Necessary

NECESSARY

I think I’ll write a poem that speaks epic truth, tonight
It doesn’t matter if you tend to lean left or lean right
Politics aren’t helping us, the gap is greater in-between
We need to stop fixating on whose King or who is Queen

We need to shift the focus to what matters, that’s for real
We need to stop the spinning and start breaking culture’s wheel
Martin wasn’t joking when he wrote that brilliant line
The story’s great, sure, but a grander message lies behind

Nothing’s stronger than a thread that’s woven one and all
But if you try to weave it on your own you’ll sadly fall
History has proven this, it’s not news to anyone
The ink in this here pen I wield weighs more than your big gun

Every life we live is shaped by minds that can run free
And if we came together just imagine what could be
Forgiveness, empathy, this is what we need
And we ever grasp these things our whole planet will be freed

Fire doesn’t put out fire, its ego you should bury
Someone had to say it, right? These words are necessary.

These Things Matter

In his right hand sat a rifle, pointing at his kin

In the other there was powder, and it was meant for him

Turn the clock back and these two brothers who had played

Never would have seen this coming as they grew and aged

 

What is it that we need? Why must we always fight?

When instead we could be ironing our differences at night?

You know that it’s a feeling, and you know I feel it too

I can’t explain the things I see or things that people do

 

What is it that you’re thinking?

What is it that you’ve seen?

My brother, please don’t let the world get

Caught up in between

 

Every struggle, I have seen it

Every loss, I shall regret

But you and I are here now

And our cause we can’t forget

 

Listen to the violin, its strings are being played

Freedom wasn’t given, there was blood when it was paid

Do not forget the ones who wept to make this sacrifice

Because today we need a way to get back what is right

 

In my right hand sits a pencil, I point it at my kin

If I could write that things are right, you know I would give in

It hurts to know that I can’t though, this world is split in two

And I shall fight until it’s right…because she’d want me to

Oh, Kay! A Boss’s Birthday Poem

I hope she knows that she’s the best

But if she don’t, let me attest

Smooth and classy as Bordeaux

She’s chiller than an Eskimo

 

Such a boss but still laid back

She’s so elite: just read the plaque

That hangs above her office door

Though she would put it on the floor

 

Awards and trophies might impress

But that’s not what this boss calls success

She wields it well: authority

By having the right priorities

 

She cares for all and does things right

So folks can sleep in peace at night

She cares more for integrity

Than cash, for her advice is free

 

A better catch you will not find

Not boss, not friend, or other kind

Any hats in life to wear

She’ll put on tight with love and care

 

So thank you Kay, for being you

You really are the best, it’s true!

Pyramid

Pain

It fills my veins

Evades the remedies

Reaches all my extremities

A life of love so temporary, I allude

I opt instead for darkness, and solitude

Pen and pad are all I want, they’re all I need

Though I try to hide the pain, each day I grieve

Search for calm and peace of mind, a still reprieve

It will not matter now or then, the things that I achieve

The only thing that matters is creation, look and see what I did

Read and read and keep on reading, at the end you’ll see – my Pyramid

My Dog, the Cat

There is but one thing that I wish

That way back then, I’d bought a fish

Let me explain, it wont take long:

They know which species they belong

My purpose for this poem, I’ve used

Is just to rant, for I’m confused

I could’ve sworn I bought a dog

As time goes on, it seems I’m wrong

Its not that he’s evil, it isn’t like that

Its just that he acts…well, he acts like a cat

And don’t get me wrong, I mean cats are alright

Its just that they suck out your soul every night

But back to my “dog”, he’s a weird one you see

Like sometimes he sits there and just stares at me

No telling what things might go on in his head

Since he thinks like a cat, likely wishes me dead

And that’s just the start, when he lays on the couch

He sits on the armrest, just like all the cats slouch

One day when I fed him, he like a cat threw a fit

He just scoffed and walked off, said “who eats this shit?”

