When Poets Die

(c) 2014 S. Renee Mitchell



amiri baraka is dead

& maya angelou asks

how do we go on when poets die

how can we continue to live

without their graceful communication

when the lot of us clumsily stumble over

simple phrases like

“please”  “thank you” “i love you”

poets can make revenge

sound like a passionate Italian sonnet

& sprinkle careless utterings

with brilliant Technicolor


whether as amiri or leroi

he was perfectly imperfect

 - unapologetically -

his indictments of oppression

forced us to pay attention

smile hope dream think wonder


how do we go on when poets die?

how can we even imagine

a world in which words

can no longer be soulfully translated

into languageless emotions

who will give sensitive voice

to that which is best expressed

with hauntingly beautiful ordinariness


how do we go on when poets die?

© 2020 by Renee Mitchell Speaks. All Rights Reserved.

   "Words have power.

Choose them wisely."