Journey Through Love (A Poetry Collection)

 

Journey Through Love

 

Journey Through Love (A Poetry Collection)

Excerpt:
“No one ever told me that love would be a journey.
That I would be backpacking through the windows of your past
boarded to hide the things you’re ashamed of.
Skating by your insecurities in order to ease the pain.
Knee deep in the only ocean that separates you from your truth.”

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Dear Son: A Written Interpretation of a Spoken Word Piece by Urban Thoughts.

Urban Thoughts released a video interpretation of his poem “Dear Son” on last week. He asked me to write about it. So here is my written interpretation of this piece. Watch the video below, then read the rest of this post.

“The video became my healing. After I went into the Ozark mountains to finish some other writing, I ended up editing “Dear Son” with the film maker Jason Hall. It became the final poem. But I realized I hadn’t forgiven myself yet. The video became my forgiveness and redemption.” –Urban Thoughts 

For the men who have lost themselves in an abortion…

It’s never easy to say goodbye. Especially when another life is in your hands, another soul, another body. But when your life isn’t the only one at stake here, it becomes impossible.

While watching this video, I asked myself, “What would you do?”

I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer for that. But when you’ve lived your life for others, decisions never seem to be yours anymore.

When the decisions that you told yourself you’d never have to make are looking you in the face, it’s hard to make a choice.

When you’ve contemplated taking your own life, the idea of taking another seems like murder suicide. Because a small part of you dies as well. There’s a saying that with death comes new life. But it’s hard to live a life when you’re missing a piece of it.

But at some point you had to make a decision. Do you give up your future so that your son can have one? Do you change the course that God laid out for you, simply because you weren’t ready. It makes you wonder if readiness isn’t overrated. Nothing ever happens when you want it to happen. You’re never actually ready to be responsible for a new life.

But they say that everything happens for a reason. Even this. There’s a lesson in the pain. There’s a lesson in the regret. You don’t have to punish yourself for something that a younger you did. If we asked you today, that decision may have changed. But who knows how anything else would have turned out.

Even the smallest change in the past disrupts the climate. It changes the course of time. When you’ve given your all to a woman and she starts to harbor a piece of you, she becomes you. That pain that you felt, she felt it too. Women are incubators. Whatever you sow into them turns into something remarkable. You gave her a piece of you and even though she didn’t keep it. Even though that piece didn’t have a chance to grow. Her heart didn’t stop growing.

You asked a question… “Did you fight, like I should have fought for you?” You said that “[you] were reminded… that they say sons are like their fathers.”

If your son was like you, he knew the difference between a murder and a sacrifice. He knew the difference between a victim and a martyr. You weren’t a policeman or a Mr. Zimmerman. You were a young man who ran out of options. You were a young man who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet.

You were a man in love with a woman who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet. You were a young man who learned what it meant for silence to grow into constant yells and screams. Screams that grew from grief. But grief that led to prayer. Prayer that brought you closer to a God of forgiveness. That same forgiveness that you’ve learned to gift yourself. Because in reality, we’ve all done things we’re afraid to admit. We’ve all done things of which we’re ashamed. We’ve all done things that have taken us years to forgive.

They say that time heals all wounds. But I say that time exposes the scars. Those scars tell a story of why we’re still here. They tell the memories that we try to forget or the ones that we hold onto. Some memories we hold onto for dear life. Some scars we cut open so that the pain doesn’t disappear. We feel that if the pain leaves, so does the memory. But in that comes growth. Those same scars grow back stronger even when we try to make them wounds. Eventually they’ll all forgive themselves. It’s only right that you do too.

 

Credits:

Harley Quinn on (background vocals)

Poetic Sun and Suavo J (actors)

AC Dutch of 224 Studio (recording)

Jarvis Sumlin (J.D. Daltry) of KneeBraceMusic (audio production)

Tundrea Lyons (voiceover on the phone)

 

Her Husband, My King: Unconventional Ties , Part 2

Her Husband My King Unconventional Ties

To Read Part 1: Click Here

“Love is composed of one soul inhabiting  two bodies. “ -Aristotle

Looking into his eyes was like looking at myself in the mirror.  Except he was everything  that was good about me.  I thought he was beautiful.  There were times when I questioned my beauty. I had been told my whole life how beautiful I was.  But when you’ve gone your entire life falling for guys who never thought you were good enough,  you wonder if people are just saying things to be nice. You wonder if they saw something deeper.

