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

I Am Such A Sentimental Fool!

sentimental3

“Shelby, I visited your blog and it is obvious from the posts that I read that you are a talented, sensitive and creative person. Such personalities often suffer the most from the injustice that is part of the human experience. I really believe that if you undertook the journey to understand exactly what capitalism is and how it works that you would see the world in an entirely different way. While I understand the passion that produces the rants that you write (I was once in the same place that you are), please understand that those you rail against do not hear you. The only person who suffers is you, not them. One of the many wise observations in the many varieties of 12 step programs is this one: “We may think we can change the things around us according to our desires, but when a solution does come, we find it was our desires that had changed.”

I’m sure you know the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
The courage to change the things that I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It is unlikely that you will be able to change capitalism but if you understand what it is and how it works, I promise you that your desires will have changed. Will you still see injustice? Absolutely. But your reaction to injustice will change, perhaps in a way that will enable you to take some small steps to ameliorate a few instances of it.”

To my faithful followers, it would seem that I owe you all an apology. You have been reading the blog of a lunatic. Apparently, from the above comment, I suffer for my personality being what it is and for the fact that I have yet to undertake a journey into the world of capitalism to fully understand how it works. I am so extremely sorry that I failed to take this journey because if I had, I would not have posted so many rants that you have read that are, apparently, quite meaningless. I am railing at people who do not hear me and so it would seem that when I see injustice, I just need to make myself aware that I don’t understand capitalism and how it works and therefore, I am sensitive as opposed to hardened and so this must change. I must become cold and hard and dangerous and unfeeling, unkind, insensitive and I must become an asshole; a barbaric, selfish, self-serving brute that thinks only of my desires and to hell with the suffering of innocent human beings. I must understand capitalism and that there is nothing that I can do but recite the Serenity Prayer and by doing so, my ‘reaction to injustice will change’.

I should not post poems, excuse me, RANTS, because it has been brought to my attention that my ranting is pointless; they serve no useful purpose. My rants are only causing me undue anguish and are accomplishing nothing. I am wasting my time because I am not Mother Teresa. I am not Gandhi. I am not Rosa Parks. I am not Oprah Winfrey. I am not Donald Trump. I am not Barack Obama and so I must remain silent because no one cares if I speak or not. There is no one taking heed of what I say. Who am I? I am no one of importance. I am of no consequence. And I have personality issues that can only be resolved if I acknowledge that I do indeed, have these issues and take myself to the nearest group meeting, announce my name and proceed to talk about my need to have my ranting heard. I need to talk about the fact that I am nobody and yet, I am trying to get my voice heard when there is no one listening at all. I am a lunatic because I am sensitive. This I must tell the group that will accept the nobody that I am into a group of nobodies and after we have finished going around the group, hearing from each and every nobody, understanding that we should not rail against those that do not hear us, we shall then stand and hold hands and recite the Serenity Prayer. We are not drunks. We are not overeaters. We are not drug addicts. We are sensitivity addicts and for that, we must be deprogrammed. We must be desensitized. We should understand the capitalist system and disregard the system’s impact on our fellow human beings because only then can we harden our hearts to the drone struck. Only then can we forget about the refugees in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. Only then can we forget about the homeless tent cities in America. Only then can we forget that we have a heart and that that heart was once filled with love, sensitivity, compassion, sympathy, kindness and warmth. We should forget all of these things because we can do nothing about them, so being sensitive to them is pointless and counterproductive and our ‘reaction to injustice will change’.

We are not what this world needs. The world has too many of us in it and so one less is desirable. One less is a goal to strive for. One less deep and feeling soul is a blessing for this world. And for having one, I do apologize to my readers. It was never my intent to show you the pain I feel when I read of atrocities. It was never my intent to bombard you with my thoughtless ranting poetry that just showed the ugly side of my sensitivity. For that, again, I most sincerely apologize. I must embrace hatred and callousness. I must stop ranting because no one is listening and I just seem crazy and for that I must see if there is a group that I can join and find a god to hear me recite the Serenity Prayer. If I find that there is no such group, then I will take it upon myself to start one. But alas, is this too considered another issue I have, this fact of my need to start a group for nobodies? Quite obviously, I can’t win. I can’t be heard. I can’t rant. I can’t care. I can’t. I just can’t because those that I rail against don’t hear me and they will never understand my sensitivity. Oh, what a world!

