Friday, August 26, 2016

Oh my mama told me




Here I lay holding my child in my arms
Hunger only for the peace in my heart
While Tracy Chapman croons on
Feeling utterly blessed

Lyrics

Oh my mama told me 
'Cause she say she learned the hard way 
Say she want to spare the children 
She say don't give or sell your soul away 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

Don't be tempted by the shiny apple 
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit 
Hunger only for a taste of justice 
Hunger only for a world of truth 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

I was a pretty young girl once 
I had dreams I had high hopes 
I married a man he stole my heart away 
He gave his love but what a high price I paid 
And all that you have is your soul

Don't be tempted by the shiny apple 
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit 
Hunger only for a taste of justice 
Hunger only for a world of truth 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

Why was I such a young fool 
Thought I'd make history 
Making babies was the best I could do 
Thought I'd made something that could be mine forever 
Found out the hard way one can't possess another 
And all that you have is your soul

Don't be tempted by the shiny apple 
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit 
Hunger only for a taste of justice 
Hunger only for a world of truth 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

I thought, thought that I could find a way 
To beat the system 
To make a deal and have no debts to pay 
I'd take it all take it all I'd run away 
Me for myself first class and first rate 
But all that you have is your soul

Don't be tempted by the shiny apple 
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit 
Hunger only for a taste of justice 
Hunger only for a world of truth 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

Here I am I'm waiting for a better day 
A second chance 
A little luck to come my way 
A hope to dream a hope that I can sleep again 
And wake in the world with a clear conscience and clean hands 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

Don't be tempted by the shiny apple 
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit 
Hunger only for a taste of justice 
Hunger only for a world of truth 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

Oh my mama told me 
'Cause she say she learned the hard way 
Say she want to spare the children 
She say don't give or sell your soul away 
'Cause all that you have is your soul

All that you have 
All that you have 
All that you have 
Is your soul


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Shedding old skin

Shedding old skin 
All thoughts die away
Dissolve into nothing
Wisps on the wind
Giants fade to dust
Fear drops away
When the worst they could do to you
Is done
It's like shedding old skin
You step out of it 
And simply walk away

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Grace- at the end of the road

When you arrive at the end of the road to the point of no return, there is a deafening silence. You can see with absolute clarity the indisputable truth. It solemnly states itself. It is neither dramatic nor loud. Sans fanfare it is just 'there'. No solutions are apparent. You've already given all you had. There is no turning back because behind you lies only unhappiness. And yet you cannot step forward because before you lies a bottomless ocean. There is nothing more you can do...A strange calmness envelops you in its embrace. There is a resignation. An acceptance-of that which is. Simply is.

At this moment dear human take a breath.

Pause.

Laugh.

Feel giddy with euphoria...

Because, dear one, only magnificence lies before you at this point.

One of two things can happen.

You will either be taught how to walk on water, or you will be given wings to fly!

(The universe will never throw you, where grace will not catch you O faithful one.)




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Out of your reach

You ask me about my strength
You wonder how I got it
And what it is that makes me tick
And keep on ticking 
Even after I take a licking

I fought a monkey when I was five
I fought a mugger at ten
At nine I was held at gunpoint
At eleven my family split
At fourteen I struggled with relatives
Who always saw me as troublesome
Because I called out their bullshit
At nineteen I was wed
At twenty two I was a mother
At twenty six I was divorced
And then I took some lovers
Who ripped my heart to shreds 
So I left the lovers and learned how to sew myself together
Somewhere along the way I got some degrees
Somewhere along the way I fell and cried and picked myself up again
My bones tell the tale
Of all my aches and pains
Unspoken wails sit in the tight knots of my muscles
And the smile on my face hides the tears
That I hold back sometimes for days

You wonder at my calm
And at my joy
Before there was calm
There were screams for days
Before there was joy
I wept an ocean

You see me stand tall
And you see me laugh
And in your entitlement
You seek to judge
You try to break me down
Sometimes for sport
Sometines you stand in awe of me
Some days you fear me

It will take more than you to break me
More than you to make me fall
Not in your lifetime will I crumble
Never before you kow tow
Maybe that is what frightens you
Maybe that's why you judge
Maybe that is why you try to break me
Hoping that before you I will bow

