Page 1

Expressions Talk Up, Not Down 2012

Poems of Expression of Passion, and of Enlightenment Sunday, July 8 – Saturday, July 14, 2012 Patuxent River 4-H Center Final Performance Friday, July 13, 2012 Bowie Center for the Performing Arts


This book is published by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Arts and Cultural Heritage Division. Arts Programs of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation are supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. The Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact the facility at least two-weeks in advance of the program start date to request an accommodation (i.e. sign language interpreter support). Copyright by each author 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanic, including the photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine or by a newspaper, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America.


Expressions

Talk Up, Not Down 2012 Poems of Expression of Passion, and of Enlightenment Sunday, July 8 – Saturday, July 14, 2012 Patuxent River 4-H Center Final Performance Friday, July 13, 2012 Bowie Center for the Performing Arts


This book is dedicated to the teens, staff, and the artists who made this publication possible and whose thoughts provide insights into the lives of the modern teenager.


TA B L E O F

vi

08

The Introduction

Ciera Major

10

My Poem

Xavier McClain

11

I am Shy

Antoinette Brunson

12

The Not Normal Being

Aminah Majied

13

Missed My Chance

Tabron Bryant

14

Untitled

Bola Fadojutimi

15

The Party

Morgan Watts-Green

16

I Am

Diamond Ward

17

Cocoon

Derek May-West

18

I Am

Milalai McClain

19

Happiness

Alexus Moore

20

Lost One

Jasmine Anderson

21

The Untold Truth

Alexis Adams

22

Life Lessons

Jaime Smith

23

Give Me A Chance

Cici Felton

24

I’m Glad You’re Gone

Chris Medley

25

You

Tobi Ajiboye

26

Earth

Malcolm Gilmore

27

A Helper’s Story

D’Asia Bando

28

Puppets

Diangelo Scott

29

My Life

Choncie Briley

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


CONTENTS 30

Untitled

Luis Navarro

31

Friends

Alexus Moore

32

A Change Can Happen

Diamond Ward

33

Life

D’Aundre Robinson

34

Forgive

Ruth Omolola

35

The Question

Tabron Bryant

36

Awesomeness

Elizabeth Reece

37

A Magic Number

Hayden Jubera

38

Untitled

Tionee Nell

39

They Won’t Break Me

Jasmine Anderson

40

No Witness

Tobi Ajiboye

41

My Brother’s Pain

Diangelo Scott

43

The Tripper of Life

Aminah Majied

44

What a Man Really Is

Milan Nell

45

You Tell Me

Pierce Lewter

46

Like A Butterfly

Antoinette Brunson

47

My Real Feelings

D’aundre Robinson

48

Life Lessons - Part 2

Jaime Smith

49

Untitled

Cici Felton

50

Beautiful

Ruth Omolola

53

My High

Tobi Ajiboye

54

I’ve Been Chosen

Cici Felton, Tobi Ajiboye, Ciera Major

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

vii


The Introduction Ciera Major

So you think you know me, you say you know me, you talk to and spend time with me, so you swear you know me You know my favorite color, you know what I like to do But the real question is—Do you really know me? Am I everything you think I am? Am I everything that you see? Do you even know what I want to be? I try to keep a smile on my face, from all the pain I hide inside But now I feel my insides starting to collide Can you hear me weeping, or see my tears seeping? Of course you can’t cause I’m crying silent tears, running from my fears My past is catching up, but God reminds me of my future This is my introduction, no destruction or corruption Try’in to stay on this straight line, all the time Don’t want my folks getting no call of any more disappointment Because of my foolish enjoyment Saying I got locked up, or shot up or maybe even knocked up But the sad thing is NO ONE really knows me And no you can’t see, who and what I want to be Because I don’t share and even when I do you brush me off as though you don’t care I talk but you don’t listen I hear but I don’t speak And then you wanna complain that our communication weak You shut me up and put me in a bottle

8

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Then encourage me that I could be a model This is one way I know, that you don’t know me or what I wanna be I been put down, tossed around and thrown to the ground But I been scared to tell you or even make a sound I used to get so mad at the world, Had my fist always curled If you got in my face, I’d punch you so hard your heart might get off pace I thought I could live with this pain But now I see that I can’t and it’s tearing apart my domain I don’t think you realize how much your words hurt me Building up like a giant tree And though I’m just crying it feels like a part of me is dying I wish I could put on a smile and say, “ those tears I haven’t seen in a while.” So you think you know, you say you know me, you talk to and spend time with me, so you swear you know me You know my favorite color, you know what I like to do I showed you the real me now it’s time to show me the real you This is my introduction, no destruction, no corruption This is who I am, and who I’m always gonna be To tell you the truth, this is the real me!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

