Saturday, November 15, 2008


maybe you are
thwarted by an int eruption called "black history"
fussing at me to get home on time
delighted by witty banter
frustrated by my stubborn ways
that refuse to m......m.....move.

maybe that's why I am so scared of you--

inviting me into intellectual adventures
without the fuss
working to build a life beyond the ruin of this

whispering under your breath
what a dang fool I am
praying that I'll hear.


he is the kind that will make pretty babies
and ugly tears

a hulking super man
who still longs for his mama's breasts
after a day of misadventures in manhood

his smile crawls inside spaces that it shouldn't
scurrying inside the empty spaces
between thoughts and dreams
late at night
when I don't want to be bothered

he is
unrepentantly popular
in the most unflattering light

like an undone cookie
smelling rich
but tasting poor

and yet,
despite my better judgement

I fight myself from tasting the batter

Chicago, 2008

Like a sweet fragrance
It rises;
Scorched streets yield transformed trees
Oasis of human hope
Grown in a desert
Bees swoon to the flower of
its harvest height

The implausible garden
Broke the hard earth
drank dark days
And came up spring--

Deliverance dances in the streets
Burning again with the hope we thought had failed us
After being auctioned off at the very steps of the great columns
Of hope itself

We can--

Open tightly held fists
after holding on so long to expose


Given way
To hot prayer, salient desire,
historic hallelujah--

hope unhinged
the earth.

the aftershocks are vivid:
heard beyond the grave, savored beyond the sky
Given beyond the gift
Makeshift tambourines herald
broken silver links
a roaring applause
filled with five generations of prayers

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Communion of Saints

"This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
it is passover in
the heartland
the fruit of faith
the hungry hope
is sweet
of saints
the forgiveness of sins
the ressurrection of the body
a brown body
ripe with flight
of falling freedom
in the wind
of change
decidedly different
The mightly hand of God has
watered the harvest
refreshing forty years of faithlessness
there is not an apology
sweeter to the bruised rib
and the broken limb
take the bread to your lips
and partake in the manna
feast in communion
of the storm that is passing over

Sunday, October 05, 2008

to do you justice (In memory of Officer Brad Moody)

I tried to write words
that could do you justice
but they have failed me

my arsenal is empty
the syllables
the punctuation
the vocabulary lists
all frozen in perpetuity

Simple characters won't do.

I tried to write you words,
words that could explain
could hug, and heal
but with lackluster
they've been arraigned
and acquitted.

Simple characters won't do.

all the dazzling metaphors
falling flakes of new snow
and the sizzling similes
searing like hot hopes
the lovely languid images of lighter days
of a man whom the uniform did not wear
he wore the uniform

I could write about your kind smile
that darkly funny sense of humor
that twinkled in your eyes
that brazenly defiant attitude
that refused to be convinced
by the unconvincing
if only because
you were your own man.

I could write about your
kind heart
the many days that you gave that heart
to others in need of one
the sweetness of a kind act
giving up a day off in the sunshine so that
kids in the Barretts might catch a ray

I could write about your conviction
your passion for
the dreams you carried so tenderly
like a small frog in the pocket of a child
who just discovered its greenness
the pages and pages of notes
taken copiously
as you envisioned Iron Tracks
free of "C' hats, full of basketball games
and old men talking longingly
shooting the breeze about days long gone

But these words, wouldn't do you justice.

Simple characters never do.

What can kind of character can make a word like:

Father, faithful?
friend, fierce?
officer, exceptional?
brother, bonded?

What kind of a word can
warm the hearts of so many just at the mere

And what kind of word is the word brother, really?
Seven short, unceremonious letters
used to describe a man
of simple heart,
but great character.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Tied to the left
Ans strappy
Two toned
And slim boned
Makes the brothers long for home
Makes them shout for joy
these tiny delecacies
massage the earth in circled
Step front step back
Side to side
They whisper warrior
In the click clack
Of the swayed back
Go , sister, go
See sister run
See sister command
Look out, here they come
Wayward ribbons
A perfect witness
Ask the question
Who are you?
And the story better be good.
Cauze I got no time for
Malevolent melodrama
Don’t you see my back zipper
Packing in my power tight?
Don’t you see
The patent on my leather induced adrenaline flight?
Don’t you see the way I hit the arch at its height
Letting em know whatever I come with
I’m promoting
a doggone tough fight?

I’ve walked over run away lovers
And hate filled horrors
And dissapated dreams
And broken hearted blame
To crush the heal
Of my own pain

I can be long stemmed
Or thin rimmed
Wedged or silhoutted
Archetpe arodite
But when my hops shasay
Mama don’t play

I’m blue, magenta, black
I wrap myself around your weary (soled) dream
To adorn almond delight toes
With hues of mango
I am the dancer you can never catch
But always follow
As I give you too tough blues

Cauze no matter where her feet carry her
Everywoman has a pair
Of fighting shoes.

