Christmas Poem Script Available for Download!

Some of you have asked if I have poems based on holiday themes. I don't have a poem for every holiday but I do have one for Christmas. The script is available for download as well as an mp3. I hope this is helpful especially for those of you planning services and events. Let me know how it goes!




Poem: God Bless Mom

happy mother's day to my wonderful mom, jeanne brown. thank you for your constant love, support, and encouragement. your determination, dedication and love for God inspires me! i love you!

God Bless Mom

My mother read books to the swollen stomach that would become me
Read about what to expect when you’re expecting
About disciples, apostles, prophets, sinners and saints
Until her semi-colon burst
Sending amniotic vowels and consonants to splitting apart
The time between my sentences grew less than five minutes apart
My paragraph had arrived

Her margins stretched ten sonometers wide
So quickly that there would be no time for epidural or explanation
She must breathe, push, labor count to ten
And then count ten fingers and ten toes
Traced her fingers along the lines of
Little ears little nose little mouth little eyes

From the light of touch lamp on nightstand
She read me golden books
Sat me down in peter’s chair
Kicked me rhymes from the berenstein bears
We put our hands together and said our prayers
That God would bless teddy ruxpin
Barbie and ken
That God would bless Sydney, my one-eyed stuffed animal koala bear best friend
That God would bless daddy and grandma,
Right before mom showed me where the wild things are

She read to me until I was reading her to sleep
Words given to me by the number 5 and the letter a on sesame street
And Oh the places I would go
With Sam, green eggs and ham in tow
Searching for golden tickets in Roald Dahl’s prose
I wanted to float on giant peaches with James
Read Beverly Cleary, Ramona and Beezus until I was Amena the Brave
I never went through that stage of slipping my little girl feet into my mom’s heels to play dress up
I just wanted to read her library when I grew up
Hoping I could be one of Mufaro’s beautiful daughters
Maybe one day, turn the pages of Tar Baby
She took me to find my roots in the handshake of Alex Haley
Taught me to love the stale paper scent of the library
To treasure books, cards, and stationary

Years later she joins me at kitchen table,
Talking womanhood over the scent of earl gray tea
Taking in all the mystery, life’s and Walter Mosley’s
Trading Baldwin and Baraka
Singing Songs of Solomon
Exchanging journals, wisdom and pens
She reminds me with skillful subtlety that sometimes this is where the sidewalk ends
That many storylines come to an end only for better ones to begin
Life is a page-turner and you should write your own plot twists
Words are written to be read even if the only reader is you
Many will call themselves writers, but there’s only one Author who knows the end from the beginning
Sometimes the hardest and best thing you’ll ever do in your life is trust him
Never forget to pay close attention to your character
Remember that people are characters, they come and go but never discount them
People are characters and your story won’t happen without them

There is light in the attic, at the end of tunnels, and in her eyes
So, tonight before I shut off nightstand light
I’ll pray for God to bless mom and I’ll read myself to sleep


Poem: Roots & Wings

in follow-up to "chocolate mista" and in celebration of national poetry month, here is the poem "roots & wings" that chronicles my first time performing my own poetry in public. the video footage is from my performance of "roots and wings" live at java monkey coffeehouse in decatur, ga in 2008 and is also featured on the live at java monkey cd. enjoy. :)

Roots & Wings

I didn’t mean to do it
I mean they sold me out
As soon he asked were there any poets in the house
I was the one who got fingerpointed
Pushed and shoved to the center of a carpet stage
A tiny bookstore, Montgomery, Alabama
It was called Roots and Wings
I was probably standing somewhere between Nikki Giovanni’s love poems and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I think I recalled Nathan McCall, because it definitely made me wanna holla
When I looked out at the 50 some odd of my classmates faces staring back at me
While I nervously tried my photographic memory
Trying to recall the words on a page I’d written over and over again
But never imagined I’d say out loud in front of anyone

I couldn’t believe that anybody was on the edge of their seat listening to me
I was only seventeen
Somewhere I found the courage and it carried me line for line until the end
And after all the hugs and smiles from friends
I was still shaking
That’s when I knew this was real
That words have wings
That they are kind of like birds but mostly like children
Who you groom and raise
You hope you’ve shaped them well
That a sky that has no limits will receive them
That someday somebody will take them home
Call them their own
That they will find a place to belong

I came from a line where righteousness ran through the blood like sugar and rolling stone daddies
And maybe the people who were pushing me had been here long before my classmates
Maybe my grandparents and their preacher sisters and brothers were pushing me too
They fed me parables and I acquired a taste for truth
They stood behind pulpits and I stand behind this mic
Just like them I have to get on my knees and hum prayers when words don’t suffice
Sing the hymns that can’t be found in hymnbooks
Learn to lean on everlasting arms and hold fast to the words that only God can write on hearts
These hands never knew picking cotton
But the hands that did knew how to spin stories
Knew how to sew quilts of memory so I could read my family history in a stitch
Every time my grandmother speaks I realize that words have roots
That they are kind of like trees but mostly like seeds
Who you groom and raise
You hope you plant them well
That fertile ground will receive them
That they will find a place to stand and stretch their meaning
That someday somebody will take them home
Call them their own
That they will find a place to belong

Words keep teaching me to dream
Keep reminding me that God listens when I sing
That’s how I know this is real
And I am still shaking.


