Fine Print Poet: Pattie Jean-Francois

A key element of spoken word is delivery or performance of the piece, unlike the poetry for the printed page. See Pattie Jean-Francois’s performance of her spoken word here.

Emancipation Proclamation
by Pattie Jean-Francois

I hear the shrill of freedom ricochet off of the Statue of Liberty.
Slaves risk the recourse of walking free in the midst of their flight on
The Freedom Trail to liberty
…And justice for all.

Lincoln’s decree emancipated those who were enslaved
And enslaved those who were free.
Some escaped in the rapture,
Whilst others died in the state of shock
And were left behind in the revelation of the Uncertainty of freedom
And loyalty to slavery
…And justice for all.

I hear the shrill of freedom
Cymbals clashing of strange black FRUIT whistling in the trees,
RED sap dripping from dem leaves .
Vultures with their pitched forks on their knees
Desiring to feast as they pleased
Off of the black man’s disease.
Negro status, please?
….And justice for all

I hear the shrill of freedom
Its marching ORDERS demanded Emmett Till’s open Casket
For the world to witness the deplorable act in which innocence was killed
…And justice for all

I hear the shrill of freedom
Resonate to the bus stop ringtone
Singing harmoniously to the melodious moan of Rosa Park who reached her Capstone,
And groaned to the discordant sound of segregation by no longer giving in,
And said No!
….And justice for all

I hear the shrill of freedom
Ring to the indignant soles of young black souls
Led by Dr King protesting the mistreatment of colored souls translucent patriotism
…And justice for all.
I hear the shrill of freedom
Gasping for air as the weight of America’s justice system knelt on George Floyd’s neck and back
The World’s Clock
Tik Tok
One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Minutes and Forty-six seconds…
Preventing blood flow to the cerebrum
As he croaked his invocation of freedom to his Maker and humanity’s eardrums:
I Can’t Breathe
….And justice for all.

I hear the shrill of freedom
The blood of the martyrs,
Of those who were slaughtered for the word of God
“O Sovereign Lord, holy and true,
how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 6:10).
…. And justice for those who are called.

I hear the shrill of freedom,
Beautifully flawed,
Fragmented souls
Hunger and thirst after righteousness
Responding to the biblical call of Justice
CRY: Do we eat today?
Our souls will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and ours mouths will praise you with joyful lips (Ps. 63:5)

Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound as loud as the rolling sea.

I’m singing a song a victory
Singing a song Christ wrote on the hills of calvary for you and me
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery ( Galatians 5:1)
…And justice for those who are called.

I hear the shrill of clipped wings
Breaking free and springing upward like a new dawn pledging
Whose side are you leaning on?
Im leaning on the Lord side
I lean (4x)
I’m leaning on the Lord side

I lean back(3x)
When the Devil is on the attack
Got my prayers stacked
Knelt down on my potato sack
I’m leaning on the Lord side
….And justice for those who are called

I hear the shrill of the resounding claps of billowing clouds rolling back
A solar eclipse of the Father, Son and Spirit aligned as one giving light to those who sit in the darkness and in the shadow of death ( Luke 1:79)
and justice for those who are called

I hear the (final) shrill of freedom
Emancipate those who would believe them
Free at last
Free at last
Thank God almighty
I’m free at last
…And Justice for all

2 Weldon, James. Lift Every Voice & Sing.1900.
3 Whose side are you leaning on? Unknown Artist
4 King, Martin Luther, Jr.. I Have A Dream. 1963

 

Pattie Jean-Francois is a native of the Sugar Hill section of Harlem, NY. Hailed as the hub of the Harlem Renaissance, Pattie developed a love of the arts and words as a young child. Cultivating her passions, Pattie has navigated into a new and exhilarating venture of the art of spoken word. She works as the Assistant to the Director of the Writing Center, holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and is an alumna of the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling.