Don’t Let Staying Woke Drive You Mad

Self-care is primary in the revolution.

Don’t let being woke make you go mad. I know, I know. Being woke is a problematic term. It implies that people can be asleep, and for Black and Brown people, I’m not sure that’s completely true. And yet, there still is a stark difference between before you were motivated to take action in social justice, and after. But what people don’t really talk about is how painful that awakening can be. Which is why self-care has been so important in this movement. Continue reading “Don’t Let Staying Woke Drive You Mad”

A Vigil for Barry Lee

On the tail end of the original Baltimore Ceasefire weekend, a man is killed in West Baltimore

During the reading of the names at the end of the Baltimore Ceasefire weekend, Barry Lee’s name was the last to be read. His mother requested we attend his vigil in West Baltimore.

We later discovered he had been out to Cease Fire events.

We gather, slowly, a combination of family and Baltimore Ceasefire members to remember Barry Lee.
We gather, slowly, a combination of family and Baltimore Ceasefire members to remember Barry Lee.
More family arrive for the vigil, spelling out Barry Lee’s name in candles.
More family arrive for the vigil, spelling out Barry Lee’s name in candles.

Continue reading “A Vigil for Barry Lee”

Waking Up During a Wave of White Supremacy

Don’t ask Black people for more.

This morning I woke up to videos of white supremacists marching with torches.

Last night I attended a vigil for someone who died in segregated Black Baltimore.

The white supremacists in Charlottesville are literally marching to keep places like Black Baltimore, and other economically starved areas of the country, the same. Continue reading “Waking Up During a Wave of White Supremacy”

Never Forget

Illustration by me. Sometimes I draw.

9/11

The government asks us to remember this day, to memorialize it with hashtags and news articles and statues and vigils and sermons and moments of silence, but it dictates what part of the truth we remember. We’re called to remember the police, the paramedics, and the firefighters that put their lives on the line. We give a moment of silence to the thousands lost in the towers that fell, the Pentagon that was hit, and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. We’re asked to remember the pain and suffering of those who died, to never forget the trauma our nation endured, and to take pride in the resilience we have as a nation against terror.

And those are good things to remember. But some of us remember some other things that happened on this day.

Continue reading “Never Forget”

Star-Crossed

Star Crossed

May 13, 2003

My first poetry submission.

I am not a professional poet, so; if my beat is off, my grammer is bad, and it’s too sing-songy… I’m very sorry.
Those aren’t exactly my goals when I write this. I write this because I have to. If I kept it inside, I would explode. People are cruel, and I don’t need any more reminder of this if that is what is going through your head. (I will probably respond with another poem anyway… :) (Smile) )

If you ARE an english person (English isn’t exactly my first language) and would like to HELP me, do it by private messages. But don’t rip me up here.

Now; about the poem.

This was written at a very rough time in my life, I was in dismay as my first love completely abandoned me. I appeared to take it all in stride at first, so as to protect her feelings, but this poem showed how hurt I really was inside.

One heart cannot make it alone
Time and time it’s proven again
Feelings renewed when you’re gone
When you feel it should be the end

Even though I realized
The heartache was from you,
I just couldn’t let go
I just couldn’t turn back
I just couldn’t start anew,

Because you broken off a piece of my heart,
And made it a part of yours
Instead of both of us sharing one heart,
You seem to end up with more.

When somebody falls in love
Their hearts must be shared
But if one doesn’t get enough,
That means the other doesn’t care

[interlude]
For me it seems
That you ripped at the seams
And tore at the roots
what might have been

In my case you lied
In this you hurt me
Your words cut like a knife
and tears bled from me

I gave you a heart
Already cracked and scarred
And although you didn’t know it,
You drew tears from eyes once starred

Do you know what’s it’s like
To cry because your heart aches
Do you know the feeling of pain
Every time my heart breaks

I looked at my friends
They only added the pain
Every one of them was happy
They only brought it up again

They were all together,
And had been more than I could count
They said “How is it a guy like you
Could be for so long love without?”

[endlude]
You once called me star-crossed
Now I call myself soul lost
Because you feel the price of love
Is too high a cost.

Back Once Again

Back Once Again

June 7, 2003

This was written when I was loosing my almost ever-present bouyant personality. It seems strange now, how the person who betrayed me the most boosted me the greatest. I’m forever indepted to her, and yet she hurt me so badly…

Stories for other times.

The poem is a reminder for me now, whenever I’m feeling down, or if I’m loosing my grip. I reminds me not to focus so much on the opposite sex, on stuff, on money, on other people. One simple advice always lifts my spirits: Look Up.

