Poems by Christopher Sims and Erren Kelly

May 16th, 2022

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Stanzas for Buffalo
……….A Jazz/Blues Poem

Are we soulful enough
To sit together and scribe
stanzas that find hope
and answers for the
people in Buffalo?

If you own a saxophone,
can you blow for the Black
people who lost their lives
to racial terrorism, can you
play the Blues for all the
victims;

the citizens who will need
healing?

Just maybe, my pen
will perform a salute
to the fallen Black
security guard whose
family will be scarred

for the rest of their lives.

I’m pleading for poets
All across the land to
lend Buffalo your attention,

to write them something
soothing, moving. May
whatever you choose to
write help ease them,

guide them, bring them
victories with spiritual
vernacular.

We need soul songs
for Buffalo. Poems minus
ego, but carries the right
sounds, ‘specially after
the deceased are buried
in the ground

and the cameras and the
reporters are gone.

The Blues travels through
Black communities when
we’re all asking politicians
for protections, and the
nation for unity.

I need harmonica players
and griots to collaborate,
imagining a better future
for Black Buffalo in the thick
of thoughts, sadness,
turmoil, travesty.

Let’s make the words
and the music count,

and spread love and peace
constantly and consistently!

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by Christopher D. Sims
May 15, 2022

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Buffalo

hatred is the hemlock that
people drink when reason
and common sense have
failed…

they wrap their jadedness
in swastikas and parade their
discontent in rebel flags

MAGA becomes their battle cry
as they dive head first
into the storm of insanity

maybe he was bullied as a child?
maybe he heard some lies
and he bought into them?

maybe he lost out on a job
to a black man or maybe a black girl
didn’t want him?
or maybe he wasn’t popular enough
in school?

so, rage became his drug and it
turned into his cancer
and so, he invited people to
watch his theatre of horror

and the sad thing is, no one cares

they’ll become outraged
for about a week

and then life will go on…

people’s lives have become
video games lives
we dance to the tune of shock and awe
until we are numb
nations willingly risk wars
to appease their egos

so, what’s one more body to them?

he probably won’t get the death penalty
death would be too good for him
Let him sit in a max security prison alone
let his hate that was once his bliss
become the hell that now awaits him
maybe he can find some solace in the
darkness his heart is

maybe he can finally find god within blackness
and find some peace in the dark…

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by Erren Kelly
May 15, 2022

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Christopher D. Sims is a writer of poetry, a spoken word artist, and a human rights activist who uses words to inform. Born and raised on the west side of Rockford, Illinois, he has been writing since he was nine years old. A published poet, Christopher wrote a poetry and memoir collection entitled I was Born and Raised in The Rock in 2020. He is a fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute.

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Erren Kelly

Erren Kelly is a two-time Pushcart nominated poet from Boston whose work has appeared in 300 publications (print and online), including Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine, Ceremony, Cacti Fur, Bitterzoet, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, .and .Poetry Salzburg.

Click here to read “Under Quarantine” — COVID-era poetry of Erren Kelly, published by Jerry Jazz Musician

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Listen to the 1966 recording of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra play “Come Sunday’ (with Esther Marrow on vocals) [Sony Music]

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Click here to learn how to submit your poetry

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In This Issue

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