belle homme noir

The fathers hold their children
in their bellies/ they ingested them
whole. Icarus’ revenge knows no end.
You can see the lines etched
in their skin/ unfulfilled lives
exist in the grooves of their age lines.
In the war some soldiers edged close
to the enemy lines/ burrowed beneath the ground.
This is no different. The manchild is the enemy.

Do they really swallow them
you ask. How could you not know? Bloated
bodies fill the streets. Some live in alleys.

Tomorrow glistens in their eyes
But nothing can stop the movement/ the children
try to escape but they have been sentenced to eternity.
These full grown children rebel
unlike fetuses. The pain
sometimes too much to bear.

belle homme noir. A father once walked right into
the middle of our village. He took a razor
and opened his womb, removed his children
and left them on the village floor. The father died
but not before completely losing his mind.
He never saw the insects gnawing at his black
children’s skin, never knew he released them
too soon.

Peace & Love,

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When Did You Know I Loved You?

When did you first know
I loved you?

Was it when I first raked
my fingers through your soul?

Was it when I first looked
in your eyes and described the
formation of the stars?

Was it when I first kissed
you and tried to drink you in?

Was it when I first read you
poetry, shared the flowers that grow
in my pen?

Was it when I first loved you
fully? Took all of you in?

When did you first know
I loved you?

Was it when we danced together,
neither one of us wanted it to end?

Was it when I held your words
in the palm of my hand and held them
like they were more precious than gems?

When did you first know
I loved you?

Was it the day I looked at you
and lost my words, wondered how
I could tell you without telling you
that I loved you. Simply loved you.

Because that’s when I first knew
I loved you. And I knew this love
would never know an end.

Peace & Love,

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He Took a Knife & Cut Her

She doesn’t have a name yet, but I can see her face. She thought loving was enough, but he wanted to fight. That’s all I know so far.

I’ve been jotting down notes this evening, trying to flesh out an idea for a story. In the process, I came up with the following poem:

He took a knife
& tried to destroy
her beauty. He thought
he’d stolen her
reason to live.
What he destroyed
was only flesh deep
he never even touched
her soul. She would
sit before a mirror
for hours, for days
running her fingers
along jagged scars.
Searching for way to
reconstruct the only
beauty he ever knew
to exist for her.
The salt from her
tears would fill
the shallow graves
of her scars.
Her days were
spent wondering
how loving could
go so terribly wrong.
All she did was love
she never learned how
to fight. So when he’d
fight her, she’d love him.
But her love
never spent time
shadowboxing or
practicing in a ring.
Her love was the softest
thing she owned.
When he got tired of
fighting alone, he knew
for sure he was losing her
so he took a knife
& cut her. Left her
for dead. He’d
rather see her dead
& broken
than have to look
in the mirror
every day & know
he’d lost her.

Peace & Love,

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Moving Beyond the Fear

I woke up this morning to an email that confirmed for me that I’m headed in the right direction. Since this school year started, I have been suffering from soul discontent. It’s caused by the knowledge that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. And haven’t been for a while. But as happens with most people, the fear of the unknown has kept me here longer than I should have been.

So, I read the email (twice) and tears welled in my eyes. Okay, who am I trying to fool? Yes, I cried.

Over the past few weeks, I have gone through a series of conversations with trusted people in my life. I was trying to figure out how to get unstuck. I don’t have a sprit of settling and it’s not one I want to embrace. But it can be difficult to leave the place where you feel you don’t belong when it’s the only source of financial income that you have. What I decided was, while I wasn’t in a position to leave yet, I could stop giving it my ALL. I had days where I literally spent every waking moment planning, teaching, grading papers, etc. But I had to realize that there was no way for me to be able to live my passion when I give every ounce of my strength to the thing that was starting to destroy me from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching. And theoretically, I could do it for many more years. But I believe I have served the purpose I came to serve. I used to look forward to going to work, used to look forward to the end of breaks so I could see my students again. But, I realized early this school year that it was time for me to move on. I said, when the heart is no longer there, it won’t be much longer before the body follows. I meant that.

So, back to the email. It’s another thing that’s going to allow me to live my passion. I can’t share the details yet, but as soon as I’m able, I will. Actually, I have a few things lined up this year. So far. And I can’t wait to share it with you.

So, what’s the purpose of this post if I can’t tell you yet, you may be wondering. This space serves several purposes for me. It’s a place to share my works in progress. It’s a place to have conversation with other artists. It’s a place to communicate. It’s a place to inspire each other. Being a creative artist can be such a solitary endeavor and that’s what makes it easy to become discouraged. We all need a little inspiration to keep going. We all need to feel that what we’re doing is important. And sometimes we need that nudge to move outside of our comfort zone. As the quote goes: Life begins on the other side of your comfort zone. You are pregnant with possibility. Don’t go to your grave still full with unused talent and dreams. Don’t starve your soul. And stop accepting what destroys your soul. Material riches don’t mean a thing to me. I’m most happy when I’m writing. I feel like I have gold in my pocket when I’ve written a particularly nice line of poetry. Or prose. I feel rich when I connect with my characters and I know they trust me to tell their story. I feel like I’m rich when I’m surrounded by the work of some of my favorite authors. It feels like a communing of souls.

One of my favorite books is Ruby by Cynthia Bond. In the book, the protagonist, Ruby is a broken woman. The world has broken her and used her and she appears unhappy. But the soul is rich. She is sitll whole on the inside. She’s a loving and open spirit. So there’s this scene in the book (several scenes actually) where the spirits of dead children seek her protection. That passage speaks to me because that’s how I feel. The dead children are the souls of the stories, the souls of the characters that come to me. They trust me. They are those nudges I get in the middle of the night where I open my eyes and grab the pen and notebook I keep on my bed and I just write.

I leave you peeps with two quotes that have inspired me a lot lately: “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” — Seth Godin and “Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Peace & Love,

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Lunch with Ricardo

I met my old friend Ricardo
in a café the other day.

I’d wandered down the street
after I’d gotten a bite to eat.

I suddenly craved tea and being
the type who refuses to deny my cravings,
I wandered into this little café.

I chose a seat way in the back
as Fate would have it
that’s where he was sitting too.

Startled, I stared openly.
I thought you had died, I told him.

He just smiled. No, he replied, you
wanted to believe I had died
. There’s
a difference between the two.

Deep down inside you’ve always known
I never could really die. How can what’s
real, truly real, ever die

Before long, I felt tears welling in my eyes.
How did you end up here, I asked.

I’ve been here all along, he assured me.

We talked for hours, Ricardo and I
He told me about the love of his life and
I told him about mine.

Ricardo told me, Most people believe
my third wife was the one I loved the most,
the one my soul longed to create life

Those people are wrong. The one I loved
most belonged to another. Or rather she chose
to love another. I was poor and she desired
riches beyond the riches of heart

Tears glistened in his eyes as he told how
he spent years trying to unlove her. You know,
he said, you don’t choose who your soul falls
in love with
. And my soul chose her. My soul
loves her.

I wrote some of the saddest lines in my life as
those days stretched on like an endless night
void of stars and moonlight

He spoke of nights where he was tortured by
hearing the voice of his one true love. She only
visited me at night while I slept. Sometimes
I slept for days at a time.

It was all I had left, just the sound of her voice
and knowing I’d never be able to hold her again
in my arms; I could only hold her in my memory.
That knowledge began a special kind of dying
even though I went on to live half a century more

Why are you telling me this Ricardo? I cannot fix
your broken heart when my own heart has been
stitched back together so many times. My heart
is a piecemeal quilt of emotions and I’m always
afraid it’ll completely come undone at the seams

When he fell into my arms, I must admit
I’d been expecting it. I’d always known Love
owned a piece of my soul but like Ricardo
I was prepared to live with only the voice
of my love to hold onto.

I know the truth that our soul loves who it
chooses, but sometimes the soul and body
have separate wishes, dreams and desires.

Ricardo and I spent the rest of our time in silence.
No words were needed in the presence of Love.

Peace & Love,

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Let Me Study You

Can I share one of my secrets with you?
I love you. Not the air-brushed kind of love
that looks real on the canvas till the colors
start to bleed and fade. I’m talking about the
“Come here for a minute so I can study you” love.
I want to know you all the way through.
I want to skinny dip in your soul.
I can’t swim on my own, but I trust you to hold me
and keep me from drowning. I want to
study the breaths you take so I can breathe for you.
Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not obsessed with you,
I’m in love with you. And if ever Fate determines
it’s time for you to go, I will breathe for you.
Our love will keep you alive so I never have to
live another day without you. It seems it took forever
for me to find you, so no, I won’t just cater to you
I will love you. And this is not a love
I can take off and give it back to you like I almost
gave you back your hoodie, you know the one you
gave me when I told you I was cold without you.
The one I’ve worn all winter because when it’s on
my body, I feel safe and secure like falling in love with you
all over again. Even after all this time I swear
I can smell you in the fabric of the hoodie, the one
I won’t be returning to you like I won’t be
shedding this love for you. Return to sender
doesn’t apply to me and you. I’m going to hold onto
this love I feel for you, wearing it like I
wear your hoodie. Thank you.

Peace & Love,

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The Voices

I like to add a thought-provoking quote to some of my posts and today I have written my own: “Be careful of the voices that try to help you create yourself. Not everyone has listened to the beating of your heart to learn what will make it sing. And some people are only interested in getting you to help their heart sing. Don’t make yourself heartsick in order to create someone else’s dream.”

She heard voices in
the forest of her mind.
The density of her memories
eclipsed the true meaning of
their words. Her own screams
joined the chorus of disordered words,
became a motley crew of sounds.
Before long they rained confusion
in her mind and the screaming
never ended.

