Power of Love: A Contemporary Aside (from ‘Prevail’)

Nothing’s worse than men obsessed with power,

Having the all-consuming ability to exercise control and influence 
     over others,
Like beasts foaming at the mouth with the high of going in for the 
     kill.

Maybe it’s the elevated nature of the position,
This putting-on-a-pedestal type treatment.
Or it’s simply a common case of ego,
When all of the attention has blown one’s head up to the size of a 
     Goodyear blimp,
When arrogance and ignorance have taken the place of humanity, 
     decency, and common sense.

There’s this godlike attitude,
This I-can-do-no-wrong mentality,
This holier-than-thou, my-way-is-the-only-way-because-there-is-no-other-way frame of mind.
But let me put it to you quite simply—your shit stinks too.

You may make decisions about the economy, education, 
     healthcare, defense, and other facets of our government and 
     society.
But you will never have the power to control the heart,
For the heart cannot be contained.
You will never be able to control anyone’s ability to love,
For love is divine.
You will never be able to tell anyone who they can or cannot love,
For love is essential to living.
Like breathing,
It’s a natural thing
That cannot be controlled by man—
Love is too powerful.
It’s stronger than man.
Continuing to push the issue
Will not make it any better.
Continuing to push the issue
Will make things worse,
Causing us to divide even further.

Love is not a choice.
And who you happen to love
and who happens to love you is not an alternative lifestyle.
There is nothing alternative about love.
Love is an essential part of life.
Essential to feeling complete.
There is no substitute;
There is no alternative to something we all have an innate need 
     for and right to experience and share.
Love will forever reign supreme.

Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.   

Day 98: I’m Voting for Progress – Obama Biden 2012

Image courtesy of San Antonio Express site.
If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. ~ President Barack Obama, DNC 2012 Speech

I want to live an America where we all have the same opportunities.  An America where we all have the chance to live up to our fullest potential and achieve our dreams.  An America where we all have access to the resources, services, and programs to maintain acceptable well-being, welfare, and livelihood.  Because it’s about access, equality, and leveling the playing field, and not about entitlements or what we “deserve.”

I want to live an America where the wealthy are not rewarded for being wealthy and held accountable to the same standards and expectations of the working class and the poor.  I want to live an America where I don’t have to make a case or fight for rights that are inalienable, because they are human rights granted for all.  I want to live an America where the rights of corporations do not trump the rights of the people.  Because after all, there wouldn’t be any corporations if it weren’t for the hard work and service of the people.

I want to live in an America where those that fight for the civil rights and freedoms of Americans and our brothers and sisters from nations abroad are not left to falter when they return home.  An America that will look to its people to help maintain its competitive edge instead of looking abroad just save a few bucks.  An America that will treat all of its people equally regardless of whether we were born here or are immigrants.  Because we’re all here for the same things…we’re all dreamers.

For those of us that believe and share in the dream and this country we call home, we’re more than willing to be diligent and work collectively to move this nation forward.  We must not succumb to the propaganda, lies, and false promises of those who hold their personal interests above the interests of the people they represent.  We must stand for up what we believe and support the officials who share in these beliefs, and will honor them while holding office.  That’s why I’m voting for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  They have and will continue to fight for America, its people, and the promise of its future.

I’m voting for progress, not regression.  I hope we all will do the same.

  

Day 96: Michelle Obama at the DNC 2012

Image courtesy of The Washington Times Communities site.

Michelle Obama is the epitome of what a First Lady should be.  She exudes class, grace, eloquence, and wisdom.  She hasn’t forgotten where she came from and she will not allow us to forget where we’ve come from either.  We cannot sit back and allow ourselves to falter. We have to bring each other up.  It’s about OPPORTUNITY.  When you have it, make sure you’re leaving the door open for others to follow.  Set the example.  Lead with character, honesty, and integrity.

Day 86: Gone Too Soon (from Prevail)

In a society that claims to value individual freedoms—it’s a shame that people are (still) ridiculed for simply being themselves.  There’s no reason that anyone should have to hide or live a lie because they fear being ostracized, hurt, or even killed.  It’s unacceptable.  We’ve lost too many due to the hateful, intolerant ways of others in this world.  It must end.  In tribute to those we’ve lost, here’s “Gone Too Soon,” a poem from the “Life” section of my book Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics.

