New Book, From The Inside: A Poetry Collection, Out Now!

I’m happy to announce my new book, From The Inside Out: A Poetry Collection, is out now! After sitting on this project for a few years, I finally decided to get over myself and hit the button.

About The Book

From The Inside Out: A Poetry Collection examines the power of love and its impact on our lives. When combined with action, commitment, faith, hope, persistence, and pride, love can transform our relationships, our communities, our world, and each of us. We can find “Glory” when we “lose [ourselves] in the beauty and wonder of life and love.”

As these poems illustrate, this journey may require a little work, a little discovery, and some growing pains…. For love is an inside job. And we love from the inside out.

From The Inside Out is available for purchase at Amazon. Tell a friend, then another friend, and then another friend.

Much gratitude for your support. Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

Reflections (Slaying The Monster)

I looked in the mirror
And what did I see
A monster staring back at me
From galaxies unknown
Dark, brooding
So alluring yet so scary
Projecting the happy fantasy
When really singing the lost soul blues
Self-sabotages almost consistently
Holds feelings so deep that when expressed
It’s potency trumps the fire expelled
by an entire Weyr
Putting on, showing out
Acting up, always on the raucous route
Wouldn’t stop until he’d achieved total
domination, control, and power over you
And he won
Or did he? 

When looking in the mirror
What did you see?
A figure you almost couldn’t believe
Because he looked just like you
In fact, it was you
So familiar yet so unrecognizable
How could you manage to let it all go?
No more, you say
NO MORE
His time of recklessness, dysfunction,
and drama are done
For you’re taking it back, all the way back to one
The lost, but not forgotten one
The O.G.
YOU
Time to slay the shit out of this
muthafucking monster
He’s gone on for far too long
It’s the only way to right this wrong
Say goodnight! 

From now on, when I look in the mirror
I’m going to see me
The real me
Not lost, not blue
But genuine, authentic, and true
Loved from the inside out
On that realness route
Reclaimed
And reframed
Like Fantasia, I’m finally back to me.EndFragment 

~ Buddah Desmond, From The Inside Out: A Poetry Collection (2020)

Prevail: Happy 7th Anniversary!

I cannot believe it’s been 7 years since the release of my first project, Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. It’s arrival marked one of the brightest and darkest periods of my life.

Two weeks prior to its release, I found myself jobless. A total WTF moment that sent me reeling… Spiraling down. I was singing a tune that was akin to the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache,” except in this case it was “Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good Night Depression, Anxiety, Shame, Low Self-Esteem, and Lack of Confidence.” It took awhile to grow through it. While I didn’t realize it immediately, it proved to be a blessing in disguise.

This reality check gave me the chance to do things I always wanted to do. Publish my work. Write, write, and write some more. Perform. Connect and work with other artists, creatives, and organizations committed to the arts and social justice. Complete my MBA. I did what I had to do. About a year or so later, the landscape had changed. My outlook was much brighter.

Life is a trip. At times, you may feel ill equipped for the journey. You may even hate certain portions of the journey. But it’s necessary. It lays the foundation for what’s too come. As I say, “No matter what happens in life, we must PREVAIL!“ Much love and gratitude to all who’ve been there with me and continue to support me throughout this journey. You are true blessings!

Prevail is available at Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.

Wise Words from Craig Stokes

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Image courtesy of Craig Stokes’ Facebook page.

I was recently introduced to Craig Stokes through his #ImABrand webinar, sponsored by iBlack, the leading lifestyle portal for Black professionals in the DC area. Stokes is a phenomenal, multi-talented TV host/personality (“Style Minute” and “Craig Stokes Presents: The Show”), lifestylist, and motivational speaker. Throughout his presentation, Stokes shared several bits of motivational wisdom in the form of #StokesNotes. After doing some additional research, I came across several #StokesNotes that left a great impression on me (especially the one shown above).

When we talk about our self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, the focus is often on the external factors (such as family, friends, our community, our environment, our culture, and the media) that have negatively influenced how we feel about ourselves. Too little focus, I believe, is given to the part we play in these beliefs.

As humans, we have the tendency to get in our own way. We thwart our own progress by not looking within…by not first believing in ourselves. How can we expect to achieve our dreams if we don’t think we’re worthy of them? It’s time to take back our power. Our dreams have value. They matter. We have value. We matter.

For more #StokesNotes, go to Craig Stokes’ Instagram and Facebook pages.

Happy 2nd Anniversary to “Prevail!”

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I cannot believe it’s been two years since the release of my first volume of poetry Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. Seems like it was only yesterday when I saw the email that the book had gone to the printer. And roughly 10-14 days later, it was available to purchase. Seeing my work published, especially this collection, was a major milestone. I went through a lot to get to that stage. And my what I’ve learned in the time since it was published.

I was trying to do everything when Prevail came out. To maintain the little bit of sanity I have left, I had to pump my breaks. I realized that if I broke my goals up into smaller pieces, execution wouldn’t be as difficult. This allowed for quick wins, which in essence brings you closer to achieving your ultimate goals (versus trying to attack everything head on all at once).

My goal this year was increasing visibility in the DC metro area (i.e. attending more events, performing, and making connections/building relationships). I went after some opportunities, while other opportunities came to me (all of which I’m extremely grateful). I’m in the process of planning for events for the latter half of the year (I’ll be sharing news about this soon). Aside from releasing my next two projects, the goal for 2015/2016 will be increasing visibility in other regions of the country.

After going through the publishing process with my first project, I feel like I could teach a course or two. There’s no need to spend a lot of money buying packages through an on-demand or vanity press when you don’t have to. Doing it yourself may be a more cost-effective option, especially if you have access to the right resources. Whether you self-publish or get picked up by a publishing company (indie or mainstream), you will still be on the hook for marketing/promoting your work. At this stage, I’d rather have more control over the finished product and how its marketed/promoted.

Information about my next two projects is forthcoming. In the interim, be sure to check out my previous posts about Prevail. And if so inclined, buy a copy of Prevail, write a review, and tell a friend!

Thank you for your support. Until next time… Peace, love, and many blessings! ~ BuddahDesmond

Buy Prevail from: iUniverse | Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle) | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover)

I Was Too Blind To See – Latest on MUSED

Young man thinkingImage courtesy of MUSED Magazine.

Ever been in a situation, be it a relationship, friendship, or job, that was no good for you?  Everyone other than you knew you could do better and encouraged you to move on.  But for reasons that were oblivious to you at the time, you remained.  I’ve had my fair share of experiences such as these.  In my latest article for MUSED, “I Was Too Blind To See,” I talk about a past relationship that had run its course.  I ignored all the signs.  Yet, I stayed… And paid dearly for it.  But as I say in the article, “I’m grateful because that experience was crucial to bringing me forward.”  To learn more, read the article on MUSED.

Major thanks and props to Drew-Shane Daniels, Neo Huxtable and the MUSED family for featuring the article!

Follow MUSED on:  Facebook | Twitter
Follow BuddahDesmond on:  Facebook | Twitter
Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

~ BuddahDesmond

A Personal Reflection on Father’s Day

Father’s day has always been a strange day for me.  I grew up in a single-parent household with a mother who was more than capable of holding down the roles of both parents.  My father did not take an active role in my life.  With the exception of visits and phone calls here and there, he was a quasi-presence, an oddity, an elusive figure (still is).  After 31 years, I must admit that it’s a shame when you still don’t know your own father (and he doesn’t know you either).

I’m at a point now where the hope of any real relationship or bonding with him is somewhat faint.  If it happens, great.  If it doesn’t that’s fine, too.  Sad, but fine.  Guess when the child grows up it becomes harder for the parent to relate after being away for so long.  Or maybe they’re apprehensive or scared to connect because they feel you may reject them.  Maybe it’s guilt.  Or the scars that linger from their own father’s absence and abandon that prevents them from doing the right thing with their own child/children.

I’ve had countless discussions over the years with my mother about why my father was rarely around.  And she always gave me her honest answers, without bashing my father in any way.  Most importantly, she did not want me blaming myself for his absence.  As a child, it was still hard not to feel this way because I didn’t yet understand all of the reasons why.  No matter what, a bit of pain, sadness, and anger remained.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my insecurities, feelings of rejections, depression, and thinking I wasn’t “good enough” stem from my father not being around.  I’ve spent an extensive amount of time working on this over the years.

The last time I spoke with my father was about three years ago.  He began telling me what he thought I wanted to hear about why he was never around, but not what I needed to here.  He said he wanted to try to have a real relationship with me, or in other words “start fresh.”  Honestly, I was taken aback.  First of all, the phone call was out of the blue (as they always are).  And second of all, the whole scenario was giving me the “here we go again” feeling.  While I was open to the possibility, I wondered if he actually meant it.  Did he truly want to reconcile?  Would he actually follow through?

The memories of my father saying he was going to do something and never actually following through with it are the ones that cut the deepest.  I remember how I felt during those times, and I knew that I did not wish to go back to feeling that way ever again.  And now three years have gone by, and we’re still right back where we were three, five, seven, ten, fifteen years prior.   

Maybe one day, things will change.  Maybe they won’t.  Maybe I’ll have to extend myself even more (than I have over the years) to try to move things along.  Sometimes people do need the extra push and encouragement to make change happen.  But one does have to ask, at what point is enough enough?  I welcome the chance to reconcile as long as my father is serious about it.  I have no intentions however, of being strung along anymore.  That’s pain I don’t need.

Whatever happens is destined for reasons that only divine knows at this point.  Realize, I hold no grudges.  I’ve forgiven my father (and myself) for it all.  I wish nothing but the best for him in all things.  And I just wanted to say, Happy Father’s Day!

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Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!  Never underestimate the role you play in your child’s life.  Never take for granted how pivotal you are in your child’s growth and development.  Your presence (physical and emotional), involvement, guidance, and support is more powerful and significant than you may think.  Be engaged.  Be committed.  Be present.  We need you.