Any range or scale, as of capabilities, emotions, or moods

Say Thank You

This time of year the weather changes and I think our hearts do a little bit too.  We reflect on all that has happened through out our year.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it brings about thoughts of what we are thankful for.  I thought this poem would be appropriate for you to start thinking about what you have to say thank you for

Pink notice on your desk. It’s all that’s left. A white lifeless cardboard box. Business cards, doo dads sit in a pile.

 

I suggest you say thank you

 

 

 

Through metal detectors you pass.  Curious eyes summoning you up.  Blue plastic chairs you sit in for hours.  Forms that seem endless.  Plastic EBT card.  It’s only $221.00 a month plus food stamps.  Not enough to pay next months rent.

 

Again, say thank you

 

 

 

Turbulence comes like white twisting wind wrapping its arms around you.  Violent shaking moving you from this place you live in

 

Please say thank you.

 

 

 

Your bed lumpy drives in your skin.  Eyes widened by the other women’s snorts and sniffles.  Earplugs don’t help.  You’re told to wake by the staff at the shelter.  Even though you have only slept a few hours

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Shouting voices sitting on Grey slabbed twisted cement.  Your breakfast served to you and 150 others.  It’s oatmeal, same as yesterday, same old thing

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Rules if broken will send you to cold sidewalks.  Where bones ache like ice on a riverbed longing to be in the summer’s sun again

 

Say thank you

 

  

 

Lifeless, listless, let go of it.  Tempted by the illusion of magical substances, which are packaged in glass bottles or rolled in a stem. Resist it.  Let go and

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Enrolled in a program.  Tests taken. Tell us how many words are spelled correctly.  What 4 x10 divided by 3 is.  If this circle fits in this square.  Hours and hours from the time you walked in.

Say thank you

 

 

Why did I do this?  Probably the same old thing.  Not intelligent enough.  Not educated enough.  I didn’t put in the right answers.  They tell you it’s time now.  A new career.  Vocational Rehabilitation will take you.  Are you ready?  Say yes and

 

Say thank you.

 

 

Pencils, papers, torn black book bag you keep in your locker.  All the way across campus.  Room 115.  You’ve got 3 minutes.  Book writing awaits.  Panting. Heart racing faster than it’s ever been.  Shoe slips, pick it up.  Gain your strength.  The handle turns, you’re in.  Exactly 1pm.  You made it.  Welcome students, let’s begin  Catch your breath and

 

Say thank you

 

 

2 years, 10 paper pads, filled up.  Raindrops down your face.  Your words daily written.  You live it, you breathe it.  Soon you will have a home.  Little voice inside your head says be patient.  You’re starting to trust it and you

 

Say thank you.

 

 

Files, number crunching.  Always a low paycheck.  You hated every moment.  You were given a chance, even though you couldn’t see it.  Screaming snot nosed tots with toys strewn all over the parking lot.  Chipped brown 70’s  tile falling off.  The apartment management said it was your fault.  Pay for it on your own.  Television was your best friend.  When was it going to end.  The silence, the rage within.  You were then given a chance.  Taken in, given a bed.  No looking back.  Though you did.  Hours wasted but friends made.  Chances were given.  All that was lost, you didn’t want anyway.  Vulnerable, scared, you opened your heart.  Allowed yourself to trust the path.  Look back now, it makes you laugh.  You no longer question your experience.

 

Cold chill, roll down your window.  Small white kitten purring gently by your side.  Almost finished, took you a year.  Hot cocoa bites your tongue.  You smile and

 

You say thank you.

 

 

Publisher picks up the book, says good job.  It will go to press soon.  You shake her hand and

 

You say thank you

 

 

This was what you had to do.  Your words affected millions, just by your truth.  The journey is different, it is new and

 

You say thank you.

 

 

Twilight Days

For a period of time in my life I was homeless.  I thought I would share with you what it was like in the beginning months for me.

Twilight Days

There are days, moments, hours where I am listless in my being, in where I am at, in the beings that inhabit the space I am residing in and the surrealness of it all. Serenity and relaxation are not conducive to the atmosphere I am surrounded in, nor is there a sense of sanity, a sanity I fight to keep despite the swirling dysfunction that encapsulates me.

