Spiritual Poetry posted September 27, 2020

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'For the toiling years of grey' audio

A Better Way (Harriet Tubman)

by RGstar

A Better Way
(Harriet Tubman)


How still the willows where once harsh pillows of sack
Calm, how they once stirred in every gully and crack
Beneath, dark, bemused faces, mindful of attack
Bated breath, daring to step where no turning back

When she, like a beacon stood; named of one so sure
Moses--harbinger of good--faith like a robe wore
Thus they--like HIM, whipped and bled, found,within, the cure
Faith in HIM, for HE too was damned this way before

But no parting of waves, hounded and branded slave
Where with hope in stitched pockets ran, freedom so crave
Brews then boiled as dysentery toiled; onward the brave
Prayers bold and nights as cold, where the best had, she gave

Fade? She'd not fade for tears of discontent, but wade
Visions of Cain's wrath and the curse of man's first blade
Oppressed? Neither would yield nor of the wolf afraid
The Shepherd her shield, that day, till forever laid

Breathless, starless night, shine yet bright where they her lay
For there no statue arrayed for valor by day
No marbled stone for those toiling years of grey
And if now, as then, man must find a better way

...a better way?

... a better way

Poem of the Month contest entry



Syllabic verse-12 syllables per line.

Arrayed =display or arrange (things) in a particular way...presented in a particular way

It is said to be the man's first murder, Cain slaying his brother...
whether with the Jawbone of an Ass or stone ..
my interpretation of the act.

Harriet Tubman was deeply religious, and carried her bible as a constant companion. Her faith gave her the strength to get through, against all odds, a life some of us would not have made through, given the circumstances. She was code named 'Moses', for the many slaves she liberated, time after time, and never lost a one. This should have been entered in the Faith Contest, a few weeks ago, but I did not want to rush, felt it was not ready and preferred to give it the best I could for the category, for I do not seek accolades, but excellence, for such are you all worth, the best I can do each time. Accolades will come when they come. I hope I have done the category justice.

''Tubman worked as a nurse during the war, trying to heal the sick. Many people in the hospital died from dysentery, a disease associated with terrible diarrhea. ... She boiled water lily roots and the herbs and made a bitter-tasting brew that she gave to a man who was dying-and it worked! Slowly he recovered.'' Tubman, a slave herself was instrumental in helping slaves find sanctuary.
''Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or "Moses", as she was called) "never lost a passenger". After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America (Canada), and helped newly freed slaves find work.
As an adolescent, Tubman suffered a severe head injury when an overseer threw a two-pound metal weight at another slave who was attempting to flee. The weight struck Tubman instead, which she said: "broke my skull".
Born into slavery....
U.S. Senator William H. Seward sold Tubman a small piece of land on the outskirts of Auburn, New York, for $1,200. hill.''

On writing this, I knew little about Tubman , and only now, in its completion, found out that the decision made to have her face on the 20 dollar bill in 2016 has now been put on hold (for political reasons) This poem is a poem of faith and healing, not political, but a poem of faith...not for the few or the many, but for all.

Thank you for reading.

Artwork (Mural) by Michael Rosario

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