Marijuana

Poems about marijuana and hashish

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 (Chase Twichell reciting her poem “Sayonara Marijuana, Mon Amour”) **Image: (source)

“Ethiopia Unda a Jamaican Mango Tree” by Opal Palmer Adisa (b. 1954; near Kingston, Jamaica; novelist, performance artist, literature professor, short-story writer, children’s book writer, anthologist) – from Wheel and Come Again: an Anthology of Reggae Poetry

‘Me nah wuk fi
nuh babylon. Babylon will
meet fire. I man is
son of Jah. I man is Jah.
I man a guh satter and
meditate and plough de land
and I man a guh eat fresh
vegetable, no deadas. I man
a guh make disyah mango tree
I temple. I man a guh hook
yah till Jah come fi I’. (…)

“Hazing (for tony new and albee)” by Brian Gilmore (Washington, D.C.; writer, columnist)
– from Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century

I once pledged
my father’s fraternity.
the day he came
home from work
unexpectedly
and caught me and my
friends getting
high in the basement.

through the thick
smoky haze of the best
panama red I had ever tasted
my father happened to see his
red and white kappa alpha psi
paddle sitting in the corner.
gripping his paddle tightly
dad immediately placed me on line
despite the fact that I never
expressed any desire to join his
or any other fraternity (…)

“Gauge” by Langston Hughes (1902-1967; Missouri; New York, US; social activist, columnist, playwright, essayist, novelist, short story writer, children’s book writer; Harlem Renaissance)
– from American Poetry since 1950: Innovators and Outsiders

Hemp…
A stick…
A roach…
Straw…

“Blunts” by Major L. Jackson (Vermont, US; poetry professor)
– from Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century

The first time I got high I stood in a circle
of boys at 23rd & Ridge tucked inside
a doorway that smelled of piss. It was
March, the cold rains all but blurred
our sight as we feigned sophistication
passing a bullet-shaped bottle of malt.
Johnny Cash had a love for transcendental
numbers & explained between puffs resembling
little gasps of air the link to all creation was
the mathematician. Malik, the smartest
of the crew, counterargued & cited the holy life
of prayer as a gateway to the Islamic faith
that was for all intents the true path
for the righteous black man. No one disputed. (…)

https://i0.wp.com/cct.vi/wp-content/gallery/smile-orange/IMG_5937-crop.jpgImage from the play Smile Orange written by Trevor Rhone and directed by Opal Palmer Adisia [first poem], about a tourist-trap hotel in Jamaica. Produced by Caribbean Community Theatre, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2016 (source)

“Poem” by Frank O’Hara (1926-1966; Baltimore, Maryland, US; art curator)
– from The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002

Green things are flowers too
and we desire them more than
George Sand’s blue rose not
that we don’t shun poison oak

but if it’s a question of loco
weed or marijuana why how
can we not rush glad and wild
eyes rolling nostrils flaring

towards ourselves in an unknown
pasture of public garden? it’s
not the blue arc we achieve
nor the nervous orange poppy at

the base of Huysmans’ neck
but the secret chlorophyll
and the celluloid ladder hid-
den beneath the idea of skin.

“Discoveries, Trade Names, Genitals, and Ancient Instruments” by Carl Rakosi (1903-2004; Berlin, Germany / Hungary / US; social worker; Objectivist poet)
– from American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Vol. 2

If there is no connection between the wild
hemp of Kashmir
and the plectrum on a Persian lute,
the mind
will make one before the mallet comes down
on the cymbalo
As the young people have discovered,
it can also make a Pax American
out of genitals and meditation (…)

“Massive Stoner” by Michael Savitz (Chicago, Illinois, US)
– from Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books

Though it all floods back to you
and an ascendance to grace is almost like an ascendance to sleep
and the chameleons will still stick purring to your walls,
this suit may have to be settled and worn elsewhere for a while,
the mental exercise sedimenting, the apple crisping in your hand, (…)

“Sayonora Marijuana, Mon Amour” by Chase Twichell (b. 1950; New Haven, Connecticut, US; anthology editor, Bengali translator)
– from The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry

The first time I got high, we gathered
at the monument in East Rock Park.
I read the plaque to the Union Dead.
Moving from one mind to another
was familiar to me, as was the sensation
of watching myself, as if the dead and I
were the audience, and my friends
were real, and in the world.
As a kid I believed that the dead
lay inside the monuments,
that each monument was a tomb,
proof of death one old stone wall away,
the same distance as the friends. (…)

“The Haschish” by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892; Haverhill, Massachusetts, US; prose writer, newspaper editor, advocate for abolition of slavery; Fireside Poet, narrative poet) – from Nineteenth Century American Poetry

OF all that Orient lands can vaunt
Of marvels with our own competing,
The strangest is the Haschish plant,
And what will follow on its eating.

What pictures to the taster rise,
Of Dervish or of Almeh dances!
Of Eblis, or of Paradise,
Set all aglow with Houri glances!

The poppy visions of Cathay,
The heavy beer-trance of the Suabian;
The wizard lights and demon play
Of nights Walpurgis and Arabian!

The Mollah and the Christian dog
Change place in mad metempsychosis;
The Muezzin climbs the synagogue,
The Rabbi shakes his beard at Moses! (…)

NOT EXCERPTED
“Playing the Messiah” by Breeze
“Seeds” by Katie Degentesh
“Of Marilyn, and Marijuana” by Kenneth Rosen

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