Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Racing to Save Lives Again...A Living Honor to My Mother


Hello everyone! It was time to test my strength once again and run in honor of mi madre Marguerite Wills. Please read below.

I'm training to participate in the Suntrust National Full (26.2 mile) marathon on March 20th, 2010 as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. This is my 5th Marathon! My theme is (Five for 35) as I will be turning 35 in January.

All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help create a world free of cancer. I am completing this event in honor of my mother Marguerite "Sauti" Wills that is battling ovarian and stomach cancer. She was diagnosed August 10th, 2009 just one month after I relocated back to the east coast. She is a fighter and has already started her chemotherapy. We accept all prayers and thoughts at this time. I'm also running in memory of my grandfather, "Papa" Lawrence Wills, Sr.

They are my personal heroes as well as everyone who is battling cancer...the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!

Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training at http://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/natl10/swills and help advance LLS's mission. Whether it's $10, $25, $50, $75, $100. Any donation makes a difference! Remember 2009 is coming to an end so any donations made by the end of December 31st can be used as a tax deduction for 2009!!!!! My overall goal is to raise $1,600 by January 16th (my birthday)! So help me crush my goal!

I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress and to see how my Mommy is doing too.

Thanks for your support! Also the picture is of Mommy, my sister Ayana (RIP) and me in 1984! Mom you can make it!!!!

Peace and Love,

Serena

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Storms

I wrote this piece in church on Wednesday night when I thought about the struggles and battles my Mom is having with ovarian cancer. This is dedicated to all those who have either been infected, affected or impacted by cancer. Mom you will make it! Peace be with you...

Storms

Silence
Listening to the sounds of the rain outside my window
Drip, splash, drip, splash
Splashing on the leaves as the water pours out of the sky
Voice becoming stronger with the wind picking up
Tree branches scratching my windows
On bending knees praying for the healing rejuvenation and restoration for Mama
Struck with cancer two months ago
Hurricane like winds whipping devastation to her physical being
Bleakness blinds my vision
Grim nightmares brewed with the thoughts of you possibly leaving me here on earth alone
Lights flickered
Storm becoming fierce outside
Similar to the one my Mama is enduring
Memories of walking hand in hand with you one year prior
Ignorant to the fact that we're not invincible
Although God's children
We're human acceptable to diseases, hurt, pain and anguish
Throat closing as my streaks of tears were accompanied by screams
Confessing with my mouth all the things I did
Not comprehending
Mom's diagnosis
She's my rock, the living angel in my life
Overnight I became Mama's wall holding her up
Who knew I'd be strong enough to bear so much on my spirit, soul and mental being
Blurred eyes, the wet pillow and sore throat signs that I mourned the death of the cancer
Believing faithfully that as the cancer dies Mom's body is being reconstructed
Optimism growing from the pain, believing that God kissed the cancer goodbye
Matter of time before she is healed
In your darkest moments is when God will begin to abundantly bless you
Stretched body across the floor
Praying for a total breakthrough
Rain falling
Slowly decreasing
Water tumbling off the leaves
Cancer cells dying
Disease stricken storm
Dying...leaving the body
Renewed, healed
Cured

May Peace Be With You,

Serena

Monday, October 19, 2009

Turning in My Player's Hat



I know this piece is talking to either somebody or a few people...

Turning in My Players Hat!

When my friend Ethan (named changed to not put him out there) told me that he’s tired of all this dating and wants to settle down I almost passed out. He’s truly attractive and I’ve seen him grow over the course of our 20+ year of friendship. He loved women, all kinds and they would flock to him. I mean who wouldn’t. He’s smart, witty and charming. Great job, has his head on right and is learning from his mistakes. But he just wasn’t ready to settle down. As we sat on the phone he laid out his master plan to me. I thought to myself, “My God we’re grownups.” We want to have families, see each other blow up and live our dreams. I was still in shock that my brother is turning in the players’ hat for a wife. He’s been through a lot in his life. When he lost his Grandpa shortly after I lost mine I felt his pain. His sound board was gone. All of the wisdom of listening to an elder man was silenced.

He never wanted his crew to see his pain but we knew he was hurting when he dropped off the face of the earth for a year. My Papa has been gone for over 8 years now and I still miss him. I wish I had the opportunity to ask him questions (especially in the dating department). But I do through prayer but there is nothing like hearing his voice.

Anyway a few of my male friends are turning in those player hats (heck even some girlfriends of mine). They are tired of this crazy dating game, settling down for the one that brings them joy and sometimes throwing in the cards cost a price. Some friends won’t and don’t want to understand. They are steadily tripping because they feel as if you are leaving them out in the cold. You don’t hang out in the clubs as much or at all, you prefer a lounge with a nice drink and conversation, your shirts aren’t as fitting but you still look good, etc. Men don’t deal with this as much (at least I haven’t seen the cattiness).

But even for dudes they get the locked down jokes. Okay so what you’d rather hang out with the wife instead of drinking brews with your friends. You start hanging out with men who are married like you and are done with clubbing and trying to get numbers at the end of the night. Sometimes friendships will come to an end. Paths won’t connect because a party doesn’t want to let you go and if you love that man or woman then you have two choices. Tell them I’m sorry but I’d rather go club hopping and hang out with my peeps or make your friends understand that this is a new chapter in your life. Either deal with it or don’t.

I’m personally happy for a few of my friends that are all in love, making strides to walk down the aisle sooner than later because when I see them with their partner I see nothing but love. We still hang out with each other and even go out. But I’ve grown as a person too; I don’t like the loud clubs as much. I like to chill over the weekend. Go listen to a live band, open mic, etc. I even love going over my friends houses that are married and have kids (I swear they throw the best bar b ques and get togethers). Secretly they are an inspiration to me as I see a whole family get down and have fun but still want to involve their friends in their life.
Turning in your players’ hat, cards, black books, and everything is fine. It’s a signal that you are growing up and want to take life to the next stage and this time with someone who you honestly love with all your heart.

As one of the pastors used to say in church back in Dallas. “All you single people who have friends getting married don’t hate…motivate!” Everyone would crack up but he had a good point. Look to them as a source of preparing for your future and if you are a good friend then let them go and be with their loved one and not cause any drama. Appreciate that your player friend has handed in his/her badge and said…I’m done.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ancestors Voice

Peace and love peeps. I'm back, I've been out of commission for a while but wanted to spread some wisdom today. Be blessed.

My face may look young
But my tongue
Speaks knowledge like the elders
As I stood on their shoulders
Walking in their footprints
As an elder came from behind me and told me…
Shut your mouth with all that talking and just listen
Shush chile...and listen to me
As she told me stories about our forefathers, foremothers, Queens and Kings
She took her hand and reached back into time
Telling me stories of the ancestors that blessed me
She told me stories of how we were snatched away in the dead of night as they awaited their sentencing to slavery
Goree Island is the name and for specific reasoning
My people were raped, beaten and murdered
She took a finger and played with the sand as I saw visions of people crying and dying
Those are my ancestors, the ones who shoulders I stand on
Footprints I step into
The mysterious lady waved her hand and we forwarded into time
As I now saw King preaching about the mountain top and Malcolm X fighting for equality
I got up to look closer and I saw legends singing about justice like Bob Marley
All dying way before their time
They died for us
They died for us
People wake up and look into your past to build for the future
Sitting all comfortable thinking we are equal
Hmmph that is bull
We still have a ways to go…
Secret segregation in our schools, no books and no tools to teach our children
The future
I am no damn fool
Racial profiling as I am not smiling when the cops pull me over for doing five over the speed…limit
Our ancestors and those before us fought for us…but wake up people because we have a ways to go
I stared into the eyes of my new found friend, tears streamed down her face
She said, “Honey chile I am happy but I am so sad. Our people are so complacent, so aggravated, and some not making any attempts to make a change. Will you help lead our people into the valley? Help them make a difference in their life and the future?”
I promised to her I will do all I can do to lead the people
Making a difference in my community
Stop being comfortable and make some moves
Unplug your ears and open your eyes and see what is on the horizon
Just wake up and listen…

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Something Old and Something New...



When I was in Girl Scouts there was a song we sang every week:
“Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other is gold.”

