Pretty Poetry For Everyday

45 Best June Poem Inspirations To Kick Off Summer

Inside: The best June poems to celebrate everyones favorite month of the year… because summer starts now!

The month of June is easily one of the most loveable months for many reasons.

This is the beginning of summer and the month that many children began their 3 month break from school. The flowers are in bloom and the weather is finally warmer.

June even comes with health benefits!

Statistically, as people begin to be more active and get more sunshine from the longer days, depression lessons and the immune system gets stronger.

Best Poems about june

The month of June is a fun one and one that keeps you on your toes. Summer is so full of adventure and excitement, and that’s why we love it. Anything is possible, especially in the very first full month of summer. You have so much to look forward to and be excited about, you just can’t wait to see what’s in store.

As you’re making your summer plans, there’s also going to be the days where you’re sitting inside, looking out the window at the bright sunshine, and maybe need a good poem to jumpstart your good summer mood. Are you going on vacation this month? Are you taking off somewhere exciting? Have some fun outdoor movie nights, playing with friends? Whatever you’re doing this summer, get your June kick started and feed that summer mood with these June poems.

Everything about summer is my favorite, and I know that’s not an unpopular opinion. Get more summer vibes here.

We’re going to celebrate two very famous authors and poets that have written popular poems about the month of June, both of which will be featured in this post.

White and yellow flowers in the sun

Who Wrote The Poem, “All In June?”

The poem, “All In June” was written by William H Davies, a Wales born writer. He lived a typical lifestyle of the late 1800’s, moving between England and America, and working the common middle class jobs. He did not start to publish poetry until he was in his 30s, which is an encouraging thought to those of us thinking that we are losing time in our 20s, and he often focuses on the themes and concepts of nature and life, as it is.

Some poets focus on more and deeper emotional sides of life, but he was a very simply observant writer, who wrote about what he saw in the world around him.

“All In June” is about the beauty of the summer season, and how lovely it looks in the eye and feels to the skin. The beauty of the summer flowers, and the bumblebees that bounce about, inspire him to write this lovely poem, reminding us to stop and smell the roses every once in a while.

This inspires me to be more observant of my world and my life, and embrace and appreciate what’s going on around me. Also makes me excited for summer!

Who Wrote The Poem, “A Night In June?”

Similarly, “A Night In June” was written by William Wordsworth, also an English poet, who was described to have loved the French revolution.

He spent most of his life writing, this is what he did. While he spent a lot of time traveling, and had a wife and daughter, whom he loved very much, writing was his first passion.

He made great friends, and lived a very lovely life, so it seems. His poems may make a longing for a certain life, but not one that he didn’t have. But almost just longing for the simpler things. It almost is reminiscent of times when that was possible, like it wasn’t in his time during the revolution.

“A Night In June” follows the script, as it outlines beautiful features of the night, like the sounds of nature, and the stars in the sky.

Famous June Poems

1. June’s Coming

Now have come the shining days
When field and wood are robed anew,
And o’er the world a silver haze
Mingles the emerald with the blue.

Summer now doth clothe the land
In garments free from spot or stain–
The lustrous leaves, the hills untanned,
The vivid meads, the glaucous grain.

The day looks new, a coin unworn,
Freshly stamped in heavenly mint:
The sky keeps on its look of morn;
Of age and death there is no hint.

How soft the landscape near and far!
A shining veil the trees infold;
The day remembers moon and star;
A silver lining hath its gold.

Again I see the clover bloom,
And wade in grasses lush and sweet;
Again has vanished all my gloom
With daisies smiling at my feet.

Again from out the garden hives
The exodus of frenzied bees;
The humming cyclone onward drives,
Or finds repose amid the trees.

At dawn the river seems a shade–
A liquid shadow deep as space;
But when the sun the mist has laid,
A diamond shower smites its face.

The season’s tide now nears its height,
And gives to earth an aspect new;
Now every shoal is hid from sight,
With current fresh as morning dew.

by John Burroughs

White and yellow graphic

2. Why Was June Made?

Why was June made?—Can you guess?
June was made for happiness!
Even the trees
Know this, and the breeze
That loves to play
Outside all day,
And never is too bold or rough,
Like March’s wind, but just a tiny blow’s enough;
And all the fields know
This is so—
June was not made for wind and stress,
June was made for happiness;
Little happy daisy faces
Show it in the meadow places,
And they call out when I pass,
“Stay and play here in the grass.”
June was made for happy things,
Boats and flowers, stars and wings,
Not for wind and stress,
June was made for happiness!

by Annette Wynne

3. What Is June Anyway?
After three weeks of hot weather and drought,
we’ve had a week of cold and rain,
just the way it ought to be here in the north,
in June, a fire going in the woodstove
all day long, so you can go outside in the cold
and rain anytime and smell
the wood smoke in the air.