9


My Poem Xavier M c Clain

I am thoughtless I wonder if I am not perfect I hear people cry in hunger I see what I want myself to see I want everything in sight I am greedy I pretend to help people in hunger So my mind feels better I touch people’s hearts I worry about others and not just me I cry to God to help me be me I am better than what I used to be I understand I’m not perfect I say positive good things I dream my own dream I try to help people when I can I hope for a successful and positive future I am……. A BETTER ME

10

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


I amShy

Antoinette Brunson I may be shy but I speak what is on my mind I see my future so strong and bright I want to be and I am going to be a lawyer I have a beautiful gift as a reader and a writer, But your beauty don’t get you anywhere And your beautiful gift of intelligence and knowledge gets you somewhere I have the potential to attend Harvard I have high expectations for me I believe I can achieve I don’t care about peoples opinions about my goals I know my expectations are something that I can reach I know my expectations may seem too much, But I expect more from me For a shy girl I am strong, bright, and wise Everyone says I can achieve my goals because I am shy But the gift of being a shy girl I definitely know I can achieve!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

11


TheNotNormal Being Aminah Majied

I look forward to the day where I feel normal The day where I don’t feel weird I look around telling myself that everyone has some baggage But at times it’s hard because I can’t find a thing wrong So instead I hold my head up high and try to act like them But deep down inside I know I’m not I know that they know I’m not one of them either Because I can hear their laughing and cackling I can tell they are thinking about why I am the way I am What is wrong with her? And why is she so weird? You know what…I am weird I’m weird, because I’m a different and, an “out there” individual And really I don’t care what people think or say Of course I might shed a tear But all those tears have made me the person I am

12

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Missed My Chance Tabron Bryant

Hey guys, have you ever had a loved one But you never got a chance to tell her what you really feel (pause) To finally to know true happiness I missed my chance Hey girls, did you ever find the right guy But you never got the chance To tell him how you really feel (pause) To finally know true love I missed my chance I knew this girl practically my whole life She was a good friend As the years went by We had grown apart (pause) I miss the days we didn’t In middle school I fell in love For what she was Not what she wasn’t I waited too long and I missed the call (pause) School let out, she went to another school I missed my chance at true love I hope other people that didn’t miss their chance Take this as a learning lesson (pause) Don’t wait long too tell someone how you feel Because I missed my chance

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

13


Untitled

Boloa fadojutimi

You told me what you wanted to hear And I’d say it You told me how to look And I’d change You told me to only listen to you And I’d give you my undivided attention But you can never tell me to stop writing But you can never tell me to stop my rhymes And my rhythm “And you can never take my poetry” So when I start to put my words on paper I no longer said what you wanted to hear I no longer looked how you wanted me to I no longer listened to you “The words I wrote demanded I be me and not you”

14

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


The Party

Morgan Watts-Green My party boomin’ Everybody’s movin’ Groovin’ Doin’ what we doin’ Nobody is shootin’ Or disputin’ We just rootin’ for that go-go band Watch me do that go-go-dance Jockin’ the pogo stance like it’s my only chance Everybody jammin’ to the beat wit dey feet real neat I see the girls tweakin’ They freakin’ Got the playas seekin’ that appealin’ Got me feelin’ like… That’s a good thing for a G like me Lookin’ so fresh and clean like da NRG Galaxies, also Known as the almighty Nikes Goin’ smack at girls And they smack back at me Not exactly. Every now and then I face rejection But I keep on tryin’,cuz quittin’s out the question learned dat lesson back as a freshman never asked this shawty out And I’m still stressin’ So I stepped my game up Hope I don’t mess up again Know it’s hard to see my feelin’s Cause of my reflection But throughout these last few years I been progressin’ And I’m guessin’ I’m destined to express myself Through poetry as a profession

