Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Being Black: being human

Being Black

being human

Being black

What does it mean?
Does it mean being poor? Uneducated? Unsophisticated?
Being black?
Does it mean being second best?
Well in my insecurity, within my sphere
It meant all these things. But why?
How was I made to feel this way?
I’ve come to the realization that
Feeling this way was not self-imposed
No Way!
Being black to me meant, being on the bottom rung
Always hoping,only wishing
So I pretended to be colorless
To live in a bubble and I was secure
But security and insecurity have no shape
No color. No size
Formless. Colorless
Just emotion. Just feeling
Now I know I am somebody
I am someone
I am black.
Wouldn’t it have been a shame if I had died?

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

My Blackness Goes Before Me

My blackness goes before me  

A steady anger burns within me
Welling up from deep. Deep inside 
Three-fifths of a human being
The sacred constitution of theRed, white and blue
 Walking into a room. My blackness goes
My blackness goes
Goes before me 
Those of the majority. Not all
Not few.  But many
Still do not see. See me as human woman
 OnlyBlack. Not as mother
Of a beautiful almond eyed Sepia skinned
Baby girl
Not as graduate of Ivy league: as wife
As I, As Me 
Someone whose life is Just as significant
Meaningful. Purposeful. Beautiful
 Three-fifths of a human being
The sacred
Sacred constitution of the
The red, white, Red, white and blue
Not removed still written inIndelible ink
To be read, perused
Overlooked, excused, invoked 
When I walk in: into a room robed in 
---my blackness precedes me
You see not I, not mother
Not woman, not wife
Just Black
Nothing has changed
So many things locked in 
Racist, classist, sexist
Passive aggressiveness
Intellectual sarcasm, impoverished ignorance
Blatant Alienation. Little has changed
 I am black and living next door
Behind the same white picket fence
Enduring bleached smiles but not with eyes 
A steady anger. Righteous
Burns within me
Welling up from deep. Deep inside 
Three-fifths of a human being
The sacred constitution of the red, white, and blue
Blackness walking: walking into
Into the room before me. They don’t see me.

(published at rhrealitycheck.org and racetalk)

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

Caribbean black living in white suburbia

Caribbean black living in white suburbia

Caribbean black isolated
Living isolated 
In white suburbia,

My white neighbor smiles
But not with her eyes
Hides so as not to speak;
 I accept
To be accepted,
To be liked
To be respected
To be liked?

Yet I am rejected,

Sincere smiles, conversations,

Emotive hand-waves saved for
Those who look

Like her
she is safe
Looking further a field

In white suburbia,

My neighborhood much of

The same
White on white smiling genuine


While rosy cheeked babies

In dew-filled suburban sunlight walk by
But me —
 I am
With my black child
On the periphery
Of some silent club, clan

Cult, alienated, clothed in my blackness

In white suburbia

Looking for a better life, a brighter
Future for my family,

Growing cynical feeling weary,

Tired, depressed, repressed

Don’t want to explain

My dreadlocks,
My thick lips, multi-colored hair
 barrettes, afro-centric apparel,

Cobalt blue Volkswagen Passat

Just don’t
Want to explain
I understand you , try to
Understand me
Holding my pain

Told to ignore

Internalized age-old beliefs, 
as I cause

People to downcast their eyes

As I walk by, people who clutch handbags when in

Black male presence
Told to ignore ‘It’ when I see
‘It’ when I feel
My African-American

---and Sisters

Accustomed to,

Desensitized from
They already know

Will never change
White friends sympathize

Try to empathize

Try to see my side

But unless they 
Feel ‘it’

They can not know

A Caribbean Black

Living isolated in 
In white 
White suburbia
My white neighbor smiles

But not

Not with

With her eyes

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"


Imagine you, just a big eye in the sky
Looking down upon earth's plains
Valleys and mountain ranges;
Earth's people
Tell me, what would you see?

You'd see a world gone awry,
A world gone mad
People fanatically living in a superficial era
Lost but not knowing it,
Confused but not know why.

You'd see hardly any trees just a blanket of smog,
Of grime, dirt and dust,
Joseph's coat blackened by
 Neglect and disregard.

