Social Distancing

 walking, seeing, listening, sensing, noticing, experiencing, appreciating—being
 from a distance you see me, noticing…my form, my hair, my gear
 not sure of yourself or your feelings (or what you think they should be) you look away
 see—you can do that—only GOD knows what you’re thinking
 I just look straight ahead as I walk toward you, just
 walking—not breaking stride
 thinkin all the while
            as my eyes search for yours
 you still look away as you walk faster—I HAVE MORE REASON TO BE SCARED O’ YOU
 now you should know… “I’s comfortable just as I is” in my skin
 but I’m aware you’re not
 its all over you
 now, only one body length apart, getting closer—close enough to feel my breath
 you do that “thing” meeting my eyes, donning that fake, awkward insipid grin
 that you do
 even with that and me knowing you
 I’m still me
 and as my authentic self

There is a Place

Imagine if you will what it feels like not to belong

To be left out, cast aside, in a lesser place

Have you ever been told that you have to make space? “Why are you here—you’re not welcome?”

Untold sorrow, no hope

The heavy coat you’re wearing looks like “oppression” to me

And the dread of unfulfilled expectations.  “Is that what’s on your head?”

I’ve seen such days a time or two—seen it for more than a few 

People—broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts

They’re all the kind of people I see and work with everyday

Most of them have lost their way…their direction…compass is way off

But then He (the promised fulfillment) rode the brightest star He could find and landed this side of the


Casting aside His Deity He donned a different kind of wrapping to provide a place for the


the misunderstood and shunned


ridiculed and betrayed ones



Lonely they are

like him

It was highly unlikely who would suspect a space made by human hands? Yes





Like us…He knows pain and betrayal and what it means to experience reality

What?!  You think He was happy to be there? His beginnings a breeze?  PLEASE!

You’ve never been to State Fair

And breathed in the fresh funky air of stankin barn animals all around?

I’m sure He probably cried

The strange noises from all the people staring and standing around

I’m sure He probably sighed

But because of Him there is a place

Much closer than Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood…no confusing roundabouts

Here, the weary can come and lay their burdens down

So simple yet profound

Peace not chaos

strength replaces weakness

Hope not despair

love replacing hate

Faith instead of doubt

and a new future will overcome your past

Come have a seat at His banquet table

For even me He set aside a special space I know I don’t deserve

The promised fulfillment

Accessible to all

available for the asking

Never turned away or made to feel some type of way

You belong

because He came






The Worth of Me

the soul
perhaps long ago in a far away and distant land watching the sun set
off the shores of Sierra Leone
I was once made to feel a part, accepted—so long ago, so far away…
But now queries of my mind bringing thrashes and blows “why won’t I ever matter?”
Asking, “how much have you endlessly toiled to do your best”—
only to receive a hard slap of reality..not in a mellow tone
Yes I too like Cullen
Have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth, And laid them away in a box of gold;
just as a sudden gust of wind can snatch your hat off mercilessly revealing your ‘bad hair’ day to the world
what remains is a gut-wrenching sting, boldly exposing, loudly proclaiming the shame
I’m made to feel
though I’ve done nothing wrong to merit your disdain—what remains, left with the pain
And I still have my dreams wrapped in a silken cloth
Laid away in that box of gold
still left with the pain of—
not ever measuring up or making the grade
not ever being accepted as your equal
buried deep in some gold box
the day I witnessed the eruption of a stunning butterfly from a once hideous caterpillar and then I

I have dignity
I have purpose
Dreams unwrapped now, silk cloth adorns my neck
Gold box thrown away

Then and Now

Just as it was then so it is now
In 1669 at the word of the massa
We lived and died
For merely standing up for the right to be free
To simply be what God intended
It doesn’t matter—when you’re only 3/5 real it justifies anything
Cuz everybody knows 5/5 is a whole
So I’m told
It was once law on the books and it grieves me to say
That the same old law is alive and well
“Oh but we’ve come such a long way since then,” you claim
“Look, we’ve got a Black president” you name
But like a dog returning to its vomit
That clean sow to her wallowing in the mud
We’re traveling backwards to them ‘good ol’ days’
And it’s so scary to recognize how little has changed.
Just as it was then so it is now
And because you hopelessly see me as the enemy—I’ll forever pose a threat
Our wheels continue to remain stuck in that mud
Now under the guise of ‘justifiable reasonability’
Another law is passed in 2005
So, today many mo massas is free to kill and
You’re making us board that raggedy ship—see
You’ve put us right back on the auction block again
Just as it was then so it is now

Genuine Article

There’s always been a struggle between me not seeking to be something that I’m not while not being content with where I am
Don’t be confused—I’ll not deal in subterfuge, I simply refuse
To be who I’m not—if I can help it
(laughing) These balled up pieces of paper attest to the many starts and stops of what I’m trying to become
I ain’t dumb, I’m just slow to succumb to the pull of the sublime—those external forces
You call ‘em opportunities, I see ‘em as threats
Trying to form a Mike-Tyson-like chokehold over my mind, body, and soul—the result?
To squeeze the life out of this
Genuine article
I ain’t no brand name, set of pre-established criteria, or prewritten policy—
Believin’ the hype that I must fit a certain type to make it—I’d rather die than try living by fakin it
No matter what my age—I won’t ever “act” it
I’ll still jump hope, dodge y’all, never be yo’ monkey in the middle, duck that noose—I will,
Do the red-light-green-light thing, send over red rover
I’ll be ebonically in tact, while remaining the consummate professional—I wear both hats well
And I look good in ‘em cause I’m a genuine article
Yo those scrap pieces of paper don’t disappear, but frankly the music does because trash is what we hear; we fear to stand out
We vacuum up those scattered dreams and watch life pan out
See people like me come out writing a rated PG13 movie, while you punks sit on hand outs, instead of confining to the hype I reach my hands out to something called success
While the rest of the world continues to deliver me my D-Day
I live the Botox life smiling as if it was my B-day
Carrying on these carry-ons, which expel me from fitting in
Its almost like we should be standing up for something but we’re always sittin in
Well I learned from being around genuine articles
The kind that mind not—never subscribing to the daily grind
Just stop for one second and realize that without ‘em
Non’ you would have a chance to quit the dance, to stop the madness
Like I fight hard everyday to
‘Cause see I’m a do what I gotta do—to thy own self be true
This knowledge can be lethal only if I don’t use it
And like Rosa Parks, Daisy Bates, and Michelle Obama I don’t plan to lose it
You can keep yo’ standard operating procedure, see what it profs ya
Going against the grain is my main thing even if it brings the most pain, I still gain
The satisfaction of knowing I lived like a genuine article
See adversity and misery are close friends of mine, but you wouldn’t understand our relationship’s ride, ‘cuz to you she hasn’t even said Hi
And people be trying to micro-manage my life
By advising one problem—What are you trying to imply?
So when I hear speeches I don’t even reply because obviously pain doesn’t get to them.
But I’ll tell you how I feel about this struggle category?
It’s not a very good war story if you’ve never been to war.  But you’re not poor, you aint even know there’s a war—like those dead bodies in Louisiana before.
So as you blindly follow the previously hunted ducks, I’ll duck the standard and jump over the hype until the end of time
I didn’t mention my entourage diversity also is a good friend of mine
But this isn’t “risqué” enuff for an article because I  am genuine !!

What does it really matter?

