Friday, April 15, 2011

"Never Again"

hearing that phrase reminds
me of watching Jazz
the film by Ken Burns
where Dave Brubeck recounts
the time when he was a boy
growing up in Salinas

and his father called over
an elderly black man
he employed on the farm
and asked him to remove
his shirt so his son
could see the whip
scars on his back

and his father said
this must never happen again

it was that message
shown by a loving father
to his son who shared
with tears in his eyes
that lesson for us to hear
that moved me most of all

tears in my eyes too
and it wasn't about the music

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the prompt at Poetic Asides to write a never again poem.


  1. Nicely told, Mr. Walker and the ending is powerful.


  2. Anonymous9:19 AM

    Well written, Mr. Walker...bravo!

  3. Anonymous10:37 AM

    What a wonderful poem. Your best yet, I think.

  4. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Sensitively told, Sir. Sadly, it seems like we're all so badly scarred it's almost impossible to learn from those of others.

    I've been meaning to thank you for stopping by so regularly at the egss. Thanks!

  5. Nicely done sir!

    Thank you for posting this.

  6. Pamela, thank you. I was worried about how to end this one, to convey how powerful it was for me to hear this story. I wasn't sure I had done it justice.

    Paula, thank you. I try to write well.

    Tilly, thank you. That's high praise indeed.

    Ron, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I think it's one of our greatest failings as a species that we have the ability to learn from others, yet we so rarely do so. I enjoy reading your poems; thanks for returning the favor.

    SweetTalkingGuy, thank you. You're most welcome. Glad you liked it.

  7. This really packs an powerful. "tears in my eyes too
    and it wasn't about the music" Excellent, Mr. Walker!

  8. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Well, Mr. Walker, you can imagine how I felt about this poem. I did not see the Brubeck interview, but you caught this one and would not let go. I loved it, both as an activist and as a poet.
    Thank you so much. Amy

  9. Ohhhh!! Agree with other commenters .... tear inspiring...a beautiful poem about an ugly topic...the ability to write such - the mark of great writing to convey vividly " what it IS all about" -

  10. Gloria, thank you for your kind comments. It made an impact on me, and I wanted to convey that in my poem.

    Amy, I had a feeling you'd like this one. Thank you. I'm glad you felt I "caught" this one; I wasn't sure I had.

    Peal, thank you. It is an ugly topic, and I appreciate your kind words in how I expressed it.

  11. Beautiful and powerful!
    Mad Kane

  12. Mad Kane, thank you for the kind words.