Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Gorilla And His Grapes

Within a zoo
inside a cage
atop a tray
within a tree
there sits a bunch of grapes.
Next to the tray
filled with grapes
within the tree
atop cement
there rest, Kimu.
The gorilla
grabs a few from the bunch
and with partially curled mitt,
he slaps them into his mouth.
He tosses them around there in.
His lips begin to
play with the sweet fruit
like fingertips on piano keys.
He twirls the grapes around some more.
Suddenly his lips stop moving.
They are gone and he is perplexed.
He pounds his chest
without missing a beat
he extends his leathery hand
and plucks just one.
His fingertips extend slowly
bringing the grape
closer to his mouth.
He nestles it between
his top and bottom lip.
As he begins to move
the grape around in his mouth
his eyes burst with joy.
It was as if he had never tasted
a grape before.

Norman E.Harris, Jr.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Liquid Time


For almost a century
storm surges rose
and they fell
against the levees.
The river was relentless
and time was smooth.
Time did not care.

It did not matter to time
that most forgot
old man river was even there.
They were lulled by the calm;
sipping sweet tea,
indulging in porch talk,
the sweet rewards of summers end.
But time did not care.

It did not matter to time
about the children playing in the dust,
their little brown faces
smeared with black streaks of sweat mud.
Time did not care about
the hard working folks
just wanting to get home
to sit.
To rest their weary bones
which had been stirring
since sun up.
The one’s who just
wanted to retreat
to that quiet place
and think about nothing.
Then the levees burst
and all hell broke loose.
But time did not care.

It did not matter to time
that a new school year was looming
and parents had not finished
School Shopping!
The brand new clothes
bought for anticipating children
were now being worn on the river’s bottom.
Yes, the river was a bully;
a car jacking, home invading, strong arming, bully!
That bastard bully,
shot to kill
and tried not to let anything die.
In an instant
their world had changed.
But it did not matter to time.

Time did not care
that people cleaved to roof tops
as bodies floated by.
and babies were dehydrating
in the same town
where they damn near drowned
earlier that week.
Or that there were thousands
packed in a sporting arena
wearing three day old filth and must
hanging on to the very edge
of their sanity.
It did not matter to time.

Time does not care
But be careful,
Perceptions can soften
Distancing you from reality
And then it will not matter
To you either.

Norman E.Harris, Jr.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Picture In My Mind

Picture In My Mind

Sweetly perfumed spring days
wrapped in sun shiny splendor.
smiles that squeeze eyeballs
until they twinkle.
Children half floating, tethered to balloons
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, and Violet
highlighted by the clear Blue sky.
Bikini clad bodies
dotting the grassy green landscape.
Glistening, Crying out for
the attention of the Sun Gods.
Couples, young and old laughing infectiously;
sharing love flavored iced cream.
Random people bouncing as they stride
as if they were going nowhere.
None of them together but all of them in unison
enjoying the miracle that is life.
If I were to return here
on any day, in any year
I would expect to see the same people
with the same care free expressions.
Sauntering; the disconnected from time, saunter.
Doing the same things they are doing today.
Or at least, that’s how I will picture it
in my mind.

Norman E.Harris, Jr.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who Am I

Who Am I

I am every tear fallen
from every puffy eye
onto every proud cheek.
I am the salty reminder
of freshly witnessed injustice
to a fellow human being.

I am every drop of blood spilled
in fields, over pavement,
or on scuffed floor boards.
I am the deepest crimson flowing
from those with hope in their hearts
and with no means to defend
their God given rights.

I am the truth
of the human hearts yearning
I am every prayer in every bedroom
on every night they were uttered
from the most desperate of lips
in their most dark and fearful of moments.

I am the keep on keepin on
of the soul
when the mind and body say sit.
I am every sip of pride
swallowed; bitter, oblong, and jagged
so that their family
may survive another day.

I am the battered mind
and the weary spirit of struggle
I am every ache, pain,
abrasion, contusion, and scar
in the name of freedom, equality, and justice.

Who am I?

I am the strength of faith.

Norman E.Harris, Jr.