Tag Archives: blogging 101

Children of a Child

We both stumbled out of the gate; one filled with hate – the other a child of that fate. Color was the cause of that spate. The dye was casted that blazingly chilly day for children unborn, none would dream nor know how blindness made the life road they would take.

Love should conquer all; stand tall unbending to break one’s fall. It is a hope many have in their heart when it’s time to give one’s soul – but sometime that beginning is not so bold.

The light of us we say are our children; those sweet innocence of purity with the breath of the Gods – with a future to fill guiding them to the stars.  I think this is what the great man saw with much wisdom; the promise of the best of ourselves brought to the world. Though I think he forgot that we are imperfect; burnished with that sin we must all embrace like the winds that swirl.

Life surely teaches us goodness, grace and the angel’s road to take.  We bring that gift to our children; setting them on the journey they will make. Along the way their gold grows old, cold and they become lost souls.

Broken men searching for a mend; rushing into love seeking a godsend. But the piece of peace that soothes sleepless nights bring the children. Oh how we delight! Vow to get it right – to make this life of mine stronger of mind to brightly shine. But dare I say it: my goodness, my goodness – isn’t this the same story line? The same promise divine; passed along the paths of time.

There must be a happy ending to this dilemma; something that is worthy of life’s glory. Or are we forever destined to wring our hearts dry on our circle of one’s childhood story?

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

– Frederick Douglass, American Slave, Abolitionist, Statesman – 1818 – 1895

Copyright (C). Roads, Paths & Trails. All Rights Reserved.


My unexplained absence explained

Charleston, South Carolina. That’s what happened. It was just that simple, and just that complicated.  I didn’t start out thinking I was going to “go dark” for the past two months; but as the days progressed in slow agonizing horror, the evil racist killing of those Christian men and women based on lies just wrenched at my heart; tore at my soul – leveled my mind into numbness, sadness – all while I was wrestling with the fact that violence against “me and mine” just never ends.  It always seemed to rear its ugly, demented head driven by some illogical rationale to justify the spilling of blood; the taking of life with little regard to the humanity of its victims.

This vile action did not spark a “race war” as the alleged killer strove to ignite; but as we now know, it created an atmosphere of love, brought together kindred spirits in forgiveness and brotherhood; forged a deep sense of “community” beyond what one could not possibly envisioned in South Carolina mere weeks – perhaps even days prior to this heinous, barbaric act.

And yet, I could not move myself to share my grief and all the myriad emotions welled up inside of me.  I could not write about it. I could not inflict my wrath of anger; my shocking hurt of mind and body – my profound disbelief of what had happened in Charleston with you.  Small though my “blogging community” may be; it did not feel right to me to subject you to my anguish; my wailing and railing to the powers on high, that such devastation once again walked amongst us.

Days misted into a week; then another – but I still was not ready to talk with you.  I did not know how to approach you about this massacre that took place in that AMC church where devoted Christians gathered to learn the lessons taught by Jesus of Nazareth.  In all honesty, I was concerned about your reaction to my words; because they would have been “hot and fiery” fueled by pain – immense unbearable pain.  But then, the tide of love swept away some myths of American history unveiling much-needed truths, and I was mesmerized as a new history unfolded in South Carolina; indeed across this nation that I love.  I am still very much wary of my country. It still tends to falter, lurch and stumble its way forward – trampling me in the process, bringing pain with progress. I suppose that’s as it should be.

Weeks turned into more weeks, and I still could not bring myself to reach out and purge my emotions on to these pages and send them to the world – to you.  Then I realized that there might be some “blogging etiquette” I had broken with my abrupt departure by not posting a word about my absence and why to my community.  Perhaps this was presumptuous on my part; I do not know.  That’s why this explanation is my first post since Charleston, South Carolina (my next one will expand on that subject.) In the meantime, please feel free to take me to task if I have not abided by the rules – real or unspoken.

It has been an incredible tough couple of months for me.  But I believe I am ready to engage with you again. I have missed your talents, outlooks, helpful natures, friendships, engaging posts that teaches, funny stories that makes me smile, “ha ha” out loud or chuckle softly. As importantly, know that you have broadened my understanding of different viewpoints and cultures, and allowed me to sometime share you joy and pain. I am the better for it.

I have missed us.

Copyright (c) 2015.  Roads, Paths and Trails. All Rights Reserved.

16 candles and two years of night.

I struggled through the small ground-level window that opened to the alley that was behind the casket company; scrapping knuckles, scratching my face – then crawling on hands and knees until I was able to gain my footing, then bolting into a full-flight run hoping I could make it to the street and get away before the police got there. Why would she call the cops on me – her own son, when he was the one beating the crap out of her; Hell! I tried to stop it! I didn’t understand it. I didn’t get it!

Run, fool, run!

