Poem: Cockroach

Dedicated to the water bug I was scared of in my bathroom, the roach found in my kitchen (may you rest in peace), and the children at Hester’s Creative School in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In the corner of a room sits a young boy

Claiming to be sweating from his eyes

In order to avoid the humiliation of being called more misnomers

He believes apply to him.

Crappy pseudonyms from his peers apparently exemplify

The meaning of his life’s storybook.

Because of a different disposition his peers find displeasing,

He sweats especially to the name “cockroach.”

Oh, yes.

They can be quite noisome.

In fact,

What purpose could they serve other than to creep

In the deathly hallows of faulty garages and unruly bathrooms?

Isn’t that why they’re to be stomped on?!

Sure, that’s a paraphrase of what those kids say.

But,

I haven’t seen many people willingly kill a cockroach

With their feet.

The size of the crunch is too unbearable.

People would rather be cowards and use disinfectant,

Or other forms of spray.

They are the filthy ones.

Not you, dear boy.

They fear you, dear cockroach.

Your inner martial arts is much larger

Than what this world offers.

Why settle for being a grasshopper?

You have the power to prey in bathtubs

Long enough to make pansies rather shower at the gym.

As the Robin Hood of all insects

Those adolescent monsters could have picked for you,

You take left over food from the privileged homo sapien

To feed the souls of your poor, roach brothers and sisters.

You can survive longer than any earthly species

With its head cut off.

Obviously, you know not to sink low into the shallow waters

Of a shattered mind when you lose your head.

You’re gonna die with grace.

So why not live with it?

With more purpose inside of you,

The classmates you have are kiddie pools,

Contrasting from the oceanic depths of what your bug-like instincts

Must give to this dying society we call home.

Along with the facilities we must endure within

That consist of the other unflattering names that make you cry.

Wipe those salty dew drops,

Get up from the sulky storm you’re in,

And dominate that room, fellow cockroach.

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Being Mad at God

I do not enjoy the insinuations of our emotions being sinful. Apparently, the only justification of anger in terms of faith have to be when one refuses to believe or when one isn’t doing what they’re “supposed” to do.

It is okay to be happy, sad, upset, and yes, angry, towards God. The guilt may come in fruition due to all that He’s done for us, but, let’s be honest, that’s just putting a band aid on the problem sometimes.

If we are not honest in our practice of faith, how will we be able to grow? How can we share with others whatever we believe if we’re not even happy with what we believe?

Half of Psalms was David throwing hissy fits at God. Moses was angry at God. Even Jesus cries to Him before His crucifixion.

I understand I know more about my own faith than others, but I believe this should be shared.

It is not only okay to let out your anger. It is highly encouraged.

Creative Aging Network’s “Do the Write Thing” Spoken Word Classes

Since late May of this year, I have been interning at the Creative Aging Network in Greensboro, North Carolina.

It is a non-profit organization that provides creative outlets for the aging community in North Carolina.

I promoted the organization and its classes, including the spoken word class, at community events in June while also training, taking notes at guild meetings, and teaching the spoken word class; the class was every Friday from early July until late August. The staff at the Adult Center for Enrichment allowed us to have space to teach and perform for the participants at 3:30 pm every Friday after the second week of classes.

My class consisted of a few women between the ages of sixty and eighty. They were vocal, opinionated, and always ready to perform.

It was FANTASTIC!!

When you love something, and then you converse with others who love the same thing, and you then teach them more about it, it’s so liberating. This was also my first time working with individuals much older than me, so, at first, it was pretty intimidating. But elder adults are more attentive than youth and they have a lot more to say. Moreover, they are more up to date than we’d like to believe. My students had the constant theme of social change, imminently ready to voice it. Besides the subjects of romance, mental illness, and art, that subject is always needed in a passionate form of writing such as spoken word.

I have a link to one of our performances below if you would like to check it out!

“I Am Only Human”

This a shot towards myself too, by the way.

Imperfection is rife in humanity. But why is the phrase “I am only human” the best excuse for when we do something in a negative light? Whether it’s lying or being lustful toward another individual, for example.