But is it the same for love? What if you were used to dating a certain type of man or woman and all of a sudden your eyes were opened to something new. A couple of weeks ago I watched the movie, “Something New.” No matter how many times I watch it I fall more in love with it. It also showed me things that we deal with in society about how people are indirectly prejudice. They would prefer to date a black man as Sanaa Lathan stated in the movie but your king could be standing right in front of you and could be of another race. Would you turn your head the other direction and keep looking for something that you think is good for you but may not.

I also had a discussion with a dear friend of mine (male) that has a list/criteria for his future wife as Sanaa’s character (Kenya) did in the movie. I understand that we all have a hidden list but something you may miss out if your list gets a little too long. I’m not saying settle but what if your future wife in his case has a master’s degree but not from a particular school as my friend stated. Would he still turn the cheek and keep finding the woman of his dreams with a particular education?
I used to be that woman with the criteria and a laundry list of do’s and don’ts. One of my preferences on my list was dating or marrying a brother (black man). As life has unfolded my list is getting shorter. Okay so I will date someone 5’10” instead of the 6’ feet and over rule now, or someone who doesn’t have a masters like me or a man who is not a 9-5 guy but a hard working man.

Living in Dallas made me open my eyes as I met a couple of guys that I would never think I had anything in common with because I was coming off as a Kenya McQueen from the movie. As I got to know them I liked what I experienced. It was something new for me and a few of my friends as we get older really want at the end of the day a good man. Someone who takes care of his household, spiritual, knows who God (or your specific creator) is and what He has done for him, goals, dreams, ambitions and loves his family. Not a lot to ask for. But notice how race wasn’t in there, height (even though I still love them tall), or a 9-5 person.

I discovered that spirits need to connect and sometimes you may have a 9-5 job and he doesn’t (vice versa), nor he or she might not have graduated from an Ivy League school (so what), but ask yourself as Heavy D did in a song back in the day, “Is it good to you?”

Do you get that feeling that you can tear down the walls and truly be the person you are around this person? No hiding or making yourself into something you’re not because of fear that he or she will break out. Can you look them in the eye and say to yourself, “Okay so what he is an inch shorter than me…I love him so much and I’m blessed to have him.” Do you care about going out and when people ask you what he does for a living and you answer, “He’s a professional landscaper (landscape architect) that loves planting flowers.” Also are you willing to take that step out your box and date outside of your race?

I’m bringing this up because as I said I had a wakeup call before I left Dallas, TX. The man has it going on, no he’s not a 9-5 cat and he absolutely loves what he does. I told him he is deserving of a woman that will love what he does as well as his talents will mesmerize anyone. Really open and what I truly appreciate about him is that he laid it all out on the table. Everything…good and bad. I told him I truly respect him because not every man nor woman will put themselves completely out there. In other words he is giving you the choice to see him naked and you gotta love that about him. At least I do.

So we are great friends, but I thank him for opening up my eyes. One never knows where something new will come from and when it does be open to accept it because you may ask God for that good woman or man and He will give them to you. But if your eyes are closed then you may miss the gift because he/she may be of a different race and may not fit your long lengthy list of criteria. Are you going to be like Kenya McQueen in the move (played by Sanaa Lathan) and go after her heart (Brian) played by Simon Baker and love or do what she could have done…date a guy (played by Blair Underwood) because he fits your whole list but you don’t have one ounce of connectivity.

Something new to think about…

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How I Freed My Soul Volume 1 Anthology is Released! Buy Your Copy Today!!!


Hello everyone! My transition back east has been full of ups and some downs. One of the blessings was to hit the mic while helping promote the new anthology at the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, "How I Freed My Soul, Vol 1." is edited by Khadijah Ali-Coleman. Below is what I copied off of the website. Please support and buy a copy today! My poem, "Sounds of the Ocean" is published in it.

So go to: http://outskirtspress.com/webpage.php?ISBN=978-1-4327-2415-3 and order your copy today!

Stay tuned for events where books will be for sale, book signings and more!!! Also for future publications where yours truly will be published in!!! I've also attached a copy of the beautiful book cover!

Peace and blessings! Thank you in advance for your support!

How I Freed My Soul Vol. 1:

Love. Sickness. Travel. A one-night stand. Speaking up. Losing a job. Breaking up. Khadijah Ali-Coleman has edited an eclectic assortment of work that is sure to inspire, revive and enthrall readers on the very idea of how to free one's soul. Containing personal essays, poetry, short stories and visual art, this compilation stretches boundaries as one contemplates the very idea of freedom while presenting, and often challenging, the concept of the soul. This book anthology is the featured book of the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, an annual festival held in Washington DC.

Contributing writers include: Tichaona Chinyelu, Nabina Das, Venus Jones, Farah Lawal, Omar Akbar, Anthony Spires, Amy Blondell, DJ Gaskin, Summayah Talibah, Maureen Mulima, Randy Gross, Margaux Delotte-Bennett, Serena Wills, and other notables.

Visual art work by Turtel Onli, Marshetta Davis, Shan'ta Monroe and more.

Foreword by author Ananda Leeke.
Cover Art by Sharon Burton.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life Transformation

Life Transformation

I’ve been in the DC area better known as DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area for 23 days. Truly blessed that I’m starting a new chapter in my life and at the same time a little sad that one is closing. Sometimes people don’t understand when it’s time to move on or even move back. I had been back and forth praying about my return to the east coast but at the same time I didn’t know if I should leave Dallas because of the great things that were happening with my artistry, meeting great people and being so active. I discovered things internally that had been festering inside me when I first lived in Alexandria, VA for 8.5 years before moving to Dallas for love. The love I moved for came and went and at first I felt bad about it but after time, healing and motivation I saw my true purpose for leaving VA. I was supposed to take my writing and poetry to another level that I had never reached because I was too distracted in DMV when I was younger. Too busy hitting the streets, clubs and chilling and barely concentrating on my love for writing and poetry.


All the while this was festering in my soul and spirit between 1997-2006 it never came to full fruition. Many teachers since elementary school strongly encouraged me to take my writing seriously. They called it a gift. I just saw it as writing well. But in Dallas, TX between the many artists that embraced and touched me, various people and places such as ArtLoveMagic, Art Conspiracy, Writers Block, Inc. and the South Dallas Cultural Center I grew into my creative spirit. Even my church home Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship has their Creative Tyme ministry which focuses on the arts where I met accomplished authors. My nonprofit career shifted back into arts education and everywhere I turned I felt inspired after a while.

So why did I leave Dallas, TX with all of this greatness happening? After the death of my sister in 2007 I knew that I had to be closer to my family and support circle. Her death made me think of life differently as I submitted pieces to be published. I knew that tomorrow wasn’t promised to anyone. Being so far away from my mother and family at a time like this internally killed a piece of my spirit. However I was restored through prayer, meditation and a grieving class, I came to grips with her death and thanked God for the 24 years I had with her. Since Ayana left us I’ve been published three times, completed three books and hit the open mic scene. I learned to use my words to reach out to the masses because you never know how you can affect a person. Your testimony may be what they needed to hear.


I used the heartache of a bad break up and molded it into energy to light more fire under my creative soul. I knew at the end of 2007 that God had me on a time clock with Dallas and He would let me know when it was time to take my show on the road.

At the beginning of this year I was given my answer by God that it was time to start heading east. Changes at my job played a huge role in my decision. I was also missing the 5+ children that I have in my life growing up before my eyes. I didn’t want to miss my goddaughter’s senior year of high school, my godson/nephew Rahiem graduate from middle school, another beach loving summer with my nephew Dontae just to name a few. I decided to step out on faith and leave and try to work for my own. I secured contracts and my writing was on fire as I now featured at wonderful events. My small business of framed poetry was taking off both in Dallas and east coast. I knew I had to go back to the DC area because I had some unfinished business. It was time to take my talents and really go to another level from the east. DC is such a Mecca for the arts, urban scene and inspiration as we have a new leader of the free world President Obama.


Sometimes life will transform in front of your own very eyes. You don’t know why things are happening. Why you had to hit rock bottom financially or things didn’t go right at first but in the end you come out clearer with a crisp mind and clean spirit. As soon as I hit the east I began to get my financial house in order, my house back in TX looks like it will finally sell, getting on the scene to see how I can market myself as well as artists back in Dallas but here on the east. I saw my mother, grandmother, sister Christina and friends that I grew up with for the first time in 6.5 months. So many things came to light as I sat quiet and reflected on my journeys. Even some friends I had when I lived in DMV years ago aren’t in my circle any more. We grew a part as life took us different pathways. But I’m thankful for the new friends and paths both in TX , DC area and NYC. I even had some friends fall off the radar in TX before I left because they were judgmental or their paths didn’t link up with mine. Those I am close too and are true artists and love what they do regardless of your career, goals and dreams are going a lot of places and we are like minded. We have gifts from God that the world is going to see.


