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Green Ivy on Stone Wall

On writing The Unrooted Bloom,

I scribbled words in journals and the margins of notebooks my whole life but I did not take any of it seriously until 2005. I was living in a homeless shelter in Marin County with my 5 year old son while fighting myself free from the complicated entanglements of domestic violence. My whole life felt like it was burning around me and I did not know what to do. A girlfriend of mine took me to an open mic called Mouth Off in my hometown of Oakland.  I was absolutely and irrevocably inspired by the vulnerability of the poets in that room. Up until that point I had no way of expressing the things that I was going through and with no expression, I had created an internal narrative that said, “I was the only one in the world who had so many extreme tragedies going on at the same time.” Listening to all of the other poets showed me that there were lots of people battling the war of life. It depersonalized it and gave me permission to explore my experiences and the emotions that went with them.  Poetry gave me a place to process all of the violent experiences that I was surrounded by and empower myself. From there, poetry became like a form of prayer for me and I was prolific in my faith. I wrote about everything and I wrote everywhere. I wrote poems on napkins, the backs of menus, notebooks, and any paper I could get my hands on. Every poem was like a catharsis liberating me from the confusion of my life and clarifying my own spirit and power. Writing is my faith, my lover, the soul beneath my skin. Poetry is my way of being in conversation with God. 

Selection from The Unrooted Bloom


There is a tunnel in my body
Light Guided Opening
Scripted with Glyphs
Translated to enter

Welcome life

Our beings, the beginning
The entryway to breath
Containers of creation
Architects of existence
“There is nothing but mother’s and our children on this Earth”
Yet men posture themselves as gods
Never learned to make offerings with seed for soil
Never learned toharvest wombs and women
Never learned to protect the bodies making babies

In this lifetime, we are lost to the balance of our existence
The need to be in harmony with each other
Interconnection cannot untie the ties of life

I am affected by you
I am responsible for you and yet babies are born
To Black Women in a world that steals the breath from their lungs
8 minutes and 46 seconds, traffic stops with broken tail lights
Dreaming in bed with lovers
Lovers with fingers around the throats of Somebody’s baby
Somebody’s creator

We are unprotected making life in a world

That wages war on our bodies

And the Black Babies born from us
We are unprotected in neighborhoods poisoned with lies that steal the love we whisper to our children before dreaming
We are unprotected sacrificing and pouring ourselves empty into our men begging for return


Your worship of Me is not weakness
It is necessary



Into Me
Into Us


Honor Me
Honor Us
Protect Me
Protect Us

We are the portals to existence
You are the Givers of Life that We create
In Wombs that welcomed You here

I honor You
Please return

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