How’s My Driving?

(Written in January 2008)

How are you driving into your new year?

Have you given yourself license to do all the things that you said
You would not, could not do?
Have you made resolutions anew
Or are you still scratching waiting on a clue?

How are you driving into your new year?

Do you imagine yourself rolling in that big bodied Benz that wanted so badly
That you woke up with a four door leather interior taste on your lips
Until you realized it was just your pillow
Are you so focused on the glits and glamour of
Everybody and lodie dottie are doing that
You fail to notice that your license says your vision ain’t 20/20

Are you starving for your soul in the land of plenty?

Hey, How are you driving into your New year?

Have you come up on the bumper of a Sunday driver called Patience
Mad because he won’t get out your way?
Psheww… Was that you I saw you flying down 580
Changing lanes faster than Baskin Robins changes the flavor of the month
riding on rims of sold our dreams just ‘tending to be crunk?

Hey, How are you driving into your New year?

Tell me darling
Are old acquaintances riding with you in the front seat?
Hollering out the passenger side
Telling doubt, fear, jealousy, bitterness and hate they can ride in YO’ ride?

Honey, Who is driving you into your new year?

Did you forget that those signals like

And my favorite, ONE WAY ONLY?

Did you take time from your frenzied automotive flight
To pump your brakes
And hold on tight
As you reached that red light

And a road called the cross?

Did your bring your insurance before you counted the cost
That was paid in full
With a manufacturers guarantee

Or are you with that other insurer

Tell me, how are you driving into your new year?

Are you running on empty
Full of the cheap gas
Of life lived too fast

Are you looking for the living waters
Holyghost octane, spectacular mileage
That will trump your gold gas card any day
And check this out the best thing about it
Is after you pump, you don’t pay?

Who is driving you into your new year?
Look around, go speed racer are all coasts clear?
For you to lean over,
Unfasten your safety belt
Switch seats

And make room for the master.

Is it Well (With My Soul)

Are you alright, baby? Your soul looks sick.

Is it well?
Is it well?
Is it well?
Well is it?

This is the story of how to get free.
Not got free, but bought free
At retail price

This is a story of stumbling through
Transformation with deliverance on your shoulder, sin on your back, and grace at your side

This is a story about having to walk
With humility because pride won’t letchu ride

Is it, well?

This is the story of how a soul got foreclosed upon and sold on the auction block at the court house steps but mercy stepped in and said
Not Guilty!

This is the story of how you slow danced with Regret on Saturday night, while claiming to be looking for Love, and cheating on self respect
Trying to get some re-re-re…reconciliation!

Is it well?


This is the story of how inadequacy keeps calling in those summer winds
And emptiness keeps encouraging you to fill yourself with more of it to keep from starving
And abuse smiles and gives you a little vinegar for your thirst, but patience steps in and does her perfect work, turning all your battle scars into testimonies.

Are you well?

This is the story of
The you that you could be should be
Stuck in the land of improbability
With no phone, and no cents to make a call for help.

This is the story about how you forgot about the calls and started up at the wall cause you never felt so small
Until you heard the Holy Lamb issue a gentle call
Saying, “I’m here.”

Yes this is the story of how we “made it over the rainbow”
While wading in the “some how some ways”
And trudging through the “Get theres”
While looking over the mountain of the men that we believed we are
Wishing on stars made of
Backlight in hallowed
Hallways of dreams we wade
Thinking that because were “intelligently designed”
That we’re somehow self made

Are you grateful every day you wake up knowing you’re saved!
To know that you could be plot number 129 million and one of the 129 million people who didn’t see this day?

A confluence of soul ties
Had been binding you to your entanglement
So thick that a simple comb just wouldn’t do
But someone stroked your hair and pulled the knots until it was soft, flowing and new

You see God doesn’t have to do anything
To be everything
His faithfulness bright as the morning stars
But it outlasts each and every one of them

No explanation needed
No assembly required
No repayments found

I love him because when I looked up,
He looked down

This is the story of how
And it is well, It is well, with my soul.

if all you have is love....

bend gracefully
at the knee
a bowed beauty

giving to everyone but herself
how does she live

on love
in a cavernous glass house
where love is a window
yet the earth is so

in memory

Was watching I-Witness 911, and remembering. I didn't realize how much of my spiritual journey into adulthood was impacted by one act of destruction. I looked over my life and realized how much of where I am now began that day. I can taste the remnant of the memory in my mouth, even now.

If there was no September 11th, I would have never fallen in love, never reaffirmed my faith, never been called my flaws, never broken my heart, never found my calling, never met my covenent partner, never taken my job, never served my God, never found my purpose.