In closing, regardless of what people may say, no one and I do mean NO ONE is going to stop me from ranting and raving or even railing against those that don’t hear me. I don’t care how much understanding of ‘capitalism’ I supposedly need. More understanding of capitalism is not what is needed; at least not in my book. The problem is that so few of us concern ourselves with the plight of others because if we did, we would not so carelessly and so callously ignore the suffering of others. I know that capitalism has run amok, but when I see the face of a child that died for no reason, when I see the face of a child that is a refugee because of bombs dropped in their homeland that was paid for by my tax dollars, you are goddamn right, I am going to rant and rave regardless of whether it does any good or not. No, I guess I’m not making a difference because I am not well-known nor am I on primetime or famous for having wardrobe malfunctions. But even if I sit in a little corner of the net and rant and rave and rail all by my lonesome, it is my call to make. If I am too sensitive for my own sake, so be it, but I refuse to try and turn it off like it is a faucet. I refuse to become an automaton. Nor will I recite some useless Serenity Prayer to a non-existent ‘god’ that if it did exist, we should not have to rant and rave and rail against all of this shit that is taking place, worldwide, to begin with!

What a sentimental fool am I! And I fully intend to remain so!

…Swarming Like Killer Bees!

imagesAGGN862X

I know I said I was a good girl gone bad,
but I didn’t know that I’d eventually go mad.

The white-coated men can just haul me away.
I’m too far gone and ain’t nothing I can say.

One minute, I’m all about flowers and trees,
and the next I’m swarming like killer bees.

Who the hell knows what will happen next?
I often leave my readers quite perplexed.

Maybe, I’m the female Jekyll and Hyde
and it could be that I’m quite certified.

Who couldn’t go crazy in this fucked up world,
where madness reigns and evil’s flag’s unfurled?

If I doubt my sanity and wonder if I’m sane.
it’s because I see a world suffering in pain.

And when I feel sorry and sad for me,
I’m not getting bombed like those across the sea!


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

Sometimes I’m good and sometimes, I’m MAD!!! And sometimes, I’m just goddamn BAD!!!

Heads Up! I Am About To Go The Fuck Off! If You Have Delicate Sensibilities, Stop Reading!

63513953-50ee-4973-b7e5-15ba0835f8d3-460x276

On my most recent post, I mentioned this topic, but I did not delve into it. But I read something that consumed me with hate and rage!!

“Welcome to Detroit’s water war – in which upward of 150,000 customers, late on bills that have increased 119 percent in the last decade, are now threatened with shut-offs. Local activists estimate this could impact nearly half of Detroit’s mostly poor and black population – between 200,000 and 300,000 people.’

The situation in Detroit has gotten so bad that the United Nations was called to step in. This is not just a human rights issue, this is about racism and crimes against humanity, crimes against a certain ethnic group and since that is the case, where is the goddamn Federal Government in all of this? Why hasn’t Obama stepped in and laid down the goddamn law? Why hasn’t something been done to nip this shit in the bud? Why is this being allowed to happen? Because the majority of Detroit’s citizens are Black and therefore are of no account. Can I get anymore blunt than that? Hell yeah! And I intend to. Now fucking read this shit!

“The official rationale for the water shut-downs – the Detroit Water Department’s need to recoup millions – collapses on inspection. Detroit’s high-end golf club, the Red Wing’s hockey arena, the Ford football stadium, and more than half of the city’s commercial and industrial users are also owing – a sum totalling $30 million. But no contractors have showed up on their doorstep.”

I fucking wonder why! Like hell I do, they’re not some poor Black person who has lost their job and therefore, their ability to pay their goddamn water bill. What poor Black person is a member of Detroit’s high-end golf club? And how in the world does a high-end golf club owe on a water bill in the first goddamn place? Oh, that’s right! Because it can, being high-end and all! And isn’t that just something? The hockey arena owes, the football stadium owes and more commercial and industrial water users owe and ain’t a goddamn city official standing in the doorway demanding immediate payment and if not receiving it, shutting the fucking water off. But if you’re Black, there are no exceptions, no delays, no consideration for your children, your fucking water’s getting shut off.

