Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Chet Black

October 21, 2017

I must write about you

for the next generation,

and the next, and the next,

for they will not have the good fortune

to have known you in this life.

I may write about how

you found your wife,

walking on a road near Mascoutah,

You talked, and I think offered her a ride,

you, a serviceman stationed there,

and you and her made plans

for a life full of love,

for a home full of kids,

and after you returned from overseas,

that is exactly what you did together.

Your mother was mad

you went to see your future wife

before you went to see her,

and so it goes.

I will write about your politics

and how it took me

at least 5 years

of sitting in your living room

to get used to the constant opinionated challenges

being thrown about

to realize

it didn’t matter if I disagreed with your view

as long as I spoke my mind.

All opinions respected

but you had to have a brain

and be willing to banter back and forth.

I could write

about how you cried

at the slightest things

in your later years,

emotional in your 90s,

well it’s about time, old man.

I will have to write

about how you voted

for the first Black President in America

because the party you were loyal to

disappointed and betrayed you,

that party didn’t give you

all your due

in your later years of life.

Oh my God, how we will miss you,

how we will hold you in our hearts!

You stubborn soul, still, you supported us

and loved to have family around,

We were always welcome

at your table

or to sit in your living room,

ALL the TIMES we played euchre

in the kitchen,

ALL the JOYS of this life

and its cares,

We cannot imagine life without you,

We cannot believe you won’t be there.

We are happy for you in your journey

to leave us and move on to there,

All roads lead us to one another,

All paths will bring us together.


EarlChet and AL 170903 walking



The 200-year-anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah

October 14, 2017

Baha’u’llah is my Champion,

my Hero, my Adored One,

Baha’u’llah is my Inspiration,

my Holy One,

my Loved One.


The Kindest Person to walk the Earth,

the One most Wronged by all of us,

He who brought teachings to unite mankind,

to solve problems of the world,


the One most loved by all Who knew Him,

the One rejected by leaders and Kings,

He Who suffered in Tehran’s dungeons

meant for killers and thieves,


Called the Father of the Poor,

Inheritor of wealth He gave away,

for bringing teachings to heal our souls

He received a galling chain,


Forgive our weakness and frailties,

our not doing enough in Your Name,

Know that always, my heart follows You

and could never turn away,


“He doeth what He willeth,

what recourse have we?”

We offer little in return,

We call to Thee continually,

the flame is lit and burns,


O Holy One, Who suffered here,

accept our love, we pray,

You come but once in a thousand years,

God’s message for this Day,


You promised to return “as a thief in the night”,

before the world knew You were here,

The Sun returns every morning the same,

though it moves a bit on the Horizon,


Your presence left us forever changed,

Your Message for all to see

is left for each soul to judge its worth,

and some whose hearts leap toward Thee.

cfblack  10-14-17

work in progress,,,

September 30, 2017

She sat in my office and cried,

tears running down her face,

told me her great grandma had died,

and she just lost her cool.

Somebody stole her cell phone,

used it to commit crimes,

She was the only one in her family

to ever go past high school.

I didn’t know

what was true or lies,

or if the tears were real.


I only knew

she thought I had

more power than I did.


……………………….to be continued!!  work in progress……….







We are all here

September 23, 2017


We are ALL here,

We all BELONG here,

We all contribute to what is US.

We are all unique,

We are all connected,

Diversity is our ASSET,

it is a PLUS.

It is what makes us BEAUTIFUL,

it is what makes us ONE,

a Nation of immigrants,

will not be undone.

We deserve to have our babies

with access to care,

We deserve to have a doctor

when we need one there.

If we have a condition pre-existant to another,

This means we are sicker than we were yesterday.


