powerful people

who are they?
why are they?
what are they?

we look Up
and admire them,
envy and revile them.

fundamentally human
like the rest of us –
ordinary people
with too much extra –
a “gift” and a “curse”
to hold such a place
on our spaceship Earth.

need it always be so-
a few “high”
so many made relatively “low”?
perhaps a little more equity
on the way to generous equality
spurred by empathy,
our shared humanity,
and true understanding
of this current road’s danger
and lack of sustainability.

prayers to you

what’s it all about,
you coming into
this scared space
spewing your hate?
why not go outside
to the streets
into the Light –
strong and proud
expressing as you perceive:
that only white lives matter
all people of color
have “it” coming
that their lives mean nothing.
prayers to you,
for you truly know not
what it is you do.
you have forgotten
what You really are;
alas, you can see but so far-
only to the level of the skin
so utterly limited you are,
tightly constricted
unseen, likely never really heard,
lonely in your Little Box
amidst your tribe
of hardened have nots.
from such profound lack,
you shame and blame
easily kill and maim,
desperately looking outside
for what does not exist within.
no present capacity to self-reflect
nor the tools to adequately take stock
and practice personal responsibility.
fervent prayers for the lost pieces of you-
may you soon re-member and awaken.

 

I can’t breathe!

“I can’t breathe!!”

we, people the color of night’s sky, have been saying –
pleading-
for centuries.
What part of this do you not understand?
Are you not human
like me –
flesh
bone
blood?
A parent like me –
mother
sister
father
brother
like me?!
Look into my eyes
deep into The Soul
as I gaze into
The Essence of you.
Hear me:
I can’t breathe.
Tell me:
How does it feel
to have your knee
pinned to my back-
digging deep,
crushing with intention.
How does it serve you
to tie your noose
around my neck
stifling my breath
as I sway
gently
from the poplar tree?
Look into my eyes –
see what I see
so very clearly:
whatsoever you do
unto me,
you too
shall reap.
We
can’t
breathe.

Inter-dependence

an illusion,
sheer ludicrous
and arrogance
to believe
that we are
an Island;
that what happens
over there
will not
eventually
find its way
over here;
that you can
hurt “another”,
deny “another”,
steal from “another”,
and it not-
in poetic return-
come right back
at ya.
that is how
utterly
interdependent
we are
as
humans
living in a larger
ecosystem.
alas, what will it take
to have it finally
sink in
that we are a family,
we are but One?
please,
let us all
wake the f*** up
before
we can
no more.

WoMen and Men

At their core,
in their essence –
WoMen and Men –
how different are they?
are there feelings
in a WoMan
that a
Man
cannot access
if he so chose and intended;
if he were allowed to be
who he really is
without the burden
and misconceptions
placed on him
since he a little boy child?

same with WoMan-
are there feelings and thoughts
in a Man
that a WoMan could not
understand
and express
if she felt free,
less tightly contained,
and truly seen?

We’re Human –
is all –
the masculine and the feminine,
Light and Dark.
Yin and Yang,
the need for Love,
for gentle touch,
in all.
Everything else,
a grand illusion
for simplicity
and convenience,
exacting a heavy
societal cost.

Un-Entitled

Life is most interesting…the twists and turns of it, the places you end up literally “minding” your own business.

There really are no accidents.

I just finished watching a documentary about a well-known singer and songwriter accused of abusing many girls and women – which I came across channel surfing. It is likely the most disturbing work I have ever seen. I did not want to watch. But as the well-being and empowerment of women and girls feels to me like one of the reasons I as placed in this body and in the world at this time, I could no longer look away. In order to make any real difference, one must listen and bear witness to the vulnerability and fragility of the human spirit – far from comfortable, but obligatory.

It is now 3.30 on a Sunday morning. There is no way I will sleep without placing some thoughts and feeling elicited by that documentary on paper. Need to release that energy, those emotions I cannot quite articulate or completely feel in this Moment. Writing has always been my therapy.

Here goes:

My theme in 2019, the year I turn a half a century old, is taken from one of my favorite songs, the beautiful African-American spiritual, This Little Light of Mine. The intention is to consciously be a Light and create the space to recognize and encourage The Light from others. I believe that we are indeed in this thing called Life together and, as such, we are each other’s keeper.