Now, I’ll end the post with a quote many of us may have heard before. My mama used to tell me this all the time. “An opinion is like an asshole; everyone has one.” So, with thos wise words from mama, I say: Listen to your heart. I try to follow my own heart every day. The only voice I try to follow is my own. And my heart tells me I must write. So, every day I have to write. It makes my heart happy.

Happy Thursday peeps!

Peace & Love,

voices in my mindPhoto courtesy of

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Love & Death


Love spent hours
staring at
the destruction he saw
in his own eyes
trying to understand
what could’ve gone so
terribly wrong, how he
could’ve so easily
forgotten his own song.

Outside his window, he
listened as the birds
continued to practice their
song, the music that was
birthed in their womb
at creation. Guiltily, he
wished to smother the song
out of them. He wanted to
borrow their song,
too fearful to find his own
he’d grown used to
having others write
his song for him.

Afraid to stay but
more afraid to leave
he stood there too long &
he no longer saw himself
staring back at him. Fear
drove him to madness,
a madness that eventually
drowned him in misery.
One day he looked up
declared that he was
as happy as he’d ever been,
ignorant to the fact
Death hid in the shadows
afraid to breathe
because even Death has
those days when he
doubts that it’s himself
that he sees looking back
at him from the mirror.
This happens most
when Death realizes
Love has left him. And
Death, unable to find Love
doubts his own ability.
His very reason for existing
becomes a burden
to his soul.

Sometimes when a soul
is taken too roughly or
a mortal’s death stretches
into a seeming eternity,
it is then that Death
wonders guiltily,
“Why have I chosen to
abandon the best of me?”

Love and Death
used to imagine
they were
twin souls
separated at birth.
They get so caught up
in what the world
expects from them
even they would
sometimes forget
to love the one
looking back
from the mirror.
And that’s how
Love and Death
separate entities
who gave birth
to separate dreams,
dreams that kept
them permanently

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On the Tip of My Tongue

“For some people, “the point of no return” begins at the very moment their souls become aware of each other’s existence.” –C. Joy Bell

It’s always there on the tip
of my tongue, the dripping wet
honeydew love song my soul
wants to sing to you. I seek you
daily to share this melody
even though you disappeared
without a trace. My love still
craves your presence, your voice
your soul
so I fight
to retain
those sweet words on the tip
of my tongue, so I can relish
the flavor of what it tastes like
when two souls converge,
when love empowers instead of
destroys, when souls reunite
after spending lifetimes apart,
when I can give you my heart
knowing you will not break it. A
love so sweet it will melt
on my tongue, leaving behind
a trail for you to follow, a saccharine
sweet temptation which will
leave you feeling devastated
with satiation. Who ever knew
one love could be so filling?
One day
we’ll kiss like we used to
and you’ll taste the sweetness
and know I’ve loved you
all along, that it’s always been
there right on the tip of my tongue.

Peace & Love,

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Driftwood Memories

I walked back into my past today. Not on purpose. I went back into the neighborhood where my granddad used to live and once again I was standing face-to-face with my Past. The biting anger in her eyes and the coldness of her soul entered me once again. My Past. And it hit me that all my memories of childhood are bad experiences. I can’t remember running through the grass barefoot. I cannot remember playing with my cousins. I know I did because there are pictures. The vivid memories that invade my mind are the ones where someone is hurting me. In fact, it all began with my very first memory. The memory of hearing my parents arguing and hearing my dad threaten my mother. That’s it. That’s all I have left of their marriage. I don’t know what they have; they don’t discuss those years anymore. It’s a part of the family past that’s been buried. But, for me, it’s always there. And the only memory that makes me smile is when I remember the scent of honeysuckle. I know that I was surrounded by honeysuckle.

So, I started asking my kids to recount memories of their childhood. Happy memories. I needed to know that I had kept what happened to me from happening to them. And once they started talking, we were relishing in a flood of memories. Times that made us laugh and times that made us cry, but they were happy tears. Satisfied, that they had not been denied a childhood because I somehow failed to protect them. I held onto the driftwood pieces of their memories.

And I composed this poem:

Pieces of my childhood
in the whirlwind of years.
Trying to grasp the driftwood
memories, I continually miss
the ones where I must have smiled
at least once or twice.
The only memories keeping me afloat
are the ones that are trying to drown me
in dysfunction. I refuse to believe
the memories that must’ve buoyed
my spirit are lost forever
never to be re-claimed. I continually
search the well of memories
but every one that my hand touches
burns and I let go once again.
I was birthed in a void where
everything was exactly as it seemed.
So, now maybe you see
why I will never believe in fairy tales;
how can I believe in happily ever after
when my childhood is another poison apple
and every time I bite into it, I quickly
spit it out so I won’t be forced to remember
how little girls became women overnight
while other girls were sleeping and visions
of sugar plums danced in their head
grown men climbed into my bed
claimed my soul as theirs. And even
now they won’t let go of my soul.
I fight every day and pray for release
and pray for the day when I’ll have
driftwood pieces of memories that won’t
try to drown me.

Peace & Love,


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