Poetry & Writings
I fell in love with my first poem very young. As a kid. my favorite movie was Love Jones and I fell in love with of course the storyline and witness the romance of life and art through people, but I also loved hearing and seeing world through colors, words and imagery. I enjoyed the process of envisioning a story of emotion through poetry, jazz, photography and the journey of love we use to heal; to process and commune in life's ups and downs. I couldn't discover the language of what I knew, but somehow, I understood the remembering of love, both universally and humanly that carried through space and time.
In 2013, I began writing poetry. In college, I took a course called ADW (African Diaspora & the World), which was mandatory for each student, and I had a wonderful professor who was also a poet. He was the one professor that held space for class dialogue and opened space for his students view the world through questions, debates, creative reflections and understanding conversation. He encouraged my poetry and made time to listen. He gave me feedback and encouraging words that reminded me that even though I am dyslexic (I didn't know at the time), my writing was worth reading. He inspired me to tap into my own poet's power and voice. This led to my first piece where I performed at a Spelman's Coming Out dialogue.
This was the first time I told my story aloud as a survivor. This was the moment that guided my path to hold space for other survivors and queer folk to share their own story. This inadvertently guided my first healing event, called Let it Glow where we used creative expression to tell our story and feel loved especially during the holiday season that didn't feel so safe for many of us. Student performers boldly, bravely and honestly shared their story, and I painted what I felt came from their emotions and words. The space felt like a living room and had pillows, couches, coco and hugs with glow jars around the space. This was freshman year, and my path was never the same. That same year, I met Sonia Sanchez and found new meaning of myself in her work. She was so kind, inspiring, real and gave everyone in the audience her number. She reminded me of the elders who inspired my journey and that opened a rabbit hole of towards my liberation.
I thank you all for being a guiding light in my life.
Asé and so it is to the Rudy Fransciscos, Strivers Rows, Maya Angelous, Nina Simones, Rupi Kars of the world,
Thank you writing for giving me an outlet to use this Aquarius mind of mine space to reflect, accept, process, feel, understanding and express. My throat sings with honesty, love, pain, laughter and affirmation.
I can tell you a little about this place, this moment. But I feel like you should feel it for yourself.
Let's pay homage to the sistas that we call our ancestors, the beautiful black women who have paved the way for us to continue the legacy.
Let's sage the spirits of our grandmothers and light incense with sweet smells of our named mothers home. a home embraced by legacy. we tend to forget we are walking in a space that’s all too familiar.
a spiritual home that is available for regrowth, unfenced communication and an awareness of self-awakening. a
home that isn’t afraid to talk, to share, to hurt, to express where it hurts most and to heal through it.
my ancestors before me told me what it looked like. the thing we called ritual. the moment we scream ashe. light our candles and thank our great great mothers before the last.
the moment we smile, we feel, we embrace, we share stories, and we love each other. that is that moment we call a community. we sing, and we connect. we pray and we cry. that is
the beauty of the moment, that reoccurring moment we share in this ‘home’ of facing the beauty of reality and spirituality.
written in Mahogany L. Browne poetry class
When it comes to hair, I would say all women can relate. Whether you're Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Purple, Green and all the in between. We relate through texture, color, style, and technique.
For me, hair and identity has always been a struggle. Even though, all women can relate to the topic, no one person has the same type. Often in society, we associate shine, length, and texture to the idea of what "nice" hair should be. Visually, women's hair is compared to within race. If you're considered "mixed" then you must have "good hair" but, we tend to forget the women with 4B and 4C hair as if their kinkiness is something to be ashamed of.
In Solange's, don't touch my hair, I personally related to this video on a cultural level. Black hair is a part of black identity, for myself, my hair is a part of me. It's who I am as a black woman. The video expresses the means of hair in terms of texture.
Black hair has memories and stories that no other race can understand. When a black woman says, "don't touch my hair", that is said for a reason.
While black hair might seem like foreign to others, beneath each style there are personal hair stories that we experience whether we're thinking of childhood memories with our grandmother or as an adult using those very same hot combs used then. We experience scalp damage that for some is irreversible. When you consider the history of black hair, its complexity can become quite clear.
Black hair is so vital to personality, and we should take it into thought when asking a black person to touch their hair.
What does my thick, curly, frizzy hair actually look like?
Visually, black hair is thick
We all have these experiences no matter the race or gender.
Compare to Contrast, 2017
written in Mahogany L. Browne poetry class
Compare to Contrast
Compare to contrast the words of one who challenges the conceptions of
Let's compare the commonalities of religion and take a moment to forget. The meaning of spirituality and oneness with the higher power we call
The Code of Ethics. The forms of comprised African Customs
To say one's culture or religion is better than the other is complete
As we compare and contrast, let's not forget the subject of Sociology. The sociology of religion, the methods of discipline. The social structures of society
Sir Mohammad Shitta Bey, say unto the Christians, their God and our God is one. The reflection of the compare is one for the book. In its likeness, one is taken from the other. The concept of African spirituality and this notion of appropriation pour’s itself over.
To take as your own and diminish one's beliefs is a history of religion and the lossless in spirituality -- to understand for yourself.
The code of ethics
As we challenge the idea of religion and beliefs, one must ask the questions of the beyond, questions most afraid to ask as if you're going with or against your own faith. Question. This idea of religion is separated as if we tried to part the Red Sea. The difference in spirituality is realizing, all of these religions and spiritual beliefs within all culturalisms and systems are forms molded in likeness.
The difference of man and God
Sir Excellency, Greatness. Prophet in subject to human.
Moses. David. Solomon
David, man after. Gods right hand. God’s own heart.
Guilty of the greatest; ADULTERY. Human. Flesh.
As we emulate the lives of men like David, we look past the sins of men.
But we ask, who can be like Jesus?
His perfection and grace speak for itself.
Of human existence
It does not matter how we label ourselves; Christian, Buddhist and Islamic, Taoist, Bruja, Spiritualist
We are human with the space of discovery and questions
Man - title of Gods Prophet
Our imperfections and God's love keeps up striving, yet it is still based on the. our idea of GOD.
My god is as kind and forgiving as a grandma, accepting as a papa, playful as a child, nurturing as a mother, protective as a father, and emotional as a family. My god is powerful, discerning, miraculous, loving, integrative, abundant, growth hearted, creative, spunky, funny, compassionate, honest, patient merciful and surprising. and reflects that back to me through time, connection and space. it is within me. within you.
I ask you; do you carry these attributes in your godhood or seekiness to connect with god's energy? look in the mirror. it's you. it's me? it's our compassion, understanding and honesty. our care. these are human and goldy traits. so, what makes us different?
To compare and contrast the ideals behind religion is like deconstructing similar beliefs of racism, homophobia, shame, ageism, ableism, immigration, displacement and sexism. It derives from a place within Ethnocentrism, to believe one's culture superior over the other.
It's like embodying a role of one's suppressor without taking into account the meaning of similar plane field.
- The spiritual bind.
The flame, 2018
written in Mahogany L. Browne poetry class
May the flame carry you in the darkness.
It is the light that sheds light on the very aspects we try to hide within ourselves and others.
The flame lights the sight, smell, spirit that energizes candles, and sage, incense.
The flame also keeps love alive share between spirits beings.
I send the flame to you on days when you feel as if darkness is crowding you. As the spirit of the flame lives though you... you channel the wisdom and energy of the flame.
I found GOD, 2018
The way I “found” God was not through Christianity, even though that was my childhood background.
In my experience, as a queer kid, the Black church was dangerous, contradicting, judgmental and damaging. This moved me away from God because that was my only reflection to it. As I moved towards my own personal journey and explorations of God that differs from my childhood norms, I understood the synergies of gospels, beliefs and commune. I forgave.
My spirituality is personal, yet it is mine and, is yours. My inner God understands its integration, and diversity because that is my relationship to it and myself.
Even though that is my experience, I would never tell a soul how they should identify with God. As long as we’re all moving towards greater enlightenment for ourselves that helps others, I’m happy with that. One way isn’t better than the other.
Choose a way that feels truest for you and honor that intuition God gave you to nurture and follow it.
Stick to what you LOVE, 2018
My friend said I was a hood sunflower and I think I’m going to take that compliment.
My ancestors said run me my money
I am very big on honoring traditions and highlighting the importance of conversations and symbolism as a healing practice. Personally, I believe that talking with one another is vital to our growth. In a sense, we are all here for teach and learn from one another.
I’m totally here for community building and empowerment so bringing all walks of life with different experiences and stories bring that together.
An amazing tradition and something that we organically do as humans is get our hair done. Within most communities of color, hair braiding opens the vulnerability for conversations.
You’re sharing moments of your life with folks you may or may not know. It’s opening up both your heart and mind which creates a balance.
Young sista, 2018
written in Mahogany L. Browne poetry class
Oh, young sista.
How much have you loved you today? A model. A confidant. A soothing essence. The kinky coils living in its truth, yet so afraid.
Tell me young thing, what does it mean to also live in joy? In love. Unafraid.
Is it the peace we’ve needed all along? You are adored kinky curly coils for accepting us way before we accepted ourselves in this place, I guess we call “home”.
You complement this world so well, as you continue to challenge what it means to live in it. The shades and depth of your love is what we need more of. The love of all loves, the patient of all patience. the love of kinky-curly-coils is forever embedded by our ancestors.