It’s rare when someone is crying and he or she says “I am only human.” Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, said that tears may be a chance for us once in a while to stray from monstrosity. We cannot control how we feel, nor can we control the natural tendency of sobbing or furrowing our eyebrows. However, when it leads to murder, greed, selfishness, or cowardice, “I am only human” seems to be the only reasonable explanation for why there are people like that in the world.

Also, virtually every religion displays the fall of man being the main reason for why humanity is inherently sinful. The fall from Purity, before wrongs ever came into the world. To be honest, that is comforting justification for why we’re “only human.” We weren’t always so bad. It can be okay to cry, shout, or exclaim this universal reason for our flaws.

Those flaws don’t always have to be a sin, either. They can be a stutter, a certain disposition, or an embarrassing memory that makes us original and still pretty great.

Isn’t it ever frustrating to never state “I am only human” when we do good in the world? As said before, we weren’t always so bad.

If only someone said “I am only human” when these things happened:

  • participating in charity
  • assisting one who fell
  • laughing at a hilarious movie; even when some don’t find it so funny
  • forming group hugs
  • having the urge to give gifts
  • going to church for a sense of community
  • not going to church for a sense of individuality
  • reading
  • putting on makeup to express yourself
  • dressing in a favorite outfit
  • playing tag
  • staying up all night on the phone in intriguing conversation
  • wanting to learn a new task
  • elated when finding a new pearl to add to your mental pearls of wisdom
  • finding God
  • giving substantial advice
  • wanting to go out to eat
  • smiling
  • saying “I love you”
  • working for what you’re passionate for
  • listening to music
  • dancing
  • snuggling with a stuffed toy

The list can go on and on, I know it. I cannot be the only person who wants that.

Throughout all of humanity’s baneful ideals, there are still imperfections that make us so wonderful.  The positivity in our nature makes us beautiful. WE are all wonderful and beautiful!

Why Have Kids?

Kids absorb everything, remember everything, and see everything. They can either tug at your heart strings, or yank too hard at the base of your brain stem. Either way, they serve a fantastic purpose. We all went through childhood, we know the deal.

I, for one, do not want children.

This does not mean that I hate children. I work with them quite often when I’m not in school, and I enjoy it very much. Rowdiness can hardly be turned off, but I enjoy it nevertheless. They have such a thirst for knowledge and a prodigious amount of energy, it makes me want to be their age again.

I’m part of a family of four, and I have a large extended family filled with youthful liveliness. Henceforth, I appreciate my parents for having me and my siblings, or else none of us would exist.

I’m still early on in college, and that is a reason why this statement isn’t so bad during this time in my life. Beliefs change as we get older. Even so, right now, I believe that I would still not want children.

Because one of my majors I’m studying is social work, I will be associating with people of all ages, including children. Regardless of my for love kids, there is a BIG difference between assisting someone’s child verses my own child. I don’t see that other person’s child every day, and, obviously, my responsibility is not as heavy as a parent’s. When I have a career in the social work sector, that responsibility will increase a bit, but it is still not the same as a parent’s.

Some women marvel at the idea of carrying another human being inside. Nurturing him or her, bringing him or her into the world. How do they not find it terrifying? The female body goes through extreme changes after childbirth, there are chances of complications before and/or after the child is born, it will be the worst pain they’ll EVER feel. My God, they’re so brave.

There is a demand for parents to be perfect. Even though it is impossible to be perfect, as humans, we tend to forget that. Fears of either being too laid back or too strict are thought of a lot. Children, like everyone else, have the power to make their own choices. However, when they make bad choices I would feel as if there was no one to blame but myself. I raised that child, who else would be at fault? It’s stupid, but feelings are hard to control. As judgmental creatures in this temporary life, that’s exactly what will happen.

Because children are allowed to make their own choices, they cannot be my choices. My kids would inherit some of my traits, yet they can’t be exactly like me. They probably won’t have the same dreams I have, they may not choose the same faith as me, and they aren’t ME. Obviously, that is a beautiful concept when having children; and it is obviously a disappointing concept as well.

The world is at constant risk due to overpopulation, and I don’t want to contribute to the effects of that. Loss of food, increase of poverty, loss of space on the one planet we have to live on. If I ever decide to have children, I would much rather adopt or have foster children. Many kids in this world are brought into the world as if to only suffer. They don’t deserve to. Mental angels and demons would still argue how to be the best parent, but it’s still better than having those thoughts with my own biological children.

