Thursday, October 31, 2013

What is Red Stories

A poem a day for 2013 - day 303 - Hallelujah

Dear people who judge people for celebrating Halloween: Shut up and mind your business and raise your children the way you want to and leave other people to dress up as ballerinas and monsters and ninjas and then practice yoga and when did fucking yoga become a sin? Dig a hell for yourselves and leave other people to have the fun they choose because why are you worried anyway because you get to choose to open your doors or not. It is quite ok that you do not believe in witches and ghosts and goblins and maybe they don't either. Perhaps they just want a night to be with their families and collect Tootsie Rolls and check them for razor blades the next morning at the kitchen table. Fuck you for denying them that right. What are you doing with your family tonight? Are your children bored in their rooms while you are downstairs watching Scandal? The point is that we get to choose to do what we want to do with our lives. As long as no one is violating your personal space and safety can't you just cut them some slack and love them anyway, even when they don't believe as you?


November is National Novel Writing Month where writers write every day on a project and by the end of the month the goal is to have a certain amount complete. And by complete I only mean documented. We're talking first drafts here people. I forgot how much the completed goal is. Google it. I did it last year and I wasn't concerned how much the goal was then either. Mostly what was important was that I did it every day. And I did. I want to do it this year too but I don't know what topic I want to write about. I'll focus on it tonight and something will come to me in the morning. I hope.

Love thy neighbor

This morning on the way to the bus stop I noticed a man lying on the ground at another bus stop. People were standing around him talking. One old man said "You never know, he mighta been a child molester or something" and the others agreed. And no one did anything. And the closer I got and the longer I looked I never saw his chest rise and fall. And did you read the part where I said no one did a thing?

So I went to my bus stop across the street and called 911 and told the operator what was going on and sure and thankfully enough, the ambulance arrived before my bus came. I don't know what happened to the man. I still don't know if he is or was alive or dead. I have a prayer for him though. I hope he is well. I do.

I am sorry for us. For all of us. I am sorry for my brothers and sisters at the bus stop who didn't think to get help for a man lying on the ground, unable to get help for himself. I think that seeing that man this morning triggered a painfully embarrassing memory for me. Years ago when I was like nineteen years old I had the worst cramps known to womanhood, I fucking swear I did, and my body would get so hot and sore and I would throw up so much I would just pass out. Just. Pass. Out.

One day I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the San Fernando Valley and I was having major cramps and I got out of the long ass line to go to the bathroom. I started throwing up. I thought I could make it but as I washed my hands I passed out in the bathroom. When I came to I was under the sink and this white woman was fucking washing her hands leaning over my body. I just got up and left. I was so hurt that another human being would just let it be ok that I was there on the floor. And it was the DMV! There were like security guards right outside and everything.

So, yeah, when I didn't know if the guy was ok or not, I called for help. And sadly, that hadn't been done already.


I am thankful for my eyes opening to this day
This sun in my face through my window, my covers
I am thankful for an easy rest last night
For warmth and good food
I am thankful for my son
For the stories he tells
For his health and safety
I am thankful for my family
For my friends
Dear Vanessa
I am thankful for Vanessa and for her health
For her courage
For her every breath
Her smile
I am thankful for her comfort
Even in hospital
I am thankful for love and generosity
I am thankful for the love I have for myself
For happiness
Even for joy
So excited for joy

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(Not) Post racial society

I just feel some kinda way about sharing all the racist photos white folks are posting this close to Halloween. I feel like that's what they want us to do. It's sickening. Like really sickening. People already know how low some white folks will go. I feel a way about it but it doesn't mean I don't understand it. I know we just want to do what we feel there is to do to prepare folks and make them aware if they aren't, just, I wish the world was a better place than this. Our children deserve so much more. And so do we.

Because this is the world we live

And then there are the two young white women who posted a picture of themselves in blackface with the statement "Me & (I will not name) are niggers for Halloween :)"


When I feel my heart stray from love may I take time to breathe and pray and pull it back again

Happy birthday to my grandmother

Today is my maternal grandmother's birthday
She passed away June 1997
This is not a poem
These are things I remember
The day of her stroke I had a feeling I was pregnant but I was not sure
She had a stroke that night so I never told her while she was conscious that I was pregnant
I didn't have my son until November
She woke up at some point and said I would be having a girl
My grandmother was the secretary of the church
She had impeccable cursive
She wore a jet black Jheri Curl
Why do people say jet black
Her belly bounced when she laughed
My belly jumps when I laugh
My grandmother made apple pie from the apples from her tree
She drove a great big station wagon
She took care of her husband
She asked me to wear a wig to my grandfather's funeral because I would be reciting a poem
I was mad about that
Now I understand
Sort of
Not really, but I'm not mad about it anymore
My grandmother made me laugh
My grandmother made me cry
She told great stories
She was the youngest of sixteen children
Her firstborn child was a girl named Mary
Mary died after only three days
My grandmother held Mary in her arms before she knew she was dead
My grandmother had perfect skin
Not just for a woman her age
But beautiful beautiful skin
My grandmother was not a huggy kissy woman
She did not like us in the kitchen while she cooked
My grandmother loved me
I know she did
She did
I know she

A poem a day for 2013 - day 302 - Fresh. So. Clean. Empty.

Because poetry is your vulnerability
Make me know that you are human too
I am not impressed with how well you memorize stanzas
And that is what dope poets have been reduced to
How well they can stand on a stage and say words
How fast
Your heart matters
How your heart reaching mine matters
Minds matter
Raw nerves and open flames matter
Anyone can call the foul on a brother or sister
Yell to the top of your lungs
With your own stinking breath
About the lies you told
Tell us
Tell us when you fell sloppy drunk on the dance floor
Tell us the hate boiling in your heart
Scream your bitchy ways
Like you scream his, mine, hers
Remind yourself how human you are
Because we already know
We know you bleed
We know you will come off of the stage
And live a real live life
That does not rhyme
That you cannot say in
Fast fast pause fast fast pause rhythm

But you think that you are dope
Is that what you called yourself
Because you said words that rhymed
So fast and smooth
Words that did not sink into my skin
Words that did not land past the front row

Poetry should make me feel
Should make me know you
But you choose fancy phrases over
Heart in your hands
And you call it being dope

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 301 - Peace. Ready. Go.

This is the dance
Of words and stories
Letters and paragraphs
Spill out my bones
Like fire
Prick my skin till
My memory has flushed
Every color tale

This is the moment
This quiet that is mine
This will not last
This is only now

Dance with me nouns
Dance verbs and participles
Dance similes and songs

I have stolen this second
To sit and spill
To ready myself best
For free write and
Spin, dance, leap

Because bus stories are fun

I love seeing big hard core looking brothas on the bus on their phones playing Candy Crush. I just do.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 300 - Choose

I am sorry that the world / but especially the loved ones of Trayvon / must witness the cruelty of some others / who would dress in bloody hooded sweatshirt / holding tea and candy / as costume for Halloween / I am sorry that this is the world / there are days it takes effort / to see the good under this sky / so big / this sun / so shine / enough to keep us all warm and happy / but we would rather / spend this little time we have left / to hate / but I refuse / o how I refuse / I will love all this hate right out my lungs / o the breaths we take / to wake / and / forgive

Red Stories last night

I give special thanks to S. Pearl Sharp who was the feature last night at Red Stories. She did an amazing job and I love and greatly adore her and her work. She was superbly inspiring!

Red Stories is the last Sunday of each month at Vibrations, 2435 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA. at 7:00pm, $7.00. Come check out the show. Next month is the third anniversary and the features will be Food4Thot and Socks. They will share stories about love, relationship and life. Come and celebrate three years with us!

Work at the workshop

Last night at the Still Waters Writers Workshop we had the assignment to write for ten minutes on the topic "What will you do that will last forever?" Here is what I wrote:

I will word
I will leave words and stories about
All of me
How ugly I am
How petty my ways
Look at my beautiful self
I am too many people
All in one day
Do not lie
At my burial
Tell them how I made you laugh
Tell them my pictures hang on your wall
Remind them my poetry
And dark framed glasses
Did I take a picture of you
Did I ever smile for you
Did I step on your toe
How will you remember all this
Red I have bled all these years
Did we hang out and make love
I will forever you know
But how for you
Did we kiss
Long and slow
Did we word
And write and grow
Remember how champion I am for ill and underdog
Did we walk
Miles long and scary
What will you wake and remember
When I have no more breath
Will you peruse my blog
Share tea with my son
Collect earrings and scarves
I have always fancied red
And write and when remembering me
Is cloudy
Did we hug
Did I tell you I love you
Did I hold you
We're you close enough to my whisper
To feel my lips
Did we make love
Did our love make the tingly pink of me want you more
How will you remember me

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 299 - Hold. High.

I will hold the space for love
Apples, raspberry, delicious love
In the face of this world  and the isms there are
This space I hold gets heavy for my fingers
Cactus, prickly, splinter
Hold with me
Pray with me
Fingers clasped
Words, tears, whispers into fists
Create life with me
Focus with me
Heal, begin, walk with me

Help me change my mind and yours
Will you love with me
Will you be my super friend
Will you untangle memories 
So mesh and soil they clog arteries 
So in my way to see you clearly

Will you remember me
Will you remember our dirty feet together
In gush and worms and clay
Will you remember the art we made out of words

We will change you know
We will transition from this life form 
Into some other
What will the people remember
Will they count our words
Will our words count
What about our work
What will it say about us

Love with me
Let us leave and plant love
Watch it grow
Sit underneath shade together

Yay! It's Red Stories time again!

Red Stories is a storytelling show that I produce once a month held on the last Sunday of each month at Vibrations, 2435 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Tonight S. Pearl Sharp will be sharing her inspired stories! The show is at 7:30, $7.00. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 298 - Life. Less. Toyota.

When I was fifteen I learned how to drive a stick shift /  because if I could drive a stick shift it meant I could really drive / everything else was just guiding / my mother said / guiding was like playing a video game / and driving was no game / so my mother taught me to drive / her stick shift / on a hill / steep / in traffic

Sometimes I have a story in my head about how my mother does not believe in me / sometimes I think I will always be her artist child / sensitive to the world / unaware of her power / and then I remember those days on the hill / with cars behind me / ready to go / I remember begging to be saved  / I will crash this car / I will destroy this world / I remember her voice / all Wonder Woman and Jesus
eyes straight ahead / you can do it / she said / one day you will be alone / and what will you do

There are days I feel at the top of the hill / with cars behind me / depending on my skill / and I take a breath / and remember the delicate balance between break and gas


This morning I am incredibly thankful for my son. His mind and ideas and humor bless my soul immensely.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 297 - Man

My son's long frame stretches past my head
He is knowing and calm in his spirit
Preparing his mind for moment

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Watching a story right now about Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit. Two words...greed destroys.

Nothing is nothing - stop bullying!


A poem a day for 2013 - day 296 - Gratitude

I am thankful today for this moment of quiet
Where my mind is calm
I am thankful for knowing that I am held in the
Perfect and divine light of Source
I give thanks for connection
For peace
For ease
I am grateful for one foot in front of the other
For effortless breathing, blinking, thinking
I am thankful for every meal
For rest
For clothes that cover my wonderful body beautifully
I am thankful for the mindset to align my mind and energy
To Good
There is good in the world
There is forgiveness and love
There is integrity and humility in this world
I am thankful
For my son
My friends
My family
I am thankful for strangers
For moon, sun, water
For thankful

On notice

It's Thursday morning at 8:40. I just woke up from a dream where I would be kicking myself so hard if it were real life. I was working in a church for like a week straight putting up decorations for...something. I didn't understand the decorations, even in the dream. Then Sunday came and to my great surprise Rev. Cone was going to speak. Or does he go by Bishop? Anyway, I think this man's words are God's poetry and his wisdom and insight straight from heaven. I was introduced to him at a WomanPreach event of which I am ever grateful to have become a part. What was so bad about the dream and Rev. Cone speaking was that I woke up after he had given his sermon and I had been sitting like right in the second row! Uga! I was so tired from doing all the extra work that when it came time for me to get the blessing, I was too exhausted. Ok, Spirit, I got it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 295 - Offering

I will sit with you
There in your cave
The same wind
Will blow over our heads
And we will whisper
Praise to the dirt, to the sky, to Jesus, to God
We will pray together
So sweet and simple prayers
Made from our tears
Thick with our blood, our urine, our sweat
We offer our empty selves to be replenished
All this beauty full we give

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Where my ladies at

Tonight I give thanks for the truly wonderful sisters in my life. Yes, I have the best brothers too, but this post is about my sisters who bless my life. I'm having a sweet and uplifting conversation with my ladies now on Facebook. I wish I could fly them all here from their various locations and we could have a good time at the beach tomorrow! O how I wish that. Then convene in a big ole living room with food and laughs and whatever. I miss them so much! Even the ones here I am missing in this moment.

