West African Chronicles. On the subject “Speaking”. If you were raised in the south, you were taught to “speak”, when you encounter another brother or sister. Big Mama insisted on it. And as I’ve grown older and seen more of this world, context has been added to her words.

The first bit of context I encountered was doing my trip to South Africa & Swaziland back in 2005. We were told to announce ourselves when approaching others or their homes, with the greeting, “Sawubona”. Yes, it mean hello and goodbye, but it also means, “hey, I see you…”, “I acknowledge you.”, “I respect your person-hood”

Likewise, during our recent trip to Senegal and Ghana, they too practiced the same custom.

And we carry on this practice, even now, in this land an ocean away from the land of our ancestors. Especially, in spaces where we are few in number. Even if it’s just the nod, that brothers give one another. Or the smile that sisters share when they encounter one another in these spaces. Yes, it’s a sign of respect. But it’s more than that in the space we now fill. It’s an acknowledgement of a social contract, that if things go left, I got you. Big Mama knew that our survival in this strange land relied upon this unspoken contract. But it is my earnest hope that one day, people of every shade, will see and accept our shared humanity. For in truth, our survival as a species, depends on us looking out for one another.





“So…”  is a collection of serial short stories which reflect the diversity which is human life… Volume One is available on Amazon and B&N. Volume Two, will launch on February 1st.  This stories will have you “trippin….”

Blerd Tales 2

Color Blind

Color Blind

As you see the world, I’ve been blind since birth.  I see by listening. I know the truth, hear the lies, but I choose to ignore them, because to confront liars is more that I can bear.

That day started as every other day, alone and in darkness. I was walking in the woods, as I’d done countless times before, enjoying the feel of tree bark against my fingertips, of moist straw between my toes and the scent of pine in my nose. Then suddenly in my night there was a light. I turned my head and the light went away, but its glow still illuminated my peripheral vision, and led me to turn back to it. The bracelet shone in ways that even someone blind like me, could perceive it. Stumbling, I made my way to the light and saw that it was in the shape of what I knew a bracelet to be.  I slid it onto my wrist and suddenly my eyes flooded with light of every color. For the first time I saw the brown bark I’d loved all those years.  I saw the green grass and knelt down to touch it.  A ladybug landed on a wet blade and I saw red for the first time and I gasped. But when I looked up and saw the sky, I wept without remorse.

I wanted to tell someone, so I ran to a nearby sandwich shop. Full of brightness and luminous hues, I swung the door wide and stepped in.

In that moment of new love, my open heart sought another to love, another to breathe in.  But as I looked around café, I saw what I instinctively knew to be angry faces. Their skin was not brown like mine. Still believing, I sat at the gray counter before several people got up and left, as others had done many times before, but this time, being sighted, I could no longer hide behind my delusions that it had nothing to do with me. Their disdain turned my happiness into an unbearable sense of being and I ran from the counter and onto the street. With each step, each slight and dismissal from my life cascaded down upon me like dominos, insufferable and unrelenting. I ran through the rain, back through the woods, to the river beyond and unto the bridge spanning it. My salty tears flowed into my mouth as I removed and tossed my black shades into the river. I slid off the bracelet and flung it into the waters below as well. I am floating now, peering through aqua-tinted lenses into a world still revolving. Truly my pain has eclipsed my joy, and likewise shall I too pass from light back into darkness.


I am an echo. The evidence of lives gone on, I am what remains of their joy, their hopes, their tears.

I am an echo. A reverberation of all the love spoken into me.

I am an echo. The source of nothing, except a willingness to serve as a conduit.

We are an echo, resounding through the darkness, lest any of us think we are our own creation.


Please visit my Author’s page to preview and/or purchase one of my books:

What it’s about…

It’s not about always being right.
It’s about being accountable.

It’s not about how many hearts you break.
It’s about the fullness of your own heart.

It’s not about carrying the weight of the world.
It’s about bearing your share.

It’s not about being unafraid.
It’s about moving forwards in spite of your fear.

It’s not about getting your way.
It’s about making a way for those you love.

It’s not about being the strongest.
It’s about helping those who aren’t as strong.

In the final analysis what it’s about doing what needs to be done.

In our Anger…

In these days of chaos and fear it’s easy to be consumed with anger.

But what if?

What if we focused our anger less on the outrage of the day, and more on the systemic inequality within a system which claims justice for all? What if accepted the truth that our society values some lives more than others, and that the presumption of innocence is not a right afforded to everyone? What if we understood that we must first accept the truth of where we are, but we can hope to move forward?

What if voting matched polling on issues of the underserved, human rights and collective healthcare for all?  What if love and concern for others motivated us more than our fears? What if our actions in real life matched our beliefs?

What if  one day we realized that we are the government? That what is happening in this country is our responsibility and that history will hold each of us accountable for what we did and did not do in this moment? When we ask, “why won’t they do something?”, do we realize that the “they” is us? There is no one else.

What if we didn’t care where we served, as long as we served? What if we didn’t care who got the credit, as long as it got done? What if each of us, consistently, loved one another, as we loved ourselves?

What if we realized that the best way to prevent these events is to produce a climate of accountability, beforehand? What if we realized that the best way to save lives is to love life in all its wonderful aspects? What if we realized that the best way to move forward is to have faith, enough to let go?

What if we weren’t afraid? What if we lived each day like it was our last? What if we lived each day like it was our first?

Anger is not a sin, but its fruit can be, if we allow it. The divine gift of free will, allows us to choose which path we will travel, be it the path to life or the path to death. For even from the abyss, this grace we’ve been afforded allows us choose life, even in our anger.

Job’s Plea

Hold me down,
Hold me down,
when I’m not around.
When I’m caught up and bound, hold me down.
When hope is unwound, hold me down.
When love can’t be found, hold me down.
Hold me down,
Hold me down,
when I can’t conceive the dawn, hold me down
When darkness pursues me like a hound, hold me down.
When I’m far from sacred ground, hold me down.
Hold me down when my screams do not make a sound.
Hold me down,
Hold me down,
When I’m six feet down…

Struggling with Demons

Struggling with demons

We often see the challenges in our lives, more specifically the demons we struggle against in our lives as some external force or situation. Meaning that we perceive that some sort of external remedy exists which can be a balm for our affliction. Ergo, often if we are depressed we think that changing our situation will bring happiness or perhaps we are led to look for happiness in others. Many look for some new love interest because of the excitement it brings, when in fact doing so is like using duct tape to repair structural damage in your home. And truth be told, the cost of most “temporary fixes” is a far higher than we first believed. But our demons, if we allow them, will always drive us to self medicate. Some turn to drugs, some to unwise relationships or other outlets. But some turn to sharing, and doing so via the pen. Working through our actualization, IMO is not something to take out on those around me. It’s simply not fair. And let’s be clear, I don’t like pain any more than anyone else. And battling one’s own demons is painful. But I’d rather suffer through, than to cause harm to any innocent. I know that often over the last 30 years our culture has taught us that we need to do what makes us happy, to pursue our own truth. But I for one really question that. Every action in the universe has a cost. A price must be paid for every decision we act upon. It may not be us paying the fare, but someone will. Be it our children, spouse, significant other, coworkers, family and friends. To allow a dysfunction within me to wreak havoc in the world around me is not what I want my life to be about. Granted, even still, being the flawed human that I am, my issues transcend my waking reality and seep out into the world around me. But for the purposes of this commentary, I’m stating that I strive every day, regardless of how I might be feeling on the inside, to be a blessing to others. And in turning my focus so, I slowly choke the life out of my own demons.

My book “Sacrifices” speaks to the sacrifices many of our ancestors have made on our behalf. Respect and Blessings to the ancestors.


Consider two truths…
First, the most dangerous thing in the world is a closed mind. Secondly, though we crave certainty, we know it is an illusion, for there is no certainty in the flesh, never was, never will be. These two facts are the bookends of fear.
We close our minds when we crave certainty, but it is a fool’s quest. Better to learn how to press on despite our fears. For if we give into fear and close our own minds, be become the very terror we fear.
In my faith tradition, we call overcoming this fear, “walking by faith”. For if I never face my fears, am never uncomfortable, then surely there is a question of whether I am truly exercising my faith, and whether the “truth” does indeed live within me.