Into your chest 

 

I told the cops 

It was simple

Lady Justice is blind

But I can see clearly 

 

The rain is gone 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2017

 

 

If you’d like to hear this poem performed, please check out our podcast.

http://whodeannypod.libsyn.com/may-poetry-pod