Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Under a Red Sky

Street Spirit

(For Marvin X)

under a red sky

you have roamed the streets of San Francisco

rapping about homeless blues

in your poetry

in your life

in your spirit

under a red sky

i saw you once selling the Poetry Flash

to rich tourists and wondered whether you would become the next Bob Kaufman

under a red sky

you have roamed the beaches

of the Golden State

praying here and there

remembering your sweet Sherley

confessing your sins and mistakes

under a red sky

you have remembered that a poet is full of great feelings

of love for God

for self

for others

whether the poet is homeless

or not

under a red sky

you have helped me to embrace the street spirits

and the rays of a red sun with your poetry

with your life

with your spirit.

--J. Vern Cromartie © 2005

Another One for Marvin X

start out in Fowler

go to Fresno

fall in love forever with a deep chocolate woman

who loves you and your poetry

you know she loves you

forever like the waves rolling in the dock of the bay

she loved you

this woman loved you when she breathed her last breath

sometimes you see her in your sleep

and you wonder about what could have been

about what should have been

about what was your flight to love forever

the power of love is holy

Jimi Hendix knew this holiness in his dreams

when he sang deep into the night

about the power of love

if you want to follow on the mantle of Jeremiah

let the power of love drench your soul forever.

--J. Vern Cromartie © 2006

Dr. J. Vern Cromartie is a poet and chair of the Sociology Department atContra Costa College. He is a former student of Marvin X when he taught drama at Laney College. Dr. Cromartie recently delivered a researchpaper on Marvin X's brief tenure at UC Berkeley.

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