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Poets on Peace #10 - Like A Dry Land - Vincent F. A. Golphin
Vincent F. A. Golphin teaches Creative Writing, Literature and Cultural Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is an award-winning writer and journalist, who continues to freelance and is managing editor of about …time, a national news and feature magazine based in Rochester, New York.
For more than 25 years, his articles, poems, essays and stories have appeared in a wide range of publications that include national magazines such as Christianity Today, National Catholic Reporter, Emerge, Washington Living, and Upstate New Yorker; literary journals such as Bridges, Drylongso, Fyah, Ishmael Reed's Konch Magazine, Mental Satin and Southern Poetry.
His books include Life and Other Things I Know: Poems, Essays and Short Stories, Take Two, They're Small and African-American Children's Anthology, African-American Stories: My First Treasury, and Grandma Loves You: My First Treasury.
From the book:
LIKE A DRY LAND
Like the scorched earth of the Hebrew poet
my heart and soul thirsts
for that fevered soil
of mystery, legend and strife
where Jesus, Allah and Jehovah
stand astride and smile upon their children
who daily rend their legacies like a sinner's robes
in feuds fueled by the blood in their bones.
I look at the little they have left behind,
that which the hand of god
set in place
stark and silent
to teach me an eternal truth -
politics is the least permanent reality.
human wants and desires blow about
more swiftly and easily than the billions of sand grains
before me, and when all the ideas
of this age are past
stony piles and creeping dryness
remain to cover the loss of lives
past lies and betrayals
the efforts of finite fingers to fashion
paradise on a tortured land they have betrayed.
I leave with but a glimpse, a
notion, that even to understand
the language of my hosts
is not to know that place
the lesson of its truth
is written on the soul.
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