Posted by: S. N. Harrell | April 29, 2016

Artifice and Lies (Guide Me)

Written 4/29/2016

I want artifice and lies
Perverting my soul deep ties
Closed mouth, underfed needs
Inaction taking heed

Desperately seeking affirmation
Blinded to the honesty of my vision
Words hidden in untruths
Under silken clothes and beautiful youth

Dirty, filthy, aged, decayed
Dilapidated, destroyed, betrayed
Feeling these through the guise
As I guide me through the maze of artifice and lies

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | January 10, 2015

I Used to Write (Writer’s Block)

I used to write as a release
A cathartic unleashing
Giving me emotional peace
With the depths of pain I was reaching

I used to write to teach
Using my words to preach
Similes, metaphors, parables
Soliloquy my way to the adult tables

I used to write to compose my thoughts
Prepare my argument in paragraph and prose
Succumb to the affect from the life I wrought
Rebirth from a bud to a rose

I used to write with tears in my eyes
I used to write of fears and lies
I used to write of life and reality
I used to write of dreams staring back at me
I used to write & now I don’t
No journal to hold my secrets
No pen to paper I frequent

I used to write myself into infinity
I used to write
My world limitless, boundless, lacking weakness
I used to write
My invaluable brilliance
& now?
Nothing.
Nothing penciled or penned
Nothing written. The end.

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | August 23, 2014

Un-make it, bit by bit

Original: August 23, 2014.Edited: July 24, 2015

In my perfect world I could un-make it, bit by bit
Erase the deaths, reverse the history and crimes against our humanity,
Eliminate the human rights violations they commit
Eradicate the oppression that boils my blood and sits in my stomach like a rotting pit.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

The death of Black men and women at the hands of white officers.
Un-make it, bit by bit.
The false image of Black ignorance.
Un-make it, bit by bit.
The resource stealing integration that plague a segment of the nation.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

The illness and adversity,
The pain and perversity,
The indignity and inhumanity
Of people with Brown or Black skin like me.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

The deaths of our heros, advocates, warriors, kings, and queens;
The cultural (mis)appropriation;
The notion of Black anti-intelligence;
The hypersexualization and attempted de-masculinization.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

The Red Lining, lynching, enslaving;
The brainwashing that entrenches white supremacy;
The fallacy of Black-on-Black crime;
The welfare queen fallacy;
And Institutionalization.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

The War on the Disenfranchised;
Sentencing disparity, Jim Crow, generational poverty and
The necessity for Affirmative Action.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

 #JusticeFor… the wrongly accused, murdered but state-approved, and strategically abused.
The excuses for why it’s okay to harm my family.
Un-make it, bit by bit

Change the history and trajectory that elicits anger from me
Change the idea that I play a “race card” when I talk about social injustices
Change human rights
Change civil rights
Change what we perceive as “equality.”
Un-make it, bit by bit.

That Lincoln freed the slaves
When the “slaves” freed themselves
Even still there is Black slavery in America in 2015
better known as institutionalization and criminalization of Black people;
That we dwell on the past, unnecessarily
Despite the terrifying reality
that Young Black and Brown women and men can’t drive their car, listen music, sit in holy spaces or walk down a street
without harassment, stalking, and profiling with deadly consequence.
Un-make it, bit by bit.

That we are criminals when we seek equality
Un-make it, bit by bit.
That we are criminals when we seek civil rights
Un-make it, bit by bit.
That we are criminals when we seek human rights
Un-make it, bit by bit.

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | August 22, 2014

FACT: A Divergence From Poetry

A divergence from poetry …

It keeps looking like “protect and serve” might only be for some people and THIS IS NOT NEW INFORMATION! This is not a repeat of past “bad” history, this is a continuation of it. In the same vein, the same people (namely, people of color), for whom “protect and serve” do not apply, are far too frequently impacted by acts that show protection from illegal search and seizure; freedom of the press; freedom of assembly; separation of church and state; the right to vote; the right to bear arms; the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; among other “inalienable rights” are only permitted for a segment of the population in which people of color do not inhabit. There seems to be everlasting issues with rights of minority individuals in this country.

It also seems as though these issues are so increasingly complex, comprehension of the nature of power, control, and access to basic “human rights” need to be discussed on a broader spectrum. These need to be discussed outside of people who already advocate for awareness around ones own privileges & prejudices. Moreover, institutional racism needs to be discussed as a FACT, not an opinion. It needn’t be discussed under the notion of people of color playing the “race card.” A card of which WE would be incapable of playing if it weren’t in OUR hand. A card that would not so injure you if the reality of it was not that its presence strips away some of the privilege and power you hold closely (knowingly or not) and freely wield as a factor of your privilege.

