as i fly over this time

By Thulani Davis b. 1949 Thulani Davis

for Dianne McIntyre

as i fly over this time
rising over only this
so much painted suffering
unseen grimaces and stares
among spruce greens
these few forests left
all of us trying to be alone
quiet and blind.
       *
i see soldiers in bus stations
with colored names
polaroid shots
their girlfriends chew gum
smile wide
       *
in all this silver of sky
like stars these wheels
car gears lampshades
electrical refuse
zen oiled and greased
the believers now so many
now so tired of the sad songs
the endless yearnings for war
and more and more
       *
dumb cries i sigh
trying to get out of town
i am writing on the wall
it will be painted over
like all the songs
once outside
but as i fly over this time
       *
dianne is dancing
touching the far reaches
leaping and teaching
she strokes and struts the air
none of us stumbles
or fears their lives
steel beams and rail tracks
strike an E-flat, B-flat, A
E-flat, B-flat, A
dianne is dancing
no one can handle the hostages
terror is abandoned
because of light
breaking in leaves
because the center is gone
we are still breathing
and the swing is our bodies

Thulani Davis, “as i fly over this time” from Playing the Changes © 1985 by Thulani Davis and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Playing the Changes (Wesleyan University Press, 1985)

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Poet Thulani Davis b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Music, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

 Thulani  Davis

Biography

Thulani Davis is an interdisciplinary artist who has written poetry, novels, plays, and screenplays. As described on the poet’s website, Davis’s work in all genres “shares a passionate concern with history, justice, [and] African American life and is marked by the journalist’s eye for the uncovered truth.” Her poetry collections include Playing the Changes (1985) and All the Renegade Ghosts Rise (1978). Raised in Virginia . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Music, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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