Monthly Archives: January 2012

For the Soldiers of PS7

My children attend a charter school called “PS7”. This school is located in the heart of Sacramento’s “the hood”, and I love this place. You see inner city kids of color here, as serious about school as any college student. Many of these kids have parents who did not go to college, some have parents who don’t speak English. But they all work hard, and the teachers are a team… pushing our children to excel and make it. After homeschooling my children, PS7 has (somewhat) restored my faith in our education system. There is still much to improve, but I think PS7’s founder (and our Mayor, Mayor Kevin Johnson) has done an excellent job.

In 2009, I was asked to pen a poem for a Teacher’s Appreciation Banquet. This piece is dedicated to our soldiers.


they dwell in the heart of hostile territory

the bullet-riddled ground

and bloodstained streets readies itself in silence

for heroes

as the morning son rises

dry eyes greet its rays

mouth still wet

from last night’s fantasies:

rainbow-colored landscapes

candyland adventures

ice cream houses

gingerbread men

as play-all-day alternate dimensions fade

to return our babies to this life,

an army of stone soldiers who fight for a living


gear up for another day in the trenches

these men and women

armed to the teeth with smiles and encouragement

wielding iron hands of discipline–

ironically wrapped in velvet, chalk-dusted gloves

heroes in uniform

sworn to protect our futures

in whom we trust our precious pearls–

those giggly, chatty pools of our DNA

answering God’s bugle-blow

to the committed and courageous

(this is a calling, not a career)

bringing hope to their short lives

so we can run the race of rats

marching to the tune of bravery

enduring daily battles:

star-testing wars

and ill-aimed blame-bullets blast

long hours

rare recognition

and low pay

they are the commando parents of the day

launching reading campaigns

and mathematical missions

basic training so our kids won’t have time for


those who sometimes know our children better than we do

multitasking like microsoft windows

promotional gradings

trading classroom supplies

fitness exams

saturday deployments

home visits


no one rides the benches cause

it’s hot in them trenches

no time for an MBA or law school,

it’s intercession, baby!

reloading magazines and DVDs

navigating worldwide webs for future excursions

bullet-proof jackets case of glances and

verbal POW attacks

cause these troops are

combative non-combatants

war heroes

whose songs don’t get sung for ages

names and dates and recognition

forgotten through the stages

though their lessons echo for generations

as each platoon goes and comes

each battle won under the Sun

our memories and paths are littered

with minimal casualties

the mission always gets accomplished in this unit:

you cultivate mind fields

in the battleground of ignorance

we respect you

for you decorate our hearts and our lives

with knowledge we always seem to forget

that you gave our children

these are the brave men and women

of the read, the write till you’re blue

this fortress is heavily guarded

by the true war heroes

in the trenches

of PS7.



“For the Soldiers of PS7”


Filed under Poetry

An Unreal Dream (I Once Proposed to a Woman)

I once proposed to a woman

on a cloud

promised her the sky

but gave her the universe

rewrote my dreams to fit her “I”

eye evolved into a coCOONed sambo—

two steps backwards.

gave her the best strains of my DNA

elevated her to the next level

of “SHE”

but she dragged the heavens down

and ground her mud-caked shoes

to stain my “ME”


in an unreal

but much too real


“An Unreal Dream”

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Love It Or Weave It

You might remember a poem of mine called “Love It Or Leave It”. Well this ain’t it. That one was about war; this one is about har.

Dedicated to my Black and Brown sisters…


i like it tall and low

big and wide

give it to me “extra-moosed”

long, wavy, locked, loosed

of classic sized:

fried, dyed, and laid to the side

like Grace Jones—

bared to the boned

slave to the ‘laxer

or hot combed

natural rhythms

all froed up

like the old Whitney Houston—

all blowed up

Indian-claimed straightened

Creole-Creek-Cherokeed mixed

or laid down tracksed,

all sewed up

explosive Seventies

or Sade-pulled skin tight

or Vanessa-fine, damned near white

we came as only the Creator made it

but change it up

shave it up

extend it

hate it

curl it

straight it

do it so much you forget who you are

ghetto queen

lip singer

or movie star

blonde hair matched to them unnatural blue eyes

keep it real

cause hair can tell lies

about good grades and family lines

and roots so deep

they sprout from minds

gardens we grow from seeds planted in our eyes and ears

yielding fruit feeding off our souls for years

will either develop or decay

while incubating in our hearts

and manifest into majestic crowns

or dunce-cap shackles to the enslaving,

oppressive weights on our heads

drown who we be

in oceans of who we see

disguises to help us deny our descent

our hair is the windows into our history

racial pride hides inside

natural expressions then retrieve it

so I say to you, Black America:

Love it

Or weave it.

“love it or weave it“

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Filed under Poetry