I felt compelled to write this blog because some people don’t understand why I moved and what caused it. I do miss Dallas so much. Mainly my friends, artists and writers that rock on many levels that it’s unbelievable. I’m now thirstier for what God has next in store for me and I want to use this opportunity to take those who want to go on the ride with me. So stay tuned for more creativity coming from yours truly and Dallas I miss you greatly. There is a very special place in my heart for the great things happening there and I will return to visit and do shows soon. But no matter where you live, if it’s your time to shine, take your talents to another level and even if it requires moving then don’t hesitate…motivate and make it happen. We only have one shot at life and you have to ask yourself…am I going to prevent myself from making my dreams happen or get on the bus to my future.



Symbol shown above is a West African Adinkra symbol for life transformation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day Weekend Random Reflections (written on June 21st)

As I listen to the sweet yet soulful voice of Deb Driscoll belting out, "I See Freedom, I See Freedom." I'm mellowed out. Its not your average fathers day weekend for me. I'm usually somber and somewhat depressed. But this weekend I got to work along side artists like Deb Driscoll who can belt out a Janis Joplin song to Nina Simone acapella, Matt Barron who can go from blues to a Bob Marley tune to the poetic genius of Michael Lagocki, to a visual explosion of artist Erica Davis.

It was a bitter sweet weekend as I performed for the last time as a Dallas resident at the ArtLoveMagic Fathers Day show on Saturday night at the Egg and I restaurant in Addison.


Bitter because I miss my Papa, bitter because I'll miss the creative collective that embraced my talents as a poet and writer. Sweetness as I head back east to the DC area, closer to family, work for myself as a contractor to nonprofits and continue making my dreams as a published author, reunite with long time friends and to the kids in my life.


Ahhhh the children in world are so sweet, busy and I love each of them. Such as Mr. Noah who may build an ark one day because he is so busy. Funny thing is he can't walk yet but keeps ya running! My friend Lia and Johnnie (Happy Belated Fathers Day Blaze) are moving back from Nicaragua the same time I move to VA and will have this ray of sunshine who makes my biological clock jiggle with his giggles!





One being this sweet guy here named Angel who will be 3. Character in his own right with a smile that will melt your heart.



Another being my cute nephew Dontae who is 7 going on 21. He's way too intelligent for his class and gets into trouble when he's not challenged (and he likes to talk a lot...I guess it runs in the family lol). But with a strong arm from his grandma, mom and titi Rena we will make sure he grows up to be the next Prez Obama.











To the grown, witty and sophisticated goddaughter of mine Kayla. Graduating from HS next year she has jumped many hurdles and overcome obstacles that the average almost 17 year old shouldn't face and can stand tall and say she is accomplishing her dreams by getting her education and applying for college.


Reflecting on my life in Dallas and all of my family and friends I sip on a sweet glass of Riesling as I nod my head to Aaron Garcia as he plucks those guitar strings as Deb mellows the audience with her soothing voice as she sings,"We let our own love fall behind, I'll be the first to reach out and touch your cheek" as I type stroke the keys on my blackberry making my own music called writing.


I'll miss these summer days listening to the artsy collective all over the city. On this fathers day weekend instead of moping around and feeling bad about my Papa not being here I'm happy that I'm able to share my love around the city and country through my lyrics and words. Thankful for the wonderful Dads that are in the lives of their children and for the kids and family in my life.



Today also marks the first day of summer solstice and my sista friend RiShana's birthday. RiShana has been my sista girl since 1993! Dynamic artist blossoming like wild flowers in the middle of a grassy field. Check her out around NYC through Pure LiT Productions and stay tuned for a collaboration piece soon.















Lastly today marks 9 years I met my fathers side. Ashamed growing up not knowing him wondering why he never acknowledged me. I remember this weekend in 2000 walking around the mall with my sister Shay Danee (hair stylist) and my older sister Jeannie. Shavonn I'm glad that our father had us so we could be sisters!











I always pray for Jeannie as she distanced herself from us not being able to embrace us. Its all good. God always has something planned and now that I'm 34 I can say I'm thankful the way life turned out. I'm thankful that Papa was the man in my life as he showed me true gentlemen hood, how a man should approach a lady and although quiet was full of knowledge.

Sitting on a comfy leather couch at Kelly's Eastside Restaurant in Plano, TX as Aaron Garcia takes over the mic while Deb is taking a much needed break I can honestly say this weekend has been peaceful and serene. Happy Fathers Day everyone! I hope your weekend was just as relaxing as mine turned out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Have a Little Faith is Here for Purchase!!!

Yes it's here! I'm blessed once again to be published in another anthology! Have a Little Faith edited by Vanessa Miller is a compelling book with various authors as we tell our stories of our journeys and how we made it with some faith! I have two pieces published. A poem titled, "God's Whisper" and a story titled, "Spiritual Awakening."

You can now purchase your copy by clicking on the Paypal link on my page to the left! The price is $14.95 which includes shipping and handling!


Again thank you for your continuous support! Also don't forget the first anthology I'm in titled, Gumbo for the Soul Here's Our Child Where's the Village that can be purchased on either Barnes and Noble or Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Gumbo-Soul-Heres-Child-Wheres-Village/dp/1440101264/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245292996&sr=8-1 or http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Gumbo-for-the-Soul/Beverly-Black-Johnson/e/9781440101267/?itm=8

Stay tuned for more details on the arrival of the third anthology I'm published in titled, How I Freed My Soul, Volume 1. Edited by Khadijah Ali-Coleman! Peace and blessings and thank you for your support!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Etsy Online Shop Updated with New Product for the Special Man in Your Life!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well on this beautiful Saturday! I updated my online shop to include my special edition Father's Day frames.

The featured poems in my shop are His Voice in Black and Walnut frames (please see image below) and God's Whisper (black flat classy frames). His Voice Black and Walnut frames are $20-$25 + shipping and handling. God's Whisper frames are $15-$20 + shipping and handling.

Buy one or more frames as a gift for your Dad, that special man in your life or a great father! I wrote His Voice to all of the men that are in my life whom have inspired me whether they are fathers or not (those who aren't will make terrific Dads one day)!!!!

If you have any questions email me at serenawills@yahoo.com All orders placed by 12pm Thursday, June 18th will be shipped that day for a Saturday delivery (right in time for Fathers Day)!

My online shop website is http://www.divinewryte.etsy.com/

Have a glorious day!!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I performed this piece tonight at the ArtLoveMagic open house in Deep Ellum. This is dedicated to all those who are trying to keep up with the Jones', forgetting about your loved ones and losing yourself in material things. As a wise woman once said...you may love it but you can't take it to the grave with you. Some choose money, cars and bling and wind up losing the love of their life. Not caring that their pipedreams are destoying their life. On that note I present to you...Bling Dreams!


Bling DreamS

He was a crack feen
Dope feen
Smoking that pipe
Called the American dream
He went from rags to riches
Thinking of cars, clothes and bitches
Pipe dreaming, smoking that pipe full of money, jewels and women
That can’t care for him
Or even dare to look out for a brother
Loving money, rims and bling cuff links
As he walks around dumb founded
The life he once envisioned
Has been clouded with selfish schemes
As he fulfilled his pipedreams
Thinking he went from ashy to classy
Accept the women weren’t calling you Big Daddy
Nope, not those who only see the money, paycheck and your cover up that you want to call life
As he battles internal demons
Dissin his friends who’ve been in his corner forever
Forgetting about those times he was admitted to the hospital
One time he didn’t have a dime and his friends got him out of trouble
We no longer fit into his bracket
That wanna be income level that you steadily waving in our faces
And it’s cool…just look to us when those demons come after you again
And again
And again
Keep smoking that crack pipe full of Blackberry’s or what I call Crackberry’s, wanna be important meetings, driving in a blinged out car while you still live with your parents
Check yourself before someone else does
You once saw me as your Queen
The one you wanted to share your dreams and goals with
Half on a baby and the house with the backyard
But
You tried to crush me as you made that move on up the corporate ladder
As you stopped taking those meds to even yourself out
Or was it the time you decided to move into the deluxe loft with that jacked up credit report
When we once envisioned the house with the white picket fence
You were high on yourself
Smelling yourself
And forgetting about all those who were in your corner
You forgot about me…
But this is my good bye letter to you
Cause I’m happier without ya
My dreams are real and my passions are being fulfilled
This is what we call life my brother
Realizing that I made a mistake
Instead of allowing Him to lead a man to me
I lead myself to you
Our paths never intertwined because I’m living life
As you are steadily
Smoking that crack pipe
Called material things
Trying to live in a bling dream
What you think is the American way
I’m letting go of my anger today…
You took too much of my time and it is time to let it go…
Just wake up brother
Wake up…before you lose more.