This is the way I love it. This is why
I came here almost
fifty years ago. What is June anyway
without cold and rain
and a fire going in the stove all day?

by David Budbill

4. June Light

Your voice, with clear location of June days,
Called me outside the window. You were there,
Light yet composed, as in the just soft stare
Of uncontested summer all things raise
Plainly their seeming into seamless air.

Then your love looked as simple and entire
As that picked pear you tossed me, and your face
As legible as pearskin’s fleck and trace,
Which promise always wine, by mottled fire
More fatal fleshed than ever human grace.

And your gay gift—Oh when I saw it fall
Into my hands, through all that naïve light,
It seemed as blessed with truth and new delight
As must have been the first great gift of all.

by Richard Wilbur

5. Summons

“Wisteria woke me this morning,
And there was all June in the garden;
I felt them, early, warning
Lest I miss any part of the day.

Straight I walked to the trellis vine.
Wisteria touched a lifted nostril:
Feelings of beauty diffused, to entwine
My spirit with June’s own aura.”

by Ann McGough

6. June

I GAZED upon the glorious sky
And the green mountains round,
And thought that when I came to lie
At rest within the ground,
’Twere pleasant, that in flowery June,
When brooks send up a cheerful tune,
And groves a joyous sound,
The sexton’s hand, my grave to make,
The rich, green mountain-turf should break.

A cell within the frozen mould,
A coffin borne through sleet,
And icy clods above it rolled,
While fierce the tempests beat—
Away!—I will not think of these—
Blue be the sky and soft the breeze,
Earth green beneath the feet,
And be the damp mould gently pressed
Into my narrow place of rest.

There through the long, long summer hours,
The golden light should lie,
And thick young herbs and groups of flowers
Stand in their beauty by.
The oriole should build and tell
His love-tale close beside my cell;
The idle butterfly
Should rest him there, and there be heard
The housewife bee and humming-bird.

And what if cheerful shouts at noon
Come, from the village sent,
Or songs of maids, beneath the moon
With fairy laughter blent?
And what if, in the evening light,
Betrothèd lovers walk in sight
Of my low monument?
I would the lovely scene around
Might know no sadder sight nor sound.

I know that I no more should see
The season’s glorious show,
Nor would its brightness shine for me,
Nor its wild music flow;
But if, around my place of sleep,
The friends I love should come to weep,
They might not haste to go.
Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.

These to their softened hearts should bear
The thought of what has been,
And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene;
Whose part, in all the pomp that fills
The circuit of the summer hills,
Is that his grave is green;
And deeply would their hearts rejoice
To hear again his living voice.

by William Cullen Bryant

Poetry For Summer

7. June in Maine

Beautiful, beautiful summer!
Odorous, exquisite June!
All the sweet roses in blossom,
All the sweet birdies in tune.

Dew on the meadows at sunset;
Gems on the meadows at morn;
Melody hushing the evening;
Melody greeting the dawn.

All the dim aisles of the forest
Ringing and thrilling with song;
Music—a flood-tide of music—
Poured the green valleys along.

Rapturous creatures of beauty.
Winging their way through the sky,
Heavenward warble their praises—
Mount our thanksgivings as high?

Lo! when a bird is delighted,
His ecstacy prompts him to soar;
The greater, the fuller his rapture,
His songs of thanksgiving the more.

See how the winds from the mountains
Sweep over meadows most fair;
The green fields are tossed like the ocean,
Are shadowed by clouds in the air.

For now fleecy shadows are chasing
The sunshine from woodland and vale,
As white clouds come gathering slowly,
Blown up by the sweet-scented gale

Birds and the gales and the flowers
Call us from study away,
Out to the fields where the mowers
Soon will be making the hay.

Buttercups, daisies, and clover,
Roses, sweet-briar, and fern,
Mingle their breath on the breezes—
Who from such wooing could turn?

