STRONG, POWERFUL & BOLD

The weight of the world carried in her womb

Built a nation on her back for others to consume

And then you assume that she is not worthy of the benefits of her sacrifice

As she screams out All My Life I had to fight

she slaved in the fields so that we could be free

She worked in factories so that we could have a college degree

So I ask you today what will your legacy be?

She speaks Hebrew, Spanish, English, Swahili, Slavic

She is universal, religious, wicken, cosmic

Will you walk hand in hand into the rising of the sun or will you succumb

I say no never that, because we are stronger than that

I say no never that, because I was birthed through the hips of a woman who survived slave ships and whips for simply being Black

My history is no mystery the stories been told

I've inherited these traits that's why I am strong, powerful and bold"

 

The Playaz Club

When she grow up she gone dance like Diamond

Stolen DVD’s and DVD Players already had her in the line up

She would never know when time’s up

Yea, she gone be a Diamond

So they ask questions and prepare

The directions they share, she doesn’t complain about life not being fair

They grew her up to be a Diamond, things got rough

She call the shots, no bluff, anything for a dollar

Other than that why bother, you ever sell your soul 

For a life that is not better than your own

Give away Sunday meals, hugs and Kisses

All because of stole DVD’s and DVD players

She was meant to be a Diamond

I guess that means she’s the prettiest

Reading, writing, career, she’s a Barbie

Find her for free, hardly, she was raised to be a Diamond

She made herself rough you can find her at the bookstore

Or somewhere eating sushi who got they eye on a dollar

When they make enough to wear Gucci 

Who would sell their soul for a chance to just grab it

She was always going to be a Diamond

Worth more than dollars and a bad habit 

 

You Can’t Play With My YoYo

She couldn’t really explain it

But she remembered the time a man grabbed her waist

Slapped her face and told her to bend over

He had no other way of knowing

The confines, the timelines, the breeders, the Laborers

Let’s Play A Game, they wonder what you Saw

Slapped down and then kissed on the forehead

“You know I don’t mean to hurt you”

That was the language she knew, she had no other way to teach me

Other than to send me into the wild, learn the way she had

The teachers words never made sense

What is a slap, what is a war, what is virginity, what is masculinity

If you have never experienced it before, how can I protect what’s mine

When I’ve already been told it doesn’t belong to me

Free, how can you grow up knowing

Showing, Telling, Smiling, Thriving, Hiding

I’ll let you know when and if it’s okay to play with my yo yo 

 

Invisible Parts

For Little Black & Brown girls

Who smile when their fro's are gone

Taught to never let their fro’s grow long

Black women, their invisible part leaves them

Invisible.

You can be Malaysian, Peruvian, Brazilian

Anything but Black, given the addiction of the creamy crack

Ponytails don't puff they poof, Into thin air

Strands of thin straightened hair

 For Little Black & Brown girls

Who never got to rock rough and tough

I remember the day they permed my Afro puffs

I sit quietly

She is Janet in Poetic Justice

She is Jada in Set It Off

She is a little Black & Brown girl

Who grew up and revived herself at all cost

How much is it worth to you?

--$140 plus four packs of hair.

She refused to be invisible.

Consider her braids, office wear.

She is professional

She is vibrant

She is everything she ever wanted to be

And she even shows love to her queens who choose to rock their fro’s in between weaves

To Let it breathe

she remembers the Revlon commercial with

the woman with the long blonde hair

she was 6

Her hair was nappy

And They hot combed that shit

The grease burned her scalp

But all they could see

Was that there was no real place in the world

For little girls with Afros or braids with beads

She grew up

Cut it off

They thought she was crazy

Stripped herself of the lies,

they told with their eyes

And now her reflection is a blessing

She stares so hard

Sometimes she feels paralyzed

Her crown is her glory

She sends the praises up

For all the little Black & Brown girls

Who grew up

And learned not to give a fuck.

 

The Wage

The wage slavery is real

But the wage slaves purchase the things they want

And never fully know how to feel

They will argue with you that they are free

...

And I will remember what Harriet said,

"I've freed hundreds of slaves and could have freed hundreds more had they known they were slaves". And I will remember that slaves came in all shapes, colors and sizes.

