I Am That We May Be

Poetry Cover

Illustration of book cover drawn by me

The poems that I have posted the past couple of weeks were first published in 1974 in my book of poetry, I Am That We May Be. I used the Swahili name, Damali, which meant a beautiful vision, explained in my introduction: “Poems are visions to be shared for the creation of our tomorrow. . .”

The book was published by Third World Press, Chicago, as part of The First Poet Series, being my first – and only – published book of poetry, so far. The favorable comments  I’ve received for the poems posted have given me confidence in my abilities as a poet. Here are two more poems from that book.

That We May Be
In accordance with the natural laws of harmony, man dropped the solitude existence of “I” and found the ever changing perfection of “WE.” (painted on a wall on 14th Street, between Euclid and Fairmont, NW, Washington, DC)

Let us

the shields from our eyes
that we may see our sameness.


our clenched fists
that we may join hands and create.


our closed ears
that we may hear the other’s song.

For our peoplehood will never rise


We find
the strength within the other.

Let Us
the meaning of Family
That We May Be.

The Calm


Rays of the sun
filter through piled clouds
like light reflected
from cut prisms.


The gray cloud
across the pied sky
like a huge spider
inching its way
against the white
motionless whispers
and the blue


7 Comments on “I Am That We May Be”

  1. Wow! What a title! You’re very creative! Your love and knowledge of countries in Africa (I love Swahili!) endears you even more to me. I’ll comment comment on each poem since they seem to have different themes.

    The first is a simple descriptive poem in which abstract terms (in this regard) like “shields,” “closed” bear resonate so strongly, giving so much meaning to the lines. Each stanza provides a particular stroke of the brush different from the first and yet so true! I love the ending so much! I see why you picked the poem’s title to be the title of your book.

    The second poem reflects the mind of a keen observer; a word weaver who points her readers to one of nature’s splendor. I like to the use of “quiet (I believe that’s what you meant),” “silence,” “hush.” And how they were made to stand alone.

  2. Love the structures you developed with each verse/stanza, single words and then the depth they contain within each context, their motion and momentum at each thought and visual embrace, formation in time..

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