I knew that I had a beautiful heart,  but it’s impossible to make someone fall in love with your heart when they aren’t attracted to the owner.

It was like he saw my heart through my eyes.  I didn’t have to tell him who I was because he knew.  The more time we spent getting to know each other,  the more we realized how much we had in common.  Like that one time I smashed my finger in my car door and had to cut off my ring that I always wore. Then there was the time when he broke his finger and his wedding band was stuck. Same hand,  same finger,  different bodies.  Then there was the fact that cold weather made both of our right ankles hurt, due to a similar injury years ago.

I remember growing up and feeling upset. Not really knowing why, I would pray for my future husband. Because if I came from him, I was bound to feel his pain. So if I was emotionally upset for no reason, he had to be going through something in that very moment. If there was a pain in my chest, I assumed his heart was hurting. So I would anoint my chest with healing oil because I needed him to be okay for me. If I was unable to physically take care of him, I needed to be able to do it spiritually. God heard more prayers about him than myself for a while.

Fast forward about ten years and there I was falling in love with a man who seemed to have gone through life wondering about me. He knew that he was missing something, but he had no idea what it was.

_____________________________________________________________________

“You’re beautiful, Rack.”

“No one’s ever called me beautiful before.”

“You’re how I expect royalty to look. Everything about you, from your facial structure, to the way your eyes wander when you’re in deep thought.”

“Thank you!”

“You’re welcome.”

“Let me take you somewhere.”

“Where?”

“It’s a surprise. Do you trust me?”

“I do.”

“Meet me in the parking lot of the place where we first met? Tonight at 7.”

“I’ll be there. What should I wear?”

“Wear something that makes you feel beautiful.”

I knew exactly what to choose. I knew that he would love it. But most of all it made me feel gorgeous. I bought the dress a few years prior. I had gained a few pounds since, but it still fit just right. There was a time where I loved to wear sundresses, but that time had passed. The extra weight had caused me to push all of my dresses to the back of the closet. I barely wanted to see myself in a dress, so I was sure that no one else wanted to see it either. But when Rack told me to wear something that made me feel beautiful, I chose the only thing that I knew would bring back the old me, the Sheila that could turn the head of every guy in the room.

I was there about thirty minutes early, and he was already there. I was early to everything. I would much rather drive normally and get somewhere early than to rush and be late.

“Rack, you’re early!”

“So are you. Ready to go?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Don’t be nervous. It’ll be fun.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

He drove for about twenty minutes before we made it to our destination.

“I’ve always wanted to take someone here. I’m happy that you said yes.”

“Anywhere with you, was fine with me. You could’ve invited me to church and I would’ve been happy to go.”

“Speaking of church, how often do you attend?”

“Every week. My church family is really close. We’re really more like friends than anything.”

“I think that’s cool. I grew up in church. But let’s finish this conversation in a few. Follow me?”

We got out of the car and he led me to this lit grassy area near the parking lot, under a tree. I wasn’t sure where we were but it was beautiful. You could see the stars in the sky and there was no one around. The typical person would be afraid. But I knew that he wouldn’t let anything happen to me.

The sun had set and the moon was full. There was a blanket laying under the tree with a basket. There was a tea candle on top of the basket. The wind was still tonight, so there was no chance of it blowing out the flame.

“I’ve never been on a picnic.”

“I figured, if we had no distractions, we could get to know each other a little better. I know that our usual hangout spots aren’t really conversation friendly.”

“You’re right. But I enjoy being in your presence more than you know. I think I’ve grown to know you pretty well, my idea of you at least.”

“Tell me something. What do you see when you look at me?”

“Well, I noticed you from afar. You seemed quiet.  I imagine that you grew up in a loving household with siblings. But I also imagine you being the quiet one. You look like you used to play sports, maybe football. I think you’re smart and have a knack for learning new things. It seems like you’re good with your hands.”

I grabbed his hands with mine,

“They’re rough. So, I’m sure that you’re no stranger to hard work. Your eyes are gentle. I think you have a lot of love inside. You give the best hugs. But I feel like you don’t get them enough.”

“So, you’re just going to read me like an open book huh?”

“Your eyes tell me more than you probably want me to know.”

“I’d tell you everything about me if you asked.”

“An open book.”

He laughed.

