Short, but Sweet

(Here’s a short one for you all. I was studying Proverbs 3 today and this is what the Lord gave me.)

Remember who holds you up when they tear
—you down
When they scorn you
Throw you to the ground
And you find yourself
Subject to their ridicule
My dear child
Remember who it is that holds you up

Shifty (Poem)

(Hello folks. Here’s another new one for you—you can also find this poem on my church’s blog Safe Haven Newsletter.)

I’ve got three
Pointing back at me
I point the finger
But three point
Back at me
Holy Trinity says,
“But what’ve you done
Lately?”

I’ve got three pointing back

I look at my community
The world today
Society as a whole
We shift the blame
Like aching feet
Moving from side to side
“Not my fault,”
And then we hide.

Outcries say
They killed the Black community
They poisoned us with drugs
They brought in liquor stores
They’ve built up a negative image
But it can’t be all their fault, right?
The drugs were brought in
But did we have to buy them?
Liquor stores disguised as job opportunities
But why didn’t we fight it?
Negative images are plastered
But we seem to perpetuate them until it
—becomes
The new standard
Where are we
Where were we
When all these things were taking place?
Still waiting for Superman to finish
—rescuing Lois Lane?
We have an obligation to ourselves
But put all the responsibility on someone
—else

I’ve got three pointing back

“It’s because I’m Black, isn’t it?”
But is it?
Could it be that the real reason
Goes beyond skin color,
That some things are intentionally done
To incite a reaction desired
From intended provocations?
“I hate all those monkeys,”
“I hate all those spics,”
“I hate all those crackers,”
“I hate all those chinks,”
Hate, hate, hate
Is that really all you preach?
They hate me
So I hate them—oh
I see…
But you fail to realize
How the very thing you hate
In actuality
Is yourself
You self-perpetuate
Not just negative images
But also double standards
You embody the very demons
That you see in others
Oh say can you see it?

Perhaps if you dealt with you
You wouldn’t hate
All your sisters
And all your brothers
Who differ from you
So much

I’ve got three pointing back

I go back to the heart of all of this
I look out in disgust
The children who are disrespectful
Parents who failed to do their job
Their kids don’t know how to take care of
—nice things
Because they both came from nothing
They don’t know what nice is
So they move
But they trash up everything around them
It’s what they’re used to
Chaos
Is what they’re used to

I look
As we all point our fingers
Toward the problem
“It’s the government!”
“It’s infrastructure!”
“We need better teachers!”
“We need better mothers and fathers!”
“If we had better jobs,”
“If we had better police,”
If we had better we’d do better
That is what we say
But what happened to doing better
Anyway
Regardless of the cards you’ve been
—dealt?

We point, and we point
I point, and I point
And the whole time
We’ve been pointing at the real issue
All along

I’ve got three
Pointing back at me
Holy Trinity says,
“Tell Me, child,
What have you done?”
I’ve got three pointing back at me

I’ve got three pointing back

Echoes (Poem)

(I felt inspired to write something new for you all today. I pray that it ministers to all of those who read it)

ECHOES

I keep telling myself,
“It’ll be okay.
You’ll be fine.
You’ve weathered through worse
Than this.”

My remedy for dealing with heartbreak:
Pretend as though it’s not broken
Hold the shattered pieces in your hand
And make-believe
It’s something whole
Imagine there’s a pulse
Picture it
Still beating

Don’t forget to breathe,
Keep breathing

“He wasn’t worth your time anyway
And he certainly
Is not
Worth your tears.”
That’s what you say
When it’s true
Because worldly men will tell you
How you appeal to their physical senses
While the churchy men will say
How they just love the God in you
And both are the same
It’s just that one complements your
—spirituality
In order to give a false sense of security
You’re safe with him, but you’re not safe
—with him
Because he’s still a wolf
And a wolf’s gotta eat

And when it’s not true,
And you recognize
It was your bad
Not his

You tell yourself this,
“God’s got something better for you.
Step back,
WAY back,
And let the Lord lead him to you.”

Specifically when you know
God didn’t introduce him to you
You introduced yourself
And prayed for Jesus to make your
Makeshift union
Into a blessed and sanctioned one
Instead
He sectioned you off
Saying,
I didn’t give you a permit for that
Remove yourself from the premises

So many times
I did this
Pretending to be dumb
But not having a clue
There’s no need to test the waters
When you are already fighting
The Current
Why waste time trying to pass the time?
In the end
Someone’s going to need
A cardiac surgeon
After going into cardiac arrest
We are so greedy in the pursuit
We don’t think it’ll be us
Calling Jesus up and scheduling an
—appointment

Truth is
I was selfish
Because I never expected it to be me
Under duress
The stress that comes from being
Inches away and yet galaxies apart
And finding yourself desiring to know
What it is to have an inkling of an idea
Of what it is to be
On someone else’s mind
Especially when you felt like
You were so close

I have messed around
And caught feelings
Caught myself smiling at the sound of
—his name
I caught it all
Like the common cold
Notes turned sour
I tried to expel him
But he became a virus
He left
He got over it
I didn’t
And just like that
What made me smile
Made me sick
I was ill from all the stiff butterflies
Rolling around in my stomach
Embarrassment brings about nausea
“Did I really put myself out there
For this?”
And all the while
You keep reminding yourself

Don’t forget to breathe
Breathe, keep breathing

Don’t get me wrong
I am not innocent
I have recognized when he’s fancying me
And have been guilty of ignoring him
Or stringing him along
By faking oblivious
As I straightened up the bodybag
To put all his dreams of us into

I’ve written before
In a poem long lost
That when we follow through with bad
—decisions
Despite God telling us to halt
Do not pass go
And we go
Death comes
We are not the only ones who get burned

I could speak on that
For days
But

That’s not why I wrote this

I wrote this because
I need to make it clear
For the young lady who cannot
Because she has been robbed
Void of emotion, a temporary
Paralysis
Can’t think, can’t talk
Who’s constantly reminding herself
Every hour
If not every single minute
To take
A breath

To keep breathing,
To not forget to breathe
When the pain reemerges
From deep within her chest
And the wells of her eyes
Are filled to the brim
But pride keeps it all from spilling

Breathe,
Breathe,
Keep breathing
Continue to keep breathing
Don’t forget to breathe

Over and over again
So for her
I will be her mouthpiece
I will admit though
Just the thought makes it hard
Yet I am willing to give it my best shot

I will confess it
I have envied that once fair damsel
And even more so
When she and I both pined after
The exact same prize
I’m not one to compete
Love is not a competition
But lust will have you thinking you’re in
—a race
To see who will get to him first

Which one of you will have the last laugh?

I was already disqualified at the start
And somehow
She found a way to make a clean break
She had done it
She won
Until that is
When she found out she lost
He was handing her a first place ribbon
Now she’s just a participant

And we both looked at each other
We spot the shame immediately
Never saying anything out loud
But we exchange glances that read,
“Oh? You too?”
“Yeah, it hurts doesn’t it?”

So on her behalf
I will say
—-
I am not your commission
Though I may buy those lines
You try and sell me
I am not a pet you abandon
When you decide you longer want it
Due to the amount of care needed
I am not a project you start
But don’t finish
Because it seemed like a good idea at the
—time
And now it’s…
I am not a toy
Something you play with
Until you either tire of it
Or break it
My emotions are not a yo-yo
You put on a string
To pull at my heart
Just to push it away again
I am not a kite
Whose hopes you get up
Up, up and away into the sky
Flying high into the wind
Just to send it all crashing back down

I am a human being
I feel
I hurt
And I am a woman
I connect to the things I feel
I’ll repeat myself I FEEL
Even when I don’t want to
Even when it’s done
And we reach our end
And I no longer want to feel anything
For you
But still do
Because I opened myself up to you
And though you are gone
There are still remnants
Of what used to be
Inside of me
And that’s all without us ever
Knowing each other
Intimately

I gave you me
My grins
My passions and insecurities
My glow
Casting everything around us
Into a magnificent
Blissful shade of infatuation
I gave
You left
And you took it all

I had to seek Jesus
And search His Word to find it
Turns out
You dumped it at lost claims
Because you were unaware
Of the power
That you possessed

In my anger
I dare call you a thief
But I don’t
Because ultimately
I was the one
Who was negligent
At best

Still
When you come around
The forecast is cloudy
Because I haven’t forgiven you, not quite
For a minute there…
You had me thinking
You just might be the one

And now
I’m relearning how to go on
Without you
—-
Brothers
This is why it is important
That before you go
To make that move
You’d better be sure
It’s God leading you to her
And not lustful desires urging,
Go ahead player—do what you do
Do not move if it’s not by His command
Because numerous
Are a woman’s tears
And great is the pain of our cries
When every sob we let out
Is sharper than a knife
That hacks its way through the brokenness
To pierce through and through
Into our souls
It leaves scars that heal
But never fade
However make no mistake
We will rise again
Like flowers that wither
And in due season
Sprout up from the dirt
To feel the sun’s rays once more

Ladies
We will continue to get rained on
But what doesn’t kill you
Does make you stronger
Learn the lesson
In your weeping
Do not let it all be for not

Truthfully
All of us,
Men and women,
Love the sun
But
We could stand a little rain
Every now
And then

Be patient in your waiting
Let Him restore your heart again
He’ll tell you when the time is right
In the meantime
Until you figure out
That the safest place for your love to be
Is in His hands
You will continue to sing this same song
Forever wondering
“When Lord,
When will it end?”

And you will continue to say
Unto yourself,

“Don’t forget to breathe,
Keep breathing, keep breathing.
Do not
Forget
To breathe…”

The Measure Of (Poem, BHM)

(Yes, I am aware that it is no longer Black History Month, however I haven’t been able to access the internet for a good while. Now that I can, I am able to continue sharing the rest of the poems I wrote as part of the Black History Month series for my church’s newsletter “Safe Haven” Thank you all for following me and keeping up with my work, and for your patience.)

THE MEASURE OF

Black culture
Is a well
Full of diamonds
All sitting at the bottom
But you have to be willing
To get scraped up
And become bloodied
And bruised
Just to get it
And you must be equally as willing
To endure the same pains
As you make your way back up
Because
When you make your way
Back up
You become
A survivor
And you begin to see
You are the diamond
You are the treasure
Despite the nothingness
The world makes you feel

Blackness is a beauty
People have tried to kill
Over ten times
And then some
Yet it still rises and peaks
Like the sun’s rays seeping out
All over the shore
Or the moon
Basking everything
Under a midnight glow

There is more to our culture
Than chicken wings
And gangster rap
Respect it
Respect us
Please
And thank you