Glenis Redmond

Praise Dave

First time I see a jar rise up,
I be midwifed into life.

Understood how these pots and I be kin
-- dismissed to what’s under foot.

I learned to turn and turn --
people the world with pots.

I pour my need into the knead
until forty thousand around me crowd,

but everything I love, I lose
so I want what I mold to hold.

Even my empty pots
be full. One say:

I wonder where is all my relations
Friendship to all – and every nation.

There are lanterns in my words –
every story got another story.

Some call me Dave the slave, if that’s all they got,
I say leave the rhymes to me.

When people look at me, a slave be
the first excuse they use not to see me.

I say praise me. It won’t fall on deaf ears.
I catch praise like most people catch naps.

I am a 6-foot vessel of anything, but ordinary
a one of a kind with a Carolina shine.

I stepped out of the rows of cotton
to master the potter’s wheel.

I take the wind out of can’t.
with my mark, I make a mark.

I sign my name Dave.
I don’t write slave.

See if my pots and I spin history.
See if we    hold    hold    hold

Glenis Redmond

Glenis Redmond is the Poet-in-Residence at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC and at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. This year she served as the Mentor Poet for the National Student Poets Program. She prepared student poets to read at the Library of Congress, the Department of Education and for the First Lady, Michelle Obama at The White House. Glenis is a Cave Canem Fellow and a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient and a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. She helped create the first Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC. Glenis is also a full-time road poet, performing and teaching poetry across the country. Visit her website at