Kwame Dawes


Talk - Poem by Kwame Dawes

For August Wilson

No one quarrels here, no one has learned
the yell of discontent—instead, here in Sumter
we learn to grow silent, build a stone
of resolve, learn to nod, learn to close
in the flame of shame and anger
in our hearts, learn to petrify it so,
and the more we quiet our ire,
the heavier the stone; this alchemy
of concrete in the vein, the sludge
of affront, until even that will calcify
and the heart, at last, will stop,
unassailable, unmovable, adamant.

Find me a man who will stand
on a blasted hill and shout,
find me a woman who will break
into shouts, who will let loose
a river of lament, find the howl
of the spirit, teach us the tongues
of the angry so that our blood,
my pulse—our hearts flow
with the warm healing of anger.

You, August, have carried in your belly
every song of affront your characters
have spoken, and maybe you waited
too long to howl against the night,
but each evening on some wooden
stage, these men and women,
learn to sing songs lost for centuries,
learn the healing of talk, the calming
of quarrel, the music of contention,
and in this cacophonic chorus,
we find the ritual of living.


Comments about Talk by Kwame Dawes

  • Chinedu Dike (6/27/2015 8:17:00 PM)

    A well articulated piece of poetry insightfully penned with conviction. Words or talk being the clothing of thoughts should be encouraged at all-time. A lovely poem indeed. Thanks for sharing. Please read my poem MANDELA - THE IMMORTAL ICON. (Report)Reply

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  • Kelly Kurt (6/17/2015 12:32:00 PM)

    A powerful piece on the dynamics of expression. Changing the thoughts of others and freeing yourself of bile.
    Thanks for sharing, Kwame
    Peace
    (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015



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