Why I write? I write because you told me to
Because you encountered history and literature but never met a pen or page
You were right.
Right hands learnt motions of creativity
creating a script that spelled first person accounts of the most complex memoirs
memories of every character leaving ink-prints
imprints on the soul.
So boldly marked in ageless pages,
its as though you wrote and marked infinity with some poetic prose
But you did not write
because your hands that raised nations never did learn to caress a borrowed pen
Every battle was fought at the front line of the river injustice flowing.
Bloody feet each step a protest, each step scaring toes and soles.
Soul strong soldier, not hindered by the fleshes tendency to sweat
Sweet to the dreamer are the scares of hard work, a reward you knew you would not taste or
Waist, back and feet would bear blisters from journeys the distance of generations away
Far were the fruits of hopes which your cuts and bruises would buy
Pay attention to those sores and one can see in their cross-sections the traces of hope.
so profound were the wounds,
its as though with your footprints you wrote and imprinted eternity with some poetic prose
But you could not write
because sweat never did turn into enough nuggets of gold to purchase the kind ink found in fountain pens
You rose before the sun to wash white linen
White wash the traces of the most vile acts of brutality that it had hosted the night before
When even the sun was too ashamed to bear witness
Testaments of a painful yesterday fluttered most delicately in the cool wind
Blowing the dirty laundry of the household to which you were a slave, aired out to dry
Draining from you over the years several molecules of hydrogen and oxygen life
Water is not enough and the remnants of tears and wrinkles are residue to be faced
So deep the stains of pain over time
its as though every sheet carries the fragrance your story written in the wind to perfume history with some poetic prose
But you would not write
because those linen sheets never really did become as pure as a clean page of paper from which every story begins
I only clearly see now why at every one of our meetings I was instructed to write; to write and re-gather literature, be it trapped by fear, soaked in pain or carelessly lost in the wind
The piece of floor we shared on any given day was an opportunity for me to recapture messages lost in the wind by drying linen or stuck in the crevasse of pavements that held up bloody tired and overworked feet or indeed those messages strangled in tender long suffering right hands that possessed a million motions but have yet to learn a certain stenographic fluidity.
I regret that at 6 I was too young to transcribe your words and bring your stories to pen, to life outside of breath, sweat and blood.
I regret that I may never be old or wise enough to be a worthy bearer of your essence
But I refuse to regret that I did not try and so I write.
I write to try.
I write following the style of Keats and Frost, Angelou and Simone. But tracing only your right handwriting, your footprints in the wind. I write poems like this; clumsily yet honestly constructed. from the basics of any virgin attempt to write. Anthologies are but the children of alphabet; ABA, ABC, BCB. Poems like this one, called why I write.
I write so that stories unwritten are not stories untold lost before their creation
so that the poems within the dead blank spaces between written words may breathe in you.
so that lessons shared outside of books can have color illustrations
so that education disseminated by illiterate teachers can inspire generations
so that for lack of pens, minds will not go hungry and lies will never pose true
so that the liberty of paperless letters written by slaves and servants will never again be sold
so that the artistry of past suffering can bring us through
and the poems of our mothers will never grow cold
I write because she told me to.