Poem of the Week, by June Jordan

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

 

First there was childhood, with the woods and the fields and the wondering. Then came college, where the roof of your life disappeared and you found your tribe. Then came all the years of struggle and love and longing –to be a writer, to be a mother, to be a transplant in a new land, to be a someone. And then there was the breaking, and the reconfiguration, and now there is the Reckoning. E1A4EEB4-48CE-45F2-8516-A11D28953DB0

I’m talking to myself here, trying to place pattern to my life, to reconcile past and present and possible future. Taking stock of what I’ve surrounded myself with and what I’ve put forth. If all these books and poems and teaching and essays and blogs and letters and cards and now a podcast mean I’m just fragmented? Chaotic?

Then comes this poem by a woman I idolize, a woman who wrote as many different kinds of words as I do, and it runs through me like cool water on a parched day. Maybe all these words, no matter their form, are the through-thread work of my life. My invisible hands reaching out to all the invisible people. 

 

These Poems, by June Jordan

These poems
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
and
are you ready?

These words
they are stones in the water
running away

These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.

I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me

whoever you are
whoever I may become.

 

 

For more information about the astonishing, fierce, and brilliant June Jordan, please click here.

alisonmcghee.com

Words by Winter: my new podcast

Poem of the Week, by June Jordan

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I used to assume that the basic principles of U.S. democracy –however unequally and poorly applied– were firmly in place and would remain so, and would see us through this current nightmare. But I don’t believe that anymore. When I read this poem the other day I literally jumped up and cheered, even though I was the only one in the house. The one thing I’d change about it (not that I’d change anything about June Jordan’s poetry, ever) would be to swap out “minorities” in the title for “citizens.” We are not beholden to our elected employees. They are beholden to us. This is our government. Poem of the Week, by the magnificent June Jordan.

 

Calling on All Silent Minorities, by June Jordan

HEY

C’MON
COME OUT

WHEREVER YOU ARE

WE NEED TO HAVE THIS MEETING
AT THIS TREE

AIN’ EVEN BEEN
PLANTED
YET

For more information on June Jordan, please click here.​

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