Sep 16, 2011

The Rose that Grew From Concrete

I've been putting in really long hours of late. Sometimes the endless tasks, meetings and finger pointing, gets too much. What i usually do on such occasions is sneak away for 10 mins or so and find a corner or my regular rock boundary, and quickly read a few favourite poems. It seemed only appropriate that i read some of his poetry today. After all, this week marks the 15th anniversary of his untimely death.

People swear by rappers like Emimen , Dr Dre or Snoop Dog. What most (outside the US) dont know is that he's hailed as the father of rap. He was also an acclaimed poet, crack junkie and part of an LA street gang. I cant say i love all of his poetry or that it's very refined. But he is the voice of a militant black consciousness that seems to challenge mainstream American racist complacency and complicity. I love some of his poems where he seems to be prophecying his early demise (Letter to my unborn, Upon my demise) or where he seems to have realised the difficulty of staying clean in the midst of muck, or the oddity of finding beauty in the midst of ugliness and mayhem.

Two of the my favourite poems by Tupac Shakur follow. The second is one he wrote for Jada Pinkett Smith, one of his closest friends and whom he considered his soulmate. Enjoy.

The rose that grew from concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared


u r the omega of my heart
the foundation of my conception of love
when i think of what a black woman should be
its u that i first think of

u will never fully understand
how deeply my heart feels 4 u
i worry that we'll grow apart
and i'll end up losing u

u bring me 2 climax without sex
and u do it all with regal grace
u r my heart in human form
a friend i could never replace

p.s. Even as i write this i am aware that i prefer my heroes to be imperfect - Randy the Ram, Milton's Satan, Faust, Uxbal, Henchard, Charles Strickland, are just some names that occur. I am always inspired and moved by the endless striving to be better, to improve, and do it all with a simple faith. These are the heroes who prove 'nature's law is wrong.'


jd said...

these are the heroes that were true to their nature:) they did not go against nature:)

vaidegi j said...

long hours continue i guess..! not being able to sneak away those 10 minutes is no good! if not for you, for us! ;)

hope things are fine...miss the regular dose of invigorating stuff! :)

drift wood said...


nature, nurture, who knows. :)

i got some quiet time after ages today. i must mention one thing, often when i write these days, i find myself thinking that you'll understand what i'm trying to say. To find 1 reader, you can connect with, is a blessing. Thanks.

vaidegi j said...

still fumbling for words!

thanks for being a passive 'selfish' reader?! uve done a lot more than ull ever know. im so glad and touched that ive in some minuscule way been a part of ur writing process!! :)