Out! to the heath and the mountain,
Where mid the fern and the brake,
Under the pines and the spruces,
Fragrant the bower we will make.

Ravishing voices of Nature,
Ye conquer—and never too soon—
We yield to thy luscious embraces,
Thou odorous, exquisite June!

by Hannah Augusta Moore

The sun in the sky

8. June Collection

Skies of azure blue
Honey suckle vines seeming . . .
To climb to heaven
King sun shines down as
Musk melons ripen in fields . . .
Mari golds wear crowns
With easy labor
Month six gives birth to summer . . .
Dusk sweetly lingers

by Andrea Dietrich

9. June

Broom out the floor now, lay the fender by,
And plant this bee-sucked bough of woodbine there,
And let the window down. The butterfly
Floats in upon the sunbeam, and the fair
Tanned face of June, the nomad gipsy, laughs
Above her widespread wares, the while she tells
The farmers’ fortunes in the fields, and quaffs
The water from the spider-peopled wells.
The hedges are all drowned in green grass seas,
And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo’s light,
While siren-like the pollen-staind bees
Drone in the clover depths. And up the height
The cuckoo’s voice is hoarse and broke with joy.
And on the lowland crops the crows make raid,
Nor fear the clappers of the farmer’s boy,
Who sleeps, like drunken Noah, in the shad
And loop this red rose in that hazel ring
That snares your little ear, for June is short
And we must joy in it and dance and sing,
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth.
Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south,
The wind wheel north to gather in the snow,
Even the roses spilt on youth’s red mouth
Will soon blow down the road all roses go.

by Francis Ledwidge

10. The Passing June

I am shut in as June goes by,
And can but see one little tree
Tossing its new leaves to the sky
With the old ecstasy.

And of the sky itself I see
Only a curving arc of blue,
That brings the larkspur dawn to me
And holds the evening true.

I am shut in as June goes by,
But every day you come to me,
And I am glad to lose the sky
And every dancing tree.

by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

11. Strawberry Moon

Full strawberry moon,
ushers in hot days of June,
high tides fill the dune,

hot sun rising soon,
fishing in the afternoon,
whistling my own tune!

by Patricia L. Cisco


13. June

The best month is June
Flowers in the afternoon
Birds singing in tune.

by Paula Goldsmith

14. The Approach Of June, Or The Month Of Roses

‘Tis blushing on through brier and thorn,
The wintry winds are still;
Now softer zephyrs waft along,
The month of June to fill.

Soft dews descend upon the flowers
And kindly rest awhile;
‘Tis sweet to wait upon these hours,
To see the roses smile.

How beautiful the charming scene,
‘Tis far surpassing art,
Like purity in heavenly mien,
Reviving to the heart.

Sweet exhalations fill the air,
While music in the grove,
Invites my pensive soul to share
In all the songs of love.

Put off thy wintry robe my soul,
Born to rejoice and sing,
Let gratitude thy lips control
In praises to your king.

The soul with innocence possess’d,
Her incense safe may bear
To Christ, whose righteousness hath bless’d
The humblest form of prayer.

Thus while the roses greet our eyes,
In all their rich perfume,
Should our prayers like incense rise,
Our summer to illume.

by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

Poems About June

15. June’s Flag

June flung her flag out
Shining wet with dew,—
Red and white the clover
And a sky of blue!
June sang a song to the flag of the free,
The wind caught the music and sang it to the tree,
The sky caught the music and sang it ‘cross the sea;
The sea caught the music and flung it round the world;
Then a million flags like June’s flag were instantly unfurled,
So sing on forever, O wind, and sky, and sea,
And wave on so forever, bright flag of the free!

by Annette Wynne

16. A Song of Tthe Sixth Month

Glad, mad, and a bit sad too —
Face o’ the rose in the eye of the sun;
God has dreamed and his work is done —
June’s on the world, heigh-ho!
See how the greenish shadow raises
Patterns on the sun’s flood of golden blazes
Round a pink, slim girl knee-deep in daisies.
What is this slow full sense of Time!
This great armada of chirp and song,
That are as a host of sails that throng
Across June’s tidal sea of rhyme.
Buttercups and daisies, sing low, sing high —
Age is a fable, death is a lie —
And June’s too good to tell us why!

