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

Would You?

From the day of your arrival on to this earth,

people have cherished you.

Upon your death, would you want the same?

What would you want them to do?

Would you want the good that you have done,

to be fondly recollected?

Would you want your accomplishments accurately chronicled,

emphasizing the many you’ve affected?

It is hard to determine how this will go,

since you will no longer be here.

The wheel that you once sat behind,

now beyond your control to steer.

As you sit in the wings and watch this play out,

if you could, would you change a thing?

Would you be pleased with the bittersweet songs,

that mournful voices sing?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Numb…

Sometimes in life we just go numb,

emotionally drained, down to the last little crumb.

The pain of life is often too much,

open wounds are raw and sensitive to the touch.

But once people go numb, what does that mean?

How dull the senses, that once were keen?

Will the treatment of others continue to worsen?

The obvious affects on each and every person?

Once people are numb, can they ever come back,

from a road of darkness and eternal black?

Or is it a conscious choice that one makes,

to take the risk, putting everything at stake?

Upon their return, will they have changed?

Will their once dismal thoughts be newly arranged?

Only time will tell, a journey incomplete,

so tired the bodies and calloused feet.

At least when people are numb, they don’t have to feel,

the layers of pain that slough off and peel.

Maybe being numb is not such a bad thing.

It helps to soften the pain of life’s sting.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Blind Faith Sees…

Unknown roads are hard to follow,

no guarantee they will lead to tomorrow.

New experiences and adventures, waiting to be discovered,

are often blocked and thoroughly covered.

By paths so murky, can’t see where I’m going.

The roads are unpredictable, anxiety free-flowing.

But my steps are ordered, so I’ve been told,

according to the scripture of testament old.

But if I pay close attention, I don’t need to see.

My faith in God is what guides me.

As I make my way to life’s next intersection,

God is right there with me, in my mind’s reflection.

There to guide me should I stumble and fall.

He has heard my cry, even before I call.

Faith propels me to get up and try again.

To follow the roads as they twist and bend.

My faith has grown every step of the way.

A guiding light for each new day.

Penetrating the darkness that eclipses my view,

making way for the traveling I have yet to do.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Men Cry From the Soul…

Related imageRelated image

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