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

15


I Am

Diamond Ward I am what matters I wonder about making the right choice and saying the right thing I hear words I see people I want to be more in life I am just being me I pretend I’m someone else I feel stuck in a dark place I touch the people around me I worry about those around me I cry my worries away I am a person, not a toy I understand why I’m here I say I can dream I try to fulfill my dream I dream about what I can become I hope I am a success I am not just a random person, but a human That’s what I am I am Diamond

16

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Cocoon

Derek May-West EVERY WOUND Makes my shell a little harder And my core a little softer YOU ASK Why I have shut myself in and stabbed myself, Knowing it would hurt I ASK Why you made me do this MAYBE One day all of us, Every size, shape, colour Can deal in a medium Agreeable to all REASON Until that day I remain A COCOON

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

17


I Am

Milalai M c Clain

I am quiet I am thoughtful I wonder if the world will ever be a peaceful place I want a better world I cry when I am sad I dream of my future I try to work hard with everything I do I hope to be successful I am unique

18

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Happiness Alexus Moore

Happiness is that uplifting feeling, At the time when you score high on your test Present when you meet up with old friends Perfect for family reunions. It creates smiles, hugs, and cheers, Necessary for birthday parties. Ever so important for sending that Sad and upset person Some love and peace of mind.

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

19


Lost One

Jasmine Anderson We argue just to make up Get together just to break up So sick of trying The hell with all this fake love You had to break my heart Should’ve seen it from the start Shedding tears Late nights Sitting in the dark Your words cut even deeper This love begins to fade Replaying what we used to be Days with you was sunny But now you’re throwing shade You played me?

20

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2

Ha!…Real cute I still love you But I’ll never be that sucker again Moving on is tough It can drive you insane I’m looking for answers But yet I’m always hit by pain They say you have nothing to lose And yet the world to gain Like I said I love you But baby, I love myself more I am over you O.V.E.R. you You are the lost one!


The Untold Truth Alexis Adams I think people are watching us Way above the stars In a land without conspiracy In a land so very far Through our aspirations They dream the way we dream They understand that our world is Not really what it seems They know the secrets of our demise And how it will all end They know our theories of chaos have Originated from sin. One day they will arrive And it will be their last The secret plots of evilness Will finally come to past.

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

21


Life Lessons Jaime Smith

Young carefree innocent You sing, laugh and dance Taking in all God’s glory At every single chance Some grown ups You ignore the wonders That you cherished as a child Gone is the carefree honesty and mild You ask around with blinders on Into the race of money and greed Not caring who gets hurt Just to fulfill your selfish needs Stepping over the lines of morals To have wealth and material things Ignoring all of God’s gifts Like the first rain in spring Keep that little child inside Hold her close to you heart We are only here for a brief time Then with this world we must part For a moment a day It’s okay to get silly To laugh and dance Take in all God’s glory At every single chance

22

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Give Me A Chance Cici Felton

So what are you telling me That just because I’m young I don’t have the capability To pursue my dreams

But look at our examples Those before us seem to find joy In putting us down before we even Have the chance to rise above the influence

You’re telling me that what I say Doesn’t matter just because it’s not what you believe Are you telling me that I am worthless And have nothing to live for? No, I am telling you That this is who I am My generation cannot be defined By the thoughts of the small-minded Your ignorance will not provoke me To change for anyone Because we are all Beautifully and wonderfully made by God So who are you to judge me?

So I don’t understand how you can tell me My generation is going nowhere How you can tell me that what I say doesn’t matter? I DO MATTER I have a voice that’s waiting to be heard A story waiting to be told Encouragement that’s waiting to be given I just need for you to believe in me Just give me a chance to show you My abilities, my dreams, my aspirations Just give me a change to show you the real me Instead of believing the stereotypes of our society

Yes, we sag our pants And wear tight clothes

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

23


Im ' Glad You're Gone Chris Medley

It has been 8 years and now you wanna talk to me Yeah you’re my dad—but to me you are just trash You beat my mother all night and drink all day But really? You still want me to call you dad I hate you Once you were out of my life, I have nothing to do with you But to thank you for this poem

24

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


You

Tobi Ajiboye You are not worth my mind, my time, my rhymes or my future dimes You are the less, I am glad I will never have to settle for You are the worst thing I will never have to have It’s ok if you can’t see me for me But one day you are going to be on your knees Begging me please But don’t worry I have already gone ahead of you I will let you know that I have already forgiven you You will always be the EX, that left room for The next

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

25


Earth

Malcolm Gilmore One of the great revelations Of space exploration Is the image of the earth Finite and lonely Bearing the entire human species Through the oceans of space and time This planet reminds me of myself in certain aspects, for I am what seems to be a lonely soul, in vastly populated cosmos. As I sometimes lay on my bed reflecting on all that I Have learned I feel as though I look through the astronomical eyes Of God. This feeling, The feeling of learning is what drives me. This feeling is what keeps my brain from betraying my Body in an act of suicide. This feeling is what defines me.

