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Literature in a Locked Down Land

By       Message William T. Hathaway     Permalink
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laying bricks at the noise-drenched construction site

like Sisyphus pushing his boulder

up that lonely hill in hell.

I write my poems for the prisoners

living out their lives in concrete closets,

in rows of chicken-coop cells,

dreams locked behind steel bars;

they traded their lives

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for liquor store cash,

and now they pay the price

as the years blend together

and disappear like dirty water

down a shower drain.

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The March on Washington, 1963

By Tim Hall

Twenty-four years have passed
since my heart first pulsed with hope
for a better world
when I saw those black youth marching,
arm-in-arm, their faces bold and clear in purpose,
under the trees beside the pool
at the Lincoln Memorial.
I didn't really listen
to the melodic words of Martin Luther King;
they seemed to be a little rhetorical,
not quite down-to-earth enough
compared to the vibrant, rebelling
life on the march, the young people
arm-in-arm, under the trees,
chanting, singing -- militant choirs, their
voices welling up from the long years of black resistance
and bursting forth into the air that day
in a pure joy at seeing
half a million faces
dedicated to burying racism.

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http://www.peacewriter.org

William T. Hathaway's new book, Lila, the Revolutionary, is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old Indian girl who sparks a world revolution for social justice. Chapters are posted at www.amazon.com/dp/1897455844. A selection of his writing (more...)
 

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