Its all just a shame, he was such a good friend

But now all he does is just raise his rear end

I guess I’ve no choice, I’m being forced to adjust

I just hope it’s a phase, cause this “cat” I don’t trust…

No I Say

You want an album? No I say

Cause I don’t rap, not any day

I just write, my words they say

Enough for you and me today

 

I get it, all these things I write

They make sense when you read at night

This world is filled with hate and fright

And reading lends a small respite

 

But when will this all change, I ask

Cause fixing this is my one task

I know I’m not the only one

Who wants to rise and get it done

 

I guess I’ll have to wait and see

And keep on writing, fervently

To change the world, its hard you see

No gun I need, just poetry

Don’t Wait

Oftentimes, I’ll look to see

The person looking back at me

Watching through a hazy lens

At who that strange reflection is

 

Staring forward, several blinks

Is he the person that he thinks?

Does he do the things he speaks?

Is practice coming from the preach?

 

My eyes still glare, this man ahead

I’ll wonder what, that day, is said

Right now I live, and yet I dread

What memory, of me when dead

 

What mark have I bestowed upon

The family that I belong

I hope they say, when I’m a thought

That happiness is what he brought

 

Improved the lives, of all the men

The girls and kids, the children

For life is but a journey, yes

We walk and run, we talk and dress

 

We do the things we love to do

To make ourselves enjoy the dew

Every day, a precious gift

So smile wide, and heart uplift

 

This path is short, don’t waste your time

Just search and search until you find

The purpose you’ve been looking for

Unlock and open passion’s door

Free

Sitting, gazing, pondering

Watching, waiting, wondering

What things do others think at night?

What lights turn on, when shining bright?

 

Some will think of gentle breeze

Blinding true priorities

Truth is veiled, this life of fun

As fear resides behind the gun

 

Condemn them not, instead envy

And long for their reality

To think the things we wish to be

This mind, it pains and torments me

 

The words I write cannot express

But for my sake I shall digress

Question all, its not a sin

Your truth, the real, comes from within

Titans of Industry

I hope the salary pleases

I hope the suit’s a good fit

I hope that big house makes you smile

‘Cause you sure made a racket of this

Developing poison to make us feel good

Exploiting weakness whatever the cost

Researching drugs that just take the edge off

Hooking them in and then leaving them lost?

Go on, count your money

Get on that corporate flight

How the hell can you live like that?

How do you even sleep at night?

This is no joke, suit

This question is real

My own Mom smoked her whole life

From I guess all the stress Dad would deal

I watched and observed through my whole life

How it hooked her and gripped her all day

The smoke would stain my clothes, and

There was always a relapse at bay

Is that what you dreamt of when little?

To be a big leader of biz?

To make all this money supplying

These things that make orphans of kids?

Sure, we all make our choices

That, I’ll willingly concede

But look at that reflection in the bathroom

Is that what you wanted to see?

Think about it. No, really

Actually think

Take another look in that mirror

And then look down to the sink

Raise that gaze up again

Are your eyes all teary and pink?

If they aren’t, then I’m sorry

No reprieve, Elizabeth

These people are empty, a coffin

For all they’re creating is death.

Unsung Heroes: Our Black Brothers & Sisters

In the midst of another era of racial and socioeconomic tension, America finds itself yet again divided. Its still to be decided as to how things will play out, but if one thing is for certain, its this: things must change. Folks are going to have to start getting along, or these violent riots and protests are going to rip our nation apart.

There is something lingering, however, that I think needs to be addressed. In my discussions with people on all sides of these issues, I’ve noticed that there is a certain degree of doubt as to how much our society and culture has truly benefited from the contributions of black Americans (and other minorities). While most people I speak to don’t come from the standpoint of looking down on minorities, many do seem to neglect certain contributions they have made, whether intentionally or not.

In light of this, I have decided to put together a list of some great people of color who, throughout our history, have impacted us all in a positive way. Some you may not have heard of, and some you may know quite dearly. The point is to illustrate how important we ALL are in our human quest to create a loving, inclusive society. There is no shortage of white characters who have received recognition, we all know that. So hopefully, by highlighting some of the others, the folks who still seem to foster the “white supremacy” opinion will take a harder look at the reality of this world we share. We’re all trying, people. Love each other – it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

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Many people don’t know this, but GWC, a freed slave turned brilliant scientist, was a monumental influence on Vice President Henry Wallace. Wallace, a farmer from Iowa, used GWC’s ideas to enormously boost corn production during World War II, filling increasing needs of our exploding economy.

BASS REEVES

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Bass was the first black US deputy Marshall West of the Mississippi. He basically destroyed outlaws and was an overall bad-ass, for want of a better term. He caught all the bad guys, and even killed 14 people in self defense. Keepin’ all them white folk safe!

