dVerse — Black History Month — My Name is …….

Image result for maya angelou harlem hopscotch

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I chose Maya Angelou’s (profound) poem to pull inspiration from:

Harlem Hopscotch
By Maya Angelou
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for hisself.

In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.

All the people out of work,
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.

Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost. I think I won.

8               8           8            8

 

My Name is …………..

Heraynimis Camoakay Johnson
aka for friends and family Heca Bay

Jonastius Fukanooka Smith
aka Jonz

Charmanaria Pookay Blackmon
aka Champoo

Oh how they hate us
Oh how they laugh
“Damfoos!
Name your kids
Bill, John, Sally, Susie
Give them a chance
With the right name.
They may be black
But give them a white name
And I may hire them”

To clean my toilets
Or shine my shoes.

Oh how we laugh
As they ask, “How do you spell it?”
And the mistakes they make
Ten spellings in the database
Easy to confuse them
We act offended
But we are laughing inside
You gave us no choice
You’ve taken it all
You’re calling the shots.

The one thing we call our own.
We choose it.
We spell it.
We toss the nasty biscuit
You bite on.
You will never know our
Real ones. Our names
On your lips would be
Too much to ask of us.

Anmol (alias HA) is today’s host of dVerse.  Anmol says:
Welcome to dVerse Poetics. This is Anmol (alias HA), and today, I am prompting you all to write a verse, short or long, free verse or form, taking inspiration from [the selection of] poets and their poems.

27 Comments Add yours

  1. kim881 says:

    A powerful poem, Jade!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Butt-kicking prose, activist verse, a very strong piece; speaking truth to power. You can be proud of your message and your courage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, thank you. I’ve felt it for a long time but Maya’s poem inspired me to put it into words.

      Like

  3. This really moved me Lisa. I love that they laugh inside at our poor attempts to spell their names. I cheer for them as they truly have been stripped of all dignity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gina says:

    a name is so very personal, wow Lisa this was amazing, it speaks strong about how much we need to stand up for ourselves all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, Gina. Whatever the oppression and attempt to exclude or minimize, one needs to find a way…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol Anne says:

    Amazing! I loved it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Carol Anne.

      Like

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Donna.

      Like

  6. Sadje says:

    Very effective words. Reached deep inside the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  7. rothpoetry says:

    Two great ones Lisa.
    “Give your children white names and I will hire them!”
    Prejudice comes in many forms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it does, Dwight. Thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vivian Zems says:

    Profound indeed! A fantastic write!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Vivian, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. To crush a shiny name into a pebble is the ultimate humiliation… but we are expected to smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a powerful verse, as it delves into the agency that is found and embraced in the worst of circumstances. Very well penned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much Anmol.

      Like

  11. pvcann says:

    My this bites, and wonderfully so, that we dare to assume a colour of ascendency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Paul.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pvcann says:

        My pleasure Lisa

        Liked by 1 person

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