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I want my friends in Africa / pinned down in Mogadishu / by flying lead, not nails,

to know about your shed. / I want as many people now / to know about your shed

as stand to learn from it

 

 

 

                  The Shed

                                           To Rudolph Lewis

By Richard Lawson

 

I hope that you, old friend, toiling away

to fix the roof of your store shed

all day for days in overwhelming heat,

the sweat of natural Florida,

that makes this too-warm English summer

seem temperate again,

I hope you win.  I hope your father’s store

Is gloried with the roof      that it deserves

I hope that you don’t fall.

 

I want my friends in Africa

pinned down in Mogadishu

by flying lead, not nails,

to know about your shed.

I want as many people now

to know about your shed

as stand to learn from it,

because it’s more than shed

we talking here.

 

Fine as it no doubt is   as shed,

this one is more than timber,

more than tar paper and sweat,

more than determination,

more than a health and safety risk,

more than some slabs of wood

arranged with more or less regard

to canons     of structural integrity:

It is a thing of spirit,

creation of a living poet.

 

                            Architecture. Frozen blues, maybe.

Cathedrals come to mind.

 

Not that they should come

en masse to make a pilgrimage,

although in fact when you have gone

they might well come,

for few are famous while they breathe,

and of the ones that are,

it would be better for us all

that they were not,

                                maybe.

 

The point is that this shed

is getting built.

 

Trees are our brothers.

They live and die

just like John Barleycorn,

and willingly giving up the sap

to win  new life  in service to their family.

 

This shed was once alive,

bi-placentate in form,

a joiner-up of earth and sky

the fusion point in its green sap

to all four elements.

Like Shiva’s locks that broke the flood

Its leaves      gave shade from blazing sun.

Trees give us unconditional love,

like dogs and gods;

                                  some gods,

                                                        sadly not all.

 

It died to find itself becoming shed.

 

Frozen blues? In Florida now

the only frozen things

are found in white machines

humming beneath their breath

just while the juice is on.

Not frozen:   solid blues

from far away, blown out by Buddy Bolden,

crossing a river wider, deeper, cooler than

Pontchartrain to celebrate one poet’s work.

 

It’s up there with the wolf and the owl

and in the end, I dare say

up there with

Eli, Eli Lama Sabacthani,

if all the Truth be known.

 

The point is this:

this is a shed that’s going up.

Rudy is in the business    of building sheds,

not breaking them.

 

He does not use his strength   to knock down sheds.

He does not bulldoze    structures.

He brings no lethal force to bear   on others’ work.

There are no bombs   in Rudy’s bag.

That’s all. That’s good. That’s all we need.

*   *   *   *   *

© Richard Lawson

August 2006

posted 20 August 2006

Dr Richard Lawson was born in Hayling Island, Hampshire, UK in 1946, qualified in medicine (Westminster Hospital) in 1969, and travelled overland around the world in 1971-2. After seven years of hospital psychiatry he transferred to general practice.

He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and has been in general medical practice in Congresbury, North Somerset since 1979. He has been a UK Green Party member since about 1977, holding various national offices including Co-Speaker.

Married, with three children, he enjoys gardening, cycling, roller hockey, windsurfing, sand yachting, plays the flute, writes poems, short stories and songs, and is an ex-handglider pilot. He has a number of inventions, chiefly a double film, flexible aerofoil sail which he has been developing steadily for a number of years. He is a Quaker and a member/supporter of numerous socially conscious organizations.

More information can be found at http://www.greenhealth.org.uk/Author.htm / rlawson@gn.apc.org

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files: View From Crook Peak  Tsunami - Villanelle  A Wood in Somerset, Iraq  Leaves on the lawn   Hail to the Chief  The Shed  Unity's all we ask and need    The Big End of the American Economy