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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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