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
In your

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
Not to mention
In luck.

I am in mourning
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
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

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


  • 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.