The well-known black poet, playwright, and initiator of Black Studies programs comes across (incongruously) in these poems as a sentimental, passive lady celebrating the conventional joys. There are endless corny haikus about love (""your love was a port/ of call where many ships docked/ until morning came""; ""o i was wide and/ open unto him and he/ moved in me like rain""), about blackness (""Was it yesterday/ love we shifted the air and/ made it blossom Black?""), only occasionally tinged with irony: ""my puertorican/ husband who feeds me/ cares for me and loves me/ is trying to under/ stand my Blackness./ so he is taking up/watercolors."" There are a couple of rather de rigeur political poems, a final paean to Islam, some unconvincing dialect poems (""yo/ smile. . . makes me turn/ into a nite song/ singen soft rhythms""); in terms of women's liberation, she is the wise black mama stereotype, both patronizing yet somehow desperately needing the man who insists on turning her into a child. In a certain sense, these pleasant oceanic lyrics are a relief from a common-enough vituperativeness, but ultimately one misses the tough observations and biting imagery and anger of a Nikki Giovanni or a Gwendolyn Brooks; in today's liberation world, these poems are simply too lightweight.