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An African Woman’s Creed May 16, 2010

Posted by journeywomanchi in Liberation Poems, Uncategorized.
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I know the power of my womb
As the meeting ground of the
Past and present blending –
Prepared to bring forward new life
on demand.

I know the strength of my love
to nurture more than warm beds
but to fuel the fight of our people.

I know the depth of my pain
that shoots from the base of
the spine to the crown of my head –
Constantly feeling every emotion of
the downtrodden,
ready to sing victory when we win.

I know the joy of forgiveness
that never holds on to sorrow
and refuses to play victim –
gently pushing the heart to expand
and the mind to remember
that all we suffer is
as a consequence of bondage.

I know the voice of my ancestors
that speak through me –
telling me to vision like Harriet
and to hold space like Sojourner.
Urging me to stand firm like Nzinga
and to strategize like Yaa Asantewa.
Teaching me to organize like the Aba women
and to push fist first like the Panthers.

I know the needs of my people
that plead with me to struggle
and join the ranks of those
worthy of being remembered.

I know my worth
as the only being capable
of fulfilling destiny
that Black life will continue on
in order to reclaim
voice, joy, depth, strength, power.

Lullaby for the Sun that Rises in Me April 12, 2010

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This is for my baby boy –

The sun that rises in me.

More than love and more than joy,

I pray that you’ll be free.

And even though this life

is full of tests of loyalty,

I’m sure that you’ll be ever true

with eyes wide open to see.

Be brave, be strong and if ever wrong

Admit your flaws to me.

Because I am here to dry your tears

and to teach integrity

And when the crippling doubts of fears

attempt to bring you down

I’m somewhere close, I’m somewhere near

to help find your crown.

This for my baby boy –

The sun that rises in me.

More than love and more than joy,

I pray that you’ll be free.

I call on all protective spirits

to guide your destiny

Chineke! I know you hear it,

Bless this growing seed.

Help him be a helpful hand

to all humanity.

Teach him love of our motherland,

to restore her dignity.

Open his heart to serve our people

and do it constructively

Show him the road, I know he’ll build it –

this sun that rises in me.

This is for my baby boy –

This sun that rises in me.

More than love and more than joy,

I pray that you’ll be free.

After the Roses (For Pooja and Vivek on the Wedding Day April 4, 2010) By April 2, 2010

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After the roses,

The thorns of new growth

would have been replaced

by sturdy, steady stem.

Questions of if he’s the one?

Would have been long answered by then.

Worries of who will reach for your hand back

would be tempered by indistinguishable

interlocked fingers tied tight in a ribbon of ten.

And when you laugh,

Like an invisible string

That lingers in mid-air

(interrupted by distance)

His tugged soul will softly smile.

And though life’s journey

has already been seasoned

with miles of trials and tribulations,

new dandelions sprout

to decorate the roots of your

Well-grounded union.

But in the beginning,

Before diapers and bunk beds,

road trips and long nights,

there is fusion forming

in hidden earth

Rising to each occasion,

your love grows an inch –

taking new form

with every upward stretch

to break new ground.

And now,

In the presence of students and teachers

of the long, hard and rewarding road,

Rejoice in the knowledge that

you have found a companion

in seeking truth.

Pray each day that your love

Will bear fruit.

Allow humility to

temper any assumptions

of what should or not be…

And see,

Yes let yourself see

the roses as well as the thorns.

Let your tears and sweat dry

in the wind that tells

that no pain lasts but so long.

In the midst of all

your tickled senses,

breathe in

the perfume of your

perfectly imperfect garden

of flowers and family.

And smile knowing

That you’ve touched his soul.

The Baseline March 26, 2010

Posted by journeywomanchi in Love Poems, Uncategorized.
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Emotional floodgates open to pour out the old –

The tainted vision of a misunderstood yesterday…

And now, I’m empty and waiting for a refill.

Like the used up engine of an aging, but stable car,

My body waits to be filled up with premium fossil.

Leaded life lessons of love and lust led to this day.

A day to pause to feel the space between

Breathe in and

Breathe out.

And as all venomous poisons, are released to make

Way for untarnished new blood,

My renewing soul sits in its chrysalis

Allowing for clear thought to precede proper action.

The mind is a playground of farce and fury

And its quest to decipher fantasy from reality,

If lucky, can create a third vision.

Just as the triangle is stabilized by two lines reaching a point,

The logic of the third thought is that of

The grounded observer neither swayed by the subjective

Or possessive

Nor seduced by the pornography of pain

Or the delusion of delight.

Unwedded to outcome or distracted by self-doubt,

It is here that I now empty out and give freely.

I give credit to life lessons as viable credentials,

I give love with no expectation of getting it back.

I give thanks for a day to walk the triangular path –

Striving to reach and support the point.

And the point.

It is the unforgettable, hard-to-calculate sum total

Of 500 years of interrupted development.

Like the investment of a sports fan in the final match,

It is the observation of foul play and justified outrage.

The assured win that follows pain is the point.

It is karma.

It is the logic of the base line of a triangle.

It is my womb nurturing renewed life,

Breathing in and out for more than me…

With pause and reflection that:

All revolutionaries are born.

What Next? January 13, 2009

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Finding voice is difficult but not impossible. Nothing really is.  Even with colonized mind and tongue to match. Even with the corpse of the past tucked neatly in a stash of many forgotten yesterdays.  It is in the present that we discover the future. Lesson learned. The question now is what it’s always been: what next? What great leap must the past-less jump? Five hundred years of oppression has conditioned us well to jump first, ask later. The trick is to admit to remembering nothing.  And those haunting memories that freckle the future, explain them away as blemishes.  Mere figments of pigments that are as senseless as the story behind it (now forgotten).  This is the way of the world gone mad thinking it is sane. Yet, as inane as illogic, it is the status quo. You know and I know that’s how the story has gone…the question remains, is this how and where it will go? Ancestral query begs this question to stop in ponder and move with vigor. There are many things worth forgetting…the most important being our cowardice. Let that be the story of a thrown out yesterday. And in moving future forward, may the next seven generations not retain the taint of the lethargy towards liberation. May they evolve far beyond our memory loss and build on the will to remember and revolve.  May their voice sing unsung verses of life lived with eyes open and vocal pipes of resounding utility. And if this be wishful thinking, let this wish become a recipe for ritual to manifest tomorrow. No pain, no sorrow.

 

And where do I get off thinking like I do? What gives me the guts to ask and then answer? It is the humbling realization that we live on a ball that spins on its own axis and never ponders about its sanity. When I was a child, I used to wonder why those taller never talked about their height…why their own anomaly amused only me. But now 28 revolutions later, I see what they saw: that even though I stand tall, it is no great task because I still can’t touch the sky. And the truth is, I am now less able to touch a cloud than a child looking up wondering what occupied a tall mind. With each inch I grew, I also grew away from my own rhythm. Living life tone deaf makes it hard to hear the inner voice. The good news is that no state is fated doom, rather it is an opportunity to return to innocence…to center.  To be colonized is to be de-programmed from what one knows instinctively. And only instincts know the path to touching the sky. This is where we must now go to find. All previous revelations have been useless prophecies if they did not prescribe this.  No new tribes of tomorrow will prosper on this ball spinning on its own axis if they are not obsessed with finding the path to the sky.

 

But speaking in metaphors can frustrate the addicted left brainers that insist on their limitations being reality.  So for them, let me make this clear. The sky is a lab that produces the healing potion for a today that lives tomorrow. We have lost many yesterdays that will not come back to us on the next revolve. We can never again discover our chi or bronze or a wheel. And like all promiscuous creatures that know too much about its own existence, we can never again feel a first kiss.  And today, I kiss the ball that revolves like that lover I can never have again but have right now…forcing my addiction to the future to be satisfied with the present.       

 

The good news is that although the door of no return is closed, it is not held by walls.  We, the children of Africa, must find the path to indigo sky.  And we don’t need to remember yesterday to fulfill this mission.  The manuscript was tarnished and lost so we can write a new way to the sky. And in doing so, we become worthy of being forgotten as well. For if we do our work correctly, there would still be a ball that spins on its own axis.  There will still be a child that forgot it was once tall and will be tall again.  There will still be a forgetting place and sites that hold its memory.  There will still be a poet that looks for her voice as a metaphor for the sky. And there, will be the path to find. This is why we live. This is what we can never lose and have no need to remember because it’s only for today.  This kills the hunger that aches to know what’s next and rebirths the courage to create the answers.

 

Prayer to the Four Directions July 13, 2008

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Hear me
Great spirits of
the four directions.
Hear this cry for justice
for it is the hour,
the moment of processing
that sings this poetic incantation
to bring forward beauty.

Like the lotus in mucky waters,
hear the sweetness of my prayer
emerge from the sour of my pain
engaged in the rage
of the world I was born in.
I ask for help to transcend it.
I ask for help to find centering
in the chaos so I can end it –
Arrest the captivating confusion
and find clarity to unbend it.
Listen for the answers
and believe the ancestors when they send it.

Hear me
Great spirits of
the four directions.
The north for wisdom.
The south for the voice to speak truth.
The east for the path.
The west for the courage to walk through.

In this circle of completion,
hear my cry for connection –
the desire to bridge broken worlds
and the hope to unify
our disconnected lamentation.
Recharge the tides that washed
us through the Atlantic ocean
and the airwaves that carried
the sankofa prophecy
in the form of aviation.

To ensure proper navigation,
bless our minds with the
remembrance that our task
is reactivation.
Help us to remember
that what we’ve lost is
spiritual motivation.
And what we must regain is
the sight from the blurring of colonization.

Hear me
Great spirits of
the four directions.
That I may know
the wisdom of the Igbo
and the knowledge of the Iroquois.
That I may feel the regality of the Yoruba
and the fierceness of the Maya.
That my love for the Cherokee
can walk hand in hand with my
affection for the Akan.
That the spirit of all Bantu
make peace with the
powerful descendants of the Yuan dynasty.
Oh Great spirits!
Help us see that from
the Choctaw to
the Dogon to
the Vedic monarchies –
we all comprise one humanity
with one destiny
and one prophecy.

Hear me
Great spirits of
the four directions.
Hear this prayer.

Praise to Infinity May 9, 2008

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My mind is moving a mile a minute
so I can feel it…
so I can kiss the inconsistencies
and consummate my DNA
with the unexpected –
the undetected,
unaccounted calculations
that teach that true math is
infinity.

I am divinity.

The truth is that life is
endless possibilities
of existence.
And being is a lesson
of expressing.

With each beat pattern of
rhyme and reason,
there is mission,
a teaching.

Let me be clear:

It is not up to governed,
polished policies
if I live or die,
if I breath or subside
or ride the coastal tides that
brought my bloodline to physicality.

In actuality,
it is not my condition
that suggests
revolution –
or insists on solutions
or creates innovation.

It is my spirit –
the only potion that’s in it
to win it.

No equation without
my immortal self
will ever free me!
no recipe without the salt
of my tears,
the rage of my fears,
the wear and tear
of the years
will sooth the agitation
that knows that
things must change.

It is not even my brain
that analyzes half lies
from full ones
or knows the difference
between bondage and
freedom
or lives in contractions
so I can grow beyond them.

It is not by will
and might
that I fight oppression,
dethrone deception
or speak with conviction.

It is my chi –
the lesson that
Africa gifts me
and opens my three eyes
so I can see
and be more beauty
more light
more passion –
no fright
more open and sure
more loving
more adoring

more larva pouring
and oozing to please
Pele
so she’ll bless me –
caress my heat
so I can form fertile ground
and grow something
out of this pain
of thousands dying in Burma
or millions starving in Sudan,
or target practice in Iraq
or the crucifiction of Iran.

Of the Niger-Delta crisis
and many industrialized complexes,
or our heroes locked up,
or our children feeling stuck
or rising gas prices
that beg the unanswered question
of development
that if this is progress
then compared to what?

Of the anomaly of AIDS
or DC police jump-out raids
of AFRICOM…

I remember Bandong –
black and brown freedom songs.
I remember that we’re not right
and so something is wrong.

I concede to the unknown,
The mystery of truth.
I am humble to humanity –
the exposure of our youth.
And as my mind
races a mile a minute,
this humility is my
thunder…
my remembrance that
come rain or shine
life is.

I am an African April 14, 2008

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I am an African –DSC00194.JPG
Not just because of politics
Or Pan African alliances
Not just because of thoughts
or even the language I think in

I am an African.

So let this truth sink in:
It is my birth rite consummated DSC00199.JPG
by skin
a spiritual connection
to an origin that predates
temporary melanin.

I am an African.

I refute all who mock
my involuntary compliance to
post-colonial structural status quoDSC00202.JPG
as a rebellion without cause
a lamentation without pain
a subject of a kingdom whose reign
appears to be divine.
So, if stating that

I am an African

is a crime,
then be prepared to jail and convict me
I, the captain of my soul,
Pronounce my Africanness
completely and succinctly
And although I speak in the language
Of those who have tried to kill me
My tongue does not betray
for

I am an African

unapologetically.
Hear me,
Feel me,
See me
This African that is me
gets stronger each day.
So as I shed dead skin trapped
by the memory loss of my origin.
I’ll say it again and again,

I am an African.

