Paying Homage (Poem)

PAYING HOMAGE

Scraping
Digging for the crumbs in order to piece
—together
Something
Anything
Just get it done
That’s the mission
Stamp your name on it
Make it your brand
You gotta make a name for yourself
Don’t you want to be the one
Who everyone’s talking about?
That’s the motive

As I watched a special the other day
On my favorite poet
And the woman whose art inspired me
I began to dream a dream
Of recognition and fame
I neglected to hear the pains she went
—through
The hard work it took her to get there
But I dream a dream of hope that day
I’ll be the next her
I’d be the next name in history
And possibly even go on
To do even more incredible and historic
—things

But somehow
I can’t even seem to get this poem right
Even while I write it
And somehow
I forgot
That having my name in the Lamb’s Book
Is more important
Than whether or not I’ll be remembered
Later in life

Chances are
They’ll all forget
Just the same
Just like I forgot
All those other names

That’s the thing about history
We only know about the few who made
Monumental contributions
Did monumental things
And it makes us feel
As though the little bit we do
Isn’t worth anything

At that same moment in time
As I pondered over frivolous dreams
I began to ask myself
About all the Black people
Who have ever lived and breathed in
—time
I wondered
How many of their stories went
Unwritten?
How many of them did things
That were pivotal
But didn’t even receive an honorable
—mention?
Does it no longer matter?
Do they not exist
If a historian didn’t acknowledge
What all they did,
Whether it be little or gigantic?

Jesus Christ
The Ultimate Record Keeper Supreme
Ruler over everything
He has not forgotten
He does not forget
He watches and He knows
What all a person has done
He knows this

I heard Him ask me this morning,
“Isn’t your name showing up
In My Book,
More important
Than being a temporary name
In time?
You are making history,
But what good does it do you
To do all these things in My name
And still go to hell anyway
Because you lived to die
But didn’t die to live?”

Are you living to die
Or dying to live…?
What are legends, anyway?

But what a shame
What a pity it would be
To not consider every person
Who has ever come before me
The same people
Who are the very reason
For why I am able to do what I do
Live how I live
And have helped to influence
These things I write

Lord I thank You
For reminding me of what’s important

Time to pick up the plow
Like every African American before me
—did
Time to pick up the plow
Toil the ground
There’s not time to be afraid
Of getting sweat on your brow
Time to get to work
Put your back into it now

With the help of Christ
They’ve paved a way for me
This far
I can’t afford to let them down
I can’t afford to let Him down

Not right now, no
Not now

Eye of the Beholder (Poem)

Here’s another piece I’ve written. This will be in the Safe Haven later today. I never imagined how hard it would be just to find a decent picture with a group of women, all women of color, with all the races represented in this poem…I still wasn’t really able to achieve that, so please forgive me. I do think this poem does get the message across however and I hope it encourages all my women of color to know: you’re beautiful, too.

beauty_fade-out

Photo source: Google Images

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Silky hair that cascades down
As if it were a golden waterfall
Ivory skin
Resembling the purest, the finest
—there is
Dainty lips
Refined nose so ever slender
She’s so ever slender, you know
In all the right places,
You know?

Eyes icy blue
The kind that pierce through
And penetrate deep into your soul
When you gaze into them
Why,
Just look at her
Why wouldn’t you think
She’s beautiful?

She has literally become
The definition of it

Somewhere along the way
She became the definition
For a lot of things:
What a woman is supposed to look like
What an American is
What happens when beauty is born
And shapes itself into human form,
Is that right?
I think so, I think it is

I see her
And have been seeing her
In every film and TV screen there is
I see her
In all the makeup ads
In the lusts of men
Who say
She’s so charismatically sexy
She’s just too good to pass up
And yet
Somehow
They pass up on me

You see
I am Black
And I was taught
At a very young age
That all of us
Are beautiful
Unique in our own way
We’re like God’s human rainbow
Displayed in various arrays
Of skin tones and hues

Then you grow up
And you discover you live in a
—world
Where that is just simply
Not the case

I felt like somebody lied to me
As I continually wipe the spit
Off my face
“What about a Black woman?”
He asked
“Would you take her out?”
The hesitation
And the silence
That surfaced
Only seemed to perpetuate
What the world has been telling me
It thinks of me

Here at home
And all across the seas

I remember once
A man
Who looked like me
Telling another Black girl
He didn’t bother with Black women
Because to him
Dating us
Would be like sifting through
—garbage
To get a rotten piece of meat
Well
I have news for all of you

My Father who art in Heaven
Created me this way
And everything
EVERY THING the Lord has made
IS beautiful

So yes,
That White woman is beautiful
There is no denying that
But
That Brown woman there?
She’s beautiful
That Red woman there?
She’s beautiful
That Yellow woman there?
She’s beautiful
That Black woman there?
Oh yeah, she’s beautiful
And you better believe
This Black woman right here
Most certainly is
Beautiful

Does beauty have a name?
Does beauty have a face?
Does beauty have a race?
Is that really how it is now?
Is that really how it is?
Because that seems to be
How it’s always been

Excuse my Southern talk
But there ain’t no magic to this
Just God gifted, God given
Blessedness
No matter how ugly you tell me I am
No matter how ugly you make me feel
No matter how often you take
That same woman
You just called beautiful
And knock her right off the pedestal
You put her on
To throw her on a pole
And yell at her to take it off

Yes.
She is beautiful.

I will say it again

Yes,
She IS beautiful

And I
Am beautiful too

All of us
Women of color
Are beautiful TOO
And if you can’t respect that
If you cannot appreciate
These different levels
Of beauteous imperfections
Perfectly created by the Savior

Then you
Yes, YOU
Are a fool
And you were never meant to
—have
Such a treasure
As she is

Respect us all
For who we are individually
Love her for who she is
And stop defining us
By what you behold
Only solely to be

Beautiful

woc

Photo source: Google Images

The Telephone Game (Poem)

(I decided to write poem in the Safe Haven for BHM like I did last year. Thanks for reading and let’s work to keep Black history alive.)

THE TELEPHONE GAME

Ancestors
Passing down stories to ancestors
Passing down stories to ancestors
Pass it down, pass it down
Gather all the children
Gather them all around
Great great of great great of great great
He’s going to tell it now

Who we are
And who we were
How do you know
Who you will be
If you don’t know
Who you are and
Where you came from?

Ships and chains
Sickness and disease
Bodies on top of bodies
Packed in like sardines
Bodies on top of bodies
Cast off into the sea
Land ho
New home
Gather all the children
Gather them all around
Gotta pass it gotta pass it
Gotta pass it down
Pass it down down down

And down, down, down it went

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