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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society


Karl W. Carter, Jr.

Karl W. Carter, Jr
For Dante Graham

And the afternoon shadow
                   dances on the wall
Slowly closing the circle
Moving closer to the window
As I remember your voice
                   speaking of history
Four hundred years long
                                 and a hundred years deep
The spinning of time to reach
                                 from Africa to this shore
Through the holds in black bowed ships
To silent drums on Southern Plantations
                                   History 400 years long
                                                    and a 100 years deep
The silent moments when it came home
That the shadow of magnolia tree
                     hung over Harlem and Watts
When cities burned and time
                   stretched out 400 years long
                                  and 100 years deep
For tomorrow was a promise
A new beginning
                       400 years long
                                     and 100 years too late

Karl W. Carter, Jr. was born in New Orleans, LA and grew up in Los Angeles, CA. He is the author of two books of poems, Sojourner and Other Poems (CreateSpace, 2010), and A Season in Sorrow (Broadside Press, 1972) and the poetry broadside Three Poems (Broadside Press, 1972). His poetry appears in numerous anthologies, including: Understanding the New Black Poetry: Black Speech and Black Music as Poetic Reference (William Morrow, 1973); Synergy D.C. Anthology (Energy Black South Press, 1978); The Poet Upstairs: An Anthology of Washington Area Poets (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1979); Off the Record: An Anthology of Poetry By Lawyers (Legal Studies Forum, 2004); Freedom In My Heart: Voices From the United States National Slavery Museum (National Geographic, 2009); and Words of Protest, Words of Freedom, Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement (Duke University Press, 2012). Delaware Poetry Review (2013) and Beltway Poetry Quarterly.(2014)


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