Mayday 2020

(For Ferguson, Baltimore, Million Workers March, Arab Spring, Standing Rock, Occupy, Jackson Rising, Fight for Fifteen, Extinction Rebellion, #Me Too…)

Magnolia scents of class
Struggle fill early morning air.
Rippling heat waves of resistance
rise up, up, up in refreshing spring
breezes from the Black Belt south
Coronavirus is lighting
Wildfires in eyes of fighters—
130 wildcat strikes in two months!

Sans eloquent arguments;
blockbuster books; clever
conversations appealing to
sleazy senator so and so—
Young class struggle students are
Mastering more in a month than
in a business as usual decade.
Ain’t welcome here anymore…

They’re refusing to be slaughtered
as sacrificial lambs on gilded
altars of obscene profits!
They’re choosing, instead, to
By any means necessary…

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is 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. He currently 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 is Co-Chair of the NY Chapter National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.