They will argue with you that they are not blind

Spend their lives running out of money

Still trying to to buy time

And never understand what they can truly possess

They will argue that they have no masters

And we watch as they report to duty

Sometimes mindless, have you checked the data

Maybe they'll think you're just a hata

They will argue that their thoughts have not been stolen, that their bodies have not deteriorated from the stress and mental breakdown of a system that will tell you time and time again that it was not designed for you to fail, like when you do not read the rules before starting a game of Monopoly

A system that was designed for you to participate in a way that benefits the oppressor. What's your stressor?

I was told that the master's tools cannot dismantle the master's house, but if I master the master... whose house is it really?

Have you dressed up in the oppressors clothes and called it equality?

Has the master dressed you.... and does your parking sticker make you feel...worthy?

I remember the first time I decorated my desk....I remember the day I felt suffocated and left...?

They will say they are not slaves

However, what would you do without the wage

 

Cyber Talk

--Text me

Phone in hand

Waiting on Your vibration

Will your message take me higher

--Text me

Do you get butterflies when you see my name

Heart eye emojis that drive you insane

Or do I type on this keyboard in vain

Are you sending me the 'I'm bored text'

Only hit me up when you're trying to avoid your ex

Got me killing time while you waiting on your next

--Text

Do my kissy face innuendos make you smile

Make you wanna chill for a while

Or are you 'all text'

No FaceTime

I'm trying to get that face to face time

But in the meantime

--Text me

 

We Wonder

My favorite memories start with a dampened washcloth and exquisite tray

Other than that I ran wild with the other project kids, 

except for when my mother said I couldn’t go outside to play 

I’m not really in charge of who was birthed

through the womb of addicts and abused mothers

My spirit is a doula so I know to rip out the placenta before a fetus has to Stevie Wonder

We wonder,

When other kids show signs of a life much different than ours

And if we attack they will tell us that our parents were cowards

Who let their hands out to be shackled, who bent over to sniff the crack

We wonder,

And when the kids who are poorer than us point out the thing that we missed

It is our addicted abused mothers that we never forget to kiss

Their story is our entry

Their life is their own

There are pieces of our existence that will forever be unknown 

There are some in the grave

Some whose bodies stay to dwell

Their habits so ingrained in the system

They stick around and take care of you like family

And when my presence announces the truth they can’t stand me

There stands the spirit of a broken crack man, a prostitute, a pimp and his hoe

If the system hadn’t told them to be called mother, many would have said no

We would have wandered the streets

Many would say we already did 

We are diamonds in the rough

The one’s master’s remorse hid

 

HerStory

She grew out of the wilderness

Which is why her version of the story doesn’t exist

She dislikes corner boys dressed in suits

Her agency is what they dismiss

She would choose hate

But she learned from Coretta it would only cause injury

She cries when the captured men hold high Black Power fist

Only to appease their capturers and expose those in the movement

The ones who would do anything for their next feed

The ones who would kill not to lose it by creed, no good deed

The ones who pack themselves like the psychic trauma of chattel cramped in the Amistad, they say crabs in the barrel,

She says they cleave out of need to chain themselves

They hang themselves and the ones with free eyes

Dislike being near the offspring of the master, when they say “well what do you want me to do now”, they’ve already done it to themselves

Like when you can’t chit chat over lunch without someone correcting your grammar, while having a below average standard

Like when you get scolded by a superior for not accepting sexual advances, She thinks it would be a fun date

Like when you choose to be sober and notice that only when intoxicated do they find themselves void of the pain

Yes, it is okay to have a drink

However, they can no longer understand the literature once they do

It is like knowing you can wear braids and afros here

However, someone keeps giving you the two finger tap

Like, when you are constantly two seconds away from parading around in someone else’s slavery, someone else's handcuffs, someone else’s emancipation

You see they can’t understand why I behave as if I have always been free

They dismiss my smiles and laughter while I drink from the water fountains that have no signs

I have not fought their fights, but I have fought mine

 

Can You?

Can You Handle It

Can I Go There With You

Can You Break Down the Vernacular

Understand When God’s Gift Is Spectacular

When Galaxies of One Hundred Billion Stars Com-bust

Can You Handle When Trust Is A Must

Can You Handle “It”

Can I Go There With You

Ego Trippin’

Magnolias.

He picked her

Yin, she was his feminine energy and he was her Yang..... ...

Creative, Universal, Heaven

Reminded her of ancestral pathways...

France, Asia

Had her scent hit the motherland....

How often had she been culturally appropriated

Nothing about her was artificial

.....Noble in all her ways

How many times have you been picked by Wolves?

Her petals protecting her sacred spaces

.....Pure in all her ways

He loved the smell of her culture....

