Be pleased to walk alone: three poems by Alice Walker

Be Nobody’s Darling

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.


How Poems are Made/A Discredited View

Letting go
In order to hold one
I gradually understand
How poems are made.

There is a place the fear must go.
There is a place the choice must go.
There is a place the loss must go.
The leftover love.
The love that spills out
Of the too full cup
And runs and hides
Its too full self
In shame.

I gradually comprehend
How poems are made.
To the upbeat flight of memories.
The flagged beats of the running
Heart.

I understand how poems are made.
They are the tears
That season the smile.
The stiff-neck laughter
That crowds the throat.
The leftover love.
I know how poems are made.

There is a place the loss must go.
There is a place the gain must go.
The leftover love.


The Tree of Life Has Fallen

The tree of life
has fallen on my small house.
I thought it was so much bigger!
But it is not.
There in the distance I see the mountains
still.
The view of vast water stretching before me
is superb.
My boat is grand and I still command the captain
of it; not having learned myself to sail.
But I am adrift
without my tree of life
that has fallen heavy
without grace or pity
on this small place.
For the departing dictator, in perpetuity.

Advertisements
Be pleased to walk alone: three poems by Alice Walker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s