This Letter

I would compose a letter that might or could

ought to contain everything,

yet there is that piece of the human condition

prevents everyone from being perhaps

Stephen King, or Charles Bukowski, even Sylvia Plath.


Emily Dickinson is said to have lived a reclusive life

in her bedroom overlooking a lawn where children played,

and yet, she only wondered, imagined,

wrote about all of the confusion she felt

while remaining locked inside her own mania.


And in a rather beautiful sense of nature,

living a life in New England where poets just seem

a natural part of the soil, was Robert Frost

penning his own recollections of a speaker

living lives with miles to go …


Then along came Langston Hughes,

he wrote about the Black experience,

but without hostility,

at least I didn’t feel it,

when his words did bleed compassion.


I think about writers and the lives they led,

what did finally inspire them to discover

the avenue of their words,

the memory in their lives,

created this need to express some pain.


Yet beauty too would be Maya Angelou in her Grace

with every ballad focused upon loving

one another, each other, the human race,

the pure humanity

exists in love.


So while I try to write a letter

wrap my head around my state of mind,

I weep a humility toward those that come before

the courage to speak their ‘wisdom’

rather than suppress the raw nature of identity.


We all have letters we would like to write one day,

heal the soul, allow eyes to open, hearts explode with love.

© Thom Amundsen 5/2020

Ode to Langston Hughes

I have admired you

From afar

In the pages that you appear

I even speak about your ability



I mean, like, make a strong



I wish I might have seen you personally

Sometime at a slam, slamming, speaking


An opportunity that indicates peace



I wonder why we can never get past

The reality of our humanity

Why we sometimes allow


Insecurity – yours is mine as I might know yours

But right now your strong


Those are real emotions

That’s why that’s why I just have to scream …


Once in awhile

It becomes very clear

That our lives could be complicated

What’s more important is the simple reality

Colliding with our moment


I’ll take twelve minutes and save the other

three minutes for you

because that’s all you need having already been there.