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03 July, 2009

MY SON'S LIFE: THE LATE L.T. HENRY


I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS
ABOUT MY SON’S LIFE.
NOW, I COULD TALK TO YOU
ABOUT ALL OF MY SON’S WEAKNESSES;
BUT THAT WOULD ONLY BE THE PERSON
THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU SAW.
I’M HERE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT A GENIUS
THAT WALKED AMONG US,
TALKED AMONG US,
AND PLAYED HIS MUSIC AMONG US.
THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT GENIUSES
HAVE IN COMMON.
THEY DON’T THINK LIKE WE DO.
IT TAKES A DIFFERENT MIND
TO HEAR MUSIC WHERE THERE ARE NO NOTES.
IT TAKES A DIFFERENT MIND TO CREATE A SONG
WHERE THERE ARE NO WORDS.
MOST GENIUSES LIVE LIVES OF AGONY
AND TUMULT AND LIVES
THAT WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND.
MAYBE WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND.
MAYBE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO REMEMBER
THE SONGS THAT GENIUSES CREATE
AND THE MUSIC THAT THEY HAVE PLAYED.

FOR MY SON TOMMY



OCTOBER 24, 1962 - MAY 25, 1987


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A FATHER'S LAMENT: RUSSELL WM. SELBY

i never had the chance to explain myself, Son.
I never knew where to start from exactly.
You never gave me the chance to find a point of beginning.
You never knew how tormented my soul had become.
I never had the chance to show you what you meant to me.
I never knew where to avoid the walls you put up.
You never gave me the chance to become the Father that you sought, and I wanted to be.
You never knew how to allow me time to reconcile.
I never had the chance to try to close the gap between us.
You never gave me the chance to repair the damaged foundation.
You never knew how to consider the pain of my existence -- without you.
I never had the chance to understand your choice of estrangement.
I never knew where to place your opinion of me.
You never gave me the chance to really know what was in the back of your mind.
You never knew how to really forgive me for the hardships you endured -- without me.
I never had the chance to tell you how sorry I really was, for leaving you.
I never knew where to set aside my shame for failure, as a Father towards you.
You never gave me the chance to even get close enough, to begin the healing.
You never knew how, to accept and experience the sincerity of my love for you.
I never had the chance . . .
I never knew where . . .
You never knew how . . .
There's still a chance for us, My Son --
I'm still alive -- and I'm here for you.
There's still time to reconcile, My Son --
I can still -- discernibly teach you.
The things you only thought you knew
about Life.


EMPTY SPACES OF A POEM (TO MY DAUGHTER SHAMIKA): RAY X. JOHNSON

I have restlessly sat
in the midst of night
scribbling on blank pieces
of paper, consumed in thoughts
of you; Attempting to compose
a poem reflective of us
seeking out/those defining
words of depth/that speak
to the very essence
of our existence -- a part of Me
which has with no rest whatsoever/
reigned havoc
on my conscious. . .
penetrating my soul deeply;
What mere words -- if there be any
can truly fill/those empty
spaces of our lives.