As a big eye in the sky you'd see
Buildings thrusting heavenwards
Sore-thumbs covered in band-aids
Hunger, depravation, deceit and conceit

What can we do to make a change?
How can we find the peace and tranquility
We so desperately seek and need?
The source is within us all

We must turn within and explore our inner beings
Things can change if only each of us
Would take the responsibility
To care for our individual plots in life

So as a big eye in the sky, tell me, what do you see?
Is there hope for us?
Or are we lost?
Totally doomed.


I believe
---believe in
in humanity and that
There is a chance if only we look
Look within.

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"


From Today I rise
From my suspended place
In space now cold, alone
 Not for long
To long floating high
Imprisoned on my lonely isle
High, high in the sky
Surrounded by a sea of fire
Until now unable to leave
Centered, trapped in the middle
No life, no trees, no birds
Just me---an island
Burning; A mere shadow surrounded by heat
Smoke filled environs
Endlessly, tirelessly
No noise. No peace. No light
Only darkness opaque and heavy
Heated tears flowing
But from today: today I rise
No more walking to the edge of
Hot blackened sands with bloodied
Scared feet
Trying too many times only to fail
To leave
 Bound by immovable forces
No more
Today I rise.  I rise
I stand walking naked unaided across beds
Beds of fire
Feet now hardened prepared
To lunge, to Fly, to leap
Like a black bird once broken
 With new wings unfurled
Created from chaos and despair
From today I stand resurrected
I have risen purposeful---determined
With Renewed vision and energy
A clear destination ahead
Through the fires
Through the embers
Through the blue I move unencumbered
Brilliant light as far as my eyes can see
Drizzling then dappling. I can reach. It is not far.

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

I Reclaim

I Reclaim
I stand here now to reclaim
Reclaim my life, my hopes,
My voice. I stand here.
Newly born in metaphorical skin
Once lost not yet fully found but close
I stand here to reclaim
To reclaim my life fully and forcefully
No longer fretful about the past
Rooted. Set firmly in the present
Resolved. I move forward and onward
To a better place
Long embedded but not recognized
Or acknowledged
 Until now
No longer will I mourn
No longer will I regret
No longer will I feel bereavement for
Those things I cannot change
Past mistakes, misconceptions
Failures and shame
I cannot
Memories that pain or bleed
Past missteps
But today and now, yes now
I can change me
So I reclaim all of me
Broken, bitter, resentful, angry
Good, bad and indifferent
I reclaim
I embrace my family newly minted
Family of birth long gone
No power to erase the loses
Death has entered and left me forlorn
Anger drained me of much needed
--- life force
I ask forgiveness
Forgiveness for things I did not understand
From my parents my elders
Those left behind
---hurt in my path
I reclaim
My wholeness, my brokenness
No more am I what is behind
Light has replaced that which was once
Still standing
Head held high I move into
New light
Chin up, shoulders square
Back supple
Ready to rise up to take
For a new generation
A new day
I reclaim
Injustice will no longer keep me chained
I unfetter my spirit willingly from karmic bonds
Forged in steel through the ethers
To dwell in this cleansed vessel
I accept a redefined mission
And purpose
I am home

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

Muse Returned

Muse Returned
You were gone for so long
Now you have returned like a prodigal daughter
---but not unwashed
Suddenly there you were
I felt you re-enter
Starring through my mortal eyes
A sublime moment
My hand reached for pen and paper
As you spoke
Spidery words all in haste
Spilling from my fingers frozen from fear
And angst for far too long
There you were
Flowing and toppling fourth
Through aged enameled tips
Unabashed, untamed, unencumbered
Just like old times
Now you’re here I hope you’ll stay
‘Cause all is lost without you
There is a vacuum
A space
In your place
Emptiness in the stillness
And unaware am I
Until you come back

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

She Told Me

For my Eternal Flower Amaranthia Sepia "AmaSepiaChan"

She Told Me
She told me of
Rainbows in Fields of Yellow
That was the day you came
She told me just today
Back then she was unable to explain
Just 7

She told me 

You were suspended in a
---My word not hers---
Above a field of yellow with trees
Green behind

She told me 

Back then I listened but did not 
Really hear
Until today when you came
Came home to me
You came home to me

She told me

Then I heard muse to muse
We started to talk in a new lingo
A new language 
Just hearing each other fully for the
First time