Water is a necessity of life. We ALL need water to survive. Black people survive off of the same things that white people do. We are not sub-human. We are not three-fifths of a person. We are 100% goddamn human and yet, we are treated like we are America’s mortal enemy. I am fucking sick and goddamn tired of it! I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a child in Detroit right now. I cannot imagine what a little Black child must feel after reading about the fact that Black people all across Detroit are getting their water shut-off and yet fancy, smancy clubs, arenas and stadiums that owe on water bills still have running water. What does that say to that poor child? It says to them that you are of not account. You are a thing. You’re of no consequence. It destroys their sense of self worth. It destroys their innocence. It takes something from them that they may never be able to get back; dignity, strength, resilience, hope. And as if this is not bad enough. Keep reading!

“There is one other way the situation in Detroit would never have come to pass: if this was a city predominantly of white people instead of black. Too much of America views Detroit like the policemen viewed Charity – as deviant, inferior and beyond repair. This racism has meant decades of block-busting, red-lining, police brutality and the legislative punishment of the city. And it has done something more insidious: it has written off the people of Detroit.”

“The attitude was expressed in a recent statement of L Brooks Patterson, the elected executive of the mostly white Detroit suburb of Oakland: “I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.'”

Of course the blankets would be infected with something much like the smallpox blankets and the corn would be poisonous and addictive like crack. No doubt about that shit! And then people have the nerve to wonder how hate is propagated. Just read the above two paragraphs and that about sums it up. What you see here is why what is happening in Detroit is going to spread. It will spread to your white bread world and I for one, cannot wait. I cannot wait for the shit to hit the fan in a suburb near you. In fact, I cannot wait until the shit storm that is due hits you. I hope that you will know worse than what those poor little Black children in Detroit know. I hope that when the shit hits you, it never lets up. I hope that for those of you who believe in god and if you call on him that he turns his back and spits. I hope that you only know trouble, strife, hunger, pain, heartache and that the evil that is what holds you together will soon collapse your ass and I mean every goddamn word that I have typed. No more Miss Fucking Nice! Every goddamn so-called Black city in America is being gutted, torn to pieces, pissed on, put on lockdown, gentrified, sold to the highest bidder. And the comments from the whites on social media about those cities are on par with what is being done to them. I fucking hope like hell that all you nasty ass white motherfuckers end up in some form of hell. It would still be too good for the likes of you! And don’t fucking ‘like’ this! This ain’t about getting ‘likes’. These are MY people who are getting shitted on, left and right. It ain’t about you, white motherfuckers! It’s about what you’re doing to MY people. And don’t come all up in here talking some shit about what you understand. You don’t understand a goddamn thing, white motherfuckers ’cause you ain’t Black! It is war! Ain’t no goddamn peace!!!!

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2014/jun/25/detroits-water-war-a-tap-shut-off-that-could-impact-300000-people

Oh, you poor Black Child In Detroit!

Oh, you poor Black child in Detroit,
your mama must so be distraught.
The water that you need to survive
and to keep you hydrated and alive
in the sweltering heat of the day
was shut off because your mama couldn’t pay.

Oh, you poor Black child in Detroit,
your mama must be overwrought.
You can’t brush your teeth and take a bath
because you can’t escape the white man’s wrath.
They can never take enough from you.
And at you, so much hate they will spew.

Oh, you poor Black child in Detroit,
you don’t know the battles that were fought
by the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement
and when I look around, there is no improvement
when your cries still fall on deaf ears
and now to wash, you must use your own tears.

Oh, you poor Black child in Detroit,
those who came before you were bought.
Sweet child, you’re not the one to blame.
They were stolen by those who had no shame.
Your eyes have been awakened now to hate
and I wish that I could say, “I can’t relate!”


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

Calm These Troubled Waters!

waves

Where is Moses when we need him?
If he could but part the sea again
and calm these troubled waters,
thus freeing the tortured soul of man.

Oh, mine eyes have seen the pain
and felt the suffering of the poor.
No Promised Land for them,
just an endless, barren shore.

Oh Lord, look upon your servant
and give sustenance tonight.
Heal the sick and feed the hungry.
Set the many wrongs to right.

Throw the moneychangers out.
And give the widow back her mite.
Judge the wicked and the heathens,
may they never see your light.

Not a religious being am I,
And though I sin and come up short,
The devil owns the rich,
So let Hell be their resort.

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

I don’t even want to hear it PEOPLE!! I have tried everything!

