in praise of memory(NPM2017 13)



i remember to remember

i remember born knowing

i remember knowing

before knowing

i remember

sankofa bird on my doorstep

singing the ocean for me

every step i take

every breath i take

wind and dirt instruct me

i remember the language

it is the language of creation

it is my first language

i remember to know i know

the dead refuse to let me forget

my gifts are their presence

in the present flowing freely

whirling in the whirlwind

making a path for i in the storm

creating vision in the valley of

the blind  so space may

be cleared for

the lame to dance the invisible

to be made visible

i remember the reason

for the rhymes the ways

the means out of no way

without means i count

abundance in the valley of

shadow gifted overflowing

prosperity all that’s required

of me is stay the path

remember to remember

chart the way

tell the story

trust in the godz

but tie your camel

keep your powder dry

your machetes sharp

hands open

like heart open

one direction


i remember

to bide time

to bank fire

to stoke embers

to cut cleanly

to bleed for myself

that i was born

with dignity & everything

that my path is cleared

that i am blessed

not with perfection

but potential overflowing

running over cups full

no empty plates

praying with hands moving

manifesting what’s

been promised at the

end of the day full of

honest labor unafraid of

work i am rewarded

i manifest

clearing roads

like they were cleared for me

i remember to remember

to burn brightly

uphill is a direction

i am here til it’s done

i got instructions

i been here before

that’s why it looks easy

but it took generations

to stand in self again

seeing clearly the way

the roads been barred

how to jump the hurdles

how to say the truth

& maybe live to see the

sun rise knowing is not

just the destination it is

also the journey there

is a duty to life

you owe it living

you owe it memory

forgetting is a drug

enjoyed by those who

refuse to see the paint

does not go up to the ceiling

the emperor is naked

the deadly effects of

invisible nooses over

hidden pits

the smell

of cotton laced with a taste

for sugar wafting in the wake

of chasing the empty

things destined for landfills

amnesisa is not on the menu

for those anchored to north

stars and dreams of movement

much older than locomotives

not the place of those

in brick houses

with Calalilies growing in

the yard filled with

the smell of fried chicken


hope and fresh fruit

both kept in

brown bags