Today, Breonna Taylor Would Have Been Celebrating Her 27th Birthday, But She Was Killed By Kops. Her Mother Wants To Know, “Where Is The Outrage Over The Murder Of Breonna?”

Breonna Taylor, her life mattered. All Black Lives Matter, including the lives of Black women! We are no less than Black men and you’d better believe it! We are why your Black male asses are getting some sort of justice while we get none!



George Floyd’s name is on everyone’s lips, and rightly so as is Ahmaud Arbery and even Christian Cooper, who was the bird watcher in Central Park in New York who had kops called on him for asking a white woman to observe the leash laws, but where is the outrage over the senseless and needless murder of a Black woman whose name happens to be Breonna Taylor?

Breonna Taylor’s Mom Mourns Daughter on What Would’ve Been Her 27th Birthday: She ‘Mattered’

Breonna Taylor’s mother is urging people to remember her late daughter’s legacy and call for justice on what would’ve been her 27th birthday.

Breonna Taylor, an African American aspiring nurse working as an EMT, was fatally shot eight times by police officers while [ASLEEP] in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13.

A civil lawsuit, which was filed by her family on April 27, alleges police entered the residence unannounced and were actually looking for a man who lived in Taylor’s building but not her apartment.

“In that brief moment, where people forgot about her for two months at a time, people need to know that Breonna Taylor mattered and that Breonna Taylor was great,” Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother said.

Before Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sleep by racist kops, who have not been charged with any crimes, Breonna was on the frontlines of a pandemic carting COVID-19 infected patients to the hospital, while at the same time, she was studying to become a nurse. She had no criminal record, which whites love to bring up about ALL Black people who have been murdered by kops. She was a fine, upstanding citizen and even as Breonna lay dead inside her apartment, the kops were busy looking for drugs, which they did NOT find. But then of course, according to whites, ALL Black people are using some type of ‘illegal substance’ when those parasites know that their medicine cabinet is loaded down with percocet, valium and xanax. Breonna Taylor’s background was clean as a whistle and yet, she’s dead; murdered by racists in blue uniforms and though there have been arrests and charges brought against those who are responsible for why George Floyd and  Ahmaud Arbery are no longer here with us, no kop has even been arrested for murdering Breonna Taylor.

Why do Black women getting murdered by racist kops not matter? If Black Lives Matter, then that should include ALL Black Lives and not just the lives of Black men. Black women no more deserve to be senselessly murdered by racist kops than Black men deserve to be murdered by racist kops. But where are the Black men when it comes to protesting or marching and shouting “No justice! No peace! Stop the racist police!” when it comes to those racists in blue uniforms murdering their mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, wives and girlfriends? Not ALL of you Black men are incarcerated and so I don’t want to hear your shit!

Here, a lone Black mother of her’ murdered by kop’ daughter’, has to take to going on a morning talk show to get people to understand that her daughter was murdered in her home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13 and that her life mattered. And as of today, on her daughter’s birthday, not one of those damn thugs in blue uniforms has been charged with a crime despite a formal investigation into Breonna’s death, launched by the FBI Louisville office on May 21. Yeah! Good luck with that!

Where are ALL of the so-called ‘Black warriors’ out there that’s always whooping and hollering about how macho they are and how they are going to protect their Black queens? Where the fuck are you? In hiding? Chasing booty? Where the fuck are you? Black women can ALWAYS be found, front and center when it comes to ‘caping’ for your Black ass, but when it comes to you standing up for us, where the fuck are you??!! Inquiring minds want to know, goddamn it!

I know damn well that I am on MY own because I don’t look for no damn body to stir up some shit on my behalf because most folks ain’t about shit! I have never heard about so many projects, all of a sudden like, started up by Black men in all my born days right when the shit was about to hit the fan. I guess y’all motherfuckers ran off like some of the whites; took to the mountains and the fucking desert to make sure your asses were okay and left the rest of us to rot. But now that you see that some of us are still kicking up a bit, you’ve come out of fucking hiding and now want to pretend like you were doing some extra stuff. I’m not fooled by y’all motherfuckers scared ass ways.

