They killed
Us again.
In the grocery store,
Fountain that relieved
food desert status,
spot of the mundane
where death, oft imagined
need not be feared
here amid
the carrots

they say he
drove 3 hours
to reach the “replacements”
Our—for in death 
they ancestor-like,
flood our hearts,
haunt our breath,
Until we must love
Beautiful Black grandmothers, and aunties,
Uncles, Fathers, anybody’s children but
God’s named,
hunted and
Slain in the marketplace. 

To the white god Mammon
they pray each Sunday
“Keep our hearts pure
pure as the driven snow—
Christ wash us clean
of the bodies whose
destruction is our mortar”
and drive from service
to condone the 
“mental illness” 
all the rage
these days

Black Jesus help us 

or do they keep killing you too?

` rlw

The Almighty

ocean at night.jpg

I am in the hands of
the Almighty—the God of my ancestors’
strife, of lonely nights and staggering
steps—of blood that’s thicker than
water—of waters deep and forbidden—
the Abyss into which to fling oneself.

I submit to the craters of history,
inevitable, lurching forward to bear
me hence, cradling my back
as I remember to stand tall

—my  yoke is easy; though
your DNA bear the mark
of the lash, I am with you.


` rlw

I am with you.JPG


Photo of the night by Lukas Robertson on Unsplash
Photo of “I am with you” by the HoneyBear

To Be an Empath


To be an empath
in tune
is to know the joy
of extension,
the trepidation that
comes with feeling

every step as it falls,
the agony of receiving—

every whisper . . .
in Technicolor.

To love, I find, is to extend
on purpose,
searching and feeling
and acting in response
for no reason

without expecting
any reward other than

This can be exploited, sure,
but it is always a worthy
undertaking: to return
some care to the
universe of

This is building a tapestry:
to act with love and not know why.

Whence this effort?

These are mere threads,
we think, feeling
the hurts
of rejection,
life’s sufferings,
great and tiny.

But these are the wee
building blocks of
something beautiful:
a healing place gestating in time—
out of the roughs, something divine.

` rlw


Photo of an Empath’s Toolkit by Dinh Pham on Unsplash
Photo of some loving scribblings by the Honey Bear

Quittin’ Time!


Here I sit:
a cartoon version of myself,
stripped of the crutches
I engage with, chemically
nudging my brain toward
comfort — stillness.

No prelude of Death
these abstemious times.
On the contrary,
on this third day
I realized I could
rise like Jacob.

` rlw


Photo of a puff by chuttersnap on Unsplash
Photo of Cartoon Me by the Honey Bear

Will of Iron


I have a will of iron.
Molten and curing.
It is strong when I keep my
joy close. So many things tumbling
out, so many visions caught,
so many puzzles puzzled — that
Joy. I clutch it now.
Needlessly, for it sticks to me like char.
When I see it, my will is
clear, strong, and free.

So I do not ask, “What the hell am I doing?”
I crack a smile and get to work.

` rlw

Loving to See you smile text

This Builds Character

black goat.jpg

This builds character!
Eat, eat, eat it up!
It’s good for you!
Nevermind the bitter, it will end!
Fear, yes, but never fear,
the finish line is near!

So eat, eat, eat your fate!
With cheerful yelp greet it!
Head on!
Love strong!
Go! Go! Go!

` rlw

Photo of an Old Timer by Dave Ruck on Unsplash
Photo of brand new Space Boots by the Honey Bear