So, the notion of fellow humans – children of God – out there who consciously endeavor to hurt and degrade others – especially children and the emotionally vulnerable – purely for their own gain, shakes me to my very core. Intellectually, I know such beings exist – politically dictators who have (and continue) to wreak utter havoc on the lives of millions upon millions of humans, priests behaving badly, and it goes on and on. I have seen up close with friends and family, domestic abuse and its toll.

Still, watching that documentary, hearing story upon disturbing story told by people who look like me, my sisters and friends, saddened me deeply. I am also stunned: How does a human brazenly disrupt the lives of so many young girls and women as well as their families and get away with it for so many years? Is one born that way, the way of darkness and depravity? Is it nurture – an abuser grows up immersed in the sewage and consciously decides to repeat the pattern? And then one wonders about the abused – young women who appear to be so easily “trained” to take and accept humiliation and maltreatment from a man? To be so controlled that not even the desperate plea of your own parent moves you?! Bon Dieu.

Everything is within a context, yes? This became crystal clear to me when I saw the movie, Monster with Charlize Theron years ago, and reinforced with every episode of Criminal Minds that I can sit through. The Monster is not created within a vacuum. Circumstances – often violent and sadistic early in life or some serious trauma later in life – come together to produce such a being. This is not to take the responsibility from that individual for their actions. Again, everything is a matter of context. Any one of us, placed within a particularly toxic and “uncivilized” environment, can easily (and quite abruptly) revert to a more basic, “primitive” state, descending way down to the Abyss of our consciousness – saying and doing things we could never even conceived as possible. I am remembering now as I write that this was the lesson – the warning – that the Lord of the Flies (the only book that remained with me well after high school) sought to teach. We contend that we are the “highest” of the animal species. Still, our behavior toward each other repeatedly demonstrates that the human psyche is delicate terrain. Like walking on very thin ice, it does not take much for us to crack and rapidly become undone.

I watched and heard the stories in that documentary – one after the other, incredulous. Wondering how does this happen? Yet, knowing exactly how it happens. You do not wish to place any blame on the abused – especially when they are women (members of your own sex) and where minors are concerned. Still you wonder, what wound was so glaringly infected, need so deep and vast, that the predator could smell it a mile away? We tell on ourselves, my grandmother reminded me shortly before her passing. Energy speaks so much louder than words.

And there but for the Grace? Plan? Will? of God go I. I vividly recall how innocent I was heading to College – a school chosen because I had fallen, at first sight, deeply “in love” with the sophomore who had come to my high school to pitch the University. My freshman year, every time I saw him on campus, my heart literally skipped a beat. I was so hopelessly infatuated with him – it was crazy. So, when a friend from high school asked me to be part of a group of women helping him and his line brothers with the grueling pledging process for admittance into a fraternity – the same fraternity to which “my love” belonged – hell yeah, I jumped at the opportunity! As a member of this group, I met the beautiful girl that he – my crush – was said to be dating. Still, that knowledge didn’t stop me – the smart, geeky, “good” girl raised by the quintessential strong black women – from being in his room one night, alone sitting on a mattress with his head on my lap. He, now a junior; me, a freshman and virgin in every sense of the word. I have absolutely no recollection of how I got in that room nor how I left. None. My memory has never been strong to begin with. Hence, such a gap is not unusual. I do not get the sense that anything untoward occurred. And, so I consider myself “lucky”. I was so vastly and profoundly insecure in College and – looking back, knowing what I know now – clinically depressed. Miles from my smothering, overprotective parents, family and wider community, anything could have happened to me. Anything and anyone. My emotional wounds were bleeding profusely, the perfect prey was I. There but…indeed.

So, who am I to judge?? Not all the women in the documentary who charged that singer songwriter with abuse were teenagers. Some were grown folk – as we say – women thirty years in age and older. The girls, we can better understand and sympathize, their brains are still developing. The women…a little harder to comprehend. Does not age bring wisdom with it? Not necessarily. He was much older – as they usually are. Long ago, I heard someone say that we are all school buses carrying with us all our ages. The Inner Children – along with its pain, trauma and confusion – does not simply go away. Everything is energy. According to The First Law of Thermodynamics, Energy can neither be destroyed nor created. It can only be converted from one form to another. If the negative energy of past trauma, shame, pain, and hurt are not spoken truthfully, faced head on, and transformed constructively, it festers infecting the individual from the inside out and/or enabling destruction via the hands of another just waiting for the opportunity to unleash their own unresolved anguish. It’s a dance, the human interaction.

