If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
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? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. -Maya Angelou
You are not your age, Nor the size of clothes you wear, You are not a weight, Or the colour of your hair. You are not your name, Or the dimples in your cheeks, You are all the books you read, And all the words you speak, You are your croaky morning voice, And the smiles you try to hide, You’re the sweetness in your laughter, And every tear you’ve cried, You’re the songs you sing so loudly, When you know you’re all alone, You’re the places that you’ve been to, And the one that you call home, You’re the things that you believe in, And the people that you love, You’re the photos in your bedroom, And the future you dream of, You’re made of so much beauty, But it seems that you forgot, When you decided that you were defined, By all the things you’re not.
There was a man who dwelt alone beneath the moon in shadow. He sat as long as lasting stone, and yet he had no shadow. The owls, they perched upon his head beneath the moon of summer; They wiped their beaks and thought him dead, who sat there dumb all summer
There came a lady clad in grey beneath the moon a-shining. One moment did she stand and stay her hair with flowers entwining. He woke as had he sprung of stone. beneath the moon in shadow, And clasped her fast, both flesh and bone; and they were clad in shadow.
And never more she walked in light, or over moonlit mountain, But dwelt within the hill, where night is lit but with a fountain – Save once a year when caverns yawn, and hills are clad in shadow, They dance together then till dawn and cast a single shadow.