This Poem was Submitted By: Latorial D. Faison On Date: 2005-09-08 22:59:05 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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After Katrina . . .

If I were a poem, I'd flow with fury right now Separating wisdom and virtue  Without even knowing how.   If I were a poem, I'd ride the beats of an African drum Releasing fear and bitterness Upon the rising of the sun.   I'd be poetic words In search of better tomorrows. I'd be answers to questions That have been birthed from our sorrows   Is it because of our status That help passes us by? Is it because of history That we watch each other die?   These are our questions, And we ask them duly, But can anyone, will anyone   Answer us truthfully?   If I were a poem, I'd flow with fury right now. But because I'm human I'll write the madness down.   We watched the horror As it played out on TV, New Orleans in chaos Under waters far too deep.   Black babies crying, The elderly weak and lost, Americans left to perish, As gangsters become boss.   Too many days In filthy clothes, When help will come, Nobody there knows.   Streets paved in trash, No security in sight, The dead left to die, Where ever they might.   Horrific, embarrassing, A travesty it is . . .  When a government waits To aid its own citizens.   And where was America's "Great White Hope" . . . , Securing the Middle East From dictatorship's scope.   The world watched in awe As Americans endured hell. And though help finally came, There are still stories to tell   Of the natural disaster Known as Katrina And the inept response Of what America calls FEMA.

Copyright © September 2005 Latorial D. Faison

Additional Notes:
--for all who have suffered, died and been displaced by Hurricane Katrina (giving voice to the voiceless) lf

