The Beat of One’s Own Drums

to march to the beat of
One’s Own Drums,
to imitate no one,
to innovate 
from a place of deep faith
and confidence-
such a mandate
is not for
the faint
in Heart.

it takes courage 
to be free,
to be the You
that often only You can see,
to be unique, a bit of a mystique
in a world of followers and shamers.

we were made in God’s image,
reflections of The Divine, The Most High
one and onlys are we –
wonderfully crafted 
for a specific purpose and time.

the sake of humanity pleads:
spread your considerable wings!
march to the beat of your very own drums!
no need to compete,
there is more than enough room
for everyone.

Artwork: Walking the Line, Edwin Lester @artistedlester

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LIFE (scene two)

LIFE

can seem insane.
So many of us are unable
to withstand its pain.
We do our best to live,
to contribute
to a world
constantly changing
and maddening.

Still, through it all
some of us manage not to fall.
Like a seedling
making its way up through concrete,
we spread our wings,
we plant our feet.
We’ve found our place;
we are lauded and celebrated.

But then-
in the blink of an eye,
an “apparent suicide“.

What happened?!
What went wrong?!
Does not success
bring with it sustained happiness?
What of us
for whom no one makes a fuss,
who daily squeeze into an overcrowded bus
to a job that leaves us empty and numb?
If the “extra-ordinary” so regularly succumb,
how then does the “ordinary” overcome?

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation…” Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Change to Save

I will need to change my life
in order to save it.

This I am feeling to my very core.
Don’t know  how much more
I can swallow.
I’m walkin’ on thin ice,
on troubled waters that are shallow.

Born an introvert, Quiet is the air I must breathe,
what sustains and maintains me.
Without adequate doses of silence,
I lose pieces,
become untethered,
cannot see a hopeful reality,
begin to question my existence
and that of all humanity.

Why all the noise –
the incessant chatter and mindless banter?

Y’all gonna make me lose my mind
up in here, up in here.
Y’all gonna make me lose control
up in here, up in here.”

I will need to change my life
in order to save it.

Deprived of silence,
I feel my blood boiling,
heart racing,
hands tremblin’,
mind slipping.
I can taste that bitter, flimsy line
between love and hate;
that soft, raw space
where even the gentlest among us
can suddenly snap
and do things we can never take back.
The Devil isn’t over there-
No, it plays in us all
bidding we follow
and fall-
fall so hard and low,
we can barely stand up.

I will need to change my life,
re-claim it
in order to save it.

Exactly how to do so
overwhelms and scares –
the tide is seemingly so high.
Got to go deep inside,
to The Core
lean only on that which is Truth and pure.

Pearls from Tears

I remember well my fascination with oysters – rather unattractive on the outside, very rough around the edges. Yet, inside, lay a much sought-after jewel, the pearl. When later I learned that the pearl is the by-product of an irritant entering its sensitive insides, I understood why the oyster so resonated with me. This was me, my life: nothing particularly compelling on the outside – by typical standards – but inside, my heart and my mind, utterly extra-ordinary, beautiful, invaluable and unforgettable. 

To this day, I draw my sense of self-worth and place from what lies beneath my skin, that which cannot be seen or felt by most. Alas, residing in a world where the outward appearance is a major determinant of one’s currency and where the attention span continues to rapidly decrease, what place is there for the pearls that lie within? Will anyone pay attention? Does anyone care?

For us, the human oysters, the world’s daily dismissal serves as the irritant; our tears, fodder for the formation of precious pearls. They pile up, the pearls, on our delicate insides, yearning to be seen, worn, to adorn. They were not meant to be stowed away, these iridescent fruits of vulnerability, discomfort and despair. No, they are gifts to be brought to the Light and shared.

And so, with lips quivering, hands trembling and hearts pounding, we take a tentative step, and then another; we open our mouths to speak, softly at first; we pick up our pens and write, allow the pearls to flow out, and then quickly hit send.

Some of what we offer will fall on fertile hearts and minds and be valued; most will be discarded or just plain ignored. No matter. The response is not our responsibility; we are tasked only to release.

Waking from a Deep Sleep

I am

waking

from a deep sleep,

wondering

Where am I?
What is it
I had to eat?
How did I get here
to these beliefs?

I rub my eyes

as I try

to make sense

of what has become complete nonsense.

I hear the ancestors cry;
they ask why?

Why are you and your kin moving back?
Do you not realize this is a slap
in the face
to those who were brave?
Don’t allow our sacrifice and pain
to have been made in utter vain-
wasted blood, sweat, and tears
over the course of hundreds of dark years!

Wake up from your deep sleep,
the antecedents weep.

It is now your turn to learn
that freedom ain’t free;
it is your sacred responsibility
to the past, present and future
family.

dabbler in many, master of none

before making Its way down to Earth,

does the Soul know if it will embody

a master or a dabbler?

one for whom

destiny is crystal clear

while for the other,

purpose is a vague, elusive idea?

the master is crafted for a particular task;

the dabbler meanders-

no set directive or path.

is one gifted,

the other cursed?

one disciplined,

the other trifling?

no wrong,

no right;

simply the story of a Life,

the lyrics of a Soul’s unique song.

Give it Away!

Give It away!

For It does not belong to you.

You are but the vessel It flows through.

It chooses you, coming seemingly

out of the blue

to awaken and amuse.

“Give Me away!”

It begs.

I was not meant to remain hidden in your head,

dormant, because you are afraid.

I come from a place that is nothing but pure.

Hence, no need for you to be insecure.”

Some Where Deep Within

Don’t-

yet-

know my true histories:

African

Haitian

American.

Thus, this iteration of Life

is a bit of a mystery

to me.

Not certain where I am going

‘cause I know not where I’ve  been.

Still,

plates are shifting

somewhere deep within,

resulting in a tsunami without.

Mighty waves

ripping at my skin-

shredding

shedding.

Left naked and raw,

drenched in the miraculous,

I am

re-created

to some other form:

a new being steeped in grace

and a deep peace

born of the confidence

in its Divine Service.

A clarity in vision

that bears a great conviction;

A fire-

this time-

on the inside

that one cannot hide,

nor its mission be denied.

“Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you.  Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”  ― Jalaluddin Rumi

Yield Your Fruit

Yield

your

Fruit,

just give it all away-

that which you came

here

to do,

to say.

Don that suit

with only your name on it.

Bring that song

you were crafted to sing.

Return to the dust

from whence you came

emptied

-with absolutely

no thing

left within.

Go home utterly spent-

’tis the only way

to live a life content.

The End

The End is the Beginning.

The beginning of another chapter,

a different reality, new memories;

a location change, a strange cast of characters

with names and behaviors to learn.

Outside of the comfort zone once again,

the choice to be made to not pretend.

Integrity does not allow one

to play small for very long.

Eventually, one gets woke-

the inside, who you really are

must be expressed,

and unto the world, spoke.

The time does come

when familiarity must succumb.

The price becomes much too high-

either begin anew or slowly die.

The new girl placed on an old block,

what will this journey unlock?

What new skin will it bring?

What songs will it allow

this Soul

to finally sing?

The End is just the Beginning.