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Photographed Light of My Grandmother's Soul
by Aberjhani
Friday, February 20, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Original digital art by the poet.


“There is movement in the shadow of a sun that is old now. There, just there. Coming from the rim of the world.”
Toni Morrison, Family and History



The black and white photo shows you seated
in a wooden chair on the porch of a cabin
built likely by slaves, later inhabited by you:

Black American Woman Elsie Mary Bell Griffin.

One side of the image is shadowed
like the memories, the love, and perseverance
that shape your face into a hymn of quiet dignity.

The planks of the cabin’s wall are straight.
Like the rows of crops you used to hoe.
The window a rectangle of inked mysteries.

From a western corner of the late summer sky
light streams brilliant wonder into the picture,
rushing through leaves to kiss your head and arms.

Thus your eternal spirit confirms your weary blue bones.

Nowhere in the photo do we see the chopped-off heads
of snakes you later fed to the hogs. Their writhing corpses
would help explain the heavy boots that shelter your feet.

The news this year is a black man in the white house.
Perhaps when alive you shook his hand in a prophetic dream...
Your tears bled yesterday sealed the victory claimed today.

The light somehow is like a gentle jealous god
come to claim you solely for its own. The strength
of your calm gives you the power to surrender everything.

Bright rapture flows and you whisper, “Blessed be my Lord.”
Radiance splits your heart and your soul explodes three new stars.
Death rattles the tin roof and you command, “Peace, be still.”


by Aberjhani
from The River of Winged Dreams
The American Poet Who Went Home Again




Bright Skylark Literary Productions

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Reviewed by Muhammad Al Mahdi 7/5/2009
Exquisite and powerful images that marry the sacred to the trivial in which it is rooted. Beautiful.
Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson 3/3/2009
and this voices from before they cry-out in seas of memories and still I rise and still i rise.....means alot to one and even in the souls of men who fold, it means alot to all

great capturing here/hear
Reviewed by David Hightower 2/24/2009
Brother Aberjhani - beautiful poem about your grandmother and about life. like the way you contrasted the past and the present. Your poem makes the reader reel at what she would say about our new president. Especially liked the powerful, metaphysical last line and its palpable imagery,

Death rattles the tin roof and you command, “Peace, be still.”

As if she has transcended death. -David
Reviewed by Nordette Adams 2/23/2009
Beautiful work. :-)
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 2/23/2009
You have written such a powerful expression of love here. Simply beautiful.
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 2/23/2009
Hi Aberjhani! Beautiful and telling! What a trophy! Thank you for sharing this...

In Spirit,
Reviewed by Edwin Hurdle 2/23/2009
Beautiful poem,take care

Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 2/22/2009
quite a special piece of poetic expression, the ancesters can probably feel the change of the atmosphere in spirit
Reviewed by Art Sun 2/22/2009
Everyday the reality of a dream is splashed across the screens, with the memories of cabins and fields where sweat and tears fell together the emotions of so many must be like the rain falling upon the dried and parched soil...rejuvenating souls with dreams come true...

you pay tribute with an elegance of mind and a heart of compassion...for so many living the dream and for those traveled with wings of Angels...

truly nice work...

Art Sun...
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 2/22/2009
Blessed are those that honor the Matriachs and Patriarchs of their families, for they will never lose their identities.

The diffusing of respect, gratitude and love are the healing powers of humanity.

In gratitude and admiration,

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 2/22/2009

A glowing tribute to your grandmother - beautiful!!


Reviewed by Mark Rockeymoore 2/21/2009
So lovely. So beautiful a tribute to one of those mavens of our destiny. family. brother, cousin, we are related at the level of blood and bone.
Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson 2/21/2009
Powerful expressions of love and respect radiate throughout this poetic tribute, which you have so masterfully created! Bravo, Aberjhani!
Reviewed by Bernice Lakota 2/21/2009
This is fantastic, powerful yet very tender as you remember this brave and wonderful woman whose light a mere camera can't miss. Truely beautiful tribute. I love this lines "that shape your face into a hymn of quiet dignity."

and these "The light somehow is like a gentle jealous god
come to claim you solely for its own. The strength
of your calm gives you the power to surrender everything.

Bright rapture flows and you whisper, “Blessed be my Lord.”
Radiance splits your heart and your soul explodes three new stars.
Death rattles the tin roof and you command, “Peace, be still.”

Reviewed by Gene Williamson 2/21/2009
Not only a moving tribute, Aberjhani, but the quality of
the writing is worthy of your grandmother's memory. -gene.
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 2/20/2009
this beautiful write brought tears--you are a master
Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce 2/20/2009
Wonderful write about the strength of your grandmother's life. I think your grandmother is now resting in peace and rather happy that now a black man is residing in the white house.

Wonderful write, Aberjhani!!!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by John Flanagan 2/20/2009
Atmospheric and evocative, a fine and lasting tribute.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 2/20/2009
Beautiful tribute to your grandmother, Aberjhani; very well penned! BRAVO!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 2/20/2009
Every man condemned to solitude should have a tender and loving grandmother, because that's why the Lord put them on earth, to guide, protect and love the grandchildren.
Great tribute, let no forget them.


Reviewed by 000 000 2/20/2009
A faithful capture to the LORD and your Grandmother. We are created in his image..and may we join together for peace and prosperity as our new president tries to clean up the mess the United States is in!
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/20/2009
Such beauty, such strength in these lines of rememberance, Aberjhani. Her mysteries are your legacy, as you pay honor to her. Well done, Sir.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
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