21 October 2005

#45 (by Allison M.)


driving fast
on a hill near home
in a hurry
(I always am)

halted by the
flashing lights
of an obnoxious yellow bus,
with each red blink
I watch the clock and sigh
with angst I’ve rehearsed
for 17 years.

from the slow screeching doors
comes a girl
with sun colored curls
and a bright pink backpack

have I forgotten?
how it feels to be so small
surrounded by scary metal machines
and endless rivers of asphalt
in my clean white sneakers

I had forgotten,
until then
when I watched her cross the street.

and even after the school bus
lurches on
I pause, smile and
to the me I’d missed for eleven years.

-- by Allison M.

01 September 2005

There is a Brokenness (Rashni)

A slight departure from our usual postings. Reni Fulton, a poet/therapist wrote the following this morning, and included the poem below:

I'm sure that everyone is feeling the pain of the great natural disaster that has enveloped the Gulf Coast. The images are heartbreaking and has left us all with a sense of uneasiness and a loss of security. When I feel so powerless I retreat to poetry and prayer. I found this in Women Prayers edited by Mary Ford-Grabowsky and I wanted to share it on the blog if possible. It seems to give some hope amid the brokenness of the world. (Reni Fulton)

There is a Brokenness

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
and whole,
while learning to sing.


11 August 2005

Her Love You (J. Ebon Proctor Sr.)

By the light of the candle
I see her silhouette.
Her frame is not her name.
But if you want her pleasures.
You have to deal with past, present.
And future endeavors.
The epitome of what she is about.
Makes GOD! The man of the house.
Coastin’ past emotions.
Supersede all her needs.
What used to be acceptable.
Now has to be liable and respectable.
So far from the action.
That was faked out for satisfaction.
No love… til the phone call after the club.
Finding out the pedestal
Is a step down from the crown.
If or when she answers that phone.
Thinking do you want me?
Or do you want mine?
What’s on the clock?
Or my time?
Wasted years, tasted tears for water.
Sometimes it takes pain.
To get life in order.
Better is in front of you.
Heaven is above you.
But before he loves her.
Her has to love you.

--- J. Ebon Proctor Sr (2005)

10 June 2005

3MW (by Debberae Streett)


Attention K-Mart shoppers:
We would like to direct your attention
to our current blue-light special in the
sporting goods department---
All the ammo you can carry in one hand
for just $9.99. Don't wait. Stock up now.

Attention all prospective car buyers:
Now is the time to push, pull, drag, or drive
your old wreck to your nearest Hummer dealer---
We are having an unauthorized, previously
unadvertised sale on the Deluxe Macho Edition
HumVee. Personal body armor sold separately.

Attention all residents of the continental United States:
We are having an unprecedented shipping on
Inter Continental Ballistic Missles. This is the last
and only three minute warning you will receive. No
preparation is needed. No escape is possible. Just
pick up your cellphone and say goodbye.

by Debberae Streett

01 June 2005

Somewhere Along Life’s Way (by Harry William Dayhoff)

Somewhere Along Life’s Way

When I’m relaxed my thoughts retreat
Back to a long forgotten day
I think about the friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I feel the handclasps that were pressed
I hear warm greetings they conveyed
I see the smiles from friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I see grins as broad as oceans
I sense the message they portrayed
I dream of times with friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I replay music that reminds me
Of favorite songs from yesterday
In harmony with friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I long again to trace my footsteps
To capture dreams that slipped away
I’ll forever hold dear friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I love to turn my memories on
And listen intently while they play
Orchestrations by friends I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

I look backward not to whine or pout
But to count my blessings as I pray
Because of friends like you I’ve met
Somewhere along life’s way.

--Harry William Dayhoff (06-14-02)

29 May 2005

Still Life with Metaphor (by Barbara DeCesare)

Still Life with Metaphor

Not enough anchor to hold down the vessel
but too much weight to slip away.
Some girls became dancers
or doctors or wives
and I became sleepy
at the very first

by Barbara DeCesare

20 May 2005

Occasionally (by Becky K.)

Occasionally, the remembered taste
of morning's first cigarette
like the cry of a single gull
strikes a chord of longing
bittersweet like dark chocolate
that flares up and burns sweetly
seductively curling and filtering
dragging me back
then...blown away like ashes.

by Becky K.

09 May 2005

Nature of the City (By Carol Clark Williams)

Nature of the City

Day cranks the sun across its designated arc,
metallic blue against serrated edges
of shingled city rooftops, colonial spires.

Automatons open doors marked enter,
and/or exit, according to their daily programs
while parking meters track the time.

Mechanical birds chirp tonelessly,
informing the visually challenged
at intervals when they may enter crosswalks.

From the fenced-in churchyard tree,
recorded hawks shrill repetitious litanies,
attempting to banish blackbirds.

In the park, helmeted workers drive small noisy tractors
across cultivated turf, rough macadam paths,
and carefully prune evergreens into perfect squares.

by Carol Clark Williams (2005)

01 May 2005

Hollow Woman (by Rachel E.)


She hides behind a mask of makeup
Flawless skin, rosy cheeks
But what lies underneath?
Her bright red lips are moving
yet she makes no sound
The words are drowning
in lies she tells herself
False eyelashes
batting artificial emotions
Looks can be deceiving
She paints over the imperfections on her face
but she will never be able to erase
what lies under the facade, this exterior, this shell
Fake fingernails
scratching the surface
never caring to dig deep enough to
discover what lies beneath
She built her life on beauty
But when her makeup comes off
And the truth comes out
Will she still be the woman
She always wanted to be?

by Rachel E.
(Spring, 2005)

16 April 2005

Left Behind (by Bezawit W.)

Left Behind

Pointing fingers at the wise
The day gets dark, as time passes by
The doors are closing you can tell by the sky
It’s too late to go back
Why didn’t you take those chances in the past

Taking the easy way out
Deters future success and instills in doubt
Listening to good advice isn’t conforming
Right now it’s better to do as you’re told
So Later you can work on becoming bold

Working in prison each day
Hoping the boss doesn’t pass by your way
Hiding out with the rest
People like you are known to gossip and stick out their chest

The emptiness and depression has settled
People have turned their backs
Now you only wish they would come back
Obviously ignorance was your worst quality
Don’t sit back and relax as pride eats away at your morality

Now’s not the time to think of the disappointed faces
And all the predestined places
You can’t even look people in their eyes
Knowing all that it would take to rise
To erase the despise
from their hearts and minds

Today’s a new beginning
The long awaited sun peaks through the clouds
Now you have a great outlook on life
Two jobs, school, and an honest friend
But you’re always uncertain when the happiness may end

By Bezawit W.

13 April 2005

One by One (by Randy L.)

One by One

by One

Marching through a sightless sun.
Blue sky of day/Black ash of night.
of Chance.
Day by Day by Day
they go forever on their way.

by One

Working in the moonlit
of God, where are you now?
Work, fast, faster, schnell!
Blue face of cold/Black skin of heat
Sky of wine/ash of feet
Day by Day by Day
work today, work away/look away.

One by
by One.

Look! Look!
Warmed by the furnace,
faces in a book.
Embers burning
Dare I look
Be not.
Feel not.
See not.
Do not
tell me/Do not look.

Day by
by noonday
Marching with
the sightless

Randy L.

30 March 2005

Free (by J Ebon Proctor Sr)


Hey everybody look at me I’m FREE.
Not like sumthin’ that don’t cost nuthin’
But FREE of the stress, and life’s little tests.
Not allowing things to make me feel less.
Than equal.. cuz’ people.
Are transparent and see through
But today I’m FREE.
Walking up & down these streets.
Livin , breathin’, & sleepin’ in peace.
FREE, knowin’ where I’m goin’
That’s why this poem is flowin
Cuz’ I’m FREE.
To live and love myself.
Not too proud to ask for help.
If I need it
Let the enemy be defeated.
Even on the days I feel cheated.
I don’t join it cuz’ I can beat it.
Let me be FREE.
To be intelligent let drama be irrelevant.
I can give it to you straight without sellin’ it
My knowledge is FREE.
Stop taking these kids to jails.
If they can’t see their dad “oh well”
They should wanna stay FREE.
Like a high school education.
Instead of livin’ on a civilized plantation.
My destination is FREE.
To spread the word that God Is Love.
Can’t go to church but can go to the club
Before 12 when it’s FREE.
What I’m telling you ain’t no joke.
The word of God and your spiritual growth.
Both are FREE.
The best thing I did in my life
Was give myself to christ
Because now I’m FREE..

J Ebon Proctor Sr 2005

18 March 2005

Her Obsession (by Rachel E.)


She stands naked in front of the mirror
staring at her reflection and wondering
why she does not look like the models
pictured in the centerfolds of magazines
with seductive eyes and perfect bodies
She stares at her image while
tears glide down her cheeks
She closes her eyes
and wishes she was light enough to fly
like an angel fallen from heaven
Her obsession grows
as she worships at the altar of her mirror
And soon she is caught up
in a web of self-destruction
that clings to her body like a demon
She performs secret late-night rituals
kneeling on the cold, hard tile of her bathroom floor
purging her body of the day's sins
and praying for salvation
from her obsession
Her self-esteem can be shattered
as easily as a stained glass window
Light filters through the shadows of her addiction
shining brightly onto sunken cheeks and shameful eyes
Striving for perfection but always coming up short
Her body craves for attention,
her soul pleads for love
No hope is in sight
And no one can see her suffering
She is alone
She lives in a society
that chokes us with images
but starves us for solutions
She hides her secret well
No one knows her obsession

by Rachel E. (2005)

11 March 2005

Time (by J. Love Kearse)


There was time
When I stood upon the mountain peak
And saw set before me, my destiny
Received it as prophecy that eventually
Would be fulfilled in me
In time
Yet I’m
Impatiently waiting, my faith is fading, my hope is deflating
I’m frustratedly debating and contemplating
How I’m navigating this journey that God is stating
About where I’m situated
In time
And trying not to negate it
But time
Is fleeting and beating me to death
Defeating me at best
Depleting me of rest
It’s time
That I struggle with, time is what I have trouble with
Time it keeps me humble yet, I want the prophecies
Fulfillment on the double
But time
Turns oh taste and see, into just wait and see
Though it’s hastening, time it still wasted be-
Cause of complacency
In time
That causes me to srcap with my humanity
Grapple with the divinity that god has placed into me
At times
Where Jesus speaks from eternity understanding that eternity
Sits outside of the periphery
Of time
I know that your spirit is upon me because you have anointed me
To be what I was born to be
But it takes time
And the eternal word is bound by time
Because the Word is in me, and I’m, inside, the confines of
Which is a rarity and an oddity, my hottest commodity
Yet and still it takes a lot for me
To mange time
Time that I don’t have, time slips thru my grasp,
Ticking into my future but tying me to my past
Its time
That keeps me flowing, drives me to keep going,
Striving to keep growing
Thru time
Time that befriended me, turned into my enemy
Then it lent itself to me, hurts me yet is helping me
As God deposits wealth in me
Over time
So in time
I stand again, atop the mountain, to see the fulfillment
Of what was meant to be then, at my journeys end
There’s my old friend

By J. Love Kearse 3/6/05

04 March 2005

Refrigerator Note (by J Ebon Proctor Sr)

Refrigerator Note

Since I was a kid, see some things have changed.
It’s sort of strange, It’s not the same.
Really it a shame , Kids nowadays don’t make up games.
When was the last time you were coming down the street.
And saw some kids playing hide -n- go seek.
All day they wanna watch B.E.T.
And to you young brothers, You need to pull up your jeans.
See society says you’re nothing but crooks.
If you want to hide something from our youth
Put it in a book.
No imagination to play station they’re hooked.
What happened to those parents that gave you that LOOK!
Those were the parents that took respect.
If not you knew they would break your neck.
When elders came around you did understand.
When they called your name you replied “YES MA’AM”.
We gotta get control, before it gets worse.
Be cool with your kids later, Be A parent 1st.
They put their hand out when you get your cash out.
18 years old … But can’t put the trash out.
Makes you want to put their a** out.
Ain’t no free rides if you live in my house.
So if you want to come and go as you please.
Pay your own rent, Get your own keys.
I won’t put you out or even ask you to leave.
But if you live in my house...you listen to ME!!
Remember what I said I’ll see you later.
This is the note left for me on my mom's refrigerator.

J Ebon Proctor Sr 2005

24 February 2005

How well do you fare? (Part 1) (By J. Love Kearse)

How well do you fare? (Part 1)

How well do you fare?
I see you sittin’ there
In your easy chair
Stop to stare
At the soap operas
Those false hope operas
Unaware that they're stopping ya
From accepting the accountability
Of personal responsibility
While you thinkin’ you big pimpin’
You’s the tool
Bein’ screwed by right wing politicians
While you sell yourself fo’ a little mo’
Cash assistance
How I’m wishin’
That you’re listenin’
It’s slavery’s reinvention
Of itself
See, massah’s in the slave house again
Rapin’ our women, killin’ our children and
Shippin’ our men to the pen
By the power of the system
Through the infiltration
of mass communication
of misinformation
causing the impregnation
and birth of an oppressed generation
with no greater expectation…
To collect
A welfare check
And better yet
They taught you that
The more babies you have
The bigger the check
You gon’ get
But in order to do so
Your baby daddy can’t live in your home
I find it hard to believe that you can’t see
The break down of your happy family
Yet those that rape you remain
Hiding behind the hood of government
They remain blameless
Because you chose your own enslavement
You’re trapped in a vicious cycle
Feeling like you just might go
Consider this
While you’re sittin’ there
In your easy chair
Do you even care?
How well do you fare?

By J. Love Kearse 2/23/05

22 February 2005

24 Hours (by J Ebon Proctor Sr)

24 Hours

If The Whole World Were Blind We Would'nt See Color.
All Women Would Be Sisters All Men Would Be Brothers.
If No One Was Homeless And Everyone Could Eat.
No Nations At War We'd All Live In Peace.
If The Poor Were Rich And The Rich Were Poor.
We'd All Appreciate Each Other So Much More.
If Nobody Cared If You're Straight Or Gay.
If They're A Good Person Treat Them That Way.
If There Were No Illness All In Good Health.
We'd Wake Up Each Day Feeling Good About Ourselves.
If Children Were Parents And Parents Were Children.
Inside We'll Understand How Each Other's Feeling.
If I Could Give My Heart To You.
You'd Feel Like Me I'd Feel Like You.
If I Was The Person Who Had This Power.
I'd Change The World For Just 24 Hours.

