On May, 14, 1868, the ship Golconda set sail from Savannah, Georgia to Liberia, and from the ship’s log, the journey started for 7 generations of the Fort family, starboard.
The worthy and wealthy men of color
stood on Golconda, gangplank, Savannah,
the blind Pharoah, thrown overboard, sorrow.
One saw angels in their brown sunken eyes,
starboard, husk of a rainbow at their feet.
The worthy and wealthy looked for the land
and carried one, 1868, seated silver dollar,
pewter canteen, filled with blue sea water,
sorrow on the map of the underworld.
The worthy lifted their heads in the pew,
starboard, unclean water in their cupped hands;
what was blue coral, turned green, turned to tar,
saw god in the eyes of a stow-a-way,
thrown down and half-drowned in a net of fire,
Cleopatra rolled inside a carpet.
The wealthy, struck by lightning, burned alive.
W. Fort took his turn at the captain’s wheel.
He was unmoved, hands steady, and starboard,
for the child pharaoh, half-buried, sorrow.
- The Worthy and Wealthy Men of Color - August 17, 2017
- Two Poems - May 1, 2015