Poet's Corner

Poet's Corner

Jamal Lacy '02
Lacey.jpg (36035 bytes)

For Jamal Lacy, poetry isn't simply an exercise in aesthetics. A political science major with a desire to hold public office some day, Lacy sees poetry as a way to express his observations of the world around him. "A lot of my poems focus on political and social issues. Often, but not always, they are about race and about people's perceptions of reality. Poetry can be political or philosophical or whatever you want it to be."

Lacy's preparation for a life of leadership began early. He was elected to the student council in middle school, was class president all four years in high school, and is now president of Imani, Trinity's black student union. He hopes to go on to law school and eventually into a career in politics. Despite what promises to be a busy future, Lacy plans to continue writing poetry, since it provides a unique way to, as he puts it, "describe the times in which the poet lives."



They saw him strolling in the backfields of society's outskirts
unknown, unkempt by circumstance
thought by chance
This creature had smothered in dirt
for his skin had been stained with a tan

Who was this man who walked in moccasins filled with sand
with a da shiki on his back had his head in his hands
Bearing the burden of the world
Banished by fears
Misty blue
That's true
As distant as the ocean that was formed from his tears
He was a man of color!
And like no other this brother had talents that were yet to be discovered
but roadblocks were rooted
in his path and he knew it
See the wrath of nature's scorn
took on physical form
When it made him a man of color.


Some saw him as strange
Said take caution
This man's different language makes him sound deranged
And all the while they knew
that to misconstrue the facts with walking in his brother's shoes
Would be an unjust attack


But they thought, "We didn't start the fire"
burning bright had long before kindled
And their desire was to treat "everyday people" with arrested development
Cause ignorance takes strong men and makes them "Mr. Wendals"


This native born son of the land
heard shouts of hate and reprimands
and to this date he hears them in his sleep . . .


To this man of color thought he'd crumble for he was weak
But his brother stood tall
with the look of defiance embedded in his skull
Refused compliance with the thought
That he's a slave mental games
he caught hold of himself finding courage from his pain


He's the symbol of defiance, the symbol of will
don't tell him otherwise for he knows he's got skills


But you don't recognize


And that's your mistake
Understand this brother holds his fate in his hands
for ill will taught him to overcompensate


A rich king of royalty uncrowned
of all things mistreated and all things put down
Inferiority's deleted
Cause now this brother knows stands on solid ground


A man once was stressed
but learned that hard times manifest
into situations where he's at his best


Hence the man of color can always pass life's tests


For he knows humility
Has honor and dignity
Don't get it twisted
This brother's nobility



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