This is reality. It is not some fabricated imagining of paranoid people of color and we do not need to prove it to you. As a matter of fact, You only need to look around you to see its evidence. It is a fact that the individuals controlling, regulating, writing, and enacting the laws do so with an agenda that routinely negatively impacts a segment of American society. This routine negative impact is so normal that a President speaking strongly against oppression of people of color can be perceived as negative, in a country that advocated the people in other countries overthrow regimes that ignored their basic human rights. This routine negative impact is so normal that people try to minimize it while ignoring the facts of history and present reality, that even while the face of this country and while holding the “highest (political) office” people of color lack social, political, and economic POWER in many critical realms.

This doesn’t mean the minority/people of color populations are hopeless, helpless, hapless, and incapable of agency. Instead, it means WE are so thoroughly hindered, these hindrances continually and negatively effect us for GENERATIONS. Also, in the same way institutional racism needs to be discussed as a FACT, so does generational poverty. But, maybe that’s for another topic for another time.

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | August 25, 2013

Grief in Acts

This contains explicit language. So if you are sensitive to the f*** word … back away from this poem.
This is also pretty lengthy. So, if you are sensitive to length … back the f*** away from this poem.
 
PRE-GRIEF
I like my usual (or semi-usual) sunny disposition.
I laugh … a lot
And my usual moroseness doesn’t creep up
It doesn’t knocked me down
It doesn’t sneak in
Hugging me tight in its grasp
Disabling me from moving
I laugh … a lot
And my used-to-be-usual moroseness stays away
 
GRIEF FINDING ME
Yet, today grief found me.
Grief told me something that hurts me deeply
Grief said, “______ passed away”
6 months ago it was my stepfather
Today it was a friend of mine
 
I never met this friend face-to-face
BUT I’ve known this friend all of my womanhood
 
Grief found me
Kicked me in the gut
Spat on me
And insisted I stop laughing
 
WALLOWING IN GRIEF
I knew this friend was ill and sometimes in some pain
I know that life throws shit at us
And we are supposed to roll with the punches
Dodge those loogies, spitballs, and precisely positioned roundhouse kicks to the cabeza
We’re supposed to just ride the waves
We’re supposed to surf
 
And instead we drown
And get the holy shit beat out of us!
At least I do.
 
PERSEVERATING GRIEF (WALLOWING)
Having never met my beloved friend face-to-face
One could say that we were strangers
Maybe we were strange
But not to each other
Maybe we were strange
But not to each other
Maybe we were strange
And now we will never have the chance
Never be able to unstrange ourselves
Never; never; never
My brain perseverates
My grief perseverates
Repeating over, and over, and over, and over
 
I try to think; I try to think; I try to think
And I am stuck
 
I try to cry
I try to feel
And I am in shock
 
I try to believe and I am frozen
I don’t know why but I feel guilty for crying
We never met face-to-face
My friend passed away
I feel guilty for crying
And I feel like not crying is an injustice
In just … in just … in just … in just
 
I am stuck again; and again and again and
My brain perseverates
And I am stuck again
How I have been struck AGAIN
With this fucking pest called death
FUCK DEATH
FUCK GRIEF
Sometimes I feel like screaming fuck life
But then I am stuck again
When I am struck again
 
Grief persverates
Repeating over, and over, and over
Again
 
GRIEF, AM I BREATHING?
I try hard to think
I am thinking
I am feeling
I am believing
I am breathing.
 
I am breathing … wow …
I am breathing; breathing; breathing
In and out … I am breathing … or am I?
 
BACK AGAIN
It’s back in my face
It’s back in my space
It’s back inflicting on me
This inability to think
This stuck
This struck
This FUCK DEATH, GRIEF, PAIN, TEARS, BULLSHIT
That screams at me for being stuck
FUCK!
 
I perseverate.
I repeat; again and again …
Fuck.
Fuck.
Fuck!
Fuck!!!
Fuck!!!!!
FUCK!!!!!
 
