Category: poetry

AFRIKAN (Dedication of the Newborn)

Grandfather  cradled  me

Massaged my forehead with prayer

Chanted softly my name , ripe

as nocturne, soothing evening song


Anointed me. Summoned into my veins

the mighty Nile ; we seized the moment —

the mystique, the  ancient, the  eternal

wonder–of my being. Imbued

my swarthiness , resonant radiance.


Now my father cradled me.

Massaged my heels  with clay clutched new

Then arched me into the  heavens.

The Sky Eye approved. We

glow in the knowing.


Behold, I AM


wondrous innocence

braids & ponytails double-dutching

twisting pavements       bouncing playgrounds


bright  shiny faces tease and  flirt

strutting sass      chanting names with

rhymes for beads & bowrettes


excited leaps to a joyous chorus

whips of fire      spree of majesty

jewels of wazuri  frolic


queens of  fancy-yet-crowned



O BROTHA (1968)

Every brotha aint a brotha
Every right on aint right

This so called brotha tryin to rap
some ol bull to me bout ball n chains
But I aint buyin
Jus tell charlie
Gimme a chisel n hammer
& I’ll do what I gotta do

Now comes charlie
He gonna play dumb
but he aint stupid
He thinks
when I strike a match
I need a fog

Jus cuz I don’t start fires
don’t mean I don’t burn down sh**

Goes to show ya
Every brotha aint
right on

right on

Interview with Gilbert H. Richards

Interview with Gilbert H. Richards, Author of Herd of Tusks

       Author’s Bio: A native of Baltimore City, Maryland, Gilbert H. Richards, a high school English Literature teacher of 20 years, set a goal to write a book of poetry during his college  years.

Having always written personal essays, Richards combined his love of writing, reading and his knowledge of English literature in his first book of poetry, Herd of Tusks.                     

Richards has earned an English degree from Morgan State University and a Masters in Special Education from Coppin State University. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

       What inspired you to write your book?

     GHR: I’ve been writing poems since my teen years.  At 62 years old, I think a lot about my own mortality. I want to leave a testament behind. This volume of poetry is that  testament. 

I hope it’s not my last.

    Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

   GHR: I like a lot of authors, poets, journalists, and columnists etc. However, I was definitely influenced by the Black Power and Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. No doubt, I’m a Revolutionary/Black is Beautiful baby.

   Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?

   GHR: This is my first book and it took me about a year and a half to complete.

   Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?

   GHR: Both. I start organically, then try to organize it by topic and theme.

   Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?

   GHR: I always have music, sports talk radio or TV on. It’s all backdrop.  “We’re Growing Higher and Higher” from Shaka Zulu.

   What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?

  Exposure, publicity, word of mouth, Facebook, website.

   What advice would you give to new authors?

   GHR: Look around, see what’s happening in your local area. Check out other local poets around.  Read and reflect on what’s current in poetry globally too.

   How about sharing an excerpt from Herd of Tusks?

    Death is the jester who keeps me amused

   –the wild card that keeps me guessing.

    A peculiar host this stranger rests

    in my parlor. His face veiled, his lips pressed,

   his eyes astray. Keeps me praying.

    What’s next for you?

    GHR: I’m currently writing my memoirs covering the last 50 years.

    Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?Website:

   Facebook: Gilbert H. Richards
   Book buy links: and

     It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.