Engulfed by people who are trapped in their mental state. Sitting a few feet across from me with their intent eyes that do not move away, as they ramble outloud of their inner turmoils. I am at first amused and engaged in this morning ritual but time can rob the soul of this charm and I am left with an uncomfortable state of unsureness in how to approach this, the mentality of those who I share space with.  I must listen to fowl words, loud music to which I am not in a mood to be surrounded by as I awake to a new day, yearning for silence or the sounds of something peaceful. Luring me in is the stench of the old man who hasn’t showered for days and the mumblings of those who are ready to douse him in water and soap. I among them move to somewhere that I cannot vomit from the smell of his saturated life. I am Wondering why he does not choose to shower when he can? Continued wonderings are of the other older man sleeping on the side walk because his car was towed, 80 years old and he is barely able to walk nor see, he stumbles in, but not from drunkenness nor drugs but from the unbalanced night of cold concrete and dark unsurity. Where are the nights to rescue him, to take him to safety at this time of life when age is of that to which rest is imperative.

The sounds again of arguing, more slang words, this time I count how many times the overbearingly loud, don’t you dare get in my way, life is nothing but heartache woman says it, (what appears to be her favorite word, fuck), in a 5 minute period. 14 times, it has become a part of her, like her arms or hair.

Cigarette smoke looms in the air, into my lungs which I have not chosen for it to do so. I can barely watch as the pregnant woman puffs two more times and when asked why she does this, she replies, “It ain’t gonna hurt my baby”. I refrain from spouting statistics and information that could prove otherwise knowing this is futile. Attempts on my part have been made to open the minds of those around me but they fall on deaf ears. For victimization is rank in these parts and to look within would require having to have accountability for where one is at. I must admit it is a rather difficult thing to accomplish and I fight hard to remember that I do hold myself responsible for where I am at, where I am going to and where I am in between there.

Morning awakens to a new day, hoping that I will be able to listen in serenity to my CD player and find a corner to meditate in, away from the daily meanderings of this place to which I on some level chose to be. Grasping at the chance to shift it to sun in my heart and peace in chaos, only now do I have this chance to be at one even if surrounded by many.

We have celebrations, festivals, special days to celebrate gay pride, African Americans, to honor veterans and much more. This is good that we do this (Be proud of who you are and we are glad to praise you for it). What, however about those of us who are in the category of single.? Do we have a day, a celebration of sorts?  Some would say Valentines is a day of love for all but lets face it, Valentines is a day for lovers.  Everything is geared towards that.  Cards confessing their undying love for one another and men getting down on one knee to propose to their soul mate.  There are cards for parents to kids and vice versa but there is no hey I know you are single and it sucks but I love you or how about a card that says: to us single people, lets celebrate that we don’t have to fight over who gets the remote. A lot of our society is based on two.  Hotels for instance give you a lower rate if there is double occupancy, and cruises are much cheaper if you have another person with you.

So back to the subject at hand:  A single people celebration.  Just imagine  booths lined up for all the different types of singles.  The hook up booty call booth where you can get all the latest information on where to score, hot clubs, websites and apps (or maybe you could get a phone number right thereJ), next to that will be a safe sex booth where you can be aids tested, get free condoms and information on websites and organizations that help with health issues.  There can be a single and damn proud of it booth where they video tape proud singles talking about why they enjoy there singleness (no having to see someone on the toilet in the morning and the smell that comes after they leave that bathroom).  A booth for gay singles, different nationalities, and cultures too.  Booths for single and in the service, single and professional, single with children.  Just face it there are singles everywhere and the booths could be endless. And yes a booth for singles that are looking not to be single…(that is okay, I understand you may want someone warm and cuddly to wrap your arms at night and fluffy the cat just isn’t cutting it).  Wedding magazines, dating websites and of course match.com and eHarmony will be on hand to promote their sites.  You can practice throwing the bouquet at this booth or make a wedding dress  out of ribbons, fake flowers and toilet paper.

What sort of celebration would it be if there wasn’t some entertainment.  A kissing booth, singles karaoke, bingo and a comedian who tells jokes about the tragedies, joys and confusion of being single.   The grand finale of course as in most festivals is a parade.   There is a singer who walks the path singing Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson, the party float where happy drunk single people throw out condoms, their phone numbers and red heart lollipops that say enjoy your singleness today, there is a float of singles who are soon not to be single, (hey we aren’t prejudice and celebrate the couples of the world too), and what parade isn’t  complete without a big finish, (no it isn’t Santa Claus), it is none other than George Clooney who has professed never to marry again and is the ultimate bachelor sitting in a large red velvet thrown, as onlookers both men and women wave and cheer him on. 

Single isn’t always an easy thing to celebrate and sometimes it takes strength to get through lonely nights but that is all the more reason to have a day to celebrate it.  Okay who has George’s phone number?

This was written for my friend Neils blog: http://JudgingAllYall.com

Sharing is caring, so I am putting it on here (can you feel the love?)

Are our lives like the IPOD shuffle?

Our IPods have a shuffle selection where it randomly chooses what is going to be played.  The cards are in the IPods hands (as the saying goes).  Life at times has the same feel.  Will it give me a song from my sad days playlist where I will hear the strains of Adele singing make you feel my love?  That is the equivalent in my life of rain falling so hard and the reminders of past friendships, loves and the loss of people who I cherished so deeply. Then there are times that in the same days shuffle I get put in the raging and anger playlist.  Nirvana screaming No I don’t have a gun.  Where everything is slamming up against me in lightening speed and I feel like I am spinning out of control into a vast void of overwhelming confusion.  In these days there is a battle happening of the two playlists converging back and forth. Sad songs stuck in my head but raging songs are being played. This makes it hard to function, to stop tears from falling.  On to the next song, the next day, suddenly John Mayer is singing Stop this Train as the words reverberate in my head, once in a while when its good, it feels like it should.  Reminders that life goes on and on.  Not always being able to stop what is happening.  Is this where that acceptance that people are always talking about comes in?  The realization that life is ebb and flow and it’s the days where your shuffle plays Born to be alive and it makes all the other stuff worthwhile.  The beat that takes over and I can’t help but make me stand up and shake it, shake it. The good days filled with laughter, fun and excitement.

The nature of the IPod however is to program it with songs of your choosing, so then why not just program it with happy upbeat shuffle songs?  Do we ignore the days of pain when a loved one has died and we need to hear Evanescence singing my immortal?  The haunting melody that hits at the heart and starts a river of tears flowing or do we just not put our IPods on shuffle at all? 

Ignore that button unless we are willing to take the pulling, jabbing, laughing and other plethora of life’s dealings that may come with it.

Then there is the stuck IPod that won’t play anything but shuffled songs that are gravitated towards towards the sad songs, the angry raging tunes that fire the bloodstream and leave you wanting to pound your fists on the table or escape in your closet, in the darkness just waiting till it is all done and the songs have run out. 

Do we live without music, shut it off which equates to shutting down and just being monotone soldiers following an emotionless path?  Or is it that we are to clear our playlists, the thoughts, actions and music that are stuck in our heads from years past.  If so, how is that to be done when the tunes play over and over, engraved in the very deep recesses of our brain?  I think somewhere there is this middle ground, for the life that we have filled with it’s ups and downs.  What would it be like to not connect to all that is a part of life but how do we find that balance? The goal being that of “happiness”, the ultimate song that moves us forward into blissful days.  I am still searching on how to get out of that everything is going wrong and keeps giving me more crap playlist.  There must be a technical error.  I guess it is back to the manual.

Thought I would start this blog off with a little bit about me in poetry form.  Written a year ago or so, still true to this day.  Welcome to the whole spectrum of who I AM.

I AM

I am

from

Confusion

Religion

Having to go by their decisions

I am from rage subsiding

While sitting on the street corner

As they battled there issues

Sitting for what seemed forever hoping

she would drive off

 

I am from

summer sun drenched in dough boy water

Sister hood laughter

 

I am from Jr. High

Roving reporters on

The Birds Eye View

Best friend acceptance

still happening 29 years later

 

I am from fighting

with my father to

working it through

 

I am from choir to painting

Creativity forever spilling out from me

 

I am from Religion

Now searching

Spiritual finding

Being okay to believe in

God in the way I see him

 

I am who I am

Not who they taught me to be

 

I am

The journey

laughter

tears to learning

From joy divine woman

within me

 

I am from knowing that

Where I am from

Isn’t as important

as

Where and who I chose to be