Subscribers have access to more than 40 years of personal writing.
In these fraught times I’ve found myself turning to poetry for solace and inspiration, and I wanted The Sun to present a selection of poems that speak to the subtle and not-so-subtle injustices going on around us.
On a bike I have wings and a kingdom. On a bike I’m a taller, stronger, wiser version of myself — the person I wish to be on land. It’s always been this way.
We’ve just got to get off our chairs and show up: to elections, courtrooms, town meetings, marches, rallies. Showing up is half of democracy.
The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them.
The Sun has always been bigger than me. Wiser than me. Steadier than me. One of the satisfactions of publishing it for all these years is that I’ve gotten to see what happens when like-minded people work together toward a common goal.
I wasn’t thinking of it, though it seems my body was: the seemingly insignificant run-in I’d had with the police the night before. For a black man any encounter with the police is tense, and that tension had found its way into my muscles, if not my mind.
This night I am here: in this bruised self, in this bruised world.
I gathered my shoes and wallet on the other side of the metal detector and took a last glance at my father, who was still there, still waving. That mangled finger had always been a symbol of his shortcomings and deformities to me, but now I saw it was also a testament to all that he’d sacrificed for our family. He’d lost that trigger finger building the business that had fed and clothed me. I imagined he was not only waving me goodbye but waving me forward with that symbol of his own woundedness.
Possibly the heart of our humanity is to want something we cannot achieve by our own efforts.