The Poetry of Everett Hoagland

THE BOTTOM LINE

Lo, and behold!
Our would be bold
new president —

nominated, campaigned for,
elected by a mainstream political
party,

by a mainstream political process
to head our (inter-) national mess —

is neither a comrade, a messiah,
nor magician.
Not even

the so-called American Dream
in fruition. Heavens!
Unprecedented.

Imagine!
Of all things, President Obama
is a politician.

by Everett Hoagland

HIROSHIMA

lit candles glow through
tiny paper lantern boats
afloat on silence

by Everett Hoagland

‘ILLEGAL’ IMMIGRANTS & LEGAL INHUMANITY

after columbus came
in the name of God & the reign
of spain & his wrecking crew invaded
raided attacked took land & gold grabbed
hold & raped diseased undid taino carib arawak
as they pleased

after cortez & his mounted cortege
massacred aztecs & mayans & others
of los indios & recast the conquered cultures
into ingots gold altars & coins

after the pious anglo pilgrims
became populous & perpetrated
genocide against the connecticut
pequot

after the founding fathers
of “illicit” biracial slave children
born of legal free-market-slavery’s
monticellos’ slave concubines white-
washed it all with a cult of “race” designed
to keep uniquely american people colored
by inhumanity in their “place” outside

their in-
alienable americanism by way of what was
an entitling duplicitous white-lie titled
the constitution

after all that who are we
the people but a nation of emigrated
immigrants? who
are we the people to oppressively oversee
the exclusion of spanish-speaking french-
speaking portuguese-speaking english-
speaking dutch-speaking people
of color

whose central american antillean or african
ancestors were already in or brought to & legally out-
right sold & bought in diverse places in the americas long
before europe’s “huddled masses” who are we
the people to keep them from the pursuit
of happiness?

who are we the people
to keep people
from cropping the amber waves of grain
from cropping the leaves of grass
in the promised land of our grand speeches
& all-american poetry
from working as rightful migrants in the vineyards
where the grapes of wrath are stored
from harvesting the fields from which we get
our daily bread??????????????????????
Lord!

by Everett Hoagland

from AT GROUND ZERO

We must salvage the shards
of truth and light in our minds beyond
sorely cratered jingoism at Ground Zero,

to see, know, act as if
all air, water sources, lives are sacred,
all of earth is homeland, holy land,
all of us blooded kin. Or how shall we

survive ourselves? We must
even more “… highly resolve …” that, yes,
for humanity
to live ” … more abundantly,”

there shall be no
inhumanity
in any nation’s world
or domestic policies.
That again and again
we humans must try
to be humane. Or
we will all go

down into the unlit pit,
the black hole of hate
at Ground Zero
into which so much
and so many — different
times and places — have already
fallen.

by Everett Hoagland

Since the late 1960’s, Everett Hoagland’s poetry has appeared in periodicals and anthologies such as: The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The Crisis, The Massachusetts Review, Political Affairs, The Best American Poetry 2002, African American Literature, and Afro Asia. His recent books are: This City & Other Poems (Spinner Publications, 1997), ..Here..New & Selected Poems (Leapfrog Press, 2002), and Just Words? (Aardvark Global Publishing, 2007.) Everett Hoagland is an Emeritus Professor at UMass Dartmouth and New Bedford’s first Poet Laureate, has won two Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowships, the Gwendolyn Brooks Award, and is an inductee of The International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent.

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