The rain: a poem by Marcus Amaker

There are moments when the weather and the mood intersect and draw my attention to a poem. Marcus Amaker’s contribution to the upcoming issue of NDQ (86.3/4) evokes the steady rhythm of an autumnal rain in the south and uses it to articulate the history and lingering pain of racism in the South Carolina low county, but also in the US more generally. We keep hoping that the rain marks the arrival of spring and a new day and new attitudes, but too often the rain marks the fall and grey skies anticipate a cold winter ahead.

Check out Amaker’s other creative work, particularly his music.   

Remember that NDQ relies on our outstanding contributors, editors, and subscribers to thrive. Please consider submitting to NDQsubscribing, or downloading our previous volume.  For some content from NDQ 86.1/2, click here, and for a preview of 86.3/4, click here.

The rain

When the reality
of racism returns,
all joy treads water
in oceans of buried
emotion.

Charleston
is doing
everything it can
to only swim
in a colorless liquid
of calm sea
and blind faith.

But the Lowcountry
is a terrain
of ancient tears,
suffocating through
floods of
segregation.

When gunshots
made waves,
we closed our eyes,
held our breath
and went under.

And we are still
trying not to
taste the salt
of our surrounding blues
or face the rising tide
of black pain.

~

Marcus Amaker is a karaoke singer and a Kate Bush fan. He is also an award-winning graphic designer for the music magazine No Depression. He’s released 28 albums, including two with Grammy-nominated producer Quentin Baxter. Marcus is Charleston, SC’s first poet laureate, and has published 7 books.

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