Childhood

Prayer Before Bathing

My six children’s
thirty-six grandchildren’s
one thousand two hundred and ninety-six great-grandchildren
thank you
whose skin is more extensive
than all the sheets of paper in the world,
whose body

Mary Of Magdala

Poor harlot, Mary Magdalene,
Into the feast with trembling crept,
Past frowns that stabbed her with their hate
And falling at His feet she wept.
Self-righteous Simon spurned her there<br

Heavenly Father

Holy Father in heaven,
My parents have done enough,
But if I should think about their struggle and luckless,
It seems I should not grow old again.

They have till the

The Warrior’s Return

Sir Walter returned from the far Holy Land,
And a blood-tinctured falchion he bore;
But such precious blood as now darkened his sword
Had never distained it before.

Fast fluttered his

The Female of the Species

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth

Negro Lullaby

Mammy’s baby, go ter sleep,
Hush-er-by, hush-er-by, my honey;
Cross de hyarf de cricket creep,
Hush-er-by, hush-er-by, my honey.
Hoot owl callin’ f’um de ol’ sycamo’
‘Way down yon’er in

I Am Bad

I came to know I am so bad,
This is the reason why I am sad.
I hurt them and I always fight,
That’s why my days are not so

! A Zimbabwean Asks A Question

O Great Spirit,
You who in Your form of the Chapungu,
the great eagle with sharper eye than any aeroplane,
watches over us and knows all things;
who even descends

The Legend of Liyongo

I

Oh my child, be silent, do not cry;
Listen to the tale of the King of Bauri,
Listen to the tale of the exiled King
Who was cheated of election

Palm leaves of childhood

When I was very small indeed,
And Joe and Fred were six-year giants,
My father, they and I, with soil
Did mix farm-yard manure.
In this we planted coconuts,
Naming

George Edmunds’ Song

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around he here;
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!
How like the hopes of childhood’s day,
Thick clust’ring on the

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

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