James B. Earley

Silver Star - 3,801 Points (5 April 1934 / Mounds, Il)

Sultry Summer's Evening - Poem by James B. Earley

A frail…old Negro lady
…Born…in Lincoln's day
Who knew the taste of freedom
Only… when… she passed …away

Imprisoned… by the hatred
Which gnawed… within her soul
Agony written upon her face
… From the story…that she told

Of a sultry......summer’s evening
She was but…a child…back when
Her sister…was dragged away…in the dark
…By a group of sullen men

On horseback…silhouetted
Against…a glazed…moonlight
…And White folk...until her dying day
Reminded her…of…the night

When the cabin…in the clearing
Where the slaves called home
Was violated and desecrated
As she stood there…all alone

In the yard…and wept
…And silently…prayed
A vigil…with a purpose
Through the night…she stayed

Returning late…the next morning
……Of a sweltering day
They heaved a box…where she stood
… Without a word…rode away

...Though...they disappeared...forever...
Yet…their faces plagued her mind
…There…beside…her sister’s body…
Lying in the box…
.................................They made
............................................. ......................Of pine


Dedicated to my paternal grandmother, Sallie Virgie Earley 1855 -1948.....who was born into 'Slavery'...during...the 'American Holocaust, ' witnessed this moment...as a young child, and was consumed with a bitter hatred as a result of the experience. 'Sultry Summer's Evening' is a tribute to her memory....with the prayer...that she has...in death...found that measure of peace...which was so tragically elusive....during her sojourn.....on this earth.


Comments about Sultry Summer's Evening by James B. Earley

  • Lana Grissom (2/5/2010 11:41:00 PM)

    wow...that really touched my heart..very vivid, real, and truth 10+ (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Naidz Ladia (4/13/2009 4:42:00 PM)

    this is a revelation of past incidents..this is quiet sad..it ends in tragedy.........
    the appearance and the expression is very unique, , it is well presented, ,
    naizz (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Fowler (4/13/2009 3:23:00 PM)

    The implications of this poem are very profound. One tragic
    summer evening never to be forgotten. Very touching.

    Warm regards,

    Sandra (Report) Reply

  • Dee Daffodil (4/13/2009 11:21:00 AM)

    It sickens me to think that incidents such as this actually took place. How diabolical we can be...
    Hugs,
    Dee (Report) Reply

  • Patti Masterman (4/13/2009 9:59:00 AM)

    Your imagery sent chills, for sure. What a hellish experience this must have been.
    My imagination cringes and doesn't even want to go there! I suppose many details
    of this story have been lost; but it is such an important narrative. It explains
    so much about the screwed up state of the world, past and present. It is important because we need to never forget this part of history (as, alas, your poor Grandmother could not) . (Report) Reply

  • Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (4/13/2009 1:48:00 AM)

    This is so heart wrenching James and so many of us have to thank our lucky stars we have not known such horror. Your dedication is commendable, and I am sure your Grandmother rests in peace. You have conveyed the story with great sensitivity and skill. Top marks! Karin Anderson (Report) Reply

  • Sally Plumb (4/12/2009 10:46:00 AM)

    What an agonising story this is.I hope you are keeping well. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Chowdhury (4/12/2009 7:54:00 AM)

    a very nice heartfelt poem. true life is not alway fair some people have to face lots of hardships. may her soul rest in peace. (Report) Reply

  • Meggie Gultiano Meggie Gultiano (4/12/2009 5:31:00 AM)

    a sad and touching piece, and i could not help my tears to fall.How cruel that must be.
    I could not imagined having a relative to have experienced like that.
    Thank you, James for the sharing.Take care of you.Shalom
    Hugs,
    Meggie (Report) Reply

  • Cindy Kreiner Sera Cindy Kreiner Sera (4/12/2009 1:51:00 AM)

    Poignantly beautiful but so tragic, my blood froze. How proud you must be knowing of their strength to survive this inhumane period they called a life. OMG-D has man learnt nothing yet? (Report) Reply

  • Bonnie Collins (4/11/2009 11:18:00 PM)

    What a beautifull but sad, tribute to your grandmother, and many others who too felt the horrors of a time when all have not quite understood the necessary evil that transpired between two different colors, creatated by the same God, and yet so very painfull to understand why? ? ? Very nicely written, and has such a toucing flow... (Report) Reply

  • Sonya Florentino (4/11/2009 8:45:00 PM)

    very painful reading, but it must be read, and not forgotten.. and never should it be repeated... (Report) Reply

  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (4/11/2009 7:17:00 PM)

    Very sad poem especially when we find freedom in death and not in life.A ten may she rest in peace. (Report) Reply

  • Rosalita Fernandez (4/11/2009 4:49:00 PM)

    heartbreaking..........but a wonderful piece (Report) Reply

  • Lynda Robson (4/11/2009 4:03:00 PM)

    Your Grandmother witnessed a terrible wrongdoing, it breaks my heart to think of the injustices that occurred in America when black people were slaves, a very touching piece James, she was a brave lady,
    10
    Lynda xx (Report) Reply

  • Marilyn Lott Marilyn Lott (4/11/2009 3:44:00 PM)

    Stories like this are heart breaking. How people can do that to others is beyond understanding. There must be a special place in heaven for folks like your grandma who suffered at others' stupidity and anger. You did a great job telling her story and she would be very proud. In my poem Black History Month I tried to express me feelings about this very thing. '10+! '

    Warm Wishes,
    Marilyn (Report) Reply

  • Laron Green Sr. Laron Green Sr. (4/11/2009 12:09:00 PM)

    excellent unique well script love it 10++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Fay Slimm Fay Slimm (4/11/2009 11:18:00 AM)

    Dear friend - - the narrative you have written is at once filled with horror and shame and yet has the dignity of a dear lady who could not forget her experience and thereby find some sort of peace.... your tribute is worthy dear James and your grandmother was obviously worthy to warrant such a fine piece of poetry as this...... may we all hang our heads for injustices which continue to this day...... Fay.... (Report) Reply

  • Linda Winchell Linda Winchell (4/11/2009 9:03:00 AM)

    I want you to know that this poem truly touched my heart deeply! I have a older black women named Magnolia, whom lived as a slave and her parents, and theirs. She told me some horrible stories of how the blacks at that time were treated. Not even considered second class. How sad mankind is in the judgements they make on others. God forgive them, for most of mankind can not! This poem is worth more than a ten Sir James Earley. God Bless and continue to write as you do from your heart to others. Linda (Report) Reply

  • Jasmin Whyte (4/11/2009 6:07:00 AM)

    -Man's inhumanity to man- how is it in the hearts of people to do these awful things? I for one, will send loving thoughts to these two ladies, and all others who have suffered similar fates, while i go about my day. Perhaps in some small way, like a stone plopped in water the ripples of my thinking can reach them in some way (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 25, 2008

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 4, 2013


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