This is why Black Amerikkka is on life support with the fucking plug being pulled because ain’t no goddamn Black man of today like ANY of those who made up the REAL and TRUE Black Panther Party and Movement. Those Black men were the REAL deal and all we’ve got to work with now are some weak ass, punk bitches! And you fucking know who you are and don’t even bother getting offended because you know I don’t give a shit!

Those Black ‘men’ who stood around and taped George Floyd getting the life kneed out of him should have bum rushed those damn namby pamby, shit their pants, racist kops and did the damn thing! Black people, back in the day, knew that in order to make a better world for those who would come after them, that they had to be willing to give up their lives, and they did. They gave up their freedom and they gave up their lives in the hopes that we would have it better than they did. But what they failed to consider is the fact that what would come after them wouldn’t even be close to what they were in terms of TRUE and REAL warriors and heroes who were selfless. Malcolm X knew he was a dead man walking as did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and yet they continued to do what they felt they needed to do. The sad part is that what they did was ALL in vain because look around you at what we have to work with today; not a goddamn thing worth mentioning.

Black preachers are in pulpits all across this shithole spouting nonsense and fake ass prayers that’s doing not a goddamn gnat’s ass worth of anything when it comes to making things better for American descendants of slavery. Each and every single time some shit goes down, who do the whites want to sit down and talk with over a cup of fucking tea about the shit? Why…..those goddamn, useless, no account Black preachers, that’s who and Al Sharpton’s relaxed curl, pushead ass! They damn sure as hell don’t want to sit down and talk with me about a goddamn thing because I’d as soon as shoot their asses before partaking of even so much as a cup of tea with my mortal enemy.

But everybody thinks that some shit’s changed because of some so-called ‘world wide’ protests over the kops killing George Floyd; delusional, much? Because you’ve got to be really, really stupid if you think any damn thing is going to be different. Hell! The kops are upping the ante as I type this and have decided that if they can’t fuck shit up, they’d rather quit. And 57 of them did just that because of a couple of kops getting disciplined because they knocked down and injured the head of a 75-year old white man. This occurred in Buffalo, NY.

Just so you know, those thugs in blue and brown uniforms are in it for the long haul so long as they can continue busting heads and killing Black people and that includes Black WOMEN.

Black women, I understand that the Black men who are being murdered by kops are your sons, husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc., but you also need to understand that Black women are also the victims of these crimes and Black men are hardly in evidence when it comes to taking on the system on our behalf. We’ve done the best we can by our Black men. It is time for them to do the same for us. And Breonna Taylor’s mother should not be sitting somewhere on “Good Morning America,” bemoaning the fact that hardly anyone remembers that her daughter was murdered, shot 8 times in her sleep by white kops who had no business busting down her door in the first place and not one of them has been charged with a crime. There have been charges filed against those who murdered George Floyd. There have been charges filed against those who murdered  Ahmaud Arbery because there were mass protests for both men. And Black women were front and center throughout it all! So, where the fuck are you, BLACK MEN??!!! Breonna Taylor’s mother would like to know! And so would I!! Only Louisville seems to have been protesting the kops murdering Breonna Taylor, thus why her mother is mourning the loss of her daughter on “Good Morning America” and wondering why no one believes that her daughter’s life mattered.

This is exactly why I did NOT get my cape out, put it on and go a marching through the streets because the double standards are outrageous! I’ll take to the goddamn streets when the kops come fucking MY Black ass up! But I damn sure ain’t caping for Black men who ain’t out there doing shit that makes a fucking bit of difference when the shit hits the fan for Black women. I got two pairs of shoes and I am NOT wearing them out on your behalf, Black men!

Mrs. Palmer, your daughter’s life mattered to me. I wish that there was something concrete that I could do to show you that your daughter’s life mattered, I really do.

In memory of Breonna Taylor, a poem for her mother

She had the most beautiful smile
and they said she looked like me
She was so loving and giving
that’s why she became an EMT.

