Home Sweet Earth

Ishmael Reed

A poet, essayist and novelist, Reed challenges aspects of American culture - finding and fighting oppression and racism.  In this poem, however, he celebrates the world and the potential of humanity.  He is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award),  He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and was a  finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. He founded the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. He has written over twenty books including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo.  

Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
Our first class berth in space
Stomping ground of the human race
Designer of Dorothy Dandridge’s face
Of Siamese cats and Max Roach sets
Of beaches incredibly sandy
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
Your waters are chicken soup to our souls
You give us goldenrod
And breakfast rolls
Italian spaghetti and
Dizzy Gillespie
Zimbabwe and Lady Day
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
Thank you for French fries
And Crème de Menthe
For Rock and Roll for the super bowl
For scallops and the Alps
For George Clinton’s funk
For Thelonius Monk

For trumpets and trombones
The Cathedral of Cologne
For Ka Bah's black stone
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
Mother  of Legba
And Damballah
Of kinky haired Jesus, Mohammed
And Gautama
Of Confucius too and Krishna and Siva and Vishnu
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
May you be Shamrock green again
May you stay out of the way of black holes
May you spin forever without end
May you survive the nuclear deals,
Chemical spills, the biotechnology, the
Peckerwood theology
May the Big Crunch Theory be all wet
May you survive Man
May you survive man
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
Home Sweet Earth, Home Sweet Earth
You give us something to stand on