and the horse you rode in on…

and the horse you rode in on

when your daughter
or daughter’s daughter
lies bleeding in bed
butchered by a wire
then tell me of your
moral code
protecting the unborn
at all cost
sacrificing a woman’s life
to appease
man’s
distorted words
of god
go ahead
have another cigarette
after raping
her rights
hell smoke
the whole damn pack
if it brings
an end
to fools
like you

once there were cowboys…

copyright cwmartin 2011

those lights
once lit up
the night sky
for miles
a small corral
became an arena
where western gladiators
marshaled the strength
to bring down
bulls to the ground
while wide-eyed children
memorized each move
to practice on family pets
no need to ask for
some foreign beer
it was budweiser
or nothing at all
except for
the occasional
miller lite
smuggled in
by some tourist
and
those fancy
filtered cigarettes
not only raised eyebrows
but smiles
but land developers
and county officials
eager for progress
as measured by profit
have turned off the lights
only the lingering scent
of wet leather
can be found
this place now holds
only the ghost
of christmas past

the gunny sac…

  it’s all here
  the first time
     i was called nigger
and the tears of a four-year old

the lady who
  found my deep voice funny
       and calling others to listen

and there’s that damn swimming pool
   for whites only
       they never did figure out
       who put the red dye in
  some folks just can’t tap dance

and being served last
  or not at all
      even when your were first

and let’s not forget track
  hell…
      let’s do

and here’s that 54 buick with overdrive
  that took us roller skating
      where anyone could be a star
      (with the right moves)

and rev. brown…
  how he tried to save my soul
       but he was heaven bound
       before i could make up my mind
  (oh…but when i did)

i joined the choir
   and what a choir
       if you can get into heaven
       on the amens your singing brings
       (then i’m home free)
      so rev. brown
        don’t you fret

damn here’s my first love
  now that…
       broke a commandments or two
  do you think god understands how stupid
      we are with our first love
       (i pray he does)

women’s underwear?
  yeah…i remember college
  once bound so neatly with dreams
       now frayed and stained with beer and cigarettes

the seams are busting with memories

writing poems with quincy troupe

drinking with alex haley

black showcase performances

meeting muhammad ali
lovers

friends

and others…
  seems impossible
      but nothing seems to be lost
oh sure
  some things seem out-of-place
but they’re all here
  i guess you die when the sac is full
now where can i place
     today…