High School Poetry

8 07 2010

I wrote this poem my senior year of high school. It’s ironic. I think I turned this into a publication during college. These questions and feelings stuck with me then and are still with me now. The stuff I was struggling with then has never left me. Now I’m more aware of it. Now it’s gotten more complicated. Now I can read stuff like this, shake my head about how crazy it is that I was tune with myself, and journey on.

Blacker than I was in the Summer

T.O.O. 

As the sun penetrates the dark skin on me

I’m wandering what the light nation will see.

They probably see the sun indulging me

And my skin changing like the leaves on an autumn tree.

They see my skin getting darker, getting closer to the place

Where I’m as dark as my ancestors in skin and in face.

They see the black kid, who probably has bad parents,

The thug, the ignorant, materialistic; it’s apparent

That to them the darker I am, the more I don’t know

The deeper I’m not, the more I don’t flow

The fine places in the future, they know I won’t go.

The decent qualities in me, they know I won’t show.

 

The dark nation says they see all that other stuff,

To put it plainly, they see me as not being black enough.

They think I “live too good” like my past wasn’t rough.

They hear me speak, automatically I sound too white,

Just because I’m really focused, my future’s too “bright.”

They say, “You’re turning too white, look your skin’s getting light.”

 

Oh so that’s what it’s about,

My skin’s too light for you, so I need to go out.

Speak blacker, think blacker go soak up the sun.

You think if I go out in the real world that will really be done?

Do you truly think if I experience what you’ve been through

I’ll be blacker, not whiter, not myself, but like you?

 

As the sun penetrates the dark skin on me,

I’m wondering what the light nation would see.

And as the dark nation says what they want me to be,

I’m asking the whole nation, can I just be me?

 

 

 

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What happens if the table made before your enemy is prepared before…you?

5 07 2010

 

What happens if the table made before your enemy is prepared before…you?

What if you are your own enemy?

In the black church tradition, what I often hear is the same story, which frankly I get tired of hearing sometimes. The enemy this, the enemy that. Lord deliver me from my enemies. But what if we don’t know what we’re asking? What if we’re asking God to deliver us from ourselves and in the process of correcting and cleansing us, since we find it painful, we cry out even louder for the Lord to deliver us from the pain and pressure to change or do something different falsely thinking that everything that happens to us that we don’t like or appreciate is Satan? (whew!)

Satan’s busy but not in the way we think. Maybe Satan is busy feeding us the wrong information. Maybe Satan is busy feeding us the lie that the pain we’re feeling is bad and we need to demand God to rid us of it. And if God doesn’t, perhaps that opens the door for doubt to creep into our faith or for us to go to more extreme measures paying off pastors and ministers for that “come-to-the-altar-and-sow-your-seed-of-one-hundred-dollars” breakthrough. Maybe Satan is busy but we open the door for Satan to be so busy in our lives by imagining that every hard thing in life is not from God.

Maybe we don’t understand that we are the cause of a lot of things that happen in our lives including God’s graceful correction.

Correction isn’t easy.

In fact it hurts. A lot. It feels, smells and tastes a lot like “enemy” but it isn’t. It’s us. Or if we’re so pressed to stick with “enemy” language let’s be real, honest and upfront and name ourselves as our own enemy.

And let’s not get offended that when we ask God to deliver us from ourselves, our selfishness, our being inconsistent and unreliable friends to people, being workers but not worshippers in the church, gossips in and outside of the church, being picky ministers, saying it’s not about the little things one moment but then saying the little things are showing excellence towards God etc.

I’m actually very tired of it. And like all my posts, I’m tired of it because I have lived and experienced it myself.

Prayer-life is important, but I think we need to make ourselves the subject from which we must be delivered rather than the object of deliverance. We’re not that great. But we’re not that bad. But we must remember, we’re not that great. No one is a victim 99% of the time, nor 50% of the time, nor 25% of the time…

My challenge especially goes to the black community. Yes, oppression still has its grasp around the throat of our peoples, but what about the oppression, murder, and pain we commit on ourselves? We have to be honest before God and with ourselves. Sometimes, it ain’t white people’s faults!

This Psalm-23-load-of-crap prayer isn’t okay, especially when we know that we are our own problem, or if we don’t know, we don’t stop to look at ourselves to see where we fit into our own troubled equation. Maybe I’m single because I’m not an easy person to get along with or I always talk about myself and my problems. Maybe I don’t have friends because I’m too churchy and they’re not feeling that. Maybe I’m not doing well academically because I ask God to bless my overnighter instead rationing out an hour a week to get a large assignment done over a long period of time. Maybe I don’t get invited to things because I’m always mean-mugging. Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I brag too much. Maybe I’m not a good steward over my finances and resources. Maybe there are plenty of things I need to be delivered from within my own self before God can take me to a new place.

It’s difficult but maybe I’m wack and God’s been trying to tell me that. Maybe my breakthrough is “Work on your self-centeredness and ego”. Maybe I won’t die a millionaire but a quality person building up the Kingdom of God via my transformation. Maybe I have to see my table set up from afar before I am invited to partake in it. Maybe God can me from wolf to sheep.

__________________________________________________________________________________________ 

I’m not posting this blog to be mean; I just love to write about what most of us don’t want to talk about. It is so necessary and since people only want to mention it in sermons and not do anything with it, I propose we do something with it. I propose we confess that this is where we are, seek accountability among people we trust not only with our hearts (and venting) but with our secrets and we actively work day by day to be better people.

Sometimes I think that is all God needs. I know that’s what others need so let’s seek out the needs of others and not only the desires of self. Life is so much better that way…





I’m still working on it but I used to get very, very upset when people didn’t call or text me back.

28 06 2010

I’m still working on it but I used to very, very upset when people didn’t call or text me back. And not just any people, but the people who were supposed to be important in my life. I felt that the people who were supposed to be there for me just weren’t.

So I thought it legitimate to blame it on technology.

Facebook and cell phones are evil, I used to muse. If I didn’t have a cell phone and they didn’t have a cell phone I’d be perfectly content on waiting to ask them what I must via letter or whenever I would see them next. It wouldn’t be a problem, but the urgency of technology has created a problem persona within me. At least that’s what I used to tell myself, until I recognized that there are some controlling aspects of me that I need to work on now rather than later. And that there is this deep tendency in me to take things personally that, even if they are meant personally, like not answering a text message until a week later, I still have control of my feelings and not control over other people’s actions.

And it’s time to stop blaming technology. I know a lot of people have this trend where they speak badly against technology because it has created the falsity of instant relationships, communication and contact; and I agree with that to an extent, but after a while we must admit that this technology-affects-relationships debate matters to us so much because we were overeager and fell head over heels in love with it. We overdosed on its drug-like affects of euphoric communicative abilities and now want the drug abolished, but it doesn’t work like that. It took too long to get the drug legalized.

What does work is reflecting on why I may need to talk to “so and so” so badly. I have to face it; technology will keep evolving and be around long after I’m gone. I can’t control that; but I can control myself and who I allow into my life and inner circle.

A lot of the times, I reflect on the prophets and how some, especially Jeremiah weren’t feeling God’s communication back to them. They talked constantly and let God be the center of their life and didn’t feel like they were receiving the same effort from God.

Now, I know my friends are not nor will they ever equate to God, but perhaps the correlation between the prophets and I is the “I”. Maybe the common denominator is the person who feels hurt whether the anticipated communicator is a good or bad friend, or God. Perhaps the most impactful part of the lesson of non-communication is that the party with all the expectation sees something in that relationship worth being upset for or they don’t.

I have a hand in determining my mood. If I don’t like a class, I can drop it. If I am not connecting with a church body, there are others out there, one that could fit me best, but I must do the leaving and cleaving. Technology is not to blame. Even my non-communicative friends are not to blame. I have the choice or who is allowed in my life and in that choice, I can evaluate where I am (if I’m too needy or not, or if I am justified in expecting a certain level of communication from someone in my life).

It’s not a technological debate. It’s a personality issue, whether it’s mine or the said person in question. For the prophets it was not God. God was God and could do what God wanted or did not want to do. Hmmm, I guess we humans can do what we want to do too. Including evaluating what’s most important to us and what we must change or adjust in order to lead peaceful lives.








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