Poetry by Alice Walker

2018-12-13 13:18

Alice Walker is a celebrated US author, poet and activist who won the Pulitzer prize for Fiction in 1983. Some of her best-selling novels include The Color Purple and Now is the Time to Open Your Heart.

Her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than 15 million copies.

Walker has recently published a collection of almost 70 pieces, where she takes us through pivotal moments in her life.

Hope Is a Woman Who Has Lost Her Fear

for Sundus Shaker Saleh, Iraqi mother, with my love

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice WalkerPHOTO:

In our despair that justice is slow

we sit with heads bowed



even whether

we will ever be healed.

Perhaps it is a question

only the ravaged

the violated

seriously ask.

And is that not now

almost all of us?

But hope is on the way.

As usual Hope is a woman

herding her children

around her

all she retains of who

she was; as usual

except for her kids

she has lost almost


Hope is a woman who has

lost her fear.

Along with her home, her

employment, her parents,

her olive trees, her grapes.

The peace of independence;

the reassuring noises of

ordinary neighbors.

Hope rises, she always does,

did we fail to notice this in

all the stories

they’ve tried to suppress?

Hope rises,

and she puts on her same

unfashionable threadbare


and, penniless, she flings


against the cold, polished,

protective chain mail

of the very powerful

the very rich—chain mail that


suspiciously silver coins

and lizard scales—

and all she has to fight with

is the reality of what was

done to her;

to her country; her people; her children;

her home.

Alice Walker

All she has as armor is what she has learned

must never be done.

Not in the name of War

and especially never in the

name of Peace.

Hope is always the teacher

with the toughest homework.

Our assignment: to grasp

what has never been breathed in our stolen


on the hill:

Without justice, we will never

be healed.

For more information about the inspiring courage of this mother of five, visit

Sweet People Are Everywhere

for Young Bryon, Who Is Getting a Passport

Some of the people in Turkey

are very sweet.

Some of those in Afghanistan

are very sweet.

Some of the people in the Americas

are very sweet.

In Canada too

some of the people

are sweet.

In Mexico

you will definitely find

sweet people.


in the Sudan.

There are sweet people

among the Zulu

in South Africa

and every language group in Africa

has some sweet people

in it.

There are sweet people

in Iceland


in Russia.

There are many sweet people in Korea.

There are millions of sweet people in China.

There are sweet people in Japan.

If the sweet people were the leaders in these historically warring

Asian countries

they would treat each other

much better!

There are sweet people

in the Congo.

There are sweet people

in Egypt;

and sweet people

in Australia.

Many sweet people are

in Norway.

Numerous sweet people are

in Spain.

There are many sweet people

in Ghana

and Kenya

and sweet people also

in Guam

and the Philippines.

There are sweet people

in Cuba.

Many sweet people

exist in Iran.

There are sweet people

in Libya and Colombia.

Sweet people are

in Vietnam.

Sweet people exist

in England and Burma.

There are sweet people

for sure

in Ireland.

Sweet people are

in France.

Sweet people are holding on

in Syria.

They are doing the same

in Iraq.

Some sweet people live

in Venezuela.

Many very sweet people

live in Brazil.

There are sweet people

in Israel

as there are sweet people


in Palestine.

Actually, in almost every house

on the planet

there is at least one

very sweet person

that you would be happy to know.

Sweet people are everywhere!

Being sweet, they must not be disappeared.

We are lost

if we can no longer experience

how sweet human beings can be.

Promise me never

to forget this.

No matter how far

you go

on this new passport,

where you are directed to land

your own sweet self

or who sends you.

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May 19 2019