But that wasn’t enough for her,
she wanted to heal the sick.
Learning came easy to her;
she picked it up quick.

During a pandemic,
I worried about her safety.
But she just laughed it off
and said, “Mom, I’m not eighty.”

My little girl’s gone now,
she was shot in her sleep.
The pastor prayed with me,
but justice I still seek.

Remember my little girl.
She was murdered too.
Her life mattered.
All Black Lives Matter! All have value!


Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2020 Shelby I. Courtland

BREONNA TAYLOR! SAY HER NAME! Say that Black woman’s name! BREONNA TAYLOR! She would have been 27 years old today! But she’s dead, see? Murdered by racist kops in blue uniforms, who have NOT been charged with ANY crime! Yeah! But things is getting better! Really??!!! Seriously???!!!



It’s Been Four Years

You were mother’s favorite from the day you were born
and then from her arms, thanks to crack, you were torn.
I was jealous of you since I thought you had it all.
You were so smart and so beautiful; a Cinderella at the ball.

In your band uniform and with your saxophone ready
you marched out on that field amidst loud cheers and confetti.
Voted ‘gold brick’ girl, your sense of humor stole the show.
You were brilliant at everything until to crack, you couldn’t say, “No!”

It shortened your beautiful life and destroyed who you were.
After you became addicted, the rest of your life was just a blur.
You stole and you lied and we did not know what to do.
Your family threw their hands up, we all gave up on you.

Four years you’ve been gone and how the time did fly.
And I never got the chance to say to you, “Goodbye!”
I hear the mournful wail of a saxophone playing.
It would be from you if I could bring you back by praying!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

I cannot believe that it’s been another year since my sister’s death on May 6, 2013. For those of you who are new to this blog, my sister died from a crack overdose.
She was the most talented and beautiful person I’ve ever known. I sit here, writing this, with tears streaming down my face because my sister had it all except for the ability to give up the crack pipe. I have never known anyone who had her smarts. There was nothing she could not do except get off crack. And I just don’t understand nor can I seem to accept how someone who was as brilliant as she was is dead from crack. Her brain was a computer. I’ve said this before and I say it again, there was no mathematical equation or computation that she couldn’t do as fast as a computer. She never had to open a book; she just knew the answers and even her college roommate was jealous of her because my sister never opened a book and yet aced every exam. Walked out of the classroom a few minutes after entering it with her exam completed. She excelled at music, cooking, math, history, English, art; everything! But crack was her Achilles heel. Beside her, my other sister and myself are kindergarten rejects and I wish I was kidding. She never married, had no children, was the youngest and yet, she is dead!

My sister, I mourn you still!!

In Memory Of Muhammad Ali Who Refused To Shed Someone’s Blood He Did Not Know!

Famous Muhammad Ali quotes

Blood Will Always Flow!

I look down at the weapon that I hold in my own hand,
standing over a lifeless body in a strange and foreign land.

I just took a life and I don’t even care!
But on my daughter’s head, I would not harm a hair.

What difference should it make and how could I ever kill?
And yet I look down at you and in death, you lie so still.

I stand here blaming you for the cause of your own death
and never think that who I kill for are those who hold the wealth.

They say that I am a soldier and that what I do is right.
I just go to the wars they start and then I begin to fight.

What use is there in wondering if it’s me who’s in the wrong.
I know that what I do ain’t right and I’ve known it all along.

But you see, it’s just a job to me, it’s not personal at all.
Remember, I’m just a soldier and your death was not my call.

If I take the fight to you, then you won’t bring it here.
They control us with their lies and say it’s you that we should fear.

You are dead and I’m alive but for how long I do not know.
The war machine continues on and someone’s blood will always flow.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

Muhammad Ali refused to allow himself to become a tool to be used for rich ‘white’ men to kill for the sake of killing; to be used as a tool for the empire to continuously steal, rape, pillage, plunder and decimate, running roughshod over sovereign nations when he and his people were subjected to the same right here in AmeriKKKa.

He could not even eat in a restaurant. He could only listen to “We don’t serve Negroes in here!” And yet, AmeriKKKa wanted him to fight and DIE for THAT? Seriously? If only those who had allowed themselves to be dragged off to fight no enemy of theirs, if only they too, had stood up to this vicious, evil and corrupt stolen nation, maybe, just maybe…we wouldn’t still be toppling rulers of sovereign nations to this very day.

Barack Obama should have burst into flames upon speaking Muhammad Ali’s name especially since his Administration has launched more wars and drone struck more innocent people AND hospitals since George Bush’s illegal war in Iraq.

Barack Obama had this to say, “His fight outside the ring would cost him his title and his public standing.  It would earn him enemies on the left and the right, make him reviled, and nearly send him to jail.  But Ali stood his ground.  And his victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today.”

Is this clown for real? “And his(Muhammad Ali)victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today.”

The America of today is the reason Libya is on fire. The America of today is the reason Yemen is on fire. The America of today is the reason Iraq is STILL on fire! The America of today is the reason Afghanistan is on fire. The America of today is the reason Syria is on fire and the cold war has re-ignited and American troops are stationed all over the world. American CIA agents trained ‘terrorists’ and let them loose on the Middle East, bringing chaos, pandemonium, bedlam and death to that region. America is responsible for the neo-Nazi mess in Ukraine and Obama wants to ‘drone’ on and on about “And his victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today?” Muhammad Ali was against everything that Barack Insane Obama stands for. That lying piece of hypocritical filth has no right to even whisper Muhammad Ali’s name because Obama would have been attempting to have Ali locked up for refusing to be drafted. Don’t think so? Then why is Chelsea Manning rotting in prison for exposing war crimes? Why is Edward Snowden in exile in Russia for exposing the spying done on a massive scale against innocent American citizens? Because Muhammad Ali’s victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today? Hell if that is so! Because if what Muhammad Ali was about had caught on, we would be looking at an entirely different scenario of what IS the America of today.

Obama couldn’t even care less about Veterans because I just read that “VA Chief likens veteran care wait times to Disney park lines..” This is a disgrace! And yet again, Obama ‘drones’ on and on about how he ‘thanks’ the military for their service even while knowing that many are dying before they can even be seen at a VA hospital or clinic and that the number of suicides of enlisted service men and of veterans is skyrocketing.

This liar-in-chief has the unmitigated gall to weigh in on Muhammad Ali’s contribution to the anti-war effort? Unbelievable!

And apparently, Obama has yet to read this report.

Suicide surpassed war as the military’s leading cause of death

War was the leading cause of death in the military nearly every year between 2004 and 2011 until suicides became the top means of dying for troops in 2012 and 2013, according to a bar chart published this week in a monthly Pentagon medical statistical analysis journal.

For those last two years, suicide outranked war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and other causes as the leading killer, accounting for about three in 10 military deaths each of those two years.

Muhammad Ali, thank you for being all too human and for looking into your own children’s eyes, knowing that if you could not harm a hair on their head, how could you turn around and harm a hair on the son or daughter of another’s child. Thank you for showing us just what true ‘humanity’ is all about because believe me, too many of us have no clue! Thank you and peace be yours, finally!

In Memory…….

In memory 2

In memory of the dead, who were sent to war
In memory of the dead, yet to be sent to war
In memory of the dead, who sent them to war
In memory of the dead, who will send you to war
In memory of the dead, who were bred for war
In memory of the dead, yet to be bred for war
In memory of peace that has yet to be the result of war

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2016 Shelby I. Courtland

Do I really need to explain this???!!!!

“Me And Mrs. Jones,” Singer, Billy Paul Has Died!

Sigh! Here we go again! And though I do realize that singer Billy Paul was not in the same league with Prince, this Grammy-award winning hit was a smash hit with me. And he went on to record 14 albums through 1988. He is survived by his wife, Blanche.

Billy Paul, Prince is waiting for you to join him as is Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barry White, Luther Vandross and Maurice White. Bring some old school classic to the Funk, The Pop, the R&B and the Sooooooooooul!!

He made being the ‘other’ woman seem, not so bad! Every single time I heard this song, I wanted to be “Mrs. Jones!” And though, I cannot lay claim to having the dubious fame of ever having been the other cough cough, uh..the other….cough, cough, gag, gag. uh…never mind. Nevertheless, this was a great song!

Billy Paul died at the grand old age of 81 of pancreatic cancer.

Thank you Billy Paul and bon voyage to you as well! As someone wrote, “I hate 2016! and goddamn it, this is only April!”

A Precious Child Is Dead!

Tamir Rice 2

Somewhere, the sun is always warm
 and the days are long and bright.
A child is playing without any fear
 and no gun is within his sight.

He is twelve years old, this young boy;
 who will grow up to become a man.
His mother’s arms still hold him
 for there is no Ku Klux Klan.

In an alternate universe, they live
 where hate is not allowed.
And those who harbor evil thoughts
 in that universe, are disavowed.

There is a park where he likes to play,
 and his sister finds him there.
It is time to come home for dinner;
 a meal, they used to share.

The setting at the table
 is lacking one more plate.
It serves as a reminder
 of all that is at stake.

Why must I awake from slumber
 to the harsh, cold light of dawn,
 only to know that he is dead,
 killed by the devil’s spawn?

Do not wake me ever again!
From reality, I want to hide.
The fangs of hate grow longer.
Evil’s stench, I can’t abide!

A precious child is dead!
And we just march and cry!
We beg of those that killed him
 to let us live, not die.

Oh yes, they hear you well.
But heed you, they will not.
Tonight, a mother mourns her son.
Tomorrow, her daughter is shot!


Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

Black folks, please! Keep printing those protest signs. They are working! Just you ask Tamir Rice and whomever is next. Just fill in the blank with another name………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….!

One Year Ago Today


Today marks the one year anniversary of my baby sister’s death due to a drug overdose. She died the same way Whitney Houston died. She was on the same drug that Whitney Houston was on. She started doing drugs in junior high school. First came cigarette smoking, then weed and next up was crack and that was the beginning of the end.

But here’s some background information on my sister. She didn’t grow up in the ‘ghetto’. She didn’t eat lead paint and thus start out at a disadvantage like most inner city children do. She lived in a two-parent household and no, it wasn’t perfect, but what family is? We did all the things that children do. We swam; roller skated, rode our bikes, bowled and hung out with our friends. We had birthday parties and we attended birthday parties of the children we played with. In the summer, there was always something to do; if we weren’t picking vegetables by the bushel full, we were shucking corn, shelling peas and snapping green beans and wondering where to put yet another container of strawberries. On our uncle’s farm, there were horses that we could ride and my middle sister was the only one with enough courage to mount one, only to get thrown and get right back on it while my baby sister and I just looked on and laughed. Like I said, we did all the things that children do and all the things that ALL children should have the ability to do. We attended the best schools, wore designer clothes and we were driving as teenagers paying no insurance and gassing up the vehicles without a care as to where the money to do so was coming from. We were carefree, most of the time or so I thought.

At this point, I must say that being the oldest, I was never able to attend school with my baby sister. We are four years apart and I never thought that she had the same problems in school that my middle sister did. My middle sister was bullied and because she was so scrawny, she was scared and would come to me. And since I was a strapping girl who took no shit, I quickly put paid to that shit even if I was suffering with the flu, I kicked ass on her behalf. However, I was not a bully; I just fucked up the bullies. It never dawned on me that my baby sister would get the same treatment. Yes, she was scrawny, but people liked her because she was so damn funny and I didn’t think she needed me because she never came to me and said that anyone was picking on her or telling her that they were going to beat her up if she went to school the next day. Little did I know that her situation was so much worse than getting bullied. She had gotten in with the ‘wrong’ crowd and they stole shit that they didn’t need to steal and since my sister had never done anything like that, she only got away with it for so long and then, the call came that she was in jail for shoplifting. But I digress.

My baby sister and my middle sister were close and since they were also two years apart, they would meet up in school, eventually and get to ‘pal’ around with each other. So, my baby sister would tell my middle sister things that neither one would tell me. Now, my middle sister, if she got mad at my baby sister, only then would she tell me her business and her secrets. Well, the very day that she told me that my baby sister was stealing and had been doing it for a while, was the very day that I told our mother. One of the reasons why I was hardly ever privy to their little secrets is because they knew that once I got a hold of them, I was telling mother. Unfortunately, in this instance, I was too late. We got the phone call about my baby sister’s arrest for shoplifting. I remember my mother crying her eyes out and my father left to go and get her out of jail and that was the beginning of a long and hard road for us all, but especially for my baby sister. After that, there were the suspensions from school, detention, smoking cigarettes, then weed, more stealing, back in jail and now comes the crack epidemic and that was it.

My parents tried everything. When she stole from them, they had her arrested because they had begged her to go into treatment and she refused and they figured that one way to get her into treatment was to make it a condition upon her release. Well, that happened and she went in for treatment for thirty days. She came out and went right to a known ‘crack house’. She knew where they all were. I didn’t even know ‘crack houses’ existed because I was doing my own thing and wasn’t even aware that this was going on until my middle sister was able to get into contact with me to tell me what was going on. My mother and father were having a time with my baby sister. They finally got her to go out of state to a rehab facility that was supposed to have a great success rate. She spent three years in and out of rehab and each time, she’d get out and head to a ‘crack house’.

Some sort of third cousin of ours sold drugs and told my middle sister that he had given our sister drugs to keep her from doing things for other drug dealers in order to get more drugs(he’s also dead, shot fourteen times), she was that hooked. We had heard stories, but just couldn’t believe them, not about our sister. Finally, things got so bad, that my baby sister was ostracized from the entire family. No one wanted her around because she lied and she stole and she’d sell anything you gave her for crack. When she would phone family members, they’d sometimes answer the phone and sometimes would not because they knew she would get to begging and they just didn’t want to deal with it. I was long gone by this time and hadn’t seen my sister in years. When I made it back to my hometown in 2006, she was at my parent’s house with her boyfriend and that was the last time I saw her, alive. Her boyfriend told my mother that he had had enough because my sister was constantly threatening to have him arrested since he kept attempting to leave her. She would throw herself against walls, get bruises and pick up the phone and threaten to call the police and say that he had beat her. She had gotten that bad. That was not the sister I knew. The crack had taken over and consumed her.

In the end, my sister died, alone and had to be found by one of her friends and an autopsy had to be performed because she died, suddenly. No one knew of any illness but of course no one knew what was going on with her as her calls were rarely accepted. A year ago today, she died and here I sit crying my eyes out and blaming myself because since I am the oldest, I should have somehow protected her. There must have been something that I could have done. Why did I not remain in my hometown and take care of her? I keep asking myself that. Why has it been so easy for me to turn my back on them for so long and to forget that they may have needed me? What penance can I do that would even come close to relieving even a tiny fragment of the guilt that I am consumed with? I have the unmitigated gall to write poetry about how I loved my sister. I can even form words to that effect that bring me to tears and yet, when she was alive, I was not there for her. I haven’t the right to even say her name because she was the baby and how the hell is she dead and I didn’t do a goddamn thing to stop it? How the hell can I say that I love her? How? And yet I can write words of a love that will never die when I was never there to fan the flames of love for her. And so, I cry!

