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Black Poetry Post #17 - Esther Iverem - Earth Screaming

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“The Ecology” – Theme for Week #3, April 15 thru April 21

DevotionReader Series: 30 Ways of Looking at Black Poetry

 Earth Screaming – Esther Iverem

I. Omega

This still mountain night is not still.
It rings loud and shaking like maracas.
Night bugs—locusts, cicadas—are screaming.

There has been no water here.
Falls trickle pitifully down rocks.
Even at night, on this cool, Pennsylvania mountain,
it is too hot.
With the upper atmospheres disappearing,
        stars so close,
        the unknown so near, coming so direct,
        settling on my head to crush my body,
        my foolish species.

Night bugs sound electric
clicking a morse code about omega.
An ancient rain chant rises from the trees.

You must come here.
Come out of the city’s human hum,
to really hear
the earth screaming.

from “Earth Screaming,” in The Garden Thrives, edited by Clarence Major.

Esther Iverem, “Earth Screaming,” The Time: Portrait of a Journey Home, Poems and Photographs, 1993. 30 Days of Looking at Black Poetry -- Day:  One O Black and Unknown Bards   Two Listen Children    Three For the Record    Four Ballad of Birmingham  Five    Six The Idea of Ancestry   Seven I Want to Write   Eight A Grandfather Poem    Nine Sweet Sound   Ten My Brother is Homemade   Eleven Those Winter Sundays   Twelve SOS   Thirteen Resurrections    Fourteen Jessie Mitchell's Mother   Fifteen April Rain Song    Sixteen I've Got A Home in that Rock    Seventeen Earth Screaming   Eighteen Returning Spring   Nineteen Newark, for Now [68]   Twenty Dawn   Twenty-One Fir   Twenty-Two Comin Strong   Twenty-Three From a Black Feminists Conference Reflections on Margaret Walker: Poet   Twenty-Four My Africa   Twenty-Five Strong Men   Twenty-Six Today's News   Twenty-Seven My Guilt   Twenty-Eight Forward, Always Forward    Twenty-Nine The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa   Thirty What Harriet Said