BUFFALO SOLDIERS

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The Buffalo Soldiers was a term used for many regiments of black American soldiers who fought in many wars, originating in the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army in 1866. The term came from Native Americans, who thought their hair resembled that of Buffalo hair. They contributed to many great American victories, and served valiantly for their country. The term was used loosely by some to describe all black soldiers, but the history here is important to know. Many of our victories would never have been possible without the brave efforts of what many referred to as the “Negros Cavalry”.

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

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Many have probably heard of these fellas, as there is now a big Hollywood movie about them. These guys were the first African American Air Unit in WWII, and went on many selfless missions to fight the good fight. Lot of great sub stories in these guys ranks, too. Check em out!

JOHN ALBERT BURR

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Anyone know a guy who owns a landscaping company? I sure do. Lots. And they can all thank Mr. John Albert Burr for pretty much inventing modern lawn mowing and paving the way for profits! That’s right, you’re looking at the man who invented the rotary lawn mowing blade – U.S. patent #624,749.

PERCY JULIAN

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Percy Julian was one of the most important scientists of the 20th century, making great discoveries in the fields of healthcare, with a focus on synthetic compounds. His work far exceeds my intellectual prowess, but folks should know that many of the compounds we enjoy today in the field of medicine were made possible by him.

ELIJAH MCCOY

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Elijah McCoy was an inventor. A thinker. An innovator. Throughout his life, he made trains more efficient,  improved oil rigs, and even honed steam engines. He was a brilliant man, capable of some of the most efficient thought from an engineering perspective. He even invented a movable ironing board to help make ironing-on-the-go easier. You’re welcome, ladies.

LEWIS LATIMER

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Lewis Latimer was paramount in further perfecting the light bulb. He led efforts installing electric plants in cities such as Philadelphia and Montreal. Without him, the incandescent bulb might not be what it is today. Thanks Lewis!

ROSA PARKS

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Rosa needs no introduction. The only thing I want to say here is that I bet she made the best neighbor EVER. You know, the one who’s always making sure the kids are behaving and aren’t doing anything stupid? Making sure they all got their homework done and came in before dinner time. I imagine that’s how Rosa was. A sweet, nice, lady who stood up (or in this case sat down) for what’s right. We need more of her.

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Now, I could go on and on and on and on with this, but this is the point, in case anyone’s missed it. All of these people did things for the greater good, not for one side or the other. They never berated other people, they just uplifted folks. That’s the direction we need to be moving, everyone. Forward. Up. Not backwards, or down.

A good question to ask yourself if you’re considering making a move in this game of life: what direction will this push people in?

The Best Boss’s Birthday Ballad

Today is the day on which we celebrate the birth

Of the greatest, kindest boss that’s ever walked the Planet Earth

I sit here as I think of all the others who have lived

And wonder how best describe her? Easy: adjectives!

Amazing, awesome, adored, brilliant, bombshell, best,

Coolest, calmest, candid, demonstrably well-dressed

Fearfully ferocious foodie, gifted, giving, great,

For ages I could go on; there’s just so many traits!

So on today we say this, to our beloved boss Miss Kay

From deepest hearts we thank you, and HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY!

How I Write

The hours late

I close the gate

My shutters, clasp and lock

 

I ring the bell

Fill my inkwell

And glance, toward the clock

 

An evening chill

It greets my quill

As letters join, to words

 

The only sound

Which can be found

Is chirping, of the birds

 

My thoughts now drift

Away, they lift

As dim, I fade the light

 

Now ideas flow

My stories grow

For this, is how I write

Happy Birthday Shannon!

To our beloved co-worker

shannon

 

Shannon, oh Shannon, where goes the time?

Are you seriously entering year thirty-nine?

I think it’d behoove you to look and go see

If your card has arrived from AARP

Today marks a day that we all often fear

For every birthday adds yet one more year

Not all that bad when we turned twenty five

When nights would run late, we still felt alive

Now our old bones are starting to ache

When nine rolls around we can’t stay awake

But for you, my dear Shannon, at this time and stage

I can say with all truth you look half your age

Like the fanciest cheese; a sweet fine French wine

Your beauty increases and grows lovely with time

So today let’s rejoice and enjoy added worth

As we celebrate this wonderful day of your birth

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!