Ending Speech

Ending Speech

April 4, 2004

I read this piece last night.
It it traditional at Internation Banquets for seniors to get up and say a few words; so I wrote this as halfway a speech of thanks & encouragement, and halfway a poem.

I’m putting it up because several people said they’d like copies of this and the Iiyuw Waas poem as well, so I’m going to be sending them links.

God has brought me before you once again
It’s as if I’ve walked into a warm room
From the cold outside, and the glow alights on
My skin doesn’t matter for once
In my whole entire life
And it brings tears to my eyes

Keep it in context for a moment
For where I come from, a man
Is not one who holds back tears
But knows when it is appropriate to cry

And so I weep.
Tears of joy and of sorrow
Joy because I have seen you grow
I lived through your most trying times
And I have seen promised tomorrows
Become today

And of sorrow.

Sorrow because this season is waning
The golden glow that I knew is leaving me
This stage of my life has come to an end
And now I have to leave

I have watched those before me leave
I have watched how their last year buries them
In work, they detract from you
And they are alone
And I feared that
Because for the first time
I was truly with friends.

I did not want this year to come
And yet now I see
I will not leave you
I have you with me
In memories

You will remember me as the wild and the crazy
Or as the soft and poetic
Or as the fighter for injustice
Or as the artist and designer
Or as the musician and the speaker
I was all of these, and more. But not without you.

I will remember dances in the living room, stomping our feet and shaking our bodies to the dances not of our culture but of that room. Of that time. Of that moment. Of that beat.
I will remember deep talks and long walks and shoulders wet and salty. Of people I have somehow been able to comfort, and of those who comforted me.
I will remember movies watched late, snuggled in blankets, riveted to the screens.
I will remember great feasts of spicy and exotic foods, caressing and exciting the taste buds, spurring smiling faces and gleeful jokes.
I will remember arguments about race, culture, travel, politics and sex. In that place we were free to talk with understanding.
I will remember spiritual uplifting, and profound thought in learning who God was and how we should be around him.
Of trials and struggles, and of celebration and joy.

These I will keep with me.
I have learned much here.
I have learned not only that people can be friends with me
But also how to be a friend
I learned no everyone can be friends with you
Even though you may now why
I learned some will always be you friend
Even though you may not know why
And these lessons
I carry with me

Who are you?
You are ISA/MK
You are Diversity on this campus
You are the minority that attracts the good of this college
You are the feather in the cap.

But you are more.
You are a community
You are the proof that people can unite under the banner of love
While loosing none of their culture
You are the proof that you can make it anywhere
And not forsake the values your grew up with
You are the glue that holds the campus together
You are the salt and the light, as well as the spice and the glow
You may have light, but to truly see and feel welcome, you need a glow
And You may have salt, but to truly get flavor, you need spice

You are more than even you can imagine
And so God has brought me before you again.
I am proof you can do it.
I am proof you can make a difference
I am proof you can survive
I am proof you can love.

And it because of you I am proof.

Thank you.

Occidental Attack

Occidental Attack

April 12, 2004

It’s an excerpt from my Final piece, to be displayed in the Messiah College Art Gallery this Saturday.

Since the beginning, you have divided. You divided religion from faith, then you divided religion into a million different religions, each one different, each one more and more lost. Churches so divided they shun other churches and whole peoples over details insignificant to your faith and against the teachings of your God. You divided faith from work, from government, from life and from love. You divided your work and your play. You divided your government into inoperability. You divided your life into years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. You divided love from sex, sex from passion, and passion from caring. You divided your country from your king, your land from your people, your souls from your minds.
You divided the people you enslaved and killed, and then taught them to divide themselves when you were not around.

And I?

I am in love with unity.
Can you see where that might be a problem?

