Alice Walker

Torture By Alice Walker

Torture By Alice Walker

Torture When they torture your mother plant a tree When they torture your father plant a tree When they torture your brother and your sister plant a tree When they assassinate your leaders and lovers plant a tree Whey they torture you too bad to talk plant a tree. When they begin to torture the tree... »

Don’t Be Like Those Who Ask For Everything By Alice Walker

Don’t Be Like Those Who Ask For Everything By Alice Walker

Don’t Be Like Those Who Ask For Everything Don’t be like those who ask for everything: praise, a blurb, a free ride in my rented limousine. They ask for everything but never offer anything in return. Be like those who can see that my feet ache from across a crowded room that a foot rub if I’m agreea... »

The Tree Of Life Has Fallen By Alice Walker

The Tree Of Life Has Fallen By Alice Walker

The Tree Of Life Has Fallen The tree of life has fallen on my small house. I thought it was so much bigger! But it is not. There in the distance I see the mountains still. The view of vast water stretching before me is superb. My boat is grand and I still command the captain of it; not having learne... »

What Makes The Dalai Lama Lovable By Alice Walker

What Makes The Dalai Lama Lovable By Alice Walker

What Makes The Dalai Lama Lovable His posture From so many years Holding his robe with one hand Is odd. His gait Also. One’s own body Aches Witnessing The sloping Shoulders & Angled Neck; One hopes He Attends Yoga class Or does Yoga On his own As part Of prayer. He smiles As he bows To Ev... »

The Ways Of Water By Alice Walker

The Ways Of Water By Alice Walker

The Ways Of Water With your unknown to me Odd magic You came To me: Your truck Backfiring As if sending Out Rockets To the Stars You came In So gracefully Rockets Silenced Behind you & Set To work As if nothing Brought you Greater Joy. I did not see Life was About to change, as it does, When od... »

You Want To Grow Old Like The Carters By Alice Walker

You Want To Grow Old Like The Carters By Alice Walker

You Want To Grow Old Like The Carters Let other leaders Retire To play golf & write Memoirs About bombing Villages They’ve never seen. Growing old Presents a peril They may not Expect. It is to lose One’s soul In trivia & irrelevance The nerve Endings Blunted By the constant Pr... »

Turning Madness Into Flowers #1 By Alice Walker

Turning Madness Into Flowers #1 By Alice Walker

Turning Madness Into Flowers #1 If my sorrow were deeper I’d be, along with you, under the ocean’s floor; but today I learn that the oil that pools beneath the ocean floor is essence residue remains of all our relations all our ancestors who have died and turned to oil without our witnes... »

A Picture Story For The Curious By Alice Walker

A Picture Story For The Curious By Alice Walker

A Picture Story For The Curious I get to meditate in a chair! Or against the wall with my legs stretched out! (Or even in bed!) I get to see maybe half of what I’m looking at! (This changes everything!) I get to dance like the tipsy old men I adored when I was an infant! (They never dropped me... »

Desire By Alice Walker

Desire By Alice Walker

Desire My desire is always the same; wherever Life deposits me: I want to stick my toe & soon my whole body into the water. I want to shake out a fat broom & sweep dried leaves bruised blossoms dead insects & dust. I want to grow something. It seems impossible that desire can sometime... »

To Change The World Enough By Alice Walker

To Change The World Enough By Alice Walker

To Change The World Enough To change the world enough you must cease to be afraid of the poor. We experience your fear as the least pardonable of humiliations; in the past it has sent us scurrying off daunted and ashamed into the shadows. Now, the world ending the only one all of us have known we se... »

Be Nobody’s Darling By Alice Walker

Be Nobody’s Darling By Alice Walker

Be Nobody’s Darling Be nobody’s darling; Be an outcast. Take the contradictions Of your life And wrap around You like a shawl, To parry stones To keep you warm. Watch the people succumb To madness With ample cheer; Let them look askance at you And you askance reply. Be an outcast; Be ple... »

Before I Leave The Stage By Alice Walker

Before I Leave The Stage By Alice Walker

Before I Leave The Stage Before I leave the stage I will sing the only song I was meant truly to sing. It is the song of I AM. Yes: I am Me & You. WE ARE. I love Us with every drop of our blood every atom of our cells our waving particles -undaunted flags of our Being- neither here nor there. »