So, I call upon the Lord to hear my plea! Intervene and deliver us from the evils of capitalism, greed, vice, corruption, fracking, filthy water, Monsanto, politicians, disease and a world in chaos! Amen!

The Revolution IS Coming!

Quotes by Malcolm X
Quotes by Malcolm X

 

How can I be content if my brother is in pain?

I would not turn my back if I saw my sister slain.

 

The world has had enough and the rich will lose their head.

Those who try to stop us will lie among the dead.

 

Peaceful, we have tried and it only got us where?

The poor are over here and the poor are over there!

 

No corner of the globe will hide the thieves and liars.

Light a billion torches, fry their spying wires.

 

Rest is for the dead and we have no time to waste.

They must know real fear, they must have a taste.

 

The lords have played their hand and took our rights away.

Do you think we’ll get them back if only we will pray?

 

Stand strong and hold your ground, they cannot kill us all.

Tear down the corporate sign and breach the outer wall.

 

Progress will be made in one form or another.

The protests they have squashed and dissent they try and smother.

 

Hate has been their tool and we shall overcome.

They treat us just like dirt and they tell us we are scum.

 

No time to run, no time to hide, the stakes are just too high.

And when they come for you, you must fight or you will die!


Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

Ask yourself this question. Has the ‘ballot’ worked?

Suffering

defeated
When all seems lost and hopeless, no more pain can I endure.
A thin, red line across my wrist, the blood so dark and pure.

A thousand ways I cried for help and so it comes to this.
The ecstasy of oblivion, the sweet painlessness of bliss.

Tis too late to call me back, my life blood’s down the drain.
My sorrow was too great. I could not withstand the strain.

The signs were everywhere and often went ignored.
How many times I turned to you and desperately implored,
“Please don’t turn your back on me. I cannot find my way!”
My debt’s now paid in full, no cost left to defray.

If you think of me at all, I did what I thought best.
I went to someplace peaceful, where I could finally rest.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

Suffering Around The World:The Plight Of The Indigenous Peoples

It pains me to have been reminded that not just people indigenous to America are ill-treated, but that other people around the world who are indigenous to their region are also being subjected to ill-treatment, contempt, outright ignoring of their plight, abject poverty, low unemployment and a host of other ills.

I read an article about the Aborigines of Australia and how the suicide rate among them is skyrocketing. This is mirroring the exact same thing that is going on here in America on Indian Reservations. In both instances, these people have the same issues in common; an unconcerned government, abject poverty, high substance abuse, suicide, hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration and they are the First Peoples of their land.

When the Europeans settled here, they supposedly paid the Indians for their land, however, many land treaties were ignored or broken and the land was simply stolen. The Indians were killed and several tribes were wiped off the face of ‘America’. The First Peoples were herded onto reservations, had their culture stripped from them, along with their land and were told to assimiliate or else. History has shown us that to the ‘victor go the spoils’ and that history is also written from the viewpoint of the conqueror, never the conquered. History is also ‘airbrushed’ as many do not want their misdeeds to be seen in the true light for what they were, enslavement, killing, stealing, raping, pillaging and much of this was done in the name of religion as was the case with the African slaves dragged from Africa to America and yes I know, Africans are not Indigenous to America, however, their treatment is also disgustingly abhorrent as was what happened to the Indians.

The Aborigines suffered the same fate as the Indians Indigenous to America. People showed up from different lands, many were convicts. A penal colony was formed at Botany Bay set up by Great Britain. The following includes more on that:

The first 736 convicts banished from England to Australia land in Botany Bay. Over the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals were transported from Great Britain to the “land down under,” in one of the strangest episodes in criminal-justice history.

The accepted wisdom of the upper and ruling classes in 18th century England was that criminals were inherently defective. Thus, they could not be rehabilitated and simply required separation from the genetically pure and law-abiding citizens. Accordingly, lawbreakers had to be either killed or exiled, since prisons were too expensive. With the American victory in the Revolutionary War, transgressors could no longer be shipped off across the Atlantic, and the English looked for a colony in the other direction.

Although not confined behind bars, most convicts in Australia had an extremely tough life. The guards who volunteered for duty in Australia seemed to be driven by exceptional sadism. Even small violations of the rules could result in a punishment of 100 lashes by the cat o’nine tails. It was said that blood was usually drawn after five lashes and convicts ended up walking home in boots filled with their own blood–that is, if they were able to walk at all.