by William Stanley Braithwaite

17. June

Ah, transient fall as tender were the flowers
You flung within the lap of this old clime,
And fair as fleeting were thy sweet-faced hours,
The children beautiful you bore old Time.

by Ada A. Mosher

Hot pink and light pink graphic

18. Flaming June

June, gentle June, of whom the crooners croon,
Sweet month of silk, of salmon, and the swoon;
June, what a chance you had—to be your best,
The fighting friend of Freedom in the West!
You could have said ‘I’ll give them placid seas,
Permitting nothing but an off-shore breeze;
Blue days for bombers on the Calais beat,
And not a cloud below three thousand feet;
Comfort for soldiers—safety for the tar:
May has her medals—June shall wear a Star!’

by A. P. Herbert

19. Sunny June

June is a short word.
That’s why I like it.
It is easy to spell and easy to say.
And isn’t it fun
To play in the sun
That June shines on us each summer day?
I am as sorry
As I can be
When bright, lovely June has gone away.

By Lenore Hetrick

20. June

June is the month
Where we say goodbye to Spring
We wave hello to Summer
And fly a kite high on a string!
The weather’s getting hotter
As the school year starts to end
I’m really so excited
To spend summer with my friends.

by Ms Mal’s Munchkins

21. Dusk in June

Evening, and all the birds
In a chorus of shimmering sound
Are easing their hearts of joy
For miles around.

The air is blue and sweet,
The few first stars are white,—
Oh let me like the birds
Sing before night.

by Sara Teasdale

Red flowers in the sky

22. June Is Such a Bonny Time

June is such a bonny time—
Bird and flower weather—
Time for song and love and rime—
Time to be together;
Time for hoops and sails and wings,
Butterflies and happy things.

by Annette Wynne

23. A June Night Poem

Ten o’clock: the broken moon
Hangs not yet a half hour high,
Yellow as a shield of brass,
In the dewy air of June,
Poised between the vaulted sky
And the ocean’s liquid glass.
Earth lies in the shadow still;
Low black bushes, trees, and lawn
Night’s ambrosial dews absorb;
Through the foliage creeps a thrill,
Whispering of yon spectral dawn
And the hidden climbing orb.
Higher, higher, gathering light,
Veiling with a golden gauze
All the trembling atmosphere,
See, the rayless disk grows white!
Hark, the glittering billows pause!
Faint, far sounds possess the ear.
Elves on such a night as this
Spin their rings upon the grass;
On the beach the water-fay
Greets her lover with a kiss;
Through the air swift spirits pass,
Laugh, caress, and float away.
Shut thy lids and thou shalt see
Angel faces wreathed with light,
Mystic forms long vanished hence.
Ah, too fine, too rare, they be
For the grosser mortal sight,
And they foil our waking sense.
Yet we feel them floating near,
Know that we are not alone,
Though our open eyes behold
Nothing save the moon’s bright sphere,
In the vacant heavens shown,
And the ocean’s path of gold.

by Emma Lazarus

Maybe you have a more mellow idea of what’s going to be happening this summer! If that’s your vibe this year, that’s great. We all need a season where we take it slow and just enjoy what’s happening around us. That doesn’t mean you can’t also tap into the summer energy, and have a good time in the sunshine.

These June poems should inspire you to go out and get some fresh air, and have a good time with your months off if you’re in school, and just the beautiful season that it is if you’re an adult in the workforce without a summer break anymore. Summer never loses its magic, and these poems really speak to that. It will always be a season of fun and freedom, and we could all use that energy for a couple of months out of the year.

June Holidays

During this month there are several holidays, including World Environment Day, a day that is spent caring for the environment and raising awareness about the many environmental issues that we as a planet are facing. This is also known as earth day. I mean, you give a home to billions of people and they’ll give you a day. Still, Earth day is one of my favorites to celebrate! I always throw a cleanup party at my local beach and then stay afterward for a cookout. It’s a great way to connect with nature and your community!

Another really important holiday during the month of June is Juneteenth, which falls on, you guessed it, June 19th! Though the emancipation of slaves had begun before this day, many black Americans in the south had no idea. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation out loud in Galveston, Texas, effectively liberating slaves in the state, which had been beyond the control of the Union Army at that point.

This day goes down in history as the day these people were set free. This has especially made June one of my favorite months of the year.