J Ebon Proctor Sr

In My Days, We Had Fun (by J Ebon Proctor Sr 2004)

In My Days, We Had Fun.

Let me take you back, Back into time.
When life was fun, and things were just fine.
When you woke up in the morn, and all day you were gone.
But kids had their butts home before the street lights came on.
Remember all the good shows like The Jeffersons & Good Times.
Fellas, remember the penny loafers when you put in the dimes.
Or the bike gangs, All day we would ride.
Ladies, remember wearing those blue gym suits outside.
Remember 8 or 9 kids puttin’ in their feet.
Sayin’ my mama & yo mama playin’ hide & go seek.
Everywhere you went was with all of your friends.
Remember schoolboy glasses with the initials on the lens.
I love the days, When things were much better.
I had my name across my shirt with those iron- on letters.
We would be on the court playin’ around the world.
I know you remember the Commodores & Potsey Girls.
When we wore Lee jeans and shell tops on our feet.
When “The Hub” used to be on the other side of the street.
Where Wal-Mart is was JC Penney for us.
We used to stand in the hallway to catch the YATA bus.
Remember representin’ your side of town.
Or going to the Chang Chow when you could sit down.
When the Princess St center was the spot to dance.
Nobody got shot, We fought with our hands.
This is my Old School poem.. now I am done.
Even though we didn’t have a lot, We had fun.

J Ebon Proctor Sr 2004

14 February 2005

Failure (by Bez W.)


Family told me to first build a foundation
Figure out the rules and expectations
But it wasn’t easy fooling the nation
Only thinking of finding a good formation.
Friends stand in the way,
But the lord says make sure to forgive them today.
But it’s up to you
So do what you have to do!
Live everyday like it’s the last,
But don’t dwell on mistakes of the past.
Just imagine what you’re capable of accomplishing.
Make each step precise,
Those with experience can help you think twice,
So be intelligent and take their advice.
Be ready both physically and mentally,
There are many challenges waiting for you and me
When the time has come
Take chances because life has just begun.

Bez W.
York, PA

02 February 2005

Living Proof (by Bez W.)

Living Proof

Living on earth
The inevitable is forgotten
Starting from birth
Religion is loosing its grip
Children are finding new interests
Modern technology has won over their hearts and minds

How can people say there isn’t a God?
Maybe they haven’t seen love on earth
Or the white dove floating above

If one suffers the loss of faith
Take a plane across the sky
And witness the vastness of the clouds passing by
Notice the sun, bright as can be
Science can not explain these things to me

In the past, the church taught society
The greatness and capabilities of God
That was created to worship him and say grace

If we look around us
Everything is proof that he created us
I am not afraid to say
I love and appreciate the things he does for me
day to day

Maybe I haven’t convinced anyone
But I can never turn my back on God’s only son
He will remain in my heart forever
For I am not letting go
Not today, not tomorrow

Bez W.
York, PA

Family Flaws (by Bez W.)

Family Flaws

Tears, tears drip on the mattress leaving perspiration
Like spears with harsh penetration
This shakes and has potential to break the foundation
The children come to wipe the tears away
Begging the mother to stay, just one more day

Family must work through the problems
Fighting exposes each thorn of emotion
Revealing the unwanted feelings
Then the family can begin the healing
And find a solution
To the hurt and confusion

We can fight today
Discuss our point of view tomorrow
And stay irate throughout the week
But when the sun is hidden behind the dark cloud
We always return to our humble home
Looking for comfort
Because outside we are all alone

Bez. W
York, PA

16 January 2005

10 North Beaver Street (by Bill Diskin)

10 North Beaver Street

I step out the door
Into the street
side-stepping the old man sitting
On the curb

Dark clouds dot the fall sky
Puzzle pieces floating
Over rooftops of reclaimed store fronts

“How will you get the adults to write poetry?”
They had asked upstairs,
Fluorescent light flooding the room

I reach for my car keys
Stepping out of the headlight path
of the city bus rolling by
blowing my pantlegs with its dusty,
noisy bus-wind

Crouching into my car,
I sneak a look back at the curb
man, sitting
“PLEASE HELP” scribbled politely on his cardboard
And in his eyes

“Is that poetry?” I wonder,
Turning left below lingering bus smoke
clinging to the air above the street,
Another puzzle piece
in a city of questions.

Bill Diskin
9 November, 2004
(still working on this one…)