I stayed away from home that night roaming the streets, coming back the next afternoon to find her packing a couple of suitcases.  “Your Aunt Josie (not her real name) will make sure you get something to eat,” she said. By this time, the cab had rolled up (you could see the wheels in the windows), and it started honking its horn.  There was no goodbye or hug; not even a peck on the cheek – the worst hurt, though, was no “I love you, son.”  She just walked out the door.  I heard the squeal of the tires. then quiet – and the dead hollowness of nothing overcame me while the silent flow of tears scalded my cheeks. Deep down sobs racked my body as I slumped to the floor.

And so it began: my sixteenth birthday was barely two months old.

This is a story that’s not unique. It happens every day. It’s been going on forever: young folk,  kids really – abandon, pushed out of their homes, forced to fend for themselves. The streets of small towns, big cities – every place in between are littered with those too weak to survive. They write books; make movies about the destruction that comes from tossing children into the streets, away from the care and love of a family.  Even those of us who survive are damaged in ways large and small; but as different as night and day.

Meet my heart of stone.

My Aunt Josie did indeed feed my body, but hatred fueled by rage fed my mind and soul.  The streets of Chicago became my teacher; seeing things low-down and dirty bent me ugly, uncaring and hard-to-the bone, mean.  When you don’t see love, feel love – know for a fact you are not worth love; you become a danger. You grow a wall from within that’s studded with knives, minefields, hatchets ready to strike at the tiniest inkling of rejection. Stopping the hurt before it gets out of the cage. No way in hell could you find love in your broken heart.  Your face to the world said, “Don’t even bring it to me! I’m doomed.”   When deep, and I mean really, really deep inside my existence; I would have killed myself to be loved by a family, friend, a sweet young lover who would love me “true blue,” (I read those words somewhere back then; they stayed with me) who could understand the love in my heart; knew I could be made better.  Though, probably never be fully dipped and cleansed in the holy water of purity, but the parts that were good, though buried in the back, in the dark could be rescued; salvages, scraped of muck and mire; made presentable to her loving eyes. She would know I was in there somewhere.

As it happened, the friend came first.

This has always struck me as weird: I did not drop out of school; didn’t miss a cotton-picking day. I will never be able to tell you why I didn’t.  I was mad as a pistol because the Chicago School District would not accept my transcript noting my status as a High School Junior (set to become a senior that June. They gave me the run-around that because I was an out-of-state transfer student, I would have to repeat my sophomore and junior school years. Plus, I was too young to be graduating from high school at 16.)  I stayed pissed off the rest of my time in high school. Bored out of my brain. I shut down and settled in and didn’t pick up steam again until the semester before graduation.  Looking back at that time in history, just two years after school desegregation, Black kids and their education was still second-rate, even the best and brightest were discouraged in all ways possible.

I met my that friend, in September after a brutal hard, dismal summer.  Our friendship lasted nearly 30 years – I moved to several different states and he passed on during my traveling years.  Good guy.  Together we blended in; cliqued with others like ourselves.  My Aunt Josie got me a job at Woolworth’s, I found a better one – more money; moved into an apartment, found a make-shift family made up of two families.  I worked nights; went to school during the day.  It was a two year labor of love in the “key of me.”  My one room home bore the brunt of my anguish; contained my screams of cleansing tears, while nourishing my phoenix of strength and resolve.  I began to slowly change.  A settling of the war within me revealed a way out of my madness.  And one summer night, with friends from my blended families, I discovered music. What a wonderful world it could be.

I began to sing for my soul.

I took pen to paper to write songs, but my heart wrote of torment and storm; of sorrow and wrong.  As fate would decree, my writings would one day lead me to college and a ground-breaking job as an advertising agency Copywriter; a Michigan Avenue “Mad Man.”  The music would send me to the woman destined to love me “true blue” – to make me better, and give me an heir and double-spare.  Years later, we would discover that we never lived more than a mile from one another during the five years before we met.

Those long two years of night inched to a close at Christmas time; it was also graduation time ( I was in the last class to ever graduate in January.)  It was my “mother in my life” again time, too.  It would end the same as last time.  No goodbye, no kiss on the cheek – not even “I love you.”

Only this time, I would be the one to leave.

Copyright (c) Roads, Paths & Trails – “Glimpses of a Memoir #3 – “Songs I could not sing For My Sons.” 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Flower Dreams

I’m new to Blue Roses; they offer love and prosperity in large dosages, through it was always the Red that held my thoughts of intimate poses. The fragrance of both have bloomed in my nostrils in rushes; traveling upon my sensing highways in gushes.

Bloom daffodils bloom; make me swoon for your colors in the spring, spreading your friendship – bringing warmth; your many beauties a joyous sight.  You are so perfect a gift – a consuming delight.

Lilies of the fields – your purity provide hearts with healing and love’s understanding; gives us strength and courage to face our worse fears and hurts on earth, until our rebirth from a life demanding.

Azaleas are the gift of the feminine; of softness to womanhood so beautiful – the harvest of abundant love, its many colors that shower joy from a lady-love so coy; dazzles our senses with visuals of rainbows to enjoy.

I think much about love, you see: so Carnations and Chrysanthemum Reds flood my heart and soul with much glee.  Although Chrysanthemums were first only golden to the eye – some new colors reflect devotion and sorrows; they show life choices that came with new tomorrows.