Gone Too Soon

Battling,
Fighting with the world everyday,
Trying to stand firm on ground that changes like DC metro area weather,
Not knowing when it’s safe to be you, or when it’s best to retreat:
It’s safer on the inside—sometimes.

The golden era ended quicker than you could comprehend.
And you were thrust upon the audacity of disgust and hatred
From people you thought were your friends,
People you thought were your family,
People who said they loved you but you just can’t seem to trust.
You’ve walked a line that many people claim they can handle but couldn’t, even if humanity depended on it.
It’s a line that you don’t want to walk.
It’s a line that often runs faster than the speed of sound and light, with a soundtrack that repeats daily.
And you’re tired of hearing it.

Living in a world where people get high off of ridicule and bullying,
One is left numb,
Not wanting to deal.
The help you need never arrives when you need it.
It always comes too late.
You push and push,
And push and push.
And you keep pushing,
But the force always seems to kill your spirit.
It was at first a temporary thing,
But the period of death began to outlast the periods of rebirth.

There’s a lot that you can and have dealt with,
But it’s the pain and its lasting effects
That cut you down to nubs,
The hurt practically defying man’s comprehension of depth.
If you could only find relief,
A sweet release from it all…
If only…
If…

The inner light quickly fades.
Time halts,
And you succumb to a place
Where your spirit will forever reign.
You’ll be safe from harm and healed
From a lifetime of pain.
If only it didn’t have to come to this.
If only…
If…
You’d still be here.

If only…
If…

You could’ve been saved.

© 2012 BuddahDesmond

Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politicsis available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.

Day 80: Gabby Douglas Is Not Her Hair

Image courtesy of OK! Magazine site.

I was a bit appalled when I began to see an abundance of chatter online about Gabby Douglas’ hair, especially in lieu of the history she’d just made at the London Olympics.  For crying out loud, Gabby Douglas is an Olympic gold medalist.  She became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in the All-Around Women’s Gymnastics Final at the 2012 London Olympics, and all people can focus on is her hair?  I thought to myselfhow small and superficial for people to focus on something so miniscule.  

Do people realize the amount of skill, talent, agility, diligence, and excellence that it took for Douglas to achieve this feat?  (Mind you, hair was not in the aforementioned list.)  I’m sure it was by no means an easy feat, but when you see Douglas on the floor—she makes it seem as if it’s effortless.  She glides through the air like it’s a natural thing—like it’s her second home.  You cannot help but to root for her.  You cannot help but to get emotional, as she’s beaten the odds.  Douglas is out on the floor giving her all and the only thing people can utter are comments about her hair… I’m overcome! 

Where is the pride?  Where is the feeling of faith and encouragement?  At only the age of 16, Douglas has many accomplishments to be proud of.  Her story is one that many can relate to.  By watching what she’s done in London, there should be a sense of hope, inspiration, and motivation.  Douglas, like many, is an example of what happens when you are steadfast and relentless in working to achieve your dreams.  And in a field where so few who look like us achieve accomplishments such as these—this is a poignant, touching, remarkable moment.  A moment that we should all cherish dearly. 

Even Douglas can’t fathom the focus on her hair and feels it should matter.  In a recent AP article featured on the Huffington Post site, Douglas said,

‘”I don’t think people should be worried about that…We’re all champions and we’re all winners. I just say that it’s kind of, a stupid and crazy thought to think about my hair.”‘

I agree.  As India.Arie sang so insightfully, 

I am not my hair/I am not my skin/I am not your expectations (no)/I am not my hair/I am not my skin/I am the soul that lives within ~ “I Am Not My Hair,” from Testimony, Vol. 1: Life & Relationship (2006).

Gabby Douglas is more than her hair.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, talented, and gifted young black woman who’s made history.  But this is just the beginning of her story.  She’s represented our race and our country so well at the Olympics.  And if that isn’t enough—I guess nothing ever will be.

