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!

Don’t Judge The Things I Do!


Dunk me in a martini glass.
Shower me with LSD.
Shoot me up with heroin.
Now that is ecstasy!

Fill my champagne flute,
I’ll take another shot.
Hold the ice if you please!
Oh yes, that hit the spot!

Don’t judge the things I do
to make it through the day.
I’m not cut out for slavery
just because I’ve bills to pay.

The boss is on my back.
My fate is in his hands
I do what needs to be done
and still, he makes demands.

I need so many drugs
since life, it ain’t a beach
nor a picnic in the woods
and freedom is out of reach.

They lock me up and I get out
and I go back to my ways.
What they don’t seem to know
is that on me, the vulture preys.

Capitalism, it is a bitch
Its chains, I cannot break;
It’s killing me slow and sure,
but much faster than the drugs I take.

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

Be The Star Of Your Own Show!

star of the show

The duke’s daughter was a winsome little creature.
She was sought by all the fops that were in debt.
Her mind was not focused on her duty.
Nor did she care for the dandies of her set.

She approached the ‘season’ with trepidation.
Her heart wasn’t in it, not at all.
What she wanted was to be upon the stage,
and not attend yet another boring Ball.

She decided to trade places with her maid.
The two looked so very much alike.
They both were such winsome little creatures.
But her maid had qualities, unladylike.

The deception proved daunting, yes it did.
But her ladyship was headstrong more than most.
They got down to the business of trading places,
to take over the others rightful post.

Now the duke never really saw his daughter.
She was just another countless number in his brood.
His son; his heir was more important.
And the girls were eye candy to be viewed.

The transformation took place without a hitch.
The daughter of a duke began to act.
She found life quite hard in the beginning.
But she was determined to go on and not look back.

The former daughter of a duke did get her break.
She had the cutest little dimples in her cheeks.
To the stage, she took like ducks to water
And at night, she’s wined and dined by princely sheiks.

Now her likeness is married to an Earl.
He welcomes her dowry and her blushes.
Little does he know he’s been deceived,
by what he thinks is the daughter of a duchess.

Ah, the vagaries of life, what can I say
when one yearns for what the other has?
They both assume a different role,
So, let’s all jump the fence and test the grass.

Will we like what we find on the other side?
There is only one way to ever know.
Step out of your comfort zone and try,
to live life and be the star of your own show.

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

Whatever you want to do in life, don’t let anyone or anything hold you back; not even fear. Just be the ‘star of your own show’!

I Have A Purpose!


When I just want to turn out the lights,
and shut the door and sleep,
I know that things have gotten to me,
And all I seem to do is weep.

But I pick myself up off the ground,
and I look towards the sky.
Though winter is here for awhile,
all the birds will not simply die.

I feel such hopelessness and anger,
and when all I want to do is quit,
I see the sun poke through the clouds,
and it’s not so dark from where I sit.

Life will never be all rosy.
Nor will it always treat me kind.
But I must not forget why I’m here.
I have a purpose to which I’ve been blind.

If a gift has been given to me,
and if what I say is true,
then I have a responsibility,
to keep trying to get through to you.

You may never get the message.
But I’ll keep trying all the same.
And if one day, I make a difference,
then I’ll be glad, I lit the flame.

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

Look Up From Your Phone!


If you ever look up from your phone,
there’s a world of beauty to see.
It’s not found on a screen of apps,
just look up at the leaves on a tree.

You say life is always passing you by.
Where the years have gone, you don’t know.
Have you ever stopped to consider,
that it’s because you are missing the show?

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

I See My Beauty!


I was once so young,
but time has a way,
of turning today,
into yesterday.

So many years gone.
Where did they go?
When the clock ticks,
it is an enemy of mine.

Look at these grooves,
in my youthful face,
the purity of my flesh,
sunken and hollow,
the brittleness of
once strong bones.

The gray in my hair,
so vital and thick.
Brown spots cling
to delicate hands.
Thickened ankles
beneath veined legs.
Stooped shoulders
bear the weight of years.

Time has caught up with me
and I cannot outrun its pace.
But I am still beautiful,
though time has marked me.
I know that I am still here,
for I can feel and touch.
And though you don’t see
the beauty I used to be,
I am still beautiful,
and time will never change,
the way I feel about me.

I see my beauty,
in these age spots,
and in my hollowed cheeks.
Beauty is my thickened ankles,
and my wrinkled skin.

