Lyrical Somerville – November 28

On November 28, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Somerville Poet Afaa Michael Weaver. – Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Somerville Poet Afaa Michael Weaver has a new collection of poetry out The Government of Nature (University of Pittsburgh Press). He wrote the LYRICAL:

An intro to the poem “Against Forgiveness”

“Forgiveness is a process. As a young poet I set myself the task of articulating the interiority of people from my environment, black working class and poor people. I have always known that meant writing personal poems, and a deepening self awareness is not easy. Abuse is more common than we realize or want to admit. It happens regardless of race or class. The victims are male and female. The effects of it are everywhere. The Government of Nature is the chandelier in my inner room, the bright light inside me. I hope it will have meaning for other people.”


Against Forgiveness

In the moonlight the leaves telegraph
the night’s song, the way they brush against
us as we go under the wooden bridge
across from the Jesuit seminary, stepping
in streams, the horses tunnels of living flesh
that we trust. My faith in him is absolute.
We go into the woods where mad things
can turn the horses into monsters that maim
and crush, but he holds life up with hands
named by what nature tells the living.

I know it from the shadows of whispers
in my mind, from the earliest games in a space
a big brother should have had but was taken by him,
my uncle like a chocolate bear in the dark,
bear that I keep close to me, carving
a dark father from questions I do not know,
questions I have not the courage to ask
as one asks a question to step from shadow
and become the light that leads, shines
on the words carved in stone by water.


– Afaa Michael Weaver



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