Strength is earned 
By each fall we take
Courage is an internal state
Joy is a choice
I will not break in your lifetime
Try as you might
I will be like water 
Slip through your fist
The tighter you try to squeeze me
I'll melt away
Out of reach

Friday, July 8, 2016

This is my skin- the one I was born in

Today I learned anew about hate
Today I was reminded again that while I try to practice love...
Some only feel hate
Today I saw the insides
Insides of people I call friends 
Today I learned that while I am called friend
My friends cannot love me
Or my color 
Or my skin 
Today I learned that hate is colorblind
But that the colorblind 
Can still see the color 
White
Today I felt the racial divide
And I was still so surprised
That the blood of colored folk
Is cheap
Today I learned that some
Are blind
They will deny
The truth of their eyes
It is easier 
To dehumanize
And blame 
A victim
For their own execution
Today I heard an argument
That exhausts my soul
Today I was told
Of the difficulty of a cop's job
I was reminded that 
They risk their lives 
Everyday
And they would not listen 
That it's a fact
I do not deny,
Never have, in fact
A cop is brave
A cop risks all
A cop's life is of value
I honor them
Their life is of value
And so is the life
Of a brother 
Who too was slain,
But yet again
The same refrain
"He should have listened...
Should have done as he was told"
And even as they speak
They do not listen
To the pain
Of my brother 
To my pain
And today I wondered
When it was thrown in my face
"Do you realize how dangerous it is to be a cop?"
And I asked
"Do you realize how dangerous it is to be black, or brown?"
Being a cop is a choice, you see
It is chosen knowing well the risk it entails...
You are trained
You are paid
To be a cop
You choose it and are under oath to serve and protect 
All
Black and brown as well as white
Do you realize how dangerous it is to be colored?
To be in my skin? 
It is my skin
The one I was born in
And I am enslaved
And hunted and discriminated against
And I'm damned if I don't
And damned if I do
Because of the color of my skin
But they would not hear me...
I wept for my brother and for another human brother- a true cop, a protector 
But they could not even weep for me
Or for my brother 
Only for those
They chose 
And yet
My brother they never chose 

Today I wonder...

How can you call me friend
If you do not see me
And my skin
It is my skin
The one
I was born in
You say you do not see color
The color of skin
Claim that you are colorblind
And yet you see white
And you see blue
Selectively colorblind...
Is what that is

Today I wonder...

How can you call me friend
If you cannot feel my pain
Or my outrage
If I am disenfranchised from my grief
Because you claim
Yours deserves more fame

Today I wonder...

How can you claim
I am as free and equal
When you laugh and blame
When those of color like me are slain
And the only pain you feel is for you
And you challenge
Even my right to mourn
My fallen brother
As well as the cop
Who is fallen
And whom I honor and mourn 
Equally
I only question the cop
As is my right to question 
The cop-
Who should always be
Only my brother's defender
And not the one at whose hands 
My brother is slain

Today I wonder

If I can feel for both
Equally
And mourn both
Equally
Then why is it impossible
For you 
To do the same
Why are you
Unable to mourn
Equally
For me
And my color
And my skin 
The one that I was born in

It is the only one I have
It is mine
To live in
Everyday

And since
My friend
You cannot
See me
Or my color
Or my skin
Today I honor
Myself
I honor my
Skin
And that of my brother
Today I write for that purpose 
Today
I honor
The truth
That I am not
Colorblind
Today I honor
The truth
That this is my skin
And it may hold no value
For you
But that minor detail 
Can never
Devalue
My color
My honor
My skin
The one 
I was born in




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Alton Sterling

There are events in life that are physically far removed from you and yet they are so personal that they cause your knees to buckle underneath you, crippling you emotionally, physically and mentally.

Events that leave you debilitated with shock
anger
grief
horror
disbelief
disgust
more anger
rage even
and pain...

So
Much 
Pain

#AltonSterling

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Baby can I hold you tonight

Songs that tug at my heart 

...baby if I told you the right words at the right time you'd be mine...
Tracy Chapman

I sit with the quiet ache in my heart
A smoldering 
A yearning
A longing

For no one in particular

It is a feeling
That is mine 
Deep within
A passion 
I can ignite anytime I choose

But there is an excitement 
A quickening of the heartbeat
Butterflies wings
Making me want to spin 
And dance

I break into a smile
Filled to the brim 
With 
Joie de Vivre

Songs that tug at my heart
Songs that ignite