Poetry by John Kaniecki

March 5th, 2013

 

Africa

 

Africa she cannot part
Her home is in my heart
You tore me from my love to have me hated
Chained on a slave ship I was degraded
Sent to harsh toil in a foul wicked land
Whipped and beaten by an arrogant hand
Mothers raped, children sold on the auction block
I was made like an animal another of the stock
But in my soul through soft whispers we spoke
We never forgot her despite our iron yoke
Shine on Africa shine on so all can see
I will fight for I must be free
I am not a slave but a prince noble and grand
I am from Africa cannot you understand
See my skin dark brown it is not a shame
You hate my spirit; you’ve but your evil to blame
Africa, they brought me here to bind me in a cage
I have awoken, you will learn my rage
Shine on Africa fulfill our destiny
There will be no peace until you are one with me
Africa such are the lessons you teach
Africa you sweetness is now within reach

 

 

 

The Truth of Dixie

 

I am the master of the plantation
The cornerstone of the confederate nation
The Negro he was my slave
I worked him hard from cradle to grave
Now emancipation has come our way
I hear some people say
Forty acres and a mule
Oh on, not in the land I rule
This is my land how do you dare
I stole it from the Cherokee fair and square

 

 

To Sylvia

 

Playing rhythm guitar
Missing a string
Having a kingdom
Without a king
A brand new morn
And there is no sun
Heaven on a clear night
Not a single star in sight
That’s how life would be
To me
Without you
But the guitar strums sweet
The kingdom is complete
The sun shines rosy and grand
And heaven is just how it’s planned.

 

 

Mumia

 

Mumia lives in a place that should not exist
A result of a mockery they call a trial
The world proclaims injustice, many insist
Still the system is in defiant denial
I do not glory in the death of any man
Yet how much we can take?
We rise against oppression to do the best we can
Day after day you inflict us with your lies
The cause for justice we will never forsake
Allmighty God, He hears our cries
Allmighty God, Him you cannot fool
Or shut him out with your actions cruel

So Mumia lives, three stone walls and an iron gate
These are the manifestations of America’s hate
When you want us to kill for the flag we are brothers all
Come serve your country that is the call
And in return you make us sit and wait
Herded in your ghettos you try to educate
And when we act on the lessons you teach
When we speak our mind and practice free speech
You send in the police, the FBI and CIA
And heroes like Mumia are taken away

An honest day in court
Is what we require
That would retort
And quench this fire

Instead Mumia sits condemned on death row
In a tormented existence that few do know
A political prisoner an unwilling symbol
You can bind the man but not the soul
Mumia these words I write
And promise never to give up the fight

 

 

 

Jazmin From Haiti

 

Haiti had a quake
Unforgiving
And nobody could make
A living
So they brought Jazmin
Out of his cage
To work in
The warehouse for minimum wage
And he is happy
Jazmin from Haiti
For all it is worth
It’s better than eating dirt

Share this:

3 comments on “Poetry by John Kaniecki”

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

Art by Russell Dupont
Twenty-eight poets contribute 37 poems to the Jerry Jazz Musician Fall Poetry Collection, living proof that the energy and spirit of jazz is alive — and quite well.

Short Fiction

Photo/CC0 Public Doman
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #52 — “Random Blonde,” by Zandra Renwick

Interview

photo by Michael Lionstar
In a wide-ranging interview, Nate Chinen, former New York Times jazz critic and currently the director of editorial content for WBGO (Jazz) Radio, talks about his book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century,, described by Herbie Hancock as a “fascinating read” that shows Chinen’s “firm support of the music

Essay

photo of Esbjorn Svensson Trio/Pkobel/Creative Commons
“The Trio That Should Have Reshaped Jazz” — an essay by Scott Archer Jones

Photography

Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of Mal Waldron, Jackie McLean and Joe Henderson

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Pressed for All Time

"Jazz Samba"/Verve Records
In this edition, excerpted from Michael Jarrett's Pressed For All Time, legendary producer Creed Taylor remembers the 1962 Stan Getz recording, Jazz Samba

Interview

Photographer Carol Friedman
In an entertaining conversation that also features a large volume of her famous photography, Carol Friedman discusses her lifelong work of distinction in the world of jazz photography

Art

"Dreaming of Bird at Billy Bergs" - by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — a continuing series

Poetry

Painting of John Coltrane by Tim Hussey
“broken embouchure” — a poem by M.T. Whitington

Interviews

photo by Francis Wolff, courtesy of Mosaic Records
Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

Poetry

photo from Pixabay
“The Fibonacci Quartet Plays Improv” — a poem by Gerard Furey

Short Fiction

photo/Creative Commons CC0.
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, contributes a humorous short story, "Father Kniest: Jazz Priest"

In the Previous Issue

photo of Sullivan Fortner by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive