Sunday, January 4, 2015


I've been screaming in empty houses
hoping their echoes sooth, and keep me warm.
The warnings I didn't heed, and
now my soul is being lost in the bounce.

Like molecules,
I'm atomic on basic levels.
I fight to keep the chaos underneath the surface
while acknowledging without it I'd have no nucleus.

I'm sure you've been counting on a spontaneous combustion.
Been counting on me to make illegal hydrogen bonds.
You hoped but never respected my attributes;
I'm an isotope.

One is a magic number.
You can never know how heavy I am
until you pronounce my name, and then
I change.

Your dialect can't handle
the annunciation that's me.
And just like that, we cease to be

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Change Your Life!

You want to change your life? Become a "Self Expert"!

1. Know what you're looking for in life. If you don't know, you'll never find it.
2. Your Uniqueness is your strength.
3. Know what your soul is made of.
4. Pay attention to your life, and apply the lessons you learn.
5. Know your values.

Remember, you are the sum of the five people you spend most of your time with. (Jim Rohn) Most people encourage complacency, so surround yourself with passionate positive risk takers. I'll leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you, and
then you win.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ginned Truth 

I'm always amazed at the strength, dignity, and hope of a people who were misnamed, categorized by misnomers, and killed with no mercy. I've struggled to reconcile the images of it with the history taught in convenient truths, filled with holes lacking any Swiss appeal because of the time that elapsed before a reset of infrastructure, understanding, and soul. I can't get passed perpendicular lines that crossed tracks on flesh inflamed by resistance on backs supporting hearts hollowed by reality, but still beating, and still hoping. I sat and cried loud dry tears at the site of slave tags, and impending lashes for literacy fighting ignorance to redefine God, and what it meant to matter, and not just be matter. I wept for the devil in men made white not be ethnicity or purity, but by the absence of love, who took pleasure in killing those living with the reflection of sunsets on their skin, and soon, on their lives. Sovereign men, women, and children were forbidden to be human, and taught to deny themselves in the hopes of surviving. I wept for our grandmothers, and my grandfathers. I wept for our ancestors, made nothing short of moon rock, or some other substance out of this world. I'm reverencing and respecting my history, and I'm overwhelmed by its richness. Though appreciative, I weep because of my wealth.

Just a Pretty Boy (For Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc)

He walks tall among the Greeks on the yard,
greeting the people that he sees.
Some watched and saw just a nice and courteous pretty boy,
but I watched and saw me.

He works on University projects,
helps organize community outreach,
and gives friends his uplifting “press on” speech.
Some only heard a pretty boy, but I heard me.

His reputation is honorable and good,
though some cannot recall,
the reasons why his goodwill echoes throughout Kinard Hall.
Some saw just a pretty boy doing too much,
but I saw me.

His clothes were classic prep and pressed; his
khakis were made to crease.
The ladies saw just a well-dressed desirable
pretty boy, but I saw me.

His pledges were hidden in plain sight,
just awful scrollers to see.
Some said they were paying the “pretty boy” cost,
and I saw that cost, one day, being paid by me.

His achievements are high. His fraternity was
founded by attorneys, educators, and doctors you see.
Some saw just a pretty boy studying too hard,
but I saw me.

He cares deeply about his chapter brothers,
and stays close to his LBs.
Some saw a pretty boy hanging with just his brothers,
but I saw me.

He never cares what others are doing,
he keeps his focus, stays the course, and plans his future
carefully you see. His peers saw an overachieving pretty boy,
destined to do great things, and I watched with
admiration and hope, because I saw me.
Tell Me

Firing shots seem to be an acceptable
pastime in our neighborhoods.
Their echoes have rocked houses
and stolen lives ever since I can remember.

These shadow darts are known
to harden hearts, and call all to stand,
but no one is ever willing
unless it’s the police that’s killing.

Everyone has an excuse
unless it’s Zimmerman on the loose.
Isn’t Black life alive and hot like the Florida Strains, or
is it only a legitimate life source when taken by white hands?

For Joy

The combination of attributes
that encapsulate your womanhood
is simply deadly!
Beauty, poise, intelligence, and
charisma, there need not be anymore
collisions of the mind and vexed spirit
in your life unless it's in a Kaleidoscope,
the only thing known to man
that truly can capture the colors
of your spirit,
warm hues of orange, royal purples, yellows, and
golds that typically adorn heavenly hosts.
And yes, now you're included because
of the Holy Ghost.
Ghost, not because you're dead
or something that others see through.
A ghost because of the Jesus, the Lord Thy God,
that lives in you.
This is just a short retort
to remind you of your strutting days,
the people you've helped are always
willing to remind you of it when you've
lost your way.
So smile sista, sing sista,
and dance a mile high.
There's a place waiting for you
beyond this tangible sky.
You are the rainbow's symphony,
 a divine grace for heaven's sake.
The future is at hand, and you've got its
intellectual and spiritual real estate.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Taking What's Yours!

