Kenneth Foster: Phoenix Rising


I’m the phoenix rising
from the ashes of death row
I stand as the
love that just would not fold
we grew grassroots
under the steel machine
their hate couldn’t stop our growth
I’m the hope
reinstilled inside the hopeless capsules
formerly known as men
at the end
I found a way to begin
the catacomb couldn’t hold me
I came out more holy
death kissed my lips and said-
“rise up hungry!”
now my appetite is ferocious
for life
not a crumb shall be wasted
as I serve this 3 course meal of
struggle, spiritualism and liberation
and I won’t stop
until our nation
is full
I’m lost in the tears
of those that got pulled
into this killer whale
can you feel my smiles across the miles
as my lips hold up the pain trickling down my face
my brother said-
“forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I left at 402
but not before I stood
eye to eye w/ the beast
a one way exit
under the release of
governmental poison
but the voices of the people
would not cease
I was at peace
but at war
I’m haunted by the thought
that there will be so many more
i implore the Ancestors as guides
i’m tore by the facts of
genocide on our backs
somebody replay the track to
“walk with me”
the execution chamber was calling me
i responded w/
they dragged me tho’
the CEDP hit ’em w/ political bombs
to silence their throats
crying for blood
never once did we light a candle
but kept the fire lit from above
if we did it once
we can do it again
let’s be a radical wind
friend to storms that tear down the Walls
i can still hear the calls
of comrades drowned
in this rain of terror
i caress my scars
& reflect on the 10 years
when i was too stubborn to bow to stigmas
i wouldn’t listen to the system
i survived on Nydesha’s kisses
when oppression was served on the tray
it’s a new day
“No Struggle, No Progress”
the vanguard way
from Austin to Ithica
they heard what we had to say
Rome to Venezuela
i’m not home ’til we persuade ’em
w/ the Power of the People
that I must be free
as long as I have breath in my lungs
freedom is within my grasp
until then I will be
on a Move &
on a DRIVE
alive, licking & mobilizing
we won’t stop ’til we change the tide
one for our love that just would not subside
I’m the phoenix that had to rise
resurrected from the ashes of death row
as I declared in “the prophecy”
victory is mine

(In memory of DaRoyce Mosely and John Amador)

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