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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

The Struggle

Karl W. Carter, Jr.

Cortege For Lucas’ life song                              I place at your feet                                                    this wreath of  Blackness                                A chord progression’s  geographic migration                                A journey begun down at the cross roads                                From New Orleans to Memphis                                 To Saint Louis                                “Saint Louie woman with your store bough hair”                                   To Chicago                                    “Going to Chicago sorry I can’t take you                                                              Ain’t nothing in Chicago that a                                                                                               woman like you  can do”                                   A tradition woven  from a withered  skein                                                                      Of suffering in fates loom                                    A warp of triumph  in adversity’s shuttle                                     A genre constructed on the backs of                                                                                       Slaves and share croppers                                    A fabric of grief and anger                                    A life of lost Todays                                                                   Forgotten tomorrows                                      A remembrance of   Love’s betrayal  and deception                                     A wandering in search of  a promised land                                    A song whose weft are the spirits of                                                                                       Bluesmen  and jazzmen                                         A story told in lives lived                                              Whose only voice is the                                                       lonesome cry                                                                              of  the night train                                                                                                          heading UpSouth

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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