Djed Ra Maat

Djed Ra Maat delivers poetry with a commanding yet calm presence. He is also an expert and thoroughly enjoyable storyteller. His work is involving and exciting, flavored with the distinct spice of life both lived and examined. His love of education, communication, and performance is clearly apparent as he moves about before and in amongst his audience, even occasionaly raising them to their feet in participation.

Who Will Teach the Children
"Who will teach the children?"
the fourteen-year-old asked,
as I passed,
to three children younger than he.
"The ministers can't do it!
The iman can't!
Who will teach the children?"
His face flashed anger
and his voice trembled loud
to the crowd of three he spoke.

I was gone by
before I heard his answer.....
I won't guess
who the fourteen-year-old blessed
with the knowledge and
understanding to teach the
and reach into the minds
of our children today
and bring forth
the virtues of
truth and justice,
and propriety and balance,
harmony,reciprocity, and order.

I kept on walking
and only heard the question,
"Who will teach the children?"
and answered myself,
"Who taught me
when I needed to be nurtured,
nudged to humanity;
who took time
and turned it into
bricks to build my life with;
who was there,
ubiquitous as air,
always availing?
Only the God in me
taught me to be
able to see that our
children teach themselves."

What Will You Feed Your Children?
What will you feed your children,
                                 black woman
what will you place before them
when they clamor for feasts,
when their thirst calls them from
                                 their sleep?

When your children were ideas
(un-manifest and pure
and fed daily on only your desire)
dreams were enough.
Dreams were enough
to fatten their cheeks,
to coax them from crying,
to feed the spark they would

But when they had become
and no longer lived with God
and at once became dependent
                                 on your food;

when their body was in you
developing day by day
what you ate, what you thought,
what you are became all they could

And where were you then,
what did you dine on,
was it poison as pure as snow?
Was darkness your light
or was wisdom the help-meat
that sturdied the seed safely
through full bloom?

Then when your children burst forth
and ruptured this world
amid blood, water, and pain,
not content anymore
to be fed by your body
but now impudent
and ready to be fed by their own,
what will you feed your children?

If your diet is death
what else will you give
with love and kindness... but death?

But if you are well fed
black woman, black sister
a nation can nurse at your breast.
With your milk as our vision
bracing our backs
breaking the hold of disease
we would grow on past liberation.

We are your children
all of us that are born
watching and wanting, yet wise.
What you feed us will be us
what we are is from you
we make choices remembering
Mama's ways.

What will you feed your children,
                                 Black woman,
what will you place before us?
What will you feed us, your
We are waiting, we are hungry,
we are ready to thrive!

The Party
Life ain't
     about always
   being at a party:
balloons and decorations
come down
   and give way,
and another part
   of breathing air and thinking
productively come on. the party,
             ever since.

This collection was posted here in May 2000.

"What Will You Feed Your Children?" and "The Party" are taken from Innariddm, by Djed Ra Maat.

All poetry and other artistic writings are their authors and reproduced here with their permission.

Click on the envelope to go to the Mailbox.

Wayshelter E-Mail

All contents

The Wayshelter

Copyright Dates

unless otherwise noted.

Back to the Fireside
Click to return to the main page of

The Wayshelter