A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto






in a South


indisposed humanity

inhumane practice

no one studies roses

they grow them like cotton stems


prickly thorns of hate

a riot of prejudice

hope is killed with ruptured pride 




an infestation, agony's wilting in the sun


the roses die along with 

plantation skeletons

uprising over hills of insult 


but the bones of grief

still bloody the hands

of the present.





© 2023 jacob erin-cilberto

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Constructed and reconstructed, indeed. I like this one, J.

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

Thank you for your kind words, Andrew,
Indeed, the greater part of slavery took place in the south. My great-great grandfather owned two. Of course, the first link in the slave trade was the Africans themselves, such as the kings of Dahomey, who sent expeditions into the interior to kidnap victims to sell to the European slave traders. Then there were the New England shipbuilders, who built the transport vehicles. Oddly, no one writes poems about them.

Posted 6 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

I do wonder why that is. thank you, John,
A rose is not used in poetry as much as I now feel it should. Funny, it's not just the flower that is inspirational, but the thorns. But if one didn't have the other, you wouldn't have been able to use it as such a good analogy here. That's not all I got out of this sobering poem. But a poet is supposed to look at the architecture and not just front door. Wonderfully penned. Tyfs

Posted 6 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

I appreciate your insights, Cyprian,
America has more than her share of skeletons in the closet; intentional germ warfare used against indigenous peoples, the robbery and murder of millions of native Americans in the name of "imminent domain", slavery and indentured servitude, child labor and human rights violations. But we keep improving and we have made great strides in improving our societal structure. History should be honestly studied and taught, no matter how painful or shameful bringing that history to light may be for some. But history can be learned from and the lessons can be applied to the betterment of American society as a whole. A lot of blood has been shed unnecessarily due to man's inhumanity to man across the globe in every country and every nation so America hardly holds any monopoly on tyranny. It's important to note historical context in the Civil War. While things have been "whitewashed" by the victors, it's important to note that until about 1810 (less than fifty years before the conflict) slavery was a common practice in the northern states of the U.S. as well. And if the American industrial revolution had not come along it might well have extended further in the north into the 19th century. The south had come to depend heavily on slave labor for field workers in cotton and tobacco production. Further south it extended into sugarcane production. The north becoming more industrialized didn't create in the citizenry some lofty moral appellate of their former sins. But it did remove the necessity of slave labor enough to allow the north to survive without it. Slavery should never have been an institutional choice of the government of a free society as a means of cheap labor. The Civil War could have been avoided if America had developed her moral integrity as quickly as her abundant natural resources.

Posted 6 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Days Ago

Like Dylan wrote..."you don't ask questions with God on your Side."
Thank you for this respon.. read more

5 Days Ago

I live by my own creed, Question all things with reason and faith. To some, that seems an oxymoron b.. read more
Ironic that the KKK was a construct of the Democratic party after the Civil War, designed specifically to combat Republican efforts to re-construct the South and yet it still controls the Black vote ... and does very little to help those who need it most.
Perhaps a prime example of the Stockholm Syndrome.

Maybe one day Martin Luther King's words will mean something again.

Powerfully written j.

Posted 6 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Days Ago

What does Democratic mean anymore?
What did it ever mean?
Thank you, Ted,
(but the bones of grief still bloody the hands of the present) So sadly true Jacob. Another fine write from your talented pen. ~Sharon

Posted 1 Week Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Days Ago

Thank you for your kind words, Sharon,

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6 Reviews
Added on September 15, 2023
Last Updated on September 15, 2023


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at a community college and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. I am here to read for inspiration from other po.. more..


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