Natural Star – For Michael Jackson


© 1991 by Alice Walker

I am in mourning
For your face
The one I used to love
To see
Leaping, glowing
Upon the
The stage
The mike
Eager…
Thrusting
In your
Fist.

I am in mourning
For your face
The shining eyes
The happy teeth
The look that said
I am the world
And aren’t you
Glad
Not to mention
Deeply
In luck.

I am in mourning
For
The sweet brown innocence
Of your skin
Your perfect nose
The shy smile
That lit you
Like a light.

I am in mourning
For a face
The Universe
In its goodness
Makes but once
Each
Thousand
Years
and smiles
And sends it out
To spread great joy
Itself well pleased.

I am in mourning
For your beloved face
So thoroughly
And undeservedly
Released.

Oh, my pretty little
Brother. Genius. Child.
Sing to us. Dance.

Rest in peace.

***

From Collected Poems (Her Blue Body Everything We Know) 1965-1990 by Alice Walker

6 Comments

  • Heather

    Thank you for posting this. I have been wanting an easy link to refer people to it after someone on Facebook talked about it, and I looked it up yesterday.

    What a beautiful, heart-rending, powerful poem.

    I was stunned by the last line, though, when I read it the first time somewhere else … knowing the poem was written in 1991. It was almost a second shock to my system. Yet it was so right, even then.

    Michael Jackson was a beautiful, beautiful man just the way he was born — one of the most gorgeous men I have ever seen. I will remember him that way.

  • Anonymous

    I heard Ms. Walker read this poem at Indiana U. in 1991. When she read the first 2 lines the audience laughed nervously and she stopped. This is not a funny poem, she said (not an exact quote). It moved me then and even more so now.

  • trula

    This moved me greatly. it expresses the dismay many of us feel about the destruction of his face; at his obvious loathing he seemed to feel for his looks. He was…so beautiful. It’s a tragedy he didn’t seem to know this, to see this. RIP Michael.

  • Ondrea

    Today, I dug through a mountain of my books looking for Alice Walker’s HER BLUE BODY EVERYTNG WE KNOW: EARTHLING POEMS 1965-1990 COMPLETE to find this poem.

  • Anonymous

    i have read this poem before but, as i am wont to do, forgot what i already knew, what you long ago told me. thank you for the reminder. thank you also for this, your living book. you look beautiful.