The month of June has been represented in art around the world. But one of my favorite forms has to be June Poetry! There are so many wonderful flowers to be spoken about, the blue sky, birds, and of course the holidays. So I’ve made a list of 21 of the Best June Poems! I also made a special section at the end dedicated to Juneteenth poems that you need to check out. It’s quite the finale!

Famous June Poems

1. A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

-Robert Burns

2. Im Nobody, Who Are You?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

-Emily Dickenson

3. We Real Cool

                 THE POOL PLAYERS. 
                   SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

4. Summer Sorrow

What shall meadow hold to please me,
Spreading wide its scented waving,
How shall quiet mosses ease me, 
Or the night-wind cool my craving?
Hill and hedgerow, cloud-sweet sky, 
Echo our good-by.

Bud unplucked and leaf a-quiver,
Bird that lifts a tuneless trilling,
Restless dream of brook and river,
All June’s cup a wasted spilling

You and I so thirsty-hearted!—
Summer knows us parted.

-Leonora Speyer

5.The Plateau

It was the silver, heart-enveloping view
         Of the mysterious sea-line far away,
         Seen only on a gleaming gold-white day,
That made it dear and beautiful to you.

And Laura loved it for the little hill,
         Where the quartz sparkled fire, barren and dun,
         Whence in the shadow of the dying sun,
She contemplated Hallow’s wooden mill.

While Danny liked the sheltering high grass,
         In which he lay upon a clear dry night,
         To hear and see, screened skilfully from sight,
The happy lovers of the valley pass.

But oh! I loved it for the big round moon
         That swung out of the clouds and swooned aloft,
         Burning with passion, gloriously soft,
Lighting the purple flowers of fragrant June.

-Claude McKay

6. Freedom

My Favorite month

is coming near

The month when my schedule clears

and everyday I can sleep til’ noon

That’s right, its almost June!


7. Anniversary

June is a month of flowers,

of love poems and sudden showers.

It’s the best month to ever exist,

because this was the month I first got to kiss your lips.


Poems about June

There are many poets who have covered this topic. In fact, some of these poems date back to the early 19 hundreds! This is one of the many reasons I’ve fallen in love with poetry. When you can read another’s words and be inspired when you not only have never met the person, but you never even existed at the same time. Really makes you think about how connected we all are. It’s amazing! Read on to get some more June Inspiration!

Fun poems about the month of june

8. June Sunset

Here shall my heart find its haven of calm,
By rush-fringed rivers and rain-fed streams
That glimmer thro’ meadows of lily and palm.
Here shall my soul find its true repose
Under a sunset sky of dreams
Diaphanous, amber and rose.
The air is aglow with the glint and whirl
Of swift wild wings in their homeward flight,
Sapphire, emerald, topaz, and pearl.
Afloat in the evening light.

A brown quail cries from the tamarisk bushes,
A bulbul calls from the cassia-plume,
And thro’ the wet earth the gentian pushes
Her spikes of silvery bloom.
Where’er the foot of the bright shower passes
Fragrant and fresh delights unfold;
The wild fawns feed on the scented grasses,
Wild bees on the cactus-gold.

An ox-cart stumbles upon the rocks,
And a wistful music pursues the breeze
From a shepherd’s pipe as he gathers his flocks
Under the pipal-trees.
And a young Banjara driving her cattle
Lifts up her voice as she glitters by
In an ancient ballad of love and battle
Set to the beat of a mystic tune,
And the faint stars gleam in the eastern sky
To herald a rising moon.

-Sarojini Naidu

9. The Month Of June

On this June day

the buds in my garden

are almost as enchanting as the open flowers.

Things in bud bring, in the heat of a June noontide,

the recollection of the loveliest days of the year

– those days of May when all is suggested,

nothing yet fulfilled.

-Frances King

10. Untitled

In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.

No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.

-Aldo Leopold

11. June Rains

I know well
that the June rains
just fall.


12. Summons

Wisteria woke me this morning,
And there was all June in the garden;
I felt them, early, warning
Lest I miss any part of the day.

Straight I walked to the trellis vine.
Wisteria touched a lifted nostril:
Feelings of beauty diffused, to entwine
My spirit with June’s own aura.

-Ann Mcgough

13. Peacefully

The quiet stars came out, one after one;
The holy twilight fell upon the sea,
The summer day was done.

-Celia Thaxter

14. Above the Fog

Last day of Spring,
ripe purple plums drop–
form is emptiness.