Copyright 2008 Serena Wills


All Rights are Reserved



Started October 26, 2007 and completed January 21st, 2008

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Downward Spiral

I was compelled to write something about an issue that has been burning inside of me. I hear about how someone's friend went back to a bad relationship and I shake my head having been there before. But when the person is going back to someone who was once abusive it's easy for me to say, "What's wrong with her? Does she not get it? He's going to do it again."



But when that someone is in your own backyard, amongst your circle you are left speechless. You can say don't go back, or why are you doing this to yourself again? But they have to want to leave. I was once told, "I wish I was as strong as you," from this person. Damn...what do you say to that. I told this young sista to not measure herself up to me. I'm on no one's pedestal. I've made mistakes in the relationship department dating the wrong person who I thought was right or thinking I could change them or he would change for me. I tried to build her up and then she asked me, "Did anyone ever hit you? I mean would you go back if they said they changed their ways..."


Again I was stumped. Here this younger sista looks up to me and I told her, "Yes I had an ex that tried to grab me." Notice the word tried. I was all of 17 years old in high school in the subway station when my ex wanted to be a big man and tell me to not go to my basketball game (the play offs at that). I told him I gotta go and he proceeded to grab my arms. Everytime I moved he threw me up against the metal bars of a NYC subway station. Enough was enough. I don't know where the strength came from but I threw him off of me and we were throwing blows until the cops jumped in and held him back.


I was shocked, I never thought I would have to fight a man off of me. But I did. Did I go back to him. "Nope." I'm so thankful I was strong enough to say no to him after he called me months later stating how he changed. Well this changed brother got hung up on and then I heard shortly after he was locked up on drug charges. His spots never changed...


This younger sista is beautiful and talented but she went back to her ex again after he hit her, grabbed her, not having a job all to say, "But he's changed."


It's only been two months since the break up, he didn't change. As a wise woman once told me, "A leopard never changes their spots."


I only hope, pray and wish that this young sista would wake up and see how beautiful she is, gifted by His glory, talented, and is full of life. But somewhere she wants this man so much that she thinks she can change him.

According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence they states:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
I once visited a recovery center and talked to women who kept going back to him after getting beaten. They said, "He wasn't like this before, I thought I could change him. I stayed and drank the pain away or got high so it wouldn't hurt so much."


Their self esteem had been beaten as they hung their heads low. Underneath the scars and tattered clothes stood a Queen, they couldn't see it yet but I could. Some of these women had degrees, MBA's, etc so status/education means nothing when it comes to how much they wanted to change their man.

Sadder part is most of these women had young children in the household then they were hit.


According to the same source the following can happen to youth:

  • Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

All of us may either know someone who has or still is going through this or knows someone that knows a person. One of my cousins said it best the other day, "Stop reaching downward in the gutter and reach high for your King." Brothers like this give real brothers (the ones I talked about in my poem His Voice) a bad rap. Not realizing that all men aren't the same.

I wrote this piece hoping I could inspire this young lady as I pray for her continually. I knew he was back in her life when she distanced herself yet again from me. It was as if I could feel her spirit shift from the 1,300+ miles away.

Would you go back if he said he changed? What would you say to uplift this young sista and others that are going through this?

Some never made it out as they lie in a grave. Shed some love for her and those who are stuck on the line, "But he changed, things will be better, he only hit me twice, it won't happen again..."

Praying that they see that his leopard spots haven't changed. Can he change...yes but he has to want to do it for himself, his creator and realize that he has a problem. Until he does...those spots aren't moving and you need to go forward with life and not be stuck or worst off...end up in a grave way before your time.

For more information on this topic you can log onto http://www.ncadv.org/

Peace...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cube Life

This is dedicated to everyone who either is working in a cubicle or has in the past. It's not a great place sometimes. So I decided in my cube today to write a piece about my life in the cube. Enjoy and laugh!

Cube Life
I am in a cubicle
No door…no shelves…anything to call my own
I am in a shared space
Speaker phones blaring
Coughing, hacking and sneezing next to me
Personal calls on full blast
Living in the land of the show “Office Space”
20 people having a cube party
Someone sleep under their desk
While I’m trying to do some work and keep my cool
Working out of a box
As toxic breath and air crawls across the air vents
People with offices who have no shame
To keep their doors wide open
So I can hear their lame conversations
With yet another funder
Who doesn’t want to cut the check
Or a honey what’s for dinner did you let the dog out
Like I really care
Dilbert’s land…
Easily 10 people at any given time working around me
Getting louder by the second, minute, hour
As I begin to become uneasy
Flickering lights from the ceiling
Maintenance climbing on my desk yet again
Trying to fix the problem when it’s not the bulb
But electrical wiring instead
Lacking privacy
People following
Me down to my cube
When I haven’t even put my bag down
And turned the damn computer on
Question after question about an email
Never receiving one because you are still asking
When I haven’t even gotten a simple hello
My life in the cube world
Not the glamorous one
As bosses try to inflict us with pain
By adding more cubicles by the day
Week after week I feel like there is a hidden camera in the corner of the office
Cracking open my laptop as I hear
Voices getting louder
Speaker conversations going on
Same cubicle party still popping
Same dude still coughing
You Tube watchers slowing down the server
Broken heart singing that sad love song to their love no more
On speaker phone
Sigh
Welcome to my life
Cubicle life…
One of many
Unfortunately more people that have to deal with it


Dedicated to all of those that are cursed by cubicle life who are about to go stir crazy!


Copyright 2009 Serena Wills

All rights reserved

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Abundant Love...Happy Mother's Day!

Hello everyone and Happy Mother's Day to the Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Sisters, Godmothers and all women who impact or have impacted childrens lives!!!! It's because of the strong women such as yourselves that we are encouraged as a people to move forward and give back to the next generation.

This poem is dedicated to all those women and especially to my diamond, my love, my Iya, Marguerite "Sauti" Wills. The picture on the left is from 1984 when she brought home my sister Ayana from the hospital. She is so loving that she opened up her heart and home to adopt Ayana and my youngest sister Christina! I love you Ma!




Abundant Love

Her touch and embrace
As she wiped the tears from my face
Holding me tightly whispering, “It’s going to be okay”
Cleaning the dirt away from my scars
I remember those days
When Mama would make everything feel like brand new
Between cuts, scrapes, bruises on my skin from falling on my knees yet again
Mom has a tender touch as she told me to hold on tight
The sudden burn disappeared as Bactine was sprayed on my wound
In between sobs saying, thank you Mommy
Always wiping away the pain whether it was a scrape on my elbow
Or another love that didn’t go
In the direction that I thought it would be
Times when I couldn’t understand what was happening to me
Laughing now cause I was going through mere puberty
Causing her drama
But all mama could say was
Everything is going to be okay
Mothers have a way with words like no other
To this day I’m amazed of your strength and often wonder
How did we make it through
I love you
For being my warrior, knight in shining armor, pillars in my temple
Tending to my every sniffle, sneeze, fever, body ache and shiver
Raising all three on faith, hope, love
Reminding me that we were no one’s charity case
I still hold tight to the memories
How you struggled to raise us
Yet no matter what jokes were made by cruel kids my age
You would stroke my cheek and say
Better days are coming our way
Somehow you managed to pull another smile out of me
Mama, my Iya, Sauti my love
I can say on and on how much I love and adore you
Worship the ground you walk on and I feel
It still wouldn’t be enough
Relationship like no other
Blessed to call and have you as my mother
God had a master plan and although times were tough
You made it work for us
And this Mothers day
I salute you and every other mother
By simply stating, I love you

Happy Mother’s Day!

Copyright 2009 Serena Wills

All Rights are Reserved

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Ayana!

I wrote this piece last week on my sister Ayana's birthday while in Nicaragua. Enjoy.

Sitting out in my friend’s backyard gazing at the palm trees and the red flowers that are blooming in Managua, Nicaragua on my sister Ayana’s 26th birthday brings mixed emotions. I’m happy that I’m celebrating her birthday but saddened that it’s my families second year without her being here with us. Ayana passed away September 22nd, 2007 due to her numerous medical complications at the age of 24. Doctors told us when she was born to my Aunt Doretha who later died of AIDS that Ayana wouldn’t see the age of 2. God showed them.

My Mother adopted my baby sis not wanting her to be in the institutions that they would have stuck her in. Although Ayana couldn’t walk, talk or do anything for herself due to the severity of her brain damage but she had a spirit full of life. I can’t explain it but I know what unconditional love feels like from being in her presence. Her eyes lit up my life and her gorgeous smile made me happy even on my darkest days.

So I decided to take a trip to visit friends this year and for some reason every time I scheduled to come to Nicaragua my schedule would get hectic or my money would be funny. When I woke up this morning I knew that Ayana wanted me here on her birthday to see the beautiful mountains, the breath taking Lake Managua that goes on for miles, palm trees and plants that I’ve never seen before. She wanted me to experience new adventures and embark on another journey.

One thing that kept a smile on my face during this time besides spending time with Lia and her husband Johnnie is the smile of their son Noah’s face. His spirit is so full of life and his giggles make my biological clock jiggle. I was supposed to be around new life instead of mourning the death of my sister’s life. I sense Ayana here, she wants to be celebrated and when I smell the fresh flowers in the air out here in Central America I know it’s her swirling around me.

I know she is free and doing all things that she could never do. Even looking at Noah I remember that Ayana could never crawl or take baby steps. All of the things that he’s doing. His language is increasing as he can understand both English and Spanish. A lot of times grownups get stuck on what and who has been lost instead of celebrating new life or the fact that they woke up this morning and in my case writing this story in one of the most scenic and serene backyards that I’ve personally seen at peace.

I know Lia and Johnnie felt bad that they had to work but if anything the time I have alone (well I also have a little 10 month old at my side named Noah) gave me time to reflect and write. Get things in order, pray and meditate more, prepare mentally for my next journey which is my move back east. This week I was forced to stay still for a little bit and everyone needs that time. Their internet was down and I didn’t even freak out about, no one has access to my cell phone because I didn’t select the international package. So the inaccessibility has been a pure joy.

Ayana Doretha Wills will always be missed, life is hard when you’re asked how’s all of your sisters, or how many do you have and that dreadful answer escapes my mouth that I have 4, one is deceased. But I have prayed on it and I know it was her time to go with her failing health and those bright eyes fading away as they didn’t have the same spark in them. God has healed me, I didn’t want to be stuck on mourning my sister’s life and she didn’t want me too either. But I certainly miss her. I now know she is able to travel, walk, talk, embrace, kiss loved ones and breathe without machines. No more beeping sounds panicking when they would slow down or flat line because she stopped breathing a couple of times. She is whole and at peace.
I’m at peace as I gaze into Noah’s eyes and watch him bounce up and down when I walk into a room. Nicaragua has quieted my spirit as I was working triple time and didn’t have a quiet moment to think about my move to Northern VA in the summer. It has helped prepare me for the next chapter in life which will bless me even more and my guardian angel named Ayana will see to it.

Lia and Johnnie thank you for opening your doors to me and Mr. Noah thanks for letting (Aunty Re) hug and kiss up on you. He reminded me that one day I will be blessed with children. Lia and Johnnie you both are an inspiration to me as I thought after my last relationship that I was done trying but now I know it’s not up to me and God wants me to be blessed with a husband who will care for me like Johnnie does for you Lia, a beautiful family and to have a closeness that you both share with your son Noah.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stained Glass

My time flies, just last year I was sending Amma a sympathy card telling her how sorry I was about her losing her husband, our friend Brian West not knowing that days later in late April after wishing Max a happy birthday on Facebook that I would be sending yet another sympathy card. It's still a shock that two great and beautiful brothers passed last year. I wrote this piece on the plane in 2008. I dedicate this to my Soror Amma and Sista Eileen (please someone pass onto Eileen), to all the loved ones of Brian's and Max's. RIP my brothas. This piece is called Stained Glass.

Stained Glass

God ease the pain
Of my mourning, suffering, grieving and strain
Moving closer to the day
When I say good bye to my beloved
It was just passed Saturday when I saw him last
Face gleaming as those eyes pierced through me
Loving every moment I spent with thee
As I grabbed his hand and with a passionate kiss telling him, “I love you”
Watching him stroll out the front door not knowing it would be my last
By nightfall I felt a heavy rain through my spirit
I began to cry as I thought back to how much I love him
And can’t wait to spend the rest of life with the man of my dreams
The love of my life
But something didn’t feel right
I couldn’t see clearly as I tried to wash away the sudden tears
Vision becoming blurry
As the phone rang out
As I ran to it in fear
With the short words a voice whispered, “He is gone.”
Not comprehending as my heart began to palpitate
The voice of his friend grew a little louder
“I am so sorry he is gone.”
The rain in my spirit turned into a storm as I felt the thunder boom through my heart
My beloved died and God I ask you why
Did you take him away from me we were never supposed to part
The voice on the other end was one of his best friends
As I tried to focus on the words I couldn’t understand
Comprehension was as blurry as my vision
Not being able to see clearly
There were no signs or implications
Of this sudden complication that took you away from me
Standing before thee
What I wouldn’t give to see those bright eyes gaze at me
Tears streaming like the Nile River
Although I have faith in God
And I trust you Lord
I had to wonder
Why did my man have to die and so suddenly
Without an inkling of anything wrong
Standing before him I fell to my knees in front of his casket as I began to whisper
“Good bye my love and know I will love you always until the day I am called home.”
Tears streaming
Screaming
Crying louder
Holding on for dear life
I heard a whisper
“You are my child and I will comfort you during this time of mourning.”
Not understanding I stood up and walked back to my seat as I heard yet another whisper
“Baby I love you and will be near.”
Shaking my head as I looked around
I heard your voice but no where to be found
As I walked into my empty place I once called home
Place of solitude and somewhere I can mourn
Life feels like stained glass
Looking through it is not clear to me anymore
One day I pray that my life will seem clear again
But until then I will continue to pray
As my movements through the day are slow
Hoping that someday I have an answer to your departure
But always know that I love you, miss you and praying
God will wash the stain glass
So life will be clear for me once more

Written By:

Serena Wills

May 3, 2008

Matthew: 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Dedicated to Soror Amma Tanksley-West and Sista Eileen.

Dedicated to two great brothers that we lost..Brian West and Max Osiris Finley…God bless.

Copyright Serena Wills 2008

All Rights are Reserved

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Da Flip...a piece about teen pregnancy

Hey everyone! Here is my weekly post in honor of National Poetry month. I wrote this poem when a young girl in my life, close to me had her son. She was only 13 when she delivered a healthy baby boy. She's smart, intelligent, beautiful, but somewhere we lost her in the world.

According to a research study on http://www.pregnantteenhelp.org/ "As of 2004, the number of live births to teenage mothers across the United States was 415,408. And the number of births to teenagers in the United States aged 15-19 was 41.2 out of a 1,000."

That was almost half a million a year in the United States alone.

Now what is baby girl doing you may ask??? She's an advocate to other teens about getting caught up, using protection and how her life will never be the same. She is a fortunate one as she still brings home A's and B's, is applying to private universities in NYC and didn't catch an STD, HIV or worst...AIDS. Talk to your teen and get all up in their business, there is no such thing as privacy with them. This is real!

So this piece is dedicated to her and her mother and it's titled, "Da Flip."

Da Flip!

