STORM

by Andrea McKinnie

 

RAINDROPS THAT FEEL LIKE DAGGERS FALL UPON MY HEAD

THEY’RE INVISIBLE, BUT PAINFUL.

 

I’M CHOSEN BY GOD

BUT I HAVE BEEN TARGETED BY THE DEVIL.

 

MY HEAD IS USED FOR DART PRACTICE;

ARROWS COME AT ME FROM ALL DIRECTIONS.

 

I’M FALLING, SINKING–

THERE IS A STORM INSIDE OF ME.

 

A STORM TOO STRONG FOR ME TO CONTROL-

A STORM TOO POWERFUL FOR A HUMAN TO UNDERSTAND.

 

EVEN THOUGH THIS POISONOUS RAIN KEEPS FALLING UPON ME AND

EVEN THOUGH THE THUNDER OF THIS STORM SHAKES ME UNTIL I CAN BARELY STAND

I WILL CONTINUE TO LIFT UP MY HANDS AND GIVE GOD THANKS

ALTHOUGH VOICES TELL ME I AM DOOMED

AND VOICES SAY THAT THIS STORM CANNOT BE SURVIVED

I BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL SAVE ME FROM THIS STORM

SEARCHING

by Andrea McKinnie

 

Sharp arrows implore me

You want to restore me

 

I’m Bleeding internally

 

My pain’s visibility is Incognito

it is hidden in the drug

that I am addicted to.

 

I am screaming inside

God, can you hear me

This pressure is too much

I just want to be free…

 

Tidal waves of fury,

hurricanes of disappointment

This deluge overpowers me

and I cannot get up.

 

I know that God is real,

but I am struggling to find the path

to a brighter day.

IN DEFENSE OF MAN

by Jasmine Williams

 

Your honor, please let me bring the defenses argument.

 

I am the last person who should stand here today and tell you to save them

To spare them from the horrible hell you have already decided for them

But, I want to bring one piece to the table, one argument.

I will not waste mine or your time.

I will make things brief.

You have forsaken Man for all the they have done.

I know the things that goes on in their heads.

The murder, raping, the poverty the waiting.

They started with so much potential and we both watched as their glimmer faded.

They take pride in the wrong they do, the kill true beauty and smile at the job.

They taint all that they have touched like a rose that wilts after you hold it too long.

They do not hold the rose they pluck it and demand that it smells.

Then after all its uses are gone, Man then cries asking what went wrong.

They are petty and inpatient, dirty and smell. They kill everything

From land, to sea, to themselves. Inside and out.

They are horrible beings and, honestly, I agreed with you.

But, we fathered them both of us, and I have one thing to say before you take them away.

They have disease and sickness and lust, greed, envy and anger and mean.

They have no redeeming qualities at least that is what you believe…

Have you ever seen the face of a mother with her young, day old?

The smiles of children in the park, in the yards.

The way a young man falls for his love.

The gentle breathes that sing in syce.

The way of two heartbeats.

All the hair fading from a child’s head. Uniting all to fight for them.

The gentle hands that hold other close.

The comfort of a friend or a lover or both possibly.

The singing of songs that no one knows.

The car rides and walks to places familiar or unknown.

The seeing of misery and some, not all, see this as a thing that must be fought.

The way of someone working hard for what they want.

The words of a poem that finally becomes more then a thought.

I know there is bad, I am like you after all, but I see that Man.

Might have a chance after this.

So you can take them and doom them know. Or let them try.

Let them grow and take the warning not as lightly.

Let them know of their stance and see if they improve.

At least that is what the defense brings to you.

 

Thank you.

OH SAY CAN YOU SEE

by Jasmine Williams

 

Oh, say can you see by the land of the free? Except for you…

 

My great-grandma came on a ship named for a flower and started a new life

In the shadows of all the people that was here long before she was dreamed of

She carried all the load that she could, she bowered off the people that she could.

She saw all the disease rid the Natives, and still tall, she stood.

My great-grandma had a whole bunch of children, some died, and some lived

And that’s where her story ends.

My granddad, he grew and conquered the land, and the fields he worked and soon many said

“You will never be more than an whore immigrants son”

He worked and earned some respect, he stayed and bowered his time

He told his own son, “There will be a time soon that comes, never for forget you are an immigrant’s son”

My dad he fought, and he killed for the notion of a nation he wants to build

He thinks back on what his father told him

Now looking at the darker immigrants that fight side by side with him.

He ran onto the battlefield. He won war with them.

He promised that one says he would. Work with them as equals and friends.

He did not forget the immigrant’s son.

Years later, my aunt was starving with children, the potatoes were rotting.

She promised that the land of the free would take her in, clothe her, feed her.

She was turned away, laughed and mocked, from other seamstress that said that she

Could be one of them, she was just an immigrant.

So, they travelled to the mountains west. Appalachian. And there she told the young.

“Never forget the immigrants young.”

My cousin was a German in the time of war time. In the country that was looking to Europe.

Saw the Germans and told her to kick it. My cousin. Had a family and husband.

Lived her since she was a young one. She told her children this.

“Never forget the immigrant mom.”

Across town, just one year later. My best friend got moved to camp.

In Arkansas. He was mocked and underfed. He was always American.

But his parents weren’t. So, he waited and got out and told his friends.

“Never forget the immigrant men.”

All my family, friends and their kids, all grew and become more than just an “immigrant.”

Became lawyers, senators, and presidents. They started from an immigrant’s womb.

Now my sister she walks over a river. And my brother, crosses the ocean.

They eat food, old or moldy, overcrowded resting rooms.

They come here much like great-grandma, they know they might not belong.

But they are ready to come and stand tall.

And they will tell their kids, “Immigrants is not a bad word.”

