RAISING SONS

Published in Forge Journal October 2010

Dedicated to my sons Erik, Khiry and Fredrick

I am woman

From the strands of my hair to the tips of my toes

I am raising sons to be men in a world not sympathetic to my woes

Sons,

I am raising sons from my breast, to my knees, to my hips, to towering over me

I am raising sons,

Raising sons from an image of what a man is suppose to be

My father raised by his father, his father, his father and his father

Symbolic of strength, intellect, love and family

No instructions included, no theories proven right

Just a woman raising sons gloved for fight after fight

With stereotyping, profiling and the system

I’m raising sons to be strong black men, not victims

Men with conquering minds, hearts of love,

Who walk in the footsteps of righteousness

Whose calloused hands mold, shape and create,

I am raising sons

Raising sons from little black boys to strong black men

I stand firm and mediate,

Though I am woman

The seeds I sowed excluded the wo-

And came up man

Sons,

Handsome black sons raised by woman.

The Tears I Shed

Unimaginable pain from life’s acid rain

Causing my charmed heart a major ache

like a hammer to glass, severe breaks

caused the tears I shed

your false truths

and your empty promises

spoken elementary

yet I accepted without proof

until skeletons came knocking

whispering  your secrets tabloid loud

one after another, shocking

my heart to the core

like a river, flowing

the tears I shed

from myself and all I withdrew

critically wounded

broken into

but like a knight in shining armor

came Justice

my soul charmer

capturing the tears I shed

sprinkling them like healing waters

fusing my two halves into a whole

filling me with a love like I’ve never known

returning to my heart all the past stole.

~This poem will be in my book with the same title. ~

In Mourning Too

Less than a week ago any news media and eight out of ten people would have made a negative comment regarding the life of Whitney Houston. Even now, the media is highlighting the most painful times in her life. I know in this day and age ratings are the end all be all of a television network, but when will networks realize that there are plenty positive things to report on that can enlighten and inspire others. There are so many young girls who want to be the next Whitney Houston. I’m not saying we should hide the flaws. I’m saying we should accentuate the positive.
Furthermore, negative attentions have turned her ex-husband Bobby Brown. Yes, Bobby has had his share of troubles. We all know that. The media has made it a never ending story. Have we all forgotten or are some of us so addicted to misery that we fail to realize Bobby was married to Whitney for years and they created a daughter together. Despite their troubles, they loved each other. They loved their daughter. Bobby is hurting too. He hurts because as a father seeing his daughter heartbroken touches a man beyond anything else. He hurts because the woman he loved is no longer here. He hurts because no matter the circumstance, he will be forever blamed for Whitney’s fall from grace.
I am reminded of Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” I sympathize with Bobby. I pray that God brings him comfort, strengthen him and give him the mind to stand tall in the midst of accusations, ridicule and hate.
I am blind to Bobby’s perspective of this sometimes cruel and heartless world filled with people who spew daggered words and whose eyes are the color of rose. I am blind to Bobby’s perspective of the Medias who will shovel any hole, hound any snake, portray any role and pour acid in fresh wounds in order to tell a story that will send ratings through an already collapsing roof which in the end will rip the seams of swollen pockets.
I ask is it worth it? Have you walked in their shoes? Have you ever lost a loved one? Have you taken a long look in the mirror lately? I may be a nobody to some, but my words are from my heart. I pray for Bobby Brown and his family. I pray that he will find peace in his life and that he will continue to a great father to Bobbi Kristina.
In closing, it would be amiss if I didn’t end with these words song by Bobby Brown, “Some ask questions, why am I so real? But they don’t understand me. They really don’t know the deal about a brother trying hard to make it right. Not long ago, before I win this fight.  Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me. Why don’t they just let me live?”

Death of a Legend

As me and people around the world mourn the sudden death of singer Whitney Houston, I can only imagine her last moments here on earth.  After listening to numerous television reports, they all seemed to immediately focus on the negative aspects of her short life.  Yes she in fact made mistakes, but haven’t we all.  If we were all perfect then the mere fact of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins would be in vain.  Whitney was blessed with a powerful gift that she humbly shared with all.  A gift that has reached the hearts of many and even brought tears to the eyes of some.  There was so much more to her life than the spotlighted negative.  Whitney’s voice was amazing and like no other because she could hit notes within notes that would make any musical genius stand in ovation.  The mere pressures of life can be so extreme even for me, so I can only imagine it from her perspective.  The mountain that stood in her path, she fought to overcome it, but when you try and try, giving your best efforts and all the first reports are of that negative mountain.  Can you imagine, whenever she turned on the tv, surfed the web or listen to the radio, someone was shining a dark light on her life.  No reports of encouragement, forgiveness, kind words, or simply of great the voice or who the person truly is…..that is pressure.  How can one truly overcome, when others fail to forget our sins?  I am deeply saddened.  When I think of Whitney and all that she endured, I hear her singing “I Look to You” a song with very powerful lyrics like; “As I lay me down, Heaven hear me now, I’m lost without a cause, After giving it my all , Winter storms have come, And darkened my sun, After all that I’ve been through, Who on earth can I turn to?”  In light of this tragedy, I say to everyone no matter your profession be mindful of the words you spew, because you never know how your words affect the life of another. Life is about forgiveness.  If all one can remember is the negative about another then this world is in a sad and shameful state.    I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  My heart goes out to Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina, her mother Cissy and even her ex-husband Bobby Brown.  I maybe a nobody to some, but my words are true and from my heart.  Whitney I celebrate your gift of song, your achievements, your ability to command us to listen, dance and smile through your songs.  I celebrate you as a mother, a friend, a daughter or simply a role model to those following in your musical footsteps.  We will miss you, but your spirit will live on in your songs.