E. Ethelbert Miller

The Blue Years; When The Sky Is Upside Down: E. Ethelbert Miller


And then we walked out
into the rain as if we were walking
to the sea, so many weeping
because of dangerous memories.

Life is a flood of tears.
We were born somewhere
between heartbreak and desire.
The place we fled before the crying.

The blue years when we had
no food or water.
The blue years when many
were strangled by the air.

So much thirst.
Too much blueness on our tongues.


When the world slows
down I’ll pack a few things
and jump off.

No farewell or tears,
just a turn around a corner
and a wade into the sea.

I’ll forget everything.
Yes – everything I forget.

Gone- the first woman I wanted
not the last woman that left.

Dusk is when I sing the morning blues
and the sky is upside down.

My heart, my legs, no longer walk straight.
I’ve only known a crooked kind of love.

E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist and the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry. He hosts the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and hosts and produces The Scholars on UDC-TV which received a 2020 Telly Award. Miller’s latest book If God Invented Baseball (City Point Press) was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the American Library Association’s Black Caucus. https://searcharchives.library.gwu.edu/repositories/2/resources/367