Rain in the Desert
By John Gould Fletcher
The huge red-buttressed mesa over yonder
Is merely a far-off temple where the sleepy sun is burning
Its altar fires of pinyon and toyon for the day.
The old priests sleep, white-shrouded;
Their pottery whistles lie beside them, the prayer-sticks closely feathered.
On every mummied face there glows a smile.
The sun is rolling slowly
Beneath the sluggish folds of the sky-serpents,
Coiling, uncoiling, blue black, sparked with fires.
The old dead priests
Feel in the thin dried earth that is heaped about them,
Above the smell of scorching, oozing pinyon,
The acrid smell of rain.
And now the showers
Surround the mesa like a troop of silver dancers:
Shaking their rattles, stamping, chanting, roaring,
Whirling, extinguishing the last red wisp of light.
William Carlos Williams
There is a bird in the poplars-
It is the sun!
The leaves are little yellow fish
swimming in the river.
The bird skims above them-
day is on his wings.
It is he that is making
the great gleam among the poplars.
It is his singing
outshines the noise
of leaves clashing in the wind.
The Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
By: Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
We Wear the Mask
By: Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,-
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Still I rise You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
By Maya Angelou
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
Does my sexiness upset you?
You may trod me in the very dirt
Does it come as a surprise
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Out of the huts of history's shame
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
Just like moons and like suns,
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
With the certainty of tides,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Did you want to see me broken?
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: One, two! One, two! And through and through
All mimsy were the borogoves, The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
And the mome raths outgrabe. He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! "And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
The frumious Bandersnatch!" O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought -- `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
So rested he by the Tumtum tree, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
And stood awhile in thought. All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!