13 March 2009

Libations Friday! 13 March 2009

Langston HughesImage via Wikipedia

Photo: Portrait of Harlem Renaissance prominent poet Langston Hughes

Libations Friday is here again! Where did the week go?

Great coffee recipe, historical poem and political commentary.

Sometimes a little liquor with your coffee is a real treat. I’m a big fan of strong dark coffee with some black raspberries French Chambord, forget Cassis, just isn’t the same. Change is good and the Chambord doesn’t last forever!

This recipe below is new to me and sounded wonderful to try when settling in for a serious read of some serious poetry like that from Langston Hughes.



Recipe from: VolcanicaCoffee.com

Keoke Coffee


½ shot of Kahlua

1 cup of hot gourmet coffee

½ shot of Courvoisier (yum! jet fuel!)

½ shot of Dark Cream de Cacao

Combine your Kahlua coffee liqueur, gourmet coffee, Dark Cream de Cacao, and Courvoisier. Top with whipped cream and serve. Makes 1 serving.

***

Considering the following poem written about the Depression Era the following recipe of Cowboy Coffee is featured. Today thousands of people are camping out in their cars and campers because they lost their homes after they lost their jobs. Cowboy Coffee is a detailed account of the culture and how to go about it. The author features it in reference to being a backpacker at high altitudes.

But somehow it made me think of all the folks who are now living in tent cities out West. More tent cities are popping up all over America like hobo camps did during the 1930’s. Cowboy Coffee link. It’s an interesting read and could prove useful to those living on the road or hiking.

***

Now for the poem:

From a tough poet comes a tough poem spoken out loud from America’s past: a discussion of the hard times with an eye toward hope and re-building toward the idealized dream. Langston Hughes was known as being a prominent poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

Considering what’s on the news today it seemed apropos. There’s the ugly Madoff financial scandal of fleecing people for billions of dollars, many of whom were charitable foundations that worked with the poor. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue, soldiers losing their lives.

The corporate world is turned upside down, turning out thousands, now millions of educated and experienced American workers from their jobs because too many jobs were sent out of the country overseas that it created a meltdown, the result of greedy business chasing excessive profit. When the business world and the government abandon the middle class that makes up over 70% of the population, and all the work force, of course economic chaos ensues.

This poet was talking about another time in America’s history. Yet history has this habit of repeating itself in some similar form, this time 70 years later. It was the selfishness of greed from a controlling economic class minority that brought a country to its knees in the past and the same desire out of control has created a similar scenario today.

The only way up and out of such dark times IS to pull together, each for the other. Team work in the way of unity of vision will help lift up all of us to a balanced more stable life again. While many will choose different methods upon which to re-build, the vision is the same: make America great again, for when you make the choice to lift up your fellow man you lift up yourself along the way.

***

Let America Be America Again

By Langston Hughes



Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain
All, all the stretch of these great green states
And make America again!





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