The Blazing Stone

At first, I found writing for my uncle a bit challenging as I was never that crazy about him and he has always and still is a force to be reckoned with, although there is still respect between us. I had to think long and hard about how I would be able to create something decent for someone who was never my favorite person, but the fact that he is hurting now helped me in deciding to do a ‘story’ styled poem that would describe his strong character by referring to related concepts. As I began to write, I actually got into it, so here goes:

The Blazing Stone


Zealous roads we tread, lasting long, leading to Nowhere

Until we reached the land of Together

A stretch of land where flowers grew and clean was the air

I looked out of our kitchen window and noticed a blazing stone

The smokescreen from it formed words saying,

“Through it all, you will never be alone.”


Our white picket fence stood in rich soil which plentifully produced fruit

From our labor together – yet alone

In a busy city swarming with blue ties, white shirts, and black suits

…and the flame grew, blazing still

You saw it too

It gave us both chills…

While prejudice flew like bees in summer, we still stayed with the times

Despite all that came against us together – with them

It was an era when harsh truths were designed

Fighting for our rights was a daily and long-drawn game

That we won together – with many

Who lived and died for the cause until we overcame

This struggle was done, so we looked to check our flame again

There was no blaze but the smokescreen read,

“It is not over – next time hold hands.”

Many happy years went by but with a few ups and downs

That didn’t really matter because

We were together, and you were always around

But we were content with life as it was despite a very hard past

Living for ourselves – together

Must be the way to make it last

But seemingly all of a sudden our world began to change

The downs grew much larger

And the ups began to wane

The day that pain and heartache came knocking on our door

I saw our flame rise much higher

Than it ever had been before

“Take her hand now!” It said, just as you drifted away

How will I make it now?”

This was all that I could say.

I ran to the blazing stone in search of an answer in truth

No smokescreen to read, but a voice said,

“Remember the days of your youth!…

This flame will blaze continually, as a monumental fire

you are not alone for there is one who will care until you retire

I will still stand high and shine, you can run to me and stand…

being sure of your destination leading to the Land of Together again!”

 

Aside

One

I have a funeral to go to today. One of my mom’s sisters passed away and she only had one child (adult). I wrote two poems – for the daughter and one for the husband. The second poem (for husband) will be in the next post.

 

One

How marvelous it truly is, but I don’t yet understand why

How one can simultaneously live when they have naturally died

I find it especially uncanny that another life still goes on

When the other one has ceased and there’s no more right or wrong

After having rode the cycle of life traveling in and out of forever

One continually comes and goes regardless of the weather

As I reminisce on past times of how my life began and grew

Being the only one chosen to be given life directly through you

These thoughts are but a glimpse now, but oh how I yearn

To grasp the whole concept of how one table can turn

In me caring for you just as you did for me

My one lone question is how can this possibly be

How can one day be life and yet the next one death

One soul is set free while the other one is left

Alone to be bathed in darkness until with mercy the sun shines again

Shedding light on a lasting truth that you are my one best friend

Though you are not here to say so, I’m sure that you agree

That where you are right now is where one should aspire to be

Knowing this fills me with hope, surely it will sustain me until

I too have ridden that cycle and one Lord does His very will

But for now though my heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with tears

I shall cherish one love provided for me which lasted for many a year

I can say now that I understand how a life still moves when it is done

It is all because of Grace given to us all freely by One.

Aside

The Day Before Mother’s Day

It has been four years since my mother passed away, but somehow it does not seem that long. The years have simply gone by in a flash although the first days after it happened were very difficult. It seemed that time moved rather slowly- painfully slow, and later on time began to fly and the next thing I knew, I had made it through the first year with my sanity somewhat still in tact.  Her birthday was on Dec. 13, my youngest son was born on Jan. 13, and she passed on Feb. 13…strange…I normally am not a ‘numbers’ person, but  the number thirteen has become quite significant to me now.

I thought that I would be sad and depressed when this time of year rolled around but that is not the case. The death of my parents had always been my greatest fear in not knowing whether I would be there to actually witness their last breath…I was not there although I had been with them both the day before.

The mind can be a very strong force in one’s life especially when that person is unwilling to face reality due to their greatest fear. I literally watched my parents dying gradually each day for many months but even up until the last day that I saw my mother in the hospital, and despite the telling dreams that I had which I assume were for the purpose of preparing me for the inevitable, my mind simply ‘put it away’ of course until it happened. An unnatural calm came over me as I casually informed my husband and then seven-year old daughter that momma was dead. That is how I said it – calm voice, “Momma is dead, I need to go to the hospital.” All while I hand pumped enough milk for my 4-week-old during my absence. Despite the reports from nurses that she would be okay, I still knew deep down that she would not leave that hospital as she came in. How does one know and not know at the same time? Well, I did. A couple of days beforehand, I was on the phone with her and my oldest sister. She was talking gibberish, (which was really big hint) that I ignored, and suddenly completely coherent, she told my sister good-bye. Then she went back to the gibberish talk and a chill went down my spine when she called out to her own mother and brother saying, “I’m ready!” My heart sank. And there was total silence on the phone for some time before my sister who was in the room with her took the phone and we hung up – my hands shaking like a leaf.

I am having a really hard time writing this. At first I was not going to write a Mother’s Day post, but something keeps telling me to do it through silent tears and despite this cruel discomfort that I didn’t even know I had. I guess it is to make a point and to help myself understand what has lain dormant in my heart for some time. Maybe it will help someone else too.

Several months before her transition, I had a dream (one of many) that let me know what would happen eventually. Both of my parents were plagued with health problems. My father lay helpless in the VA while my mom struggled but was still somewhat active. She was still walking, talking, etc., still  functioning with the exception of those days when nothing was normal. (another hint) Anyway, the dream went like this…I am holding my moms hand, my oldest sister is holding my father’s hand and we are high up on some type of platform (it was blue) and felt like those inflated moonwalkers and slides that kids play on.

I still don’t know what that meant, but we were surrounded by clouds and blue skies overhead although we seemed to be inside of somewhere. Mom and I seemed to be in a hurry as we were jogging along trying to get to this wooden door, so I looked back to see that my sister and dad had come through the door behind us. All of a sudden as mom and I are right in front of this door, she wriggled her hand out of mine (I was holding very tightly) and she said, “I’m here now, I gotta go!” The door opened, she ran through, I saw clouds and blue skies, and the door quickly closed in my face. I could hear my dad struggling on the unstable platform as he tried to run…my sister was holding his hand and I grabbed the other. Upon reaching that same door that my mom went through, it opened again as my sister and I still holding his hands swung him into the clouds and the door closed. I looked down to see that there was a clear place on the platform and as I looked through it, I could see my other three sisters standing there. I don’t know what they were saying. I woke up. My parents died 4 months apart… I call both of their dying days their ‘new birthdays’.

I can’t help but think that she decided to go first because she simply could not bear to watch my dad die as he did. If he got sick, she did too and vice versa. One could not fall without the other, but after over fifty years who would?

For many weeks afterwards, I continued to have a series of extremely realistic dreams so much that upon awakening, I had to remind myself that my parents were no longer on this earth, (It still happens to this day) but that night at the hospital when my daughter and I went to see my mother’s body (I didn’t know whether to take her or not, but she was not taking no for an answer), I combed her hair for the last time, cried, and my daughter sang a song as the family stood around saying their last words. Once home and in bed, I was freezing and my husband held me in a fierce embrace contemplating the ‘breakdown’. It didn’t happen. I actually began to go back and forth – dozing and waking right back up. I distinctly remember not being completely asleep when the strangest thing happened. Lost in thought about how to go to tell dad (he seemed to already know), I felt my mom’s hand cupped on the side of my face like one does when preparing to whisper a secret. She spoke directly into my ear (not a whisper – I heard clearly) saying, “I wanted to go, now you handle it.” Of course I called out to her, “Momma?!” She sounded as if she was in a hurry. “You heard me…I wanted to go now you handle it from now on!” I immediately awoke my snoring husband to tell him what had just happened…he understood, I thanked God and slept peacefully with no dreams.

I made the arrangements with some help from my siblings…the funeral was beautiful…not much standing room it was so full…I kept checking the side mirror en route to the burial and never did see the end of the line up which practically wrapped around the entire cemetery.

A lot happened in the days that followed. After two weeks, the breakdown came, but I recovered quickly as I heard my little girl awake. I am sure that her songwriting began in order to make her way through her pain, and she has the voice of a songbird. We talk often, because I know that she was unable to grasp the true meaning of what happened. She was the strongest little soldier ever until they closed the casket. I heard my baby say that she didn’t want them to close the box on Dorothy Doll (That was her nickname for her grandma as Baby Doll  the nickname given to her by my mom.) I didn’t hold her when she began to cry…she covered her little face with the program and let her tears flow although she was quiet. I froze – unable to comfort my own child as she leaned on my sister. I felt like such a failure right then and this still bothers me now. Herein lies ‘my help’  the true purpose for this post. I feel as if I abandoned her that day and she has never gotten over it although she has never said anything about it, but I know what I have to do now. We have to cry together because I don’t think that has ever happened. I have tried to be strong for her, but I feel now that this was a mistake. I  realize now that in my attempts to be strong, I am turning to stone…could it be that I am trying to keep my own pain at bay? She was extremely close to my parents but she is able to open up more now that she is a bit older…she dreams now. I thank my mom for that.

My mother had written two poems that she wanted included on her funeral program…I will be sure to post them. She was quite the poet and I thank her for passing that down to me.

I made it through the post. I guess that  my purpose for it was to say that I owe my daughter an apology and that I don’t actually feel that emptiness that people talk about when a loved one dies. Yes, I know that I cannot hug, kiss, or talk on the phone with her daily as we did before, but in a way, I feel closer to her and dad now than I did while they went through all the sickness. Their better days were already behind them and now their days are complete bliss. Of course I still have sad days, basically from what she and dad went through but my mom was also a dreamer. I thank her for passing that down to me also, and I still tell her Happy Mother’s Day…I truly believe that she hears me.

The latest dream that I had (day before yesterday), we spent the whole day together and she looked beautiful. Once again, I had to tell myself that she is not here. Nevertheless, I am a living witness that ‘weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’.

Aside

“The Door” Part II

 

It wasn’t very long before we arrived when He said, “Come on in!”

As we entered Mom and Dad told me, “You don’t have to worry here, there is no sin.”

They sang a song with lyrics saying, ‘all is good, all is well;  we are believers, our souls are safe –

we did not fail!’

I had never heard music for a song such as this; 

giving the message that from here to there is only separated by an abyss.

Pleasantly, the song went on while colorful flowers swayed and hummed;

until a glowing angel flew by playing on a harp that strummed,

“This is where you leave everything that you ever feared!” 

I immediately found this to be true when it all disappeared! I was so gratefully amazed, but not by that only;

another angel came fast,  his wings whispering softly, “You’ll never again be lonely.”

The fourth door opened, and the Lord’s table was set;

I was the guest of honor, and all of my needs were met.

Satiated from life’s fruit, I am fulfilled;

a fifth door swings opened to unending multitudes declaring to be healed.

Totally unaware of how much time had passed

I didn’t even care how long this trip would last, but Mom turned to me and said with a smile,

“Time is no longer an issue, though this time is only for a while.”

I can’t say that I was upset, I just wanted to stay;

Dad informed me that I was free to do so, but today was not the day.

They led me to one last door, the one through which I left

Not needing to say goodbye ever again,

Suddenly

I was back to myself…R.I.P. Mommy and Daddy in Paradise!

Aside

“The Door” Part I – A Tribute to Mom and Dad

Suddenly – 

 I am embraced by an everlasting light; darkness does not exist, all is right.

Upon my arrival, I came to a door; with a sign that read Paradise! Pain, Trouble, and Death – No More!

Great beams of light shone with each step tread; I heard His voice say, “Welcome to the land of the living – not the dead!”

He engulfed me with His love unconditionally; as I went in I thought, “At long last I am whole, I am free!”

I looked around to see all of my loved ones;

 with heavenly greetings saying, “We are his daughters and His sons!”

Instant…constant…one to the other beamed happiness and gladness; from those beams came His voice saying,”No sickness, no sadness!”

With profound relief; anticipating what was in store,

I took the hands of my mother and father; light beaming en route to the next door…

 

Poem #24 – “Last Call!” Final Thoughts of a Young Homie

Man! If I hadda just listened to what you was tryin’ to tell me back in tha day

I woulda still been been there with you, but the life that I chose wouldn’t let me stay

I just had to be a gangsta…thuggin’…wantin’ to be bad

Not appreciatin’ how you worked so hard or what I coulda had

I remember how you  be used to be up at night in tha kitchen bakin’ me sweets

and all I would do was walk out the door so I could go run in them streets

Bangin’, stealin’, gankin, and some more

Didn’t even care back then what a momma was for

I used to argue you down ’bout how I didn’t wanna stay home

Usin’ the excuse that Pops had left us and would always be gone

All that dude did was punk out! Why he do us like that?

Leavin’ us to fend for ourselves…you gotta admit that shit was whack!

I’ll never forget that look on your  face. It was one of defeat

On the last day we had it out and I decided to retreat

I thought about how I had hurt you –  just like he did

Realizin’ my mistakes and how I oughta try and be a good kid

“I gotta stop worryin’ her.” That’s what I said to myself back there in my room

“I’ma cut this bangin’ out, but I gotta do it soon.”

That night you had to work the graveyard shift, and wouldn’t be back til the next day

You took a deep breath and hugged me tight, sayin’ that you would continue to pray

For once, I apologized for makin’ you worry and that I would try to do right

Little did you know that I was sneakin’ out so my boys could jump me out that night

One last blunt, one last roll, didn’t punk out neither Ma – I fought like a man!

After all they was my family when I felt I didn’t have one, so I knew they would understand

It was rough, but I was real proud of how I refused to go down… it hurt but man what a fight!

All tha homies gave me dap and said I did my thang, “Don’t worry Lil G, you aight!”

We shook on it and smoked out before I turned in my flag. This step would close the deal sho’nuff!

 O.G pulled his gat, “Naw homie – ya moms can keep that to dry her eyes after she lay yo ass up!”

Three shots rang out, as I fell to the street, under me pools of my blood started to pour

Hot slugs flew fast – hit me right in the head and neck, and one straight from my heart to yours

I was startin’ to fade out –  All I could think in the dark was, ” Man! Why didn’t I bring my gun?”

Then I saw a bright light and I heard a voice say, “The sins of the father fall on the sun!”

I was tryin’  my best to squash the whole thing, but somehow  I went about it wrong

If only I hadda listened and trusted you instead of them… ain’t no way I woulda ended up gone

I  can’t believe how I fell for all that – I was stupid to believe that bunch of lies

Now, I will never be able to wipe away your tears… nor can I stop your cries

But just because I went out like that don’t mean I’m alone –  I answered to that last call

 Sho am glad for that second chance at my very last breath – better late than not at all!

I just wanted you to know that just cause that line went flat, you don’t have to think that you’re all alone

Just keep doin’ what you told me you would that night, I’ll hear you cause now I got my ears on!

Aside

Poem #17 – “We Are!” (A tribute to them all)

We are the ones who make your life complete

We are the ones that you can’t wait to meet

We are brand new yet very old

We are the ones who are most bold

We are the ones who have undeniable strength

We are the ones for whom you shall repent

We have our own minds…our thoughts are pure

We are the ones who most endure

We suffer pain from the hands of one yet many

We have yet to retaliate against any

We are the ones who stay the course

We display silent resilience behind trauma and force

We suffer sickness, but are not afraid to die

We are the ones who know Him best – but you don’t understand why

We hold you blameless when you fail to give

We accept our conditions, and thrive on divine will

We live, learn, and are without sin

We are your prized possession…some of us your kin

We abide and behave cordially when you offer us no choice

We are far better that you think, we can see Him and hear His voice

We are the ones who in times of trouble stand still

We are the ones who are neglected, abused, and killed

We are the victorious ones…brave… standing strong

We are the ones who without hate never walk alone

We are the ones who in all honesty speak truth, seeing you as you are

We are the ones whose eyes reflect the image of the Brighter Morning Star

We are the ones whose home is Light as we die from your bullets and bombs

We are the only ones who are not judged, we simply go back to where we came from

From the cradle to the grave

We are

To see the world through the eyes of a child

To see the world through the eyes of a child (Photo credit: abigailala)

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