Poems to Peruse...

I hope you will enjoy these poems and perhaps be inspired to write a poem of your own.

 The Burn


The pain

Inside my bones

Blazes red hot


Like midnight 


And nooses

On necks 



Poplar trees  

Or urban streets



In Praise of Bridges

We praise the bridges
And thank God for them
They helped us get over
Created for such times as these
Built and strengthened by ancestors and elders
Long and strong
Or short and uncertain
There they were
Some remain
Some were carelessly or selfishly burned

Build new bridges young people

Travel purposeful  and strong

Create and carry your gifts
Rejoice as you lift more than just fists
Lift your sisters and brothers as you go
To new heights of pride and accomplishment
Honor yourself
Embrace this new thing
Let it dwell in your hearts and minds
It is here we find our power
So we build and cross bridges
Praising while growing strong
Celebrating life and loving who we are

Remembrances - A Memorial Day Poem

Written for and presented at the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church 2008 Memorial Day Celebration, “Holy Spirit – Bring All Things to Our Remembrance.” 


Reaching back 

Spiritually embracing absent family and loved ones

We will mourn our loss of them forever

But on this day we pay homage and honor their memory

We thank God for them and all they gave us

And, as graciously as we know how, 

Thank them for their sacrifice 

We recall daughters, mothers, foremothers 

And our sons, brothers and father warriors, ancestors all

Who stood tall ‘til time, 

As measured by eternity’s hand,

Released them from their labor


Memories handed down one to another 

In ways that anchor and reassure us 

Keeping souls safe through prayer and faith

Those who came before 

Paved the way, opened a door 

To which only they held the key

In the meanwhile they have left us remembrances

May we ever be comforted by this gift from God 

This feeling, this yearning deep inside 

Remembering absent, yet forever present caring hearts and hands

Warm smiles, strong backs, gentle hugs 

Given then to build fortresses within us 

Shields of love that comfort and cradle us

They soften tomorrow’s blows, enrich our spirits 

With lullabies that echo in our minds and soothe our souls

In ways that only love can comprehend 


Special and treasured memories of different times and places

But mainly of family and friends, precious and delicate

Somehow, despite losses, we grow -- always 

For the legacy must continue

We lift little ones to places of understanding

Through stories and family photographs

Keeping alive their connection 

With folk gone long before their time

Some gone so long even elders struggle to recall their face

But their place in the family will always stay strong

Just like the love and the strength they shared and dared to give 

At times, it was all they had

Now we remember, with love, that they gave their best

And their best makes our tomorrows better 

Remembrances, through smiles and tears

We thank God, despite our pain and sadness

Our souls are made glad when we remember

Strong Hands of Mother Africa


Strong hands of Mother Africa 

Awaken places deep inside me 

where my ancestors dwell

Like distant echoes, your heart-beat 

reverberates off Kilimanjaro’s mountain-tops

pulses down the Nile

crosses the Sudan

and flows into my soul

Strong hands of Mother Africa

Call my absent spirit

To return and commune with the elders

Those who sojourned before me

now light my path

and await my homecoming

Strong hands of Mother Africa

Reveal to me my history 

Teach me the ways of my true homeland

Unmask the mysteries and tragedies 

of this altered consciousness

Awaken in my mind and body 

the unripened seeds of truth, power, and pride

Solve for me the paradox of my mortality


Strong hands of Mother Africa

My soul dances to your ancient rhythm

pulsing, ever pulsing through the veins of time

Teach me to beat Africa drums

so that I, too, may guide

another absent spirit to your shores

So that I, too, may guide

Another absent spirit 


I Come With My Drum

What message can I lift
To help heal the sick
Comfort the orphan
Bring peace to the world

​What message can I lift
To open doors and hearts alike
Bring joy, power and discernment
Defeating strongholds 

Building bridges despite 

Wildernesses whose darkness
Would defeat my quest

What message can I lift
To shine God’s light
Bring justice and love
To empower 

During midnight’s hour
What message can I lift
To please my God
Build faith and trust
Despite unlikely victories
Countless disappointments 

And tragedies

Adversity means nothing
To a God who can do all things
So like David 

I come with my drum

Excerpts and links to more poems by Sistah Joy

"So we look back  
Name and claim our mournings,  
As freely as we seek
the glory and glee of victories  
Not to dwell in yesterday  
Nor she in us  
But to gain from her legacy,
good or bad  

Ancestors, elders, and
tomorrow’s seed yet born  
Each has or shall witness
With earthly short-sightedness
That which limits vision to all this side of Jordan..."  

To view this poem, Reflections, in its entirety and 4 other poems by Sistah Joy, visit  http://danmurano.com/featured-poet/sistah-joy

"With faith that flickers   

Like fireflies in the night  

We wander, float  

A seemingly aimless   

Reaching out   

Seeking to take   

More than give   

Survive rather than live 

Unaware of the beauty  

And brightness of our own light   Reflections are few  

When those around you  

Only cast shadows  

That challenge, ridicule   

And dim the radiance of right..." 

To view this poem, Souls Seeking Light, in its entirety, and 22 others by Sistah Joy, visit  


Poetry by Sistah Joy

Poetry by Sistah Joy