What does it really matter?
Put the scope down to the micro level for a minute
Physics 101—matter begins from a bazillion atoms, atoms to elements, elements to molecules, cells—uhm, well….
Eventually exploding into planets, galaxies, the universe,
This exponential matrix of possibilities is too much for the mind to comprehend
I don’t have the time to sit here and think it through—do you?
Just as one atom’s place in the world matters to the universe
So you being unique matter too—oh precious one
You are a seed that has a purpose to fulfill, a life waiting to grow and unfold
See God don’t make no junk and His blueprint has never changed
Every human He fashions is special—that air to His creative flair can ever to be rearranged
You are indeed unique
Most of us go through our day-to-day totally unaware of the invisible barrage of energy caused by matter all around us doing what it do—without it we stagnate
And remain in a state
of inertia, nothing moving, going forth, turning over, nothing..nothing
So it is with all that matters and happens to you, oh precious one
Despite the unexpected obstacles, collisions, and such
Bumps, bombardments, paradigm shifts, it’s all too much
But without it how will you grow, what will you know oh precious one
Just as one atom’s place in the world matters to the universe
So you being unique matter too—oh precious one
You are a seed that has your purpose to fulfill, a life waiting to grow and unfold—
we’re all watching
Even Spring waits with anticipation to see what kind of flower the bud will hold
With a huge sigh of relief she’s not disappointed—a beautiful rose, enfolds
just like you oh precious one
The bumps, lumps, collisions, shifts
It goes that way, it’s called “life,” every caterpillar must struggle or die
That’s how God has planned it for you, I
Know it gets tedious, wearisome, discouraging, disheartening, sad
Sometimes you get just tired and oh so mad
But also fruitful, fulfilling, rewarding, challenging; and the next undertaking
Will always remind you of what the matter is all about, oh precious one
Take your place as a unique vessel and become a conduit that can bring about change
However slight it may be—it will NEVER be insignificant to He
What does it really matter?

Death Be a Rude Dog

Death be a rude dog
He’s like an enemy who act like he gon’ hold the door open for you
Only to let it slam in yo face when you get close enough
And then when you act like you go say somethin’
He quickly retorts, “Yeah, I did it!  What you gon’ com wit”
He always eggin for a scuffle
You’ll find no gentlemen-like qualities here
No holding out yo chair, helping you off wit’ yo coat
No joke—death be aimin to slit yo throat
Yo best bet is to get set, be on the ready and then….
WHAT?!  Forget it!!
How you gon’ get acquainted, have yo guard up against
That invisible slick wicked trickster
Who would have no betta pleasure than to sweat ya
All yo life
He be crackin up laughin at the amount of control he has over you
Consciously or sub—you try to kick him to the curb
The days, weeks, months, and years go by
But as I stated before he aint got no manners
Always be showing up unannounced
Never had no home training
Next thing you know he don’ broke in on fam, robbed yo coworker, and beat down yo friend for no good reason—DANG
Time and time over—many have tried to work with him
Even tried to thwart him—keep him at bay the best way they could—gave it all they attention
Worst part is no matter how good your intentions
Death simply aint havin it
He’s been heard to say, “Its my way or the highway, Ima git paid today!”
You just never know
By now you probly thinkin, “Yeah, there’s no livin with or without him….that’s ol news”
True—and though you aint never gon beat him at his own game
You can flip the script so that the sting of his encounter is pretty lame
God’s son Jesus Christ did just that when he sacrificed Himself for you and me
O death where is thy victory?
O death where is your sting?
As ineffective as a decapitated bee, I see
And because of my relationship with Christ
I have the promise of eternal security
Death is a rude dog, and he always will be
So whatever may be when he roll up on me—
On that unnamed day Ima have MY way
Simply goin to sleep is what’s in store
And my transition forevermore
Will bring me to the sunrise of a new horizon
One I’ve never seen—but hope in
And so death will be dopin
And then I’ll have the last laugh!!!

Untying the Apron Strings

It’s awfully hard and hurts like a bad toothache
to let your children go
No matter how much of a pain they can be
put so much energy into them I forgot ‘bout me
won’t live my life thru them boys
That’s not God’s plan you see
so I loosen the apron strings
and set ‘em free

oh the worry and fear that things could go wrong—my imagination be working overtime
about stuff that will never happen, I think
where has the time gone—it won’t be long
Yeah, the season of apron strings is fast coming to an end
prayerfully they’ve prepared for this cold, cruel world
cause one day they’ll have families of their own
a new set of apron strings for crumb snatchers to grab hold to

for restless ones who wonder in whose hand your future lies

       it’s a left-brain                                                                                     an’ a right-brain thing,

               a dumping of the mind

                 a conjuring of the thots

          that’s why I write                                                                                        that’s why I speak