My Plan Not My Purpose (part 2)

My plan, not my purpose had me embarrassed and angry at the position I had placed myself in.

Part 2

One chair sits across an empty room on a plain discolored wall next to the door. A little television sits propped on the chair serving as entertainment that in a short period of time proved to be a distraction out of poverty. For the next four hours, cartoons would be the choice of education for these men. Men that had single mothers, children and “baby mommas” that awaited the attention of a man with purpose, drive and ambition that was so needed to destroy the generational curses of sin and poverty that was exposed every time I stepped onto the pavement of the apartments that were gravely positioned down a stretch of road littered with trash on both sides.

My plan, not my purpose had me embarrassed and angry at the position I had placed myself in.

The smell of crack cocaine came in between the stints of empty Vodka bottles littered about me. As we sat on the crumbling brick wall that lined itself along one of the apartment buildings, I listened to the meaningless and uninformed conversation of the men and women who determined success by the amount of money spent partying over the weekend. As the liquor continued to flow, a deep-seated sadness began to fill me. The only way to survive was to partake of the spirits.

But I sat quietly with a slight buzz from the Vodka because I am considering that I am out of my purpose, and anger is rising because my plan, not my purpose put me in a poverty ridden apartment overgrown with weeds that disguised themselves as people.

My plan.

Not my purpose.

Was taken me to nowhere.

To be continued…

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

My Plan Not My Purpose

My Plan Not My Purpose

The apartment is gravely positioned down a stretch of road littered with trash on both sides. On any given night it would not be safe to walk alone. Weeds overgrown with a wilderness that mimics the very people that lived there. The apartment buildings exhibit an exhausted appearance of a woman once pretty but now worn and ugly from the men that have run through and in her.

The stairwell that leads to an upstairs apartment is dark, damp, and dingy.

My plan not my purpose led me up the stairs to one of the darkest seasons of my life. At no specific time, the smell of burnt plastic would fill the air. I soon learned this was the smell of crack cocaine.

My plan to be independent led me to sleep on an old mattress laid on the scuffed wooden floor of an apartment void of life. No furniture. No family portraits. No groceries to fix and sit around the table. Some days no water. Other days no electricity.

All by choice not by force.

My plan.

Not my purpose.

Was taken me to nowhere.

To be continued…

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Can I Come Up…

Can I come up to the place that keeps you sane?

Where the wind blows all your cares away.

Where the freedom pushes you to soar in the universe of opportunities.

Where the clouds impersonate your long lost imaginary friends.

Where the beautiful blue sky takes you into a day dream filled with miracles that energizes all your senses.

Where the squirrels frolic freely without a sense of death.

Where the birds gaze down on the Earth walkers with sympathy.

Where my eyes and heart can see all the possibilities.

Where the world looks smaller than our problems.

-Climbing to the Treetop

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Treetop

Spirit and Soul

1Spirit to SpiritI love taking pictures of beautiful places and things. This one is a beautiful church in Atlanta GA. I used this picture for this particular poem because we often attend places of worship to bring balance to the turmoil that churns inside us. 

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Mystifying

Love is not enough to conquer the demons

that lurk in the inner most dwelling of your bones.

It has surpassed the soul & spirit. It does not move freely

in your heart & mind. It has hardened & calcified in the bones.

It is thick & unmovable. Days filled with laughter & smiles

of those that love you no longer matter. Days filled with

accomplishments & accolades do not impress it. Days filled

with “I love you” & “I can’t live without you” no longer can stop

it in its tracks. It is mystifying & unstoppable by any

living thing.

-Mystified

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Hot Summer Days of Georgia Became a Curse to Me

The hot summer days of Georgia had a special way of piercing my skin with a darkness that made most black folks uncomfortable. I was a beautiful sun-kissed child that loved playing outside; but somehow, this love and longing to enjoy the beautiful rays of sun and the smell of the fresh grass and blooming flowers became what seemed like a curse. I remember waking up each morning excited to go outside and play with all the other kids. We would play from morning to night without rest. That’s just how great it was.

But somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

As I got older and began to take notice, I watched other black kids sun-kissed skin turn to what I perceived as an envious colored cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany skin that glistened as they sweated in the hot summer days of Georgia.

But somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

As I played and toyed with the sun of Georgia, it played and toyed with me. My beautiful sun-kissed skin took on the sun like it would never see it again. My skin obsessed with the sun developing a relationship that would not be broken. We made a bond that produced a child with a rich of blackness that glistened in the Georgia sun. This child was beautiful. This child was me.

But still somehow the hot summer days of Georgia would seem like a curse to me…

Blacky! Tar Baby! Black Jesus! …what are these names that I hear? The child born of the Georgia sun was beautiful. I was beautiful. I was not these names I heard as I played hide-go-seek and caught grasshoppers in the hot summer days of Georgia. This child could not be any different than the cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany black children playing “red light, green light” in the large country fields…Feelings of unworthiness slightly creeping in as we all played hopscotch in the hot Georgia sun.

The hot summer days of Georgia were becoming a curse to me…

The hot Georgia sun and my relationship grew strained as I fought the urge to disappear as my deep dark  black skin continued to grow darker under the hot Georgia sun. A color that made most black folks uncomfortable.

I began retreating in the arms of another. This other shielded and protected me from the relationship that caused me so much pain. He kept me sheltered hoping one day I would feel normal like the cinnamon, mocha, bronze, and mahogany black children that ran under the water sprinkles in hot summer days of Georgia.

My love for those hot summer days of Georgia grew to an end. I fell in love with the darkness that took over the sky as the sun decided to retreat from the Georgia sky. Instead of amusing myself with the butterflies that flew around us as we played, I began counting the stars that glowed brightly in the sky. Now I watched for shooting stars in the Georgia sky.

Even though I could not avoid running into the hot summer days of Georgia, I kept our relationship brief. As I also did with the black folks that stared with an uncomfortable glare at the deep dark black skin that covered me.

As I stared at the sparkling stars, I began to forgive the sun that so beautifully kissed me with a darkness that would not go away. My new love helped me develop a passion and hunger for that darkness that made most black folks uncomfortable. I fell in love with my deep dark black skin as I began to view life in the sparkles of the stars that covered the Georgia sky.

-Sun Kissed

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.