The Wait is Over

I’ve been working on this collection of poetry since I released I am Soul three years ago. So much as happened in that time that most of this year feels like it happened years ago. It feels like Kobe Bryant died in 2019, but then I remember that tragedy happened earlier this year. I have to remind myself that Kobe’s death is how we opened the year!

It feels like I went to Spain for the first time last year, and then I realize that it was just this past February.

Sometimes, it feels like Friday, and then I remember it is only Tuesday. I find myself looking at the calendar more just to remind myself what day it is.

This is 2020.

The most significant change is the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually, we focus on our individual struggles, trials, and tribulations, so it’s funny to think about the world around us being just as chaotic as our internal struggles. As if a global, deadly virus isn’t enough, the rest of the world is just as upside down.

Black men and women continue to be gunned down in the streets. Historical monuments are being demolished as people awaken to the truth of its origin. The traditional school experience for our babies is all but gone. Sports games do not have an audience.

Oh, and we are all walking around wearing masks and shaming people for not being “productive,” enough during a pandemic.

*Queue George Orwell’s 1984*

We are eight months into 2020, and I sense we haven’t seen anything yet.

But there is always hope.

There is no better time than to release this collection amid such a revolutionary era. Revolution only means change, and while most of the changes we’ve seen have been negative, there is a lot of good happening too. The good is harder to see because hope doesn’t make the news, but like the wind, it is there. I had my first school visit this year, where I spoke to 15 ELA classes about writing. I also had my first keynote invite and welcome this year by the Queenz Circle of ATL Bookclub before the pandemic took away the freedom of face-to-face events.

A lot has happened this year not just for me but also for you, so here’s what I’ve learned.

I’ve learned nothing we go through is without a purpose. No pain we suffer and no trial we experience happens without reason. It all ministers to our education and the development of ourselves into the people Yah ordained us to be. It helps to cultivate in us a spirit of patience, faith, humility, and self-control.

I hope these poems are a reminder that in our darkest moments, there is still hope. And I hope this collection will invigorate and renew your soul.

I am excited to share this with you!

My Soul is a Witness ❤️

Courage

How dramatic the transformation is when I turn lioness
how dangerous courage is
how beautiful too
how tingly the feeling when you throw caution to the wind
when an introvert speaks
you know that little mustard seed’s got a fire
how revolutionary to be humble in spirit,
but courageous in character.
The weight of this bravery
both heavy and powerful
how sensitive and warrior I am at the same time.
How powerful strength is
when you don’t know that it is there.

The Butterfly is Supposed to Struggle

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Maya Angelou said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” No one likes to struggle because the pain, of any kind, does not feel good. In fact, many of us probably spend our entire lives seeking to struggle less. To reduce the chances of pain and heartache in our lives, of embarrassment and of shame.

The only problem with this is that the butterfly is supposed to struggle. It is how it achieves its beauty in the first place. The butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without this struggle, the butterfly will never, ever fly.

To my beautiful butterflies out there, don’t try to circumvent the struggle, don’t bypass the pain or override the alarm. Let what needs to happen, happen and listen to what it has to teach you because the struggle is necessary for the growth. The struggle is good if you want to fly.

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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.

Why Reviewing Books is an Act of Love

Whenever I finish a book and prepare a review, I ask myself why I am doing this. Why I dedicate time reading books and time writing reviews and even more time structuring the blog post. Do you know how many times I revise a post before it goes public? Too many times. Some of the posts you love the most have been revised upwards to twenty times because I want it to be done to the best of my ability. It may not even be done right but at least I know I’ve done what I can. If I think before I speak then it means that I must also think before I write. Of course, typos fall through but the point is that to prepare and schedule a post takes time. So, after days (sometimes weeks and months) reading the book, hours writing the review and a few hours scheduling the post I ask myself, why am I doing this? This question led to this post.

Book Bloggers are individuals who offer their service as nothing more than an act of love. It is a selfless act in which the person or persons expect nothing in return. Reviewers are not paid, have no agendas and to be real, we really don’t even have the time which is why our to-be-read piles are always sky high. Book Reviewers read books and write reviews even under pressure and harsh criticism because love endures. And the real ones, those opting to give much more than glowing five stars, these reviewers give even more. Not only do they give their time and attention but they are also genuine. They open up about how they truly felt about the work and add even more value to the service by giving authors the opportunity to grow.

As I finish a book and prepare the review, I find myself feeling really good. I am not burdened or worried or obligated. I am doing what I enjoy doing and am always excited for the authors I get to promote! It humbles me to be a part of their journey. Sometimes I scroll Amazon just to see how my authors are doing.  I remember reviewing books that had just a few reviews when I reviewed them. Then I see they have ten, twenty and thirty. I smile inwardly. In some way, I helped someone to grow.

You see, Book Reviewers do this, largely, with nothing coming back to them except the valuable qualities that no one can take away because it is something that people cannot touch and that money cannot buy: Love, Respect, Dignity, and Courage.