Image: Tree House

February 21, 2022

A Day of Joy and Sorrow 2022

February 21, 2022

Today would have been Nina Simone’s 88th birthday.  She gave us such joy and passion and most importantly a withering and uncompromising understanding of the black condition in America. This review of a Simone biography is well worth reading. She was fierce in her joy and I love her for it.

Also, fifty-seven years ago today, the revered Malcolm X was murdered. At his funeral, Ossie Davis called him “our shining black prince”.

After years in the NOI’s leadership, Malcolm renounced the inherent racism of that organization and the alleged financial, political, and moral corruption of Elijah Mohammed. Without ever caving to white power, and maintaining his belief in the ultimate weapon of armed struggle, he sought, through Sunni Muslim beliefs, to raise the self-esteem of blacks in America.

Just a few months ago, in November 2021, the two men convicted of the murder were exonerated after an extensive investigation showed that their trials were “corrupt to the core”.  It may be time at last for the FBI and NYPD to own to their own part in the murder of a great leader.

Malcolm X’s Autobiography stands with Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and Nelson Mandela’s speech on his release from prison as the most influential statements of civil rights in the twentieth century.

Poem: Midnight Snack

February 21, 2022



It’s 2am and the furnace

of our passion

is cooling     slowly


we rise, tottering together,

arms entwined,

to the kitchen    kissing


after making love

we make toast

thick with butter     oozing


rich strawberry jam

streaked liked blood

or rust on a fence     rich


as sweet love’s triangle:

you and me and toast