PURGING GRIEF
And so I default to something I have not defaulted to in a long time
I isolate
I cry
I write to purge myself of this
I write to scream out what is screaming in
I write and write
until words come
and they make sense
and they don’t
 
I write and
 I write and
I write and
because death and grief have reared
their fucking ugly heads
and struck me
Again
FUCK!
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | August 25, 2013

My Poetry

Sometimes in my poetry
it is structured and poetic.
Sometimes it is
streaming consciousness.
Sometimes it is
SCREAMING unconsciousness
Always it is me.
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | April 30, 2013

Prayer (Individual)

Most High, Heavenly Father, Lord of the Heavens & the Earth:
I pray for you to protect my body & spirit;
to guide my footsteps down the path that is most beneficial for me and righteous in your eyes.
I pray for you to strengthen me where I am weak
and make me better understand the plan that you have for me
so I can most fully accomplish it.
I pray to recognize the signs and blessings you provide.
 
Lord, I ask forgiveness for my errors and
for knowledge, wisdom & courage
to do better in every instance;
to be a better family member & friend,
to be a better self to me;
to love and laugh and grow my spirit how you see best.
 
Most High, I pray for my family & friends, to improve ourselves
& increase YOU within us in everything we do.
I give thanks to you for where I am today and
pray that I am a better version of me tomorrow.
 
Selah.
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | April 30, 2013

Family Prayer (Group)

Most High, Heavenly Father, Lord of the Heavens & the Earth:
We pray for you to protect our body & spirit;
to guide our footsteps down the path that is most beneficial for us and righteous in your eyes.
We pray for you to strengthen us where we are weak and
make us better understand the plan that you have for us
so we can most fully accomplish it.
We pray to recognize the signs and blessings you provide.
  
Lord, we ask forgiveness for our errors and
for knowledge, wisdom & courage
to do better in every instance;
to be a better family member & friend,
to be a better self to us;
to love and laugh and grow our spirit how you see best.
 
Most High, we pray for our family & friends,
to improve ourselves
& increase YOU within us in everything we do.
We give thanks to you for where we are today
and pray that we are a better version of us tomorrow.
 
 
Selah.
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | September 2, 2012

Next Him

Originally Written September 2, 2012
 
In lieu of missing my ex-him
I found my next him
Filled with all the pieces of the best him
He inspired a sex hymn
 
I know, I know, it’s antithetical; blasphemy
But there’s no better way since his love mastered me.
Reaching vocal octaves never met
Stretching limbs never stretched
Loving in ways that love could never forget.
My next him made love
 
Became essential to my next breath
Part of my heartbeat
Deep in my bones;
Within me was home
Loving indelibly my next him became my last.
 
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | November 12, 2011

Self-Hatred

Originally Written 11-11-11
 
I am kinky and curly
And those who professed my beauty
Are no longer here
 
I am wide and all outside
And those who said I was worthy
Cannot comfort me from your words of bigotry
 
I am an aged, wrinkled reflection
Of your mortality
And your choices have been to silence my plea
 
I am opposite of my gender role
So you insist upon decrying my soul
 
I am black to your white
And dark to your light
I am human cells in the trillions,
Attempting to love myself into the zillions
Placing myself on the pedestal
A royal throne
And yet I am atom splittingly alone.
 
I breathe too loudly
Speak too briskly
Live too boldly
My heart beats & I exist
I think, with my brain
I love with my heart
& I’m asked to depart.
 
I am so maligned
That time has no place for me
The epitome of invisible,
As you want me to be
 
I am the boy, the girl, the diseased, the weak
The unusual, the quirky, the uniquely unique
The unknown, invisible, poor, and meek
The ostracized one of which everyone refuses to speak
 I am the one for which you feel no pity
Diseased by choice, you say so you can flee
 
I am nothing.
You are everything.
I am nothing … You are everything
You hate me through & through
Shouldn’t I hate me too?
 
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 31, 2011

Carry

RunRunRun, play-run-spray
Walk umpteen miles, no run-play today
Carry towels to the car, time for the beach
Carry jars to neighbors and wells and rivers we can reach
Carry SPF and sandwiches
Carry my weary body through this dangerous ditch
Carry sustenance umpteen miles
Few burdens or few smiles
Carry non-replenishible resources
Carry laptop and books for college courses
Carry privilege and influence
So much, it makes no sense
Carry disparity on my back
As much as the water we lack.

Some pay for it dearly
And others don’t appreciate it
Bottle it, waste it down a drain
Discard, sully, and undervalue it futilely.

Note: This was written after seeing a Dverse Poetry call for poems about water. The first two things I thought of were summer-water fun and the fact that MANY people in the world don’t have adequate, clean water. So … I created.

