Desire, by Alice Walker


My desire

is always the same; wherever Life

deposits me:

I want to stick my toe

& soon my whole body

into the water.

I want to shake out a fat broom

& sweep dried leaves

bruised blossoms

dead insects

& dust.

I want to grow


It seems impossible that desire

can sometimes transform into devotion;

but this has happened.

And that is how I've survived:

how the hole

I carefully tended

in the garden of my heart

grew a heart

To fill it.

Dream Variations

by Langston Hughes

hughes hold fast.jpg

To fling my arms wide

In some place of the sun,

To whirl and to dance

Till the white day is done.

Then rest at cool evening

Beneath a tall tree                                                      To fling my arms wide

While night comes on gently,                                     In the face of the sun,                                 

    Dark like me—                                                         Dance!  Whirl!  Whirl!

That is my dream!                                                       Till the quick day is done.

                                                                                     Rest pale at evening. . . 

                                                                                     A tall, slim tree. . . 

                                                                                     Night coming tenderly

                                                                                        Black like me.

Won't you celebrate with me

by Lucille Clifton

lucille clifton.jpg

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

to fill it.


NIKKI giovanni.jpg

by Nikki Giovanni

in my younger years

before i learned

black people aren’t

suppose to dream

i wanted to be

a raelet

and say “dr o wn d in my youn tears”

or “tal kin bout tal kin bout”

or marjorie hendricks and grind   

all up against the mic

and scream

“baaaaaby nightandday   

baaaaaby nightandday”

then as i grew and matured

i became more sensible   

and decided i would   

settle down

and just become

a sweet inspiration


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