26

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


A Helper's Story D’ASIA Bando

There is something I want to say But I can’t …… I want to speak But I refuse to look weak It’s difficult to be me But I will try to help you see I am like a fragile flower But I camouflage to protect myself So people won’t hurt me I’m tired of all my lies Cultivating all my cries I live upon an image that my feelings are contained They come out slowly through my face But I shatter as they show I am a natural helper I care about people I am naturally in tune to other people’s thoughts Some people think that people who help them don’t need help themselves But they never ask They never ask what’s going on Or why I am the way I am They never care to see the pain living within So I just fight Fight until I can’t fight no more Fight till you listen Fight for you to see the real me

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

27


Puppets

Diangelo Scott People controlling other people And the sad part is None of them know they’re being controlled It’s almost like their walking down the path called LIFE But they’re not walking on their own They are being controlled With strings attached all over their bodies Drug kings sit back and watch As their followers get kille And thrown in jail just because they got caught Or they gave their so-called “client” the wrong amount Gang leaders sit back and watch As their members get shot up And locked up Just because they’re in that organization People need to realize That as soon as they say “Are you in?” And you reply “Yeah, I’m in,” They have attached their strings all over you And they are holding you Against your will Boys playing with girls Men playing with women Even fake gentlemen playing with ladies At some point people need to understand The situation that their in and realize and think to themselves, “I’m being used, controlled, and taken advantage of” All I’m saying is Don’t let anybody attach their strings to you unless they’re trying to pull you in. Remove the strings and spend the rest of their life with you.

28

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


My Life

Choncie Briley Comin' from the land of Obama I'm living a real life drama See, money just started gettin' along with my mama Don't do dirt cause I believe in karma Whatever don't kill you will make you stronger I refuse to be unheard any longer I carry on like a comma No one knows the unknown so we prone to drama The page was blank before he started sketching See, my first 20 years on earth was like the Great Depression Pa's tripping, Ma stressing Grandma up at church looking for a blessing Use my mind as a weapon God as protection And don't associate with the fake That's a life-long lesson He gave us the answers, now he just testing Pass or fail, was the heaven or hell As freedom or jail Lord only knows, so I could never tell My life

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

29


Untitled

Luis Navarro I’m no writer Nor poet I know I’m not good at poetry But as days pass in this camp I realize poetry is not about being a good writer But saying what you think and feel A chance to connect and open doors with others Because that is what makes a good poet

30

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Friends

Alexus Moore

Fun to talk to when you need someone and Ready to do anything crazy by your side. I try to respect my companions, Even when they make me want to scream Never will bring harm to them. Dumb would I be to not realize, Such amazing friends I have!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

31


A Change CanHappen Diamond Ward

Only you can make a change This is not the time to sit back Get up and do something in life Boys going around -- pants sagging Girls barely walking from tight clothes Everybody trying to get what we call Quote and quote…”some action” What does “getting some action” mean? Are you trying to fool me I am smarter than that I’m not some toy puppet You don’t put your hand up my back to make me talk I man my own life Do you see any strings attached? I don’t, but sometimes I see them attached to you I am not a toy and neither are you Only you can make the best of your life, Not me Only you can make a change happen

32

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


Life

D’Aundre Robinson Life is a gamble Some people take it for granted. Don’t play around can you handle it… Well maybe a little bit. Stop! Listen! Pause, sit. I’m here to tell you about life You can be here today and gone tomorrow I’m filled with hurt and sorrow Where’s my $20 you borrowed See that’s how life goes It’s filled with liars, cheaters, and beaters. Some people say, “The world’s ending” But in my defense, it’s only beginning!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

33


Forgive

Ruth Omolola

Sometimes I wish I could forgive you for all the wrong things you have done. Yes we planned our lifetime together, but you betrayed me Betrayed me to the point that I gave upon myself Betrayed me to the point that I can’t trust anyone that comes close to me. I wish I could forget you Forget all the memories, the stories we told, the love we shared I wish I could be free…free from you Sometimes I wish my dad was a glassmaker so my flesh can be invisible Sometimes I wish I was paralyzed so I couldn’t feel the pain you’ve caused me But I can And though I can’t forget you…I do forgive you

34

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


The Question Tabron Bryant

What’s the matter with me? I don’t know the rhythm of the poem But I never really did an emotional poem before But others I get it just like that But I guess that’s life Something’s you get And some you don’t But if I work at it I can get the beat Then I’ll know it’s perfect And I would be at ease

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

35


Awesomeness Elizabeth Reece

I got here and was more scared than the first timers I got here and thought this won’t be that bad I got here and was blown away I got here and wanted to stay I got here and wanted to make 25 friends But behind it all I got here to help change a life BUT INSTEAD THEY CHANGED MINE!!!

36

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


A MagicNumber Hayden Jubera A triangle has 3 sides And 3 points And 3 angles That add up to 180 degrees Which is divisible by 3 Which is a magic number There are three of us And you are both a separate point On this magic shape Your point has grown sharper To the point it pierces my heart And reminds me why I love you It’s strange to me That the further I am from you The sharper your point becomes And when I’m close And you’re closer Things are warm And the butterflies DANCE!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

37


Untitled

Tionee Nell

Fifteen years ago You looked at my dark brown eyes The doctor told you that you had a beautiful baby girl The thought of being daddy’s little girl Brought joy to my soul But all that changed When you left me four years up the road I always thought about the reason you left Was it because I was a girl Or was it because I was a disappointment to you You have no respect Not even sending your checks You got my mind in disbelief You’re starting to be a fading memory But that’s not going to change me

38

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


TheyW on'tBreak Me Jasmine Anderson

I hear them talking Oh she this? Oh she that? But imam put all rumors to rest You may know my name But not my story Never had a father figure in my life That’s why I never let a boy in my heart Cause I never had a father to tell me how I should be treated Oh they say, “she got an attitude problem” But I don’t I’m just very blunt People used to try to take advantage of me Because I didn’t have a voice They tried to break me But I finally picked my head up And said how I was feeling I told myself I refuse to be broken I refuse to feel less than I am I refuse to not have a voice anymore So I put my emotions on paper How can somebody else pain be somebody’s happiness? No, “They won’t break me!”

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

39


No W itness Tobi Ajiboye

Your honor If only these walls could talk They would tell you, how far I’ve walked Today, I am not the type of person You could describe with one word I cannot be conveyed as what you would prefer But before I knew that I had the authority to command My platform Before I had the ability to intertwine my mind with my ink You know what? Let me take you to the link Where lies my pass Where you were not accepted unless you were fast My dad left me when I was five He positioned me head first for that dive He deprived me of a male figure The whole world was telling me, go figure My mom was there to hold, support and love me I never held anyone more above I always liked playing with toys Then I became a toy for boys

40

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2

Trying to wind and tune my knobs All my possessions they were trying to rob Got involved with a 19 year old when I was twelve He was an easy tell, because he meant well I had to drop him on my journey though Because I prioritized, my virginity and my dignity From there I moved from house to house Forcefully walking on eggshells Plus I got bullied in school All those other kids thought it was cool I remember those nights I would wake up and cry Wishing there was a ticket way out I could buy Suicide was not an option Fearing my sisters might fall into corruption Then I found my identity Life had no right mistreating me Fellas, I have been my own man And I have the ability to give myself a hand Your honor, I have no one here to take account of my testimony But at the end of the day, it will all be celebrated in a ceremony.


