The Poet and the Man


The Cave, a poet’s special place, home
to itinerant dreams, where verse is given life.

He sits turned away from his desk,
a magazine-posed photograph, a black man
in black and white, poet in a private world,
a mind imprinted with the gift of beauty
he is Afaa — prophet oracle.

His hands are placed together, fingers
tip to tip, a knowing look reflects the soft
glow of the soul within. His affable visage
holds wisdom’s seal, a dignity leavened
by the power of spirit.

His life has been one of challenge,
a road paved with brambles and stones.

He houses a heart annealed by the cruel
flames of betrayal. His renewal is hard
earned.

Spirit-weary from pain’s nibbling maw,
the tyranny of man’s conjectures, his anger
is long since bound. Sustained by the soul’s
naked truth he secures his freedom.

With poetry that gives him life he is at
terms with himself — a contentment, wrested
from a harsh transcendence, seems to say

I belong to me I am strong my poetry is my power.

(Afaa Michael Weaver is Alumnae Professor of English
at Simmons College in Boston — a story in the Nov/Dec
2007 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine provided the inspiration
for this poem. The name Afaa is Nigerian for prophet or oracle.)

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This Poems Story

The redemption and recovery of a poet.