Chicano, Latina, Mexican, Puerto Rican,

Lakota, Oglala, Ojibway, Navajo,

the Irish, the German,

English, Scottish, Dutch,

the Greek, the Chinese,

Polish, Vietnamese,

the Gay, the Lesbian, the Bi, the Transgendered,

and African, Ghanaian, Liberian, Kenyan,

We are refugees from EVERYWHERE,

from Sudan and Yemen,

from Serbia, and anywhere people are oppressed,

We are ALL HERE,

This is OUR America,

We will speak our minds,

We will watch the News,

We will peacefully march for the rights of all,

for children and youth in our neighborhoods,

We express who we are,

a Nation of immigrants,

many people as ONE,

and we ain’t goin’ nowhere.

cfblack 09-23-17 

Who we are

July 25, 2017

We are flesh, and bone,

gristle and tendon,

We are blood, and muscle,

eyeball and ear,

a fragile hunk of skin over skeleton,

veins and arteries,

ligaments, hair,

and underneath, a brain that is thinking,

while magical neurons

flash signals through air,

We draw breath, take in oxygen,

exhale the carbon,

while a heart pumps blood

to our organs and toes,

We fall in love with another,

We contemplate stars,

We laugh, we create,

wonder who we are,

We are conscious beings,

use language and reason,

and at some point we know,

there are worlds beyond this one.

cfblack 07-25-2017








Creating final exams

July 16, 2017


Stay out of my way–

I am at work,

the words come slowly,

I take many breaks,

This is MY creative process,

a labor of love,

gathering lessons learned

in a semester of time,

This group will never come again,

they splinter and vanish,

in two more days,

The best result being

more questions than answers,

The answers are supplied with their response,

Their decisions, their analysis,

their actions, their future,

There is no right answer,

it is up to them,

to consider alternatives,

challenge every fact,

Think outside the box,

Re-write the question,

Because we need a better world,

and my time is limited.

Yours is the journey, now,

Your future the new path,

the challenge is the choice,

which way will you walk?

cfblack, 07-16-2017

poem for Naylah on her 7th birthday

June 3, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Naylah

We picked strawberries

And waited for you,


Mommy, so heavy,

So ready for you,


But you were late!

(just a little bit)


Baba wondered,

Would he have another son?

Or a BEAUTIFUL daughter



We rushed to the Birthing Center

Where you were born,

Grandma played with Zakiah

In the waiting room,


And then – there you were!

Out of Mommy you came!


Someone said, “It’s a girl!”

And Mommy cried


For Naylah



Was here,

And life was never the same.

cfblack, 06-03-2017

Naylah age 7

End of semester depression

April 21, 2017

End of semester depression

About to kick in

Classes full of students


Chaotic hours of young adults

Speaking texting



Last gatherings of these particular groups

Final thoughts expressed

Arguments put forth

This group of seniors

Moving on

The first in their families

To get a degree

Their families beaming

With expectations

Hopes for their future

On their sleeves

We wonder

Who they will become?

What life will bring them

After they leave?

At this point,

All is possibility,

With fear of their reality,

This is the moment they will dance,

Time to celebrate.

                  cfblack 4-21-2017

End of semester, Beginning of life

April 21, 2017

I’m tired,

and I hope I can find

all the Quiz 2’s

for the right students,

so we can go over them

before the final.

I hope I can answer all their questions.

I hope that they ASK some questions.

I hope they turn in

that ONE assignment

I allow them to make up

that they never did,

Because I’m a nice person,

a caring prof,

who would happily give all A’s

and not focus on grades at all,

but just have conversations

about what they are learning —

from each other,

from the book,

from the Internet,

from their phones,

and what do they think about it?

And I want to tell the seniors,

Baby, just slow down,

It’s not over,

It’s never over,

You will always be learning,

the road is long,

And as soon as you leave this place —

which you are itching so bad to do —

Life is gonna smack you in the gut,

and you won’t even see it coming.

But don’t ever give up,

And don’t let it get you down,

Because life is beautiful

and it’s all worth it,

Just keep your head up

Stay informed

Speak your mind

And be involved,

Don’t accept the world as it is

Do your best to change it,

Find something to do that is worthwhile,

Because life is truly

what you make of it.

cfblack  04-21-2017


April 13, 2017


Clowns are scary.

They don’t show who they really are,

Paint their faces,

And laugh too much.

They run around in circles,

Fall over themselves,

Ride silly bikes,

And play mean tricks.

Adults think their children will laugh at them,

But children know,

And are scared of clowns.

We don’t know what they will do next,

Will they be funny?

Will they fall down?

These days, clowns are running the world,

They play silly games,

Fall over themselves,

Play tricks on us,

See if we notice,

And laugh and laugh,

And laugh.

cfblack  04-13-2017