Date: September 10, 2001

laughing with
no knowledge
walking with
no direction
worry without
apathy with
no apology
fragile life with no

We interrupt this regularly scheduled life for a humanity check.

Date: September 11, 2001

but no air
but no tears
but no fire
but no refuge
but no reflecting
but no time
but no healing

screaming, screaming, screaming
no sound.
no voices.
not even my own.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


In memory of the story of David,
a song of mourning, and rejoicing


The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:

::::::::::::::::::: Quiet::::::::::::::::::::::::, then

'This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this, in remembrance of me"


The sun shines on David
a mighty man of battle
a lover of peace who found no rest
except in the still coolness of you

You see,
In the quiet fields of a warrior's heart,
there are twenty three stories

Some of the stories have legs
that get up an walk to places that he has been
and can not go back to
And some of them stories have hands
that carry wounds pain and shame
this one has a name
and it is called

He restores my soul

This man, your servant,
who has slain the insurmountable
dismantled towering generals
has wept unmanly tears,
A small crushed petal of a smaller hand
boy from man

he has been walking through the valley of the shadow of his past
looking for the river Jordan
where he heard that healing could come up spring;
Looking for a right of way in the middle of the fair view

He is walking through past valiant victory
bereft from the flesh that tried so hard to push and crush
the flesh that was Word, and such
from the hole in his heart where he lays
his heart at your foot
swaddled in white linen
that maintains military silence even in the
rain of a great man's bitter tears

a great man of rank, in a small position;
this servant, this man with so much heart

he is magnificently
this man
breath of your breath,
yet so flesh of our flesh
looking for that ocean of quiet that will fill
the cup of wanton rest

lamenting the poor race he has run
knees bent, face bruised and bloody,
dirt caked with latent faith
the small stifled cry
please, don't take my son


that still small voice that was louder than
the resounding footsteps of giants long fallen
that cried out to him in the wilderness
defeated the armies of men and hid him from Saul
and the totality of enemies who saw him crowned king of them all

hope is the patient,
with a poor prognosis
getting fainter and fainter despite constant care

the same sinful bed he undressed her in
is the one in which he now lies, but can find no rest
the same battles he has fought with men who would give their life
and follow him anywhere
have led him to wars without cease
and quiet without peace
no peace
as Uriah's loyalty cries red
against an
unborn hope

all the times that he reprimanded his men,
when he broke rank, out of a crowd of them
Coveting and campaigning for a nagging desire for more

Scripture: Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight?
You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife."

Can a man love with a broken heart
without his love breaking in two
but just when it was darkest,
he felt the warmth of you
a warm breeze on a hellish night,
and he remembers what it is to be a man
in Your sight

You pick up the broken pieces of a man who has fallen
and he stands
you nurse his wounded soul, and tend to his
battered hope
you take the tears that have watered
his anguish and sprinkle them in a pasture
called repentance

you remind him that though he walks,
though he walks, though he walks
and he falters,
he shall not fall

you tenderly massage his
bowed head with
the scent of possibility
that even when a story ends
it begins
an mends

and sends


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil:For thou art with me;Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil;My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Dressed to Impress

That was you, right?
sauntering up to me
With a pseudo concerned look in your eyes
Looking for water in the valley of the dried pride

Telling me, "Now I know you’ll never be a superstar
But it would suit you well to raise the bar."
"Come," you say, "I
must tell you this
I just don’t believe that your wardrobe preference fits
My preferred style of appropriateness."
"Or maybe," you said, "If you just did your hair like this
You'd be a few inches closer to a yard
closer to the woman that I see fit.

Besides, as we can all see your material is coming up short."

That was you, right?

And poking and
Picking and the prodded and picked
About how I wasn’t that and I wasn’t this

Tried awfully hard to make me believe
I wasn’t presentation worthyof gifts already received
words you spitIn my face
Erudite flight of syllables through
time travel

Fists that used to make my brown eyes blue
When my abusers said, “Who would ever want you?”

I stand at the crossroads
Wondering which train will come first
Valley or height

But wait a minute, I see something………That was you, right?

Standing there coquettish
Leaned to the side
Tempting every bit of me to clench my fist and let you ride?
Thinking you’ve been diligent in duty cauze you've done a good thing
All the while .......coveting
Everything I’ve been conditioned to believe
Nobody would ever want
From me

See, sometimes the attack is a sprint, not a jaunt
in the deep abyss of varicose want
that keeps on peeking through, no matter what they do...

Blisters break the blessings
And blessings breaks the skin
And the skin opens up on contact
And the contact build a callus
So that no matter how many stings and arrows the enemy throws
You never lose your balance

Out of your mouth insert a size nine knock off Prada
capable of attempts to tear down those in your path in leaps and bounds
so talented...
Not far behind are a renegade band of dirty verbed outlaws
All designed to make me pause
For your cause

Apple red lips perch and pitch
rouge insecurities
with no liability accountability or responsibility
hoping for a home runbut still hitting foul

No one said anything about the many different times
That as the object of your despise
I protected your six
And your seven, and eleven
While you were hitting me on my three
Wishing you were on my five

Smilin' all up *in* my twelve

That was you, right?