My Brother's Pain Diangelo Scott I don’t know the whole story

THAT STUFF

But I will share with you what I do know

Was the reason she was never in the house

I have a brother from another mother

to comfort him

The only difference between me and him

THAT STUFF

Is that my mother was there for me

Was the reason he never had any food to eat

But his wasn’t

Because she sold it

As a child I would listen to

Just to get some of

My parents HER or SHE

THAT STUFF

I never knew her name

I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow he felt

I asked them but they wouldn’t tell me anything

When he sat in the house on all of those late nights

I was told she was on THAT STUFF

waiting for her to tuck him in, tell him a bedtime story,

But she wasn’t on it

say good night son I LOVE YOU

She was stuck, attached and glued to it

instead he had to watch her in anger limp through the

She was addicted

door with a strange man

I can’t imagine the pain my brother felt

Every day he had to look at her and think to himself this

As he watched his mother

My mother

Slowly kill herself

Everyday he had to look at her and think to himself this

THAT STUFF

Is my problem

Wasn’t only killing her physically, but mentally

And everyday he had to look at himself

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

41


My Brother's Pain Diangelo Scott And say this is my life

But instead he cried and let out every word

But I can’t down talk his mother that much

He knew that every adult told him not to say

Because I don’t know her story either

We cried

But that didn’t give her the right to treat her son the way

Not because we felt his pain, but because we didn’t

she did

know how it felt. And we certainly didn’t know what type of damage his

The one day he finally snapped on her up to the point

mother had done.

My father had to come and put him in check and that

Now, I bet you all think that he’s out in the street

One line is still stuck in my head and I believe its in my

somewhere, doing who-knows-what

Brother’s head for when my father told him

Well, don’t

“she is still your mother”

I’ve only told you what he went through

He moved in with me, my mother and brother and

Not his whole life story

everything seemed fine

My brother

My father asked to speak with him alone one night and

Dontra Scott

of course me and my brother wanted to be nosey so

Is currently a doctor up in New York and every time he

we ease dropped

gets a letter, it says,

And we sat there next to the door terrified at what

To: Dr. Dontra Scott

Dondra’s reaction was going to be as my father told him

And we’re all proud of him

“Your mother is in jail”

42

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


TheTripper of Life Tionee Nell

Guilt is one of the worst feelings Once you get it, it clutches you But it’s the problem from the past Because of this you’re always looking back And not looking forward Because of this, you can’t be your best And your best is awaiting And your future is no longer bright, it’s dim You live in the past and not the future Your whole life seems to be crumbling And tumbling You know what I say to that? Push through What you did in the past is done Those you hurt was your fault Don’t let that guilt be the mountain in your pathway Cause no one’s going to help you And no one’s going to help you And no one’s going to feel sorry for you Because in this world you have to dust yourself off And keep on walking

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

43


What aManReallyIs Milan Neil

A man to me is someone who cares He shows nothing but love and never show fear He never breaks down Or gets in a fuss He takes care of his spouse Without thinking of lust A man to me is bold and tough He deals with problems without getting rough Compare him to a lion in a jungle Not the negative part, but when he’s humble A man could fold here and there Which means he could show his feelings A man is one who could raise the younger boy up For example, takes the time to say, “pull your pants up” To me, my father is a man He always keeps a smile on my face And when bad arrives, he always has a plan To me, my father is my role model and coach He teaches me how to be like certain folks I hope you understand what I said Because to me that man is what a man really is

44

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


YouTell Me Pierce Lewter

They say beauty is the key So I’m guessing the padlock is ugly I’m not really a poet, but I’mma spit a li’l poetry Mix a li’l bit of flow into it And now you got floetry Nothing really positive in the world Except for the seed which is represented As a growth of a tree They say the root is all evil So what are babies Not to make a sad story but this is crazy No matter what you do it seems impossible to succeed Because all the world cares about is missing kids and money. All I’m trying to do is lower the statistics in the jail cells Too many kids dying While their mom write their obituary Claiming they lived right But they’re probably on their way to hell It’s like the whole world is fake We all like to show and tell We all make mistakes, But my soul is not for sale If I had one wish I not want to see my mom cry I would look into her teary eyes And dry them off with a big smile It’s amazing how many people can spell love, But can’t show it. We say we love America 

When we hardly even know it Call us the land of the free? But we’re locked up in slavery in a deathtrap Mentally surrounded by the Illuminati’s and the police I put my hands up now so you tell me

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

45


Like aButterfly Antoinette Brunson I think of myself as a butterfly Shy and lonely in the cocoon Then would open my wings up and fly away I am the beautiful butterfly that is also shy Maybe I will open up one day I am a couple of steps away I am going to keep trying until the day will come That I will spread my wings out and fly away

46

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


MyReal Feelings D’aundre Robinson Why do people miss judge me One minute I’m classy But the next minute I’m sassy Then I’m nice then I’m gay But the one who is talking crap is in my face Trust me I’m not a follower Uh Duh! I’m a leader, who gurl! You look fierce! But then you say I shop at Sears So which one is it you like me or you don’t Oh no-no boo-boo you Know I’m not a punk I sit back and observe Like Kandy from X-scape I fly above this is the real me… This is my real feelings

