Strange Fruit of Peculiar Trees…

***The phrase “strange fruit” refers to the lynching of black people in the south during the first half of the 20th century. The term was inspired by a poem written by a teacher named Abel Meerpol, a Jewish man that belonged to the Communist party. He wrote a song  that was published in 1937, after viewing a graphic picture that vividly captured the inhumane acts of the lynching of black men. Sadly, lynching still occurs today, in the 21st century.

Strange fruit dangles from peculiar trees,

with the stench of injustice, still blowing in the breeze.

The sorrowful cries of souls oppressed,

swing to the rhythm of the times and growth unprocessed.

 Sometimes fruit falls away from the trees,

in hopes of a reprieve, another chance to ‘be’.

But fate often blows the strange fruit back,

to peculiar trees, so weathered and cracked.

Beaten and worn from the weight of many souls,

all the lives cut short and maturity stole.

If these fruit could speak, what would they say?

Same fight, same struggle, just a different day.”

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Free Images: Dreamstime.com & Google.com

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Cotton Bleeds….

 

History-filled pages continuously bleed,

the crimson red truth of the cotton seed.

The relentless days of a ‘thankless’ job,

non-existent wages, for decades robbed.

To live another day, a bittersweet reward.

Oh, the power of prayer and one accord.

Prayers, hymns, the old negro spiritual,

survival tools of the daily ritual.

From the sweat of the brow to the aching feet,

 exhausting work that is never complete.

The silent suffering, harbored deep in the soul,

frame the unspoken stories that have yet to be told.

The fluffy white softness of a pristine look,

deceiving the eyes, of all the blood once took.

 The blood, sweat and tears that nurtured these seeds,

are painful reminders, that cotton does bleed.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images

Men Cry From the Soul…

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In the moonless darkness of the soul, the men cry,

without a clue or an inkling why.

Voiceless are they, in the darkness of night,

longing for slumber, that is nowhere in sight.

What to do? This is not how men behave,

grappling and reaching for the rest that they crave.

Quickly swept away by their own waterfalls,

self-made currents that stifle their calls.

Hollow are the souls that harbor these men,

tear-stained trails mark where they have been.

If the moon does appear, will it shed some light?

For a vision renewed, restoration of sight.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Images:  Free Google Images

Purple Reign…

Image result for free google images of Prince Rogers Nelson

A ‘prince’ among men, in all of his glory,

we were allowed a glimpse, a few chapters of his story.

Prince made his acquaintance, when he burst onto the scene,

for his musical magic, his fans became fiends.

Millions of records, he sold worldwide,

salacious song lyrics, often donned the flip side.

But the worst tears were shed when he exited the earth,

all the media speculation, what was his net worth?

In the end does any of that really matter,

so much inspiration now broken and shattered.

I wonder what he’s thinking as he watches from above.

Does he feel the loyalty of his fans, the dedication, the love?

Could he possibly know just how much he’ll be missed,

his ‘extra time’ and wind-blown ‘kiss’?

Prince’s musical mastery may never be matched,

the entire earth’s surface, he thoroughly scratched.

Through a misty haze of purple, great music, and now pain,

His memories will live on….in purple, he reigns.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

To Whom Much is Given…

To whom much is given, much is required.

God supplies all of our needs, our deepest desires.

Through the roughest terrain,

the hottest of fires,

God always brings us through,

revealing the devil as a liar.

Every time we praise and give thanks to our Lord,

we rebuke the devil, the power of one accord.

So instead of wondering, why me?

Maybe the question should be why not?

Especially, when so much is required,

and we’ve indeed been given a lot!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Granddad’s Hat…

Image result for free google images of drawings of men wearing hats or caps

He stood tall, about six ft. two,

a man of great stature and mystery.

If only my granddad had had the time,

to gather the threads of past history.

I remember him to be a man of few words,

what little he said, he meant.

A quick glance from him and one instantly received,

the message that he sent.

A quiet presence, yet powerful indeed,

a man you had to respect.

His interactions were always understood,

short in length and very direct.

Amidst the serious steel-like demeanor,

you might catch a glimpse of a smile.

His hat always rested perfectly in place,

capturing his signature style.

Granddad’s hat simply added mystique,

to a man who wore it well.

One could only wonder what made him tick,

though his lips would never tell.

Granddad always wore a hat,

some may have thought he was shy.

Though none dared to ever tip the hat,

to reveal the message behind his eyes.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

If I Were a Success…

If I were a success,

what would that mean for me?

Would it be everything,

I had imagined it to be?

If I were a success,

how would things really change?

Would my preconceived notions,

become quickly rearranged.

If I were a success,

would I be true to myself?

Or would I be ruined,

by fortune and wealth?

If I were a success,

would I be complete?

Would I share the real me,

or selfishly retreat?

If I were a success,

would I gain many friends?

Would I be a frequent topic,

of social media trends?

If I were a success,

a better person would I be?

Would the true person I am,

be easy to see?

Hopefully!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall