I Was Not There

I do not entirely agree

with the actions of my ancestors

cannot say with a straight face that I would have stood there

In the crossfire of oppression, falling

while being bit by dogs

smiling

while being spit on

not with a straight face will I say

that I would have been there

to ask my oppressors their permission

to walk down the street

but I was not there

and me not being there leads me to do nothing

but honor their legacy in humility

I do not know the taste of their humiliation

as closely as they experienced it

my young palate is a prejudiced mixture

of what I’ve seen in footage and read in books

I did not feel the lash

or salt in-between their wounds

know nothing of the seasoning

of stripped identity

of throats closing in on tongues

I know only of gentle waters

the kind that bathes, and cooks and quenches the thirst

I know nothing of the kind that pierces

the skin on contact

I do not know because I was not there

but I can write

like Baldwin did

as a witness

I can write the stories

and un-fairy tale the tragedy

of being colored

to make alive again

a history left virtually unknown

because I was not there

not when Moses died or Malcolm slain

but I can write

articulating the suffering

of the now silent

 

Copyright©2017 by Yecheilyah Ysrayl. All rights reserved.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including her soon-to-be released short inspirational guide “Keep Yourself Full.” Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at yecheilyahysrayl.com. Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is her latest novel and is available now on Amazon.com.

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New Beginnings

What happens when the words

are carried on the backs of angels

and thread themselves like strings from your heart

to the edge of your fingertips

like consciousness translated into poetry

a spiritual essence poured out only to be confined

and restricted to the page that binds them

what happens when newness fills you to the brim

forcing you to walk into new beginnings

that this flesh has yet to verbalize properly

I have not the answers to these questions

not yet

just inklings of miracles

from black colored ink

and fire coated passion

on white paper.

The Right Poem

When the right poem is born it is all feeling. Taste and touch and nourishment. All heart and aching and lifting. Poetry is a revolution with a profound sense of strength. When the right poem arrives I notice it instantly. It is all moving like earthquakes so powerful that it breaks down mental barriers and knocks ignorance off Richer Scales. The right poem is not merely the ability to paint pictures with words. The right poem is a full manifestation of the heart. A complete contextualizing of the soul. The right poem is my entire body into words. Every piece of flesh, every tingling nerve. A spiritual essence poured out on the page.

Yecheilyah’s First Poetry Contest: Announcing the Runner-Up Winner!

Hey Guys! The Runner-Up in our First Annual Poetry Contest is Live!

Congratulations to Jau’Nelle for her poem ““His Brooklyn Song (Where I left my Heart).” Be sure to stay tuned for the Grand Prize Winner! Her poem is amazing and you don’t want to miss it.

Important: The Grand Prize winner will be announced on this (PBS) blog.

Colleen Chesebro✨The Faery Whisperer✨

Good Morning!

I am so excited that Colleen has given me the keys to the house once again and I’d like to take this time to thank her for allowing me to host my first contest on her blog.

Additionally, I’d like to thank each of you for your support of our Poetry Contest, those of you who entered and those of you who wanted to enter but did not have the opportunity to do so. Know that, with your support, we’d like to host this contest at least once a year so no worries, there will be other chances! Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the original post across social media, reblogged, etc. We could not have done this without you.

Drumm Roollll…

As we stated, depending on the number of entries, we will have some runner ups. While there can only be One Grand Prize Winner, today…

View original post 692 more words

Queasy

Photo by Oli Dale on Unsplash

 

Change is a sickly feeling

a nervous-like anxiety

fear of the unknown beckoning for patience

to wear itself  thin

stomach fluids swirl in the belly of futures

unknown

and yet I know the power of self-examination

of mirrors and of light

will require me to change

or let go completely

to strengthen

and to build up

to reject what once felt as close as breath

in my mouth

now a violent release of what had been

for what will be

who knew

new beginnings

could be so

queasy.

On Sacred Ground

Photo Credit: Dorné Marting, Unsplash

We planted songs

In cotton fields

Backs bent down

On our toes, our heels

Our voices prayed

When we could not

We planted songs on sacred ground.

Hope sprang from the callus on our thumbs

Watched as Massa sold our sons

Packed up freedom in the Mississippi dirt

Moved up North where pain wasn’t hurt

Silly us, couldn’t let it be

Thought strange fruit only grew on Southern Trees

Traded our crowns

In for concrete

Stopped growing our food

To buy our meat

Insects we traded for rats

Gave up the land

For the projects

Community tight, though enslaved we were

Gave up the land

To call him sir

He was after all, “The Man”

Suited and booted

like nobody can

But all that glitter, ain’t gold

Just because you don’t see chains

Don’t mean you ain’t sold

Stay true to yourself

Your history, your roots

Let no one come along

And steal your truth

Pay attention to what’s real

What’s sound

And keep your feet rooted

On sacred ground.

Remember, you can listen to some of my poems on Soundcloud:


Reminder: Don’t forget about the poetry contest! Get those poems into yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com before next week, Wednesday  July 19th for a chance to win books and Amazon Gift-cards. There is a $5 Entry fee payable to Literary Korner Publishing Here but you can waive the fee when you sign up for my email list Here.

Poetry Contest Reminder: Closing July 19, 2017

As you all know, I am running my first ever poetry contest in honor of my upcoming release Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) which features poetry and is available now for eBook preorders.

Click Here to order at the low price of $1.99 before the price goes up on July 15th.

This book will also be available in paperback.

You can help further by marking Renaissance as to read on Goodreads. CLICK HERE.

Now, poetry…

I am writing to remind you that this contest will end soon!

First, what is this all about? For those of you who have not already checked into Colleen’s Blog where I made the initial announcement on June 19, 2017,  here are the rules:

The Poem

Submit one or two original, unpublished poems to Yecheilyah at yecheilyah ysrayl dot com (yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com) between now through July 19, 2017. You will have until 12:00 midnight Central Standard Time on 7/19 to get your poems in before closing.

Poems must be your ORIGINAL work and UNPUBLISHED anywhere online.

There is one winner of this contest with up to 2 entries per poet.

Entry Fee:

There is a $5.00 Entry fee. Click HERE to pay the fee.

OR – Entry fees can be waived by signing up for my email list HERE. There is no other way to waive the fee.

If you are already on my email list, please mention this when submitting your poem.

Signing up for my email list represents one entry.

If you are entering more than one poem, you must pay the entry fee for any additional poems.

The Reason for the Fee:

The entry fee is in place to help pay for the prizes.

Current Prizes

At this time, we have one Grand Prize Winner who will receive:

  • Poem published to The PBS Blog (includes links to your social media, buy links to your books (if any) and promotion.)

  • Amazon Gift Card

  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

  • *From When I was a Black Girl by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

  • And Still, I Rise by Maya Angelou

*From When I was a Black Girl is my second collection of poetry. First published in 2012 with a second edition published in 2013, this book became a book of study at The Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington for the Fall 2014 semester. Part of an Independent Learning Contract, it remains part of the school’s files to this day. It is my honor to offer a paperback of this collection as a winning prize for this contest. This is an exclusive offer that you will not find on Amazon.

International Shipping

Please note: Winners outside the U.S. will be awarded Kindle downloads of the books listed if someone overseas wins.

Final Thoughts:

The winner will be announced on Monday, August 6, 2017 on both this blog and Colleen’s.

(If you win, you will be notified a couple days before the announcement via email you have won and that an announcement will go out featuring you. This is so that we can collect your information, social links and links to any books you have out if any).

The Grand Prize Winner will have their poetry featured on The PBS Blog with added promotion. The date for this will be revealed to the poet after they have won.

To enter this contest, please send $5.00 to the PayPal of Literary Korner Publishing HERE.

 

To waive your fee, please sign-up to my email list HERE.(Verification of sign-up will be reviewed before poem is accepted).

 

Send your poem to Yecheilyah @ yecheilyahysrayl.com

The Theme

Since Renaissance follows the theme of The Harlem Renaissance and Black life in the South, poems should have something to do with these themes and can be as long or as short as you would like. The contest is open to all poets.

I understand not all of you are familiar with this era so I am opening this up a bit. The theme will remain the same but it is not mandatory. Poems of all kinds will be accepted and considered for the win.

 

Would a focus on the 1920s era and women in general be nice? Yes, but it is not required to win. Consider this open mic!

 

If you didn’t see the original announcement, CLICK HERE to learn more.


That is all and I look forward to reading your poems!