Thursday, November 3, 2016

Suffering Human
















The story/lap people
look up from their crosswords
and smile with that sadness called wisdom …
And young girls look anxious
and pace and smoke Camels
and wonder when someone will kiss them …
Their mothers are weary
of paper-doll lovers
like Kennedy, Browning, and Ibsen …
While the angry young men
crack their knuckles and frown
and write black power slogans in prison …
As the men who wear watches
tick off the crash/crises
their words fade to ashes and glisten …
All the clichés turn sour
and dry-mouthed, we holler
that words can’t describe our condition …
While the trees tell the seasons
I am here watching silent
and suffering/human, I listen …


I wrote this 47 years ago ..
August 14, 1969
(photo taken May, 1971)

11 comments:

Brenda Clews said...

Brilliant then as now. Every phrase memorable. You've been unfolding more deeply into who you are ever since. xoxoxxo

rajat ghosh said...

I was 2 then, what truth and powerfull words, Loved it

Stirling Davenport said...

Brenda, your comments are like wine on a summer evening ... thank you!!

Stirling Davenport said...

Rajat, I know you were an adorable 2. I was a young woman with lots of angst, but I think I've managed to make peace with some of it! Thanks for your sweet comment.

Chetna Rana said...

I stopped breathing for a moment. Needless to say, breathtaking, the both of you!

Stirling Davenport said...

Oh, Chetna, I am stunned by your sweet comment. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I missed that one! You are GOOD!
MSB

Stirling Davenport said...

Thank you, MSB. You are my favorite literary critic!

An Africanist said...

OMG, this is as fresh and poignant as if it were written this week! What depths of suffering we are capable of, and very few, perhaps only the wise sages (such as you, dear friend) can put words to the patterns and cycles we seem to be wedded to.

Stirling Davenport said...

Oh, Africanist, I'm so glad to see your comment. I'm delighted you found the poem relevant and timely. (My young self would be grinning back in 1969.)

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