Tag Archives: Your Black Poets

Featured Poem of the Week: “The Art Exhibit” by Tyree Jackson

24 Jun

Trayvon Martin Tribute The Art Exhibit Poem

In this image,

you cannot see,

that I am

damaged, discriminated, stereotyped, racially profiled,

shot at, convicted, and thrown behind bars;

but most of all, I am a victim.

But who can we blame for the burdens I have told?

I am a man of color,

my mother’s son,

now behold.

So it is through this image,

and in my world, a story unfolds.

As I stare voiceless, my lips sealed closed

at the injustices that plague me, consume me

to eventually poison me, and my people.

So stare into my eyes, and tell me what you see?

am I a human being,

or just some violent black offspring?

Who is up to no good,

many police officers would say.

Because,

I am a drug dealer,

woman beater,

rapist

a bastard child

or some dangerous

gang member

who can’t speak proper

and initiates fights.

And it is I,

who strikes fear in

white people’s hearts, because

I’m just another felon.

So I am an uneducated,

unemployed,

black hoodlum,

a by-product from

living my entire life

on the streets.

But most of all, I am

bagged and tagged,

to be buried six-feet deep.

~

About the Author: 

Tyree Jackson is a poet and activist.  He resides in Bronx, NY.

  ~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “The Art of Pain” by Jonathan Downey

20 May

pain

This old lady said to me, “Boy what you know about pain”………..as I sat there I realized I knew what ever body else knew….it hurts. See fixing a broken heart aint no easy task especially when you unmask those feeling you have only to have them crushed. The rush of the anxiety creeps up your spine until it reaches your mind then shoots back to your heart where it started. Until your body shuts down and you dont wanna get up and you dont have the keys to start it. Pain aint no joke to those who have really been hurt especially when you worked so hard to build up that wall around you heart only to take it down and have it shattered. After that it doesnt matter cause you will never find the pieces and the person who did it you will never be at peace with. Yea they apologize and you know that they are sorry for what they have done but they will never know the damage because they arent the ones that have to deal with it. A broken heart doesnt just hurt emotionally it also hurts physically. Let Newton’s Law of Physics be an example how chemistry can create chaos. These words are just a reaction of an action that was either opposite or equal. You can see through the chest of someone whos had a broken heart is transparent but apparently the male species cant have a broken heart we can only break them but we have to learn from some where. What I’m trying to say is one can only know pain after it has been afflicted. Some seek revenge and inflicting pain becomes addictive. In short we all know what pain is whether its a paper cut or broken finger but the pain of a broken heart always tends to linger……

~

About the Author: 

“My name is Jonathan Downey. I am 20 years old, and I am from Norlina, NC. This is just a brief poem about how a broken heart can cause a vicious cycle between men and women.” 
  ~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “Man Where the Leaders At” by Bernell Wesley

6 May

leaders at

Way back when I was young,

When things were good, when

Just to be on a bus was good enough,

When,

Kids acted like they should, when

They didn’t talk back,

Did their homework,

Because making good grades was yea, good,

Man, where the leaders at,

When, words like wack, crack, slack and jacked

Meant nothing to be alarmed about, when

Pants were worn way up, not way down, when

On the down low, meant you had more than one

Woman, not a woman and man

Man, where the leaders at, when

There were no policemen, metal detectors

In school lock-downs or Saturday in school arrests,

Man, where the leaders at,

Man, where the leaders at,

Man, where the leaders at.

~

About the Author: 

“I am a junior at Georgia State University completing my degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in History. I was born on a sugar cane plantation outside of  Morgan City Louisiana 59 years ago. I am honored to have worked on Operation Moses, the first ever air lift of the Beta  Israel or Falashas from Sudan to America and Israel in 1984. I am [also] writing a script: Operation Moses: A Journey From a  Louisiana Sugar Cane Plantation To Africa.”
  ~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “Devil’s Game” by Alicia Cooper

23 Apr

violence-domestic

Satisfied, he falls asleep

Thoughts drifting into dreams

Mad as Hell, I lie awake

Struggling to bridle my screams

Traces of my stolen DNA

Sheathe his most private places

While bleeding cuts and purple bruises

Defile my most sacred spaces

I gently nudge him but he doesn’t stir,

So I connive a hasty retreat

But flashbacks of an invariable scene

Fill my mind with familiar speech,

“You’ll die before I let you go!”

He cautioned countless times

“No one will miss a dumb Black girl!

Killing nothing is no crime!”

His mean and hateful words reduced me,

Rocked my esteem to its very core

But that was then and this is now

I’ll be subdued no more!

