Category Archives: Poetry

A Final Farewell from Sherie Denise Spruill-Allen

text and photographs by Larry H. Spruill
Along The Blended Path

Thirty days betwixt
August and September,
I offered up my debt to
Sherie Denise Spruill
my baby sister
She was so very sick.
Tied to a hospital bed,
life support machines,
unable to engage in
her favorite pastime – walking.
She valiantly fought
a courageous final battle
to maintain her
dignity and independence of spirit.

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The Lady is Back

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Nick’s Pub
Harlem, USA

Jonathan Baptiste, piano
Phil Kuehn, bass
Joey Saycor, drums
Kenneth Oshodi, guitar
Aaron Holland, saxophone

and of course
Jennifer Sano, vocals

This poem is dedicated to the Jennifer Sano
for her delicious gifts from Lady Day.

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My Village – My Life

“The Road is Rough but
It is the Only Way Home!”

By Larry H. Spruill

I have known villages
both ancient and modern…
I have an ancestral village in Nigeria…
I know not which or exactly where.
There is the Southern village of my birth…
where horse driven buggies
creaked along dusty dirt roads.
My native place
My coming forth into this world.
But there is the village of my life and heart.
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Simply Deferred

By Larry H. Spruill

The African dream
of life, liberty and peace
is rooted in
an innate pursuit of
unrestrained happiness
erupting with joyful
exuberance
taking time with friends,
miles of smiles
dance and music
with very little
in purse and pantry
but hearts full of
sweet flowers
frankincense and myrrh
and honey flavored
tongues with delicious
poems and songs
and ancient
proverbs and prayers
mixing with time and talent
to make African dreams
prosperous realities…
but for the moment
simply put…
things deferred.

Scholars and Self-Respect

By Larry H. Spruill

African students
are taught to
uniformly
fearfully respect
the headmaster
the teacher
the learning laboratories
the books and pens
honoring the things
of the mind
and one another
as a way of
demonstrating
self-respect

A Cool Sanctuary

By Larry H. Spruill

And the Lord appeared unto Abraham…and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. and he lifted his eyes and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them he ran to meet them and bowed himself toward the ground. And said, My Lord I hope I have found favour in thy sight. Stay with me. Let me get a little water and wash your feet. Stay and rest yourself under the tree.

Genesis 18:1-4

Fiery rays
fueling the flaming
cauldron of boiling air
Sapping the essence of life
Water streaming from the body
to cool the flesh
with no affect.

Shaking the mind
signaling danger
Blurring the vision of
Blackened bodies
wilted and bowed
before the heavenly torch
mock time steps
sneaking through the oppressive
midday heat
seeking a refuge
a cool sanctuary of life
to wait for the
daily extinguishing
of the candle of light
and the rise of
the pillar of fire by night.

Just Give Me Something

By Larry H. Spruill

Giving Alms

I saw her at the market
She was accompanied by her angels
who shielded her with their wings
from the blazing solar flames
She was engaging, enchanting
A smile graced with pearls
Soft eyes hushed by green mango leaves
Then she spoke…
“Just give me something…”
I replied,
“Such as I have I give unto thee.”
I reached into my purse…
Gave her my offering…
The she said,
“You may have me.”
I raised my camera
and
opened
and closed
the shutter
unto life.

Sankofa’s Wings: Homeward

By Larry H. Spruill

They took you away
in the hole of wooden ships
across the Great River.
You have returned on Sankofa’s wings
on the cushions of God’s clouds.

On the wings of
The Sankofa Bird
hastily fleeing
the setting New York sun
darkness falls quickly
in heavenly places
above the Atlantic.

The open portals reveal
a deep blackness
an impenetrable blue black
moonless sky
disturbed by the noisy roar
of the silver mechanical bird
piercing the starless midnight
heading for an African nest

Like a mystical homing pigeon
transporting a people
to their roost
in a distant
but not forgotten place
where soon and very soon
the sun shall rise again.