It just seemed appropriate.

He picked her.

Every time.

Magnolias.

Eternity

She was ego and he was something like her altar.

She practiced him religiously

Life shifting, sacrifice giving.

Only for the purposes of divine connection.

She was formed in perfection

Sent as his intervention

Escaping the mind, her prison.

He showed her how to start livin’

She rested her head upon his holy table.

Deep breathes, no rest

Appreciating that, for her, he had risen.

How many times had he been forced to rise

With no intention for his destiny.

Lustful eyes, shaking hips, seducing the enemy.

She let his head rest on her bosom,

This is a friend to me.

 

This is not war.

 

This is a dance.

How many times has he been in battle,

Unable to recognize a warrior's stance.

How many times has he risen just for the sake of it.

She caused him to rise

to see what they could make of it.

Eternity


Ease

They will weigh in on your journey with their opinions--But you go ahead and just keep easing on down the road, don't you carry nothing that might be a load

 

There will be pit stops and danger

Their will be friends and their will be strangers

...Who will hold your hand

...Who will walk with you

And then continue on a path that is their own

Don't worry, you will find your home.

 

Some will cast judgement

Not realizing that the judgement is a reflection

 of their inner being

Searching for pieces of 

themselves that have gone missing

Your journey, what is the meaning?

--what parts of you have you killed.

They will notice the shiny shoes,

But who will regard the spirit of the wicked witch whose body passed away

Where did her soul go to stay?

Who will wonder what turned her to her wicked ways?

 --will they just celebrate

And keep easing on down the road

Because sometimes the nurturing, catering and changing of wicked ones

Is too heavy a load.

 

What part of yourself have you killed

In fear of what it looks like to be healed.

Running when all you have to do is,

Ease

 

Strawberry Kisses

There was a chance that she had 

never felt love before

That physical bodies absent of spirit had danced around her 

forming words from their lips 

that were hard for her to comprehend

She was slow to lust and even slower to love

She worried that by the time her heart showed up 

he would be gone

He would say that he had waited to long

That he had called when he was on his way

And when he arrived she forgot to shout out the front door that she wasn't ready, whatever ready means most likely to someone else

or that she would be there soon according to a calendar or a clock

Too kiss his lips under the full of the moon

She always noticed when he arrived

Her heart was still trapped inside a chastity belt 

He caused emotions that she had never felt

She wondered if she was “woman” enough

Was she ready to reveal the secret parts of her 

that she had been taught to hide, she had arrived in broad daylight

Could she show him new life without reprimand

from a soul that once felt like it died with hearts opened wide

Was she ready for him to arrive

Without question, without suggestion, without perfection

Vulnerable, she never learned to be ready in her time

To share the intimate details of her existence, she drinks wine

To experience moments she never had experienced 

To make commitments

To be broken

To be open

To break

To open

To be broken open

To trust that someone would help to fix the pieces, bring her new ones 

instead of putting the old ones back together, to be shattered forever

She constantly carried broken pieces to be sewn

pieces that were not her own

She wanted to show him how much she had grown

But he had never known her past, according to who

So this was all he knew

his Cinderella, according to you

But she never had the courage to lose her shoe

She could not hear

She could not see

She could not feel

Him

She wanted to hear

She wanted to see

She wanted to feel

Him

Was she just another chic on the hit list, brims, rims and broken limbs

She never learned to be a savage but she was at times, she is fine

you needed me

Cliche, protege, sashay

Too tame, yet too untamed at the same time, she's fine

She didn't want to write poetry, she wanted to share her truth

She wanted to write love letters across his chest, unbutton his vest

To dance with his spirit, to sit by you

present with his physical body, captivated times two

Like raindrops, fallen temptations, a good thing

She wanted to cleanse his soul and leave him in love with her mood swing

Wipe away the impairments from his vision that cause side view decisions

so he could see if this is a mission, a prison, a victim, a commission

This imperfect face of sleeping beauty

This imperfect body on a call to duty

This imperfect soul that seeks loyalty

This imperfect heart revered as royalty

Can you see her in all her glory, she was always waiting for you 

with life interruptions that should have wrecked her, they perfect her, correct her, she has never lived like there is no such thing as a bloody nose and a black eye, as if heal and forgiveness aren't words

She has always had the ability to tell the difference between a love at war and a relentless fight, even when she wasn't ready.