You are the stories of my grandmothers of grandmothers who cry of love before i was even born. i. Thank you for loving me before I knew the meaning.
You understood me..... when the world ignored my cries. My pain. My joy. My love now, it’s time to finally understand you. YOU ARE FINALLY UNDERSTOOD. So I as I live and love in my truth, WITHOUT the fear once within. I thank you, I thank so heavenly for loving me. We. Us. That’s unconditional
self-healing is so much more than just a hashtag, meditation and just taking some time for yourself which is also important. Self-Care and healing are a continued process of coming face to face with your biggest fears.
It’s loving every bit of yourself and being completely unapologetic. never stop even when it's not perfect.
Healing is deconstructing every negative thought, pattern, belief, separation and judgment that was placed by society.
It’s facing that trauma and working through it; it’s understanding your own toxic behavior and through it without judging self + others. It’s letting go of your ego and realizing that everything is going to work itself out. and affirming that every chance you get.
I am not an expert on this by any chance because it looks different for everyone but as a person who has been through a lot of traumas in one lifetime, processing, questioning and feeling it has helped me tremendously in more ways than i can count. And my way of thinking. so can you
One thing I think will always be interesting is looking at old pictures of yourself. Your childhood and this motorized shape of your adult life.
When looking at those old pictures that are often passed down by generations, you know the similarities. You understand when that one moment changed your entire life.
As a Black southern kid, for me, I tasted the subtle or forward pickup of racism. the formulated words between tongues, looks and gestures.
a broken arm. a slide. a push. a cast.
Did I really just get pushed off a slide by a white kid because I'm black? Is my arm really broken right now? This must be a damn joke.
The classrooms weren't just the classrooms, the playground was never just about the playground. It was so deeply rooted in our veins that it happened as first instinct. little Black girls, placed in a box. A confined space where we are not allowed to speak, to question, to move.
We speak with manners and dress in skirts without question. we make sure our hair is pressed and combed and pretty for the world to see like Easter Sunday. We gravitate to our dollies even when we want a telescope or a ball. it is about how we look, not what we want to be and how we feel. pressed hair and barrettes.
Unrecognized and silent.
little Black boys' masculinity challenged so early. a pat on the back. they just want to be a kid. Fragile. to cry is a power. to question is a gift. to make mistakes is human. add it all together and we get a kid wanting love rather than learning they are not enough.
Divine Grace, 2019
“The Divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.”
Unfold all of you with Divine grace.
Your strength is the origin of your growth.
Awaken to it and love it unconditionally.
Inspire your impulses and resist the temptation to stay within your comfort zone. Trials are nothing more than seasons.
• Learn from them
• Thank them
• Set them free
Your wounds and fears are being rewritten into the most beautiful narrative from within.
You are everything and more.
SHOW ALL OF YOU.
In your wholeness.
Then leave space others to do the same
a new chapter
My first time leaving the states and living aboard.
a family business, 2020
Meet these truly magical women, Elder Sonepan, Bua Bua (blue shirt) and Yoona (hat)
I sat with them for some time and learned a bit about their beautiful tradition. I learned of their family business along with many other components. They make birthday prayer necklaces that’s made out of rice, string and coins.
Each color represents your birthday.
Elder Sonepan taught Bua Bua and Yoona, then continued to pass it down through their matriarchal lineage.
Learning from them brought me to tears.
I deeply honor the inspirational women and divine feminine energies who authentically share themselves with me.
Community is everywhere. In each of us. burning to be felt.
This is a photo project about community.
How can it be built, nourished and empowered?
As each person shares their soul with me, I learn to understand and feel.
Feeling a sense of community is very important for growth.
with consent, their stories are shared with you
alice & her wonders, 2020
I still wander with wonders. I guess the wondering leads me to wander further, but with direction. And even if the direction changes, the purpose stays the same.
I once loved Alice and Wonderland and the process of “the rabbit hole”. as if it takes us further into ourselves to discover more than what we realize or even internalize. The “riddles” are messages that can take us beyond what we see with our two eyes and shine light on falsehood. It opens space for personal truths, actualizations, acceptance and communion.
Through her journey, Alice began to realize who she was and the destiny that came along with her memories and gifts. She just needed to believe and remember the wondrous signs brought by the riddles, characters and unseen energies. to fall back into herself and the imagination of endless creation that can help her along the way.
There is magic within and around us that is opening way for us to do the same. to believe, have faith, trust and imagine the possibilities that are beyond what we see with two eyes. But what we feel, sense, understand, and know without explanation. to decode them and align with our destinies. Each being on the planet has a beautiful plan/story that incorporates many characters and riddles that can align us with our destined paths.
Having faith, shining light, unlearning to understand and unpacking the process can possibly lead us deeper into the rabbit hole—if we believe