Amiri Baraka

A Thousand Paper Chains


Respire into peace,

And hear the rain,

Ebony touching open sky,

Smells of ashes

From the hanging tree,

The softness of rose petals

Etched upon weathered memories

Like yesterdays, the gifts you left.


Release the link 

With the same humble stature

That glided his well worn quill

Into the deepest parts of every heart

It touched, 

Because even hatred 

Knows the truth that lay

Written upon the hides of slaves.


Close the tired eyes

That envisioned the death

Of a dream and made it real,

That shunned the sneers

And humbly wiped away

The putrid smell

Of anglo-saxon spit 

From cheeks of color.


Write loudly and proudly,

And rejoice in the death 

Of a dream become reality,

Break through the pain,

Feel the rain,

Listen..hear the gasping breath 

Of the multitudes rejoice

For a thousand paper chains.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

Amiri Baraka