The Wisdom Keepers

Be quick
Be nimble
Don’t get so sick
Where You can’t use a thimble

Pray often
But keep it moving
Don’t let your brainwaves soften
‘Cause there’s a lot to be proving

You’re expected to sit still
Stay in your place
Just take your blue, pink or white pill
And put a smile on your face

Why should You wear your heart on your sleeve?
You paid a lot for those achy bones and laugh lines
Old Age tries its best to deceive
With hefty penalties and fines

So, let’s call out those who say, “You Can’t”
and those who say, “No”
Your body, mind, and soul is like a Plant
It also needs a little nourishment to grow, and grow, and go

Love In A Letter

I must have done you wrong

But what took you so long

To make me realize

that I made you cry


Was it just one call

Is that the reason for my fall

Tell me the truth

What can I do to make it up to you


The joy you bring

Makes me wanna sing

But how could I

When I was never there


The smell of your perfume

the way it stayed in the room

You could brighten the sky

no need to ask me why


I didn’t know

Just how to let my feelings show

I couldn’t put my love in a letter

Maybe I could work a little better

If I can’t have your heart

It would tear my world apart


You are my sweet sixteen

Aw, you know what I mean

Always my love supreme

Only other one in my dream


Let me have one more chance

And I’ll prove true romance

Promise I’ll do a lot better

Instead of putting my love in a letter




Life’s Painter


Thoughts are like colors

Grayer than strange

More absurd than dark blue

Bloodier than deep red


Thoughts guide fingers

Though the hand forms the curve

The eyes behold all the beauty

Stars and sun over the rainbow


Life’s Painter tells the tale

Of joy and pain

Yet all joy is not happiness

Pain forms a kind of death


Frayed bristles are of a frayed mind

Overexposed is overused

For some, a baptism is once

The alcoholic needs to dry


Then splatter, if he must

And call life art

Precision brings best decisions

Clean and neat shows control


The canvas on display

If he is so lucky

Value placed on his life

What a bargain



What is it that would make a Black person think their lives are so much busier than the next person when it comes to voting?  I couldn’t believe it when I heard a Black man say in the grocery store, “Well, I’m just gonna send my vote in early.  I don’t wanna wait in that long line.”  Seriously?  As I recall, your ancestors and others that probably aren’t that much older than you are today had to stand in lines to be told they couldn’t come in to a certain place or that they had to enter from the back of the house or building.  Now mind you, I saw no debilitating ailment that this man possessed, just the ignorance that was placed upon his chest and forehead by someone who told him it was probably better that way.  Whenever I tried to look him in his eyes, he more than shied away from me.  It was almost as if he tried to run without moving.  He shrugged.  He averted.  He diverted.  He cussed under his breath.  He cussed out loud as he spoke about the mistake he made in the last election, anyway.  I refused to move.  I acknowledged him the only way I could, for that moment, until his breath ran out.  And, when I heard those most hateful and despicable words that could comprise a phrase, “What difference does it make anyway?,” I pounced.


It was pretty easy, I must say, getting this gentleman to talk to me.  He seemed very proud to be the first of seven children to send his only child to college on a janitor’s salary assisted by a criminal justice degree from a reputable four-year college.  His devotion and loyalty to a childhood friend who died at the hand of a law official is how he attributes his abandoning his dream position in law enforcement.  As a janitor, he felt safe.  There, he did not pose a threat to anyone nor would anyone threaten him as long as he relied on tunnel vision.  He was well past retirement age and didn’t find it hard to understand how compromises were made for him to be able to make the choice to become a janitor; though there are those who consider themselves custodial engineers (without a legitimate four-year college degree).  The pride he had for his only daughter showed proudly on his face as the clouds could nearly touch his chest.  Letters were written by him to the news stations and local newspapers about issues that concerned not only himself, but members of his church and study group; he started a book club that has been in session for five years.  While we stood there talking in the poultry section, I became engrossed in the presence of a rock star.  Everybody knew this guy and he knew them.  The crowd could associate the name with the face.  The letters he wrote couldn’t do that.  Come to find out, the gentleman never forwarded a letter under his real name.  He said he just didn’t want the attention.  Suddenly, I felt like I needed medication.  Here it is, a well-educated, most literate (articulate sounds so insulting for a man of color who has graduated even from high school) man did not want to be acknowledged for his own efforts.  Was this cowardice or arrogance?  Just because he was Black, I came to understand that he could also have an air of arrogance.  After all, he was human.


