Lenard D. Moore
I want to know what the praying mantis believes,
hunkering in adoration, that green spirit,
brilliant head turned back to look,
knowing the Easter lily will keep
it from falling off its perch of hushed splendor—
I want to rise like Angelou’s poem—yes,
the pleasurable mid-air dance of words, soft,
I want to clip a sprig of mint and dip it
into a jar of water, gift for the praying
mantis in my window,
yes, yes, I will call it angel, seraph,
look toward the sky, learn from the stillness.
Lenard D. Moore, a poet, fiction writer, essayist, lyricist, performer, and public speaker, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective and Co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group. Moore’s poems, short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in over 400 publication. His poetry has been translated into several languages. He is the author of THE OPEN EYE (NC Haiku Society Press, 1985), FOREVER HOME (St. Andrews College Press, 1992), DESERT STORM: A BRIEF HISTORY (Los Hombres Press, 1993), A TEMPLE LOOMING (WordTech Editions, 2008) and THE OPEN EYE, Limited 30TH Anniversary Edition (Mountains & Rivers Press, 2015). d. He is a Cave Canem Fellow (1998-2000). He is former President of the Haiku Society of America (2008 and 2009) and Executive Chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society. He has taught at North Carolina State University (Raleigh), North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro), Shaw University and Enloe High School. He also has been Writer-in-Residence for the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Mr. Moore earned his M.A. degree in English/African American Literature from NC A&T State University, and his B.A. degree with honors (Magna Cum Laude) from Shaw University. Currently, Mr. Moore, Associate Professor of English, teaches Creative Writing and African American Literature at the University of Mount Olive, where he directs the literary festival.