This poem was written for the 4th Annual Womxn of Color Summit at the University of San Diego.
We are not a problem to be solved.
We are, and have always been the answer.
We are both sun and moon.
We are the Spirit Dancer.
All life flows through us
whether through womb, if we choose
or through the words that we use.
It is within our complexities
and the righteous indignation
that sits at the core of our connections
that allows us to be All the Things.
For we are the teacher, the test and the lesson.
We are the music, the instruments and the jam session.
We are the stand-in and the stand alone.
We are the letters, the Word and the poem.
We are the answer to the problems that others create
especially when those problems
were designed to determine our fate.
We are the timekeeper and the time stamp.
We are whatever we want to be.
We are the x that goes beyond ‘ships
we are the force that launches ships
to sail and provide refuge to the refugee.
We are the x.
We are the x between Delores Huerta and the New York Rep. A.O.C.
We are the x between Marsha P. Johnson Alicia Garza,
Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
We are the x between Cierra Fields and Madonna Thunder Hawk.
Maria Teresa Ruiz.
The Quintreman Sisters and the Williams Sisters.
Dame Katerina Te Heikôkô Mataira and Haunani-Kay Trask.
Malala Yousafzai and Henrietta Lacks.
We are the x between Yuri Kochiyama and Junko Tabei.
Zora Neale Hurston and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
We are the x between Cecilia Chung and Al-Jen Poo.
Velma R. Veloria and Fe Del Mundo.
We are the x between Fannie Lou Hamer and Tamika Mallory.
Anacaona and Silvia Lazarte.
Melavika Kanaan and Kalpana Chawla.
King Hatshepsut and Miriam Makeba.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Kenya’s Sitawa Wafula
Who spoke these words:
“Whatever you do, do not let what happened silence you.”
It is the Intersection that is the solution.
We are fully known.
Our existence is not only the solution
It is the only way home.
We are what was and what is next.
We are the vertex.
Womxn of Color are the apex.
We are twilight, that which intersects the night and the day.
We are the mountaintop
that reminded Martin Luther King Jr. of the justice pathway.
We are the pinnacle, absolutely nothing can hold us down.
We are the zenith and the apogee.
We are Womxn at the Intersections
of what is
and what shall always be.
We are not difficult beings.
In a world full of manufactured complexity,
Poets are the least complicated.
We vibe on a Love frequency.
We are activated by Injustice.
We are most alive in spaces where Liberation is felt.
Words intermingle with air to sustain us.
We stay hydrated
and love to look directly into the sunlight because,
well, our eyes are shielded by our rose tinted glasses.
Our words are our world.
And if you are fortunate enough,
we will share our world with you.
I am becoming more and more clear on who I am becoming.
This means I have to be patient with others
as they shift their understanding of who I am.
This time is not a journey back to me anymore.
It is me being introduced to my new self.
The Me of Now.
The Me of Now is comfortable with the way
she wears her brand of womxnhood.
The Me of Now gets excited when she respects her own boundaries
and demonstrates to others how to respect them as well.
The Me of Now gets downright giddy each time we say “No”
in all of the splendiferous ways we are learning to say it.
The Me of Now takes responsibility for the hurt she has caused
while simultaneously holding others accountable for their actions
(versus self-blaming or shaming others).
The Me of Now finally understands that while
“Hurt people, hurt people,” that
“Healing people are hurt people working towards a do-over,”
so compassion for self and others is crucial.
The Me of Now is still a bit clunky and shaky,
like the legs of a baby colt.
However, the Me of Now is becoming more steady.
More available to Loving Guidance
during the next part of this journey.
I see you, Me of Now.
On this day 20-years ago, I remember watching the news in disbelief as I begrudgingly ironed my clothes for work. At that time, I was a student affairs administrator. It had only been a short time since I earned my master’s degree from USD and now I was an employee.
I can’t stand ironing. I see it as a fruitless chore connected to respectability politics. I’m sure Jesus wasn’t worried about wrinkles while out there healing the sick and loving on those the “Well-ironed crowd” shunned. I mean, really. All this to say, I was engaged in a process that didn’t matter on a day when my urgency to show up mattered way more than how polished I looked.
I recall rushing out of my apartment and during my drive to campus, I felt it all. Rather, I could taste it: Fear, sadness, confusion, helplessness, hyper-awareness, calm, out of my body/mind moments. Driving on the freeway in California was an eerie experience as well. There was this collective sense of unknowing/uncertainty, tied to disbelief and helplessness that was a thread connecting every driver on the highway that day. I did not know then to call it Collective Trauma, but I know it now. That moment, combined with the historical trauma that already lived in me from my African and Muscogee ancestors were active that day. I had to get to work and be a part of a community that had to support our students. What I did not know on my drive to campus was what that support was going to entail.