For the next hour, we ate shrimp alfredo, baked salmon, and strawberry cheesecake, courtesy of Chef Rack. I had no idea that he could cook, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was stuffed and I hadn’t laughed so much in my entire life.

“I hope you enjoyed yourself.”

“That would be an understatement. This is the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. I don’t usually leave the house much.”

“Well I’m glad you did, or else, you would’ve never met me.”

“That would have been a great injustice.”

“I agree.”

“I spent a lot of years wondering when I would meet someone who would mean the world to me. But I knew that if I didn’t get out, I’d never meet him unless of course he was a pizza delivery guy or the mailman.”

“That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. Well I’m glad that you knew you deserved much more than that.”

“I’m glad I did too. I think this is the start of something beautiful.”

“Something beautiful indeed.”

He drove me back to my car and for the first time, I wished that he didn’t have to leave. The closer that we got to my car, the more I wished he would keep driving, to somewhere far away, that we could be together.  Before I finished that thought, we had made it.

“Text me when you make it home?”

“You can count on it.”

“Thank you for tonight. I had an amazing time.”

“Anything for you, Sheila.”

I hugged him and he kissed me on my forehead. It was the warmest, most gentle kiss.

“Goodnight Rack.”

“Goodnight Shelia.”

The drive home was quiet, but loud. I couldn’t stop thinking about him and honestly, I didn’t want to. Thoughts of him were bound to turn into sweet dreams. As I walked into the house, I made sure to shoot him a text.
Text conversation

I was convinced that if nights ended with dreams of him, waking up without him may not be so hard.

Her Husband, My King: Unconventional Ties, Introduction

Her Husband My King Unconventional Ties 

I grew up learning that woman came from man’s rib. There’s the story that God put man to sleep, took one of his ribs and formed woman. So I believed that when a man found his rib, he would know. It would be as though he’d lived his life missing a piece of him and the moment that he was in the room with her, he would feel whole again. Also, the woman would feel at home when she was near him, after all she did come from him.  That theory died a little, after years and years of dating men who just weren’t it. I found myself settling for good enough. As long as they loved me slightly, I let it ride. I would give all of my love in hopes that something magical would happen. It never did. Because they just weren’t the one for me. Until the day that I met him.

Let me tell you about my king.

You know the saying, “eyes are the windows to the soul?” Well I never thought that was true until I met Rack. Rack was 6’2 about 300 pounds. He was beautiful. He had skin that reminded me of the motherlands and a smile that rivaled even the best Colgate models. He was quiet and gentle. I secretly gave him the nickname, gentle giant. He was an artist. His persona gave off one of authority and aggression. But I saw something else in his eyes. I saw peace and a story that was waiting to get out. I also saw hurt. I could see that behind that gorgeous smile, something was wrong. I was dying to hear his story one day. But there was one problem. He was married.

Meeting him was like falling in love with yourself after years of wondering why anyone else would. 

It’s like getting to know you all over again, when you never knew you should.

You look into their eyes and you’re reflected inside.

You’re not sure where it’s headed but you’re down for the ride.

You’ll ride to the moon with them if it meant more time spent.

It’s so hard to walk away. You wonder where they’ve been.

You wonder if it’s just a phase, but you’re sure there’s more in store.

You’ve never liked to share,

But you like him a little bit more.

You’ll give him all the love because he’s shown so much to you.

It’s non-traditional, but it works for you.

I always told myself that I would never date a married man. So regardless of how he made me feel, I had to let the idea of getting to know him go. He’d never entertain my advances and I had no intentions of advancing past friendship. But there was something in the way he hugged me. It was almost as though he didn’t want to let go. I was comfortable with staying in his arms. But I kept looking past him. There weren’t many times when he’d go out alone. But I looked forward to the times that he did.

One night, he was alone. It was late. We were hanging out among friends and it was a bit chilly outside. I instinctively cuddled up next to him and he didn’t push me away. He welcomed me with opened arms. It seemed like the warmest place to be. In that moment, I knew that he was something special. It felt like I belonged there. I had no clue why he felt so comfortable, so familiar. I had no intentions of finding out. But the way he looked at me when I backed away made me sad. I knew in that moment, that I had to be close to him, that this had to happen. I knew that if he was home, I’d never be sick again.