My eyes shift to the nightstand

That rests on his side of the bed

The one that holds the cold yellow steel

Which he uses for Russian Roullette

My movement is quick but deliberate

As I slide deftly onto the rug

And tiptoe on aching and shaky legs

‘Round the bed of the man I once loved

My eyes remain fixed directly on his

As I creep ‘cross the carpeted floor

Apprehension begs me to please turn back

But a still voice whispers, “No more!”

I seize the knob with a trembling hand

And pull open the drawer with precision

My heart is racing like a runaway train

As I ponder the cost of my decision

But, I have no time for contemplation

And although I know it’s dead wrong

I choose life for me instead of for him

I must get back to where I belong

My deadly gold savior greets me

With a cold and malevolent grin

Where many nights he was my tormentor

Tonight he is my friend

Never one to handle this gun

It’s much heavier than I assumed

I have no clue if it’s loaded or not

Guess I’ll know in a second or two

It’s not that I’m happy that he’ll die tonight

But better him than me

This golden Glock was full of bullets

And now, so is he!

~

About the Author: 

“My name is Alicia Cooper, and I live in Atlanta, GA. This poem was actually inspired by a group that I am in on FB that supports domestic violence victims. Listening to the individual stories of survival and the heartbreaking stories of those still going through it and their thoughts about how they would be able to escape, really spoke to me. I know the struggle of being involved in such a relationship and was able to get out, but some women never make it out, and if they do, sometimes it’s because they had to resort to violence themselves in order to obtain their ‘freedom.'”

  ~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “Empowerment” by Jazzy Sdlihc

1 Apr

black power

Empowerment, takes you a level higher

we all have imperfections, convictions,what’s your priors?

the death of insecurity, I require

like murder for higher

 I choose to kill with words of fury

I’m on trial with myself as the judge and jury

my vision used to be blurry

but hindsight is 20/20, basic like ABC, the learning network on Jazzy Tv

broadcasting frequencies frequently

Stay tuned for this segment called stop dissing

take the dis out of that

give discourage back, to it’s owner

negative is a loner

positive, encourage

let your goals flourish

The cycle of doubt is vicious

anti spy ware needed, malicious

the lack of confidence is fictitious

look at where you’re getting your information

close your eyes and ears to ideas

that cause complications

Opinions are just that, an opinion

where someone opened their mouth

and spoke what they wanted to be true

don’t let them think for you and guide your decisions too

They reside in Whoville

saying, who me?

so ask them, who real

because they still

lost without a cause, a play without the pause

perfect with all the flaws

a coward without the balls

strengthen your walls

If the walls could speak, what would they say

you don’t play, stop acting that way

or where does your backbone lay

you already have the mind, body, and soul

put your pieces in place

and take back control!

~

About the Author: 

Jazzy Sdlihc is a neo soul poet living in Nashville, Tn. You can follow and check out more of Jazzy’s work on Facebook and Reverbnation under Jazzy Sdlihc and on Twitter and YouTube under mizzjazzy909.

 ~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “I Am More, I Am Me” by Angela Phillips

29 Jan

black woman painting

I was told to become who I was not

I was labeled outside of my name and then I forgot

I forgot who I was when I saw the images

Images portrayed of me that did not represent me

Yet these images were what they expected of me

Just because as far as their eyes could see, these women were the same color as me

Represent me? In what way do you mean?

I am more than just a body that they say is only good for sex

I am more than just a hair style that they say is fake

I am more than my nails that they say the Koreans made

I am more than just my eyes, I have a vision to see that in me lies the ability to be more than just a
drama queen

I am more than just my mouth that they say keeps me from getting a good black man

In my mouth speaks wisdom and truth that those who seek wisdom and truth can understand

I am more than just my legs they weren’t meant to only spread but to be a connector to my hips, my
ankles and my feet so I can walk out my God given destiny with integrity so please

Open your eyes to see past the culturally conditioned society

I am more than what they said I could never be

You see I already existed and there are many more like me

It’s not hard to find me if you are willing to see past the images they only want you to see

Open your eyes and see

I am more, I am me

~

Angela Phillips, Maryland

~

Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

~

The founder of Your Black PoetsAyvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic  writing and acting. Click to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.

The Inaugural Poem: “One Today” by Richard Blanco

22 Jan

Blanco

Click image to watch Blanco deliver the inaugural poem

“One Today”

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

~

(Courtesy of CNN)

~

About the author:

As a poet and teacher, Richard Blanco is now the nation’s fifth inaugural poet. His literary works include the following collections of poetry “City of a Hundred Fires,” “Directions to the Beach of the Dead,” “Place of Mind,” and “Looking for the Gulf Motel.

Blanco states,”As my official bio reads, I was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States — meaning my mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of my family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid, where I was born. Less than two months later, we emigrated once more and settled in New York City, then eventually in Miami, where I was raised and educated.”

~

The founder of Your Black PoetsAyvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. Click to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.