The silence rested in me
I had peace once again
Chaos blinded with the ragged leaves
Brought me to the inevitable end

I released the grip
I ceased to trip
My heart released it’s hold on my ribs and sank back to rest
The storm blew me away

Out of the darkness by the nape of my neck I was flung
Into hurricanes of light
At wonder I looked around and then at myself
And then cringed at the awful sight

I saw the worst things one could imagine
As I stood alone in the air
The light blasted through my soul
and behind me left a filthy shadow hanging there

I looked over
She pointed up
He took my hand
He filled my cup

With ripping iodine
And a searing pain
He scraped away the filth
And flushed it down the drain

“You’re free”
He said, with a gentle smile
I curled and sighed softly,
My timbers shaking as I did

“Just remember that you are not the maker of your gifts” He said with a stern but forgiving smile
And once more my eyes for the millionth time opened their lids

I ventured out into the well-known space
Knowing all too well as I did
the instability of my own footsteps
could only be sure if I stood in the same place He did.

Could I steal you from myself

Could I Steal You From Myself

June 19, 2003

Last night I had a dream that was too real for me to handle. It took over my entire being, and engulfed me in a longing for that dream to simply be true.

It might be, given that 85% of my dreams turn into Deja Vu.

….unless I talk about them….

Last night, I dreamt Caroline walked up me, and pressed a note into my palm. IT was thick, many sheets folded many many times. It was scented, as her letters always had been. Not purposely, of course, that was just way she smelled.
I knew immediately it was a dream, not because of the emotion I was getting from her (I usually wake myself up from revulsion if I have dreams about her loving me) but because of mental imagery that kept flashing up.

A sequence kept playing over and over. We planted a small tree together, by a small brook. She rips it up, and walks off. I sob over the ruined tree for a while, and then lift it up and walk slowly away. She eventually returns and looks at the hole in the ground where the tiny tree once stood.

This played over and over; a dream within a dream.

I slid open the letter, and read the first few lines. It was heartfelt, not simple, not flippant. It was the Caroline I knew.
She looked deeply at me, and apologized. It was so strong, I almost forgave her immediatly. I couldn’t contain the emotion, turned away, and told her I would read it. She departed, leaving me clutching the letter.

Then I woke up.

I sat in the dim morning light, looking at my hands where moments before I had the letter that would have given the answers to all my turmloil. It was gone. I could still feel the paper on my fingers.

I could have at that point fallen back to sleep and began to read the letter. But I held back. I don’t want to live in a fantasy. All I wanted was real love.

The dream hit me so hard, I checked out some old poetry I had written for her.

Under the sparkling bridge
I wondered to the stars
Could I steal you from myself?
Could I really go that far?

What if I could meet you all over again
See you from a distance and move to be your friend
Begin a relationship with the hopes of never end
And then give as much love as I have within me to spend.

What if I could see your eyes for the first time filled with joy once again
When I told you it was only you that I adored
And what if I could see your smile brand new again
The first time I ran ahead and caught the door

What if I could taste the first kiss on your cheek again
And look into you eyes during a starry night hoping it would never end
What if I could receive once more the letters that you the first time send
What if I could find all over, my first found, best found, always friend.

I love you enough to steal you away
From myself so I could love you all over again
And if I could have my own way,
I would keep you happy and each moment would never end

But now when I look into your eyes
And I hear the sound of your voice
And how all the little moments added up to this

And how each hug grew stronger, each short moment grew longer, And I realize that this is something that I could not miss

Because the present is more beautiful than anything in the past
And if God is willing the future is more beautiful still and creates something that lasts

So live in the present
And remember times recorded above
And hope for the future
And You I will always Love.

How do you show Love?

How Do You Show Love

June 21, 2003

Written when I was almost in tears waiting to be loved; simply begging for someone who took an interest in me, who cared for the strange person I was, and would be interested in finding out more about me.

I’ve discovered that someone who fits perfectly with me is incredibly hard to find, but also realized that if I wanted to find them, they would be looking for someone who would care for them.

Thus, the conclusion to my turmoil, and the production of the poem.

How do you show Love
When you care for someone so much
How can you think straight
When they love you just as much

How can you feel cold
With so much warmth inside
How can you feel alone
When someone is always by your side

How can you feel stress
With someone to calm your fears
How can you be frightened of growing old
With someone who is there for years

How can you be silent
When everything in you shouts with gladness
How can feel sorrow
With someone who dries every sadness

How can you cry
When the tears won’t come
How can you wear anything but a smile
When happiness from them comes

* * * * *

So how can anyone be sad
If you do the same
How can anyone not know where to go
When it begins to rain

How can anyone feel alone
If you are their friend
How can anyone feel frustrated
When you’re with them to the end

How can anyone feel left out
If you always include them in
How can anyone not care
When you care so deep within

How can you refuse
The greatest tool from above
How is it possible
Not to show love?