Thursday, April 05, 2012

Happy Birthday Maya Angelou !

Maya Angelou

Yesterday was the birthday of an American author and poet Maya angelou (April 4, 1928), who has been called ‘America's most visible black female autobiographer’ by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. She is one of the most decorated writers of her generation, with dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Presenting some poems : Being Poet

Passing Time
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk

One paints the beginning
of a certain end.

The other, the end of a
sure beginning. 
A Conceit
Give me your hand

Make room for me
to lead and follow
you
beyond this rage of poetry.

Let others have
the privacy of
touching words
and love of loss
of love.

For me
Give me your hand. 
Refusal
Beloved,
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
Your Hands
Your Laughter brave
Irreverent.
Those sweet excesses that
I do adore.
What surety is there
That we will meet again,
On other worlds some
Future time undated.
I defy my body's haste.
Without the promise
Of one more sweet encounter
I will not deign to die. 
Awaking in New York
Curtains forcing their will 
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with 
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on 
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a 
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn, 
unasked and unheeded. 
Insomniac
There are some nights when
sleep plays coy,
aloof and disdainful.
And all the wiles
that I employ to win
its service to my side
are useless as wounded pride,
and much more painful. 
The Lesson
I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Children.
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live. 
Remembrance
Your hands easy
weight, teasing the bees
hived in my hair, your smile at the
slope of my cheek. On the
occasion, you press
above me, glowing, spouting
readiness, mystery rapes
my reason

When you have withdrawn
your self and the magic, when
only the smell of your
love lingers between
my breasts, then, only
then, can I greedily consume
your presence. 
Momma Welfare Roll
Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes clichéd by
Repetition. Her children, strangers
To childhood's toys, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people's property.

Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bereaucrats for
Her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.' 
The Detached
We die, 
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets, 
Stranglers to our outstretched necks, 
Stranglers, who neither care nor
care to know that
DEATH IS INTERNAL.

We pray, 
Savoring sweet the teethed lies, 
Bellying the grounds before alien gods, 
Gods, who neither know nor
wish to know that
HELL IS INTERNAL.

We love, 
Rubbing the nakednesses with gloved hands, 
Inverting our mouths in tongued kisses, 
Kisses that neither touch nor
care to touch if
LOVE IS INTERNAL. 
On the Pulse of Morning
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed, 
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens 
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom 
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, 
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow,
I will give you no hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in 
The bruising darkness
Have lain too long
Facedown in ignorance,
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out to us today, 
You may stand upon me, 
But do not hide your face.
Alone
Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.