Poems by renowned Black leader and activist Julia Wright

Porto Santo Beach.
Porto Santo Beach.


did the gnarled splendor
of the ancient dragon trees
on Porto Santo island
witness the hubris
of Christopher Columbus
who once came here
to measure
the Atlantic Ocean currents
before he sailed
on a mercantile quest
for spices and gold
and violently enslaved
the Indigenous peoples
of the Americas ?

the dragon trees
bear witness
in more ways than one
for when they are wounded
they bleed red
like us –
an ecological
and sacred remembrance

is it also true
a Portuguese prince
proud of his mother’s jewish blood,
was on a quest
for new and virgin land
to resettle 800 000 jews
fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition ?

did the tall and wise
elephant grasses
still growing here
whisper to this zealot captain
not to sail ?

these trees
these rushes
let me know
that wherever i go
i will find an echo
of reverberating genocide –
a worldwide web
of collective onslaught
over space and time –
a map dug deep
in our mindscape
of ancestral dots connected
tracing the rivers of blood and bone
throwing themselves
into the sea of a Middle Passage

the rising tide
over my feet
tells me genocide
is everywhere
tells me genocide
will be endemic
as long as imperialism is systemic

as i walk barefooted
along this manicured beach
washed clean of long ago crime
i recall our own Trail of Native Blood –
the brainchild born here
five hundred years ago
in a feudal and driven mind –
and in real time
horror fast forwards
to the Gaza Trail
along the black gold sea-line
of Palestine

and here again
the relentlessly studied tides of war
are annihilating
another land
but the centennial waves
let me know
that peoples cannot be seized
for we carry the earth within
and in spite of relentless assault
we are the very salt
they always fail to mine

(c) Julia Wright. December 4 2023. All Rights Reserved to the WCWSF – the Wounded Children Without Surviving Families in Gaza and the West Bank




“Heureux qui comme Ulysse
a fait un beau voyage
et puis est retourné
dans son village …”
Du Bellay, a French poet

” Happy are those who like Ulysses
made a beautiful journey
and then returned to their village ..”
Du Bellay, a French poet

And a nod to Ray Charles …

even though
i am safe
away from the bombs
the genocide in Gaza
my soul
so I tried to take a break
on a remote island
without hi-fi
where i imagined i would
be immune from
the darkness and the fire

i thought i would be fooled
by the palm trees
by the innocence of a blue sky
and shell searching
on carefree shores

but Gaza remained on my mind

i thought i could escape
the wind-carried cries
the scorched olive trees
those mouths gaping
in screams so piercing
that the volume of war
turned up high
could not prevent me
from hearing them
even from my getaway
even as i was sleeping

so Gaza remained in my dreams

and when I returned
the truce was over
the genocide
had resumed
as torture
has its lulls
where the victim is allowed
a teasing
single drop of water

i am back now
and Gaza never left my mind

beyond the solitary confinement
of Apartheid
Gaza is everywhere
here to stay

(c) Julia Wright. December 4, 2023. All Rights Reserved to TCWSF – the Wounded Children Without Surviving Families – in Gaza and the West Bank.



AI – for Apartheid Intelligence

AI can make perps
of us all,
tries to predict
our criminal record,
and would even write our poems
given the chance

for us
robots cook and dance

and now AI – Apartheid Intelligence –
chooses who to bomb
for our tax dollars
prompting the U.S secretary of defense
to paper the PR cracks
by suggesting
just a trifle more pro civilian elegance

really ?

in the same sudden spirit
of artificially intelligent concern,
where are the tiny robots
who in the place of Gaza’s children
would be the targets
of culturally advanced genocide ?

(c) Julia Wright. December 5 2023. All Rights Reserved for the WCWSF – the Wounded Children Without Surviving Families – of Gaza and the West Bank




“tears fall in my heart
as it rains on the city”

– Verlaine, French poet

After learning
that the more and more rogue
U.S. of A
Palestine’s right to a ceasefire
for a third time
I awaken
to a pure blue sky –
how could it be ?
is it mocking me ?

After being told
that a dying Ed Poindexter
one of our oldest political prisoners
was not granted compassionate leave
and passed behind bars
I awaken
to a sky
too brazenly blue

today we commemorate
the forty second year
of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s
illegal arrest and lynching
and I awaken
to a sky
that reminds me only
of the thin blue veil

and I would prefer rain
the rain that falls in my heart

(c) Julia Wright. December 9 2023. All Rights.


Editor’s note: This post was edited on 12/14/2023 to correct an error in the title of the poem “AI – for Apartheid Intelligence”

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