Poetry

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HOW CAN YOU?

By Kenneth Best Jr.

Hey Journal,

Let me talk to you for a few minutes. I haven't lately…how are you feeling?

Good? Well I'm glad. How am I? Well, not too bad, really…

Just hanging on tight, you know?

OK, I'll tell you more…

She called me just past midnight with a shaky voice, starting to cry…

I thought, "Here we go again," and I asked myself why…

Why does she always hit me with the emotional POWER PUNCH…

…From the tropical blind side? Cold, wet, dark…

I had to brace myself and blow out a heavy *sigh*

…Wipe the torrent from my eye

"I just don't know how to handle this, just not sure what to say…

We all have disappointments; we deal with them day by day."

She says, "I need words of encouragement when I'm feeling this way…

You've been opening up to me, talking so much

Despite I might carry on sometimes and make a big fuss

But it's that other side of you that I always wanted so much…"

She continued, "I know I talk a lot, but lately I've been quiet, and that's just not me…

…But it's just that it's a lot that I'm processing…

Information overload I'm dealing with innocently and humbly."

*Sigh*

That $40K teaching career you just got, plus a free roof over your head, and you're tripping about some paperwork and sad news about a wayward cousin?

*SIGH*

OK. I'm thinking this to myself:​

At this moment, the only talking I've been doing

Is answering your questions and providing a light and steady support, on my own terms…

Kind of like what a friend does, at close range but with a goal to create distance…

…And boundaries

I'm glad you respect and appreciate it though, but I can't do much more…

"But this is what friends do," she continued to cry

"You said it yourself, friends step out and provide

Each other with help and words of encouragement…

More sternly now:

"…And where do we get words of encouragement? The Bible…

…So if I caught you at the wrong time, or if this is too much to ask – and I'm not asking for much –

Just tell me and I'll go find someone else to talk to."

WHOAW… WHOOAAWW… WHOOOAAAWWW… BUMRUSH!!!

Girl, stop; slow your roooolll…

Let ME take a deep breath, and *sigh* some more…

And pace back and forth a few steps; now, hold:

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I'm sitting at work

On a double shift, doing overtime…
Now, come on…

Just What Do You Expect From Me, a Broken Man?​

I'm dealing with things you can't even understand, or won't even begin to CARE to see…though you easily, subtly pretend

Yes, I can step out of my zone and reach out as a friend…

But you…

You…

…You tend to jump out the clear blue, cracking this big black emotional whip,

To drive me into doing things that I just…sometimes can't do,

Not in the way that you want me to…

And I’m not this kind of guy that can just turn around

And be someone different, that I wasn't just a few moments ago

You must think I'm new in town…

These emotional triggers, they beat me down and drain me so…

…You must know…

But you may never understand, because you just want what you want,

At the moment you want it, and it's so "all or nothing" –

Or just all about you –

Because your feelings rule…they get the best of you,

And nothing else – not even rational truths –

This is not a healthy challenge, how you try to coerce me so…

I'm only doing what I can, and sometimes I don't even get the chance

To say how I really feel…

Only feeling the pressure from head to toe
So How Can You…?

…Beat me down with this emotional whip?

To the point where I just wanna jump ship, dive into a warm sea of contentedness…

…Go back to living solo and take things slow…?

And just float like the turtle you've nicknamed me, because you’re the hare, jumping everywhere…

…And that’s what you want to be,

And I just want to be free from your emotional burden…

That chains me down

You vilified me half the summer because I called off a rushed engagement

That would have been a war of THORNS if we'd continued;

A constrained arrangement

Sure, I handled it sloppily, but I'm recovering

We both are…

In the process, you hit jackpot…

But just because we made it back to friendship now,​

And you're about to turn your life around

Doesn't mean that I'm the one that should drown

In your tears about things that are nothing more than temporary fears…

And unhealthy tendencies you’ve been holding on to for years

I can't be a strong, wet shoulder all the time, if it’s not an invitation I'm

Ready to give once more…

I have to see it, mean it, and have the confidence to do it

It won't be genuine if I force it, and I'm just not going to…

…Not just because we're friends…who live together

​…Not just because you say so, with such emotional pressure​

…But by my own right, and in my own gesture

So don't force me, lest you succeed at pushing me further away

Not just from you,

But from the man I need to be…

…For my Creator,

…And for me

HOW CAN YOU?

 

This Love

By Benoni  A. Parsons

I did not earn this love, that He

Has long bestowed on me.

For in this love, his goodness calls

To save me from the fall.

This love offered his son for me,

To set my bound soul free.

Such great things he has done for me,

With all this love, you see.

Now all is shown before his face:

There is no hiding place!

Here, each and every sinful case

Lays open to his gaze.

I pray he pays not as I earn,

Nor pay me turn for turn;

I pray such mercy He may show,

With all this love I know.

 

Ebola, go away

By Lekpele Nyamalon

 

Your time is up!

You’re a stranger, an enemy

Leave this space and go away

Your venom has struck

Bringing down pillars, built for years

Tearing apart men and women of courage

Digging beneath the depths of pain

But, where is your strength?

To rip to shreds the flesh?

That even a spin can send to rest?

Can you break the strength of united hearts?

And bruise the will of a silent hero?

No, no you’re just another thug

Roaming aimlessly like an armed bandit

You’re a loser a lone traveler

Lost in the tropical rainforest

Get out of here and go away!

Run back to where your comfort lies!

And what is your name? Ebola?

You don’t even have a name

You’re remembered after some river

Cuz, no one even cared about you

Leave the corridors of foya market

And vanish from the slums of west point and waterside

You chose the wrong target

Whose courage is stronger than steel’s back

And strength to blow away your venom

Lost in our resolve as a people

Shot in the leg by our patriotism

Your mission has failed, go away

Your target was missed, go away

Those men you took are smiling from above, resting in peace

You took them to a better place, go away

Go to the belly of tiny fruit bats

And slam your face in shame, beating yourself with hate

‘21days’ is your strength of time

And we live on forever

Ebola, go away.

 

 

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