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 ❤️

New Author Tip – Nothing is a Waste of Time

Me and Vivica Fox at her Book Signing yesterday. Be sure to stop by The Medu Bookstore at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and grab your copy of ‘Everyday I’m Hustling’ by Ms. Fox and ‘I am Soul‘ by me!

Dear Indie Author / Self-Publisher, that thing you are doing, that step you’re taking, that move you made….

…is not a waste of time and don’t let anyone tell you that it is. Time is never wasted. Everything is a learning experience IF you choose to see it that way. People like to tell you not to do something because it hadn’t worked out for them or because they can’t see any good in it. If you sow negativity about every mistake then you will reap negativity and nothing will ever work. But, if you sow positivity by turning those mistakes into lessons then you will reap positivity by acquiring a new skill. You will be blessed with an understanding you didn’t have before and the courage to take risks that are no longer bound by the limitations of others.  As an Indie Author you will be bombarded with advice so you have to be very conscious of what works for YOU and what doesn’t. Sometimes the only way to know this for certain is to do the work. Knowledge is only power when it is applied. At some point you must make the difficult decision to stop researching and have faith in the work. Just do the work.

Alone | Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

– Maya Angelou

It is already Yours

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The trial is the mask triumph wears until we are ready to receive what has always been ours. We live in a world where faith has lost its meaning, its vigor, its gloss. Woe to those who walk the Earth when faith has lost its shine. Who are we when faith has lost its power? Dare us to believe that something we cannot see is still ours. I dare you to believe that what you cannot see is still yours. What you cannot taste is still flavor. What you cannot hear is still music. We are far too busy chasing opportunities that aren’t ours to chase, forcing connections and misunderstanding the link between pain and growth. So we miscarry our blessings because of the labor pains. Too caught up in disappointment and heartache to endure the struggle long enough to find the strength. Too physical to see the spiritual. Too impatient to wait for what has not yet come. Too anxious to see that everything we are trying to be we already are and that everything we need, is already ours.

The Butterfly is Supposed to Struggle

2017-11-19 13.46.01

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.

bitmoji478888671

Mistakes

Blog Post Mess Up

If you got it all together, there is no room for growth. If you know it all, there is nothing else to learn. If there is nothing else to learn, there is nothing to strive for. If there is nothing to strive for, there is no hope. If there is no hope, then it is all in vain. Vain. It means nothingness. producing no result. Useless. Are you useless? Let it not be that your existence here is pure poverty; a wasting away of flesh. A joining of bone and marrow, flesh and blood yet dull of emotion, of mistakes, or faults, of trial and error. When you started writing; when you started a blog; when you started school; a new relationship; a job; when you started whatever it is that you started, no one expected you to turn into a robot. Mistakes exist to be learned from and they make up our experience but, when you’re pinched, no one expects you not to feel. Having faith does not mean that you have to pretend as if it doesn’t hurt. If you want to be the best, then there is one thing you must be willing to do: Mess Up. That’s right, you must fall, trip, stumble. If you are to be the best, then you have to make all of the mistakes that are necessary in order to know the difference between what works and what doesn’t. So, fall. Break. Burst forth. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.

Audacity

Photo Credit: By Ali Arif Soydaş @aliarifsoydas

 

Concrete painted the color of our scars
red for the blood of every gangsta who died
believing that defending a street corner
was keeping it real
for every nigga who wears degradation
like it’s his first name
every rebellion
that hates nothing more than truth but a mirror
prissy pink for every woman
who thought her legs were the railroad tracks to femininity
purple for every woman who wore her hips like monkey bars
and her heart like a welcome mat to trample on
when the hatred is spread so generously across her breast
that she feeds this to every “no good man”
she can’t deny a place between her legs
for every tire streaking soot of alcoholic footprints
leading to 24 hour liquor stores
like “look how easy this money is”
green for all the trees whose winters are too brutal
to change from the boo-boo brown of its community
not when hope still hangs it’s strings in the crack filled streets of Harlem
where faith whispers it’s goodbyes to chains and locked doors
the ones with concrete style floors
and bronze heavens
and every prayer is polluted with “I told you so’s”
for every struggle
just remember
that the sun still has the courage to rise in the mornings
which means that the day still has the audacity
to be beautiful…

Psa 3:5 “…weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”