I stared at the man

I stared at the man

June 29, 2004

Any more description would be overkill.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
The steam from my breakfast wafted up into my nostrils. 2 hotcakes, tasting more like stainless steal than batter… but that was alright, you could coat them with cheap lard and drown them with artificial maple flavour (with added caramel colour) and they would slide right down.
My pitiful pile of eggs cowered in the corner of my Styrofoam tray; their nutrients whipped away, leaving them flavourless, hidden underneath the dripping residue of whatever my preprocessed sausage patty and biscuit had been cooked in.
I bit into my hashbrown, carefully wrapped in a waxpaper sheath so I could not feel with my fingers the half-cup of oil I was ingesting.
I. I had been degraded to this. I, the strong savage adventurer of the great white north, I, who had survived for days on end what was mine to trap in the bush, I, who had lived with the scent of pines in my breath, who was raised by the Naskapi, who was strengthened by the rich meat of the caribou, Canadian goose and lake trout, I, I had been reduced to this. Scraping greasy mass produced filth off a non-biodegradable platter with a plastic spoon and shoveling it into my mouth. I had been degraded, AND by my own doing.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
I had given into the pressure of the giant yellow magnet (that IS what the M stands for, isn’t it?).
Lured off the road by cheap prices, and their shapely African-American ad model smiling widely and purring thickly “I’m Lovin’ it!”™; I had pulled my car into the lot, ordered my food, and sat down on the sticky red bench to ingest. It was my duty. Doing my part. My four dollars and seven cents was making some fat white man somewhere rich. My four dollars and seven cents (one dollar and thirteen cents of which had actually paid for the price of my food) was robbing some delicate mom & pop breakfast shop of the four dollars and seven cents I could have given them for a decent meal.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
He hunched over a cheap plastic display case of cheap plastic sponsored children’s toys (not suitable for munchkins under 3) smiling. He smiled down at me, his wide hips emblazoned with the logo and tilted off to one side gauntly. Green signs displaying new salads (in a meager attempt fluttered over his shock of a red afro in the artificial breeze of the air conditioners. His shoes were the same, but now they had been spray painted bright red and garnished with bright yellow laces to match his striped socks. The shoes were no longer a coal-stained brown, no longer had holes big enough to drive a train through, but were still the same shoes. His nose had a spot of red on it, carefully placed to make it seem larger, wider, flatter. His eyes, (though tear stained; his mascara running down his face) sparkled. And his lips. His lips were huge. Shockingly red, they took up over half his face with a monstrous grin.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing WHO HE WAS.
I got up.
Of course, now they had painted his face white, an ironic mockery making everything ok.
The elderly silvered man with the Windex spray bottle squirted my table as I headed toward the door, and he gave it a swipe with his disposable towel. I threw my tray in the trash, along with all the rest of the evidence of McHotcakes, McHashbrowns, McEggs, McSausage and the Homogenized, Ultra-Pasteurized, Vitamin A&D added McMilk.
And with it’s “Thank You” flap swinging mockingly, the trash can caused me to shiver with what it wore as a crown. The future was before my very eyes, sitting regally next to the mud-brown used trays. A single cup half-empty of watered down Coke. The African American ad woman stood plastered on the side with her African American daughter smiling. And around them, in every language and alphabet one could read the prophetic words: “I’m Lovin’ it!”.

Believing is Seeing

Believing is Seeing

September 13, 2004

This is a song I began writing in the beginning of the summer, but only brought to fruition the other night. It is written for the band, with me being the originator of both lyrics and music. Naturally, it has a very strong piano part, but I’m finding it easier and easier to play and sing at the same time the more I practice.

If you pay any attention to my journal, you might be able to draw relations to that too.

A word on contructive criticism; go right ahead, but keep in mind it’s a song. Some of you don’t like rhyming poetry (you know who you are). It parts seem to simple, they might be just so that they can be sung, but if you have some good ideas, by all means.

Youth is not the way you look
But the way you see
The world through the eyes
Of another’s company
You won’t know the truth
If you believe the lies
And become satisfied
With mediocrity

You never really understood
When I said Believing is Seeing
But you
Marveled at the joy that was in my life
And when you
Saw that I was happy
Despite all the times that I cried
You wanted to see who I was inside

The people close the door
On what it is to be human
And you look at life
And see it’s misery
We’ve got blood on our minds
And revenge in our veins
As we loose the fight
For our humanity

I’ve never really understood
Why I was given so much feeling
But I
Look at you and I see a friend
And when I see
All those around you
Who’ve only fed you their deceiving
I’m so glad that you believe in me

Truth be told
I can’t live a perfect life
Everything I say
Is with hypocrisy
But I know if I don’t give up
Even though I fail
It’s not what they say
But what you strive to be

I think you might understand
When I say Believing is Seeing
And I
See a spark of joy that is in your life
And when you
Don’t take for granted
All the gifts that you’ve been given
You begin to see the world in a different light
You begin to see the world with a different life

Just Don’t

Just Don't

September 17, 2004

The result of listening to too much soulful Stacy Kent.
If you don’t know who she is and have never heard than name before, check her out.

Don’t smile at me
The way you always do
Whenever you think I say
Something admirable

Don’t do little things
Like reaching across the seat
To pop the lock
And open doors for me

Don’t cook for me
Serving on my plate
The very biggest piece
Then refuse to let me wash

Don’t speak so softly
When call my machine
And leave messages
That brighten up my day

Don’t kiss me when I’m sad
Don’t pay me so much mind
Don’t say how much you care
It’s just… just…. Just…. something I can’t take

Don’t drive me places
With the windows down
Taking me where
I really want to go

Don’t lie with me
When your feeling tired
With your head on my chest
And arms around me

Don’t wear those scents
And fill the room
With intoxicating
Fragrance afrodisiac

Don’t play with my hair
When you rub me down
And smooth away knots
Of a weeks rough days

Don’t do your hair so sweet
Don’t ask for my company
Don’t be so nice
I just… just… just… might decide to stay

Whenever I wake up


Written November 17, 2004

.:Original’s location: with Tamika:.

New Poetry!

This is what happens when someone who already views the world optimistically is given something that would make the average person insanely happy.
Everything else is gone, and I just glow…

.:edit: I decided to write this poem out in a tiny little book, phrase by phrase, each page the size of a postage stamp. I’m giving it to her today. :) It will be the first piece of poetry I’ve given her. :):.
.:edit: I added the sefl portrait as a preview. :.

“Woke up this morning, you were the first thing on my mind
Don’t know where it came from, all I know is I need you in my life…” India.Arie

“Nothing even matters… at all…” ~Lauryn Hill

Each morning I wake up
And whether you’re there or not
I always see you when I wake up
Before I even get up
I see you when I wake up
Before even my lids arise
I see you
I see you
I see you smile

Because you’re there in front of me
Because you’re there along side of me
Because you’re right inside of me
Whenever I wake up

Because you’re here inside of me
Because you know the insides of me
Because I knew that you’d be there
Whenever I wake up

Each afternoon I rest
Whether you’re there or not
I always feel like you are here
Before I even touch you
I feel like you are here
Before I’m even sleeping
I feel you
I feel you
I feel you near me

Because you’re imprinted near me
Because your scent surrounds me
Because you’re what I think of
Whenever I wake up

Because you’ve shown you love me
Because you’ve known I love you
Because I’m dreaming of you
Whenever I wake up



I feel disconnected.

I feel disconnected from my family.
I feel disconnected because it’s hard for me to talk to them. Because the deep stuff I probably should and probably need to talk to them about scares me. Because it doesn’t feel natural, because it feels awkward. Because I don’t know why I can’t start doing it.

I feel disconnected from my home town.
I feel disconnected because it’s so far away. Because nothing and everything about it is the same as I left it. Because some people told me I should leave, even though they later changed their minds. Because I was hurt so badly there. Because it’s so much a part of me, and still, I can never go back. Because there is no place else gives me the solitude and openness I once knew.

I feel disconnected from my people.
I feel disconnected because no one here talks they way they did. Because  nobody thinks the way they did. Because none of the earthy, familiar smells exist for me now; the spruce boughs, the simmering tea, the musty canvas, the thick warm hide. Because no one looks at me with pride the way they once did. Because I still dream in their language.

I feel disconnected from my God.
I feel disconnected because I worry too much. Because if I don’t fix it myself, I feel like a failure. Because nothing around me is quiet, nothing lets me hear that still, small voice. Because my dreams are no longer alive. Because I drifted away. Because I don’t know how to get back.

I feel disconnected from the people around me.
I feel disconnected because they don’t understand who I am and where I come from. Because I don’t understand where they come from, or why they are the way they are. Because they’re far too busy to care. Because most people won’t even read this. Because fewer people will do anything once they do. Because people don’t think to listen deeply. Because listening like that doesn’t matter to them like it does to me.

I feel disconnected from my art.
I feel disconnected because it no longer feels like something I am inside of. Because when I create something beautiful and meaningful, I don’t have time to sit and wonder at the gift I’ve been given. Because I don’t sit and just muse any longer.

I feel disconnected from myself.
I feel disconnected because when I am doing something. Anything. It feels like I am on autopilot. Because I can’t remember normal things that most people can remember. Because things get switched around in my brain, and yet it still feels like fact. Because I complain aloud how people can do certain things, then realize I myself am doing those things. Because my own history is blurred, mixed, tangled; not a solid line like it should be. Because I can’t figure out if I have always been like this, or if this is something new.