That night was the start of something beautiful. Friendly text conversations turned into a game of 21 questions. We spent hours messaging about each other’s favorite things, from colors to positions. Nothing was off limits. We were getting to know each other after all. Funny how, I’d known this man for over a year, maybe two. But I didn’t really know him. I honestly didn’t know anything about him other than the fact that he was married. He was an open book and I was nervous. He did everything in his power to make me feel comfortable. He told me to take my time, and I did.

“I can’t believe we’ve never talked before.”

“I can’t either, but I’m glad that we’re talking now, Rack.”

“If you could ask me anything, what would it be?”

“How many times have you been in love?”

“Not many. Maybe twice.”

“I’ve been in love too much to count. But none of them loved me in return.”

“I can’t believe that.”

“Believe it. I really wish that it wasn’t true. But it is. I spent a lot of time trying to prove myself to men who couldn’t reciprocate general feelings for me.”

“I’m not sure how you’ve stayed single for this long.”

“Hopefully, that won’t always be the case.”

“If I have anything to do with it, it won’t.”

I wondered if he was just running game. But he seemed sincere. It was almost as though I was having a conversation with my father. He said all of the right things at all of the right times. But he didn’t come off as a know-it-all. He was genuine. Before ending the conversation, he said something to me that took all of my anxiety away.

“I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. The moment I saw you, I knew that you were someone that I had to know and here we are. Can we keep this going?”

“As long as you’ll have me.”

That was something that I told most people. In the past, I had a bad habit of running men away. I had the tendency to come on too strong. I didn’t want to do the same with him. But he assured me that it was okay to be myself. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be too much. Even with his permission, I chose to keep a lot of my feelings under wraps. After all, he did belong to someone else.

When Waiting to Exhales Turns Into a Gasp for Air

When Waiting to Exhale becomes a Gasp for Air

I never knew what it meant to suffocate until that night…

You gave new birth to the meaning of the word. I couldn’t remember the last time I had an asthma attack, yet it was so easy for my lungs to give in to the pressure of not having enough room to breathe. I felt my chest collapse as though the world was on top of it. Five words:

I can’t be your friend…

This brought back six-year-old memories of asthma induced weight-loss…I remember secretly loving those moments where I was skinny… but only for a second.

But I didn’t love this feeling. I waited for the day you would give up on me, when your five-year chase would come to a screeching halt. Only I thought I would have a different reaction…

I never thought it would feel like a train wreck happened on the inside. It was as though someone ripped my heart right out of my chest.

I thought I knew what heartache felt like, but now, I’m not so sure.

The next 24-hours were the longest in history.
You gave me an ultimatum
and all I could think about was seeing you.

We sat
We cried
We talked
We cried.

I’d never heard you so hurt before.
Tears that only fell at funerals,
were falling because of me.

I knew that I couldn’t lose you
and I refused to risk it all.

No way would I deprive you of your happiness,
just because I chose to punish myself.

There was nothing keeping me from being with the love of my life,
just past hurt and religion.

——————————————————

When you’re almost 25 and with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you hear “We need to talk,” your mind goes directly to breakup mode.

I just knew it was over.
They say that it takes twice as long to get over as it takes to get to know.
I knew that it would be a long 34 years.

34 years from now,
you’ll be retired and I’ll be running my private practice
helping others in the place of you.
I would no longer have you to give that extra push. Others would need that shove.

Maybe I can catch it early.
Maybe they won’t have to grow up with the pain from their past.
Maybe I could be their reason for letting go.
Maybe I can be the voice of reason to a girl surrounded by close-minded hypocrites,
the one who tells her that it’s okay to love who she loves.

I thought that my heart would break into two. But I already saw it coming. I spent the next few hours imagining what you’d share during our next conversation.

It’s that time…
You’re deploying and can’t stand the thought of leaving me here alone.
My greatest fear is now a reality.
You’re not happy and would rather end it now before you resented me.

Well my imaginations were half right. You weren’t deploying. My soldier was still going to be on this side of the world just not in mine. Just one of my worst fears was coming true. But it didn’t hurt any less.

Nothing hurt as much as the time you no longer wanted to be my friend. At least you’d still be in my life. That’s if I would have you. At least I still had my best friend.

What do you do when the only person who knows your worth tells you they’re not worthy of your love and the only person you chose to freely give your love to, doesn’t know how to deal with it? What if they’re not ready for the love you’ve been cultivating just for them.

That’s when you take all of the energy that you used to exhale the moment you realized that you could finally be with the love of your life and use it elsewhere.
Breathe…
Think…
Breathe…
It’s okay to cry…

They say that time heals all wounds, but I say oxygen prevents scars. It’s okay to cry, take all the time you need.

Just BREATHE!

Where Serenity Resides

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

                                                    –Reinhold Niebuhr “The Serenity Prayer”

He’s a King covered in peace.
The physical appearance of serenity.
Crowned in favor that others can’t seem to understand
His castle is the universe
He’s the ruler of his journey
to peace.
He’s gentle courage, giving me the ability to change what I can.
He’s verbal wisdom, helping me to know the difference.
He’s the outward manifestation of an inward prayer
that blinds me every time he appears.
I see him and I can’t tell the difference
between reality and my dreams.

What to do when your dream is staring you in the face
bragging about not being another nightmare?
He’s the dream that I don’t have to wake up from.
He’s become the reality
That I stopped searching for.

He wears his power in his Crown.
No need to question the source
The most high is his plug.
His ultimate healer,
ultimate leader.
The creator of he.
The reason I be-
came the woman I am
for him, his rib
The missing help,
and the reason I never needed any.
He was there receiving power from the source
sharing the extra with me
through his words.
Dropping rubies that led me to him,
The king,
on a throne
Fit to be shared
With me.

The addiction I couldn’t get clean from.
Don’t let them tell you that your keys won’t fit.
The locksmith is not welcome here.
When you’ve found a home
Less than perfect,
A place to lay your head
When the heaviness is too much to bear.
Don’t let them take your peace
that only came when he arrived
and gave you a reason to move
into a place of solace.

When serenity resides in a man
who gives the word justice,
you’ve found a home worth sharing.

April 30 in 30 #7: To the Man who Shares my Dreams

Let’s take a trip to Harlem
On the backs of angels,
Defer the dreams of those that never believed.

We share the dreams
Of a sleepless generation
Caused by waking hours
Of dreamless conversations
That we’ve grown to despise.

Loners in a room
Of those unable to be alone.
We’ve mastered the art
And the ability to dream.

I pray that you don’t sleep
That reality takes the place of your dreams
That you’re blinded by the stars that shine through your eyes

I wish for lonely nights
That cause you to look elsewhere for companionship
For moments of doubt
That lend time to pray for guidance.

I pray that you get homesick
That you become dissatisfied
With your current living conditions.
That you look forward to your eviction.

They’ve placed a notice on your dreams
For the lack of deposits
And allowed me to move in
I had been waiting to see what it’s like
to experience the dreams of someone else.

Then I met you,
The dream chaser
Placed a down payment on your heart
Asked for insurance
To fully cover
The damages that you incurred from past relationships
Turned nightmares
Into dreams worth staying asleep for.

 

April 30 in 30 #6: Grafitti

We share a gift.
They accept mine
more freely.
You provide words for all to see.
I hide behind
Metaphors, simile,
An art that many would not understand
yet judge
like the church before judgment day.
Don’t let them see you sweat.
Our gifts came from the same God
that they serve.
Let your words be seen,
by a generation
That has stopped listening
to some of mine.
I’ve given my all to the art.
You’ve shared your heart
on a wall
In hopes of someone witnessing your past
as they pass
the nearest bridge
that I’ve often
been scared to cross.
Rejection gave me reason
to no longer submit
to a cause that not many supported.
But you never waited
on the opportunity.
You stole it
in hopes of sharing
what they refused to.
I guess we both have that dream,
To be heard, To be seen,
To share, To write
Graffiti

30 in 30 #5: Awkward Silence

I fell for you the way a kid trips over his new shoes on his first day of school.
I’ve tried many times to protect myself
from bruises that seemed to develop behind my elbow pads.
You made me realize that I’m not as cool as i thought.
I’m awkward in every sense of the word.
But i guess that means we’ll blend together perfectly
Awkward silence that noone else seems to understand yet we’re comfortable here.
This is home to us.
In a room full of people yet the only ones we see are us.
We share the need to be alone
so much that we’ve mastered the art of doing it
together we’re alone.
When we’re alone, we’re together
Speaking without really speaking at all.
Telepathy if you will.
Our silence speaks volumes
to those around us
causing them to wonder
about what goes on inside our minds.
We’ve shared this for far too long.
We’ve been here even longer.