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NaPoWriMo 2020: Day 15 – Ubuntu – ‘I am because we are’

“Our prompt for the day (optional, as always) takes its cue from Arkansas. Today, I’d like  to challenge you to write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music. Try to recreate the sounds and timing of a pop ballad, a jazz improvisation, or a Bach fugue. That could mean incorporating refrains, neologisms and flights of whimsy, or repeating/inverting lines or ideas – whatever your chosen musical form would seem to require! Perhaps a good way to start is to listen to your favorite piece of music and “free-write” for the duration  of the piece, and then use what you’ve written as the building blocks for your poem.”

I wrote a pop ballad – a love song. I hope it inspires someone to add music to it. Let me know if it does 🙂


Every day and every night, I can’t thank enough my destiny

I don’t know how it’d be

If you hadn’t chosen me

I know I’d never be happy

If you hadn’t held on to me

 

Can’t thank you enough for loving me

 

Every day and every night, I thank the shining stars,  for you-

I don’t know what I’d do

If not for you

I know I’d never know a love so true

If it wasn’t for you

 

‘Thank you’ for loving me, the way you do

 

Every day and every night I look at the past and I see

my journey roll in front of me

Every step I took, every path I chose, led me

here…to you. Do you see-

My darling, we were meant to be

 

Can’t thank you enough for loving me

 

I don’t know what I’d do

If not for you

 

I don’t know how I’d be

If ‘we’ wasn’t ‘you and me’

 

‘Thank you’ for loving me, the way you do

‘I am because we are,’ – Ubuntu*

I love you the way you do

‘I am because we are,’ – Ubuntu*

*Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” I used it here to express ‘we’ as in a couple in love who are stronger because of each other, because of being together.

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Today’s poetry resource is this PDF of Fred Moten’s first chapbook, Arkansas. Since publishing it in 2000, he has published numerous full-length poetry collections, including The Feel Trio, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2014. The poems in Arkansas mix spoken language, musical rhythms, and a very precise eye for colors.