Elegy for Charleston in Thirty One Haiku

ALL: an Elegy for Charleston in Thirty One Haiku


J: these blood soaked floorboards

murmur  gospels we have fought hard

to discredit


N: Psalms smeared with blood stained hallelujahs, Hymns sound a little darker now.


J: here cleanliness is next to godliness


ALL: But Our black is still dirty.


N: We're taught hosting strangers is  showing hospitality to angels


J: an angel of death cloaked in sinless white skin entered and showed us hell


N: blood seeping through soil to meet the devil dylan said we were spawned from


J: Hell hath no fury like a white man desperate.  A white man hungry.


N: Meanwhile, that sinister  smug banner sneered down at us, fluttering pride


J: 9 people massacred but they're more worried their flag will disappear


N: Bree Newsome refused to wait but the law of the land still stands sturdy.


J: I guess this means war. But two hundred years have taught us not to fight back.

N: stained skin clinging to stained glass, vindictive black folk make easy targets


ALL: we are expected to forgive, but we only have two cheeks to turn


N: we pluck bullets out of bodies and forget the skin of the fallen


J: cracked windows matter more than cracked spines. Broken laws trump broken systems


N: And they say go to church. Strap on your bible belt. Earn the right to live.


J: Respectability is a privilege. Not a birthright. Own it.


N: 9 black people killed. protect and serve. bullet proof vest and burger king.


J: We can no longer hang on false truths we are at the end of the rope.


N: Dylan planned this attack longer than most of us will think about it


J: Media misleads motives.  Racism is not a mental illness.


N: "Attack on religion" is a better headline.  Plants fear in white hearts.


J: gun control is not the issue unless lynchings require rope control


N: Black culture seems to matter more than black lives. Both tucked under church pews


J: We are told to worship no man but yet here we kneel, hands raised. don’t shoot.


N: Close your eyes. Bow your head. Pay no mind to charred chapels and bleeding bodies.


N - Pray,

J - March,

N - Protest,

J - Repeat.

N - Pray,

J - March,

N - Protest

J - Repeat.


All - Same plan. Same outcome.


N: We were black first, long before we learned how to pray, execution style


J: you see the holes we are left with,  might mistake us for Jesus himself.


N: Forgive them father. Come hell or high water


All: They know not what they do

All: On Sunday we kneel at the altar as the walls burn down around us.

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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