Death!

Death, is not a sweet kiss,
nor is it a deep, gentle sigh.
Death, is a struggle for life,
but we lose… and so we die.

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

I cannot recall how many times I have heard, “He was in his death throes.” And they have been defined as “sudden violent movements that people sometimes make when they are dying.”

The will to live is so strong, but death will have the ‘final’ say.

Sirens Are Our Lullabies!

Shots ring out every night
in this city gushing blood.
And in daylight, it’s the same,
awash in a crimson flood.

Sirens are our lullabies;
a crime scene, our parade.
We stand and stare at the dead,
then into a grave, they are laid.

None of it makes any sense,
Black men killing their own kind.
And I just make excuses
as though to reality, I am blind.

I blamed it all on poverty;
a lack of jobs and single moms.
And I threw in for good measure
that so many are bearing arms.

I thought I had all the answers.
Open a store or two in the hood
that catered to the poor,
but that won’t do us any good.

What is needed, I don’t know.
I throw my hands up in the air.
Our murder rate is off the charts.
And it would seem that we don’t care.

Another day, another murder.
And sometimes, more than one.
We’re just mowing each other down,
and hell, there ain’t nowhere to run.

More babies without fathers,
more mothers without their sons
because we have lost our minds,
 when to solve our problems, we use guns.

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

‘Did you hear that?’: Amid Baltimore’s surge in killings, a faint cry in a locked car

BALTIMORE — No one saw the baby.

She sat in a gold-hued car with tinted black windows as her 26-year-old father lay on the ground outside, dying.

All eyes were on him, another fallen body in a city increasingly defined by them.

In portions of Baltimore, the strobe of police cars is as much a part of the landscape as boarded-up homes. But the pace of the killings this year has been stunning as the city struggles to recover from rioting in 2015. As of Friday, 124 people had been slain, including five on a recent day, making Baltimore’s homicide rate one of the highest in the country. It is more than triple Washington’s rate and higher than the homicide rates in New Orleans and Chicago, two places that have become national symbols of gun violence.

I came to this city, not with expectations of having everlasting fun, but with the hope that there was something I could do to help in a city that claimed my heart over a decade ago. And now, I am beyond frustrated. If I told you all that has happened to me since I’ve been here, you’d all wonder why I have not thrown myself into the nearest psych ward and wrapped my own ass in a wrap-around jacket. I have been carjacked, almost robbed at gun point on a city bus, my cousin was shot two months after arriving here and I am terrified to leave my own neighborhood. I am already preparing to leave this city. I have not seen anything like this. I guess when I was here before, I was young and fearless, but now that I am older and damn near completely incapacitated thanks to injuries, I look at things differently and I am absolutely horrified at what I see. This city is off the chain. I ask myself all the time, “What was I thinking?” And if you read the article, a statement by a former Baltimore planning director tells it all.

“People don’t realize it’s worse than Chicago,” said Otis Rolley, former Baltimore planning director and a onetime mayoral candidate. His 23-year-old nephew, Andrew Zachary, a former Marine, was the 15th person killed in the city this year. “This man was trained by the U.S. government and had the skills and ability to survive in a combat situation overseas but was unable to navigate the streets of Baltimore. And that is a scary, scary thing.”

There is no need to suit up and head to Iraq or Afghanistan to see some combat action, just come to Baltimore. You’ll get more ‘action’ than you bargained for, believe me! Baltimore is a warzone! Helicopters fly overhead, non-stop. Sirens are non-stop. It is not even safe to take public transit. It is not safe to drive. It is not safe to walk down the street. It is not safe to peep out your window. For the love of !!!!!

War, The Birth Of Death!

I was born old with the sounds of war
roaring through my head
and of scenes depicting
the fact that I am dead.

I am as old as war,
never to know peace
only sorrow, pain
and a cease fire that will not cease.

Brought forth in death
by man’s insatiable desire
to kill for profit and for pain
and war is my sire.

Though I may not have lines
or wrinkles on my forehead
nevertheless, I am old,
too old to live and so I die, instead.

War, the birth of death;
 for youth is drained and tired
but must fight to die;
as war’s bitter taste is acquired.