This is how I feel
Your life has been flipped upside down
360 degrees
You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it
The confusion that has commenced over night
But it’s hear and there is no need to fuss and fight
It’s here and you didn’t want it
Your life got flipped upside down
360 degrees
Because she wasn’t careful
She wasn’t careful
See baby girl was confused
And as her mama sang the blues
And Daddy went to prison
She was in a state of confusion and needed intervention
Your life ain’t same
And believe me this ain’t no game
See baby girl found the answers
When she looked for love in all the wrong places
Nine months went by
Without one inkling of a sign
She hid this one real well
And now your life has been turned into something else
Our precious baby had a baby
And there was no room for intervention
No protection
Why didn’t she talk to us
Why didn’t she reach out
We gave her the talk and went right out of her mind
We should have been there
Too damn busy dealing with our messes
Just assumed she wouldn’t look for love in all the wrong places
She told us she was a virgin
“No Mommy I don’t want to have sex”
And we believed her
And adored her as we knew we raised her right
But we lost her
Somewhere we lost her
At the sweet age of 13
She gave birth
As you held her hand for dear life
As she screamed and screamed
And gave new life
You looked down at her as you rubbed her head
Wondering what would have happened if she never told
Even though it was just 48 hours ago
“Mommy, I did a terrible thing.”
As you saw the pain
You knew what she had done
No words needed to be spoken from that point on
Before you could even make an appointment
He came and there was your grandson
We should have been there
Why didn’t she even tell us
My best friend was a Grandmother at 32
Baby’s raising babies
Grandmothers raising grandkids
No love lost but the trust is gone
The trust is gone people
How can I trust…
I believed her…I wanted too…God I believed her…
But she lied to us
She was so so scared
But now she has to raise a baby in this cold world
We are losing our children to pressure
To ill conceptions
World issues
To street demons
We are losing them…and we need to ask ourselves what are we gonna do…

Copyright 2009 Serena Wills

All Rights are Reserved

Sunday, April 12, 2009

God's Whisper

Happy Easter everyone! In honor of National Poetry month I told people that I would post a new piece every Sunday in April. With today being Easter I thought this poem was appropriate. I wrote this piece after reading an inspiring book by Dr. Bessie Blake titled Speak to the Mountain. After reading the book in less than a week I wrote this piece as I was going through some dark moments in my life and was walking towards seeing out of it into the light. I hope this poem can encourage someone today. Peace and blessings.

God's Whisper

Listen
Listen
Listen
God spoke to me
In my darkest hour
In a whisper
As I cried for days and nights
I finally heard His voice
I began to quiet my spirit as the loud sobs turned into whimpers
A voice so softly
So gently
At the midnight hour
Told me
“I will get you through
Speak to the mountains in your life my child
Tell them your problems, talk to THEM
Declare to me that you will get through this and let me inside
Look out into the dark night my child and know I will get you over
the mountains
SPEAK TO IT
As the voice grew it shouted louder

SPEAK TO IT!"
As the dawn arose I awoken to feeling the Holy Spirit blanket me
A shield of protection as my heart began to get lighter
I began singing and praising His name
As the sun began to shine and the clouds cleared in my life
I just lifted my hands and shouted Thank You
It felt so wonderful to shout so I did it again as I yelled even louder
Thank You Jesus!
I spoke to the mountain asking for God to forgive those that trespassed against me
I spoke the other mountain as I asked God to forgive me for I have sinned
Praying for a new day and a lighter soul
At that moment I forgave my enemies
It was that moment that I left my past behind me
I now lived for the future and prayed for those I left on the mountain
Not everyone can walk with you on your spiritual journey
Not everyone can walk the same path to the same beat as you
In that waking moment I knew I was FREE!
Free from emotional distress
Free from having my spirit enslaved
Free from mental bondage
I was FREE!
Speak to me Lord
Thank You
Speak to me God
Thank you God
Thank you for getting me over the mountains in my life

Dedicated to those who have never spoken to the mountains in their life. Speak to them and may God lead you down your righteous path.

Copyright 2008 Serena Wills

All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Faith in the Valley

I wrote this piece the night President Obama won the election. In honor of National Poetry Month I will post a poem every Sunday. Since I missed this passed Sunday this will be my first post and this Sunday you'll see another (two for one). This historic night rang through my spirit as I witnessed with thousands of people at Friendship West Baptist Church that night. People were crying, falling to their knees thanking God and the elders raised their hands high as they didn't think that they would ever see this happen. Enjoy my piece titled, "Faith in the Valley."

Change was made tonight
United country we stood
Strive to vote for change
All races, creed, religions
Came together
And jumped from a crumbling foundation
Of what was the past
And took a leap of faith onto a concrete future
God showed me
What true faith is
Believing in Him and never taking your eye off of your Father
We struggled, have been impoverished and beaten down
Some thought God can’t be around
He wouldn’t allow this to happen to His people
But we went through strife and pain
So when the struggle is over we will regain
As he doesn’t want us to get into a habit of maintaining
Any faith that was lost
I’ll be able to tell my children “Si se puede
Strive for the best and know
Sky’s the limit
Our ancestors, elders made this path for us
One stepped out of the crowd and had faith
And with his prayer warriors and belief in Him
He won the fight and got in
A man who could look me into the eye and relate to me…to us
Everything he says touches my heart
But one speech resonates with me apart from all…
DNC night he said, “I only met my father once while I was 10, I believe his absence shaped the person that I am today.”
Room went silent
Heavy tears flowed
He was talking to me
All the years and I now know
I am who I am partly because of his absence
Could’ve went the other way and strayed
But his absence and my Mothers strong arm helped me to stay
Grounded, focused and simply astounded
That our President can relate to me, we…all
The struggle isn’t over
Time to work
As we become
A united front

Copyright 2009 Serena Wills

All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Breeze of Inspiration

What an incredible week...as I sit here listening to my girl Iris Leu live at Borders Books. Her voice is so pure that anyone would become simply inspired by her smooth lyrics as she makes love to the piano keys. (You did great today Iris)!

This week holds such a creative imprint on my soul. I felt as if my week started on Thursday night when I was a featured poet at the South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) then continued on Friday night when I heard one of the toughest bands perform in Dallas called Melody Memory who played the jump off from the Roots, "The Next Movement" one of my favorite hip hop tracks to get hype...continuing on to Saturday at MINC night club where ArtLoveMagic brought it with live artists, painters, creating magic in the space and the spoken word jam with the poets then ending on a high note on Sunday listening to renowned artist Carolyn Mazloomi talk to just a handful of us about the ups and downs with publishing and all her knowledge on the subject! Whew!

So as I sit here concluding my day listening to Iris Leu I reflected on Thursday night. I was blessed to be a featured poet at SDCC for Women's History Month! This place is truly a jewel in the community and my second home. When you walk in the building you feel like you've been transported to cities like NYC, Philly, DC, LA and even Johannesburg, SA with the cultural flavor! But no it's right here in Dallas! They spread cultural experiences through the arts and pay attention to African American heritage to uplift the people.

As the Black Box theater echoed the sounds of Jill Scott's Crown Royal song all those who had an intense work week suddenly fell into another dimension called the world of poetry! The red and purple lights soothed me as I was immediately put into the zone.

I was so humbled to have a few friends come out and support me (thanks to all of you)! A couple even blessed the mic! As the evening went on I was amazed by the young men who came from the Catrell House facility that blessed the mic and shared their stories of both their good and bad journeys. Catrell House is housed in Dallas and serves as a place for teen boys who have been locked up, detention, and basically sent to the system. The staff believe in exposing their young men to the arts and other venues to teach them that they can have creative outlets.

The moment finally came when I was introduced. I already felt inspired by all the poets before me and was energized. It was hard picking out which five pieces to do. I did Divine Mold first as I told the audience I wrote this piece a year ago when I was upset that a brother that I was digging not only wasn't digging me...but was feeling my friend. Oh no! So after I wrote an angry/depressing poem I went to bed that night. At 6:30am on Sunday morning I woke up and wrote Divine Mold. I knew God had someone in store for me after writing this piece...

I then went into my newest piece titled, "His Voice." I first posted this on FB a couple of weeks ago. This piece is dedicated to my true men...the troopers. This is my first piece about how much I love a true and worthy man! I've learned over time that not every man ladies and gentlemen are cut from the same piece of cloth. This piece also depicts the man that God will bless me with one day...

Okay breathe....as I'm going off on this keyboard so full of excitement about the week...okay second half.

So the second half of the open mic was full of more great poets and I felt the electricity in the air! I had to gear up as I now had to do three pieces of poetry. The next piece pulled heart strings as I knew it would titled, "Da Flip." It's about a young teenage mother and her young grandmother (35 to be exact) and how life can turn in another direction when our babies aren't careful. Beautiful and brilliant young girl...who made a choice that she now has to live with forever. We all get CAUGHT UP, but some of us don't get caught as this young lady did. Her son is turning three this year and she's going to college next year as she's learned a valuable lesson in life.

Tears formed in my eyes but I couldn't cry...I still had two more pieces. I think poets should have what I call, "Interludes" heck musicians have em why not us ;-) so Reconstruction is my poetic interlude. It helps shift direction as I talk about how people have to be put back together as they either fell or were taken a part. Once we are reconstructed we are stronger than ever! Once the shift occurred I was able to end the night with Nubian Woman (one of my favorites and a signature piece). I told the audience that once God reconstructed me I was now a Strong Nubian Woman!

I know this blog is long but folks back home asked me to recreate what they naturally missed and I was so hype over this week and Thursday that I had to obey the command.

So the night ended with me feeling refocused and re-energized! I knew I had to get my poetry into a book and out into the universe soon! But what I heard when it was over I wasn't prepared for...

A couple of young men approached me. One in particular. He said, "Ms. Serena I want to thank you for that piece Da Flip. I'm 16 and have 3 children and I promise that I will be a father to them."

I wish the young lady I talked about could hear him as a couple of others thanked me for that piece and "His Voice". You never know who you're touching and affecting until it hits you. He shook my hand and I only pray that when this young man is released in three weeks that he will be a productive citizen and a father to his children.

I was grateful to have sold three framed poems that night as my friend Damion asked me for my autograph on the poem itself. So as I took the piece out of the frame a sista walked up to me and asked to buy two frames and, "Yes I want you to sign them too."

Ahhhhhh, thank you for making a sista feel good y'all! Trust me people I will never let my head get big. I just want to do what God blessed me with and pursue my love and passion of writing! Thanks to all the supporters and the South Dallas Cultural Center (Vicki, Harold and Tisha) for having me that night.

Be inspired, open your eyes and mind to all that life has to offer...peace!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

His Voice...A Piece for the Men

Alright men! Let me know your thoughts...dedicated to the true men in my life and those making a positive impact in the world ;-) Love y'all!!!!

His Voice
Dedicated to the true man…

Intellectual
Harmonious
Melody
Depicts a man’s strong voice
Who isn’t afraid to think
Encourage
And motivate your whole thought process
Mover and shaker
Building a foundation for his family
Spiritual leader and the healer for his wife
Partner in someone’s wildest dreams
Intervenes when he needs
Peace and unity in his circle and life
This goes out to the true man
Hardcore worker
Back breaker
Peacemaker
Lover
One who fills my soul with his mere intellect
He turns my spirit on in such a way
When he gets down on his knees and simply prays
Honest and truthful
God’s divine model
Of what a true man possesses
Aware of his Creator and who’s really in charge
Father to his kids and sometimes others
Beautiful son to his mother and elders
Embraces his culture
Open mindedness to what life has to offer
Doesn’t mess around or toys with anyone’s feelings
Man of God, truth and justiceTrue King in my eyes
As he walks with no fear to protect his community
Leaving me to simply love thee
This goes out to the true man
Not everyone can raise their hand
And fill his shoes
He’s no one’s boy
Done with those days of playing
As he bends down and kneels
Praying for the little boys in the streets to grow up
Taking their place in society
Voicing concern to those who think they’re real men
But they aren’t as he strives to inspire
All those he touches
Knowing his passions and calling
This is dedicated to the true and worthy men…thank you


Copyright 2009 Serena Wills
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our Father is Gone

Our father Wendell Hayes passed away nine years ago this week. It may sound crazy but although I never knew him I still loved him. It takes two and as I look as his pictures and hear the good things about him I'm glad that he wasn't all bad.

A brother confused not wanting to step up to responsibility. But all in all...I forgave him after I received word in May of 2000 after my mothers friend running into an old friend of my Dad's that he passed away just two months prior of lung cancer. I was devastated. How could I be mad at someone who was dead? I had to let it go and told him in my prayers, "Father I forgive you, rest in peace." Never laying eyes on him, hearing his voice, listening to him play the drums (which is how he met my Mom) or feeling his embrace I would never know physically how he was or felt.

His death opened up doors to another world...my other half. I have two more sisters and a brother. My older sister who shall remain nameless doesn't recognize myself nor my other sister by my father Shavonn. I pray for her and hope one day our brother Marcus who we have not a clue as to where he is will surface in God's time.

I'm happy that before he passed away he was counseling other men and women who were drinking and drugging like he used too. He was also a motivational speaker and although I call my Creator God he called his Allah as he found Islam in prison. He turned it around, but at 53 he was taken away...

I wrote this piece nine years ago and it's titled, "Our Father is Gone."

Ase to the elders that have passed, Ase to our father Wendell Hayes, Ase, Ase, Ase.

Our Father is Gone

“This is for our father. Dedicated to Wendell Hayes.”

A brother has passed
His soul lie between two worlds
He went out so fast that he still thinks he is here
His spirit is confused as to why no one is acknowledging him
When he speaks to people they keep walking
When his name comes up his children cry
WHY! He screams, IS NO ONE PAYING ME ANY MIND
If only he knew he has passed
As he begins to see the light and his life pass before him
It is becoming clearer as he sees his children light a candle and pray as one
ONE
They were never one until he had passed
All got different Mama’s but got the same daddy
Close in age but never grew together as ONE
It took him to die for them to find one another
Tragedy took place and instead of mourning I rejoice
Out of pain, he is at PEACE
No more disease, drinking and drugging
Beautiful Black Man Tell Me Why!
Why did you have to die so soon before your time?
Only the Creator knows that answer
For He will give this Black Man strength to be a father to his children
But from the other side
He can guide them through the storm, move obstacles out of the way
As I hear the talking drums from above I know it is he that is blessing me
I hear the Djembe drums at night and I know it is he that is calling me
Telling me
I’m sorry for what I have done
I’m sorry for leaving you like this
Not knowing me
ALL my life I have been looking for this Black Man and I found him
Gone
His spirit lives on through his children
But tell me WHY BLACK MAN
Why did you not recognize me?
I feel stronger cause you see…a part of him always knew me
He couldn’t admit his mistakes
It took him to die in order for me to forgive
A Strong Black Man died y’all and for what?
His lifestyles caught up
But his memory lives on
As I hear the talking drums play
I hear his hands hitting on the Djembe
As he sings an African tune to me from the heavens
DID y’all hear me
A strong BLACK MAN has died
And has gone on his way
He realizes that BLACK MAN IZ GOD
It took him to die and roam the earth to figure it out
He always had God within him and never knew it
A strong and powerful man is gone
Walked off into the sunset to join his parents above
Now they all look down and wonder why
WHY DID WE HAVE TO DIE?
As the families mourn and rejoice too
Mourn his death but bless their reunion which is long over due
Over due by twenty five years
Acceptance is not easy amongst our people
Acceptance is not easy when there are unanswered questions
The man who died has our answers
Why did he die I ask my creator?
Another one gone before his time
As I pray to the spirits and ancestors for his safe journey
And wish that I knew he
People I mourn his death
BUT REJOICE THE LIVING
Rejoice the union of my family
As we look at one another
And become ONE…

Copyright 2000 Serena Wills

All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet Love Jones...The Remix!

If songs could have remixes why not poetry? I wrote this piece in 2002 and rewrote it last month. I decided to post it today in honor of Valentines Day. I performed this piece at the infamous "Underground Show" in Dallas, TX on January 31st. The original is posted on my blog as well but this one is more crisp. Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day (remember everyday should be Valentines...love each other always and not just once a year). Peace!

Sweet Love Jones…remix

I gotta a love jones
And it jumped into my soul
I don’t know how to explain it
Or how I’ve even obtained it
It’s a feeling only one would know
When they’re in love
This erotic feeling has made it’s way through my bones
I can only show to him
You begin to wonder and search for answers as to why you feel electric within
And when you are intertwining and unwinding with your man
Emotions jet out like a racing stream right before the waterfall
There’s no control over these emotions that flood your spirit
As my man whispers in my ear to give it to him all night
My body melts and my soul is awakened by the sound of his voice
His tender but hard strokes makes me know how much he loves me
When a man can stroke your intelligence
Feed your spirit and stroke ya right
What more could you want from this King
I watch him sleeping
Knowing that
I’m dancing through his dreams
As we lay underneath the sun rising
Listening to the sweet birds chirping
I thank God for yet another day
As the morning grows
I begin to moan as my baby wakes me up the right way
Nothing like a sweet love jones
Overtaking my soul
As I walk through this trip leading me to ecstasy

Revised: January 7th, 2009

Copyright Serena Wills 2009
All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tia's Way by Guest Blogger Priscilla Wiggins

Hello everyone! This is my first guest blogger and it's heavy. I read this post on my friend Brooke's blog and damn near cried. Priscilla Wiggins lost her friend Tia at the age of 28 to cervical cancer. This cause is near and dear to me for a couple of reasons. I was spared. Yes that's right. I was a victim of HPV not once but twice! HPV is a leading cause of cervical cancer...an STD that can hide for a long time and then unmask itself. At 20 and 26 I was spared and it was caught and I had to go through two not so comfortable procedures. So people get tested, make your partner get tested for any and all STD's and if they don't want too then he/she can step. Please learn from this blog and get educated. Now introducing Priscilla Wiggins blog called Tia's Way....

