Veronza Bowers, Jr.

Loving To Be / Struggling To Be Free

A strong, virtuous and industrious young man
sat contemplative & absorbed at the side of a lake. Strong of body, humble in spirit
with the stillness of the water reflecting the serenity of his thoughts:
thoughts of a harvest
Soon to be gathered,
thoughts of a gratefulness
For communal trading & sharing,
thoughts of our children...
Our dedicated & nurturing wives,
thoughts of our loving parents
Instructing & giving advice,
thoughts of our people ~
Our beautiful, beautiful, beautiful people loving to understand & loving to be understood, loving to help others & loving those who help them, loving to love & loving to be loved,
loving the freedom of others & longing to be free themselves...

Then suddenly and imperceptibly
dreams transmitted to nightmares,
tranquility to havoc,
communal serenity to chaos,
and freedom to an inhumane forced servitude
the likes of which were never Known
Before or after -------
Treacherously were we snatched from the place of our birth by a man with a plan
calculating our laborious worth.
Captured, shackled, bought, sold and traded
By an avaricious incompassion...inhuman, untenable and hated. We've been denigrated, debilitated, depreciated and nigger-rated. We've been decried, denied, deprived, as well as separated. We've been brutalized, terrorized, dehumanized, and victimized.

Then utilized, vilified and irrevocably criminalized. We've struggled, fought
been ridiculed, massacred and died...
In mutinies, rebellions, protests
and even freedom rides.
Despised as thieves, yet we continue to be stolen from... Demeaned as murderers, yet we continue to be slaughtered...
Incarcerated as Insurgents ~ We must Continue to Struggle. We must still love to understand, and love to be understood. We must still love to help others, and love those who help us. We must still love to love, and love to be loved in return, We must still love the freedom of others..


To Kai and Abdulla
(A soliloquy to True Love)

Ah! . . . When was it you met?

was it in the days of Kings & Queens
Before you were sold/bought -- captured & taken to the ships
bound for a land you knew not where?
Was it in the fields where he labored for nought
while you slaved in the kitchen of a house that Jack had
built upon the bones of parents you knew not
children you could not have . . .
built upon the tears you dared not shed
blood you did not own?
just when was it you met?

. . . When was it you met?

was it on the back of the bus
where even a word spoken between you
must be in whispered tones?
Was it amidst the throngs in endless procession
as you marched blindly...arm-in-arm, heads held high . . .
between two dead men's feet hoping in vain that
your rights as human beings would be recognized
by people not quite civil?
just when was it you met?

. . . When was it you met?

Was it on a slick city street
where the fast life, the night life, the hip life - the no life
takes its toll
upon the undead who lives a thousand deaths
as Black dreams are deferred in lieu-of
down payments of cadillacs
or some such hog
and the precious skins of animals are tokens
for admittance into a world
not quite enough for the cit-tay?
Just when was it you met?

. . . when was it you met?

Was it when you were torn apart. . .
he to the new masta's houses for the wretched of the earth
you left 'free" to suffer alone
at the claws of the demons of death
and protectors of wealth
who care nothing about your love or you?
. . . Did you meet in the grips of insanity
as you bravely fought the cruelties you could not phantom
while he patiently with love fought at your side?
Just when was it you met?

. . . when was it you met?

Was it when you needed him most
and he was always there?
Was it when he needed you most
and you were always there?
Just when was it you say you met?

But when all is done and all is past. . . . does it really matter?. . . You have met. . . and you love!