Into the Heart of Darkness


Into the Heart of Darkness by Michele Habel-Coffey


Into the heart of darkness

This day we do explore

Insight into a madness

Remembrance does implore


A repetitive presumption

What is wild must be tamed

A mapping of the unknown

Territories to be claimed


Up the rivers, into forests

We hack with careless blades

Forging paths by slashing

Laying bare the glades


As well the bodies, dwelling

Silently, in naked lands

Burying them in native earth

They dig with their own hands


And ours remain un-calloused

And unsoiled, in white gloves

As we stand in condescension

With our bibles and our doves

Langston Hughes: Let America be America Again


Let America be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

Langston Hughes

“Writing, Instinct, and Passion”

Jean Rhys

“Without the instinct, the passion might so easily be either sentimental or sensational; without the passion, the instinct might lead to only formal beauty; together, they result in original art, at the same time exquisite and deeply disturbing.” Francis Wyndham: An Introduction to the Writing of Jean Rhys, “Wide Saragasso Sea” – A Norton Critical Edition

Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-a-quay: A Native Star


Native Star

By Michele Habel-Coffey

Woman of the Stars Rushing Through the Sky

Eyes cast down upon the blue

Native daughter, filled with Muse

The sacred birch was made for you

To them you sang your spirit songs

Spinning tales like spider’s webs

Glistening with the Northern dew

Dancing with the flows and ebbs

Of greatest lakes with tides that pull

And push upon your countenance

Tis the moon that had its way with you

And led you to this happenstance

But neither sun nor moon gave greater light

Than the prose of fairest Leelinau

Her words they fell like gentle  flakes

And did land atop the whitest snow

Where her footfalls left a path

Showing, leading, guiding  through

The darkened forests of new lands

Back to sacred Manito

They Are Us

Post colonial Poetics and Art

Into Dawn

This one was inspired by a submission by one of my followers on my new Tumblr page: Words to Write By

we are ‘they’
we are ‘society’
but we speak of both as though they were separate from ourselves.

or my favorite thing ever said:
…out of nothing and no way, a way will be made…Michael Beckwith
probably waaayyy too many words, but I talk too much, and as you can see here…I write too much. 🙂 Stacia

— stacia-elizabeth

they are us

They spoke truth
They spoke lies
They stole our future
They promised with their eyes

They told us how we should live
They told us where to work
They told us what we should eat
They told us when to hurt

They told us we had free will
They told us to decide
Then told us that what we had chosen
Was nothing but a lie

They told all of…

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Native Nose


Native Nose

by Michele Habel-Coffey

I stared into the side view mirror.

She was looking ahead at the road.

I don’t like my nose.

You have native nose.

Native nose?

You know what I mean.

I know what she means.

I know her meaning.

She is mean.

She is angular lines

Where there should be curves.

She is a pointed tip.

She is the triangle;

She knows no circles.

I have native nose?

She is native nose.


 Credit for eye art. Image found at the following address: