Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the Queen and King who lost their crowns

For The Queen who lost her crown when she saw others frown
Cause they thought she was too brown

For the Queen who lost her crown who never learned to say no
Because her uncle taught her how to blow at the age of ten
And now she only knows how to bend cause her momma never told her how mend
Her broken soul and hymen

For the Queen who lost her crown she was taught the measure of her womanhood was her ability bake a cake and shake her thing or at least swing into to the beat of someone else’s drum

For the queen who lost her crown she stopped her healing dance cause her mounting bills put her in a trance that could only be broken by hope but the street preacher said dope would get her right and since the panthers were out of sight she believed this clown’s hype

For the Queen who lost her crown when she fell down after being disillusioned by capitalism and sexism and classism and racism and every ism that decreased her space and took her place o think beyond the kitchen sink

For the Queen who lost her crown she she doubted the existence of God because she got caught up in the fog of self pity not realizing that Jehovah is the key

For the Queen who lost her crown when she forgot the sound of her own name and decided to play someone else’s game but letting him drive her insane till she accepted the rain of fists on her face as well as his intrusions in her sacred place

For the Queen who lost her crown when at the age of fifteen she ceased to put any hopes in dreams cause she thought having babies and beepers was the scene

For the Queen who lost her crown when she started believing the lie that she was too fat so her best bet was to hide in the back to silence her song and just go along with the flow of any joe willing to grace her space with his presence or lack thereof

For the Queen who lost her crown when she started modeling herself after material demons who only seek wealth

And what about the Kings

For the King who lost his crown when his father could not be found to show him how to stand and be a true man
For the King who lost his crown when he discovered the mentality of his reality made him want to die and he realized the only time he was confident he could fly was when he was high

For the King who lost his crown with the socialization of the system got him lost in special education

For the King who lost his crown when he was taught the measure of his manhood was in the rawness of the rhymes and the number of times he could make fine women scream by the fright of his dark night or the delight of his horizontal sunlight

For the King who lost his crown when he saw the lost Queens frown at the fact that he didn’t carry pagers as he stood amongst the minimum wagers at the not so golden arches

For the King who lost his crown when he was disillusioned by the belief that men with guns control all the fun so his best bet was to get one

For the king who lost his crown when he was forced to kneel before stepfathers, cousins, and brothers, and now finds comfort in the furs around his neck that help to keep his pain in check

For the King who lost his crown when affirmative action ended and he had to join his kindred in the state penitentiary where he now sits all day and dreams of a way to move on to a deluxe apartment in the skies

For the King and Queen who lost their crown
Don’t look so down
Your crown has not been erased
It is only misplaced
The angels ancestors still remember who you are
They’ve seen your true place among the stars
So just be still and look within
The Most High has already begun to mend
Those broken places and fill in those empty spaces
Stop living below your potential and put back on your crown
It’s time for you to soar again
For your home is not the ground

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holy Night - A Christmas poetic reflection

The Bible says that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning
Powerful things happen at night
The Bible says that in the beginning God stepped out on space and darkness covered everything
Supernatural things happen at night
When God made people of African descent, God created us sun-kissed
various hues but all reflections of the beautiful earth and the night sky
awesome things happen in the night of God’s creation
and so we gather to celebrate not just the beauty of night
but one night in particular
a holy night
a miraculous night
a sacred night
it was night like none other
a night where bright stars shone in the sky
a night that beckoned the spirits of shepherds and wise men alike
it was a night when a virgin was about to give birth
it was a night when an engaged man was watching for the transformation of his family
it was a night when God was standing on tip top and the Holy Spirit was dancing through space
it was a night, a holy night
where even barn animals were singing their praises and rocks were crying out holy, holy, holy
it was a night that would be remembered by the enslaved as they dreamed of emancipation
a night that would be preached about in store fronts and palaces
preached about in prisons and in Sunday schools
a night that would be taught from generation to generation sitting around dinner tables
even on nights when there was barely any food to eat
it was a night in which the son that was born represented a re-birth for us all
the son that was born represented the promise that we could all be re-born
that we could all start again
the birthing, the pushing, the labor of one woman changed the world
blessed Mary, mother of God, we remember you on today and all those mothers, grandmothers, and church mothers who have not forgotten how to birth, push, and labor for the children of God
faithful Joseph who did not turn back, we remember you on today and all those fathers, grandfathers, and church fathers who have not forgotten to show up, provide, and mentor for the children of God
holy Jesus, Savior of the world, we remember you on today, you who remind us that from night comes day, from valleys come mountains, and from simplicity comes the miraculous
it was a night, a holy night, a good night, a great night
and because of that night each of us have a guaranteed opportunity to walk in the light of God’s mercy and God’s grace
holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty
Heaven and Earth are full of thy glory
Glory be to Thee, O Most High
Good night, holy night

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I am because they are

I am my mother’s daughter
We stand in closets
Communing with the Holy Spirit
Startling saints with our sensuality
Filling streets and sanctuaries with our Roars
Keeping mysteries and secret behind fire eyes and brilliant smiles

I am my father’s daughter
Quietly jumping off balconies onto pulpits
Leading rallies by night
Soaking is silent thought by day
Ears listening to the wind then riding it through storms
Still waters running deep
Loving people as much as the Word

I was born risk-taker
My father used to lay in the street in the 50s
Playing chicken
Not wanting to be the first to roll away from on-coming traffic
He used to ride bikes through whites only neighborhoods
Eat at whites only counters
And protest the white house with me on his shoulders

When I ask my mother how she flies through such dangerous skies
She says “I never think about the alternative - staying on the ground.”
She soars to places where clouds of religious ritual and clouds of spiritual discipline unite
Where clouds of Africa and the Diaspora unite
Where clouds of vision and reality unite
I am my mother
We speak fire
Walk drum beats
And dance with God

I am my father
We are masterful griots
Telling our stories like oak trees
We are supreme owls
Seeking to see our people’s reality especially at midnight
We are students of midwifery
Spending our lives helping others breathe and give birth

My mother’s memory is in me
Memories of NY projects and United Nations diplomacy are in me
Memories of trading perm for afro puff are in me
And memories of being equally comfortable in mini-skirts and flowing dashikis are in me
But memories of surrender – not in me
My father’s memory is in me
Memories of Baltimore Jim Crow and DC’s march on Washington are in me
Memories of redemption sermons and revolution speeches are in me
But memories of being a follower – not in me

My parents’ pen flows through me
Their prayers hold me up
Their love – the wind beneath my wings
And their human mistakes reminding of the possibility of resurrection
For the spirit in them did not begin with them
It reaches back to southern plantations
It dances across the middle passage
It pre-dates the point of no return
It resides in the rhythms, textiles, genius, soul of a Continent
It runs through empty tomb and Calvary Cross
It runs in the wilderness and the garden
It was present at the beginning of the beginning

I am daughter of John and Cecelia
I am daughter of Africa and America
I am daughter of Alpha and Omega
I am daughter of legacies that must be passed on
I stand on invisible shoulders holding tip toeing children over my head
I take my place in this chain
Having the same faith as my ancestors
That those who come after me will transcend me
Not forgetting me but carrying our legacy to altitudes beyond our reach