Well then,
You must have mistaken me
For someone who took up a hobby of
Dressing to impress you
Dressing to upset you
Whispering words of weaponry
An object of disrespect for you to be

Hoping against hope
Praying against faith
Betting against love
Forgetting that Sunday school lesson:In my Father’s house
He takes all
So instead of saying eff you
I say bless you
Forgive them Father for they know not what they do

Quite apparent you haven’t a clue
About what a real sophisticate student haute couture style can do
When you focus on the inside instead of the outside of you

That was you, right?

And in case you forgot,
The clothes don’t make the woman,
The woman makes the clothes,
And because I am a woman
I won’t undress your shame
I will address you as a woman who knows From whence she came
I will give you the dignity I wasn't afforded
and call you by your rightful name

I will dress you with love
I will dress you with peace
I will dress you with hope
I will dress you with patience
I will address you with gentleness
I will dress you with class
I will dress you the way God dressed the lilies of the fields
Solomon’s beauty in all its splendor Could not surpass

I will dress you with kindness
That you must have never knownI will dress you
with the blood of the lamb who hung on the cross
That didn’t think it uncouth to be caught dead in A bloody loin cloth

I will address you as a human being,
that deserves to be treated with respect
because that’s what I wear when I’m dressed to impress

Friday, March 21, 2008

audacity indeed

in the shadow of an unborn hope
is possibility
black and looming
running from the past
past, past, past
but is it really?

behind the pulpit
and the pews
sit men of God
different hues
different views
different shoes
but one faith
and one baptism

'membering how Jesus wasn't a brother
til he'd risen


the audacity of a hope
that lasts
beyond the last porch light
in a world that is content
with darkness

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Hey baby,

I heard about your new life
shiny, brand new and tight
the life you breathed to dream
but didn't mean to
you inhaled only to calm your raging lungs
red with screams
of too little air and space

but look atcha
now you walkin' like you own the place
And maybe you're scared that a tinge of hate may be
sitting on my shoulder?

Well, baby, I'm happy for you.

not because what went down wasn't foul
but because when it all comes rolling down
and time stands still
in unrequited moments
I could be one bitter witch
and scratch that itch
to tell you all about yourself,
but who would that help?

above all, I am about results,
so resultingly,

I want peace more than I want resolution
and I want release more than I want attachment
and despite everything

I want your happiness
more than I want you.

I made it a policy
never to attach myself
from somebody I couldn't extract myself from

and you're case study number one.

And if that sounds cold
understand if I made in my eyes
a dream that lived or died
with out my hero by my side
God forbid the hellish end I'd live

It was my bad to recieve my cleave from
those that merely breathe
air and eat seed
and return to dust
just to satisfy my lust
for a few words
like "I love you."
when I didn't even love me.

I made it a policy never to attach myself
to someone I could not extract myself from

but ah, what has become of the one
who only knew the moon then saw the sun
and now I run because it seems no matter how hard
i try to shake this feeling, it is there

and so I've learned to accept the things
I believed I couldn't bear

I'v got a part of you in my skin
and I can't begin to tell where
I start and you end

so instead of ripping myself stitch by stitch
I've learned to be a quick mend

and I can live without you
while loving you
enough to let you go

so, congratulations, baby

I am truly happy for
the music in your eyes
the smile in your step
and the laughter on your lips

even if I didn't put it there
Even if I never see it
even if I never know it
ever again

forgive me my faux paux
I'm learning
to mend

Friday, February 01, 2008

joy accept the things that I cannot change
change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference

I close my eyes and say a little prayer
hoping that after ripping heartache
my laughter is still there

And for the life of me I cannot figure out how
I let loose conversations and practical conversions
distract me from my joy

Where is my joy?
did it wander away from me
panic sticken with separation anxiety
or was it just longing to be free
from someone who no longer paid it any attention?

in the inner eclipse of time
I find myself sitting out too many nights
standing in front of the sun
blocking my own light

spoiling for a 1,2 fight

getting sucker punched by life

why you always in trouble to be in a hurry?
barely kissing 30

selling out late night dreams
to turn in early

fit to be tied to a life
that you don't really want and can't afford

playing one upmanceship on a rigged board
betting on park place
but living in leftover lane

unwittingly outgunned
unaware it's all the same game

but tonight I'm going to look my life in the eye
and tell it thank you
gonna look myself in the mirror and say
I forgive you

gonna look my joy up
in the directory
and tell it I've got your number
and I'm coming to get you

I'm coming....