That level of trauma was one like I had yet to experience (until 5 months later). It did not occur to me until I got to campus just how many of our students and employees had ties to the East Coast. Students were either from the area or had family members who travelled to NY, DC and or PA for business. Community members who had loved ones who worked in the Twin Towers. Colleagues that had friends who worked in the Pentagon.
When I got to my office, I put my purse away, found my supervisor to be directed to the students that needed support the most and went to work: Comforting students while my colleagues and I got on our cell phones dialing the phone numbers of loved ones to confirm what we could confirm. To this day, when I hear the words “We got through” or “We got one,” there is a momentary sense of relief that comes over me. You see, those phrases were yelled each time a member of our team was able to get hold of someone who was feared to be in the line of tragedy.
Moving between screaming, sobbing students while “numbing out” in order to stay radically present, became my attire for the rest of that day and night. I am sure the wrinkles in my tear-stained clothes did not matter at all that day.
Reflecting on that day as I enter my second semester back at the institution I left in February 2002 (five months after living through a family tragedy); I think about the importance of just showing up just as we are. Not perfect. Not knowing what the hell to do at times. The simple act of showing up with our imperfect selves and having enough courage to love another person in pain.
I have a faint memory of “Stolen Moments” when my colleagues and I would take a break to shed our own tears, breathe, hug each other, then go back to supporting our students. On that day, we felt like we were all we had. And, what we had to offer was more than enough.
Oh, how the times have changed.
It shouldn’t take a national tragedy to bring out the best in us. Now, we’re in a time in this country where tragedy ushers a full-on assault from us on to each other. No, this is not an argument to go back to some fantasized or glorified, “Good Ole Days” because let’s face it, dehumanization through oppression makes for pretty awful millennia. What I will say comes in the form of my 7-Questions:
What are some ways you have allowed yourself to 1) acknowledge collective trauma 2) release the collective trauma out of your body? [An excellent resource for Mind-Body-Soul work is the book “My Grandmother’s Hands” and the process of Somatic Abolitionism a practice championed by Resmaa Manakem]
What, if any, are some rehearsed stories in your mind-body about a time of collective trauma that you may need to interrupt (i.e. question their validity and utility) in order to reveal a path towards healing?
Who (if anyone) do you want to express gratitude to for helping you through the collective trauma (Divine Power(s), loved ones, strangers, ancestors, yourself, others)?
Who (if anyone) would you like to extend forgiveness towards as you continue to process any of the collective traumas you have experienced (Again, Divine Power(s), loved ones, strangers, ancestors, yourself, others)?
What questions, if any, do you wish you could have answered to help break up any mental blocks that may have you recycling/replaying the collective trauma?
Depending on your age when the collective trauma occurred (if you were even alive when it happened), what expressions of love would you have wanted to receive in order to help you regulate/reconnect you to your humanity?
Given the uncertain times and collective trauma we are experiencing right now, how or in what ways have you “loved on” those who matter most to you?
On this day of somber reflection, during a time when fear and hatred are threatening our ability to critically self-reflect; take a moment with me to re-member. As I have said in prior posts, you are still here serving as a Blessed Ambassador of those who we have lost. Please know, we are so glad you made it.
And to my USD colleagues who lived the experience of 9/11 twenty years ago with me: I see you. We got through. We got us.
In closing, please know that I will “Say A Little Prayer” for each of you as we all work towards love, justice and liberation.
I am more than my feelings.
I am more than resentment and bitterness.
My timeless smile and unreserved laughter reminds me of that fact.
I am every “No” my Mother Ancestors were robbed of uttering.
I am an electric spirit.
I am love and courage.
I am passion and joy.
I am the force behind the waves of the deepest oceans.
I am contradictions and compliments.
I am impenetrable and porous.
I am the creator of Daughters of the Moon
and Sons of the Sun.
I am distantly present and
present in my aloofness.
I am the bittersweetness that lies
at the very moment of impact
between Agony and Ecstasy.
I am the quintessence of creating more with less.
It has been a while since I have conducted an interview for the podcast. I have been busy processing and working on my next book Emancipation Papers: A Truthtelling Journey Towards Awakening, Healing and Transformation. That said, I have now resumed my interviews and cannot WAIT to share episode 17 with you.
Here is a description of the episode:
In this episode, Dr. Kecia speaks with Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Satira Streeter Corbitt (“Dr. Satira”). Dr. Satira talks about her journey to supporting the love, genius and wellbeing of families through her practice, Ascensions Psychological Services, Inc. She also shares parenting tips and advice for couples, as well as shares excerpts from her first children’s book “Black Genius: A Journal of History and Affirmation.” Feel free to reach out to Dr. Satira at www.drsatira.com/ to learn more about ways she can support you and your family.
Take a listen and let me know any Ahas! Oh-oh’s! or Oh Wait’s! you had as you think about your relationships with your partner, family members and any children in your circle.
