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Two Poems by Lamar Johnson:

dido in december

© 2018 by Lamar Johnson

I know little, you know less-

I can't see the sun shining-

I see Iris on your dress;

Opening, and inviting

Your soul to hell. When glory

Opens, and glows Tyrian

It must be that royalty

That has brought you to your end.

Purple fold on your breast, a

Hand reaches to untie it.

He came, he left. Gone since May;

Your soul has yet to quiet.

To leave your sister alone-

To leave your husband's blue corpse-

Sychaeus's broken bones

Salt the barren, shallow Earth.

Wailing Carthaginian,

Died wedded to a pyre.

He was never your husband-

Great Aeneas, the liar.



                                      © 2018 by Lamar Johnson

Unrestrained umbra blanketed the land

All the way from Senegal to Sudan

Was black the rainbow, was darkness the light;

Tree leaves were money. Colonial spite

Once marked and etched in the names and borders

Was reduced to bright-minded food orders-

For their plants, with their sun, saw fit to die-

For their seas, with their sun, saw fit to dry-

And they had run out; No theft, no bargain

Could make bright what God wanted to darken.

Cool tint of peace, the far-spanning Eclipse

Provided the light to guide their dimmed ships.

Baobabs and Ackees, Tamarinds too

Made a shaded Garden of Eden. Fruit

Growing on its own, the land giving free-

Man, resplendent in natural bounty.

The Buildings once built thus stood much taller;

Every Embassy, a little smaller.

In the seven minutes of that good dark

Change fortified. Every atom and quark

Aligned at once, both ready and eager-

Steadfast of essence, charged in demeanor

Just as the Sun showed its colorless face

So too was the mirror put into place.

"How many years of dark? Thousands, or more?"

"What should the Eclipse be limited for?"

[© 2018 by Lamar A. Johnson. All Rights Reserved.]

Free Your (Funky) Mind! Autumn 2018


Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas (MAPA)










Lamar Johnson

Concentration: English & Classics


Click the poster to return to  the Autumn 2018 Group Reading main page.

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