Tell me what you think!

Sheera

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 31, 2011

Untilted (Rhyme Royal)

He speaks to me within my restlessness
Gently touch my body and love my brain
Altering who I am for his caress
Succumb to him, ravishing, near insane
Living deep in his love; wrapped in our pain
Never to escape the love-pain-love of it
Wanting more; begging; pleading to submit.

Note: I saw the challenge of Dverse Poetry to write a rhyme royal poem. Initially, I wasn’t going to do it since I saw the post a day late. But, I changed my mind. I hope this fits within the measure, rhyme scheme etc. necessary to be a true rime royal.

Enjoy!

Sheera

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 27, 2011

Suffering In Silence

Part I
Suffering in silence
This pain I feel is immense
Enough to provoke violence
 
Suffering in silence
There was 1 like me alone
Like my hands legs arms – like my body
To be cherished
Instead scared, isolated & berated
Left with no defense.
 
Part II
Suffering in silence
Huddled into oneself
Wishing this would cease &
Finding a way to dull our senses
Seeking oblivion
Even if it’s only temporary
 
Part III
Suffering in silence
Mouth closed
Eyes open
Never trusting
Never hoping.
Never crying
Never saying
Never whispering
Never
 
Part IV
Suffering in silence
Always dying
Always scream shouting & crying
Always keeping it buried deep within
Always hating me due to others sin
Always tell somebody
Always tell somebody
ALWAYS TELL SOMEBODY
When …
Suffering in silence
 
Part V
Fingers pointed
Claiming she’s whorish & lying
Suffering in silence
Fingers pointed
Claiming he should be ok with it
 
Part VI
Suffering in silence
1 in every 3 women they say.
I say,
There are WAAAY more
Every 2 minutes in the US alone
That means 720 today?
I say,
There are WAAAY more
Suffering in silence
Victim or survivor
A party to an ultimate violation
In the hands of an unbalanced person’s power
The use of sex blurring the lines
Remember 30 alone in this hour
MOST
Suffering in silence
 
© S. N. Harrell 2011
 

Note: 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. 15 of 16 rapists will NEVER spend ONE day in jail. (RAINN.org)

I wrote this because I want to scream every time I hear about a woman, man or child that has been sexually assaulted/raped/molested.

It hurts me to see when people, especially women, are victimized there is the reaction that she/he/they did something to deserve it, or that the person is lying (especially if a powerful man is involved).

The statistic that a person is not being honest about their sexual assault is between 2% and 8%. There are greater odds of having depression, getting cancer, getting an STD/STI, being an ethnic minority in the US, being addicted to a substance, being a millionaire, or having an advanced degree (i.e. Master’s, PhD, MD, JD, etc.) than of anyone lying about being the victim of sexual assault/rape.

And even worse only 10% of men report it when they are rape/sexual assault victims.

So … yeah – I want to scream. I want people to stop blaming the victim/survivor & to be aware … THAT is part of my spiel … the rest … is the poem …

Also, the statistics in this come from RAINN.org (and some from Wikipedia)

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 19, 2011

Serenade (Cinquain Poem)

Serenade
Crooning beautifully
Filling my soul
Love, trust, adoration, affection
Serenade.
 
© S. N. Harrell 2010
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 17, 2011

Enlightened: Noble Truths (Poem)

Life is pain.
It makes me strong
callous me up & I won’t hurt the same.
I’m not wrong when I think
happiness is there for me to attain.
 
Pain will leave when I
stop fooling myself
wishing for more &
avoiding the rest,
only to wallow in my pain
 
Instead being aware &
developing wisdom & care
will gain me the peace, love, & happiness
that’s deep within – somewhere.
 
© S. N. Harrell 2011
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 17, 2011

Time Here (Poem)

I don’t like to spend much time here.
I used to but I’ve grown to realize
all here holds is unhappiness and fear to terrorize.
 
I don’t like to spend much time here
swallowing back what’s natural
to protect from the biting cold
taking it’s deleterious hold.
 
I don’t like to spend much time here
weakening my bones plundering my spirit
swiping my optimism
running, laughing with it.
A thief  in broad daylight
exacerbating my ever-worsening plight.
 
