| Glen Ford in Philadelphia on December 7 2019 | MR Online Glen Ford speaking at the “Youth Rise Up Against US Empire” event in Philadelphia, December 7, 2019. Credit: Joe Piette, Flickr.

…For Brother Glen

A poem in remembrance of Glen Ford, whose untimely death on July 28, 2021, we deeply mourn. —Eds

When an elder dies, a library burns to the ground…

—African proverb (gender-adjusted)


No bald “Build Back Better” slogans for
a burned Bruce library—
a Glen library gone—Pick up the ashes,
Carry on… spreading them on new crops…


I couldn’t breathe…
black cat dander, goober dust, rabbit foot
spook-ism; viral droplets of Madison Ave.
messaging: “Yes, we Can and bottle Jim
Jones Juice for regime Change you can
believe in…”

I couldn’t breathe…
droplets of dung from charlatans riding
bareback/backwards on donkeys
Every 2-4 years—Trapping Negroz in pigment
of their imaginations—whooping, hollering,
Happy dancing on ice…for The Audacity of Dope

I couldn’t breathe…
Ecstasy/rhapsody of nodding icons—swept up
in rapture of Kool-Aided euphoria—
Mentors becoming bus brutes when facts f-up
their highs…

I couldn’t breathe…
quarantined, on timeout, socially-distanced, isolated;
Unappreciated—wasting away out West—killing me
softly for my words, my poem “**The Coming of Christ”

Yet, one slow blues Saturday a steel, velvet-wrapped
Voice of spirit-stirring
North Star stripe issued from the radio, snapping me
to attention!
It possessed  thunderous timbre—Freedom’s Journal,
Liberator, Emancipator tone snatching my collar!
It held Douglass DNA infecting my marrow! It had
Shedded—reading newswire copy on-the-air at age 11—
it harnessed horsepower even the Godfather of
Soul would “Say it loud!” rechristening it: “Ford!”
Ida B-eloquence, it commanded KPFA’s colossal signal—
showering ice-cold Wikileaks over 1/3 of the Golden
It flared up in hot blue flames and melted masks of mis-
leaders guarding freezers stuffed with corporate cash…

It possessed laser precision—surgically removing word
walls metastasized in the mind of a slutty professor; And
Taught lil’ Negroz in Teddy P-tones,“You gotta let him go,
if he looks like another Booker TKO—Or, more effective Evil!”

And it continued crescendoing from studios, stages, street corners,
churches, bookstores, bars, lecture halls, flatbed trucks—speaking
truth to
The People
igniting conscious explosions with its 4 word fuses:

Well done, Brother! May the Ancestors be pleased
with you kneeling near the 7 mounds; saluting the 7
trees guarding them on African Burial Ground as
You leave Lower Manhattan, seeing Sun Ra, Saturn/beyond…


© 2021. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.