Past, Present, and Future

I often wonder if our ancestors are pleased with our progress.
Looking down on us, would they hold their heads high in praise or bow them
down in shame?
Would they feel that everything they fought for was in vain?
Would they feel we are living up to the legacy they’ve left behind?
It’s a valid question, considering the disparities within our community.
There are disconnects between generations and classes,
Between faith and moral values,
Between the revolutionary and the righteous,
Between traditional and unconventional,
Between family and community.
Sometimes it seems like we are ghosts of what we were before.
The shades of greatness remain,
But the people have yet to figure out how to channel its power.
All is not lost, yet not all is fully realized.

I hope that our ancestors have not given up on us, the way we have given up on
each other.
I hope they feel that we all can come together to believe and dream and fight to
win again,
Because it’s there—
It never left.
We were born to survive in even the bleakest situations.
There’s still time to mobilize.
There’s still hope and faith that we can get it together,
and bring everyone to the same place again.

We just can’t forget about what was.
We can’t forget about who fought the many battles and won.
We can’t forget about our ancestors.
We must think of them
Because they are why we are here,
And why we must go on.

© 2012 BuddahDesmond

—————-

Now playing: Kenna – Daylight via FoxyTunes

Normal?

What is normal?
This question has popped up a lot lately.

Is it pink hair, tattoos, body piercings, and dark clothes?
Is it oversized hoodies, baggy designer jeans, Timbs, and over-the-top bravado and swagger?

Is it the $900,000 condo in a metropolitan area?
Or a cookie cutter single family home in the suburbs?

Is it blue collar or white-collar work?
Or how about a get-rich-quick plan?

Is it traditional? Or is it conventional?
Is it revelatory? Or is it revolutionary?

Is it the big house with seven bedrooms, six full baths, a picket fence, Lexus GS, two kids, and an American Bulldog?
Or is it an unashamed, refusal of the American dream?

Is it conservative or liberal?
Is it republican or democrat?
Is it capitalist, socialist, or communist?
Or is it apolitical?

Is it mainstream or underground?
Is it male, female, or trans?
Is it straight, gay, bi-, multi-, or asexual?
Is it married, common law, or a civil union?
Is it Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist?
And is race, class, or culture a factor?

Wait a minute …
Does normal even know what normal is anymore?
Let’s face it:
We’ve come a long way…. Or have we? (Okay; that’s another poem for another day!)
We’ve evolved into so many different things
With a variety of tastes, likes, dislikes, desires, wants, needs, and dreams.
But the more things change, the more things stay the same
If you look a little bit closer, we tend to be more alike than we are unalike.
So instead of forcing people into what we think is right,
Or how we think people should live
(Translation: what we’re comfortable with),
Just let people be.

And remember—just because it was right for you don’t mean that it’s right for everyone else.

© 2012 BuddahDesmond

Claiming to Know: A Poem

I never thought I’d see the day when people would use the Lord’s
     words in vain.
The Good Book has been used to support every ill within society.
There’s no exception to this, even now.
With people using The Word against each other
Not knowing while in defense they’re spewing more words of hate.
This contradiction is the cause for my current disdain.

I’m left wondering what happened to the love?
What happened to respect?
What happened to decency?
The current regime is using its religion to support a political agenda.
They think they’re sounding righteous when speaking for the people,
When in actuality they’re catching feelings and taking it personal;
     it’s sacrilegious and totally obscene.

I’m left asking what happened to the separation between church and state?
I was under the impression that religion had no place in politics.
I thought there was freedom to choose.
But I’ll be damned if somebody’s going to tell me how I’m supposed to live,
     What I’m supposed to think,
     And how I’m supposed to feel.
I have an individual relationship with God.
We’re cool;
And nobody can tell me otherwise.
No preachers, no priests, no nuns, no family, friends or strangers at that.

No human being can ever take precedence over the Supreme Being
     because of infallibility
We’re not perfect.
We’re flawed.
So what makes you think that the real message didn’t get lost in translation
     or in our current interpretation?

Everybody’s claiming to know the deal.
Everybody’s claiming to know The Word.
Everybody thinks they got The Good News.
Everybody’s claiming to know,
But claims aren’t totally legit.
Besides, no one’s really going to know anything…
     until Judgment Day.

© 2005 BuddahDesmond