The Poetry of John Henrik Clarke, Pt. I.

To a Magnolia

You look so restful and kind
Lovely flower of Spring,
Without a mind to think evil thoughts,
Or eyes to see evil things.
I wish I were like you
Lovely Magnolia,
Smiling in the early morn;
Unlike Humans, you die
As sinless as you were born.

(J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.86)


O Gypsies, carefree children with simple grace,
You are the freest of human race.
You’ve built no towering skyscrapers ...
You wear no worries on your face.
To you I turn for comfort,
With tears devoid of glee,
O Gypsies, take all or part of me,
Press it passionately against your wild flesh
And make it free.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.79)

Hope in the Crises

This is not the end of all good things;
There will be more smiles and joyful songs ...
This is just the dark hour
That comes before the dawn.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.56)


The west has been won;
It has served its days of woe;
The pioneers have laid down their guns
Now, where can the young men go!

Young men, I have an answer,
You need not sit and whine;
Arise and build a haven
For the disinherited of mankind.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.54)

Sad Child

I am a strange child,
In a strange land;
The West is neither my
Home nor my haven.
My music is the „tom-tom“
Not the Saxophone,
You may root me here
In this alien soil,
But I will not grow.
I may never go back to
The East, where i belong;
But I will forever nurse the desire.
In the hours when i am alone,
I’ll turn my pagan face toward
The East, and cry.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.43)

Lines Written at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier

Walk softly, do not make a sound,
Cautiously your feet must touch the ground.
Take heed; are you not aware
The „Unknown Soldier“ is sleeping here?
When passing you must carefully creep.
Do not disturb his lasting sleep ...
He must know he fought in vain.
Don’t awaken him, for fear he see
That we have destroyed democracy.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.18)

Note to a White Man

Yes, I cleaned your boots:
I rubbed them hard
So they could shine,
And when you spoke
I said, „Yes Sir“
As if you were some great „Divine“

Now, turn back
The pages of history.
In there, a place
You’ll find,
Where I didn’t clean your boots,
But you cleaned mine.

((J.H.Clark „Rebellion in rhyme“, p.17)

*All of these poems were taken from the J.H.Clark’s book „Rebellion in rhyme

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