Thoughts In A Mirror

For my diaspora family, and all of us of the 6th region. Home for us is a dream…and reality.

I want to go home to my mother

in the land with my fathers rules benevolent

in lands that were wide and gold..

I want to go home where the sun

is a shade of black

I want to go home to

my cousins and my aunts

Uncles, my nieces and nephews

lost the time and chance and I want to embrace them

as only family can

So they can see their cousin

Their niece their daughter

from long across the sea

Through time magic

And will

has come home —

changed and weathered, yes

but home

and I am afraid the when

my feet touch shores that my grandparents

were stolen

from that they may not

know who I am

-JBHarris, 9.18.21

Black Women Aren’t Coming

*Written in response to White women demanding solidarity with this abortion issue (the Heartbeat Bill) in Texas in September 2021. This is dedicated to all the Black women whom keep saving the world from people determined to not have us (Black women) move in it. -JBH

This is above me now. Y’all fix it. I’m not coming.

Black women aren’t coming.

No heat, no fire, no smoke.

Black women aren’t coming.

No cavalry, no drumming, no singing.

Nothing.

Black women aren’t coming.

The Queens will send no soliders,

Their sons will not die, or be blamed.

The far off Kings from time and lands

Will not bend to your tears.

Black women aren’t coming.

The clouds have broken.

The rain has stropped,

And our feet are still.

Our backs are turned,

Our shoulders are square,

Mouths silent.

We are walking…away.

There is no reason for us to come.

There is nothing to do.

BLACK WOMEN ARE NOT COMING.

-JBHarris, 9.9.2021

Stand As Ten-Thousand

white women we see you

from how you touch our hair as if we are some foreigner animal and then tan to have skin like us, and call us dirty?

white women we see you

we see you on how you teach your sons to never to touch our daughters but yet your fathers have children who look just like us

white women we see you

we see how you go to voting booths and claim sisterhood and then vote for interest in power that mirror the power that you have been so accustomed to that you are afraid to be without because then that would make you not special-

we see you how you look at our sons

and then cry when they have done

nothing wrong except exist in a space that you thought a black child should not be in-

white women we see you

we see how you excuse your sons to take the rifles of their fathers and grandfathers and then exterminate people as if they are roaches in the kitchen.

White women, we see you.

and then you are mad because we are loud, and yielding in equality of both fought and promised, but you have contempt for us?

white women we see you

we see how you have disgrace the memory of our foremothers whos milk was in forefathers mouths miles as if she were some dumb cow-

White women, we see you.

you see, we have always seen you

we have always been taught of your monstrous natures and to be told or seen

You see this allyship that you want?

Is not easy—wounds generations deep and you all have banded together at every turn for the sake of your own power-

like your fathers and grandfathers and patriarchs before you too desire to write your face across everything that has color in it thinking by doing so do you indeed have conquered would they have not.

And in true fashion

and a true form

we see you

from from ancestral bloodlines

Heavenly windows

Over office cubicles

to the way you cry to HR when we don’t speak to you when we come in in the morning because you cannot conceive that life has not always been subject to you

white women, we see you

It was the mothers of our mothers who taught us her daughters—the real witches who survive being burned, who survive being lynched, skinned, sexed, sold, in and made to be wench and Mammie-to talk to smile while dying on the inside—the matches struck so the heat can pass through time and blood to the unnamed us whom where coming—and now here.

Fend for yourselves.

-JBHarris, 9.5.2021

My Mood Is Simone Biles

My mood is Simone Biles.

I know who I am

Among a set of people

And circumstances who

See both skin and mouth

As problem.

I do what I know

I can, and make no apology/I don’t smile.

Why?

My mood is Simone Biles.

“Smiling doesn’t win championships.”

I soar.

I tumble.

I see the world

From the vantage point

Of eagles.

With bare feet

With no hair

Out of place.

I am between sky and ground.

Needing the approval of no one.

My mood is Simone Biles.

I reverse twist on naysayers.

Vault over the negligent

Powered by ignorance

Landing in the promised place

Whispered about by ancestors

Lead by the conductor with

Both gun and lantern.

I cannot be held where there are none who can compete.

My landings are meant to stick, unwavering.

My leaping meant to jolt,

My run meant to scare.

You did all could

To stop me—-but I am still here.

My mood is Simone Biles.

(c) JBHarris, 2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE: The Epitaph Of Derek Chavin

In April 2021, Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd. This piece was rewritten before the verdict was read on April 20, 2021.