So, people, understand something. You can tout the legalization of drugs until the cows come home, but drugs are not the answer. Drugs are destroying lives. Drug use is no respecter of persons. Drug addiction doesn’t care about your GPA. My sister was brilliant. She didn’t need a computer because her brain was a computer. There was nothing that she couldn’t do except get off drugs. She started off playing the clarinet and decided that she wanted to play the tenor saxophone. She excelled at that. She joined the band and marched in tune to the beat while playing her tenor saxophone. She went to college and never picked up a book, so her roommate says and yet, aced every exam. She just decided not to complete college with just two more credits to go. She could cook a meal for a 5-star restaurant and had never gone to culinary school. She could have been the highest paid comedienne there ever was. I have never seen anybody with as many natural talents as my baby sister had and yet her downfall was crack. I wish that I had one tenth of the smarts that she had because beside her, my middle sister and I would qualify as kindergarten rejects and I am SO not kidding. I don’t know if neglect or a predilection to addiction took my sister, probably both. I just know that I am mad as hell at the shits that introduced crack into communities all across this country. I am mad as hell at the shits that introduced heroin into communities all across this country. I am mad as hell that my sister needed me and I was nowhere to be found until they ‘found’ me to tell me that she was dead.

A poem, written for my sister by a cold, heartless hypocrite and that would be me!

Death does not become you.
Within my heart is where you will always live.
When I hear a tenor saxophone played,
It is to us, this gift you’ll always give.

When I’m attempting to cook a decent meal,
I hear your laughter when I know I get it wrong.
You whisper and you tell me how it’s done
And your words are the sweetest sounding song.

No, death will never become you.
Cold and lifeless, you can never be.
Within my heart and my soul, you still live.
And so long as I shall live, you will live in me.

The sound of your voice rings clear,
Even though you have been gone for a year.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

Twelve Days!

homeless sign

No, I am not writing about the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ and I am sure that by now, the majority of my readers know that I do not celebrate most holidays. Halloween is the only holiday, dear to my heart, for my own selfish reasons. I know, imagine me being selfish, but I digress. The twelve days that I am referring to here is the fact that I am now twelve days from participating in The Homeless March, a march that takes place every December to honor the poor souls who died for lack of a home.

While people around the world are gearing up to max their credit cards out, indebt themselves to banks, shove, trample and bash people over the head for a ‘smartphone’, there are those who, can you believe it? Lack a home! And die! So, while you are speeding down the highway on a crash course into holiday madness, I will dress in layers, don my sturdy boots and muffler with my knit cap and proceed to grab a sign, any sign; the first sign I come to, lift it up and carry it for a few miles, trudging through the snow. I will carry it past brightly lit restaurants and glance in at people sipping wine and dining out, having fun and poking into each others shopping bags to have a peek at what great gift is intended for a special someone. Then, I’ll sigh and keep moving, lest I stumble into the person in front of me, also carrying a sign. We will brave the frigid temperatures and think that we are doing something, but we’re really not. This is all just a symbolic gesture. It really is. Because who am I really kidding? Myself? Hardly! Since, I am no longer naïve as I once was. I no longer believe in the inherent goodness of humanity. I have lost my faith in the decency of mankind. What has replaced it you ask? Good that you want to know because that means that one or two of you have managed to unplug yourselves from the ‘Matrix’, or are you just bored because it is SO cold out? Or could it be that you anxiously await that ski vacation that you have been promised will be underneath your Christmas tree this year. Congrats! No, I mean it. It is important that you have the means to go skiing. Think of the fun that you will have as you step off the lift and head for that high slope, the rush and thrill of besting ‘Killer’s Leap’.

I will wonder if the ‘deceased’ named in the sign that I carry ever went skiing? Did they ever sit in an upscale restaurant and sip wine amongst friends and fellow shoppers? Did they ever enjoy the feeling of being thought of as a person and not merely labeled, a ‘vagrant’, a ‘cast-off’, an ‘unwanted’ ‘the homeless dead’ ‘a name and an age on a sign’? I will wonder if they ever felt valued as a member of the ‘human’ race or if in their last days above ground, they could ever recall, there actually having been a ‘human’ race to remember? I will wonder if they ever enjoyed the ‘holidays’? Or were they always touted out by charities to encourage more donations and then after the holidays, relegated to the back door ‘homeless’ entrance since their ‘usefulness’ will be over, that is until next year. It matters not to the charities whether or not that particular ‘homeless’ person will be there next year or not because it is a well known fact that society does more to encourage homelessness than to discourage it.

