Dedicated to Maya Angelou. The Rising Star by Jenean C Gilstrap

Dedicated to Maya Angelou. The Rising Star by Jenean C Gilstrap
Jenean C Gilstrap

On May 28, 2014, the voice of Maya Angelou fell silent again.   Her voice silent but her words not unspoken.  Her words live on and shall never be quieted by absence or distance so long as there are those voices here to speak the magic she wrote.  This piece is dedicated to the magnificence that was Maya…phenomenal woman that she was.

Dedicated to Maya Angelou. The Rising Star by Jenean C Gilstrap

President Barack Obama presenting Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

the rising star

phenomenal was she

born too soon in the deep dark south

she learned too soon to shut her mouth

little girl left to evil’s bid

raped and scared her words she hid

for seven long years she spoke in tears

satan’s servant cast aside

behind the slaughterhouse is where he died

wings now clipped to the core

little caged bird sang no more

phenomenal child was she

sweet 16 and full of doubt

she was unsure of her true route

then to this child a child was born

she never gave up nor did she mourn

her plight was that which she had made

and with her love life’s dues were paid

from streetcars to dance halls whatever it took

she never did nothin’ by the book

phenomenal mother was she

ebony skin and ruby lips

she danced as if diamonds between her hips

sass and pride filled her heart

she knew her place from the start

standin’ tall and tellin’ all

she’d rise again with each life fall

the place for her she always said

was wherever maya chose to tred

phenomenal woman was she

she was the ocean black deep and wide

always rising with the tide

rising to reach the shore so near

breaking away the chains of fear

giving to us the gift given her

a thing more precious then rosemary and myrrh

from a past of bondage and chains

her ancestors sent what remains

the gift of dreams and of hope

helping us all better to cope

phenomenal woman was she

weaving her words in chords of rhyme

teaching lessons time after time

and now that she has left this plane

we know that soon we’ll hear that sweet sweet strain

of angelic voice through the long night

beaming down from the heavens so bright

a shining star ever so new

and we on earth salute her debut

she has risen

phenomenal star she is

View Comments (4)
  • Great poem, Jenean!

  • Guest

    thanks so very much – a magnificent woman for sure…

Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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