Convicts who attempted to escape were sent to tiny Norfolk Island, 600 miles east of Australia, where the conditions were even more inhumane. The only hope of escape from the horror of Norfolk Island was a “game” in which groups of three prisoners drew straws. The short straw was killed as painlessly as possible and a judge was then shipped in to put the other two on trial, one playing the role of killer, the other as witness.
source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-australian-penal-colony-established

As bad as the transported convicts had it, the Aborigines suffered even more.

Clashes with colonists

When Europeans first began to colonise Australia, towards the end of the 18th century AD, they found cultures and environments which, in hindsight, were of incalculable value.

Much of this ancient legacy has been destroyed forever in the subsequent two centuries.

Contact between new settlers, under imperial British rule, and Australia’s indigenous people, led to the decimation of many Aboriginal groups due to disease, dispossession and in tens of thousands of cases, outright murder.

As populations declined and were fragmented, many unique linguistic and cultural traditions as well as valuable knowledge about the land and its fauna and flora were lost forever.

Land Theft

Seizure of Australia by British Imperial forces was claimed to take place under British law.

Even at that time, the British legal system had developed some traditions of fair dealings with native populations inside colonies.

These constraints were not applied on the ground in Australia. Invasion and blatant land theft by settlers were justified under the astonishing legal fiction of “Terra Nullius” – the notion that Australia was effectively unoccupied before British colonisation.

The lack of indigenous systems of land ownership (in the European tradition of private land ownership) was used to give credence the idea of Terra Nullius. The basic idea was that it was impossible to rob Aboriginal people of land, as they’d previously never owned land.
source:www.didjshop.com/shop/AbCulturecart-About Australian Aboriginal Culture-the world’s longest continuous culture?

It would seem to be the case that Indigenous Peoples all around the world have been grossly abused, misused, killed and had their land stolen from underneath them and yet, centuries later, their plight is still the same.

And the Indians Indigenous to America?

The following is from “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” written by Dee Brown:

“On the morning of November 29, 1864, 600 Cheyenne and Arapahos camped on a bend of Sand Creek were awakened by the sound of charging hooves. Two thirds of these 600 were women and children as the government granted able bodied men to go east and hunt buffalo to feed their hungry families. Only 35 braves were in the camp. This made the ensuing charge all the more frightening for the women, children, elders, and remaining braves.

So great was the fear of the coming charge that men, women, and children ran from their lodges into the biting cold taking no time to fully dress. The partially dressed Indians began to gather under a huge American flag above Black Kettles lodge (Black Kettle was given the huge American flag and peace medals by Abraham Lincoln and Colonel A. B. Greenwood in Washington only a year earlier and was told that as long as the American flag was above them, no one would be harmed). The braves present surrounded the women and children gathered under the flag. At 8:00 am more than 700 cavalry men under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington and Major Scott J. Anthony, rode in and fired on the huddled Indians from two directions. After the initial charge the US soldiers dismounted and continued the indiscriminate killing of men, women, and children. During the killing unspeakable atrocities and mutilations were committed by the soldiers. Accounts from two white men, John S. Smith and Lieutenant James Connor, described the acts of dehumanization.”

According to John S. Smith, Colonel Chivington knew these Indians to be peaceful before the massacre. Smith witnessed, as did helpless Indian mothers and fathers, young children having their sex organs cut away. U.S. soldiers mutilated Native American women, cutting away their breasts and removing all other sex organs. After the Massacre, soldiers displayed the women’s severed body parts on their hats and stretched them over their saddle-bows while riding in the ranks. The sex organs of every male were removed in the most grotesque manner. One soldier boasted that he would make a tobacco pouch with the removed privates of White Antelope, a respected elder. Conner witnessed a soldier displaying the body parts of a woman on a stick. The fingers of Indians were cut off to get at the rings on them. Connor remembered a baby only a few months old who had been hidden in the feed box of a wagon for protection. When the soldiers discovered the baby some time later, the baby was thrown onto the frozen ground to die. In going over the site the next day, it was noted that every corpse was mutilated in some way, and scalped.
source:Native American Atrocities – http://www.lastoftheindependents.com/chivington.html

..and we have the gall to call ourselves, ‘human’.