I’ve moved :-)

I have gone through so much in the past few months and not only have I physically moved, my blog address has also changed. My new (and soon to be improved blog) is located at AsISpeak.com. I will update this WordPress blog daily with poetry and spoken word. That is my new focus. Thank you so much all who have followed me. I hope to see you at my new address 🙂

I.M.E.

P.S.: I will be reposting some previous posts from this site, so if they look familiar… they are.

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My Thought of the Day

I hide from the world when life’s not so good. I’m like a bear, and this is my winter.

~ I.M.E.

Back in the day…

The older we get
The more we reminisce
Of the good ol’ days
And the people we miss
Hanging out on the block
Setting the pavement on fire
Or walking back and forth
Until our feet grew tired.
I remember the days
We used to play
Outside until the street lights
Lit up and we said goodnight.
I remember the days
When we played baseball behind our house
No fence and no stand
But fun, yes, we had.
We thought we were so old
Walking around on Linden with our stupid stroll
Smiling at guys as they paid us attention
Then flipping the bird if they dare had a word to mention.
Silly, silly, silly
I was such a silly little girl
13 years old and thinking I ran the world
Walking back and forth to the Ave.
Picking up clothes and buying bags
Buying shirts that didn’t fit
And showing off my little-bits.
I remember those days
When trouble was so far away
The biggest issue was the guy poppin’ a wheelie
And the father who didn’t see
This “little punk” as a cutie.
I remember those days
When the park was our spot
We sat on benches under an old tree
And talked about what we’d do when we turn 16.
I remember those days and how I wished they’d go by
Even though summer was indeed always the best time
I wanted to grow up and be a woman you see
And now this woman is missing those days terribly.

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I was raised in the 90’s (I’m a 80’s baby), but no song goes with this poem better than this:

🙂

Quote of the Day

Life perfect ain’t perfect
If you don’t know what the struggle’s for
Falling down ain’t falling down
If you don’t cry when you hit the floor
It’s called the past cause I’m getting past
And I ain’t nothing like I was before
You ought to see me now
Yes, I was burned but I call it a lesson learned
 Lesson Learned by Alicia Keys (feat. John Mayer)

 

I can’t say that I have a favorite song by Alicia Keys. Album after album she has inspired me, and I love every song on each of them. I woke up singing this song today and decided to share it with you! Enjoy 🙂

 

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

My father's old copy of the book

Today I found Martin Luther King Jr.’s book Why We Can’t Wait stuffed into an old box in the corner of my brother’s room. The old copy is the first published edition after King’s death. My father borrowed the book from the St. George Public Library, in Staten Island, NY… It never made it back.

My father, James Sr., was eight years old when King was martyred. He remembers his older sister Fran running into the house screaming, with tears streaming down her face. My aunt was a member of the local Black Panther party, and like many black Americans at that time, she, and the rest of my family, revered Dr. King.

Today is his birthday.

I’m not sure if I should light a candle, hold vigil, watch the marathon of Martin Luther King movies and documentaries on television, or sit here and reflect.

With the copy to my right, I decided that in honor of Dr. King I will stop learning about him from biographies, television, and textbooks. I will push aside my Patterson novel for two days and read Why We Can’t Wait tonight and all day tomorrow. The influence and magnitude of what he writes, even in just the introduction, perplexes me. He was brilliant beyond belief.

I’m not saying anything that isn’t widely known… but I thought today, in honor of this great man who helped truly free my people, I need to write something. Anything.

And here I am.

My grandfather was born into the Jim Crow south. My father was chased by Italian boys down the streets of Staten Island because he took the wrong way home. My grandparents had to use “Colored Only” restrooms. My ancestors were lynched, belittled (to say the least), hosed down, and shamed because of the color of their skin.

Picture I took while in DC

Without dwelling on the past, which I can truly say is still affecting us today… In 2012 we are free at last. Some progress still needs to be made but King’s vision has come to pass.

To that – I’d like to thank Dr. King for all he did for my people and this country. Because of him, and the other civil rights leaders, I am here today. I am proud to be from the same lineage that produced the greatness that was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and I am so proud of my people.

God bless and have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

Proverb (Poem) of the Day

I seem to be in a Shel Silverstein mood this week. Reasoning be: I’m in an elementary school two out of the seven days in the week and I recently found my old copy of A Light in the Attic at my house.

Here’s yet another poem by Silverstein that moved me today. It’s classic Silverstein, wise and quirky in his own way. 🙂

WOULDA-COULDA-SHOULDA

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

–  From Falling Up

Quite the Complainer

I recently realized that my father has been right all of these years… I am a drama queen.

I don’t believe that I’m the usual attention-seeking drama queen. I never started serious arguments in public or told a sap-story with tears in my eyes to gain attention from my peers. I never was the “Daddy! I need a Coach purse!!!” or Master story-teller of Exaggeration. Nope, that’s not me. I’m the “there’s always a problem” type of girl. If we are in a classroom and it’s quiet and someone’s chewing, it’s “Houston, we have a problem.” I won’t focus, I’ll turn around and stare rudely, and I’ll tap the person next to me and say loudly, “Gosh, who’s chewing like a cow. You would think their parents would teach them manners. People these days!”

I never acted-out or embarrassed my parents growing up. I was never the teenager that stole her parent’s car, threw parties, snuck out of the house, or changed into slut-like attire on the school bus. Nope, that wasn’t me.

I was the, “Ivanna, what’s wrong now?” child.

On long rides to visit our family in North Carolina I never slept. No, that would be too easy for everyone. I sat with my eyes open wide staring at I95 with my Walkman on, playing Toni Braxton, Nas, Mariah Carey, or Fabolous. If my brother’s head fell on my shoulder, IT WAS OVER .

I remember us once loading up our 1995 black Honda Civic at 3 a.m., and I was in a sour mood. “James, you’re the youngest, you sit in the middle!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. The words fell on deaf ears. James, my younger brother, learned at an early age how to tune me out. He jumped into the car first and scooted over to the window seat. “Ivanna, hurry up, get in,” my mother said to me as I attempted to roll my eyes, “It’s not fair mom!” I replied. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew what she was going to say: “Life’s not fair Ivy, now get in the car!” My father stood by her side and gave me a stern look; I hopped into the car next to James and put a book in between us. I mocked my father’s stern look and whispered, “Don’t touch me!” Jenny, my older sister, crawled in and sat on the other side of me as our father shut her door.

As we pulled away from our home in Jamaica, Queens I sat in a fury, ‘I never get my way,’ I thought selfishly, but I didn’t yell or scream, that was not me. I’d get my revenge someway, somehow.

Read the rest of this post here >>>

Down

I am lonely
I have nothing left but my tears
I am broken
I’ve fought hard for so many years
I am crying you a river
Waters black and filled with drear
I am in a not-so-good place
Is there anyone out there who will hear?

 
 

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Quote of the Day

Don’t get caught up in no throne. Towers of Babylon rise up and so they shall fall. As it was written before, amen, so it goes on.

Yasmiin Bey

I am not a hip-hop enthusiast, as I said before, I leave that to my brother. I do have every album dropped by rappers Nas and Kanye West, but other than that… my hip-hop knowledge is derived from my brother. With that said, when I appreciate a song (on my own) I think it means that much more.

Brooklyn bred rapper Yasmiin Bey’s (formerly known as Mos Def) new song Niggas In Poorest is a conscientious and thought-provoking remake of Jay Z & Kanye West’s song Niggas in Paris.

I love when you have to look at the lyrics to get the true depth of the song. Maybe it’s the poet in me 🙂 Niggas In Poorest is definitely not simple music for simple peopleMos Def Yasiin Bey is better than that.

When I first heard the Jay/Yeezy version I thought to myself “Wow, I really wish they didn’t use that word.” To me the song could have done without it. But according to my brother it is supposed to be some kind of revealing and deep song about the treatment of rich black men in Paris compared to how rich black men are treated in America.

Yea… whatever. I love the beat, but he refers to Beyoncé as a b*tch… and my thought process stops there.

I prefer Bey’s version… now this is deep. But truthfully speaking, you can’t really appreciate it fully without first listening to the Jay Z & Kanye version.

Proverb of the Day

Sometimes I believe God feels my pain. I came home from an extended vacation in Virginia and found a package on my bed from the ministry my parents and I recently joined. In it were a few books and cd’s. I opened one of the books, just to quickly browse through, and found the passage below. It was exactly what I needed today. So here’s a nugget of wisdom that sort of condemned me! 🙂

Today’s jealousy is tomorrow’s temper tantrum. Today’s bigotry is tomorrow’s hate crime. Today’s anger is tomorrow’s abuse. Today’s lust is tomorrow’s adultery. Today’s greed is tomorrow’s embezzlement. Today’s guilt is tomorrow’s fear. Today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions.
From Give it All to Him by Max Lucado.

Proverb of the Day

5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Crazy Love

Have you ever pondered: ‘How wonderful it is to be in love?’ To have that one you can lean on, depend on, always at your beck and call. The one whose feelings are your feelings, thoughts have so much meaning, cries break your heart and smiles heal all parts.

The reassuring hand in the dark, leading you safe and afar, to a place you once dreamed of but failed to believe in. That voice when you’re alone, that wisdom and knowledge of the unknown, the arms that hold you when you wake and the laugh that makes your day.

As if there is any word or thought that can quite explain its magnitude – Love is more than just an attitude, more than a feeling, more than just a song. It’s the ‘greatest thing in the world‘ or a decision some say. Love is the absolute truth, the meaning to your days.

Mushy? Yes.
Well, mushy I am
And thankful to God
That he’s the one who holds my hand
And leadeth me not into temptation,
But towards a greater life
And comforts me when my world just ain’t right.
He’s the rock I need, my dear closest friend
My foe at times, but that always comes to an end
He’s my better-half, my light in the dark
My heart, my analyst, my baby
The one I love and indeed love like crazy.

© 2011 Ivanna M. Elliott
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