B-Side Shoulders | 2 poems — Roger Hare

Spirit of the Garden - Gerry Shepherd
Spirit of the Garden – Gerry Shepherd

Shoulder-to-Shoulder

Shall we learn the lessons of chlorophyll?
How it holds the hands of fire and water,
combines their incompatible tempers 
for a weight of photosynthesis
heavy enough 
to turn the Earth?

Will we engage the sensibility 
of those who can compose 
a tune? Set alongside each other 
notes of different strength and tone 
that for the sake of the stave 
will work together and not apart? 

Adversarial breaths that ventilate 
around a task in common 
demonstrate they dissipate 
their rage better 
side-by-side
than face-to-face.

The B Side

Brutality and bias both begin
with the letter b, like banner,
bigot, baton, bled, bleed,
bleeding red on the pavement
again, bent by beliefs 
of the unbending.

Hear the blue blues butterfly-heartache
of those names stained without cause,
bone-weary with building bridges
brought to nothing over rivers
every bit as bright
as any other body.

Allow their breeze 
to fill your sails, to carry us 
together to the other side; 
a place we
cannot reach a-
part.

Adaptation of a poem that first appeared in the ‘Black Lives Matter’ anthology published 2020 by Civic Leicester.


©2021 Roger Hare
All rights reserved


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