Although he probably wasn’t in the hunt for a new position anywhere, I suggested that he must have a pretty remarkable resume.  Alright, so there was a little sarcasm in there only because of his expressed phobia.  Yes, he did have a phobia that he hadn’t allowed a therapist the privilege of knowing.  He allowed another person’s demise stifle him.  The man had become complacent and had convinced himself that he deserved to be behind the scenes.  And there he stayed for years, but popular for just his presence.  “Do you know what an employer does with a résumé that has too many errors?” I asked.  “Why, I have heard it goes in the garbage can,” he replied demandingly.  “Then, why can’t you see the possibility of the same thing happening to your vote whether it’s electronic or absentee?” I said.  It took him a minute, but he got it.  The man understood that his presence was needed in order to make sure his vote really counted.  The many possibilities of errors occurring never occurred to him.  And, in the way he would write letters, he said that he didn’t want his friends to think differently of him.  I was floored!  This brilliant man before me – this rock star personality was afraid to show that he played an integral part in the universe.  Not only was he content with being behind the scenes, he was content with being someone turned something else.  When I asked him how his daughter felt about what he does, I could see the river start to flow.  Yet, he was talking to me in a grocery store as if I could have been his best friend.  She didn’t know he was the anonymous local celebrity who was relevant.  He was so pleased to have discussions about the writer’s topics.  She was amazed at how much knowledge he had on each subject.  He looked forward to their continued talks once she got settled into college.  The hug I received from this man was one I will never forget.  I don’t know if he’d ever say that he had a therapy session with me, but I can say I had one with him.  There is a reason for everything.  Every single person on this planet has feelings.  And one person’s phobia may seem so small to the rest of us.  The thought of trying to remain anonymous is one thing.  But, when we do it for the wrong reason really cripples us and those who care about us.  When messages of positivity are sent out into the universe, I think the universe wants to reward that energy with positive energy.  We all know what happens when hate is cast into the air…there is but despair. 


To be sure his vote counts, he will get in line instead of trying to vote early or by absentee ballot.  By being present, he could see the confirmation for himself.  He will make sure this potential cycle is broken with his daughter.  I will continue to see people as people and know that they all have a story to tell.  But why I chose him to accost and talk to him didn’t make sense to me until I thought we were about to part.  Looking at my watch, it was now 3:30 in the afternoon.  I arrived at 3:00.  I felt like at least a couple of hours had gone by.  Then suddenly, I got my answer.  “You know, you look just like my buddy that passed away years ago.  Would you like to see his picture?” he said smiling.  “Sure.”  I was speechless!  The resemblance was uncanny.  Everything made sense.  I guess we both did exactly what we were supposed to do that day.  How could we not be friends after that?  I didn’t need a copy of that picture because I felt like it was me looking back at myself.  Talk about timing.  While he was sending his only child off to learn a new lesson, we both learned one in just that short time.

Life Class 3


What a fantastic feeling it is to win!  To actually, WIN!  I don’t mean to come in second or third, but to WIN!  All our lives – from the very moment we are able to start competing, we are told to keep our eye on the prize.  And what is that prize?  The prize is a trophy…be it a winged-figure sitting on top a platform, a standalone nude phallic symbol, or even a gold book opened in the middle affixed to a different base, or better yet, that pure physical embodiment of all that is grace and holy…a woman that everyone envies.  In any respect, a trophy is a trophy.  That trophy shows that YOU are the BEST.  You wiped the floor of all the other competitors and came out on top.  The only difference in the kind of trophy you receive when you win an award is that it is an inanimate object.  And, that’s the only kind of trophy you can get for coming in second or third place.   But, a trophy is a trophy anyway, right?  Wrong.  An inanimate object appears one way until someone takes a closer look at it and reads the placard:  2nd PLACE.  That’s when the heartbreak sets in.  You didn’t win.  There is the other top award or even reward that many men strive for:  SEX APPEAL.  When a man wins outright in his sport, that sends a message out to all other men that – I AM BETTER THAN YOU AND YOUR MATE SHOULD BE WITH ME INSTEAD.  A lot of times, you’ll hear losers say, “It’s not all about winning.”  Seriously?  Either this person never entered a contest before or this person never had a role model who cared to strive for anything.  Isn’t that called complacency?  Now, when it comes to a woman winning a GOLD medalist in the Olympics, what is her just reward?  Though you wouldn’t automatically admit it but many men would see her strength as his weakness – that is unless he was competing too (whether on the outside or at the GAMES as well).  Sure, he could say that he wholeheartedly supports his spouse, but to what extent?  With her receiving all the perks and attention of being a GOLD medalist may impinge on his ‘family’ time.  What an opportunistic time to claim invasion of privacy.  Then, in an effort to simmer down, the female winner has children and works on her family.  To her, she has achieved what she set out to do:  She Won!  Continuing to be a winner more than likely doesn’t fit into her stream of things anymore.  She has made it.  The only time she may return to competition is if she was coaxed into it by her spouse and outside influences.  Then, if she doesn’t bring home the GOLD this time, she already has it to fall back on.  ‘Nuff said.  For the male, competition is supposed to be naturally in his blood.  In order to get anywhere in life, he must be a winner.  There are just no ifs-ands-or-butts about it.  Second place is an accomplishment – and many actually live the dream of having been able to compete in any games.  That, however, is not the point.  Unless that male has WINNER on his shelf or in his corner, all his efforts seem bittersweet.  Now, should he get what some would consider to be the ‘trophy wife’ or ‘trophy girl,’ who’s to say he’s not the one constantly looking over his shoulder to see who she’s looking at?  In remembrance of the girls that are Runner Ups in the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants, before they are shuffled off the stage to announce the winner, they are told, “Thank You, Girls!”  Nobody wants to be called a “Thank You, Girl.”  No one wants to hear, “Thanks for your hard work, but you’re still a loser.  Better luck next time.”  “Thank You, Girl!”  How demeaning!  Yet, you must exit the platform with style, grace, and your dignity.  That is, unless you are that new viral sensation from the USA Olympic Gymnastics Team 2012, Makayla Maroney, then you’re the exception.   Your team won Gold, so you’re safe!  Together you stand, better if you win.  Divided, the lone wolf, there can be but one winner!  Will it be You?  It better be.  Because you have so much to lose, if you don’t WIN!