Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!


Bodies are lamps
And their life is the light.
Ivory, Gold, Bronze and Ebony-
Yet all are lamps
And their lives the lights.

Dwelling in the tabernacles
    Of the most high- -are lamps.
Lighting the weary pilgrims' way
    As they travel the dreary night-are lamps.
Swinging aloft in great Cathedrals
    Beaming on rich and poor alike-are lamps.
Flickering fitfully in harlot dives
    Wanton as they that dwell therein-are lamps.
Ivory, Gold, Bronze and Ebony-
    Yet all are lamps
And their lives the lights.

Some flames rise high above the horizon
    And urge others to greater power.
Some burn steadfast thru the night
    To welcome the prodigal home.
Others flicker weakly, lacking oil to burn
    And slowly die unnoticed.
What matter how bright the flame
    How weak?
What matter how high it blazes
    How low?
A puff of wind will put it out.

You and I are lamps-Ebony lamps.
Our flame glows red and rages high within
But our ebon shroud becomes a shadow
And our light seems weak and low.
    Break that shadow
    And let the flame illumine heaven
    Or blow wind ... blow ...
    And let our feeble lights go out

Written by Mae V. Cowdery (1909-1953)


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge