The Center

In the center of our family is our love
Children surrounded by support and devotion
Sacrifice from the two of us
The embodiment of partnership
Two jobs from you
Stay at home mommy in me
You sung lullabies
I danced in our children’s dreams and scared the boogeyman away.
We did anything to ensure they have everything at the end of the day.
A humble beautiful warm home
Served generations of kin
Our grandchildren, our pride and joy
The honor they carry on their shoulders
Resonates from the traditionalist values we planted within
The Center
We’ve built a core and a foundation
And even when our walls were shaken with tragedy we survived
We’re alive and still passionately in love
With respect at the center
With God at the center

By Shaun Liriano

Dedicated to Clyde “Daddy” Rhymes and Frances Rhymes
Happy Anniversary

A Woman

Just like that, she was a “woman.”

179 seconds, dim lights, in the background was a bootleg movie that she was completely uninterested in, one stained white wife beater, a wasted night and an overactive imagination equated to her “womanhood. ” By the time he came back from the bathroom she was fully dressed. Her house keys were jingling in her hand.

This was a presumptuous, impulsive, stupid ass mistake. I waited 19 years for this?

This night was a contradiction to every R&B song she sang her heart out to. This night made urban fiction truly fiction with no fragment of truth or substance. This night made her long for the daylight. There was no fire, no spiritual awakening, no levitation, no communication and no connection. The only difference between now and 179 seconds prior was now she felt stupid.

Can you take me home now?

She hoped her facial expression asked the question without her having to part her lips. Suddenly he wasn’t funny or charming anymore. He was the accomplice to the theft of her innocence.

He asked her if she wanted to cuddle.

She stared silently but ferociously. Hoping her gaze would force his head to explode and leak gasoline that would fuel his car and autopilot her ass home. She had no intention of seeing him again. Poor unfortunate soul. He was a victim of her expectations.

He was her withered flower. A relaxing  candlelit bath gone cold. A piping hot, fresh, homemade meal, with a roach in it. A new, high end, enviable automobile with no engine. A mattress with no sheets. A mylar balloon with a hole in it. A shoe with no sole. A jet with no pilot seat. A disappointment. 

Just like that, she was a woman longing to be a girl again.

By: Shaun Liriano 

image

Shut Ya Mouth and Pray -The Journey

image

Today I almost forgot.  I run around a lot. Always trying to squeeze everything in. It’s necessary and it’s important. I love the feeling at the end of the day that I did everything I am capable of for that day.

I have to take a moment and reflect on the tremendous, tumultuous, joyous, romance filled, cinematic, and dramatic journey I’ve taken. I did not take that journey alone. I have a good, patient, supportive, strong minded, wonderful, challenging, friend and husband. I have always rushed around trying to keep up or catch up. I now have a life partner to help me take the lead.

Father,
We take the time today to say thank you for our friends, lovers, and loved ones who keep us company on our journey. We thank you for giving us a life with purpose. We shower You with gratitude. We ask that you help us reach our full potential. We thank you in advance for the increase you are about to touch our lives with.
Amen

By:SML

Jitters

I looked into my soul and you were there
Chilling
Cruising as you would say
You were sorting through old bullshit and heartache and you were tossing it away
You were shoveling a pathway for yourself
Something safe for you to travel on
Something you couldn’t slip on
Something that couldn’t muddy your best boots
You sprinkled love so the ice wouldn’t freeze and make it too dangerous to get to me
You plowed through the fear and doubt, even the stuff you caused.
You were there.
When I reach for you, your body is warm.
Your breaths are deep and steady.
You are away tucked neatly in a space I cannot get to
Tucked away where I can only dream of finding the thoughts that make you cry or wake you up in cold sweats
You are away
Chilling in my soul.
Waiting for me to understand
While I wait for you to speak, to crumble, to be vulnerable or to be a shell of yourself
Not forever
Just for now
As I search for you
You soul search within me
Hiding away
I scream to be seen
You close your eyes
We stand with our hearts glowing and bursting in our chests like a neon “open” sign in a store window.

Goodnight my love

By Shaun Nickens

image

Before Its Over…(ShutYaMouthAndPray)

wpid-2015-10-25-22.08.52.png.pngAlthough it may seem cliché. I wanted to use the last 5 minutes of Sunday’s ShutYaMouthAndPray to be thankful. We often complain and are sometimes dissatisfied with aspects of our lives that are unsatisfactory to us but would be great blessings to someone else. Be grateful for your employment, be grateful for your hooptie, be grateful for your loved ones (even the ones who get on your nerves.) Each day will present new challenges, you just have to recognize what they are and rise to them.

Bless!

Machine Mom

image

Off work at 2am. In bed at 3am. Up with the kids at 6am. I don’t even bother with coffee anymore. Thank God my household is run by a team effort. My fiancée is very active as a parent. We push ourselves and each other. The question still remains: What did you do for yourself today??? #30dayselfesteemchallenge

image

While the kids were at school, I ran to Denny’s and had some tea with lemon and honey (I have this irritating cough.) Sitting there I thought about the waiters and the waitresses. What landed them here? Are they budding entrepreneurs? Is this step one or level one to this great designer plan of their lives? Maybe one of them or all of them wanted this. Maybe they want to serve, to smile for a living,  to provide people with sustenance. Maybe it feels good to calm my cough. Maybe it feels good to sit beside the elderly and assist them in reading the small print on the menu. Maybe this is it. Maybe that’s okay.