So now she’s dead.

Yep dead.

All the drugs, all the surgeries – still dead.

All our tears, all our memories – still dead.

One of my dearest friends of 15 years died of cervical cancer on September 25, 2008 at 2:30am. It was senseless, it was stupid, it was hurtful - it is hope.

It is hope because I’m determined to make it that way. So like many others who’ve lost a loved one, I’ve worked with her mother to create a foundation, Tia’s Way (http://www.tiasway.com/).
Tia's Way is dedicated to promoting awareness and education about cervical cancer. Another important part of our efforts will be providing assistance for women who are uninsured and under-insured. One trip to CVS to fill prescriptions for Tia was $700 with insurance! For YEARS Tia was told she had fibroids, when all along cancer was raging inside her body. By the time the cancer was discovered, it had metastasized to her lungs and left hip.

So what now... Cancer doesn’t strike 28 year old's right? At least not Stage IV, inoperable, incurable, "you have 6 months to live" cancer. I mean we hear stories all the time about people passing from this horrible disease, but it’s always in Utah or Wisconsin - not in my inner circle. Except this time, it was in my circle and it came hard. Radiation, Chemo, CyberKnife Surgery, Hypercalcemia, Pleural Effusions, DNR. A whole new language we had to learn.

Some days she felt like fighting; some days she felt like enough was enough. For so long we just accepted, “she had fibroids” - all the "what if's." What if we’d pushed for more testing? What if we didn’t just blindly listen to the doctors? What if we’d gotten a second opinion? I can't tell you how many times they sent Tia home just thinking she wanted pain meds when all along she was dying of cancer! But thinking about the end makes me think about the beginning.

Tia was FIERCE! You hear me? Put a pair of heels on that girl and she could walk Naomi Campbell off the runway. She loved clothes and fashion. I could send her to the mall for me, and she would come back with the perfect outfit with matching "this and that" and a way to switch it up for next time! lol.

You know that person who is everyone’s best friend? That was Tia. You know that person who is everyone’s big sister? That was Tia. With all that being said, she was taken to soon. We wanted to be the old chicks at the club together! So the only way to get over the pain has been to pour ourselves into making her fight mean something.

I have my own marketing company and totally donated all the design, domain name and server space to make this project work. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what I would like to do.

Did you know that caught early, cervical cancer is completely curable?

This means not another friend, daughter, sister or mother has to die.

Did you know that African American women die of cervical cancer at double that of other races? These stats are the same for almost every other cancer, shame on us. We are uninsured, under-insured and uneducated on our rights. We have got to get it right and soon.

Did you know that 95% of all cervical cancers start with HPV/genital warts?

This means it’s preventable.

Did you know you can still get genital warts even if you use a condom?

HPV/genital warts is a skin disease, so to put it plainly: all the skin down under that isn't covered– could be a transmittal of HPV.

So check out the website, learn about cervical cancer, see if the HPV Vaccine is right for you and tell a friend! If any of you are so inclined to purchase something from the Cafepress store, 100% of every penny goes to helping the cause – things like flyers, permit costs for events, helping needy women pay medical bills, etc.

I hope you all learned something today! If any of you would like more information or are interested in helping, (something as small as putting a post on your blog about it helps us) please contact me at mailto:hpwiggins@whbconsultants.com-Priscilla

Buy Framed Poetry on my Etsy Shop!!!!


Yes my shop is finally open for business! Check out my framed poems on http://www.divinewryte.etsy.com/


I uploaded a couple of my love poems titled Sweet Love Jones and Good Ole Lovin' and also one encouraging poem titled Divine Mold as well. Buy a frame or two for yourself or that special person in your life.


I went to a vendor fair on Saturday and so many people kept asking me if my frames were available online. So between last night and today I got a few uploaded. I already have some views on the page. I also have one order that came in at the fair for four frames which was great!!!! And one woman said, "Ooooh I wish you had 11x14 frames. So stay tuned for that size coming soon!

So in the meantime check it out and support my dreams of getting my writing into the hands of people that need it.


Peace!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rejuvenated!

The end of January was absolutely incredible! On January 29th I went to the Janette Kennedy Gallery in Dallas, TX to the Underground preview show. I was nervous at the fact that in two short days the gallery and outside hallway would be filled with people all over the place, artists making their art come to life and I being one of the featured poets that night.

But on the 29th I saw something that I never dreamed of. As I walked into the gallery there was art hanging from the ceiling, ceramics held their place on tall pillars, abstract photographs accented the walls and there towards the front of the room stood a wall. My eyes welled up with tears when I turned the corner and saw the wall that held my framed poetry. I never thought in a 1,000 years that my writing would be displayed in a gallery!


The ArtLoveMagic crew has broken barriers in Dallas that no other arts collective has done in a long time. (Except for Art Conspiracy...they are awesome) and together these groups make it known that artists don't have to "starve." We deserve to be respected just like anyone else. The term "starving artists" is obsolete between the two groups.


ArtLoveMagic put the Underground show together on January 31st and it was something that I didn't imagine. All three of those words came true that night. The "Art" came to life as 30 artists came together that were composed of painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, singers, musicians, writers, poets and more in one night to wake Dallas up and leave our imprint!


The "Love" was in the air on Saturday night as a crowd descended on the Janette Kennedy Gallery. There had to be at least 300 people that graced the gallery with their presence to check out the show. Love happened when I witnessed two artists Connor and Sherri get engaged as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. In the same breath watching two of my friends that are so amazing also let the world know that they are together. Mike and Deb I think y'all are great together! They proved to me that the love of your life could be standing right in front of you and when the time is right God will make it known. So much talent and love all at the same time was almost overwhelming; but in a good way.


"Magic" took place as I got on the mic on the main stage and did a sensuous love poem titled Sweet Love Jones...the Remix and then ran out to the second stage and did Nubian Woman. My friend Deb whose voice would put Beyonce's to shame (I love Beyonce but Deb is the truth) with her soulful and sultry voice asked me to go on after another poet that was spitting on the mic at that time.


I fed off my boy Demetrius' energy as his cool and calm voice wooed the crowd. She whispered in my ear, "Please rock Nubian Woman." As I got up on the mic and did my piece I felt a rejuvenating sensation go though my blood. I hadn't felt like this in a long time. I knew at that moment I was stronger than ever and it's time to take my talent, poetry/writing to another level!


I ended my piece on such a high and I was so happy as I heard people whistling, folks clapping and my friend Nikki tell me I was so incredible...my first real show amongst other slamming artists! I looked up into the sky and knew that amongst everyone that took in my poem God was clapping and that feeling is one that you would know when He is saying job well done.


When Deb went to hug me I felt emotional because I knew that my dreams were coming true and all the right people were in my life whether they are on the east/west coast or here in Dallas. What more could a woman ask for in one night?


As the night went on I took in all of the art work and felt exhausted at 12am. Being tired after a night like that was satisfying. No bad vibes that evening...nothing but live energy surrounded the gallery.


Something else also was awakened. As I did Sweet Love Jones my heart let me know that it's okay to let down my guards and get ready for God to bless me. For the first time in a long time I totally felt healed and was ready to move on. A lot of us get caught up in the madness of hurt feelings and carry baggage on dates, new relationships, whatever.


I don't have neither as I walk the streets light. Nothing holding me down allowing God to work His magic and letting Him choose he. So I'll leave it at that but just know that I'm taking in new breath, a feeling that is refreshing...like a cool breeze on a hot summer day.


What a magical way to end January...one love.



Copyright 2009 Serena Wills