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

And so it goes, our children are born but why? They are born, dead for their bodies are mere pawns in wars, moved here and there on the chessboard of war, driven to war by war hawks and warmongers whose children grow rich and fat off the sacrifices of our children who are bred for their wars. We willingly give our children to be adopted by the warmongers and then we host parades praising them for taking our children and making them dead and/or old beyond their years. The voices in their heads, never leaving them even if they leave the battlefield and if they come back to us, it is in name only, for they are already dead since war is the birth of death.

$6.4 Million Dollars

Freddie Gray10

Case closed!

Baltimore officials approved a $6.4 million deal Wednesday to settle all civil claims tied to the death of Freddie Gray.
Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while he was transported in a Baltimore police van in April.

The settlement does not “represent any judgment” on the guilt or innocence of the six police officers charged in the case, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. “This settlement represents an opportunity to bring closure to the Gray family, the community and the city.”

Six point four million dollars
and you can’t spend a cent.
After attorney’s fees,
that money’s all but spent.

You are dead and buried.
They put a price on the how you died.
If there had been no witnesses,
again, they would have lied.

It’s cold comfort to you
that your family’s getting paid
by the City of Baltimore,
when in a coffin, you were laid.

And still, nothing’s changed.
The same shit is going down.
We protest another murder
of the Black and of the Brown.

We are all just refugees
 with no place to run.
They’ve got us hemmed in,
down to the last one.

Oh, we march down the street
like they did in sixty-three.
Dr. King and all the others
marched on Washington, DC.

Did it change things for you?
Oh that’s right, you can’t talk.
We’ll print another protest sign
and then we’ll take a walk.

Rest easy, Freddie Gray.
We shall surely make you proud.
Can’t you hear the pleas and cries
erupting from the crowd?

This time, it’s going to work;
this marching thing we do.
There’s no reason why it shouldn’t.
Ain’t that what we said to you?

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

So, the mayor of Baltimore says that, “It’s closure time!” Ain’t that a bitch? The coffin lid was ‘closed’ on Freddie Gray back in April. He has already gotten his ‘closure’. Can’t get more ‘closure’ than dead ‘closure’. What the fuck else is left? Oh right! The BIG payday. And who is going to get the bulk of the $6.4 million? The attorney and the ‘tax man’. What the Caucasoid giveth, he make sure you give it right back to his ass! Yep! Freddie Gray can rest easy now. Everything is cool. Mayor Rawlings-Blake made a statement and that statement is to all her ‘thugs’, uh…all of her constituents that ‘rioted’ that it is time for ‘closure’. See? Freddie Gray is happily silent over his $6.4 million dollar payout, his family’s lawyer can smile all the way to the bank and the City of Baltimore will get the majority of the payout back in taxes. All’s well that ‘ends’..uh…closures well!

Because Your Ass Is White!

wall street white assed thugs1

Standing on the corner,
I’ve got these drugs for sale.
I turn a teacher into a ho
and I send her straight to hell.

Don’t put the blame on me.
I’m just a businessman.
I’m trying to make a living
the only way I can.

You don’t hate the motherfuckers
that sell you alcohol.
It’s all the same thing
but I’m the one who takes the fall.

My time on this here corner
maybe short, but it ain’t sweet.
I got the cops all on my ass
 until I’m just a piece of meat.

I must represent my gang
so don’t cross onto my turf.
Respect the line that’s drawn.
I’m just another serf.

The white man says to me,
“nigga, keep your nose clean!”
as he steals my crack and money
and kicks me in my spleen.

I ain’t got a fancy office
like the thugs on Wall Street.
But I got to live somehow.
Everybody needs to eat.

So, I shot a motherfucker.
And a child got in the way.
I didn’t set this shit in motion.
You know who called the play.

I’m on the evening news
I took a bullet to the head.
I’m just a motherfucker
lying in the morgue, dead.

The shit won’t stop with me.
That just ain’t how it works.
They gone keep those drugs coming
because of all the perks.

How you think I got the drugs?
Did you ever wonder why
I can get a gun and drugs
and make your ass so high?

I was low on the totem pole
and I always knew the score.
Get your head from out your ass.
You know why I was poor!