She told me

We spoke our voices
Rising to outdo the other
Our excitement palpable
Hearts racing 

She told me

Finally I heard am hearing
You have come home
My senses attuned anew
Again to your

She told me

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

Invisible Umbilical Cord

Invisible Umbilical Cord

At birth snipped
Taken away
Never to be seen again
Physical connection to

Unseen though another
That which keeps me still
Tuned into something higher

Realization dawns now
Always being clocked into a
Higher self mortal flesh always
Sidetracked by dysfunctions
Stress and self-absorption

Missed signals always given---
Never being received
Compounded distractions made it
 hard to hear

Never did you leave
It was me---I left
Off to my own reckless tune
Completely clueless

Illusions and disillusions
By a higher source
Deafening me to a
Higher truth a higher reality

But you never
Never left me you
Always there yet I could not
Could not see

Approaching the half-century
Brings wisdom, openness, honest
Allowing me to reconnect

Now I know
I understand
It Is never too late to begin

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

Looking For Me

Looking for Me

I remember reading
Mills and Boons
You know,
Like Danielle Steele?

I remember the woman on the cover
Hair streaming over the arms of
A muscular
White man

White too

I remember how I started to look for me
To look for the little girl
With the braids dotting
Dotting she head
Like the pieces on a

Sometimes I read 4 or 5 books
All in one day
Just looking
Looking for me

The little girl with the braids
Dotting she head
Like the pieces on a


One day it was a redhead with
Green eyes
The next?
A blonde with blue
But never a little girl
Caramel brown
Real chubby and cute
Almond shaped eyes
Soft and brown
Like plump just washed
Lips purple-red like
Fresh juicy plums

I remember
Never finding that little girl

The little girl
With the braids dotting
Dotting she head
Like the pieces on a

Taken from unpublished work "Muse Melodies"

You Inspire Me

A Love letter to my husband Keith David Gittens-Jones

You Inspire Me

The girl I used to be
No more
Would have never seen you
Given you a chance
You were not my type
The woman I am recognizes your
Greatness, your many treasures
I went for glamour and glitz
For popularity
The cool ones---you know
The ones with the hair?
Long or white skinned with
only liked
My body
Rebels who made trouble
Those who never gave but only took
Then you came along
Not trying to dazzle
Showing me there was more
For the first time I was
Attracted to
Substance and quality
To someone who saw me
Not through but
Into and beyond
You shook my world
Made me stand still
Was this real?
You respected me, trusted
You shielded me with your girth
Gave me room to heal and grow
Asking for little
Just my love
Which I learned later
Was really a lot
Unconditional yours still
I learned from you to love healthy
That hurting was not the norm
Not all the time
You taught me trust and about
Believing in something other
Than pain
---my normal
You helped me to reshape and reshine
My world
To learn the meaning of
In my brokeness you stood
By and with me
Absorbing, unyielding
Your strength has sheltered
Supported me
Your love has tempered my haste
My impudence and given me
There is no other who
Could take your place
Now or ever
I honor you
I love you
Without you where
Where would I be?
You inspire me to be better
To do better
My life called out for a person
Like you to save me
And you came
Now it is time for me to
Return the favor by being present
For you in your time of need
I am here

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"

Comin' to 'Merica

Coming to ‘Merica

To tell you the truth was not easy
It started way back
Way back when
When I was a little girl
Way back when I was only
Just 9 or was it 10?
My father traveled
Traveled to the big country
The country I came to learn as
Land of the liberated
I remember how he
Used to send the barrels of clothes
Clothes that when we walked
Walked the street
People would say
‘dem’s American clothes’
And I would strut head up
Like a high falutin Ostrich
I remember reading  books
 ---books ‘bout ‘merica
With pictures showing streets
Bigger than my little gravel roads
And to me
The streets looked like
But you know what?
Let me back track
To tell you the truth
It started way before I was 9 or 10
It really started when I was 5 or 6
And first saw television through our landlord’s
Window with people dress in 3-piece suit
People in ‘merica
That land of the Liberated
Every night I watched
Days of Our Lives
Through the landlord’s
With evening clothes on
Smelling strong of lifebuoy soap
Watching the Bright-eyed one
Through the landlord’s window
With two big eyes curious
Knowing I was coming
Coming to America

Taken from unpublished work titled "Muse Melodies"