Sunday, November 10, 2013


I thought we’d like
the same music
read the same books
see the same movies
I was wrong

I thought short of merit
our lives would dance freely
in our own clumsy way
we’d see ourselves
in one another
 I thought

I thought candle light and flowers
would swirl waves of passion
we’d like the same wine
confront the same dogmas

thought you’d be love’s metaphor
the imagery I fashioned
we’d be souls entwined in time
inseparable together
 I was wrong

thought I’d never be bored
thought I’d never be lonely
thought your touch
would make me tremble
thought our love
would warm and cuddle

thought what’s yours
would be mine
thought what’s mine
would be ours

thought I’d free myself
to be myself
thought I’d see myself
in you
I was wrong

From "EMBRACE" by Shirley Howard Hall
Available on all on-line sites,, all e-readers, and

Thursday, February 7, 2013



We are the ancestors of the historical horrors
birthed into arms of a chattel society
born amidst slave blocks
fields of cotton and tobacco
dispensed into theaters of torture and doom

Women of the Diaspora, men of the homeland
chased into woods, along rivers, through valleys
hoist into freedoms curtained with provisions
probing nights shadows for illusory lights

We are the ancestors of the historical horrors
absconding the bondage – demarcating the lies
hallowed by truths once held as self evident
conceding the horrors- expounding the crimes

We are the nemesis to slavery’s horrors
nourished through caring, thriving on hope
forging a kinder more peaceful existence
born into slavery, yet rooted in love

From "ONE DAY" by Shirley Howard Hall

28 Days


I need a year to be black

linguistics of typecasting
get it just right
pigeonholed in a bucket
cagy stereotypes
I need a year to be black

deprived of a home
in a white neighborhood
shunned in a racist white club
apply for a job whites only
test equal work equal pay laws

shoved in the corners
of fine restaurants
rejected avoided eschewed
passed over imprisoned and cheated
profiled in keen airports and schools

need a year to secure high blood pressure
sickle cell, diabetes and aids
to be told that my brain is smaller than most
wash dishes, clean toilets
need a year to honor the ace of spades
stand on corners, push drugs pot and pills
get welfare and food stamps
be single and poor
join a gang, learn to pilfer and steal

to exhaust all my savings
estrange my white friends
donate all my finery and jewels
void my accomplishments
distance achievements
in short to make me more like you

give me a year to practice the lies
to make all your falsehoods come true
to drop out of school
quit a well paying job
sell my home in the burbs next to yours

28 days just won’t do it
need a year to turn back the tide
or you can enlighten yourself and your friends
on the truths of Black History
Black Pride.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


In 1929 a child was born
in a small backward town
on a cold windy morn.
the son of a man of God so sworn
to spread good tidings and hopes freeborn.

This boy child grew in statue and mind
and developed a love of all mankind.
this love was taught throughout the south
and equality preached through word of mouth.

He wanted a world that lay at peace
he wanted the prejudice to cease
he wanted the north and south to meet
on a highway to glory
aboard a heavenly fleet.

In a peaceful tenure the war begun,
some battles were lost while others were won.
a few folks decided their lives to give
so their brothers and sisters could someday live.
this leader of men and women alike
was tortured and beaten yet refused to fight.

Then one quiet day when all seemed well
a chartered demon ascended from hell,
he fired one shot of hatred and scorn
he placed an entire nation in mourn.

That morning in Memphis a body lay cold.
an irreplaceable creature strong fearless and bold.

Martin Luther king Junior died in 68.
had his purpose been served or was it fate
that took this great leader at the peak of his war
that for a million people closed an open door.

The year is nineteen seven and nine
this is the day, this is the time,
to join our hands and show that we care
to show we remember and whisper a prayer

For peace.


From the book "ONE DAY" by Shirley Howard Hal. 
Available on all e-readers and from your local bookstorel