DANIEL CARLTON | PERFORMER

Daniel Carlton is an actor, storyteller, playwright, poet, director and award-winning teaching artist who has appeared on New York, national and international stages. His work has also been presented in schools, jails, homeless shelters, libraries and every imaginable place to perform (except for outer space!).

HARLEM

performed by DANIEL CARLTON

Harlem Healing | a poem

Harlem Healing ( Pandemic )

By Daniel Carlton

 

Harlem

Is

Healing

Because in this now

Uptown

A pandemic

Lifts the systematic

Vulnerability

Of so many

Our beloved village hit extra hard by an invisible enemy

A virus sweeping through the very air

With the ferocity of a storm that changes the very atmosphere

And the only thing that is clear

Is that to heal

Is to reveal

What needs to be immediately done

And the forward direction that heroes have to run

A frontline community gets to work

Not for the glory

But because this is when they join the story

Going beyond the very real trepidation

To a selfless response to the situation

Because Harlem is a place of practical magic

Never surrendering to the finality of tragic

Harlem Healing

Is

Spirit

Gathering

Healing

Is so many more

Who keep us thinking and believing

Dreaming and achieving

Is

We

Is

A soul clap in syncopation

For those who have answered the call

Who’ve picked up the ball

With respect and gratitude, we celebrate yall

Doctors of color , the first graduates of the Cuny Medical School , a team

Who have rushed to the scene

In the hospital unheralded , but not unsung in the hearts of those who have seen

Them fight so hard to turn their blues into green

Like a photosynthesis of turning respiratory strife into life

Harlem Healing

Is

Dr Sun

In the emergency room

Like the holder of a key

That opens the doors of possibility

And as much as one can process that as unbearable responsibility

He is at more than one hospital seeing lines and lines of stretchers down hallways as he helps

cover medical teams

Doing what he can , knowing that the health care system is bursting at the seams

Harlem Is

Healing is

Soul

As food as cooked comfort from a pot

Shared joy that means more than a lot

So what happens when we are not able

To gather together at a neighborhood’s restaurant table?

Well, if you are Ms Melba you lean on the words of your grandmother ' that this too shall pass"

But in the meantime , during this time's forecast

She as a neighborhood owner who greets her customers with a hug

She can't just walk away from her food or workers with a shrug

So she now advocates for them and serves takeout meals

And deliveries to hospitals as she works hard to bring her workers back

Leaning on spirit instead of lack

And on a similar extended note i s Chef JJ Johnson from "Harlem Field Trip"

Who is donating food too ....as a way to equip

Medical workers at Harlem and Mt Sinai hospitals

Meals that serve their bodies and souls and even the psychological

Culinary , spirits full , beyond ideological

Harlem Is

Yes

The Spirit meets

Community

As Advocacy

The Reverend Sharpton using his pulpit

To make sure that we are staying healthy

Ministering to the hospitalized and the homebound shut in

Reassuring us that longing aint a sin

But in order for us to renew and begin

We must do our best to stay in

To go within

To send our love to the whole village

Like talking drums with faith as the power

We will get through this moment in time... this now..this hour

Harlem Is

Healing

Is so many more

Who keep us thinking and believing

Dreaming and achieving

Is

We

Is

A soul clap in syncopation

For those who have answered the call

Who’ve picked up the ball

With respect and gratitude, we celebrate yall

Harlem Is

Healing

Is so many more

Who keep us thinking and believing

Dreaming and achieving

Harlem Healing

Is

We

Is

A soul clap in syncopation

For those who have answered the call

Who’ve picked up the ball

With respect and gratitude, we celebrate yall