I love this deeply every time I hear it.
I love this deeply every time I hear it.
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Who am I if not
A creature created in the
Image of love?
But what is an image
If not a facsimile?
Incapable of being
If love is a reaction to receiving
For we love because
We have first been loved
Then what of the love
That was supposed to pour into me?
What am I pouring out
If I haven’t first received?
In this dimension there has been no
No partner or mate
With whom to lay down
Or to build up
What would I know
Of a gentle touch
A tender kiss
A thrusting merge
An expectant birthing
A purposed feeding?
How am I to learn
The deep nature of
Sharing in true
When my existence
At every level
Has been solitary
Relating to myself
I am right
Though my conclusions
May be wrong
If I don’t even know
How could I possibly
Give what I haven’t
All these years
I thought I was offering
Though I knew I was begging
Trying to avoid my emptiness
Attempting to camouflage
Seeking to heal to
While offering my image
Of wholeness to the broken
But if love is
Absent from my being
How was I ever whole?
How was I ever able
To offer myself?
If life isn’t linear
Then we’ve already loved
Believing time wasted away
Waiting for what’s
If love isn’t chronological
Surely there are no regrets
Deja vu confirms
What’s come and gone
Past is prologue to future’s past
Reality is never knowing you
Even as my spirit calls you home
Though we’ve only shared shy fleeting touches, my body
Flushes with memory of joys
Yet to come
How can there be certainty of tomorrow while languishing on yesterday’s dead-end paths?
If life were a straight line
Perhaps we would have missed each other in the rush to reach all the next destinations
Perhaps it’s better that we met on this long winding road and continued our separate paths
Perhaps combusting too early would’ve been mutual destruction
Fire that once consumed may now simply keep us warm
Comfortable enough to sustain life
Not enough to turn back time
Maybe we needed to learn to control passions, hopes, expectations
Maybe we needed to unlearn biases, roles and assumptions
Is that reductive reasoning?
A function of call and response?
If existence is a squiggly fifth dimensional experience
Suffering must be an element
Necessary for elevating consciousness
I see you. I feel you.
Yet you’re always out of reach
Present in mind, absent in body
Still, I am here. Where in the continuum are you?
How do we reconcile space, time, and
Waiting through choices that made
Parted ways divergent lives?
~ by LaShawnda Jones, 2022
We are created in violence
Birthed in pain
Our only constants
Conflict and struggle
What can we possibly
Ever know of nonviolence
When even our peace is achieved
Within storms turbulent
Enough to alter
The landscape of our lives
This poem came from frustration with the passive language most media use to report state-sanctioned murder and police brutality. They say “the death of” this person or that person, as if the person died in an unremarkable way. They speak of people who “lost their life” as if the opportunity to reclaim lost life is available. A more accurate wording would be “life was taken.” Life was stolen. Life was destroyed by someone who had no right to take a life.
Death is a passive word.
There is no story attached to death.
Killing is an active word.
Someone does something:
There’s always a story attached to a killing.
Who did the killer kill?
Why did the killer target the victim?
How was the victim killed?
Will the killer be prosecuted?
Is the killer still breathing?
Why do killers kill?
People who kill inherently believe
They are judge, jury and executioner.
They are the law,
Inhabiting space above, beyond
and around societal norms.
They enjoy an extrajudicial existence.
The law as we know it
needs to be eliminated.
We need to write new laws.
We need to establish new societal norms.
Killers need to know
Murder is not something else
Because of their badge
Skin color or family connections.
Murder is an intentional act.
It is purposeful destruction of an active life.
Murderers think they have the right
To take away life.
To steal another person’s breath.
To extinguish a human being’s light.
They do not have that right.
Witnesses need to name names.
Supervisors need to hold perpetrators
Accountable for their violence, brutality
And abuse of authority.
Administrative leave is not enough.
Job termination is not enough.
Payouts to injured families is not enough.
Full accountability and prosecution
of killers is necessary.
No matter their uniform.
No matter their perceived goodness.
No matter their community.
A killer is a killer. Their victims
Don’t just die. They are killed.
Breathing is active.
Breath is sacred.
Air is life.
We are all created beings
with the same Right to Life
and unhindered breathing.
Access to air should not depend on
Assumptions, opinions, political views,
Occupation, wealth, social status,
Skin color, mood, hatred of fellow humans
or self-hatred. Access to air should
not require legislation.
Yet here we are.
There is a great lack of understanding in America,
An astonishing general ignorance across the continents,
Of an elemental natural truth:
The deeper you grind US into the ground,
The stronger OUR roots become.
One day, your tsunami of brutality
Will wash you and your generations
Out into the sea you brought US across,
While WE who are deeply rooted in the soil
Will not only still be standing,
But will be flourishing. Gloriously.
~ LaShawnda Jones, May 2020