I am not in the first blush of youth
as time is a thief,
of the young and of the old,
and I am thankful to be alive.
For time will never stop
and this I know.

But I shall not weep
for what is lost.
So long as I live,
I know that beauty is life
and life is beautiful.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland

Embrace your beauty regardless if you are 9 or 99. As long as you are alive, you are beautiful for life is beautiful and in these trying times with so many losing their lives, do you have any idea how blessed you are to be alive at all? Love yourselves and love life for it is too short to worry about the trivialities of age spots, wrinkles and gray hair.

“Gooooooooooooooooodbye, Vietnam!”

Good morning Vietnam

What a shame! What a pity! Who would have guessed? What could he possibly have lacked in his life? He had a loving family. He was rich and famous and funny. His name was a household word and still, he suffered from depression and addictions.

How could he have been depressed when surrounded by so many people and shown so much love by his family and friends and co-workers? Why did he not seek out the clergy and convey his deepest and most darkest thoughts to an audience that is paid to listen to such? Why did he take the final leap into the abyss of death? Death by hanging. It sounds like a mystery novel of great suspense, something from an Agatha Christie novel or M.C. Beaton or Robert Barnard. Let us find his killer; that elusive enemy of the mind known as depression. Where did it go and how can we make it pay?

Have we not taken the stigma out of mental illness? We’ve certainly talked about it often enough. Haven’t we? I mean, it’s not exactly uncommon for a person to suffer from depression. At some point in time, who hasn’t? But we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we go on with the business of life. We don’t wallow in darkness and sadness and gloom. We reach for the light and laughter and gaiety and all things fun and funny. He was our funny guy. Where is he? He is supposed to make us laugh and keep OUR demons at bay. How can he have been just as human as the rest of us? We put him on a pedestal and once there, he could not let us down. He had to put on a brave face for the world, every single day as it was expected of him. That is why he was paid the big bucks and owned the big houses and expensive cars.

Was it too much to ask him to don a wig, put on a dress and become Mrs. Doubtfire? He had only to tell us that he hated being called Mrs. Doubtfire. We would have understood. It was all in fun. He knew it was just a character. He was still a man playing a role. That is what acting is all about. Why couldn’t he have kept up the act, continued playing a role of funny man, actor, father, husband, friend, associate?

But alas, what comes with fame and fortune? The need to continue living a lavish lifestyle despite marriage and divorce and marriage and divorce and children and another marriage and the sitcom fails and the big screen beckons once again and the toll it all takes on an aging body and the need for an emotional escape from it all. It is too much, too overbearing and I would be cut dead on Rodeo Drive if I got out of my second hand Toyota Rav4. Oh the shame of it and after I had once sent such expensive gifts to friends. How I would be laughed AT, the brunt of jokes, the outcast, instead of the bearer of jokes and one of the cast?

Oh no, the doctor says that I have Parkinson’s! What am I to do? The bills! The ex-wives! My lifestyle! Dear God, help me! If the tabloids get wind of this, they’ll run with it while I have to be funny and put on a brave face all the while knowing that the show must go on! I cannot fail! To know such anguish! Such shame! It is not to be endured. What use is rehab? I want a drink! I am not cured! Why? Why? Why? My life is over!

“Gooooooooooooooooodbye, Vietnam!”,_Vietnam

The 63-year-old was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California, on Monday. He is believed to have hung himself.
Williams had recently sold his California ranch, and there was speculation that he was experiencing money problems.
“There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way. I’m selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can’t afford it anymore,” he told Parade magazine.

We must all realize that there is still a stigma associated with mental illness, just as there is a stigma associated with poverty. People cannot help being mentally ill nor can they help being poor and the two need not go hand in hand. Those who have experienced fame and wealth feel that they will become ostracized if it becomes well-known that they are afflicted with an illness of the mind. The pretense must be kept up at ALL cost and unfortunately, some pay the ultimate cost. They escape the only way they know will finish it completely and finally, by the taking of their own lives. Many of us cannot understand how a person could become so depressed for whatever reason that they feel that the solution is death. But as you can see, such is the case and unfortunately, Robin Williams will not be the last. There are so many Robin Williams who are nameless and faceless and who had people who loved them but because Robin Williams was considered a ‘success’, his death is all the more shocking because it was assumed that he had it all. His addictions are nothing new! Hell! That’s like a right of passage in the world of entertainment. Who hasn’t been in rehab for drugs and drink? Many would be surprised if a famous actor, actress, comedian, singer hadn’t been in rehab. In fact, rehab has no meaning anymore. It’s like a revolving door. They say you’re good to go until you return and return, you will.

But keep in mind that we only talk about mental illness and the stigma attached to it when some famous person is found to have been suffering from a mental illness and subsequently kills him or herself. It does not bother us to know that everyday people of no particular fame or fortune are committing suicide because of their inability to cope and they run completely out of hope. We can never know, even family members, a spouse or anyone close to a person that is suffering from mental illness, just what is going on inside their head that would cause them to wish themselves, dead.

We have created a society whereas stress is overwhelming many and with it comes hopelessness and despair. The need to keep up with the Joneses is of paramount importance and if we cannot keep up the pretense, we have failed. We all fail these people because we continue to perpetuate the belief that you are indeed a failure if you cannot maintain the status quo and smile all the while. Until we change what we have deemed important; money, fame, big houses, fancy cars, lavish living, ‘Robin Williams syndrome’ will become even more of an epidemic. Count on it.

A white man hangs himself
while a Black man gets lynched.
Oh the vagaries of life
they just make no goddamn sense!

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

We Still Live!

strong and Black

You seek to shame me for the color of my skin,
but I am here to tell you, it’s not that thin.

You seek to cause me to fear your hate,
but I am the master of my own fate.

You seek to profit from the fruits of my labor,
but you don’t want me to be your neighbor.

You seek to lock me up inside your cage,
to keep from paying me a decent wage.

You seek to subdue me and make me tame,
but you cannot control this eternal flame.

You seek to keep me poor and needy,
but I am not like you, cold and greedy.

You seek to kill me any way you can,
but we still live; the Black woman, child and man.

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

I Give Life For You To Destroy It!


I give life for you to destroy it.

My labor pains try to prepare me
for the agony of my child’s death.

You kill that which I carried beneath my heart.
My child is to be a pawn in your game of thrones.

Who is your mother so that I may know from whence you came,
you; the destroyer of a life that I created and brought forth?
Who gave you the right to take that which I bore?

There will come a time when the seeds of man will lie fallow.
And the earth will no more produce a single seed from which birth will spring.

A woman will give birth no more as she will be barren.
For man is no longer the protector of his world,
he is the destroyer and he must be destroyed.

The day will surely come when the hand of God will strike
and man will know who is master and who is slave
and all the worlds shall collide into one and there will be no more sun.

There will be no more warmth. For without light and warmth, life cannot grow.
Beware of your own importance for you are nothing and you will know it.

The mother of all creation will take back that which you would destroy
and He who rules will look not upon thee with favor and when that should happen,
woe be unto him for that is the end for all eternity.

©2014 Shelby I. Courtland All rights reserved.

Waiting, waiting, waiting…


We are all waiting, waiting, waiting
for a train headed to nowhere.
We are waiting for something to happen,
something, anything, just please happen.
While we wait, life is passing us by.
While we are waiting to live,
we are forgetting to live.
Whatever is going to happen
will happen and we may not
like it and we can do nothing
about it. So, just live and
stop waiting, waiting, waiting,
for what? You
do not know.
As life is over
in the
Of an eye.
And the
if they
could speak,
would tell
you why.

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

It is so very easy to get caught up in the things that make us want to pull our hair out because we feel so powerless. I know that I have participated in the ‘waiting, waiting, waiting’ scenario and hoping and hoping and hoping for something or someone to ‘change’ things. But while I do that, life is passing me by.

I am going to try to not get so caught up in all of the problems in this world. I am not going to stop eating apples because they will kill me. I am not going concentrate on the radiation that is creeping across the ocean. I can do nothing about that. We are bombarded every day with stories of what will kill us and what we should do to become healthy. We are all going to die. Face it. Deal with and accept it. If the pesticides in your vegetables don’t kill you, the polluted air that you breathe will. If the vaccinations that you received don’t kill you, a drunk driver will. If the drone does not strike you, falling airplane equipment will. If chem trails don’t kill you, carbon monoxide poisoning will. There is no way to escape death. There never was and there never will be. I don’t care about some biblical fictitious man called, Lazarus. Have you met him? I didn’t think so. Eat your apples, cross the street, sit outside and look up at the sky, breathe the air, swim in the ocean. Drive to the store. Enjoy that which is killing you. Just stop waiting, it will come.

Now, have I cheered everyone up? Good!