Orchids, delicate beautiful orchids, you bloom so well.  A bouquet of your lusciousness as a gift; sends wishes of love, wealth and attractions from afar – and hopes with high hope that you return in kind, the sentiments it brings to mind.

Time:  short time, deep time – both allow joy to flow from flowers beautiful to know.  Gardenia are gorgeous as many like me appreciate. But I am most smitten by a spectacular rambunctious flower that compels your eyes to gaze upon its space. I praise the magnificent Bird of Paradise and offer my hearty toast the most to you; no other presents itself with such derring-do – proclaiming: take me as I am, but showcase me with special grace that honors my flamboyant view.

Copyright (c) 2015.  Roads, Paths & Trails.  All Rights Reserved.

How to create a weekend that’s carefree, charming and of good cheer.

How’s this for starters: a picnic and the beverage many revere – ice-cold beer.  In limited quantities, mind you – just enough to offer a toast, “here hear!”  If that’s not your cup of tea, why not look for razzle-dazzle in odd places; new faces, carefree jaunts that bring new gazes.

Remember now, our world is full of wonder; so don’t worry about a little rain – but mind the lightning and thunder.  Be your charming self; shoulders back, head held high – take a trip on a ride that brings a tear to your eye.  Try the taste of a wonderful new pie; that will certainly bring you good cheer. Then take one home to share with those so dear.

Take a bike ride, walk along the beach in low tide; let a sweet breeze be your guide –  place no limits on what you will abide in the name of pride; within reason of course.  Play a game that makes you cheer, wave your arms, jump up and down – scream and yell until you’re hoarse.

Of course you’ll want to celebrate and commemorate this date; take it to heart; and that’s smart, because now you’ll be chomping at the bit, waiting for the next weekend to start.

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today” ——William Allen White, American Journalist

Copyright (c) 2015. Roads, Paths & Trails, “Weekends, Wisdoms, Wonders”  #3. May 29, 2015.

All Rights Reserved.

Introducing a Friday Feature For Fun: “Weekends, Wisdoms and Wonders.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekends offer up all sorts of opportunities: to fall in love; to fall on your face to get a laugh as a saving grace. You can walk a sandy beach; ride the crest of a wave – ride a wave of goodwill; climb higher this time up that hill.

You can snuggle up, curl up, and make up once you come to your senses. Why not take a chance and ask someone to dance; swirl around and prance – there’s all kinds of wonderful ways to mend broken fences.

You can fly by night, fly into the night, fly overnight; you can go fly a kite – take in the miracle of a new sight.  Did you ever think you could shine so bright once you conquered your fright?  This might be a perfect thing for you: to take a walk on a weekend’s day; treat your Mom or Dad to lunch by the Bay.

Are you ready for this: make some whoopee, make some merriment – tell someone special of your deepest sentiment; or your intent to create a haven of content.  My goodness!  The wonders a weekend allows you to live – of dreams to give.

You have 48-hours to mingle, jingle, tingle; you can shake, rattle and roll, let happiness of body and mind take its toll.  Enough of this wrapping your arms around yourself, tucked away in a room of gloom; trust me – you are someone special, you need to make hearts swoon – and soon.

You need to be living for the weekend, this weekend.  You need to laugh and play in some way each day. Kick up your heels. Take a stroll in the park, do something different on a lark. Be beautiful, I tell you; be brave. But above all, people, make sure your heart sings and raves. This let’s your greatness shine through, and come weekend’s end – you’ll be full-up with pleasure from all you found to do.

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” —–Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet, Lecturer, Essayist.

Copyright (c) Roads, Paths & Trails.  2015. All rights reserved.

That’s my style.  Fits me to a T.  Boosts my “joy to the world” since I am on top of my game when I look so damned “nines.”  Makes me feel that the dreams in my head can be mine.  Blue is my crew; buttoned-down shirt with splash-wild tie; my-oh-my.  My woman loves me the minute I am completely fashion-plated. “Go get ’em, King Lion.” And don’t sweat the small stuff.”  Makes me roar with delight; at night.

Grey, gray boots; high tops past ankles bold, those size 12 pound the concrete, dig and hold.  My string is narrow today; maybe wide tomorrow; but colors, patterns dazzle even my eyes…Lordy, I am a sight to behold.  They, who am I kidding; I broke the mold.  Boss man and his minions appreciate the look; the feel; they squeal in silence from the rank,  because how you look means you are ready to “make bank.”

Yes, I’ll take one in pin-stripe grey, a Banker’s blue, will do too. How do I feel about Corporate black..put it back.  I work in the sunshine, my brother; I can not look tacky, that would be whacked. Movado on my wrist; belt of smooth leather crowned a with a buckle from Manhattan Boulevard. That about does it me; I am put together now, in all my glory-be. So stand aside, try and keep stride; there’s plenty of my sunshine to share for free.

Copyright (c) 2015. Roads, Paths, & Trails.  All rights reserved.