A poem a day for 2013 - day 294 - Morning. Sister. Fest.

Can we talk about love
Only love and what makes us smile
Beings being happy
We can happy can't we
We can beautiful
We can compliment and magic
Remind each other how whole we are already
We can hold hands 
All of us 
Holding hands holding heads up smiling
With so much big love on our tongues

I'm saying though

Recently at a gathering of folks who identify religiously as Christian the subject of whether someone was gay came up. As I guessed it would the room was filled with homophobic jokes and slurs. This always bothers me. Am I gay? No. But that's not the point is it? I am an ally. I am a sister human  being. I just don't get why people of any religious background feel like it's ok to bash the gay community in the name of God. If their excuse was that being gay is a sin then I still don't get the point because we were drinking alcohol. Most of us there were overweight. Someone had an ought against her sister. I mean, I could go on. I don't get it. I don't. And if you're reading this and wondering why I keep pointing out the Christian people in my life who hold this kind of hypocrisy, it's because I was reared in a Christian church and have lived my whole life seeing double standards like this and not being able to speak on it. You wanna hear a room filled with hate speech, bring up homosexuality in a room of SOME Christians. I emphasized some to be fair. Because I truly know some amazing people who also identify as Christian and some who identify as Christian and gay whose tongues are not filled with such venom, but with love, with tenderness and space for all humanity. These are my thoughts. My two cents for the day.

The talk

Still processing how uncomfortable I am with my niece's basketball coach recently being arrested for sexually molesting a girl my nieces age. According to the report it was no one on the team.that doesn't really make it easier, just another piece of the puzzle. Because she is a minor they are keeping her name out of the paper. I just found out that he was also accused ten years ago of the same thing but I guess because he wasn't found guilty he was able to work with the children. Scary that of the twelve counts he is accused of, one of them is trying to dissuade a victim from testifying. What did come out of this was a healthy conversation with my niece and nephew about the rape culture in which we live.

Immediately my niece and nephew were all like, "he didn't do it." They said that because Coach Gray is a cool guy and he wouldn't do something like that. I explained to them that so many victims don't come forward because they fear people won't believe them, especially when the person accused is someone of power or popularity. "To immediately say that he didn't do it is to say that she is lying and we don't know that. We don't even know who she is." We had a long, healthy, interesting conversation about rape and race and growing up black.

Because bus stories are fun

An old man in the back of the bus was talking to a beautiful youngish woman and said "You got such a winning smile! I bet everything you do today you gon win at it! That's the truth! You gon win all day today with that smile!"

And then another man in the front of the bus ruined the groove with this, "You think I'm a black man don't you? Tell the truth. Well then you are absolutely wrong! I'm Portuguese! With only ONE drop of black. That's what messed me up. If my great great grandfather hadnna stopped in Ethopia I would be a rich man right now." Don't ask me. I don't know what he was going to win without the Ethopian in his blood, but apparently...something.

In exercise news

I got it in on my bike yesterday! I rode from Delta Ave. and Wardlow east on Wardlow to the Wardlow train station in Long Beach, then rode from the 105 and Crenshaw north on Crenshaw to Florence. I don't know the math but it was not a game. Trust me. Trust my legs. I've been walking like everyday and now I'm adding bike to the mix. Operation lose weight is so in effect.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 293 - Untitled

My niece's basketball coach was recently sent to jail
One million dollars bail
Twelve counts of sexual offenses toward girls
Girls my niece's age
My niece was not one of the girls
None of the girls on the team
Mr. Gray is a cool guy
Mr. Gray did not do that, she said
Because Mr. Gray has a wife she said

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 292 - Easy like Sunday

I will look back on these simple days of easy journey and love
With my son and bus trip downtown
Late evening for movie
And conversation
For connection
For popcorn and memory
And love

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Because I love interesting stories

A guy in my neighborhood has a sign in front of his house every day that reads BIKES FOR UNDER $60. Yesterday it worked out that I had sixty dollars and I have been in the market for a bike for a while now as I am on great push to lose weight. Seriously, but that's another post. As life would have it I was also in a truck with a friend who could take the bike to my home in the back of his truck. I had to get the bike.

I rang the bell. I didn't hear anything so I went back to my friend's truck. My friend was like, "Look, doesn't have a big sign in front of his house to not be home and get his money." So, thankfully, he took over. He rang the bell, knocked on the door and spoke to the man when he opened it.

The guy brought out a bike that worked for me. He changed the seat because he said, "You gon need a big, comfortable seat." I told y'all I need to lose weight. He changed the seat and put air in the tires. After that my friend tested the bike and the gears. The gears kept messing up and the man had to keep fixing them until they were straight. Thank God for friends.

I was curious about how he got into this and so I asked, " What made you start selling bikes from your home?"

"They cut my hours at work and I had to do something. I had two kids in college. I went to the police auction and they were selling them in bulk for cheap so I bought 'em. I took 'em home and tried to sell 'me for twenty-five dollars. The kids around here told me that if I fixed 'em then they would buy 'me. I didn't know anything about fixing bikes so I took a class over there at LATTC (Los Angeles Technical and Trade College.)"

"That's dope."

A poem a day for 2013 - day 291 - Stories

I love stories
Stories that make folks moan
True stories
Made up stories
Stories with legs
With wheels
I love stories that will fly
Wings are optional

Stories are to be told
Like lives to be lived
What is the point
Of a life in a cave
Quiet and kept
Who has ears for a story
Rotting in a jar
Under a bed

Tell me your stories
I will tell you mine
We can say hmmmm together
Create tales of our own

Friday, October 18, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 290 - Sew

I am thankful for friends who lift arms in prayer and praise
Who hold the world
Our world
Safe and loved so

Because you know who you are

I will always love you
You know that

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - 289 - Speak

We are all broken
Pieces ready and afraid to connect
We hide our brilliance in shadows
Under leaves
We remember
O how we remember pain as lesson
To forward cautiously
We are still powerful
Way we use these voices
Whispers as they are

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 288 - Sides

Ginger tea night and chilly sheets
Touch and blessed smooth along my spine
The way we hold, lie, repent
Way we wish for a similar tomorrow
With your face and mine
Under sun above sea
This is the easiest way I have missed you

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 286 - Dear Mom

Thank you for all those times
Those stories you held
The lessons you saved for me to lean later
When I could see

Bus story gone painful

Today on the 710 bus line on Crenshaw and Century a black woman who seemed to be in her early thirties raced fiercely for the bus I was on. I could hear her voice squeaking from across the street. I bet against her in my mind. When she made it across the street and was just a reach away from the bus she slipped and her body, all but her feet, went under the bus. Under. The. Bus. The passengers in the back yelled to the driver "Wait! Put your breaks on! Don't move!" Thankfully she was saved and eventually sat safely on the bus.

I am grateful to God for saving the woman's life. I am in love and deep appreciation to the community of voices on the bus that were lifted for her safety. I am fuzzy over hood moments like this.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 285 - Travel

I will not waste words, precious as they are
Explaining to you how human I am
I request your forgiveness for my moments
Because my goodness I have my moments
I forgive and love myself again
Rolling down my way

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 284 - Gratitude

I start this morning in love. In peace and prayer. In quiet and concern and happiness. I begin this day with knowing. Knowing that life is doing what life does. Life is providing lessons to be learned and pathways to be explored. I am thankful. I am thankful for my son. For his experiences on his journey. For his happiness. For the isness of him. I am thankful for the village that rears him. I give thanks and praises for my friends and family. For the easy on my head in this moment. I am joyful. I am blessed. I am beautiful and brilliant. I am wrapped so comfortably in the blanket of my community. I am thankful for art, for poetry, for words and photos and skies spread so perfectly. I am thankful. I am so wonderfully thankful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 283 - Creation

I am writing
Putting puzzle pieces together
Taking apart
Finding wind

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 282 - poem 2 - Dear Nspire

Thank you for friendship
For honesty
For homegirl moments wretched and hood
Goddess as we can be
Thank you for silence and secrets and safety
Safety is important too
Thank you for laughs
For the human being you are
For the human beings you have reared
You are woman
Thank you for your fingers
Way they bend backward
To bless so many

A poem a day for 2013 - day 282 - Title purposely left blank

Caress me feather as wool
As dew
As rain dripping with
Rest of your face
Petal rose on my kiss bosom
Cotton as lips
How open and impatiently I reach
This is lovely
Way you satisfy the pink of my remembering
With song
With story
Your sweet stories
How sexy we secret when we pretend not to know
The way poem and motion
Sticky so together on this ride
I don't know
I think we manage this hustle
This two step
This leap frog with such style
Clumsy as we are
Do you agree
Lift me
These rhythm feet obey when you whistle
I dare you to beg

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Because more bus stories

Two black women friends in their late twenties talking on a bus

Woman 1: Hell naw, I don't even go no more.

Woman 2: You used to go all the time?

Woman 1: Yep, I was on the usher board and everything. Then I quit and I was on the hospitality board. Only reason I was on that was because we got to prepare the food and we could eat first and shit. I don't do none of that shit no more. The motherfuckin' pastor was fuckin' other women in the church and shit. Then bein' there like nineteen hours and shit and then revival. And that shit was so phony and I don't wanna revive a got damn thing then finally I just said, fuck it.


For the record, the conversations about spiritual communities on my blog are real. Do not wonder where the young people are without acknowledging what sent them away in the first place.

A poem a day for 2013 - day 281 - poem 2 - Embrace

The job is to love myself better than I have loved myself before
Better than I have accused you of not loving me
Any of you
It must have been painful
Carrying the burden of loving the part of me I should have held myself

Day 1

My doctor took me off of bread and eating after 7pm and I acted like she did something to me. So far, I'm obeying.

A poem a day for 2013 - day 281 - For our boys

In prayer today about our boys
About their safety
About ground that is theirs to stand
To fight for
To protect
Mother Father God
Cement your fingers for them to stand
To walk
Please grassy your palm
For them to rest
Path your arms for them to walk and talk
To plan and create with you
Thank you great Spirit
For these gems
For these blessed boys
These brown beings
So love
So loved
So precious and strong
I hold them up to you
For your protection and

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 280 - Ever always question

I admit to spending time
Over worry about what I may not be able to control
Perhaps I should rest my head
I wonder though
If these issues about life and matter and death
Were so out of my reach
Why would they present themselves
So boldly to me

Monday, October 7, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 279 - poem 2 - Sing

I will not be resigned to bad news of the day
To news
I will realign my mind
My heart and being
To connect to the great Connector
The Almightiest ever
I will know love all around me

A poem a day for 2013 - day 279 - No new news

Privatized prisons anywhere is slavery everywhere. These are our boys. Our children who keep coming up missing. Our hearts that keep breaking. News. Breaking. News. Again.
I give thanks today for my son and for all the children in my life, especially the black boys. You all have my heart. You all have my prayers. May God keep all of you.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 278 - For Sanai, a poem in two parts

A dance happens in the grassy open of mothers and daughters
A chrysalis gooey and tiresome
From preparation long and thought out
A pirouette
A leap, graceful and easy

A beginning
Ponytails, Afro puffs, knee highs
Ashy elbows, school photos and WonderWoman watches
Ain't she so pretty

The jerk, the be bop, do wap
Running man, twerk, freak
Old school, new school
Music, mind, battles, poetry, essays
A push, pull kind of dance
Driving, partners, friends
Science, school, exploration

This drum circle will wear mommy muscles out

The DJ is always on the one
Record always spinning kind of gospel
Slow to fade kind of good
Thump thump kind of rhythm
Our babies grow up so fast
Kind of wonder
Ask me how I know
Ask me what I know about looking up to my seed

As a mother we want the world safe enough
For your pretty, brown, fragile fingers
To question
To debate
To criticize and condemn
To caste Satan to hell
To cuss jealous bitches out
Without getting bitten
But the world will not blossom so daisy
So lily
So birds in the sky
So rainbow
So forgiving
In our lifetime

