How Do I Read These Headlines?

How do I read these headlines

in my skin,

and stay ‘neutral’?

How, and still deny? How, and still absolve?

How do I view the photos of all these

grim atrocities done to black bodies

posted by the demons who did them,

and say “It has no part in me?”

How do I stand for an anthem that

proudly hails

killing my ancestors?

How can I ignore

the flag of a heritage of hate?

Avert your eyes, if it pleases,

and veil yourselves behind the

tresses of your hair,

put the lie in your lungs and give it breath,

and point your fingers at me,

who did nothing at all,

if it comforts you.

But the blood cries out from the soil,

and the photos so freely, bravely displayed

(and sold as postcards) have not faded.

The blackface figurines and sack dolls

still abide in the curiosity and antique shops,

and the mass, unmarked graves

are not unseen.

Nor are the ones who put the

black bodies in there.

I read these headlines,

but I’ve seen them play out too,

and the play doesn’t seem to end.

So friend, if that is what you (say you) truly are to me,

don’t ask me to separate myself, and deny, and say

I’m not at risk.

At any given moment,

on any given day,

someone can lash out

at me because of my color, and

tomorrow could very well be

my last day in this world.

But keep your eyes averted,

and yell louder,

peeking through your fingers as

I turn into a headline.

Unblended 2

‘You’re pretty for—‘

a novelty, a one-night stand, a fling.

‘You’re pretty for—‘

a light skinned girl.

A ‘lovely little thing.’

So I’ll put feelings in your heart

I think that you will like,

and when you give your heart to me

I’ll take the match

and strike.

Unblended

Unblended

Disposed

the innocent souls

of the abused.

The product of

big, sweaty bodies

and hard grunts

against soft brown bellies

in the small hours of the night

turning mourning.

Taken by light skinned people who enjoyed

the pleas and cries of the ‘savages’ to not be violated.

And so the innocent souls were taken:

to steep cliffs, swift rivers, unmarked graves,

and left in the darkest of shadows in the

deepest of cold for the beasts and birds.

The Black women stripped of pride,

of clothing,

of their own children from their own loins,

who would not bear the sins of unbidden masters.

Even the pale women of the false gentry demanded

the progeny of broken vows be slain, and sometimes

did the killing.

So many innocent souls

born to sorrow,

sent back to their Creator

by Black hands that would not

swaddle their shame.

Bed-wench hearts broken,

beating in Black breasts

that would not suckle and sanctify

the cries of their rapists’ sins.

Black bodies blighted

by blended flesh,

bloated by foreign sperm,

took back their lives and rid the world of others,

but never reclaimed their own

innocent souls.

The Unblended,

blended still.

Loved,

forlorn,

and forgiven.

The Fields

Sun-baked bodies inch along the furrowed rows

of green and sunset colored crops.

Music drifts to the sky,

prayers wrapped in melody,

praise wrapped in harmony,

in the key of hard lessons

of a mortal life as yet

unbalanced

by deliverance and freedom.

 

The ones who fall are mourned,

and the ones who come into the world

are celebrated in songs of hope and joy,

but rocked to sleep in knowing silence…

The terror of the tyranny of those others,

thunderclouds

that break in torrents of hate,

raining blood that cries out from the ground

in streaks of upward lightning.

 

The old hands, bereft of strength, yet full of wisdom,

clasp the hands of their descendants, and pass

the tools and torches

of their endurance,

as they surrender themselves,

releasing their souls.

 

They wait to welcome us again,

and walk the fields of open sky,

unconfined, unbound by furrowed roads,

free to hold hands once more,

free to love,

and truly

free.

 

 

Planted

A piece of me,

withering,

was pruned

and planted in

new ground.

Like a seasoned seed

in the hands of a brown thumb

I have been none-too-gently

tamped down

into a

dark silence.

I will take what I can use

from this soil

and emerge as a

new and vibrant version

of myself,

but well-tended,

cared for,

and deeply loved.

Then the Shepherds Returned…

Wishing all who’ve read these devotionals continued blessings in the New Year. G-d bless you and yours.

believer55

 

Luke 2:15-20

1So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[a] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

There was a time when shepherds…

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Israel’s Consolation

believer55

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, 

that mourns in lonely exile here,

until the Son of G-d appears.

Luke 2:25-26
Simeon Sees God’s Salvation
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Simeon was no prophet, or seer. He worked no miracles, saw no angels. He was not in the fields when the angel appeared to the shepherds.

He was simply this: just, and devout.

We meet him here, at the end of his life, holding Jesus in his arms and blessing G-d.

G-d honored the devout heart of his servant, and likely beyond his expectations, for in the…

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The Musings of a Star

I see them look up to where

they cannot be.

 

I feel their wishes collide

with the magnified need

of their wandering, pagan hearts.

 

The spirits of their departed

float past in silent cloaks of dust,

reflecting our own futures.

 

They send up their

rockets and space toys,

cluttering their sky

as we watch them

implode.

 

We will grieve the day

they go dark forever,

and all they knew

floats silently past us

into the past.

 

A Bitterness

Bitterness

clings to some

like a child clutching the hem

of Mother’s dress

as they walk through

deserted, razed, and filthy streets

of a forgotten war zone.

 

Criticism and rebukes

are the whisky and chaser

of all their verbiage.

 

Negativity is nectar

to their self-dissatisfaction,

disguised as humorous self-deprecation.

 

All within the perimeters and parameters

of their voice are never

immune or safe.

Their ever- angry gaze and weaponized words

find cracks and crevices

like a wind-driven hailstorm,

as they rewrite whole hedonistic histories

that absolve them of the impact of their

derisive decisions that affect the lives of others.

 

Let’s pray for them,

even as we

leave them behind.