In Their Eyes

I wonder what I would see if I got a view from their eyes

After all the world is not all sunshine and roses

It’s tough

So tough that many days I find myself questioning am I good enough

A good enough mother, a good enough wife, and most of all a good enough human being

Am I making the right decision to be deemed worthy

Have I earned enough tickets to heaven or would my actions be seen as deeds merely for self gain

The thought alone makes me fall to my knees

Begging the most high to hear my heart

My intentions are pure although they may not appear that way

May I be lighter than the feather on judgement day

But hear in the physical, please find me worthy

Worthy of the love from my creations

My creations that look at me through the eyes of such innocence

Eyes that look past my faults and embrace all there is of me

Because no matter what

I am mom in their eyes

My Song For You

Artist Unknown

As the sorrow filled voice of Donny Hathaway

Settles in our ears I take in this moment

The lyrics a reflection of our feelings for one another

Loving in a place where there’s no space or time

One could only dream of a love like that, but in you I have found it

With you I have embraced it

Together we have mastered it

So much so that to be without one another would be the equivalent of suffering a slow heartbreaking death

A death that would surely be welcomed if that would lead me to you again

Back to this moment

This moment of love void of space or time

Serenaded by the sorrow filled voice of Donny Hathaway

Singing the lyrics to a song that I have now claimed as

My song for you

The One

Artist Unknown

The other day someone asked me how I knew you were the one

The question instantly stomped me

And I become flooded with memories of when we first begun

The moment I looked in those deep brown eyes and told you my name

The second I laughed when you told me I was your wife

All the fights and arguments between us as our younger selves met our older selves

Every birth of our children that caused me to fall in love all over again

And now I have my answer

I didn’t know you were the one when I first met you

There was no fairytale love at first sight

My heart didn’t skip a beat the moment I met you,

But when you held my hand and walked through this thing called life destined to become man and wife

Continuing to fall in love with one another’s higher self

No longer able to see life with anyone else

I knew then you were the one

One Last Time

Artist Unknown

As you place your lips on mine

Broken promises whisper in my head

Reciting the words I long to speak out loud

One last time

Those three words will shift the dynamic of our endless love affair

Those three words rejuvenate the strength that was depleted so long ago

Given freely to you during a time when I felt you were mine

A mistake on my part

For sharing a love that was simply ours on borrowed time

Time that ran out long ago when I went from number one to the other woman

A position I didn’t know existed until she made herself known

Revealing your true colors you tried desperately to camouflage with sweet nothings gently gracing my ears under the cover of late night meetings

Meetings that have now long ended but yet I’m still in attendance

Waiting on you to walk through the door with more of the love I desperately crave and despise at the same time

So much so that as you come in seeking the shelter from a stressful day with her

And you place your lips on mine

I find the voice I lost long ago and whisper

One last time

In Front Of The Fireplace

At the start of the hour

We find ourselves in my favorite spot

In front of the fireplace

With the glow highlighting your face

My third eye opens for you

Watching you with renewed interest

Longing for a sign that we are on the same page

Begging for your touch until finally you put me out of my misery

With the sweetest forehead kiss creating a trail down to my lips

Before becoming frozen in this moment of no turning back

Creating a mental note of the day that our lives changed

In front of the fireplace

Rebirth Of A Phoenix

As the weight of the world consumes me

And I lay quietly sinking into oblivion

A faint voice whispers in my ear,

“Who are you?

I have never met you before.

I’m sure I would remember you.

A child so lost and broken.

Where did you come from ?”

The voice continues as I sink deeper and deeper

Feeling my body consumed with fire and finally

Overtaken as my eyes close

Only to awaken anew

And to the voice I answer,

“I am a descendant of you.

No longer lost and broken.

I have risen from the ashes of the Phoenix.

Rejuvenated and Reborn.

The World Shall Know My Name

After being up painting (I’m a beginner but I’m loving it), I felt like writing. Naturally I had to pair it with what I created.

I just want the world to know my name like Basquiat or Kara Walker

Minus the graffiti and silhouettes

Stun the world with abstract visions until they think I’ve done my best

Then tell em I ain’t done yet

Putting my paint brush down for a pen

Creating message after message

Planting seeds to help my people win

Because you see,

One day on common ground we must all meet

It’s enough out here for everyone to eat

We not the crabs in the bucket

We’re the Kings and Queens

With the heart of the lion and lioness

Broken free from the chains

Destined for greatness

Like the ancestors that left writings on the walls

Our actions will do the same for those next in line

And after I’m gone and my many greats say my name

It’ll be followed by words such as this:

My many many Great-Grandmother was an artist. She created abstract visions that stunned the world like Basquiat and Kara Walker. Minus the graffiti and silhouettes of course. When she wasn’t painting she was writing. Some would describe her as woke and others would say passionate. A conversation with her was always full revolutionary topics and funny jokes, but at the end of the day she was for her people and the people are for her. So when I say her name, I say it pride. Be a use of her, I come from greatness and now the world knows her name.

I’ve Changed

Artist Unknown

She said I changed

Once I became “woke” our friendship hasn’t been the same

She’s right

I have changed

The person I was ten years ago is no longer me

That is not the person I am meant to be

Like the caterpillar I had to evolve

Needing to break out of my cocoon and spread my wings

Soaring high

Through pillows of clouds in search of blue skies

Opening up visions of a new reality of raising

Little black boys and girls in a world that’s taught to fear them or use them for some agenda

Fighting to teach them that although they were raised in the trap they can buy the hood back

Replacing the liquor stores and one to many churches

With necessary youth centers and healthcare services

Going back to the days of the Black Panthers model of security and community involvement

Before the blueprint was stolen and they became a target

My families blood run deep through the roots of the struggle

And as a descent of them I must continue on the path of what they fought so hard for

They made me who I am and I will never be ashamed

So if that means somewhere in life I’ve changed and we will never be the same

Be thankful for the season the universe has blessed us with and pray that one day

Our paths may meet again

Love From The Projects

Photo taken by photographer William Gedney

There’s love in the projects

Maybe not all roses and fairytales

But there is love

I remember waking up on summer days

Just waiting to see who was coming out to play

Red Rover Red Rover send my friends over

Then we’d red light green light all over the neighborhood

Before joining the girls to sing about Little Sally Walker sitting in her saucer

Man those were good times

Standing in the front yards

Watching the sunset and betting who’d catch

The most lightning bugs

And slapping every body part bitten by mosquitos

Signaling the day was over but there would be many more to come

Until

Finally waving goodbye after years have passed

Not knowing that everything was changing

The friends that became family will now be strangers

Greetings become awkward

Smiles become forced

Goodbyes become rushed

While internally you just want

To go back to the way things used to be

Red rover, red rover bring that feeling back

Red light the changes that the distance brought

And tell little Sally Walker to never rise from her saucer

Then things wouldn’t have to end yet

You’ll continue to feel the love from the projects.

Short Story: The Murder of William “Froggie” James

Cairo, IL.

November 11, 1909- Cairo, IL. 

William “Froggie” James was a dashing young man. Tall and dark with a body full of muscles. Many women wanted him, but he only had eyes for his Sandra. They had been together for some time now and would be getting married soon. 

Walking down the streets of Cairo, IL, he was filled with such pride. Black people had come a long way, but still had a ways to go. White folks still had a short fuse just looking for someone to blow up on. He made sure to steer clear of them when he could. 

As he came upon a building, he heard a scream. Something told him to keep walking, but it was a woman and he didn’t want to leave her helpless. As he got ready to go inside, his friend Alexander came barreling out, almost knocking him over and continued up the road.  Venturing inside he saw feet from someone on the ground that eventually revealed a young white woman. Fear filled him like never before and he dashed away from there. 

Once he made it home, he slammed the door as his love came out of the kitchen. 

“What’s wrong,” she rushed to him when she noticed the look on his face. 

“I found,” he struggled to get his words out, “white girl dead.”

Sandra felt a chill come over her, “Did anybody see you?”

He merely shook his head no. 

“Good,” she started to pace, “You didn’t do it right?”

“Of course I didn’t,” he yelled at the top of his lungs.

“We have to get out of town.” She started gathering their belongings. 

William frowned, “I did nothing wrong!”

“You think they care!” She shouted. 

Just then loud knocking came at the door. 

“Come on out William,” they heard the voice of the well known sheriff. 

“I didn’t do it,” William said as he opened the door. 

The sheriff had been kind to him many times. 

“People say they saw you running away from where a girl was found dead,” the sheriff pulled out his cuffs, “It’s better for me to take you in now before anyone else comes after you.”

William took a look a Sandra, “Stay here and don’t let anyone in.”

Tears fell as she watched them drive off. Dark clouds hung over the town. Destruction was coming. 

Just as the sheriff was booking in William, a mob had formed outside. They were demanding that William be released to them for revenge. 

Not knowing what else to do, the Sheriff snuck out the back and drove William out of town. He hoped to stay there until things calmed down. That never happened. 

In the middle of the night, they heard rumbling where they were hiding before seeing a group of men. 

“Hand him over Sheriff,” one of them said. 

Before the sheriff could grab his weapon, they had him at gunpoint while others dragged William away screaming. 

He was dragged all the way back to town, “Please! I didn’t do it!”

His words fell on deaf ears. That night the town seemed to destroy William and whoever else they could unleash their rage upon. 

See as there was no getting through to them he yelled, I did it and Alexander took the lead!”

He knew the right person would hear the message in his confession. 

William was dragged through the town square as people hit him and called him names. In the center, there was a noose tied around his neck as not the men, but the women pulled the rope. After he was hung, his body was riddled with bullets before the people cut pieces of his body for souvenirs. Then as they were finally satisfied, they placed his head on a light pole and set it on fire. 

With all this going on, no one noticed Sandra standing in the background. Filled with rage, she embraced the ways of her ancestors. Her grandmother had taught her many years ago that she would know when to use her special gifts. 

Calling on her ancestors, she placed her hands on the ground, “Ancestors, feel the innocent blood spilled here today. The blood of my love. He did not deserve this and neither did the ones before him. I declare today, until all wrongs are righted, there will never be peace. For as long as innocent blood is spilled, these streets shall forever crumble. Take the peace and take Alexander.”

The streets shook as a scream could be heard in the distance. That scream belonged to Alexander being dragged away before the mob even thought to look for him. Sandra walked off into the night away from the town never wishing to return. Now cracks fill the streets of the town and no matter how many times they fix them, they still crumble. 

Note: Cairo, IL. is my hometown. Although I put a twist of love in the story, William “Froggie” James was an actual person that was lynched for the murder of a white girl there in 1909. Many of us resident have been taught the story. He maintained his innocence and just before his hanging, he admitted and said a man named Alexander helped. That man was never found. Many say that because of all the bad that happened there, the streets are cursed and indeed are filled with cracks no matter how many times they were fixed. Let me know your thoughts in the comments as if you have heard of this story. I hope you like the sprinkle of love and fantasy I placed in it.