Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.
Here are a couple of mine...enjoy!
Copyright © 2010 by Helen Tinsley
i raised an empress & 3 warriors
African spirits of long ago descended in you
to continue the fight
that still needed to be fought & wasn’t won
i put words in you as they had been put in me,
from generations past thru the gift of the pen.
i raised fighters to change the status quo,
revolutionaries to awaken the masses,
disrupters of false peace ―
becuz there is no peace
with over 2 million Black folks on lockdown,
homeless families from coast to coast
& death by starvation on our city streets.
i raised poets, rappers, entrepreneurs &
to stand up for what is right
on this battlefield called America.
so my children, if you lose your focus,
& get distracted from the path
like the Sankofa bird
i raised you to return to the source
& continue the fight for freedom, justice & equality..
Who Speaks For Me
Copyright© 2008 by Helen Tinsley
i am the voice of the voiceless
i am the voice of those students who are
or simply not given the tools
to be successful in society today.
i am the voice of those students
who languish in special education classes,
remedial programs, alternative classes
or other structures that marginalize
& demoralize their essence.
i am the voice of students whose spirit is squashed
by uncaring adults, low expectations
& pervasive disregard
in inner city schools throughout America.
i am their voice & this is their story.
STOP – u don’t know me
u only make money off me
yea, tho i walk thru the valley of public schools
i shall fear no evil for i am BLACK & my God is with me.
i sit in classes, raise my hand, draw my pictures,
want to read my story & teacher, u don’t call on me
music teacher – u give out instruments & u bypass me
math teacher, u have calculators i never see
art teachers – your closets r full of papers,
paints and clay
u think r too good for me
principal – u create cracks to push me in
breed academic gaps & try to limit me
what is your problem & whose agenda do u follow?
i am strong, powerful and smart & i’m gonna do me
i read the books u hide
understand the knowledge u deny
& recognize today is the day we will not be shy
we will take this information & fly.
today we are revolving, slowly evolving
& the lies are dissolving.
the revolution was televised
when the levees broke & America choked
Langston Hughes wrote about the ways of white folks
& the Hon Elijah Muhammad spoke —
told us Wake up Black Folks
This is the final Call!