They come and never taste freedom, they come in masses like Lady Liberty says

They were weak and poor, free of their homeland.

Immigrants is not a bad word.

My sister she gets sent home, she gets raped, she gets beat and pregnant.

With a diablos child, she starts walking. Up north again saying.

“Immigrant is not a bad word.”

My brother, he made it longer, worked in the dark for farmers, come in those pennies.

He saved up, did not buy a house, instead became an American!

He hears people say, “They take the jobs.” “They need to go home” that “They are whats wrong”

He shouts, “Never forget the immigrants mom, the immigrant young, the immigrant man.”

“Immigrant is not a bad word!”

So, immigrant, they come, immigrant, in masses, like those before.

“Never forget the immigrants you came from.”

WAKE UP

by Jasmine Williams

 

Can we take thanks for the things that we think

Original and unique never before thought

Then we have them and gone, out of reach

Once more and now you start to become awake

We se the stars long dead and gone still shine

And se we will join them one day

The matter of us is the matter of all

And it’s a matter of time before you start to

Wake up

We yell at time and distance and space

Of lost days that have gone away but

The question must be asked

We exist and are, but no stars see time or distance or space

The star sees just existing now and now

And so, shouldn’t we? Join the stars early?
and this is when you wake up early

Before you are too decided to walk

To join the stars now before you become dust

Dust that will just become part of it all again

Join it early and wake up

ORGANS

by Jasmine Williams

 

She lays a black lace on her head and I know

That today is the day that I die

Its already decided and done

And the people come in and out of the steeple

Some laugh with a cigarette’s hanging out of their mouths

And I, I hate the organ so much

So much, the organ will destroy my soul

With its patience keys

I hate the organ

The common sit and gather around

I’m ready for my final show

They play the music I never liked

And they snicker when they hear the songs

The man that I have never met

Talks about me like I was his own

And everyone laughs when he says

That I was just young and innocent and dumb

I wish I truly wish I was just that

I hate organ so much

The organ destroys my soul

With its patience keys and I know

That today is the day I die

I hate the organ so much

The organ destroys my soul

It kills its patience keys

I know that today is the die that I die

Oh, I hate the organ

The organ destroys me with its patient keys

Today is the day that I die.

PARKING LOT

by Jasmine WIlliams

 

Just imagine me sitting

On my car hood

Looking at the road

Gonne flip a coin

Imagine me thinking about the word

I will never say in song

and there you are

in a parking lot too, looking back

and seeing me

Imagine you driving all alone and then you

Just drive away

and you drive away

And you drive

Imagine me looking back at you

Going to wish I could follow and

Imagine me pleading that some how

you see me and turn around oh but

You and your pals had a great night planned

Better flip that coin and see when mine will end

Imagine you looking back and seeing the news alert

and thinking “I just drove away”

you just drove away

and you drove away

you did not look back and you drove away

THE FRESH PICKED FLOWERS

by Jasmine Williams

 

I walk around a house and see the flowers you picked for me.

I sit in front of the flowers and notice the smell of the pie that you baked for me.

I go to my room and see the dress you have chosen for me.

I go to my bathroom and see the lipstick you have set out for me.

In the tub I see a fresh razor and soap.

Just for me.

The house is on fire.

The flowers are burning.

The pie is black.

The dress is ashes.

The lipstick, melted.

And all the little things you have chosen for me.

Gone.

I watch it burn without emotion.

I sit on the bed and feel the flames on my legs.

Take me. Take me. Take me please.

I lay back as the house burns.

You could have never chosen this for me.

MIDNIGHT THOUGHTS

by Jasmine Williams

It is very late in the night and I cannot sleep

The birds are not speaking, and I cannot hear from the deafening silence

The room is fuzzy, and the dots are growing I cannot see.

The darkness is blinding me. It won’t shut up.

The thoughts amazing and terrifying.

That one day I will close my eyes and know I will never open them again.

That all steps and all breathes are leading to one thing.

Nothing will be the same.

The stars I see are long dead with new ones we cannot see.

My heart is beating but I do not know where

It is very late in the night and I cannot sleep again.

All the days yet to be will be a memory and gone.

the fireflies are dancing in my head and I cannot see.

The battles I have fought might win again.

the people I see might die before me.

I cannot help but wish to not exist to never feel this pain.

But the stars and people and sky,

Keep me here another night.

It is very late in the night and I cannot sleep again.

But the blinding darkness and deafening silence comforts me.

For just another night.

DEAR PARENTS

by Destiny Taylor

 

Dear Parents,

Encourage your children.

Lift them up and be there for them.

Show them the Good in the world.

Show them all the love and positive things around you.

Point out all the little happy things.

Point out the bee pollinating the flower.

Point out the ant carrying its meal on its back.

Point out the droplets of dew on the morning grass.

Explore with them.

Take them outside during a shower

And let them be serenaded by the song of rain.

Put a blanket on the ground under the night sky

And show them the big dipper.

Show them the moon and

Acknowledge its different faces.

Hunt for four leaf clovers;

             Squint hard.

Enjoy the taste of a honeysuckle’s sweet nectar.

Make wishes on dandelions,

And dare not tell what it is you wished.

Educate them.

Read books with them.

Answer their questions to the best of your ability.

Show them what you know,

As later they will show you.

Introduce them to all kinds of music and art.

Teach them to appreciate such things

and let them be inspired.

Finally, Love them.

Nurture them as a lioness nurtures her cubs.

Hold them in your arms tight,

As one day you’ll no longer be able to do so.

Let them sleep with you

When they are afraid.

Listen to their stories

No matter how tired you are.

And always whisper sweet “I love you’s” as they

              Drift off to sleep.