I don’t like to spend much time here
deep down, beneath the deepest, darkest,
sweltering, and cold beyond extremes
melting & freezing & melting & freezing & …
 
I don’t like to spend much time here in this dark
where my spirit is leached and where i am naught.
I don’t like to spend much time here
in this self-created imprisonment
eradicating everything I hold dear.
I don’t like to spend much time here
wondering where my sense of me went.
I don’t like to spend much time here.
I’d truly rather not.
 
© S. N. Harrell 2011
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 17, 2011

Semester Celebrating (My Excuse: I’m getting my doctorate)

My splurred spleech is nothing
I’m two sheets to the wind and
it’s not even 10 p.m.
I made it through this hellish semester
Mostly unscathed & for it I’m all the better
It’s celebration time and
 
“HEY CAN I GET A CORONA WITH LIME!”
My Friend: “No, NO! It’s JAGERBOMB TIIIME”
“EFF IT! I’M TAKING ONE OF EVERYTHING!”
& inventing a new saying
 
Four sheets to the wind
No-stumbling-No-shi-I-mean-sitting-
No-standing-No-walking-just-leaning-
Or-this-rocking-that-I-call-dancing
“WHEREZDA FLOOR? WHEREZDA BAFTHROOM?”
 
Oh shit, I’m walking? I’m dizzy & I AM NOT DRUNK;
I’m just thinking and moving slow & talking WAY too loud
It’s the music & this big ass crowd
I promise, I’m good, you’ll see!
One random fruity cooler, two beers, & four shots
A lightweight I am not.
 
New bar, same drinks
Cuter men, methinks
One more shot and then I’m done
Or maybe two more then it’s time …
… … … … … … … …
To pass the hell out
I think I’m going to be sick
No shots at my next End-of-Semester-I-Made-it-Through-Some-Professor-Induced-Doctoral-Level-Bullshit!
 
(Note: I really am in school getting my doctorate (PhD to be exact))
 
 
© S. N. Harrell 2011
Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 16, 2011

Communicating

You talk to me and our languages aren’t the same.

Mine is English and your’s has no name.

You try to describe it

but no words form so you show it.

By wrapping me in you and you in me;

in a language that lasts

with the only action of us communicating

body-to-body.

 

I talk you up and in my dreams you appear;

kissing, hugging, doing the right things;

turning my body into an ocean

of more … more … more

The orgasmic cheer.

 

I speak to you

honey in your ear

whispering deeds yet to be done

when no one is near.

Loving and intimate

slow and fast

soft and rough

in, out, up, down, back, forth

of you I’ll not get enough.

I’m cliché

but you’re sexy

and at the end of it

I don’t need to communicate

I just need you to (sex? Make love?) Fuck me.

 

© S. N. Harrell 2011

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 15, 2011

I am … unhuman (Poem)

I am wordless

I am speechless

I am pervasive in every nook and cranny

When I am without language I am incoherent grunts

I am loud silences in the face of adversity

I am blind & deaf to the world around me

Yet, I see what is in visible.

I am silent to the point of being mute

But I created a reason to be loud!

 

I am not who you believe me to be

I am in all

I am in none

I am in man, woman & child.

I am socially constructed & yet

I am unknown, despite my innumerability

 

I was Negro, Mulatto, octoroon, Caucasian, Asian & Black

I am male, female;

she, he & them; gay, bi, straight, trans, queer

And no one ever understood me

 

I was colorful character in gray scale

I was religious & spiritual.

I was atheist, agnostic & without belief or knowledge.

I am not for I am naught

& I am defined & undefined; class & caste

I’ll bring you down for uselessness

I’ll label you out of perversity

& even as you wallow

I’ll slap you with another label

Denigrating you all over again.

© S. N. Harrell 2011

Posted by: S. N. Harrell | July 15, 2011

I am … human (Poem)

I am restless; incapable of relaxation

Expecting some manifestation

Some great alignment; some culmination

Of all of my worldly expectations

I am splendid & supremely glorious;

As an embodiment of femininity

I am immaculately victorious.

 

I am divine,

In my pursuit to further self-define,

I seek out THE Divine.

I find me sitting restlessly,

Waiting & seeking the grace of my Divinity.

 

I find me silenced and fearful of differentiation

(I find me) wretchedly ignorant to what’s around me

(I find me) seeking salvation and ignoring my hypocrisy

I find me imperfect and full of humanity.

I am the spiritually & physical personification

Of many things; I am divinely human

THIS is the me to which life clings.

I am loud and fearless

I am exquisitely wise

I am redeemed

I am imperfect & woman;

I am human.

 

© S. N. Harrell

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: