Poetic License – Albany

Poetic License – Albany

Tempests with Trumpets

Rebecca Schoonmaker - Tempest

Tempests with Trumpets

In praise of the efforts of Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi

by Bessie Rose


Slides and valves bellow, 

beneath big sky of slate.

on a hilltop garden lying fallow 

trumpeters of ebony youth reverberate.


brass counters the clouds’ spatter,

rolling in, no sign of sunshine, 

yet confident that their lives matter 

on a patch of green, a trio plays divine. 



strident ensemble of air and brash, 

strains against lifelong toleration,

of poverty and racism’s clasp.

music filled air rivals deprivation.


disturbance in the atmosphere— skies fall

gathering youth are set to withstand the squall



(In 2013, three Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martins murderer, George Zimmerman.)