Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: No longer listening

I once heard what I thought  
was a calling. A mating call of yearning, 
of need, of matched desire. 
I listened. 
 
Was someone seeking me? 
The voice seemed familiar –  
its vibration pierced my soul, 
breached the dark midnight of my days  
in the directionless wilderness of life. 
It pulled me, spun me 
surrounded and filled me. 
The melody delighted me. 
Surely it was a call to live;  
to fulfill hopes and dreams 
I kept listening. 
 
Even as I called back,  
I listened.  
Even after I became a seeker  
starving through the ravenous desire 
of a supernova devouring its own light, 
I listened. 
I called back. 
I listened. 
I called back. 
I waited and waited and waited, 
for more than a dozen years,  
I waited for my radiant reply to reach  
the one my soul loved;  
ached for the brilliance of their  
presence to sustain me. 
 
I thought I needed to see, to feel, 
to be seen, heard, wanted, and needed.  
I thought I needed someone to love me;  
someone I could pour love into. 
Yet aging with none of my needs met 
altered my hearing, diminished my longing. 
Silence is not only deafening, 
it deadens the soul and mutes the heart. 
I stopped listening to the void. 
 
A lifetime ago, a whisper tickled my senses  
through the wilderness of the universe. 
But how could that be when  
sound can’t travel in space? 
Relics of my imagination had launched  
on gases of hope, creating orbits of dreams 
in the echo chamber of my heart. 
So… I’m no longer listening. 
 
I will feel what I can, be who I am, exist as created 
with no regard for the sliver of sound heard 
in the wilderness of loneliness, that had only  
ever been my own echo reverberating off stardust. 

LaShawnda Jones
Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Without Reservation

Repost: Have you ever felt like you’re a prophet in your own life? Writing instructions decades in advance of a moment? Or is it that people remain the same no matter the decade?

I’ve been thinking –
perhaps I had an epiphany –
I thought of how I was willing,
begged God actually,
for the boon of being
with you. To my mind,
you were the greatest
possible gift.
Then it came to me
this desire to give, give, give,
to love you with all
my heart and mind
to worship and praise
your body with mine –
it was all wrong.
I was backwards.
I’ve been requesting things
which would not satisfy me
in the long run.
Yes, I want you.
Yes, truly I want all
I’ve petitioned God for.
I do. I love you.
But there is something I want
much more than the pleasure of
pouring my life into yours.
There is something I need more
than my prayer answered.
Something I deserve more than
being a giver who receives
nothing in return.

Epiphany showed me
more than anything
I want and need
to be loved and desired
without reservation.

It showed me you should be
the initiator and I should follow.
When you give of yourself,
cover me – pour your life into me –
those will be my true gifts.
When you choose to love me
with your heart, mind and spirit…
choose to join your body with mine in a
symphony of worship and praise…
Those are acts worthy of my devotion.

I was sitting and thinking –
my ask was so limiting.
What I was shown opened the heavens.
My efforts are useless against your inaction.
So, my love, I must back away from temptation.
I must resist the urge
to supplicate myself at your feet.
Resist my obsessive longing and
suppress the desire to shower my gifts on
a man who does not value
or reciprocate my devotion.
I must resist that part of me until
you present that part of yourself to me.
Your gifts will replenish and revive
even as your presence restores.
Your love will cover
even as your strength shelters.
When you join your gifts to mine
WE will become our greatest blessing.

~ LaShawnda Jones, 2004 (ed. 2017, 2022)

Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Attention Seeker

You have my attention

never lost it, despite

trampling it with dismissive ridicule

What will you do with it now

What have you ever done

To keep my focus and hope

other than laugh and brag with friends

while keeping me in perpetual limbo

Indeed, have you ever given me

your purposeful attention

Focused your energy on me

Strove to be more than

a nice guy liked by all

Did you ever envision yourself

as a man of integrity standing by my side

A man of purpose joining his strength to my vision

Unlikely, as your form of noncommunication

layered with emotional hiding

seduced me into the shadows

I can think all the thoughts or not one,

do nothing, say nothing

and get the same wide-eyed,

“I’m a nice guy” non-response

received when I did everything

to look like a fool out of my depth

A foolish woman

who gathered all my available courage

to speak all my known words

of admiration, love and desire

To a being who sparked the light in my spirit

yet could not comprehend the nature of my offer

Now I understand my vibration

was beyond your frequency

You couldn’t perceive me

beyond the physical appearance

you considered unworthy of your commitment

My attention meant nothing when it was all I had to give

Even though it’s what you wanted most from me.

You were attracted to my light but had no respect for it.

Yet here we are orbiting still

What are your intentions?

Do I willingly enter your rabbit hole

of emotional grief with no hope of any satiation

To allow you to feast off my energy

Watch you eat

As I starve

You bask

I wither

You soar

I drown

You chose someone else

I grew in grace, seeking understanding

from a God who would put you

in my spirit, yet keep you out of my life

Maybe you were never the one

I was to commit my future to

Perhaps the real test is trusting God to provide

beyond what I sense in a life set on orbiting you. 

Posted on 3 Comments

Poem: This is a test

this is a test

and only a test

if I do nothing

what happens

if you do nothing

what happens

if I do something

or anything

perhaps one more thing

what happens

if you do nothing still

what happens

if I do everything

all things

reach down to move your feet

or up to puppet your lips

what happens

and if at the end of it all

you still do nothing

what could have possibly happened

your heart and will

are yours to control

mine are mine to protect

for every level of effort

I perform, the outcome remains

no forward motion

no synchronicity

no reciprocity

so I’ve learned to do nothing

like you ….  

flirt with the air

deny responsibility

through inaction

save energy

stay where I am

move forward on my own

momentum with no

expectation or disappointment

after, it was only a test

Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Have I ever loved?

Who am I if not
A creature created in the
Image of love?
But what is an image
If not a facimile?
Non-original
Incapable of being
Authentic
If love is a reaction to receiveing
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
Sheltering arms
Encouraging embrace
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
Relationship?
When my existence
At every level
Has been solitary
Relating to myself
Even in
Disagreement
I am right
Though my conclusions
May be wrong
If I don’t even know
What love
Looks like
Feels like
Sounds like
Smells like
Tastes like
How could I possibly
Recognize love
Identify myself
As love
Give what I haven’t
Recieved?
All these years
I thought I was offering
Though I knew I was begging
Trying to avoid my emptiness
Attempting to camouflage
My brokenness
Seeking to heal to
Wholeness
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?

7/15/19

Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: No Straight Lines

If life isn’t linear
Then we’ve already loved
Believing time wasted away
Waiting for what’s
already been

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

Posted on Leave a comment

Quote: “Parted from me yet never parted.”

Last week’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds used a beautiful greeting between lovers that really spoke to me. It was repurposed from the original Star Trek series, Season 2, Episode 1.

T’Pring: “Spock. It is I.”

Spock: “T’Pring. Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We meet at the appointed place.”

T’Pring: “Spock. Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We meet at the appointed place. I await you.”

(Star Trek, 1967; Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, 2022)

Shortly before hearing this greeting, I had written a poem with a similar theme (see next post for full poem), snippet below.

Reality is never knowing you
Even as my spirit calls you home.
Though we’ve only ever shared shy fleeting touches, my body
Flushes with memory of joys
Yet to come.
How can there be certainty of a future while languishing on a broken detoured path?

#startrek #starcrossedlovers #poem

Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Bury Me in a Free Land by Frances Harper

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Make me a grave where’er you will,
In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
Make it among earth’s humblest graves,
But not in a land where men are slaves.

I could not rest if around my grave
I heard the steps of a trembling slave;
His shadow above my silent tomb
Would make it a place of fearful gloom.

I could not rest if I heard the tread
Of a coffle gang to the shambles led,
And the mother’s shriek of wild despair
Rise like a curse on the trembling air.

I could not sleep if I saw the lash
Drinking her blood at each fearful gash,
And I saw her babes torn from her breast,
Like trembling doves from their parent nest.

I’d shudder and start if I heard the bay
Of bloodhounds seizing their human prey,
And I heard the captive plead in vain
As they bound afresh his galling chain.

If I saw young girls from their mother’s arms
Bartered and sold for their youthful charms,
My eye would flash with a mournful flame,
My death-paled cheek grow red with shame.

I would sleep, dear friends, where bloated might
Can rob no man of his dearest right;
My rest shall be calm in any grave
Where none can call his brother a slave.

I ask no monument, proud and high,
To arrest the gaze of the passers-by;
All that my yearning spirit craves,
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Death is passive. Killing is not.

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 passive. Killing is not.
On the lynchings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breyonna Taylor and George Floyd

Death is a passive word.
There is no story attached to death.

Killing is an active word.
Someone does something:
Killer killed.

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

#newpost #blog #poem #wordpress #policebrutality #murderbycop #murderismurder #kill #death #media #biasreporting #passive #active
Posted on Leave a comment

Poem: Gwendolyn Brooks: America in the Wintertime by Haki R. Madhubuti

Gwendolyn Brooks: America in the Wintertime

in this moment of orangutans, wolves, and scavengers,
of high heat redesigning the north & south poles
and the wanderings of new tribes in limousines,
with the confirmations of liars, thieves, and get-over artists,
in the wilderness of pennsylvania avenue,
standing rock, misspelled executive orders
on yellow paper with crooked signatures.
where are the kind language makers among us?
at a time of extreme climate damage,
deciphering fake news, alternative truths, and me-ism
you saw the twenty-first century and left us
not on your own accord or permission.
you have fought and fought most of the twentieth century
creating an army of poets who learned
and loved language and stories
of complicated rivers, seas, and oceans.
where is the kind green nourishment of kale and wheatgrass?
you thought, wrote, and lived poetry,
knew that terror is also language based
on denial, first-ism, and rich cowards.
you were honey and yes to us,
never ran from Black as in bones, Africa,
blood and questioning yesterdays and tomorrows.
we never saw you dance but you had rhythm,
you were a warrior before the war,
creating earth language, uncommon signs and melodies,
and did not sing the songs of career slaves.
keenly aware of tubman, douglass, wells-barnett, du bois,
and the oversized consciousness and commitment of never-quit people
religiously taking note of the bloodlust enemies of kindness
we hear your last words:
     america
     if you see me as your enemy
     you have no
     friends.
Source: Poetry (June 2017)