Expect Nothing By Alice Walker

Expect Nothing By Alice Walker

Expect Nothing Expect nothing. Live frugally On surprise. become a stranger To need of pity Or, if compassion be freely Given out Take only enough Stop short of urge to plead Then purge away the need. Wish for nothing larger Than your own small heart Or greater than a star; Tame wild disappointment ... »

Going Out To The Garden By Alice Walker

Going Out To The Garden By Alice Walker

Going Out To The Garden Going out to the garden this morning to plant seeds for my winter greens -the strong, fiery mustard & the milder broadleaf turnip- I saw a gecko who like the rest of us has been reeling from the heat. Geckos like heat I know this but the heat these last few days has been... »

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit By Alice Walker

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit By Alice Walker

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit Did you ever understand this? If my spirit was poor, how could I enter heaven? Was I depressed? Understanding editing, I see how a comma, removed or inserted with careful plan, can change everything. I was reminded of this when a poor young man in Tunisia desperate to ... »

Remember By Alice Walker

Remember By Alice Walker

Remember Remember When we ended It all -for a weekend- & how We knew? You took The tea bowl That I Broke In Carelessness To glue together Again At your House. »

What It Feels Like By Alice Walker

What It Feels Like By Alice Walker

What It Feels Like As if I’ve swallowed A watermelon And Sidestepping My digestive tract It has lodged In my heart. There it lies Green & whole with a luscious red heart of its own daring me to cut. »

I Will Keep Broken Things By Alice Walker

I Will Keep Broken Things By Alice Walker

I Will Keep Broken Things I will keep Broken Things: The big clay Pot With raised Iguanas Chasing Their Tails; Two Of their Wise Heads Sheared Off; I will keep Broken things: The old Slave Market Basket Brought To my Door By Mississippi A jagged Hole Gouged In its sturdy Dark Oak Side. I will keep B... »

When You Thought Me Poor By Alice Walker

When You Thought Me Poor By Alice Walker

When You Thought Me Poor When you thought me poor, my poverty was shaming. When blackness was unwelcome we found it best that I stay home. When by the miracle of fierce dreaming and hard work Life fulfilled our every want you found me crassly well off; not trimly, inconspicuously wealthy like your r... »

Our Martyr By Alice Walker

Our Martyr By Alice Walker

Our Martyr When the people have won a victory whether small or large do you ever wonder at that moment where the martyrs might be? They who sacrificed themselves to bring to life something unknown though nonetheless more precious than their blood. I like to think of them hovering over us wherever we... »

Working Class Hero By Alice Walker

Working Class Hero By Alice Walker

Working Class Hero My brothers knew The things you know. I did not scorn learning them; It’s just my mind Was busy being trained For “Other Things”: Poetry, Philosophy, Literature. Survival, for a girl. But now, What a relief To see you understand The ways Of horses Their shyness & hatred Of Lo... »

Knowing You Might Some Day Come By Alice Walker

Knowing You Might Some Day Come By Alice Walker

Knowing You Might Some Day Come Knowing you might some day come and how unprepared I’ve always been like Mr. Sloppy in Charles Dickens’ our Mutual Friend I made a list: not meat, vegetables, beer and pudding but number l, warmth. number 2, warmth. number 3, warmth. number 4, a good snuggler. number ... »

When You See Water By Alice Walker

When You See Water By Alice Walker

When You See Water When you see water in a stream you say: oh, this is stream water; When you see water in the river you say: oh, this is water of the river; When you see ocean water you say: This is the ocean’s water! But actually water is always only itself and does not belong to any of thes... »

If I Was President By Alice Walker

If I Was President By Alice Walker

If I Was President If I was President The first thing I would do is call Mumia Abu-Jamal. No, if I was president the first thing I would do is call Leonard Peltier. No, if I was president the first person I would call is that rascal John Trudell. No, the first person I’d call is that other ras... »

Word Reaches Us By Alice Walker

Word Reaches Us By Alice Walker

Word Reaches Us Word reaches us that you are sleeping, sleeping. Dismayed we have turned to the sea. We encounter among others walking there a sense of what we have lost: the broad expanse of humanity’s sensitivity to the oneness of itself. Gabrielle, while you sleep, resting your nimble brain, we t... »

She By Alice Walker

She By Alice Walker

She She is the one who will notice that the first snapdragon of Spring is in bloom; She is the one who will tell the most funny & complicated joke. She is the one who will surprise you by knowing the difference between turnips and collard Greens; & between biscuits & scones. She is th... »