Nowhere to Hide

November 6, 2017

I want to call all my kids

Tell them I love them

Tell them to drive safe

Wear their seatbelt

And don’t go sit in a theater,

Walk on a sidewalk,

Or go to school.

It is too dangerous

to ride your bike

walk the streets of Times Square

or go to a music festival

held outdoors.

I want to tell them

Not to attend church

Not to invite a stranger

Into your prayer meeting

because he might be a terrorist

a delusional white supremacist

or someone who was in the military

(which doesn’t seem to bode well

for your mental health these days).

I want to tell them

to be safe, always,

Because if I had to go through

what hundreds of other parents are going through right now,

I don’t know how I would survive.

I want to tell the NRA

to go hide in a cave somewhere

and take all their guns with them

because no one needs any kind of gun

that can take 26 lives in 15 seconds

because they were angry at the world that day,

And the person who shot back

Couldn’t fire fast enough

to save them.

No one could.

And I want to write my Congressmen and women

to demand gun control

But I feel they are already bought out

Lock stock and barrel

and nothing will change.

I do it anyway

but it’s getting a little difficult to breathe in here

a little challenging to hope.

Why can’t we love each other?

Where does this hate come from?

“Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust?
That no one should exalt himself over the other.”*

cfblack  11-06-2017

*Writings of Baha’u’llah


No one knows the memories

October 22, 2017

No one knows the memories

you carry in your heart,

over 60 years of them,

never apart,

your love starting fresh

on a country road

as a serviceman offered you a ride,

letters written during WWII

promises made and kept,

He came to see you before his mother

a new life begun together,

the birth of 6 children,

too many grandkids to count,

weddings and holiday gatherings,

Bodies turning old

but spirit the same,

you shared this journey together,

no one knows the memories,

but we see them in teardrops falling.

cfblack  10-22-2017

Death is not pretty

October 22, 2017

Death is not pretty,

It is not meant to be,

The body decomposes



The process begins

before we are gone,

We stop nourishing it

before we go home,


Loved ones surround us

at our bedside,

There is no hiding

what is happening inside,


Skin wrinkles and withers

face sunken and hollow,

We are giving up this life

and leaving tomorrow,


Death is not pretty

and so we see,

what is left is the shell

where our soul used to be,


As the process unfolds

we leave body behind,

The spirit is freed!

because our God is kind,


So don’t worry for me

as I leave you here,

for my spirit is soaring

to other spheres,


You will see me again

in a very short time,

We are always, forever,

united as one.

cfblack  10-22-2017 


After Tonight

October 21, 2017

After tonight,

you will visit him

in your dreams at night,

You will see his smile,

and think of him,

hear his voice and laughter,

Connected throughout the realms of God,

disconnected from time and space,

His presence will be with you there,

and also in your prayers.

We wish we could do it all again,

be a better daughter or son,

No matter how long our time has been,

the pain is still acute,

Years and years of parenting

now coming to a close,

memories flood back to us

like the sweet smell of a rose,

So rest, my dear, his time is come,

You need your sleep as well,

For you are destined to be with me

for a little while here on Earth,

A generation passes on

from this world to the next,

Rest, and hear his voice again,

for he is with you still.

cfblack  10-21-2017

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 


August 19, 2017

I was born about 1:10pm on a Wednesday. My mother always said, “I knew the minute you were born!” like that was unusual. I think because from her experience, women were doped up and pretty much unconscious, which is sad, to me. I was the 2nd child and my older brother 8 years older than me. Probably, I took a lot of our parents’ attention that he was used to absorbing. They tried for 2 years to get pregnant for me, & then got the other gender, so I figure I was the center of their world for awhile. Until my sister came along 2 1/2 years later. And then our younger brother 5 years after that! So I was 7 1/2 years from one brother, 8 years from the next. It was my sister & I in the middle.— My dad was a professor and he loved to take 3-4 weeks of his summer and roam around out West. We went to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Yosemite and the Redwoods, Canada and Mexico. My birthday usually occurred on a trip. I can’t really remember hardly anything that I really wanted for my birthday, I think because it was celebrated away from home. I remember more, what I wanted for Christmas. Dolls……. Raggedy Ann, Barbie, “Miss Ideal”, Tiny Tears. Nancy Drew mysteries. A stingray bike. One thing I DO remember I really wanted was a transistor radio for my 16th birthday. My dad said they couldn’t find the one I wanted, they’d get it later. We had the birthday dinner, I went to bed, then I heard this loud rock & roll-type music playing…….. went downstairs, there was the RADIO, my radio. My dad liked to play games & tricks like that on us. He died 9 days later at the age of 50, on my mom’s birthday. I have lived 14 more years than he was able to. He never met a grandchild. I have 6. No one ever knows how long they have on this earth, to be with your loved ones. Life is a gift of God. I appreciate all the bounties I have been given to have lived this long. May I enjoy many more.

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