This Wednesday in National Poetry Month

For many American taxpayers, today is a day of woe.  While the federal income tax deadline was extended so procrastinators had another chance, it is a Wednesday and we celebrate poetry!

national poetry month aaduna
While we inadvertently skipped last Wednesday, we are pleased that we are back on track with the powerful and profound, Raymond Nat Turner as he takes us on a road trip moving along his poetry avenue.  We realize that Raymond does not need a lengthy introduction.  So, we will let his poems and bio inform his creativity and challenge your views and thinking.  

Whoppers of Boss Tweet…

A thief
a thug
Clown in a rug
A tweet
A lie
a cheat—
Embellish, embroider:
a lying disorder…

A myth
a fable
a bit unstable
Flimflam, claptrap
bunkum—bull crap!
An empty wagon
a puffed up dragon…

A whopper
a fib
You peeped
from your crib!
A sham
a fake
a major ‘mistake—’
Pathological lying
false-flag flying…

A grope
a trope
Bad jokes
A grope of the crotch—
another ‘man notch’
where they debauch
over water and scotch… 

A trumped up story—
cock-and-bull glory
A foot in the mouth
for strategy south

Pie in the sky—
a barefaced lie
A pig in disguise
fooling some eyes…
Playing fast and loose
with Jim Jones Juice
A masquerade—
a Nazi parade
A fake ‘great nation’
same plantation

A bug in the hall
a fly on the wall
A great big whale
an ongoing tale
A parade in July
another big lie
A wink of an eye—
enough outcry?

A thief
a thug
Clown in a rug
A tweet
A lie
a cheat—
Time for feet
in the street
…street heat!!

Poet’s note: Inspired by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Waters of March”

Copyright © 2017 by Raymond Nat Turner All Rights Reserved

(This poem was previously published at Black Agenda Report)


Sugar Hill Play-date v. Oz-low Piece Process

35 lb question mark,
3 ft exclamation point,
doesn’t cringe at loud sounds or
pee his bed behind nightmares.
Camryn, my three year-old Sugar
Hill neighbor’s an “Old soul.”
I’m honored that he refers to  
me as, “My friend, Raymond.”

Camryn's mommy’s a surgeon, studying
for her boards. His granny’s a history
professor, writing another book. So, I’m
Awarded a Camryn playdate…

Camryn has every truck ever made—
and knows precisely each truck’s function.
He teaches Truck101to anyone in earshot.
He warns work will not begin before his
bright, yellow hardhat’s jammed over jet
black curls. He buckles his tool belt low and
tight. He’s studied styles and moves of the
Working-class; has them down pat.
Camryn creates tasks for each truck, then
Schools me on how the crane of one truck works.
He doesn’t trust me with the trucks.

Blessed, he believes mommy and granny will
Protect him from scary things; feed and
Hydrate him after he plays hard; read
and sing sleepy-time lullabies, enforcing
Peaceful naps as the Sandman invades…
So, I spare Camryn Fractured Fairytales of
Ambulances twisted into burning, bloody metal
hulks; pieces of cloth, shoes, drivers and assistants.
I spare him Fractured Fairytales from Oz—
Natives driving zig-zag routes ‘round a
Frankenstein scar dissecting their homeland;
Land where his trucks would have different
Color license plates and stop at checkpoints
manned by teenaged thugs eager to cast lead…

Traveling Oz by truck, Camryn might see Caterpillars
crunching toys, houses, olive trees, crushing dreams; 
He might see fools flying featherless birds shitting 
shrapnel and white fire.

He might hear overloaded donkey carts squealing,
Moaning like Mothers of itty-bitty, bloody bodies
piled on them—bodies later stuffed in ice cream freezers,
to slow their rotting; bodies so shredded, even Camryn's
surgeon mommy—couldn’t put their tiny arms, legs and
Heads back together again…

I spare my friend Fractured Fairytales: crushing trucks 
like his…

Copyright © 2018 by Raymond Nat Turner All Rights Reserved


Raymond Nat Turner Poet UpSurge NYC
Raymond Nat Turner (photo provided)

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium in Auburn, NY where he is considered a “special son.”  Raymond has conducted a poetry workshop at Auburn High School in association with the Booker T. Washington Community Center; read at an aaduna fundraiser in Auburn, as well as Harlem, and has personally visited Auburn. Turner is the artistic director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble, UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana, West Africa. Currently, he is Poet-in-Residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He describes himself as follows, 

I’m a Cultural Worker and not fond of the idea of having a 'brand.' Though one 92 year-old NYC colleague calls me the "Town Crier. “I think in terms of creating content in service of struggle for social change; telling the truth as I understand it...sometimes it resonates.


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  1. His poetry takes me to another place in time!

  2. So proud of you, my creative life partner, RNT! A blessing to share National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month with you these, um, 28+ years...xxoo

  3. Raymond Nat Turner, friend and muse in the world that needs a speaker for human rights. GO - GO and bring us more!


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