Meaningful Living in the Hashtag Age

Posts tagged ‘poetry’

THE DOOR: A TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER, MATTHEW SMITH, SR.

A BLACK WRITERS WORKSPACE POETRY COLLABORATIVE

Prelude by Michelle D. Jackson

Located in New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (Birmingham, AL)

On Friday, January 28, 2022, my father died.

During his funeral, as I sat staring at his regal bronze casket covered with an American flag, I noticed a beautiful metal door in the church with a three-circle emblem representing the Holy Trinity. Mesmerized by its design, I began to wonder about the door of eternal life my father had now entered. This door represented the pathway from earth to heaven.

Somewhere in the heavenly clouds was my father, a man in his late eighties who survived poverty as a young boy and blatant racism in the south—a complicated man whose love shined through even in the harshest times. I did not always understand him, but I knew and loved his strength, courage, and unspoken belief in forgiveness.

The door that stood before me represented his path to a final resting place, a course we will all one day endure. It was this door that had the last word on his life. Yet, poetic in how its silence spoke to the numbness of my heart, I knew that once he walked through it, my father would receive his heavenly reward for a life well-lived. 

With the help of my friends on the Black Writers Workspace, we crafted separate parts of a story, my story, our story of grief, loss, and the journey from this world to eternal life. Through the beautiful and heartfelt poetic words of writers everywhere, they helped me share my pain, and I am forever grateful. Here’s our collaborative work:

THE DOOR

by The Black Writers Workspace

I.

Entering another day without you

Broken but strong

Your laughter a beautiful memory

Lasting a lifetime long

Remembering how you loved me

Rarely spoken but always felt

Remembering your dreams for me

Tackling the world as it’s dealt

My first Valentine

The man who loved me most

The warrior in my mind

when this life’s beyond reproach

The meals we shared

The smiles we gave

The slightest touch of your hand

Your love pierced my little girl heart

Your love is where I stand

You are, and will always be,

the fire in my belly

The fight in my step

The man who made me, me

The guy who accepted his missteps

A daddy indeed

A rebel

A soldier

A fearless heart

A powerhouse

A complicated soul

The door will never keep you

For your life is still ashore

But the door will let you rest

Share your greatness on high

Remind your earthly family of you

Propel us toward the sky

Sleep, daddy, sleep.

You deserve to rest

You’ll never be forgotten

Your soul is at its best

Michelle Jackson

II.

Entering another day without you,

Consumed with all I’ve lost.

You’ve always taught me to win,

Eventually, I will, but at what cost.

Nothing can prepare us for the sea,

After we pass the door of no return.

Without your covering, who will we be,

Who knows, yet we must learn.

A day at a time is what they say,

When I don’t know what day it is.

With doors closing all around me,

I feel as helpless as a lost little kid.

Even when that door slammed shut,

Inside of me, I still felt your light.

I’ll try to breathe deep to find small bits of peace,

remembering you, day by day & night by night.

Barnard Sims

III.

On solid foundation

framed in love

hung in place delicately hinged

like the wings of a dove

You’ve Always been wide open to me

But today you are sealed tight

And nothing seems right

As I stand here on the threshold of your memory

Thoughts race

My heart flutters to keep pace

Anticipating the turn of the knob

Unopened yet somehow

“un-closed”

In the middle of the end

My silent tears give away to sobs

Lawanda Baker


IV.

Thro’ it we into life are usher’d

Squalling and kicking lustily

Bringing joy to the hitherto bother’d

And thro’ the door out of life

We exit

Lying still and pale and rigidly

After our course of life is run

Leaving sadness and pain behind as we go

Never to return

David Donald

V.

This is the door of forevermore.

On the other side I’m expected to say good-bye to the first man who loved me.

I’m grateful he got to guide me through this crazy awesome journey.

When I leave the room and that door closes, I will not be the same.

I am not prepared for the heartache, the grief and pain.

So please remind me to think of the good and push away the bad.

Remind me of the times when I wasn’t so sad.

Show me a penny, a red robin or rainbow.

Remind me your energy will always flow.

This way I don’t have to say goodbye, instead I’m reminded

You are by my side.

Now, I can close the door to forevermore.

Gina Johnson

VI.

Some people look at a closed door as an end.

But the door doesn’t just close. It opens too.

On this side of the doorway, I saw you Daddy and knew

I would never see you in the form I was used to.

Laughing, telling jokes and being the life of the party.

But as you stood at the doorway, you knew once you crossed over,

you would have to make your presence known in other ways.

So now, I hear you in my sister’s laughter, I see you in my brother’s face

and I feel you every time I go home to visit family.

The doorway isn’t just the end, it’s a different beginning.

Angela Jackson Muhammad

VII.

Open. Open. Open. Please door just open
Let me have one last hug or one last glance
Just one small moment
Just one final chance.

I wasn’t ready for you not to be here
Even though I knew it was now your time
My mind says it’s going to be OK
But every part of me knows it’s lying

This door is the only thing between us now
Separating two hearts that should always be together
But as detached as I may feel right now
I know your love and memories shall last forever

I know this door is forever closed
No matter how much I cry
Life will be forever different without you
But with each day, I know I’ll get by

I will live life grateful for the time we did have
Never to forget your life, laughter, or love
Wait for me on the other side of that door
So when it opens, all I hear is, “Welcome”

Tamecka Knight

We Will Vote!