And I bet you thought that this one was going to be all mushy about celebrating the twelve days of Christmas and how I intend to get a ‘partridge in a pear tree’. No, I will save the celebrating for those who think they have it all or shall I say, everything that credit cards can buy. Unfortunately, credit cards cannot buy what they really need; selflessness, kindness, compassion, empathy, decency, a soul, a heart.

What has replaced my lost faith in the decency of mankind? The sign that I will carry in twelve days!

As I march and trudge through snow,
up ahead, I see a glow.
Around a little fire,
the homeless built a pyre,
to mourn another loss.
And so they carve another cross.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

In Memory of Trayvon Martin

'A soul cries out for justice....justice that can never be served'.
‘A soul cries out for justice….for justice that will never be served’.

I have not been following the trial of the murderer of this young man because regardless of what the outcome will be, Trayvon Martin will still be dead. Bits and pieces have come to my attention since this trial is being watched by millions and from what I gather, once again, the fact of the ethnicity of the young man and that this was a key factor in why he is dead, is as usual swept aside. For those who want to believe that we live in a color-blind society, take your rose colored glasses off and stop being delusional. As long as my complexion is not your complexion, we will not see each other as equal, but will instead choose to see someone who is different and who will be judged accordingly. We are suspicious of each other because we will not accept our likenesses and our differences and embrace them. We choose to hate and be intolerant of each other. This is counterproductive in trying to establish a society where all are free and equal and that is why we have failed, miserably. And so I dedicate this to the memory of:

Trayvon Martin b.February 5, 1995 d.February 26, 2012

My heart is torn asunder. Another child is dead.
It was nothing that he did. It was nothing that he said.
Seventeen years old, your body young and strong,
felled by a bullet, in every way shot wrong.

Who could kill a child and call it self-defense?
This was not a mystery novel, filled with great suspense.
No crime did you commit. No thought that you’d be dead.
Little did you know, your blood would soon be shed.

They said you called for help. No one would heed your cry.
Their back to you they turned and left you there to die.

You will never again know your mother’s gentle touch,
as the bullet pierced your flesh. It didn’t take too much,
to stop your beating heart and turn your body cold.
But your mother’s love for you, never will grow old.

You’ll always be her baby. You’ll always be her child.
When she held you in her arms and you looked at her and smiled.
Sleep now in peace, dear one. Your time was all too short.
And those you leave behind must take it up in court.
No court can bring you home. No court can make you smile.
You’ll be headline news, if only for a while.

When you’re no longer newsworthy and we all cease to mourn.
Those who loved you true. Those who loved you best, will never, ever forget the day that you were born.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
©2013 Shelby I. Courtland

In Loving Memory….

She was my baby sister and we buried her today.
I am at a loss for words, I don’t know what to say.
Strong cords of love for her still tug at my heart.
I thought I held her hand, but death pulled us apart.

She was so young and full of life, I can’t believe she’s gone.
I must face another day. No sun will greet the dawn.
A lovely smile she had, a laugh like tinkling bells.
When she would get to cooking, oh what luscious smells.

Her talents knew no end, the saxophone she’d play.
The sound is now an echo, the melody drifts away.
Oh God, I want her back. Please, just hear my plea!
Since I am the eldest, why did you not take me?

My mother’s spirits broken, she’s lost her baby girl.
Worth more than a jewel, more perfect than a pearl.
They say that it gets better as each new day goes by.
One day I will awaken and I shall cease to cry.

Vivid recollections of childhood memories.
We were always sisters and never enemies.
My eyes are filled with tears and words are left unsaid.
The future yawns before me, contemplated with such dread.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

My sister was found dead in her apartment and we don’t know why or how she died. All I do know is that it seems as though a part of me is gone! Oh, the pain, the anger, the helplessness! And it always goes back to the WHY???!!!!!

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