     Life has taught me many things over the past 36 years. Who to love, how to love, and what I should expect, or not expect from others. But somehow, even when I knew better, I expected what was owed to me, because of hard work and effort, should be mine. When I graduated from college in 1999, I was fortunate to be hired by a major corporation, one I thought I would retire from at the appropriate age. I worked hard, showed up on time, went the extra mile, and assisted my colleagues with meeting their goals. Promotions and thoughts of prosperity clouded my outlook; I never saw the looming furlough. I believed upper management when they said I would survive company cuts because of an economic downturn. Early one morning, it happened. I was called into the office, and furloughed. I was devastated! When competing with the possibility of saving money for the corporation, my stellar work record didn't stand a chance. At that point, I decided to take what was mine by right and effort.

     It's been a struggle to find an organization that truly values me, and what I bring to the "table". Even with my best efforts, I never quite get the feeling that my relationship is for the long haul. Working 37 years at the "plant"was never going to happen for me; I was never going to be able to say that to my son, or grandson. The landscape of employment had change, and I resolved not to be totally dependent upon any entity for my emotional, physical, and financial stability. Revolutionary in a sense, this frame of mind has not been embraced by the masses. It's risky! But I find solace in its infinite possibilities. I find encouragement in its openness. Do we wait for an opportunity to follow our passions in life, or do we create the opportunity ourselves?

     Being a professor, or an attorney has always felt like my life's goal. Helping those most vulnerable to abuses, and molding future minds were always admirable endeavors in my eyes.  Life soon showed me that I can not afford to follow the attorney path that I so admired; it was simply to expensive. The professor track was not as expensive, but still, finances proved to be a mighty foe. I worked and volunteered at local schools for career days, etc. Eventually, I started to substitute teach in public schools on my off days just to get a feel for the classrooms, and the students. It helped that I also got paid. Soon after this, I stared and completed a Masters program, which made me eligible to teacher on the collegiate level. Immediately, I started applying for jobs; however, no one was willing to hire me with no experience.  One day, I started talking to an associate about my aspirations, and he stated he believed he could help.  He placed me in contact with his good friend who worked at a local university, and soon, I was being interviewed for an adjunct faculty position. Letting people know my plans, and completing my Masters program allowed me to be in position to take what was mine. The next semester, I was teaching a one hour course at the university. Because of this experience, I obtained the experience as an instructor, and was approached by another college to teach. The second college didn't have the finances to pay me for teaching; however, knowing the bigger picture, I taught my three hour class for free. They were so grateful that they added me to their speakers bureau, which allowed me to have more exposure on their campus as well as in the community. A few months after my class ended, they offered me an adjunct faculty position, and an opportunity to assist with the development of a new program/major of study in my area of expertise. In order to take this position, I had to give of myself first. Teaching without receiving compensation turned out to be the best investment for my future, and the catalyst for me being able to take what was mine.

     My grandfather use to tell me that if I'm true to myself, regardless of how bad life looks, or may get, my gifts would make room for me. He would tell me to aim at the stars, and if I missed and fell upon the moon, don't be dismayed, the moon is still high ground. He would say that there are none that are perfect except our "Father" in heaven, whom I must continually trust. My mother told me that grandma Ella use to say that we must have a strong "constitution". She would say that nobody was going to give me anything, I must work hard for it. When I arrived on my university's campus, I was fortunate to learn from a professor, and future mentor (Dr. Dorothy Perry-Thompson), the courage it took to be authentic. I learned of the strength it took to dance to my own drummer, even when to others I may have seemed offbeat. Collectively, all of the people mentioned taught me that before I could physically take something, I had to mentally take it, and own it. Life was a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can achieve only what we believe we can. It's within all of us to create our own possibilities. Everyday, wake up with the mindset to take what's yours, and live as your most authentic self. And soon, I'm sure you'll find that the more you give, the more you'll have to take because of the abundance given to you. I'll leave you with a quote from Audre Lorde. I read and meditate on these words daily: "If you don't define yourself for yourself, you'll be crushed into other people's image of you, and eaten alive". What have you left on the battlefield of life that's yours to take? If anything, are you prepared to take it?