Check out my latest poem, We Will Vote! I wrote this while I stood in line for over five hours to vote during the first day of early voting in Louisiana. There were hundreds of people standing with me. It was inspiring and well-worth the wait. #makeaplantovote #wewillvote

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we heard you

U.S. Representative John Lewis we heard you

Reverend Dr. William Barber we heard you

First Lady Michelle Obama we heard you

Your voices sung like wind chimes on a still and lonely night

Chattered like the hate that rose against us

Stuttered like hymns hovering above the cotton fields

Your forceful words swung like tattered rope around a lynching tree

Tarnished leaves with blood and tears

Unscathed ground tested by hate and fear

You called us out of idealistic virtue

Where fairness thrived and no color dwelled over man like God

Where rights were assured, and voting was revered as an act of civility and pride

You rocked us from our comfy places to our rightful position

Your words carried us to the warring ground

Stirring us to stand guard over what is sacred to a blessed life

We heard the echo of your crying souls

Banished for its impassioned quest to seal our fate of liberty

We heed the call to move forward and stand firm

We replicate your solid demand to know who we are and why we fight without fault or fear

Martin, we heard you say, “Give us the ballot”

For in the belly of the ballot box are the gems of democracy this land stands for

We believed your conviction and live to make your dream our rallying cry

John, we heard your call to act

And now our commitment is to “get out there and push and pull until we redeem the soul of America”

Your words exemplified your greatness and a stern eye of righteousness

You were a force to be reckoned with

Reverend Barber, we heard your demands

A push for unity from a true Conductor of Peace

“Forward together” we march. “Not one step back!”

Your words embody our fight to fill the coffers of those in need

Despite what the wealthy claim is there’s

It is why we move in unison, hand-in-hand towards equality and justice

Michelle, we heard you sing proud and loud

Words now imprinted on our minds, “Vote like our lives depend on it!”

You spoke to a generation of youth

Pushing for the seeds of justice to be our proudest possession

Teaching grace to angels with warring souls who needed you most

And now we stand, side-by-side, soul-by-soul waiting for our turn to strike a fatal blow to what threatens to make our freedoms no more

We heard you and we accept this challenge

We embrace the dream you set forth into the wind, the purpose of your mission and the thunder behind your words

You stood for us; we stand strong with you

We will vote like the day has no promise of a dawning sun

Like the rights of all men have slung stars into the sky and created the bond that holds our universe together

We will vote because those who died in the blistering cotton fields could not

We will vote because our patient soldiers for peace marched, sat and endured jail to see us through

We will vote like our lives are tied to every ballot, even when our rights are being auctioned to the lowest bidder

We will vote because your words are burning in our soul and drumming songs of victory awakening the better angel in us all

We heard you. NOW, WE WILL VOTE!

By Michelle D. Jackson

The Reset: A Poem of Restoration during the COVID Crisis by Michelle D. Jackson

God promised us many things.

A life of glory and merciful meaning.

Purpose, love, and righteousness.

Peace, grace, and selflessness.

He granted us abundance that far reached what we could embody. He blessed us with the power to rise above sickness, hurt, and melancholy.

He gave us his most precious thing, His love transcended in an earthly being.

He loved us so much He left to the world a priceless deed, the life of his son, His only seed.

And now, in the wake of what we can not control, God performs the most sacred role.

He does just what He said He would, He renews, restores, and protects the poor, humbled, and spiritually good.

Through the uncertainty of a sickness we struggle to cure, God resets the world, creating a new, blessed universe, holy and pure.

Our sinking earth ravaged by ego and greed, now has a fighting chance to succeed.

Starting with what He loves most, God fights to unify the family with His heavenly host.

Then seeking to end what is destroying our earth, He uses a virus to remind us of our godly worth.

Replenishing the sanctity of things we can not comprehend, God empowers our fears to bring us back to where He intend.

He reduces pollution while we debate climate change, using His strength to break us out of illogical mental chains.

Seeing to the elderly, who created the path for which we follow, God promotes them to a heavenly home, while our pride fall to an earthly bravado.

Those who die, die strong with fearless faith, as a reminder to the living that death brings God’s ultimate grace.

He has put in motion, The Reset.

A time of prayer, redemption, confession, and reflection.

A time to reconnect, reassess, and redress.

A time to rekindle, remember, and reminisce.

A time to learn to love again with complete fearlessness. A love that doesn’t require touch or feel or tenderness.

But one that consumes the heart and reverberates from six-feet apart.

What may appear final, is far from the end. Only God controls how this world will ascend.

No sickness, no greed, no leader-less land, will destroy what is safely secured in God’s hand.

So stay-in, stay strong, believe what God says is real, but never give up on His power to heal.

Embrace The Reset. You know in your heart it’s time to start again. To put what is important first and make God’s love and kindness transcend.

By Michelle D. Jackson

Poetry Showcase: You in Us by Cambrin Daniel

We are excited to add another poem by writer Cambrin Daniel to our Poetry Showcase.

We are looking for original poetry by new poets and spoken word artists who are passionate, thought provoking and honest. To showcase your work and register to win cash to help launch your writing career, send your poetry or spoken word video to events@prsolutionsllc.org.

NOW

We are excited to announce the launch of 1stmorningthoughts.com Poetry Showcase. Designed to highlight the work of indie writers who are inspiring the world around them, the showcase will periodically post work that speaks to the heart, mind and soul of poetry enthusiasts. Our first poem is called NOW by writer Cambrin Daniel from Birmingham, AL.

To submit your work, email events@prsolutionsllc.org.

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