For Baraka

(Recent Poet Laureate of New Jersey)


poets—like prophets

are never loved

in their own country.

or shall we say century

when they still must face

bush/MentaL poly/tiKKKs

and right wing imperialists

wanna slay the voice of Truth

speakin directly to

the spiritual and cultural needs

of the people.

Words become lethal

especially when infused with




or lies

mcgreevey wants to put a cap

on free speech

just like the blinders in his own eyes.

yeh. real proof

that poems can kill.

see how Common Sense burns

the ill-fated retina

of a slow yet dyin breed.

funny how the beast

thinks itself immune

to the kind of karma

that results from years of






and greed.

if the people don’t call

into question how

the so-called majority rules

we subject ourselves to becoming victims—

not a figure in politics

but, rather, a politcian's brainwashed, hypnotized

and colonized negro fools.

                               baraka says—

                                                             a real re/vo/lu/shun is the work of the people.

                                                             and only the people can ensure

                                                             a truly just victory. we must reclaim

                                                             and recreate our own images.

                                                             shape a united Black/Consciousness

                                                             rooted in Truth and Black Sensibility;

                                                             for the Truth is valuable to any/body

                                                             regardless of race or nationality.

                               baraka says—

                                                             we must empower the people.

                                                             teaching them that culture means


                                                             and w/out consciousness the people shall

                                                             surely die.

              and we the people say—

                                                             let this man/poet/griot/sage/



                                                             let this prophet/healer/king/



                                                             claim his rightful place

                                                             and receive his just due upon the throne.

                                                             challenging us all to POET-ON

                                                             to see and praise

                                                             what dark, soulful, and eternal Beauty

                                                             lies deep Within

                                                             while a searing, ‘innocent’ AMERICA

                                                             (frantic and terrorized)

                                                             desperately tries to wash her hands

                                                             free of blood, cruelty, sickness, and sin.

Copyright 2002. Jamie Walker. All Rights Reserved.
Jamie Walker is a poet and author of 101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves. She can be reached directly through her website http://www.jamiewalker.org