Just take me from the projects,
lead me up the avenue, I'll be
wading through rhetoric of the promised land;
from Brooklyn Heights to Baton Rouge,
South Side and Spanish Harlem
– a wave of broken voices –
I am calling out into the sky,
singing marco in the hazy afternoon.
And we listen with our heads pressed up
against the wall.
Can they hear us from afar?
Echoes in the atmosphere.
The ghost of a reply
tender like raindrops,
broken by the avenue.
And some crumpled man in rags is
craning up to listen –
waiting for the speaker to emerge again.
just take this hand in yours
and together we will go.
Softly we will walk out,
children of reality.
For the sake of our forgetfulness,
our memories like flashbulbs
blink against the red brick halls
of a weathered night.
Scenes of broken homes and unfulfilled promises.
Warped by our own optimism,
child-like wonders –
we'll scowl at the monsters
and look for angels in the ghetto
The hubcaps and tin cans,
a kaleidoscope of oil flashing
a dreamlike glitter in the gutters off the street.
A forest of our very own,
by our own making;
and the wonders of our innocence
where the trolls beneath the bridges wait with gaping,
And we'll overcome the mountains, here,
read the writing on the wall
left by the messengers
like the drifting hymnals of our fathers in the sky.
Spiritual singers – these coded messages
sprayed across the rough concrete
we'll sing them once again.
While the fools fall into trenches,
trolls beneath their bridges, we will
punch right through the backdrop:
from the other side.
And a thousand stars are thrumming,
softly humming their reply
the eager mediators – easily forgotten, they
lift the calls up to the heights.
Is anybody listening?
Does it really matter, now?
Our voices heard in passing,
passing out through tepid hands
stretched out from some ladder
on the avenue.
Here from the projects.
There from the atmosphere.
Footsteps in the morning fog.
An engine on the avenue.
We step into the woods and we are moving