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

47


LifeLesson‑Part 2 Antoinette Brunson I’ll be happy once I’ve done this certain thing We all say this often Not realizing what it brings

So often, others see What’s in front of our face But we’re to blind to look As we share in the race

We only look to the future For our happiness Letting life slip through Our fingers in its fullness

Is it money, fortune, fame Or a big house? When speaking to a man on his deathbed None of these answers Are what he said

Why we really feel complete When the task is done Or look back and see How we missed so much fun Self consumed so We can’t see anything else Hurting those who we love As well as ourselves So many things around us To be grateful for When seeking for an answer Willingly open the door

48

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2

Family, love, laughter Are what we should seek These are the precious Things right outside your door


Untitled Cici Felton

They tell me that I’m a great poet That I have the power to reach others with my words They tell me to believe in myself But why it is that they see more in me than I see? Why is it that I can’t feel Like I’m worth as much as they think Why is it, that I’m my own worst enemy They tell me that my beauty is skin deep But what happens when you’re so broken on the inside That your skin can no longer hold you together When your make-up begins to fade And the foundation can no long cover up who you are What happens when you’re exposed When your walls collapse And smiling is just a memory What happens when you’re lost Trapped and at war with yourself What happens when the tears begin to fall and Your life begins to crumble What happens when you’re all alone and The only thing that can help you is your own pain What happens, when love don’t live here no more

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

49


Beautiful

Ruth Omolola You are beautiful No matter what they say Words can’t bring you down But they can and they have You see, I’m a little too short To shoot a ball from half court And I look a little too different To ever believe it when you call me beautiful And I wish I was a bit taller Maybe I wish a bit taller But if there was one thing I really wish I was beautiful My shoulders are lop-sided I got acne on my skin And hardly ever win Unless, of course, it’s chess But even then I’m not the best But buddy, I’m not blind So don’t tell me I’m beautiful See, we got these things in our room Called a mirror And it was designed So you can see yourself clearer

50

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2

But the father of lies Plays tricks with your eyes Whispering in your ear how you’re too big, too small, too short How your legs are too short And just to lie tryin’ get you to think You’re not beautiful And if you think You are just fine Just as long as he can tell you that pride So whatever light you hold inside He’ll do anything To put it out by making you think It’s earning you hell For you to think you’re beautiful You are beautiful No matter what they say Words can’t bring you down But they can and they have Because as soon as he gets you to believe That you’ll never be free So the only way is to sit and starve yourself And let the tears pour Or even hurl your stomach In the toilet And you look in the mirror And ask now do you look beautiful?


Or you walk in wanting to be The life of the party So you drop a couple shots Pick up a forty Little while later You start feeling sporty

And little girl I know you always wanted to be a princess And all you thought you needed was a prince To call you precious

The room starts to wobble You can’t walk so you hobble And everybody snickers at what a fool you are And your raise your red solo cup In the air and ask Now do I act beautiful? Little boy, I know you always wanted to be a man And lately you been askin’ But the devil doesn’t want you To know how powerful you are So he lies and tells you You’ll never have anything worthwhile So you start clicking and strolling And your eyes start rolling And the moment the devil convinced you To sell your soul To a computer screen The devil hits within you with his shame game And tells you you’re disgusting

So you think you have to dress So everything can be seen Got to let them boys look at you Like they look at a dirty magazine Let them go a little further Than you want them to go And when it’s all done You still wanna know Do you love me Do you think I’m beautiful? Does anybody think I’m beautiful? I do proclaim the voice of the sky He says let me dry your eyes I’ve heard your cry Galaxy and shooting stars I sent spinning So you would know that I love you And I think you’re beautiful And he says You are beautiful because of what I say

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

51


My High Tobi Ajiboye

You just want to see me cry You just want to see me dry But you are not going to get that ride Because I have limited time I am going to be strong Turn away from all my wrong Going to be the bird in the sky Making sure I fly quite high You just want to see me cry You just want to see me dry Going to be the bird in the sky Making sure I fly quite high

