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Umar Hassan
Poet and cyclist
Poet and cyclist

Umar's posts

Sweet Dreams

We can say sleep’s
The little sister of death
We value dreaming

Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!”
-Othello, Act III


I am
the Nth progression,
the primordial wave
beyond the spectra,
yet I sustain its black light –
the indisputable prismatic
ally of all colors.

I am
the fortitude of negritude;
the menacing stranger
who lurked
too long; too long
gone for a heroic
return to a home not known

I am
a celestial hole in the void
from which nothing escapes;
not even the light that I bend
like a circus strongman.
I cause stars and worlds
to swirl and disappear.
My law is the pedestal
of divine secrets.

I am
ashy and dark-skinned
honed bronze with woolly hair
biblically comely
curiously dense perhaps
deliberately slow
or smoothly so?

I am
India ink
pure Sudanese crude
mother lode of hidden Erie coal
the insufferable enemy’s heart
(at its deepest melancholy fold)
the Scottish Watch
fresh road tar
steaming slick slurry
bad luck ominous cats
belligerent ants, mandibles flared
your true love’s lavender scented hair

I am
the Nth progression,
the primordial wave
beyond the spectra
yet I sustain its black light –
the undeniable prismatic
ally of all colors.

I am
the colored, the negro
the nigra and the sambo –
all the stepping and fetching
bunnies lost in the jungle.

I precede the (shudder) N word.
No matter how bleached or dismissed,
hidden or denied, we, the two,
cursed as words together,
have survived.

We shall remain mired
in the sewer-flumed anger
of spoken bigot fury
kith and kin spoken injury
until the ones so called
rise and decline
to answer the hateful
bait yet again.

Then the baleful dogs of hell
will bay at the city gates
their eyes refractory prisms of hate
their den frozen; their god put down.
Their howling is swallowed,
when that time be now,
by a celestial hole
from which nothing goes.


I’ve watched dinosaurs on feathered wing, helical
Sky risers climbing the heaven’s thermal columns

Others lazing above the dusty crowns
Of deciduously reluctant wintering trees

Garbed still in drab sun starved faded leaves
The hue of jealous stalkers refusing to let go

Chattering recalcitrants mill in the winds
Buffeting our locked and shuttered windows

We remain calm inside as dinosaurs hide
Alight in hidden roosts, nighttime disappeared ones

When darkness blankets, the day eagerly falls
That it may rise to the songs of flying dinosaurs

It is their breaking dawn songs, our dreams of flight
Sculpted into marble angels and well-armed toddler gods

They feast on the casualties of our wars and famines,
We keep the little pretty ones in cages, slaves to the chirp

Some may will to spiral rise, to wing above the dusty crowns
To reign in the darkness, to kill with keen eyes on silent wing

When we hear the songs of the dinosaurs, we recognize
The resonance of stars becoming dust becoming what must

Birds conferenced by the lake and found themselves
Birdsongs rose, sonic diadems alighted on dusty crowns

While we still imagine little gods on wings, divinely sent
Angelic messengers of gifted love and promised destruction.


Your being is
The interpretive art
Of Remembering and Dreaming.

Are dreams limited
By the content of the dreamer’s experience?

The Pilot in the Sky
Says: Don’t fly into the clouds
There are mighty rocks hidden within

Like death
She is no cautious visitor;
More an insolent intruder

She’s a 3D Bitch;
That and a bag of chips:
The Devil’s Devoted Doppelgänger

English teacher
Miss Houston wore
The same diph-
Thong everyday.

Messiah love
Salves humanity’s collective
Broken heart; fills the void
Rocks the baby to sleep
Still cradled in chaos

The death row doctors said
She was too dumb to kill
Yet smart enough to do life
Without the possibility of living

He was your unwitting accomplice
Abetting your parade of masquerades
Her hetero-show was the basket
Hiding her glow; her infamous cold-heartedness
Fed her hapless life’s continual messiness

She bore on her soul
That indefinite phantom itch
Lurking in that aether space
Just beyond the horizon
Of the last effective scratch

The old saw Live and Learn
Would cut better
Reading what we really do:
Live and Relearn.

Are Roman numerals
As irritating to you as they are
To all but the smug?

Donald Trump is America without her Liberally applied makeup.

Snoop and the Atomic Dog

Twisted Woof
Beguiled by a beagle,
I’ll begin my first novel:
It was a dark and stormy night
I was an aviator itching for a fight

Blunted Woof
Then on leave for R and R
being Joe Cool, I idled at the wine bar
I was popular, Dog, I didn’t have to say much
It wasn’t my back the ladies begged to touch

Bow wow wow
Yippee Yo
Yippee Yay
Bow wow
Yippee Yo
Yippee Yay
Blow up big every day

Where’s that cat?
Where’s that Dog catcher at?
Bow wow wow
Yippee Yo
Yippee Yay

When Obama was pressing wars, I wrote a poem condemning him. Now that he refuses to press a war against an amorphous ideology rooted in religion, poverty, and forged memories, I congratulate him. The following poem is from those previous days; today, he may deserve another look.


He was an honest man
having a complex life
a ticking metronome of polarities
vied for his fidelity, tried his mettle

He became an evil man
with honest eyes, who lied
in wait in full disguise
and used the dream to buy the Medal

His is not noble work;
muffled drum, the last tattoo
Afghan improvisations harvest
boxed, flag-draped lives

His renditions, flush red with tortures
(send him to Egypt, he won’t mummy up!)
he is an indomitable vendor
of war adventures for peace’s sake.

He was an evil man in charming disguise
with eyes so honest he bamboozled the prize;
he led us from the desert of heroes’ pyres
and put us in cue at the graveyard of empires

He was an honest man
having a complex life
a ticking metronome of polarities
vied for his fidelity. War won.

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