First day of Summer,
ditch completely dry–
emptiness is form.

-Mike Garofalo

Juneteenth Poetry

As promised, for our June poetry finale I’ve included some of the most moving Juneteenth poems out there. These were all written by people of color about the struggles they’ve had to face during their lifetimes, and also the relief and heavy meaning behind the holiday. Scroll down to see!

juneteenth poetry

15. Still I Rise Excerpt(Read Full Poem Here)

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?…

-Maya Angelou

16. Dream Variations

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
    Dark like me—
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
    Black like me.

-Langston Hughes

17. This is Not a Small Voice

This is not a small voice
you hear               this is a large
voice coming out of these cities.
This is the voice of LaTanya.
Kadesha. Shaniqua. This
is the voice of Antoine.
Darryl. Shaquille.
Running over waters
navigating the hallways
of our schools spilling out
on the corners of our cities and
no epitaphs spill out of their river mouths.

This is not a small love
you hear               this is a large
love, a passion for kissing learning
on its face.
This is a love that crowns the feet with hands
that nourishes, conceives, feels the water sails
mends the children,
folds them inside our history where they
toast more than the flesh
where they suck the bones of the alphabet
and spit out closed vowels.
This is a love colored with iron and lace.
This is a love initialed Black Genius.

This is not a small voice
you hear.

-Sonia Sanchez

18. Q.

One of the four Royal Stars is watching over me.  Yeah, I’m blessed in these times of nervous weather.  The leaves chill in a bundle then scatter like police, off to the next doorstep.  They don’t step, they don’t faze me.  These jeans could hold three men.  But it’s just one of me, girl.  Only Son.  Only Sound.  Only Seer.  All this green to gold to red to orange is just theater.   I’m the Real.  Keep your eyes on the Navigator of Snow and Infinite Gray.  I rock these boots all year.  What a storm got to do with me? Who knows the number of strolls to heaven?  Not that I’m thinking on it.  The Heavens know my real name.  But you can call me Q.   Quicker than Q.  But, anyway.   Certain things a man keeps to himself.  Jesus wept.  So I don’t. The past is for people who like to play things over and over.  Me, I’m on to the next song. Listen to my own Head Symphony, to the Royal Stars.  The colors, they thrill me, they fuel these legs.

-Yona Harvey

19. To A Dark Girl

I love you for your brownness,
And the rounded darkness of your breast,
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eyelids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk.

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate,
Keep all you have of queenliness,
Forgetting that you once were slave,
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

20. Tired 

I am tired of work; I am tired of building up somebody else’s civilization.
Let us take a rest, M’Lissy Jane.
I will go down to the Last Chance Saloon, drink a gallon or two of gin, shoot a game or two of dice and sleep the rest of the night on one of Mike’s barrels.
You will let the old shanty go to rot, the white people’s clothes turn to dust, and the Calvary Baptist Church sink into the bottomless pit.
You will spend your days forgetting you married me and your nights hunting the warm gin Mike serves the ladies in the rear of the Last Chance Saloon.
Throw the children into the river; civilization has given us too many. It is better to die than it is to grow up and find out that you are colored.
Pluck the stars out of the heavens. The stars mark our destiny. The stars marked my destiny.
I am tired of civilization.

-Fenton Johnson

21. We Are Marching

We are marching, truly marching 
   Can’t you hear the sound of feet? 
We are fearing no impediment 
   We have never known defeat. 

Like Job of old we have had patience, 
  Like Joshua, dangerous roads we’ve trod 
Like Solomon we have built out temples. 
   Like Abraham we’ve had faith in God. 

Up the streets of wealth and commerce, 
   We are marching one by one
We are marching, making history, 
  For ourselves and those to come. 

We have planted schools and churches,
   We have answered duty’s call. 
We have marched from slavery’s cabin 
   To the legislative hall. 

Brethren can’t you catch the spirit? 
  You who are out just get in line
Because we are marching, yes we are marching 
   To the music of the time. 

We are marching, steady marching 
   Bridging chasms, crossing streams 
Marching up the hill of progress 
  Realizing our fondest dreams. 

We are marching, truly marching 
   Can’t you hear the sound of feet? 
We are fearing no impediment
   We shall never know defeat. 

-Carrie Law Morgan Figgs

june poems

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