I say what I say how I say
With the knowledge that incantations
Are birthed with intention
And not mere intonation
So when I say without reservation,

I am an African.

I say it from a place deeper
Than my voice box –
A place located more obscurely
than the cerebral corner of my brain
that itches to write its truth
I say it in a rhythm stronger than
ears drums are equipped to handle
I say it to those who also know like I do
Those who share these same African values
I say:

I am an African and so are you!

Solstice Rhyme for the Unborn Frees December 7, 2007

Posted by journeywomanchi in Liberation Poems.
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Lifting up the
heavy load of
colonial domination
of my Afrikan mind,
I find myself free –
just the way I was born.

Untrapped
unchained
maintained in my position
as matriach –
this is the truth as
I know it.

I don’t sit no more
for many scores and years
have lapsed since
We last had a
paradigm shift
so with every talent
I have,
I remain upright
in order to uplift
to mimick the
earth’s plantonic drifts
 
Climates changing
is the primary reason for sharing

The gifts given.
Giving thanks to the heavens
by actively being
the remembrance I live –
the strength to keep
me working harder,
feeling braver
in balance
for I’m no messiah
just a healer
growing higher
in my power
 
My un-clocked over strides
are worth much more
than time and a half
because I do it for
the unborn frees –
the coming of the
blessed in breeze
is the prize that
my third eye sees
 
Waiting
for a new generation to
one by one rise,
I elevate in vision
to describe
what is shown:
poetry in motion
is my home grown
recipe to becoming wise

Even admist the lies of
the military industrialized
(and other televised seductions)
I educate to translate
the truth hidden
between the line of
corporate sponsored
concoctions-
 
Experts endorsed statistics
to keep me in check –
but I’m free, didn’t you hear?
I got the foot
off my neck

Intellectualizing my rhythm –
I reinvent my rhyme
scholarly dissecting,
I’m learning to
translate my style
 

Documented citations
of the under-exposed
warriors
I re-echo their voice –
exercising my brain
so as to reach untapped
cerebral corridors

To improve insights
I use all my spiritual might –
leaping higher
to complete the ritual of
vision unblurring

 

Stirring and stirring
I’m calling
on new ancestors
for guidance
in this chosen role
as a liberation traffic
conductor
directing all back
home

 
Fannon and Diop
Nkrumah and Senghor
DuBoise and Biko
Zik – I call you!
 
Mamas Harriet and Truth
Fannie Lou, Rigoberta Menchu
I adore you!
 
From the living to the dead
Your heart works are my stead-
so I salute you.
 
Free as I am,
I’m indebted to our clan

So, on this truth I stand
tall like the Iroko tree
Living and being
for our unborn frees.

Defiance October 3, 2007

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I was born on one Thursday

in the middle of chaotic display:

Lagos go-slow

stuck in colonial times

that taught us that

we must fall apart

 

But in my heart

and my soul too

I just knew that my body

must go to

Turtle Island

to heal like I’m supposed to

in order to realize

beyond these crooked lies

that we’re worthless,

wicked worshippers,

evil people saved by the crucifix,

Jesus-loving marching foot soldiers,

Doing just what the masta told ya –

destroying minds

and our lives

now I’m healed and here to remind

that we are living

 

In defiance

justifiably being righteous

It’s ‘cause we’re born

to play this part –

moving along with truth

that speaks to our hearts

 

In America –

“Gods own people”

Propaganda used to deceive you –

I became a restless warrior

Intiated to my clan

clentched fist of the hand

I studied oracles

and miracles

and rituals

and yoga

and chi gong

and love

and life

with no need for

a gun or a knife

I training to be a

Mid-wife and mother

for this prophecied

new nation,

Venus called me

to this destination

Star children reunite,

We’ve got much to fight!

 

Because we’re living

in defiance

justifiably being righteous

It’s ‘cause we’re born

to play this part –

moving along with truth

that speaks to our hearts

 

Globalizing revelation

telepathic communication –

tune up your rebel frequency!

letting ancestors move you

to destiny

and in me

you’ll see you

and when I act

I’ll reflect you:

 

Black people warriors of sea

Red people mothers of the earth

Brown people shamans of the air

White people keepers of the fire

and all people must desire

to be free

in order to see that

 

We’re living

In defiance  

justifiably being righteous

It’s ‘cause we’re born

to play this part –

moving along with truth

that speaks to our hearts