I was born to be a loser;
to end up dead or in the pen.
You know the goddamn truth.
I was never meant to win.

Blame me for the corruption
that comes down from the top.
You know who calls the shots
and who protects a dirty cop.

But it’s convenient to blame me
for the violence in the hood.
And ignore the burning cross
or the Aryan Brotherhood.

You can turn and look away
from what it’s all about
because in your little white bread world,
you’ll get yours without a doubt.

There ain’t no hungry bellies,
nor are there crack hos on the prowl.
You’ve got the sweetest little setup
while the rest of us live foul.

You sit nicely in the pew
on a fine Sunday morning.
You smile and pay your tithes.
You’ve got no reason to be mourning.

Your brother, he ain’t dead
from a drive by in the night.
You don’t live that kind of life
because your ass is white!

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

And don’t even bother pardoning my language or my grammatical errors. I keep it real! Deal with it! We have to!

Cars And Boats And Gold Don’t Matter!

car boat gold

When I’m gone, I’ll miss the sunrise
that can’t warm the coldest grave.
When I’m gone, I’ll miss the ocean.
I’ll not ride another wave.

When I’m gone, I’ll miss the flowers
that I never smelled anyway.
I just took them all for granted
and now, they bloom while I decay.

When I’m gone, I’ll miss the love
that I never did return.
I was too busy earning money
and your love, yes I did spurn.

When I’m gone, who will miss me?
Will my boss for whom I’ve worked?
And will my children come to see me
after they’ve covered me up with dirt?

Before I am gone, I must realize
what is important and what is not.
It’s time to love and smell the flowers
before they lower me in my plot.

Never think that there’s tomorrow.
for it may never come.
Cars and boats and gold don’t matter
when for you, death beats the drum.

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

Every now and then, I try and take time out from posting about all of the horrors that we are besieged with every day; whether it be from genocide, wars, poverty, inhumanity, racism, hate, materialism and I could go on and on. Think of all the people that set out yesterday, heading to their jobs or to school or wherever and think of all the people that you see, staring down at a phone while walking into you or into a pole. Think of the people that lust and never love. Think of all the people that are busily attempting to amass a fortune and yet, have no idea what it is like to sit down and simply breathe and know what it is to love and to be loved. Think of all those people that have dropped dead and they really had no idea what was really important.

There is nothing so important on the screen of a phone because if it is, why just a few decades ago, were we having no problem in not having a phone everywhere we go? Now, it is unthinkable to even walk around the house without knowing where the smartphone is. It is unthinkable for many to stand outside for a few moments and look up at the sky if you don’t live near a park. It is unthinkable for many to remember that there is more to life than expensive cars, boats, big houses and bulging pockets. When we lost sight of this, we lost a lot. And I for one, don’t think we will ever get that back. More’s the pity. But I post this anyway. Maybe, someone can recall a time before smartphones with apps told us how to live, what to eat, where to shop and who to ‘like’.

I’ve Been Down The Darkest Road!

darkest road

A land more kind than home,
I exchange for a cold nowhere.
There is danger at the border.
And I haven’t got a prayer.

I sense thunder in the distance,
to the cliff, I must draw near.
My back is to the edge;
eyes wide in watchful fear.

The final truth, I seek,
taking secrets to the grave.
The priest must stand alone.
My confession, to him, I gave.

The gods of guilt are here
from the City of Countless Lies.
My tortured soul seeks shelter.
Death takes me by surprise.

A cry, I hear so close
from my lips of icy dread.
I am lost to all of earth
and must walk among the dead.

On cursed ground, I stand.
No proof of life, I see.
The innocent all lie sleeping.
I have met my enemy.

Oh mirror to my soul,
I request respite tonight.
I’ve been down the darkest road.
Pray, lead me towards the light.

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

A Hovering Mist

hovering mist

Lessons learned of evil
in an old forgotten room,
the darkness is so brutal;
 an atmospheric gloom.

In the air, a melody lingers
of solitude pronounced.
Music set to score,
though no musician was announced.

The dead took center stage
as the curtain went up in smoke.
The door to the chamber opened
and inside, what dared to poke?

A hovering mist, solidified
as a stench did fill the air.
Black magic entered soundlessly
and the dead did turn and stare.

A feast fit for the ghouls
was served to all that came.
The lavish spread of souls
was soon to be set aflame.

Above the haunting melody,
their piercing shrieks were heard.
Tis too late for men to beg
 when their bodies are interred.

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

It Is Not Amazing, It Is Absurd!

obam sings amazing grace

It is amazingly absurd
 that a slaver wrote a song
 and it was sung for a Black man.
How could this be more wrong?

Just how wrong could it be?
It was sung by one who is Black,
 and cheered on by ignorance.
They must have been on crack!

The lives of nine were so disgraced
 by an ignorant son-of-a-bitch.
He howled the words of a slaver;
 this puppet of the rich.

The nine that died while praying
 had hopes, but they were dashed.
No shield was there to save them
 when hate and Black skin clashed.

The hatred Blacks encounter
 is never far away.
It slithers through the doors of church
 even as they pray.

For all these hundreds of years,
Africa’s people suffered much.
And each new year will yield
 another death from hate’s cold touch!

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

The song, ‘Amazing Grace’ was written by a white slave trader; a man that made his living off selling Black men, women and children into slavery, torture, rape, beatings, whippings and death. This slave trader turned to ‘god’ after riding out a horrific storm that caused him to become an Anglican priest, but nevertheless, he was a slave trader and for Black people to not even know the history of what they take up and run with, is beyond insanity.

Barack Obama is a Harvard graduate and therefore, should know better and yet, in the picture, those gathered around him, are supposedly, well-read and so they too, should have known better. But what we see is some Black people that either pretend ignorance or have dedicated themselves to remaining underneath Massa’s boot. As long as Massa is paying them, then they would sell their own grandma for the white man’s table scraps. Am I shocked at Obama’s filthy ass singing ‘Amazing Grace’ over Reverend Pinkney’s dead body? Hell no! His sell-out, bootlicking, Uncle Tom ass is a given, but every Black person should not just get down on their knees and continue to bow to Massa and go with the fucking flow! It is a damn shame when Black men cease to be men and will instead, shuffle and jive to the white man’s tune.

Amazing Grace was written by an Englishman who in the early part of his life was an outspoken atheist, libertine, and slave trader. John Newton was born in London in 1725, the son of a Puritan mother and a stern ship commander father who took him to sea when he was 11.

By 1745, Newton was enlisted in the slave trade, running captured slaves from Africa to, ironically, Charleston, S.C. After he rode out a storm at sea in 1748, he found his faith. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1764 and became an important voice in the English abolitionist movement. At that time he wrote the autobiographical Amazing Grace, along with 280 other hymns.

 Oh the absurdity of ‘Amazing Grace’, written by your friendly neighborhood slave trader and sung at funerals for Black people shot up by white supremacists, everywhere. Soon to be sung at a church near you!

Woman In Black!

woman in black

Beneath a Caribbean moon
I will take that which is mine.
With a dark determination
I fill his cup with wine.

I gaze at him hypnotically.
Our eyes lock as he sips
 I chose him just for me.
My poison is on his lips.

His lashes flutter, his eyes close
I have drugged my handsome knight.
In his dreams, he’s in dark places.
He’s my captive for tonight.

His dreams take him to Diamond Bay
where there’s a woman dressed in black.
She lures him to the ruins
 of an ancient, haunted shack.

There he doth behold
a nymph encased in ice.
The fire deep in his veins
takes them to paradise.

Her reflection in his eyes
tells of a different story.
Who has bewitched whom
in this enchanted purgatory?

The woman that I was
no longer exists in here.
As the huntress becomes the hunted
through my heart, he drives a spear.

Kiss me, my dear love
and I will kill no more.
Death has claimed its victory.
From my wound, the blood does pour.

In weakness, I am breathless.
Come close and kiss me quick.
As darkness lures me in
into his throat, my knife I stick.

In death, two lovers lie,
one was immortal, one was not.
This unearthly bond was broken
when one foiled an evil plot.

The moral of the story
is that no matter your desire
when there’s no meeting of the hearts
the results can be quite dire.

 

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

©2015 Shelby I. Courtland