Allow me this:

I have neither answer
nor cure for this.

He is me in side that I-
Both warning and comfort
Ocean and storm
Which allows Us to
Exist and always be.

-JBHarris, 01.11.2021

The Death Of The Black Body (Say Her Name: Dr. Susan Moore)

Always a mood…

Melanin is precious and sold by the pound,

just as bucks, pickinnies and mammies were

and are and always will be because there is always

amusement that corresponds to the death

of the Black body–

born celestial, holding power, light,

and all color, seeing it reduced of life,

ashen and quiet.

The world loves when we are quiet.

When tongues are no longer fire

Ears no longer the attentae for

what is wrong, missing or lingering–

Deaf to the ancestral, the integral and

hands prone and cold.

Reduced to pounds

gathered in shrouds,

bound, and hoisted inside

capsules to be planted in the ground

with the wails of the mourning

shaking the trees.

Hands reaching Heaven

because our shouts have not

reached, remembering that

the same Who remains yesterday,

today, and forever more promised

to be in the fire, the wind and the

earthquake, and in every breath.

To our last breath,

we fight.

And when we can no longer fight,

we become seeds

to grow trees, to give strength

to the weary in need of rest.

We have mastered being in the world,

yet never being of it.

-(c) JBHarris, 12.24.2020

Say The Quiet Out Loud

I want nights

That are quiet,

And still

Loud as thunder,

I want storms in

Oceans of sheets

And limbs pulling

Me further from

What I know into

All I want.

I want the quiet parts

Said out loud

And kisses made only

For me,

And all my inner light

Being bother magic

And woman lit

By you.

I want the now

and the present presence

Of what it means to be

Lost and still be found.

From sky above

And Earth beneath

I want to dream

Of setting future



-JBHarris, 12.27.2020


Lioness in wait.

She will desire peace at the

Cost of war—

Being both prisoner and soldier

Believing if she fought harder,

Bled more,

And denied her own

Thirst for more

Hunger for justice

and sight for more

Then she will be enough.

When her body no longer

Blushes with your coming,

Has peace with your going,

And all love becomes an act.

The weapons of her warfare

Time, body, and energy

Have been taken as spoils!

And she will do all allowed

To pull herself back together

Your touch no longer soothes.

The heat that was there has


With the turning of

Her head…the love is dead.

she will put self above love—

and nothing else will matter

JBHarris, 11.20.20

When They Call You A Writer…

When they call you a writer,

adjust your mouth and smile.

Record the questions which

flicker in the back of their eyes.

Keep you pen in your dominant hand,

keeping your eyes forward on either paper

or screen, be mindful of the mission ahead

of you, the past behind you, and the world

that wants to silence you.

Be mindful of truth.

Be aware of the lies.

Be aware that a pen does not spin…but always aimed.

Ink is your birthright,

language your purpose,

and you must weild both

with bravery, candor

and without apology.

When they call you a writer,

adjust your mouth and smile.

Record the questions that

flicker in the back of their eyes.

(c) Jennifer Bush-Harris, 11.18.2020

Crossing Muddy Waters (For John Lewis)-#2

This is one of the most shared pictures of Congressman John Lewis, when he was a young man causing ‘good trouble.’

Has indeed become the door,

the standard, banner and cause.

There are bridges that have now

been erected which have the blood

of the elders, seeing us in them,

now we can see them in us.

We have a charge to keep,

and a God to glorify,

so we will be catalysts

for change and the manufactures

of Good Trouble.

We are trouble makers,


jail breakers,

and believing that we

have come this far

by faith because we

cross over the waters

in and on moonless nights

because he is with us.

(c) JBHarris, August 2020

Shepherds By Other Names (for Cori Bush)

Written in the celebration of Pastor Cori Bush, in her defeat of long-time Congressman Lacy Clay on August 4, 2020. She is the first Black congresswoman from Missouri! Activist. Mother. Warrior. Servant. Thank you for everything, Cori. We love you. -JBHarris

Cori Bush Ousts Veteran Congressman From St. Louis, Says Voters Saw A  Candidate 'Willing To Fight' | Here & Now

It is the shepherds

whom protect the flock.

Some inherited, some stray

some lost from owners

who valued not

what they had,

but always…there are shepherds.

Guiding with wisdom, light and staff

they, have made protection a duty—

with humility, fueled to do

all which is is good,

to honor He whom sends,

appoints, such help.

It is the shepherds

who tend when none

are watching,

feed when no one

is able,

and stand when

all and every

falls around them.

They guide.

They cry.

They hold.

They assure.

They become pillar—

both wall and window,

able to sustain

the weight and light

of vision.

To shepherd is to be a hero.

A shepherd is a hero.

(c) JBHarris, August 2020

[image from wbur.com]

In Remembering John Lewis

I as well as the rest of the nation, are reeling from the loss of Congressman John Lewis. And after doing so, I feel now that I can put words to my mourning. I can put feeling behind action. I can begin to unpack the loss, so that hope can be repacked. So, over the course of the next three days (starting Monday, August 10th), I have made a three-part elegy for him.

Part 1: In Remembering Lions

Part 2: Crossing Muddy Waters

Part 3: This Bridge Called His Back

It is my hope in celebrating his life so publicly on this platform, all that follow after this thing called ‘good trouble’, will be reminded of the legacy laid before–which is now both map, light and path. The reward for a hero is rest.

To that, I say rest easy, John.

What Do You Do When The Sun Is Gone?

For THIS Debra. -JBH


The ancient texts tell us that she, this woman.

this warrior, this guide, this light was

placed between two palm trees.

She was to be sought out and after for all matter

of wisdom, accompanying warriors and soldiers

on battfields–at her coming, at her presence

victory is assured.

What does one do when the sun has died,

and the moon has not yet come,

and we must still go on in this night?

What do you do when the sun has died…?

In the rustle of leaves,

inside the rain hides the thunder,

and from under the belly of the shadow

of death, we will fear no evil.

For thou art with me.

The sun has not died, it has only become the fullness of the moon…

so at night, we, can see the palm trees, and remember to fly.

-JBHarris, June 2020