100 Thousand Poets for Change: Pembroke Pines

Here's one of the poems I read at 100 Thousand Poets for Change in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Letter from Marcus Garvey
London, 9 June 1940

When I was in the Atlanta Federal Prison
I chanted through the silence, "Keep cool,
keep cool," For I didn't want to see twisted
bodies ripening on the flowering dogwood.

Or when I emerged from the caverns
of the Spanish Town District Prison,
the children hurled stones at my head,
like I was some lame poet,
and even after my first betrayal
when Amy brawled with a Judas,
you ignored me and said I made us
"a laughingstock to the world."

I took it because I knew you were blind
to your own beauty, that you could be seduced
by weak-kneed hypocrites who would call me
"a half-wit, low-grade moron." I took it all.

But what has me choking on my words,
is not the asthma, the shortness of breath
that has slowed my heart, my body
that will be taken away soon-soon
by the whirlwind--what's left me mute
is the broken faith of my brothers
and sisters, scattered like goats
on a far hillside where my father lies
buried under the broad leaves of the breadfruit;
his bones warmer than these white,
cold pages swirling in my doorway

"Letter from Marcus Garvey" by Geoffrey Philp

The date of the poem is important. It is one day before Garvey died in London after suffering a second cerebral hemorrhage while reading the inaccurate news reports of his death, "Garvey dies in London."

Marcus Garvey died before he could clear his name of the fraudulent charges that led to his imprisonment. Therefore, we are petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Mosiah Garvey and to clear his good name.

Here is the link to sign the petition:
Short URL: http://wh.gov/gW7




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