Sunday, March 22, 2009

Breeze of Inspiration

What an incredible 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 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…

Depicts a man’s strong voice
Who isn’t afraid to think
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
Rejoice the union of my family
As we look at one another
And become ONE…

Copyright 2000 Serena Wills

All Rights Reserved