52

Ex pressio ns: Ta l k U p, N ot D o wn 2 0 1 2


I ve ' BeenChosen

Cici Felton, Tobi Ajiboye, Ciera Major Sometimes I cry at night Sometimes I let the thoughts of Others condemn the way I feel Sometimes I don’t even know who I am It’s like, I’m slowly transforming into this mosaic of the person Everyone wants me to be And instead of being pieced Together by God, I’m filled with Impurity Why me? Why me? Why I gottah be disappointed one they all see? Sometimes I feel alone, and that I don’t belong No one wants me, no one cares; pshh Speak I would I wouldn’t dare

Why me? Why me? Why does my failure have to be glorified? Why are my bars so high? Why do I have to be the one Disrespected and mistreated because You are afraid of what I see you as. Of what you really are; truth is…. I’ve been chosen to tell my story I’ve been chosen to be different I’ve been chosen to be the giant And I’ve been chosen to be me!

POems o f E xpressi o n , Of Passi o n, and o f enli ghtenment

53


Acknowledgements Patuxent River 4-H Staff

Kevin Costin Kelly Steelle Derek May-West Jake Macary Elizabeth Reece Brooke Bowling Hayden Jubera Kelly Ingle Beverly Brown Lynn Parker Jocelyn Winemiller

&


Special Thanks Guest Artists

Christopher Fields aka

Poetry Man

Neville Adams aka

Phoenix

J. Joy Matthews Alford aka

Sistah Joy

Deserie Johnson aka

Sanjo Jendayi

SeKeithia Johnson aka

Queen Gyre

Lillian Shaw Visual Artist Glenda Bullock Willis Counselor And the Watts Prophets, whose mentoring and training made this program possible!


Expressions

Talk Up, Not Down 2012 Expressions 2012, now in its sixth year, began on Sunday, July 8, 2012, led by Master Poets: Chris Fields, Sistah Joy, Neville Adams, Desiree Johnson, Kee Kee Johnson, visual artist Lillian Shaw, and counselor Glenna Bullock Willis. They spent a week wondering with, teaching, and mentoring the participants in the use of poetry and the spoken word. The program’s goal is to teach teenagers how to use poetry and spoken word as a positive tool for expression in addition to enhancing their self image, self confidence, and public speaking skills. The participants, who learn leadership and mentoring skills, are asked to return to their neighborhoods with these skills and share them with their peers. The participants are also introduced to other art forms, including painting, mask making, etc. Additionally, they participate in typical camp activities like night hikes, archery. All activities focus on team building and supporting fellow team members in completing the assigned task or activity.

All the activity during the week leads up to the presentation of the final project entitled “Hip Hop Poetry Choir”. This performance is fully produced and provides the venue for the team members to present the work they’ve created during the week. The performance is video taped and copies are made available to each teen. In addition to the video, the teens’ work is published and each is given a copy of the book. Expressions staff schedule quarterly reunions with the participants, keeping track of their writing and to see if they have applied the leadership and mentoring skills. The teens are also invited to participate in other Department of Parks and Recreation program that include monthly Café groove Coffee Houses for Teens and Artists in Residency Programs in community centers. For information about the program, please contact Stewart Seal (301-466-3466) or stewart.seal@pgparks.com.


&

About Parks

Recreation

Founded in 1927, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is a bi-county agency serving Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, located just to the north and east of Washington, DC. The original purpose of the Commission, or M-NCPPC, was to practice “longrange planning and park acquisition and development.” Since its inception, however, the Commission’s responsibilities have expanded to include administration of Prince George’s County’s public recreation program. A well-respected leader in the field, the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation provides quality recreation programs, facilities, and services for residents and visitors. The Commission operates and maintains more than 26,000 acres of parkland throughout the county, including land centers, and recreation facilities. In an effort to maintain the county’s natural beauty, a large percentage of the land has been

left undeveloped to serve as buffers and to provide natural open spaces. With cooperation and input from diverse communities throughout Prince George’s County, the Department operates a comprehensive park and recreation system that offers programs and facilities designed to meet the needs and interests of patrons of all ages. Outdoor festivals, live performances, trips, self-improvement classes, teen and senior activities, summer camps, fitness and sports programs, art and nature programs, and more than 40 miles of hiker/ biker/equestrian trails are just a few of the recreational amenities offered. A skilled and qualified workforce of community recreation specialists, park planners, naturalists, park police, support staff, and many others helps the Department provide quality services to the residents of Prince George’s County.


Expressions Talk Up, Not Down Class of 2012

Expressions Poetry Book 2012  

Poems of Expression of Passion and of Enlightment