POET RISING: FATOU JANNEH

Fatou Janneh

Fatou is a poet based in Madison from the West African nation of The Gambia. She has a deep passion for exploring the complexities of human emotions and experiences through her writing. Her work often draws inspiration from personal experiences, cultural heritage, and the beauty of everyday life. Fatou believes in the power of words to connect, heal, and inspire, and she strives to reflect this belief in her poetry. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading or taking a walk by the lakeside. She also enjoys hiking and sometimes watching documentaries.

POETRY

Why Juneteenth?
What became of those bound in the South’s cruel embrace?
When Abraham Lincoln, democracy’s guiding star
Declared freedom for the black souls
Free at last!
Knowing well, America is never free
Until every soul is liberated
From slavery, that vile thief of time

A year not just marking war’s bitter end
But a dawn of liberation, a new beginning
Imagine the moment: the shackles of slavery shattered
The news spreading like wildfire, and the newfound joy and relief
Washing over a community that had endured unspeakable suffering
This day, Juneteenth, symbolizes not just the end of the Civil War
But the dawn of a new era of freedom
The black community, at last, learned of their freedom
In a land where dignity and worth were long stripped away
Yet they marched, though their feet were torn
With hands bound, yet still they marched on
Their voices suppressed, yet they sang
Songs of freedom, hope, and unyielding spirit

They sowed their sweat, their blood into the soil
To protect a land that oppressed them
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
A beacon of justice, celebrated across the nation
So, let us honor the dignity of all

Celebrate diversity, embrace humanity

Juneteenth, a reminder, a call to action
To reflect on the past and march towards a brighter future
Let us respect each soul’s worth
Celebrate the rich tapestry of our nation
And commit to a world where every voice sings freely
A song of unity, a hymn of liberty

By Fatou Janneh
(Date published on website: June 28, 2024)
Doing less may seem small
Less impactful, less grand
Less adorned with skill
Yet in its simplicity lies magnificence
It sharpens focus
Moving one step at a time
Embracing authenticity and purpose
Doing less, often misunderstood
Holds boundless positivity within
Less chatter, fewer distractions
Preserving energy and purpose
Doing great things
Isn’t hindered by doing less—
It’s a mindset
A way to ease pressure
To be kind to oneself
A gentle approach
A compassionate stance towards oneself
Doing less means doing well
Navigating each day’s tasks thoughtfully

By Fatou Janneh
(Date published on website: July 5, 2024)

Change, the inevitable child 
Born of life’s ebb and flow 
In its beauty and chaos 
Ugly and urgent  
Yet through it all, 
Change remains its agency 
The agent of time, shaping lives 
Compels us to seek, to strive, 
To dare even to dream and die 
Change, like the sunflower of spring 
Wilts in winter, rises with summer so We all evolve for something, someone, somehow Change envelops us, ever-present.

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