 

Rigor

The motion is in the ocean

The movement comes with devotion

The sound of the wind

Indicates the right notion

I paint with all the colors

Of a Goal Digger, wondering whose role is bigger

And all that I am, the bread and the butter

Is a manifestation of rigor, knowing when to pull the trigger

When you understand long division

Multiplied by a catering decision

Peripheral vision, with award winning precision

The ultimatum, the task to fate them'

No way to replace them, too scared to face them

Expansion, companion, timeless as a phantom

There is something worth stating about a victor

Intergrational growth of doing the most

Land of the free, home of the brave

Type of oath, arguments that become a toast

Proposals that make no sense to say no too

As in what you have sat with your legs crossed for

Tied both shoes together, forever for

The uncensoring satisfaction of love from the core

Vivid images of those who have done less than satisfactory wanting more

They would kill the thing I love, yet swing blindly out of cognition

They tell lies with blind eyes when they say they can't picture us

They have never stayed, paved or engaged only betrayed what is rigorous

 

 

Lytasha Marie is a writer, educator, motivator, social justice advocate, mother and lover of words. Lytasha Marie has been featured on stages with literary and activist legends such as Nikki Giovanni, Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, Ericka Huggins and the late Dr. Maya Angelou. Lytasha won the University Presidents Award, Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Service Award, Inspirational Leader Award, Ms. Heritage Ball and was a Bellinger Youth Awards recipient all within her four years of college. She was also presented with numerous other acknowledgments and accolades that responded to the heart of her contributions to society through her lived experience, education and community involvement. Lytasha Marie has been a featured keynote, performer, panelist and workshop presenter for organizations including the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Community Foundation For Greater New Haven, Bridgeport Arts Fest, Housatonic Community College, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, Westfield State University, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, Jack and Jill of America, Inc, Village Initiative Project, Start Bank, Brunch & Conversations, The Big Hat Brunch, Women's World Event, MaRouge Publicity, Live Girl, Inc, Butterflies With Voices, Women's Empire, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sacred Heart Academy, Cheshire Academy, African American Women's Summit, Youthful Haiti Project and more. Her goal is to help the next generation to use writing and creating as a therapeutic outlet to discuss the issues that they face within their lives and communities.Living authentically and moving at one's own pace is the underlying message in all that she does. She realized at a young age that there was a lot of injustice in the world. After being kicked out of class in the 7th grade for "talking back". She used poetry as a tool to address the issues that mattered most to her and express what she was experiencing. Lytasha is most known in her local community for her passionate and moving piece entitled "I Refuse" which captures her frustration as well as determination to create a better world for herself and her community. In high school Lytasha was finalist in the McDonald's Gospel Fest and performed at the Harbor Yard Area for an annual basketball game. She speaks fluently on the topics on Intersectionality, Being Silenced, Reclaiming your Power, Lyrical Analysis, Hip Hop Feminism, Media Literacy and Young Women's Leadership. She has writings featured in The Professional Black Woman: Career, Relationships and Self Esteem edited by Linda Ellis Eastman , Black Women Speaking From Within; Essays and Experiences in Higher Education edited by Kelly K. Hope,and online magazine's The Feminist Wire and Gibbs. Lytasha was featured in a "Upstander Not Bystander" Portrait Project designed by Alisha Martindale.

 

She has a Bachelors in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Media Studies and a M.A. in Women's Studies from Southern Connecticut State University where she focused on Programming and Curriculum Development. The focus of the curriculum centers on critical thinking and leadership with activities around challenging stereotypes, sexual violence & harassment, choice/decision making, body image and more. Her special project centered on creating and implementing her signature program, "She's A B.O.S.S.-- Beyond Ordinary Setting the Standard" which focuses on young urban women ages 14-25 which aims to celebrate the stories, lives and experiences of young women, while providing access to information and resources that will enhance their development as emerging leaders in the community. The curriculum is currently being evolved to include a portion for middle school girls called Girls X_Clusive and young men titled Boss Boys. Through She's A B.O.S.S.-- Beyond Ordinary Setting the Standard she has coordinated several Hip Hop Feminist Summits hosted at the local public library, a Braids and Beads Initiative to promote healthy hair and fundamental reading skills and several workshops and embedded developmental resources for community members. Ms. Lytasha Marie has organized events such as The Baby Mammalogues that featured women poets expressing stories of motherhood and child-raising to encourage growth, healing and community building. One of her ultimate goals is to become a Lifestyle Coach, complete a documentary and publish books of her own. 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry: