He’d Get Even!

 

A child was born, dark as night,
and sent out into the world.
Everywhere he turned,
such insults, people hurled.

He took this all in stride,
grew up and became a man.
Took one look at his skin,
it was darker than a tan.

On a mountaintop, he stood,
looking out on a sea of hate.
He decided that once and for all,
he’d be the master of his own fate.

He had been followed for many a day,
even when he’d stopped to rest.
He thought he’d never feel secure,
knew that to him, this was a test.

God, they said, loved him
and he believed it for awhile.
but he carried with him, a match.
It’ll be evidence at his trial.

You see, this man, he may have snapped
on a hot day in July.
They say he lit a match or two,
but that could be a lie.

They say he took a match in hand
and lit it with intent
to burn and scorch some wood
and express his discontent.

Or maybe he got tired
of America and her shit!
And decided he’d get even
with a match that he’d just lit!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2018 Shelby I. Courtland

I wrote a poem similar to this one last year and only tweaked it a bit. But you can read the other one here!

This poem was written because a Black man has been arrested for starting the California wildfires that have consumed so many acres and burned so many structures and the fires are still raging even though there are also stories bandied about that fires were started by a vehicle burning up and the wind carried the flames. Nevertheless, this Black man is being charged and held in lieu of $1 million bail in connection with the wildfires. If he did start some of those fires, I for one, don’t blame him. Maybe he did snap. Maybe, he got fed up and that was the only way he knew to fight back. Do I fault him for that if this is indeed, the case? Absolutely not! And from the looks of the structures that have burned, it looks to me like no Black person lost their home or livelihood especially seeing as how the only ‘people’ who have been interviewed are ‘white’. Go figure! It would seem that ‘white’ folks want a race war and since that is the case, you may just get what you’ve been spoiling for. But remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat!

TEMECULA, CA — A Temecula man has been arrested on suspicion of starting the out-of-control Cranston Fire burning near Idyllwild, fire officials announced Wednesday night. And not only is the 32-year-old accused of starting the 4,700-acre fire Wednesday — but he’s also accused of starting four other fires in Southwest Riverside County.

Brandon N. Mc Glover was arrested Wednesday. Riverside County Sheriff’s Department records show he was booked on suspicion of five counts of arson on a structure, five counts of arson on land and three counts of maliciously setting a fire. His bail was set at $1 million.

I must say, Brandon N. Mc Glover knows how to stick it to the ‘white’ man. Burn his shit down and you’ve fucked up his day! Discommode some ‘white’ folks by rendering them homeless like the Black people who have been displaced by gentrification and you fuck up the ‘white’ man’s day. My day ain’t fucked up behind this and that is for damn sure! You see, camping is fine for ‘white’ folks when it is something they WANT to do, but when it is something they have to do…well now, that’s a different story. Ask the ‘whites’ who are still camping out in Hawaii if they still like camping out thanks to the Kilauea volcano erupting and  burying their homes in lava. Karma is a bitch, ain’t it ‘white’ folks??!! And you ain’t done receiving yours yet, so don’t even think it!

Break Free!

break the chains

For something in me was just never satisfied.
I would sit on the porch and stare at the mountains,
convinced that there was something, something calling to me,
beseeching me to “Come, come and drink from overflowing fountains!”

There is another world out there beyond the tall green mountain trees.
No telling what destiny will find for you to do if only you will wander,
wander away from the safety of boredom and the mundane,
and fling yourself into timelessness that only youth can squander.

And so I fled, I fled from the stagnation and strangulation of my nine to five;
and I lived, I lived as only the truly free can live, free from the bonds of society,
free to make my own rules and for this I was punished, held accountable.
 For those who wield the whip will never let the slave break free from his chains of slavery!

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

Each day, we are reminded in many different ways that life is just too short. We hear of a loved one who is seriously ill. We hear of horrors occurring daily to others in our neighborhoods and around the world and yet, each day, we go to the daily grind so that we can afford to go ‘home’ and what….’live’? Ask yourself this question, “What does it mean to ‘live’? I don’t mean to suck in air and release it. Are you doing what you truly love or are you doing what you NEED to do just to survive? Are you just going to work so that you can keep up the payments on that house and car and maybe, at the end of the week, you can sit down and have a beer and consider yourself lucky? Is this all you want out  of, dare I say, ‘life’? Is this all there is to ‘life’? Working to make someone more money while you give that same person the money that you ‘earn’ so that you can keep a roof over your head and sit in hours of traffic and think and dream about what it would be like if you could do just what the hell you want? We are all stifled and oppressed by what we have allowed. We have allowed others to tell us how to ‘live’ and if our doctor ever gives us the ‘bad’ news that it’s almost over for us, the only reason we kick up a fuss is because it is expected of us and because we fear the unknown.

Life is to be lived, not merely gotten through. Think about it. Are you living life or are you just waiting until your number is up? And when it is, will you smile and say, “At least I lived,” or will you say, “Damn, in a few more years, I promised myself that I was going to live!” Think about it. Live your life, don’t just go through the motions!

Valentine The Homeless (A Re-post)

valentine the homeless

 

This would be as good a day as any to take that money that you intend to spend on your ‘valentine’ and spend it on helping out a homeless person and before you start in about how the homeless would just spend it on alcohol or drugs, take a minute and think about what you intend to spend it on. A nice bottle of wine, perchance? Or how about a little pick-me-up pill called Viagra or Cialis? Are they not drugs? You see, when we want to feel all self-righteous about what we do as opposed to what someone else does, then we fail to realize that we are doing exactly what we are castigating others for doing. Most of us have a vice and some of us have more than one. I freely admit to mine. It is champagne and I am going to practice what I preach and ‘valentine’ a homeless person. And it doesn’t matter if you have no ‘valentine’ to celebrate Valentine’s Day with.

The point is that there are people who are living on the mean streets of every shitty city in America and they will not get a box of chocolates, nor will they get a bouquet of hothouse flowers. They will not get skimpy, libido enhancing lingerie. Hell! What would they do with that anyway? If you cannot bring yourself to give the homeless, cash, then why not ‘valentine’ them a gift card? There are gift cards for Starbucks, Ruby Tuesdays, Applebee’s, AMC theaters and a host of other stores and restaurants. Or how about gifting the homeless with a brand new blanket or handing them a cup of coffee or some new socks. No, it will not solve the problem of homelessness, but it will most likely make a difference in their lives to know that someone thought about them for a change. And if you told your ‘valentine’ what you did with the money that you would have spent on him/her, chances are, you’ll both be on cloud nine on Valentines night.

So, this year, why not do things a little differently? ‘Valentine’ a homeless person, it will certainly help them and it wouldn’t hurt you.

Valentine the homeless and make this their day.
Who needs lingerie when you’ve seen it anyway?
Please use your heart and give your lust a rest.
Help the unfortunates; those who aren’t blessed.
That box of chocolates will just make her fat.
And if you give him boxers, he’ll really hate that.
Since you love one another, you don’t need a gift.
But those who are homeless, could sure use the lift.
In the spirit of the day, think of those out in the cold.
I said, “Love one another!” if I may be so bold!

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

Since you’re hell bent on making corporations happy, at least try and make it count for something.
—————————————————————————————————————–
This post is getting a lot of attention and I thought that since it was well-received when I originally posted it, this would be the perfect time to re-post it and hopefully shine an awareness on the serious issue of homelessness as we celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of the coldest months of the year. Please take time out of your busy schedule to notice those who are less fortunate and at least offer them a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day. It will be most appreciated. Believe me, I know. I have been homeless.

A Black Rose In Bloom!

black-roses-in-bloom-one

Too dark, but yet, always seen
at each and every crime scene.
Whether you stand for peace or not,
whatever you do, it is all for naught.

You can be Dr. King with a dream
or Malcolm X with a Black power scream.
But either way, you’ll end up dead;
no life in you; just a tombstone at your head.

You can be a doctor walking home from work
and be shot because in that neighborhood, you should not lurk.
You go to school because you want an education,
but they peg you instead for incarceration.

They gave you a month to celebrate achievements
for all the assassinations, funerals and bereavements.
You are sent to their doctors to receive a cure
and told you’ve got bad blood; it just ain’t pure.

They say, “Vaccinate your children against this disease,”
while they fill you with lead paint; those who are your enemies.
Never look to the ones with no melanin in their skin
and expect to come out on top, or to win.

Their desire is not that you should ever thrive
but for all they do to you, you still manage to survive.
So, fear not that Trump will be the harbinger of your doom
for he too is powerless to stop a Black rose in bloom!

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

I wrote this because as we all know, we just finished ‘celebrating’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and for all that has been going down, I don’t even know why. For surely he could never have perceived in his wildest ‘dreams’ that we would be where we are now, but then again, he most likely would not be surprised since it is widely known that he was about to change his stance from one of peaceful to aggressive because peaceful just wasn’t getting it done. And us Black folk had better go about things all peaceful like, if we are to go about at all. Otherwise, it’s a coffin for us.

And yet, they set aside a day in remembrance of a man they killed because he finally figured out what most of us know and that is that the white man is not going to give up his ‘white privilege’ that he has decreed unto himself; not without a fight. Malcolm X knew this and that is why he was called a ‘radical’ and assassinated. We need more like him but all we have is the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who are nothing more than sell-out dogs begging for the white man’s table scraps. They do not represent us. They are only out for themselves.

So, as we approach Black History Month that the whites have so graciously given to us to celebrate all their achievements of shooting, lynching or sickening us and our loved ones, we must remember to thank them for their generosity in giving us the month of February to be used as one short month of bereavement over the fact of mass incarceration, assassinations, lynching, gentrification, income inequality, low educational attainment, a school-to-prison pipeline,  mass homelessness, indifferent health care, eugenics experimentation and we must also thank them for allowing us to continue to play subservient roles that entail cleaning, cooking and other domestic type duties that we crawled into boats to come over here alongside all the other ‘immigrants’ to do. With friends like these, we don’t need enemies and yet, despite all of this, the Black rose still blooms! May it forever bloom in spite of and despite ‘them’!

When You Get Goddamn Tired…..!

break the chains

When you get tired of dying before your eighteenth birthday
 and when you’re tired of hearing that you’re worthless anyway,
 that protest sign, you will put down and the fire in your soul
 will burn through your body that is four hundred years old.

When you get tired of police brutality and the injustice of gentrification,
 and when you get tired of the school-to-prison pipeline of no education,
 that protest sign, you will put down and the marching on tired feet
 will not be enough to quench the thirst for liberation and you won’t accept defeat.

When you get tired of the National Guard getting called out to stop you
 and when they fire the shots at your tired, worn-out body, though that’s nothing new,
 that protest sign, you will put down and you must heed the words of Malcolm X.
For no man can continue to surrender to ropes tightened around innocent necks.

And when you get tired of mass incarceration because of the color of your skin
 and when the cops are on your ass from sun up to sun down, yet again,
 that protest sign, you will put down and you will listen to the anger in your heart.
For no Black man, woman or child can resist the revolution and you must take part.

And when the smoke has cleared and so many lie dead or wounded from the fight
 and when you think that what you did was all for nothing and that good is never right,
 that protest sign that you put down, shove it up the white man’s ass and turn around
And torch everything in sight; every white man’s asset, burn it to the ground!

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

When you get tired, my Black brothers and sisters, you will realize that protest signs, marches and hands raised in the air is not enough. When you get tired of hearing that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is to be revered for his non-violent stance of supplicating himself to his enemy and encouraged you to do likewise, you will then realize your only course of action and you will take it. The white man knows this and that is why he is hell-bent on incarcerating you off the streets; that is why he is hell-bent on donning that blue or brown uniform, once he sheds his white sheet, and commences to riddle you with hundreds of bullets. He knows what’s coming. You don’t. Not yet. But you will. Yes, that’s right. He already knows what his fate is and who is going to seal it, but you don’t. Not yet. But you will. And when you do, it is game over for him and he knows that!

I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence. –

Just Go Outside!

Look at this beauty!

I am always pissing and moaning, whining and wailing, but look at the view I have. This is taken while picnicking by the lake today. Isn't it beautiful?

I am always pissing and moaning, whining and wailing, but look at the view I have. This is taken while picnicking by the lake today. Isn’t it beautiful?

Wonderfully cloudy and windy, but still, a gorgeous day!

Wonderfully cloudy and windy, but still, a gorgeous day!

Just lovely! And so relaxing!

Just lovely! And so relaxing!

Sunny and cloudy at the same time. But still, so beautiful!

Sunny and cloudy at the same time. But still, so beautiful!

 

A hint of blue breaking through the cloud cover!

A hint of blue breaking through the cloud cover!

 

A little more clouds, a little less blue, but the trees don't care! So, why should I?

A little more clouds, a little less blue, but the trees don’t care! So, why should I?

 

Who could not love that view?

Who could not love that view?

 

Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

 

A bit of green, blue and white! What a combination of nature!

A bit of green, blue and white! What a combination of nature!

 

More green with a wee bit of blue and white!

More green with a wee bit of blue and white!

 

Awesome!

Awesome!