The idealist in me would have us all first acknowledge and begin to deal with our individual issues and demons, thereby coming as “correct” as is possible to the relationship dance.

I pray for us all what I continue to pray for myself: that we re-member always who and what we really are – Light (one so strong and powerful that it can never be dimmed for long. The courageous women who shared their stories in the documentary and survived horrific abuse are shining and inspiring examples of human resilience.)

I pray that we re-member that we are truly many parts of the Same One – so what you do to the perceived other, you do to yourself.

I pray for a level of consciousness and conscientiousness toward each other, and Mother Earth as a whole, that would render us humble enough to re-consider the notion that humans are the “highest” of God’s millions (perhaps even billions) of species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pearls from Tears

I remember well my fascination with oysters – rather unattractive on the outside, very rough around the edges. Yet, inside, lay a much sought-after jewel, the pearl. When later I learned that the pearl is the by-product of an irritant entering its sensitive insides, I understood why the oyster so resonated with me. This was me, my life: nothing particularly compelling on the outside – by typical standards – but inside, my heart and my mind, utterly extra-ordinary, beautiful, invaluable and unforgettable. 

To this day, I draw my sense of self-worth and place from what lies beneath my skin, that which cannot be seen or felt by most. Alas, residing in a world where the outward appearance is a major determinant of one’s currency and where the attention span continues to rapidly decrease, what place is there for the pearls that lie within? Will anyone pay attention? Does anyone care?

For us, the human oysters, the world’s daily dismissal serves as the irritant; our tears, fodder for the formation of precious pearls. They pile up, the pearls, on our delicate insides, yearning to be seen, worn, to adorn. They were not meant to be stowed away, these iridescent fruits of vulnerability, discomfort and despair. No, they are gifts to be brought to the Light and shared.

And so, with lips quivering, hands trembling and hearts pounding, we take a tentative step, and then another; we open our mouths to speak, softly at first; we pick up our pens and write, allow the pearls to flow out, and then quickly hit send.

Some of what we offer will fall on fertile hearts and minds and be valued; most will be discarded or just plain ignored. No matter. The response is not our responsibility; we are tasked only to release.

Voice

It is a
courageous
conscious

Choice

for a woman to use her Voice
to speak her Truth
from the root
of her pain
and shame
at relenting
to an old patriarchal
game
that would have her use
sex
for financial gain.
A decision that then
drives her mad,
utterly insane,
a mute
filled to overflow
in self-disgust and deep blame;
a sad dimming of her Glow,
her innate beauty she can no longer see,
feeling more like a mere commodity
to be bought and sold.

Without a Voice,
her story left untold,
passing The Burden
onto the next generation.

The Long Arm of Slavery

Molecular memory,
this may inform
the long arm of slavery.

The past
reaching relentlessly
into the future.
Those who were once deemed “master”
carry the seeds of feeling superior-
better than those they enslaved:
the men shackled and emasculated;
the women relegated to nannies and maids,
their dark bodies laid open
to cavalierly invade.

Trauma being made
on and in both sides;
a slow
imperceptible
suicide.

When will we finally realize…

 

Waking from a Deep Sleep

I am

waking

from a deep sleep,

wondering

Where am I?
What is it
I had to eat?
How did I get here
to these beliefs?

I rub my eyes

as I try

to make sense

of what has become complete nonsense.

I hear the ancestors cry;
they ask why?

Why are you and your kin moving back?
Do you not realize this is a slap
in the face
to those who were brave?
Don’t allow our sacrifice and pain
to have been made in utter vain-
wasted blood, sweat, and tears
over the course of hundreds of dark years!

Wake up from your deep sleep,
the antecedents weep.

It is now your turn to learn
that freedom ain’t free;
it is your sacred responsibility
to the past, present and future
family.