Theme for English B

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you–
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me–we two–you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me–who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records–Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white–
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me–
although you’re older–and white–
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

Langston Hughes

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For Mer

fuck,
shit,
damn,
mother-fucker!
shit.
shit.
shit.
damn!
asshole,
shit!
fuck,
fuck,
FUCK!

now, your
turn,
and
remember to
breath.
loose
lips
just may
prove
to
good
use
this time.

M.C. Davis

On Being A Romantic

[roh-man-tik]

Just you and me kid.

Many times, we’re give more than one chance to redeem ourselves. We’re given reminders each time of our next move to get us to that place where we need to be. Often, if we so happen to choose differently, we’re given further reminders that tell us that perhaps choosing left instead of right the next time–or the millionth time– just may be in our better interest.

We’re still afforded the right to be reminded no matter how many times we’re in need of it.

Even better, there are specific people who get strategically placed in front of us that prove that through their actions, we’re able to see the right or wrong choices in a kind of follow the leader approach. Perhaps getting rid of the rightness or wrongness of a thing should be the first step in this approach to choice making? Either way, life will always send out reminders for us to tackle: a smell, a touch, or whisper from a windless voice or some other romantic notion. Which, brings me to another point: Why do we envision these moments to be dramatic in nature? Like some version of a movie we’ve superimposed in our lives to keep us on target. I mean, who wants a whisper from a windless voice? Heck, just send me an email the next time. A carrier pigeon even. Seriously.

But, as usual, I digress.

In essence, let yourself inhale and exhale full and deep breaths each time you think about changing your life. Many of us spend so much quality time holding our breath in an effort to wait for something new and creative to happen. We spend too much quality time being a romantic for things that neither give us a true helping hand, or prepare us for the next one. 

So, if a lesson is learned, become a romantic with your arms widespread but let it count for the things that matter. Let those wings fly without a GPS, or those bones to lounge without an alarm clock.  Become a romantic for the same reason you inhale and exhale.

Because it just feels that damn good.

M.C. Davis

I’m Ready

Let’s
go,
then
fall
into a
deep
sleep
where
I
get to
smell,
taste,
and grab
at
those
moments
that linger
from
me
to you.

See,
I’m
ready
and willing
to
make the
necessary
steps
to keep
momentum
in hand
and in
the
womb.

Let’s
do
this,
but first
put
on that
thing
you
wore last
night.

I’m ready.

M.C. Davis

Mercury

The
mercury
is rising
but
so am
I.
Don’t
let
me
fool
you into
thinking
we’re
that
much different.
Even
Mr. Mercury
takes
a few
breaks
in
between
the
stanzas.

M.C. Davis

On Being A Natural Helper

When I was much younger, I was a Natural Helper.

I mean, we even had  high school meetings on the ability to discern real emotions within our peers, in and out of school. We were taught to find the relationship between what was troubling a student and a possible solution to end their woes. We learned that in life, as many of you already know, nothing is certain except change. We also learned that whenever we feel alone, we only have to look around to see the millions of other folks feeling the exact same way.

We are never alone.

To be honest, and years later as a tough-minded (but fair)  Navy Chief, I’ve come to know the significance of those moments of sharing tears with 25 of my closest teenage friends.  We were taught that our feelings, which often trick us into thinking we’re less than who we really are, were created to allow our souls some breathing room during the toughest or happiest portions of our lives.  Tears, both the good and bad ones, give way to the necessary closure than many of us never get a chance to tackle in life.  Often, tears give a bit of flexibility in our way in handling a situation; but more often than none, we learn to take those tears as powerful tools that give us the motivation and strength just move through the experience.

So, as a Natural Helper we were taught to see issues as they are. We were taught to empathize and appreciate that sometimes in life, things tend to shatter and our responsibility isn’t entirely in the act of acknowledgment, but rather the process of moving forward afterwards with a positive implementation of change. We were not taught to be psychics, psychologists,  or counselors, but quite the opposite.

We were taught to simply be human.

M.C. Davis

A Morning Run

 

It’s
a morning
run,
and I’m
crazy
on top
of
crazy to
take
in
a
bit
of
Oh-Two,
street
sounds,
and
jazzy
freedoms
at
every bend
of
the road.
See,
my heart
gets
to beat
that
much faster
today,
and without
that
glue
that ties
me
to
that
bag you
tote
like
Ms. Baduism
during
her
last stanza..

It’s a
morning
run
and I’m
just
keeping
pace,
very
much the
same
way
we danced
the
night
before
you
walked out
the
door.

M.C. Davis