But we are women and we keep hope alive like nobody's business

We will be the good witches we are
Ready for you in the auntie side line station
Watching you
Inhale, exhale
Opening eyes
Taking in

Fly, daughter, fly

I wish you love
I wish you easy
Baby, do you know freedom
I have stories to tell you about freedom

I wish you dance
Wing, Sanai, wing
I wish you rhythm and cloud so at your demand
You just know and they appear

I pray you listen so lightening
The revolution of wisdom in your gut
Your skin itchy with words from your spirit
You will know a lie when you feel it
I wish you angels so brick and spear
I pray old black women's wrinkled hands above your head
Shower you with blessings
Fingers heavy and crackled and worn
Fan enough to let rain and sun come down

I wish you love so purple
So raspberry sweet
I wish you love syrup so sticky
On your path

Laugh too much
Hold your head to the sky
Bend your neck as far as it will go
Take it all in

Turn flips
I wish you comfortable shoes
To travel ground
Swim, Sweet love, swim
See as much of the world as you can

Every day will not end as you please
I promise
But you will survive it all
I pray

Listen, Sanai, listen

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 277 - Journalism 101

When I was a little girl
There was little I loved more
Than new notebook, fancy pen
And time alone
To let stories spill like dragons from my perfect cursive
I changed names
Indented paragraphs
I crossed t's and curled the bottom of my q's
Because good girls like me were supposed to
I wanted the story straight
Scared as I was to tell it
I was a writer
Of fourth grade mysteries and playground dramas
I was ready for the world
With pen and memory
And monkey bar imagination

Friday, October 4, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 276 - Dear Jaha

I will love you all the day
Even through those moments
I will hold you so sweetly like you deserve
I will close my eyes and you will be the prettiest cloud in the sky
I will say kind words about you
Vanilla, sticky, chocolate, strawberry words all day

Crenshaw line 710 north. And it don't stop.

Yesterday three young women got on the bus who looked to be in high school.

Girl 1: Hell, naw. You know how people say never say never? Well I am saying that I will NEVER be no bum. I got too much talent!

The women went to the the back of the bus and conversed.

Girl 1: You do too know Breshima. She the one I said look like Keeva. The one who got jumped by Baby Pam an' nim.

Girls: Ooohhhhh! Yeah!


In other bus news. On the same bus. A young man who looked to be about twelve years old had a backpack on his shoulders with "Air Jordan" hand written on the back. That was fresh (for some reason).


And then this.

Woman: They sayin' now that if you don't have insurance then you gon' have to pay a fee. You believe that?

But, at least were talking about it.


But there's more.

A old man got on the bus who I believe lived in his wheelchair on the street. And we all saw him push his wheelchair to run to the bus but the driver let the ramp down anyway. Then he got on the bus and would not stop talking loud enough for everybody to hear him.

Old man: Ain't nobody on this bus got three dollas they can lend me so I get a burger!? Over at Master Burger they got burger meals for three fifty. I got, um, thirty-eight cents. If one of y'all give me three dollas I can talk my way into a burger meal! I wish Obama was on the bus. He would give it to me. I know he would. Y'all know they have barbecues every weekend at the White House. They have one every weekend. Obama got them white folks eatin' ribs and chicken and everythang else. Is this Adams? This my stop! Before I get off y'all know y'all could just give me a dime a piece then I would have me my burger meal. Y'all gon do it or not.

Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnddd... NOT

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 275 - Prize

The best gift we give each other as human beings
I believe
Is to love enough
To be committed to another one's win
Even when we get nothing

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 274 - Friends

She asked me what the medication was for
I told her in short
I am or have this thing they call bipolar
She held my face in the soft of her palms
Kissed my forehead with the smooth of her wise lips
You are all polar she said
You are a circle
No line
No space can hold you, dear

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 273 - poem 2 - Roaming

I hope you know how good this love is becoming between me and myself
Words we speak now so sweet and easy as sky with wet rain falling
To wash our steps

A poem a day for 2013 - day 273 - Warm. Fuzzy.

Toni Morrison
James Baldwin
Stephen King
Alice Walker





Wrap all this
Over my