Saturday, October 22, 2016

Still i Rise

I seem to feel the pull of Earth's gravity more than ever lately. It's stronger on days when I just give in because I'm too tired to fight against it. Such lapses do not last long because the heavy load is  too much of a burden. There's no cushion between this mortal flesh and Mother Earth during those infrequent lapses, but the pull is so strong thoughts of death brush across my brain, reminding me of the seductively dangerous nuclear stress test that absorbs your very soul's attention as the technician loosens the life altering chemicals that gradually slows the body's functions as it simulates true Death. The weight of the world slowly-slowly-slowly sinks onto your chest--too enraptured by the sensations and sounds of your heart falling asleep, you don't panic--you don't even care--you are caught up in the seamless beauty of it all. It arrests and harnesses your attention. Death has its own allure . . . Still and all? Life trumps Death.

So still I rise. I rise like a plant reaches for the sun through the cold dark soil. I rise. I rise over adversity, pain, soul-wrenching disappointment, illnesses, and dark emotions. I rise. I pause, hesitate, rest . . . yet still I rise. 


Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room?

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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