Here lies the body of white supremacy wrapped in blue skin with his knee on the neck of progress while he cries out for his mother.

While the tears of the unborn leak from our eyes and our hands are bottled up, folded up underneath us trying to get out from under the weight of its oppression—-

And yet you only say you ‘were doing your job’.

You were only doing what you were allowed and hired to do,

What you were granted power by the state to perform and because of that reason

for that cause, you have ‘no fault’.

You standing straight as Johnson grass in the middle of a hurricane willing that

none should see you as you truly are!

Scared little boy.

So free, so afraid of blackness,

anything and its entirety

including height, weight that you choose

on this day to take matters into your own hands and then underneath the weight of all that you hold dear that has been whispered to you as lullabies—

When they were really lies.

Only now—NOW!

You discover exactly

what it means to be wrong,

and not just wrong—

But evil, loud, and wrong.

For that reason,

you have been called

to the core of eternity

where the All-seeing,

The All-knowing has now

seen every piece of

your work laid bare without

a badge—

left silent as the grave

you are now shut in!

Taking with you

every secret,

every fear,

that white supremacy has

that perhaps the god that

you said was white —never looked like like you.

HE looks more like HIS SON

that was murdered by the state,

Seeing that truth of always in color,

Even to the shed blood.

The evil clothed in

Red, white & blue

because it is easier to

be a coward, shrinking us

So you might grow strong

And mighty into the lie of

Your greatness independent of

Truth and dependent on subduing

What you believe is evil

We have never been.

We have been storm,

Fire and seas…

And now you look

That Immutable in

His face, seeing it was

Never your mirror.

Now, you have to look

Him in the face and

you cry for mercy,

and for your mother as

HE tells you

“Depart from me I never knew you.”

-JBHarris, April 2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Sunshine

at last and once more

peace within myself

and in what is around me

I have love restored and

new as it should always be

passion as I never knew it

or I thought I could have

to have all that I seek and

have sought just within

the width of my fingertips

mine…mine… the impending joy

of possessing it thrills me

to have and to hold…not to cleave

for I know that I need not chase it

it soothes me, allows my mind to

quiet my mind to watch the clouds

roll past, and count each one

as I once did

I can shut my eyes to the world

and sleep in the sun…breathing deep all the while

(Jennifer-Phylon Bush, age 23) May 1, 2005

30 DAYS OF JAYE: With Him

How could this happen?

Seducing me with the

honey of his lips to my

ears, my heart in his hands

kisses inspiring soft tears

upon rounded cheeks.

He found me and loved me anyway.

Far from me, his is

From his thoughts and mind

I have searched for him

and found him not

it is in him that I found

the strength to be better

to not settle, to let my

hunger be my drive,

my sustaining force…

Be my own Jedi master

Yet, where is he?

When I have gotten

so used to him, loved

and love him so, still

what happens to me now?

Jennifer-Phylon Bush (Rourke) September 20, 2005

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Restless

What wondrous magick is this

That has interwoven my

Thoughts and vexed my spirit?

Its intent is neither malice nor

Menacing…

Its presence comforts and

Consoles me…it reminds me

That it will never be far from

Me, no matter how I may

Outrun it….it will always cling

To me

It will always pursue and

Call for me, chase me, recapture

Me, and I will drown in it

Once more, contented

As I may try and disavow

The tantalizing desirous knowledge

Of it, the more it seems I am at a

Loss as to how to ignore it

I confront and submerge the

Thoughts as they come,

Unbeknownst to me they

Will resurface in the quiet

Hours, and silent places

Where my mind wonders

To misplaced thoughts…

They step from behind

Subconcious veils and flood my

Mind happily….

I bask in the memories of them

They bring joy to my remembrance

And gladden my heart

These vivid dreams only

Intensify the adoration that

I have…that I hold close….

That holds me

This subtle, sensual compassion

Eludes rationale, and conscious

Understanding, I have forsaken

The right to wonder of its origin and

My only concern is to prepare myself

For the next quickening of thought

(JPB, age 22)-April 25, 2004

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Safe Harbor

You gave me who I am

Let me be who I can become.

In you, with you

I have no regret

Through my endless night

You gave me hope of morning

Soothing the mourning

I no longer have reason to cry

No shame, no hiding

Breathing deep

Becoming comfortable within all of me

Showing you what was always and already there

Closing my eyes removed from the world

Knowing and happy in

When I roll and wake,

You will reach for me,

As I reach for you,

And you will still be there.

(Jennifer-Phylon Bush, age 23) June 6, 2005