Poem: Chocolate Mista

it's national poetry month! last year i tried writing a poem a day...i only made it to day 7. lol this year i'm posting some of my favorite poetry quotes on facebook and i'm posting the work of some of my favorite poets on twitter. i am also digging some poems out of the archives and thought it would be fitting to start with this one. i'll be posting a difference archive once a week this month so check back for more shenanigans. :)

"chocolate mista" is the first performance poem i ever wrote. i was seventeen and had probably recently watched love jones. lol i performed this piece for the first time during spring break of my senior year in high school in a bookstore called roots & wings. wrote a poem about that too so maybe i'll post that one later this month also. :D haven't performed this piece since college so i figured it can now see the light of day. here goes... ;)

Chocolate Mista

The crowd is alive and thrives
On the sound that is music to our ears and water to our souls.
My eyes scanned panoramically and danced dynamically
At the sight of so many chocolate faces.
I whirled and twirled
Like a childhood ballerina to the music that is wind to my wings
And I bumped into him.

The Nubian prince I dreamed of,
The chocolate mista. I have seen love
Come and go for some,
But his eyes and my eyes
They met like the sun and the moon exchanging high fives
Just before it is the moon's time to shine.
My, my, could his beauty and mine
Have intertwined
Like held hands!
But I looked away.

Avoiding the vision that just encompassed me
By looking too deep
Into the chocolate eyes
Of this chocolate mista
As chocolate mist
Began to fall over the heads of all of us.
God would solve for us,
The mystery of this man
With a plan
To understand me.
Not just romance me but have some truth to his game.
He caught my eyes like a wild butterfly held captive in the hand,
And like the band
The terms that flowed from his lips mingled and hobnobbed to become one voice comprised of all the parts of life
As he said...Hello.

What could my reply be but the same?
And names exchanged
Made conversation easy.
It pleased me
That he was not intimidated by my dark skin
Nor the soft angel within.

We could stand in the midst of the mist,
And if an honest answer is like being kissed
He kissed me gently each time he said a word.
I thought of so many things to say but lost my nerve.
My heartbeat could not be heard
Above the rejoicing of the people around us.
They may have clowned us,
But the mist drowned us
In a tingling feeling that can only be described as dejavu.

Where were you, Boo?
In all my lonely moments and the happy ones,
So I could share your smile,
But my style
Is much too chill for that.
So, I strolled through the crowd as the fall of the mist ended,
By this chocolate mista
Who complemented this dark sista


Good Man Month 2010

Today is the first day of Good Man Month. This month also marks Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. As with any celebration that’s worthwhile, whether it’s love, history, culture, or celebrating the people that have made an impact on your life, it’s something that should be celebrated more than just one particular day or month. But the celebration is a start at remembering and reminding ourselves of what's important.

Black History Month
So this month if you’re short on black history facts…say, have no idea who Gordon Parks is, have never read the Crispus Attucks story, or don’t know much about King Tut outside of the pyramids (and this is just to name a few)…get your google on and send links on what you learned.

Every Day is The 14th – Andre Benjamin
As far as Valentine’s Day goes, if you have someone in your life that love or at least like a whole lot…spend time with them, do something special. I really have a closed ear to that whole this-is-just-a-hallmark-holiday argument, and girl-you-know-I-care-about-you-what-does-it-matter-if-I-show-it-to-you-on-Valentine’s-Day or if-he-doesn’t buy-me-_____-I’m-through-with-him. Stop that. If you really care about someone any day is a perfect excuse to express that to them. So stop making excuses, stop focusing only on yourself, and show and tell them how you feel…hallmark holiday or not. End of soapbox.

Good Man Month Challenge
Now…onto my feature celebration…this marks the fourth annual celebration of Good Man Month and this year I’m celebrating facebook and twitter style. Each day I will be highlighting just a few of the good men who have impacted my life personally, there are honestly too many to highlight them all. My challenge to you is to highlight the good men you know. Write them a letter, leave them a voicemail, send them a text, shout them out on twitter or facebook. Let them know they are appreciated.

Why celebrate good men? Because good men don’t get enough press. Because you hear enough stories about cheating men, lying men, trifling men and not enough headlines about men who love their wives, take care of their children, serve their community, carry themselves with respect, open doors, pull out chairs, and live their lives for something bigger than themselves.

Homework Assignment
Ladies…find at least 10 good men you know and tell them you appreciate them.

Fellas…commit at least 10 random acts of goodness.

Follow Good Man Month developments on twitter with this hashtag #goodmanmonth.

Now get to celebrating! ☺