Finally, I am selfish. Everything in my life, my decisions and goals, have to centered around my kids. They matter more than I do. Those are the rules. A child should not endure my selfishness. There are those who become more selfless with children at home. I don’t think I should take that chance.

Can Anyone Hear God?

Initially, when people stated how they heard God, and how often they heard Him, I felt not only spiritually inept, but socially as well. In every single church I went to, I heard that same proclamation. Some were more bombastic than others. Some, I assumed, were faking it. It sounded so awkward, they had to be! Nevertheless, there were constant themes that stuck to the neurons of my brain: only a “true, devout” Christian can hear God, and when you hear a distinctly powerful voice telling you the good way to do things, it’s God speaking.

When I was younger, I believed I heard a specific voice from Him, and I cried to my mom about it. She told me that it was okay and there was nothing to be embarrassed about. Eventually, insight from God did not come from “hearing.” It was more of a feeling, for me. An instinct beyond my control. To some, that may sound silly, but everyone’s spirituality and religion is different. That is the world we live in. I don’t feel childish or cheesy when I say how I can feel God’s presence or feel what He wants me to do to become better, even when His direction appears troubling and stupid firsthand. “Realistic” is the category I put my feeling of Him under, rather than my hearing of Him. Again, every individual is different, which makes every relationship with Him different.

The instinct was a lot stronger when there aren’t many distractions around me, or random thoughts clouding my focus. Christian retreats with no technology and interacting with only the people around you would give enough discipline to let the instinct come at its strongest. But, the problem with that, is that I would have my “Jesus High” and leave for my usual routine of social media, school, etc.

Ralph Ellison, the author of Invisible Man (it’s a fantastic novel by an African American transcendentalist, you should read it!), said that the beauty of discipline is when it works. Therefore, in order to listen, feel, or receive anything from God, discipline has to be enforced. That is the meaning of being “devout.” One does not have to flaunt their faith pretentiously. Insincere claims of “I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior” is not an example of being devout. Neither is the lie of being a “true” Christian. Who ever said there was a “true” anything? There are those who use it as a mask for conspicuous perfection, but, truthfully, as long as one fully understands the purpose of their faith, and finds the form of practice that helps best, that is what matters. Discipline isn’t always a bad thing when placed in the correct connotation.

Ultimately, there is grace in the Holy Spirit, which allows us to choose how to receive His being. Therefore, pressure we place on ourselves for not naturally “hearing” Him is unnecessary. He comes to us when He wants us to hear him, feel him, or use other senses in our relationships with Him. Lastly, the more we seek Him, the more beautiful the revelation is from Him.

The Perks of Wearing Makeup

A prominent part of grooming in the media, the stage, the feminine world, and other factors of life is makeup.

As little girls and boys watch their mothers use their faces as canvases, curiosity builds in their hearts to the point of wanting to paint too. Red and pink lipsticks and technicolor eye shadows with brushes galore is a new form of coloring they haven’t experienced before.

In high school, I viewed makeup as a marketing scam from the dawn of time. It was used to demand women to enhance themselves now and always. …it still is that form of marketing scam at times. It’s frustrating when women can be insecure enough to not leave the house without even a splotch of foundation or mascara on.

However, because makeup is a great tool of expression, the pessimistic thoughts of it women comparing themselves to a coloring book that needs to be filled in, fade for a while. Makeup is also a great form of skincare, especially when it causes you to touch your face less, because no one wants messed up make up; there are lower chances of germs invading your face.

I don’t wear makeup every day. When I do wear it, I don’t like too much on my face. I still believe people around me look much prettier without makeup. I feel prettier without makeup. But when I have the urge to wear comfortable powder on my cheeks, mascara that makes my eyelashes stretch a symmetrical fashion, and a lip color that feels smooth, I can’t deny how good of a feeling that.

Feminine, expressive, spontaneous, fun.

Whether it’s for a special event at a specific time of the day, for a performance on stage, or for having a spirited moment with your products alongside friends or family, it’s great!