Two Poems by R.E.I.L.

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Piece for PEACE

For my grandmother (Feb 2, 1956 – February 13, 2020)

I’m trying to find the right words to make sense or peace with your passing
But I can’t, so I’ll make peace with remembering you laughing
Smile brighter than any room you lit up
My emotions run deep and sometimes get mixed up
But I remember every time you fought to get up
And I know I’d be selfish not to get it
Because I get it
But can’t grip it
Trying to turn these memories, into similes
But I can’t stop from crying
And all you’ve instilled in me I can’t stop from trying
Still it kills me to know I get to live and couldn’t stop you
from dying
It’s ironic
I feel empty, but not toxic
I carry only strength with no other option
Because I know it’s what you wanted!
I know you’re at peace, and I gotta be honest no matter the hurt
Lol remember that time you hit me over the head with your purse
Because I smacked my lips
I’ll remember you as just that and act as if
You right there over my shoulder, better yet my back
With that look like get it together, I now think before I act
They say you never know what you got til its gone
You’re proof that they’re wrong
I loved you since the day our hearts connected
The day our souls became telepathic
And my mind was dedicated
To being the strongest woman I could ever be
You are my hero, and I miss you
Thankful for every advantage I took to kiss you
Grandma, you are my angel
And every time in life I feel entangled
Or endangered
Filled with rage or anger
I’ll think of you
…. And that’s the perfect peace
And in this piece
I hope to find peace
I’m thankful for your passion to teach
Your absence is showing me it’s time to SPEAK
And be the best me
But I don’t know what’s worse
If it’s bad that I ain’t good
Or if it’s good that this ain’t all bad
Somedays I’m sad
Most days I’m mad
But all days I’m glad
That your battle is won
But my battle has just begun
So I’ll fight just as you –
How? I have no clue
But one thing for certain
Two things for sure
Your pain is no more
So ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
In God I must trust
I miss you more and more I think
But I’ll let you live in peace….
It’s the only way it’ll sink

I love you grandma!!!

AMEN!

I Remember

I remember when all that was all that
Remember falling in love with orange soda
Keenan and Kel never got older
A love for Nickelodeon and Disney channel in that order
Dexter had me plotting against my siblings
Ravens visions were so vivid
Used to have the blues
Looking for clues

I remember Hide and go get it gave first rush of breaking the rule
The smart guy really had twin sisters
The meanest guy was Mister…. Remember?
“Me and you shall never part…”
I remember those hand pats with my sisters
I remember when growing up just being a kid was okay

But I could never fathom how to be a kid today
Went from hopscotch
To hand on hips
I remember “boom boom ticks”
You know, telephone, telephone
Now all that’s known are telephones
And technology

Am I the only one noticing
How its damaging
By just focusing
On what today’s youth focus is?
I remember having no problems focusing
Once momma gave that one look
You knew what the focus is…. FIX IT!

I remember double dutch with skipped rocks
OGs on every block
Had eyes watching even when mommas not
I remember, but somehow losing sight
As these new wings take flight
Clear curse words by the age of four
Cartoon networks don’t play cartoons anymore
Babies got Facebook accounts
Get rewarded for acting out

Ipods, Ipads, Iphones
No eyes in homes
Home of the brave
Turnt to land of the lost
These kids are the cost
And we are the cause

I remember you couldn’t tell my mother nothing about her kids
She knew exactly what it is
Cause she knew her kids
I remember when parents were parents
With no room to be your friend
I remember you needed permission for your circle of friends
I remember when knowledge was instilled by simply what
you saw
Disrespect was not of an option
Now a days its toxic
No missions and no morals
Because there’s no motivation
Just process of elimination
Throw these kids our cellular devices
Stick them in corners to keep them quiet
Create a crisis
Where their attention won’t span
No further than the device in their hands

So we ain’t got to deal with it
These kids already lost
We swear it ain’t our fault
Blame it on the system
Until we fall victim
But we ain’t got to deal with it
I remember when we had hearts of gold
And could kill with it
They say it takes a village?
Well it’s time to deal with it!
Stop reminiscing take those thoughts and build with it

What I want to remember is a generation
Built on demonstration
And a community fighting with motivation
JUST AS I REMEMBER!!!

Shaquetta Nelson, who publishes and performs under the name R.E.I.L. (real), is the author of the book Ashes to Justice (published February 2022.) In her debut collection the DC-area spoken word performer and poet educator releases the demons of this world while holding onto love for her family of birth, and the family she’s found. Kim B Miller, Poet Laureate of Prince William County, Virginia described Ashes to Justice as, “Written with a whisper and a hammer.” And Joseph Ross wrote, “The sorrow of abuse pulses under these poems. But so does the joy of double-dutch, a grandmother’s love, and the truth of rebirth.”R.E.I.L. started her poetry career at open mics in the D.C. area and at 16 competed in the Brave New Voices slam in New York City. A poetic performer, visual artist, and arts educator teaching in D.C. schools, R.E.I.L. seeks inspiration from past and present life experiences to help the lives of other unsung souls. R.E.I.L. not only found a passion in writing, but also in art. R.E.I.L. uses wood burning and pyrography to design art beyond the words she can display in her poetry. R.E.I.L realized her new found passion in 2018 branding her collections by Harmony’s Harmony by R.E.I.L. She now wishes to someday have a studio as an outlet for teens where she can use her poetry and arts to create that creative space.  


Image by Eric T Gunther, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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