One Aha! Moment I had from this episode was when she talked about “The 4 Horsemen: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling. Dr. Satira called them “…the four things that they [couples] do in relationships that are the four biggest indicators of divorce.” It is these ways of communicating (or not communicating) our feelings to our partners AND the children in our lives that are highly detrimental to those relationships. As we talked, I began to realize that these forms of communicating live in our assumptions and expectations of others. Further, there is a connection to what Dr. Mohamed referenced in episode 12 as “…the story we tell ourselves about ourselves,” and the stories we tell ourselves about the other people in our lives, our expectations of them and their intentions towards us.
Big time Aha! Moment!
Speaking of relationships and expectations, Jay Sheatty has an interesting episode of his podcast On Purpose where he talks about 8 Unrealistic Expectations We Have in Relationships & 8 Ways to Replace Them for Success in Love. Jay and I had an argument about these expectations (albeit the argument was in my head…no matter). I will share those musings with you in a future post. in the meantime, take a listen to episode 17 of More Than Metaphors and leave me any comments or questions that come up for you!
Looking forward to continuing this journey towards love, justice and liberation with you!
First, I would like to send love to all of the readers in the United States, India, Pakistan, Canada, Ecuador, Romania, Russia, Croatia, Sweden and Denmark, who read the poem moments after it was published!
I was inspired to write this poem after receiving my inspirational Bible verse of the day. I use these verses to right set my day and provide a positive word when everything else we hear is the direct antithesis of positive.
For those of you who do not read the Bible or are unfamiliar with the “Love Chapter” I Corinthians 13, please find verses 4-7 form the New Living Translation for your reference:
“Love is patient and kind, not jealous or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no records of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out…Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7
It was these words that inspired me to write an interpretation of added attributes of Love. I hope you enjoy it:
Side Note: If it is vicious, vindictive or destructive, it is not, never was and never will be love.
Love has a swag all its own.
“I Am with you. You are not alone when I Am here.”
“Things may not be perfect, but when we’re together, what we have will always be enough.”
“Others will do everything they can to destroy us. And I will protect us at every turn.”
“I will show you how to trust again and again and again…”
“No matter what may come, only I can withstand time, space and circumstance. Come. Take a chance and walk these shores with me.”
TRIGGER WARNING: This poem was written May 25, 2020 after the heinous murder of George Floyd one year ago today. This poem depicts violent imagery, yet not nearly as violent as what the world witnessed on the day (now) 7-year old Gianna Floyd had her father ripped from her life. The contents of this poem may be haunting and are not meant for young audiences, those who have witnessed or have directly experienced forms of violence. Please be advised.
The Mothers Have Come
Our Mother Ancestors are enraged.
The pillaging of Black bodies at the hands of
white supremacist tyrannical delusions,
acts of violence and psychological warfare
have resurrected the spirits.
The Mothers have come.
There is more to be atoned for than white delusions can understand.
Our Mother Ancestors have grown weary from
their lineage being hunted down as prey
and hearing their last breath calling for their mother (we heard you)
or for air (we heard you)
or for change (we heard you).
Tears of blood running down our Mother Ancestors’ cheeks
as they hold in their hands each precious Black pearl
that they have been so careful to surround with love, power and hope.
Only to have those pearls drowned and suffocated in their own blood.
The inspirations for this piece were my daughter Makaila, the graduate students completing their Action Research requirement at the University of San Diego (especially the 1st year students I have been blessed to engage this semester), and all of our next generation leaders.
A special Thank You to Dr. Nydia Sanchez and Jessica López for the encouragement to do what I do!
Feel free to share this poem with any graduate or person who is moving to the next level in their lives. Also, feel free to reframe the poem into the first person and use it as an affirmation for yourself!
The Future Is Waiting For You
Our world is calling you now to lead at a time when innovation must lock arms with compassion.
Call and response: The future is waiting for you.
When we have called for change Your brilliance, power and hope have responded unapologetically “We are here.”
Call and response: The future is waiting for you.
Your Ancestors stand proud as you represent a mosaic of possibilities and our community stands together as we see a loss of learning and the violent taking of lives. In the midst of it all, you have steadied your hearts with courage, power and purpose and have confidently continued your stride towards excelencia.
Call and response: The future is waiting for you (read 2 times).
The Future. Is waiting. For You.
May you all continue to thrive and keep moving towards liberation!
I feel your heavy heart. I see you are trying. You are not casco. You matter. You will find joy again.
I welcome you home.
You have tried to be what others have wanted you to be. You are still discovering who you are, truly. Let their construction of you crumble.
We welcome you home.
Your heart and spirit know you fully and are aching for you to be what you are destined to be. Let the lies disintegrate into fine particles of dust and stand fully in your truth. Your Ancestors applaud your courage and dance to celebrate your deliverance.