But what does it mean to be disconnected? Does it means that you are solitary, alone, an intrepid nomad? Does it mean you get to figure out things and reinvent them as you see fit? Is it bad to be disconnected?

I don’t really know. But feeling like you should be connected?



I am a Perfect Cube.
I am all of Uranus’ moons.
I am Cobalt. But I’m not Cobain.
I own no white lighter, there’s no club I’m in.
(RIP Brian, Jimi, Janis & Jim)

I am the Hebrew alphabet,
Written in the books of the New Testament.
I am Old too, but split and multiplied.
I fix the Constitution of America,
Light up the land-lines in South Africa.
I’m the great Canyon Expressway,
From Fort Wayne to Miami, Florida.

I am a cowboy cigarette.
I am a prisoner of Château d’If.
I am lawns for croquet.
A Cracker Jack peanut.
I am Salinger’s death, and his missing chapter.
I am Napoleon, as a Commander.
I am a hurricane’s pressure and temp.
I am a bat, and can comically detect.

I’m the Reagan of radio.
And the length of the LHC.
I am Crispus Attucks,
But during the revolution
I’m the escape from ASCII.
I am the rotation of the sun.

I am 27.

This might seem strange, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a grasp on the concept of my own age.
I understand age as an abstract idea, like what point people typically start thinking about certain things in life, at what point certain body functions begin to deteriorate.
But when it comes to understanding how old I am physically and how I think about the world, I don’t really get it. In one sense or another, I’ve always felt that I haven’t followed any of the prevailing attitudes of what other people my age have.

And it could be entirely cultural. It could be that I don’t feel my age simply because I can’t fully identify with anyone around me and say “oh, I am just like them”.
But there seems to be this expectation that I should relate to others based on how close we are in age.

I’ve always beleived that you’re only as old as you feel you are, and so I’ve tried to live that. I remember being little and learning the meaning behind Louis Armstrongs “Young at Heart”, and realizing that staying young was attainable if you could think that way.

Many of the grown-ups I knew as a kid were kinda boring. When I was little, I was pretty articulate, and would often talk to grown-ups and ask them about their lives. I remember asking a teacher at a dinner party why he didn’t smile more often. He told me he didn’t know.
I just know that I don’t want to be that.


I thought the world was bright
My amber sun a glorious item
Living my life like it’s golden
Until your eyes lit me up

And nothing
could compare
To you

I thought life was melodious
Grand forests my choir
Waterstrewn pebbles my melody
Until you laughed

And now I know
can compare
To you

Your smile is genuine, radiant girl
Your eyes like sparks, darting and bright
Your limbs glowing cinnamon umber
Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin
And I want some of your Brown Sugar…

But not in the way D’Angelo meant it
Though I gets high off your love,
I’m lost without you
Can’t help myself
How does it feel…

Your mind is physical
Love is spiritual
Life is beautiful
Just like oil on my hands
Only to love you

I wanna get closer
Like Maxwell, Flack & Hathaway
You’re my Orange Moon
And my summer rain

And I know I haven’t told you lately
But your my very special lady
You give me butterflies, inside
Both the Jackson and Floetry kind

Unlike Macy… I don’t even try
‘Cause I have no interest in stumbling
Or saying goodbye
You keep me steady on my feet
Feet that let me walk up behind you
And kiss you
On your neck
And breathe…

Our emotions can grow
If we let them go
And loose ourselves
Inside a world of
Future Love Paradise

Personality with witty charm
And just enough gentleness
Your my Strength, Courage & Wisdom
My one true happiness

I never knew a luh–
A love like this
You’ve got to be something for me to write this

So if it’s not to much to say
Within your arms I’m born again
With the lights down low
And the window curtain closed

And if you’ll love me when my hair turns grey
Then everytime I hold you
I’ll hold you like it’s the last time
Whenever Wherever Whatever
I’ve just got to be
Got to be
Got to be down

I just want you around
I just need you around
I just want you around
I just need you around
I just want you around
I really need you around
And nothing
can compare
To you

I love you, Tamika. Happy Birthday.

I performed this in 2017 at Acoustic Thursdays at Peace And A Cup Of Joe

Wake Up

Lyric ideas for a song. Thoughts?

Wake up
This epoch is yours
As long as you are alive
Undermine the cooling embers
Span your limbs, crane your neck
And rise.