Special Poems

Read some of the special poems written for special occassions.

It is Well

July 4 Celebration with KSO

Liberation, freedom, independence

All Celebrated for providing the space to find self

To define who you are and who you will be

It is not a singular activity

We are constantly liberating and freeing ourselves 

Our Ideas, pre-conceived notions, requirements

There is always growth

If you are not growing you're dying

Reexamining and reinventing yourself

Is the way to keep living

Flourishing as you become all that you should

Today we celebrate independence

Freedom to do what we want to do as a country

Red, white and blue

Taking responsibility for the consequences of our choices

It is well

It is changing the idea of equality without equity

Ceasing to look into the future without examining the past

It is living without restrictions and 

The ability to express ourselves without fear of persecution

This freedom bought with the blood of our forefathers

Runs deeply through the blood of all that call themselves American

Though some would not feel the joy of it for years to come

We celebrate, this day as stepping stone for greatness

As a reason to believe we deserve liberation from tyrannical control

We play our drum as we hear it 

Dance to the rhythm of our hearts beating, chanting 

We hold these truths to be self evident

That all men are created equal

What is all?  What is men?

What is the creation?

What is equal?

When will we decide to let these truths

Ring true as the freedom we celebrate

Life, liberty and pursuit of those things that make us happy

What is happiness?

If we have not yet defined all and equal

Can we find it without seeing all as equal

Today we hold this truth high

Like fire in our hands

Light up the night sky with our love for country

Love for fellow American

Love for all, love for equality, love for life and  liberty

Love for happiness, found when we truly let freedom ring.

It is well

Timeless Struggle

Juneteenth Celebration Poetry

In 1863, Lincoln declared that all people should be free

The country heard but some refused to respond

So there had to be more done, soldiers sent with telegrams

Laying down the new law, so that in 1865 it finally happened

Slavery found its end 

And the first Juneteenth is celebrated

 

But the game with black lives and black labor had only begun

Because convict leasing bubbled up in the minds 

Sending cheap labor to salt mines

Arresting blacks for petty crimes and then leasing out their labor

A precursor to our current prison system

They used black codes to create a way to once again 

Put blacks in the place they had created

Working for little to no wage and the celebrations continued

Dunbar dubbed them as a mask, that grins and lies

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile

 

But 1912 brought Red Summer and Black Wall Street to remind us

That some never saw us as more than disposable labor

How dare we find a way to be better

So they set fire to our homes, drowned and lynched our sons

Removed generations of hard work to create a system of success for ourselves

All behind lies and hatred, no matter how hard we tried slavery was still in the shadows

Still being written into our art Claude McCay

Wrote boldly, “like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"

Still celebrating that slavery is dead 

But the racist subjection of our black bodies comes around again

Jim Crow and red-lining

Laws to keep us feeling as though we were less than

Putting shackles on our minds, our success, our love

In 2001, it was still illegal to marry outside your race in Alabama

A sad repetition that must find an end

"We Shall Overcome"

And we always do, find a way to hold on

No matter how fast the world is moving, attempting to throw us off

There is a merry-go-round of struggle and triumph stitched into the DNA of this country

And it is timeless, forever fighting to be free from somebody or something

Some injustice rings true consistently

Constantly pulling us into the timeless struggle for acceptance

Continuously asking to be allowed freedom that should be standard

Begging to get out from under the idea that we were ever ⅖ less than our neighbor

Stressing and begging in poems and songs 

A sentiment that has become timeless not just history

Because at times we still feel the pain

Just listen as Phyllis Wheatley cry as a slave

“Some view our sable race with scornful eye,

Their colour is a diabolic die."

Painting the news black and red with our skin and blood


"Mother, mother

There’s too many of you crying" because the next part is still true

"Brother, brother brother

Far too many of you dying"

And we are trying to make sense of it, 

Change laws and advantages

Teach our children they are powerful beyond measure

Let the world see that we are different and our lives matter

Stop being afraid but Audre Lord said

"We were never meant to survive"

What’s going on?  

 

We are tired of the round-and-round

That seems to create the same art in a different time

It’s time for this carousel to slow down and stop

Because I don’t want my sons to be writing poems like mine

Or singing songs like John

“Keep taking me higher and higher

Don’t you know that the devil is a liar

They rather see me down with my soul in the fire

But we keep going higher, higher”

Not round and round

Simply waiting for our feet to touch down

Laws can change but people have to change too

It's the only way to stop the abuse

And allow the pain in our art to be history too.