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Help, Help, Mama Harriet, Help!

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    by Raymond Nat Turner

    “US like bloodhounds, strip-searching our souls, stealing star-studded

    Smiles from our children’s eyes, chaining them to hitching posts like

    Horses or mules.”

    Help, Help, Mama Harriet, Help!

    by Raymond Nat Turner

     

              Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Hallucination, or Hibernation’s the new Negro National Question

      For hearts and brains infected by strains of post-racial congestion—

      Deadly delusions are dancing around, masking truths about genocide…

      As hyphens between Africans and Amerikkka, act Wyoming-wide!

     

     Come tonight, dim chandelier overhead—or come tomorrow, damp

     Moss growing green and thick on tree trunks, pointing you north…

     High sign when gulf and coasts are clear, Reconstruction tasks dog

     US like bloodhounds, strip-searching our souls, stealing star-studded

     Smiles from our children’s eyes, chaining them to hitching posts like

     Horses or mules; come whispering truth of how battles for housing

    Those in cardboard beds along dog-soiled sidewalks must be fought;

     Truth of how firefights for freedom schools needed by your children

     Asleep on corners— britches-level consciousness—must be fought,

     How mirages of Rollex-models must be mowed down on trails you blazed;

     Come Underground Railroad, Harpers Ferry, or hitchhiking—though your

     Bling-blind children roll Land Rovers, Hummers, Benzes and Bentleys, but

     Sub-compact love for one another, the ancestors and other animals of the planet…

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Hallucination, or Hibernation’s the new Negro National Question

      For hearts and brains infected by strains of post-racial congestion—

      Deadly delusions are dancing around, masking truths about genocide…

      As hyphens between Africans and Amerikkka, act Wyoming-wide!

     

     Come digging your dark, strong, work-scarred hands deep in our

     Sternums, compressing our chests with CPR, come blowing your

     Brave breath through our twisted mouths, blow fire back into our

     Potbellies; deliver us from clutches of expiring empire; come using

     Your trusty pistol as a defibrillator, shocking our shriveled, shuffling,

     Celebrity-worshipping hearts alive—pray enough oxygen’s in our

     Blood for saving our poor hearts, for saving our feeble brains!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Hallucination, or Hibernation’s the new Negro National Question

      For hearts and brains infected by strains of post-racial congestion—

      Deadly delusions are dancing around, masking truths about genocide…

      As hyphens between Africans and Amerikkka, act Wyoming-wide!

     

     Come heartbroken, wondering where your children lost true North,

     Swallowed up in steel cages, voted out with hot lead ballots, hooked

     On “race-“laced hashish of state deception, while casting you with

     Mimed movements for reparations, ever since Madison Avenue’s

     Moses came calibrating and triangulating like Ol’ Pharaoh—

     Profaning hallow ground you fought on a century ago!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Hallucination, or Hibernation’s the new Negro National Question

      For hearts and brains infected by strains of post-racial congestion—

      Deadly delusions are dancing around, masking truths about genocide…

      As hyphens between Africans and Amerikkka, act Wyoming-wide!

     

    Highball it, come handing down Drinking Gourd directions,

     We’ll rise and walk vertical again in five-foot tall footprints

     Of your Herculean love for us, and our unfinished business,

     We’ll spit on thirty pieces of silver-house Negroz, spying and

     Lying fo’ Ol’ Massa, neo-liberal Lilliputians, Tattoos for empire!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

      Hallucination, or Hibernation’s the new Negro National Question

      For hearts and brains infected by strains of post-racial congestion—

      Deadly delusions are dancing around, masking truths about genocide…

      As hyphens between Africans and Amerikkka, act Wyoming-wide!

     

     Hotfoot it, come hardening us like diamond drills for digging out

     Of decades of brimstone flabbiness; come humbling us for finding

     New forwarders, conductors and station agents of change we can

     Act with— new Fanny Lous, Ida B’s, Rosas, Ellas, Daisys, Caffies

     Coming from Compton, Caracas, Delhi, Durban, Dar Es Salaam,

     Cochabamba, Kabul, Baghdad, Bombay, Teheran, Harlem and Seoul

     With names like Marilyn, Assata, Vandana, Ramona, Pam, Yuri, Alice,

     Arundhati, Cynthia, Charlotte, Lynne, Medea, Monica, Nellie, Nora,

     Brenda, Barbara, Gerri, Asantewaa, Kiilu, Iyanna, Cleo, or Jane Doe!

     “Swing low,” help us finish getting to the promise land,

     Finding a new way of living,” somewhere, somehow—

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     Hurry!

     

    Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, help, Mama Harriet—help!

      Help, Mama Harriet, help Mama Harriet, Mama Harriet…

     

    Raymond Nat Turner can be contacted at upsurgejazz.com.

    Inspired by Sonny Rollins’ “G-Man,” this poem was written to celebrate our Moses, our General, Harriet Tubman. 2013 marks the centennial of her death in 1913…

     

    Raymond Nat Turner © 2013 All Rights Reserved

     

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