This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-10-01 14:10:27
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.64516
Another one of your great rants, and I say that with passion and pride for you have a way of voicing your opinion for those who can't voice it themselves. Somehow, when this is all over, (the hurricanes that is), Americans will soon forget...they will forgive, and go on their merry ways. Ain't that the truth!!! P.S.: just an aside here...I am sure that not only "black babies" died...but we will probably never know.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jillian K Sorenson On Date: 2005-09-30 23:39:20
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.41667
Nicely crafted Latorial. There can never be a fast enough response to disaster, but people do the best they can. But yes, there are still stories to tell. You made the "If I were a poem I'd flow with fury right now" stand out well due to it's repetition. Good poem.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Troy D Skroch On Date: 2005-09-21 20:14:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Latorial, I agree with everything you have written here and think that you will be writing much more on this subject as this story comes out. Or at least I hope you do, you certainly have the talent to address this shameful event. I want to see the prior head of FEMA put on trial along with the people who hired him. None of them should have jobs right now. This, I think, was the last straw for President Bush. I don't think that he could get votes in Texas right now. At least I hope not. Anyway, out of all of your stanzas I thought that this one was, for me, the most powerful and memorable. If I were a poem, I'd ride the beats of an African drum Releasing fear and bitterness Upon the rising of the sun. This encapsulates the war that is being fought daily in the trenches of discrimination and it stands alone, in my mind, being applicable to many different situations. I just really, really, like it. As always, your writing is current and well penned. Your voice is direct and strong and honest. It is going to take a long time to sort this all out. Powerful stuff! Take care, T
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-09-12 16:50:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Latorial: Once again, you have given voice to the voiceless in your tireless, spirited way. I applaud this poem, for its sentiments are strong, its tone full of righteous outrage and so it should be sung as such from every housetop. The anger helps mitigate the shame I feel for what has been the most horrendous neglect imaginable in time of disaster in this nation by other Americans. Unthinkable. And you address it mightily. If I were a poem, I'd flow with fury right now Separating wisdom and virtue Without even knowing how. The ferocity comes through – an inspired response from a talented writer who speaks with her unique and powerful voice in times of need. The emotions come through strongly – gaining strength with each stanza, even after the intensity of “I’d flow with fury right now” – not later, but NOW! If I were a poem, I'd ride the beats of an African drum Releasing fear and bitterness Upon the rising of the sun. The fear and bitterness must find release or act as a poison upon the nation, upon the people who were left to perish in the most unimaginable circumstances. I'd be poetic words In search of better tomorrows. I'd be answers to questions That have been birthed from our sorrows And the answers must be sought, after the release of the fear and bitterness, after the outrage is expressed. The sorrows connect to other sorrows, all unanswerable without a search “of better tomorrows.” Is it because of our status That help passes us by? Is it because of history That we watch each other die? These questions are on the mind of everyone of African American ancestry and on the mind of every caring citizen of the US regardless of ancestry. These are our questions, And we ask them duly, But can anyone, will anyone Answer us truthfully? The future will tell the story, and will it be truthfully told? How will things change now that we have all seen the extent of suffering which was allowed to continue for the people trapped in New Orleans? The deaths, the humiliation, the hurting, the lies? If I were a poem, I'd flow with fury right now. But because I'm human I'll write the madness down. The best use of poetry – because it engages our feelings and our energy. We may add this poem to what we have experienced and join our madness with yours. Join our purposes as writers and as citizens to better the circumstances for those who live in America by waking up to what has happened, is happening still. The world watched in awe As Americans endured hell. And though help finally came, There are still stories to tell The stories must be told, and this is a beginning. A prelude to asking and listening and responding. Though many have now been helped, the enormity of the injustice will not, can not, be forgotten by anyone with a heart or conscience. Your words are empowering and inspiring and most of all, truthful, telling it ‘like it is’ one more time. I believe that your talent is such as to be a part of the force for good in the world, a mighty one, at that. Keep telling, keep asking, keep the fire burning. Excellent in every way. Brava! Kudos for use of the poetic form to change things – a righteous anger moves us as readers to do what we each individually can do. My very best always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Duane J Jackson On Date: 2005-09-10 23:42:11
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Latorial, I read this several times and got a very strong feel of the bitterness and anguish over the fate of New Orleans. The tragedy has left an innumerable number of people with sour tastes in their mouths and the questions of the handling of the situation have piled up over one another. Yes, the images that were coming across to us were mostly those of african-americans caught in the middle of the tragedy. The debate about equality seems to have re-opened even as we witness sharp divisions in the social order be it in terms of race or economics. I'd ride the beats of an African drum/ Is it because of our status That help passes us by? Is it because of history That we watch each other die? Black babies crying, And where was America's "Great White Hope" . . . , --- I picked out the above lines from the poem as they very strongly reveal how a natural disaster is able to reveal bigger disasters in our societies that go unnoticed, in this case, the disaster of social divisions and social inequalities. The anger in this runs deep and there is no better way of conveying such emotion than poetry. Keep writing!! Take Care, Duane.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-09-09 15:13:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83333
Latorial--Well now, why don't you just speak up--stop biting your tongue! This captive audience is spellbound, but not sur- prised or even shocked: you had been awfully sedate for some time--had put aside the soap box (at least the activists one). Now it appears you've stepped back “up there” with a vengeance- kudos. No, I don’t think you left anyone unscathed in this one. Clearly a gross case of placing inexperienced cronies in posi- tions that’s come back to haunt this “administration’s/admini- strator.” The absolutely worst thing is that this rewarding of past political deeds served to placed many folks in even more harmful/desperate situations. As your poem of address has vehe- mently stated/inferenced: the fallout from these terrible deci- sions/indecisions/delayed responses are taken personally and leave some fairly nasty “After...” tastes. Thanks for the fire! TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Gerard A Geiger On Date: 2005-09-09 13:42:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Latorial: I hear you...I have read this work... I understand the futility and frustration..and the anger that suffering occurred where it should have been avoided... Katrina deposited twenty feet of water in a city in a bowl... a city that relied on sump pumps to keep it dry... where were the state and town evacuation plans? Every homeowner knows sump pumps are not reliable...even with electric power they burn out. The lack of foresight exhibited by all government officials in civil engineering, disaster preparedness,and basic first-aid and just apalling... Keep on talking Latorial...thanks for sharing this heartfelt work.. Your friend, Gerard
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