I am blessed!

I am blessed!

 

 

I wrote a little poem of just my observations, so this is raw because today, I like it raw!

 

Nature, Bring Me Down To Earth!

 

Her serene and wild beauty soothes me to my soul.

She’s the mother of all things and she never grows old.

She doesn’t let war and radiation completely wear her down.

And though she is mistreated, you’ll never see her frown.

Her clouds still roll across the sky and the birds still peck for worms.

Man thinks that he can tame her, but he lives here on her terms.

She speaks to me and she tells me to find some peace and tranquility.

And that happiness can be found, it’s not an impossibility.

She exhorts me to come and enjoy what she has to offer.

She is fiercely protective of her children, so please, don’t cross her.

She surrounds you everyday with open loving arms.

You don’t need to stay angry, just surrender to her charms.

 

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2016 Shelby I. Courtland

Get Up Girl And Live Life To Its Fullest!

private bathroom

Where is the adventuress that has always been me?
How can I get her back and when did she flee?

Who is this person who sits alone in the dark?
Why is she so angry and what lit the spark?

Has she let the horrors of this world get to her?
What does she have to fear from a racial slur?

Tell her you love her no matter what.
Make her understand, she’s got to go with her gut.

Don’t let her listen to the doubts in her mind.
Let her know that she’s got more heart than most of mankind.

Get up girl and live life to its fullest.
Pack a bag and become life’s tourist.

Journey far and never settle for less.
Don’t put up with people and don’t accept their mess.

You’re not stupid and you’re damn sure not brain dead.
So, go where you want to go and not where others have tread.

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

I wrote this about me because lately, I have been down in the dumps because there is so much that I want to do and yet, I am hindered by my sense of responsibility. I am hindered by my sense of duty and obligation. I am supposed to be enjoying myself in my lean-to on a deserted island and yet, I am getting cussed out daily by my cousin because the mental health care profession filled him full of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics and when the medications started killing him, he got off them and now his brain is fried. He lost 154lbs. He is no longer diabetic  or obese. He no longer has a cholesterol or triglycerides problem. His pancreas is back to normal. His heart condition is gone and yet, he will never be ‘all there’ mentally. Yes indeed, I have so many reasons to ‘thank’ the ‘health care’ profession in AmeriKKKa, it is unreal! Heavy on the sarcasm!

And now, I have got to cut this short because I just got a call from him, stating that he has run out of money and is stranded and I must come and pick him up. Since I have his POA(Power of Attorney), health care directive and Living Will, I am responsible for every aspect of his life and there is no one else who will step up to the plate. His immediate family gave up on him decades ago and he has followed me everywhere I go. That is why when I mention that I am dining out with my cousin, who else can I dine with because I am constantly getting him out of trouble and so, there goes any social life for me? And when we are out dining, I am usually embarrassed because he just gets to cussing and carrying on at me for no reason. Waiters and other diners stare at us. The last time we were at Fogo de Chao, he sat and sat and sat until even the gracious waiters were looking pointedly at us. When I mentioned this to him, did the high ceilings in Fogo de Chao, vibrate? Indeed they did!

I feel like a person who has been given a life sentence. Goddamn! I want to break free of this jail sentence! You don’t have to actually be locked up behind bars to be imprisoned, believe me, I know!

Just as I was about to conclude this, I re-read the poem and I called my cousin back and I told him, “Get ta steppin! You’ve got a long walk but since you’re no longer overweight, you can do it!”

Ladies, and I am speaking solely to the ladies here, you don’t need a man to complete you and let me tell you something else, every single man that has ever been in my life has done me more harm than good. I can honestly say that when I am doing things all by myself, I do them better and I am always at my best. I have been married and it was the biggest mistake of my life. A husband did nothing but put me through hell, just as my cousin is doing. It is high time that we let these men who say they are “men” be men and take care of themselves. If we don’t look out for ourselves, they won’t. The ‘men’ who have been in my life, certainly did not look out for me.

And so, next month, since I’ve got some shopping and some packing to do, I am going on a journey to find ‘the adventuress’ that used to be ME, again. I am going to understand that I was not put on this earth to be caretaker to every lost soul on it, to the detriment of my own. Sometimes, you have got to be more ‘self-loving, than self-less.

Ladies, take care of you because I am starting right now!

Love Yourself, No Matter What!

love3

She looked at the world through a veil of tears.
She felt she’d wasted so many years.
Her enemies hung her out to dry.
They told her, she would never fly.

With broken wings, she fell to the ground
and she never uttered a sound.
She accepted the lies they told.
She bought everything they sold.

She would stop after each false start;
afraid to follow her own heart.
She blamed the shit in her life on fate;
felt she’d waited ‘til it was too late.

Life had surely passed her by.
And she never questioned, “Why?”
But what she failed to understand
is that life can never, ever be planned.

There are pitfalls and highs and lows,
and those you think are friends are foes.
Never settle for second best.
You’ll feel cursed and you’ll feel blessed.

So love yourself, no matter what.
Hold your head up girl and strut!
Turn, “I can’t!” into “Yes, I can!”
And stop listening to the lies of man!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland

©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

 

There is so much goddamn shit going on in my life right now that I had begun to doubt myself and my strength because as much as I rail against the injustices I see perpetrated against the innocent every single day, I felt impotent. I have let myself become jaded, pessimistic and my attitude became that of a defeatist. I wondered what happened to my fire; to my spirit. Had all that makes me ,me, fled? I truly felt so! Have I recovered? No, but I am working on it! I will pick myself up, dust myself off and so long as there is breath in my body, what weapons are at my disposal, I will use them to fight back. I will not surrender to defeat! Never!

A Slave Woman’s Lament

slave woman3

I’ve been down so many lonely roads
and I’ve scuffed so many shoes.
I’ve sat on old tree stumps
and I’ve quietly hummed the blues.

I’m just a tired, old woman now
with the wisdom learned from living.
And if you ask for my advice,
take from me what I’ll be giving.

There’s no secret to a long life;
 no magic formula to keep you going.
It’s not about how hard you work.
Just do your best to keep love growing.

I could tell you that it’s easy,
that it’s all a piece of cake.
But you need someone to love
and when he’s gone, it leaves an ache.

You feel it down and you feel it deep.
It hurts to even think.
And when you try and keep it in,
you just might turn to the devil’s drink.

My man, he done left my side
and I want to be with him.
And so I walk these lonely roads,
I wait for the light of day to grow dim.

My eyes have turned so yellow.
No more suffering will they see.
I’m now down to skin and bone.
Soon, no more worries will bother me.

There he is, I can see him.
He’s waving for me to come.
I’ve reached my final resting place.
We’re where the slavers stole us from.

Together, we walk hand in hand
towards the blazing sun.
We cross the burning plains of home.
Our new journey has begun.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

Beside Me, Bitch, You Could Never Be A Star!

Afro queen by mojjamn

What the fuck you mean, my butt’s too big?
Why the hell are you coming at me with a wig?

I am Black, goddamn it and I am proud of my ass.
It’s not flat as a pancake and I shake it with sass.

My hair’s my crowning glory, so thick and so full.
I’m not a sheep to be sheared; I love my Black wool.

My lips were made for kissing and perfectly formed.
If you think I hate myself, then you are seriously misinformed.

Go to hell, all you haters; your lies can’t touch me.
I am what you are not and what you can never hope to be.

You try and sell me your looks to make me hate my own.
But you can kiss my Black ass because I love my skin tone.

I love the curves of my body; I’m not just angles and bones
I’m from multiple civilizations; my people sat on golden thrones.

Where the fuck did you come from with your see-through skin?
You bruise with just a pinch because your shell is so thin.

What lips you have are just a fine pinkish line.
And you falsely plump ‘em up because you really want mine.

You could pass for a boy as flat as you are.
And beside me bitch, you could never be a star!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

Black women, embrace you! Don’t let the Caucasians have you hating on yourself. It is bad enough when our brothas jump the fence because they’ve been brainwashed into believing the Caucasians’ lies that the definition of beauty is the Caucasian female. We know this is not true. We were damn near born with hips and so flaunt them. Walk with dignity. Keep your head up because the haters are all on our ass but you know what, if we can remember that we are sistas, we got this! The Black woman is much put upon and the shit stops here! We are the brunt of jokes. We are ignored by magazine executives and modeling agencies because we are not flat like a boy. If that is what the Caucasian fucker wants, he is quite welcome to that and in all actuality, that is really what the male Caucasoid wants. It’s just that sticking his lame ass teeny weenie(“Vienna sausage”) inside a boy is not going to result in the conception of his progeny. And the Catholic priests can’t get enough of boys, as we ALL know.

And to the brothas that want a bag of bones, be my guest. And meanwhile, I say to my sistas, “Strut your stuff, girlfriend! I do!”