Poetry

OPPOSITE

What if we have been calling things by the wrong name?
What if everything was the opposite of how we actually see them?
What if the land was called the sea, and the sea the land?
What If the moon was the sun, and the sun the moon?
What if black was white, and white was black?

Think. Think. Think.

Wait, what if black was white and white was black?
What if black was white and white was black?
What if, what if Blacks were the oppressors and the oppressed were White?
What if Blacks were ole massa and Whites obeyed their every command?
What if Blacks gained profit and Whites were beaten and sold?

What if Blacks were at home enjoying a meal while Whites out in the field?
What if Martin Luther King sat back on God’s word and watched the injustice take place while Whites marched the streets for a better life?
What if Blacks blew up a church where four little White girls died?
What if after almost 50 years many Blacks still hate the existence of Whites?
What if Black cops targeted and killed White boys and girls?

What if we have been calling things by the wrong name?
What if everything was the opposite of how we actually see them?
What if black was white, and white was black?
What if you were me?

Author Notes: None

Hidden Battles

Smiles do not tell the stories
Of pain and worries

The invisible foe does not know their sorrow
Nor does it care to see them live tomorrow

These hidden battles are seen by one’s own soul
They beat you down until you remain no more

Hidden in the darkness of one’s own heart
Lies the misfortune for others
Like a disease, these battles spread, and over the world, they cover 

Lighten the heart, but remain heavy on the foes
For the future of the hidden battles will forever go

Author Notes: You can never tell just by looking
at a person what battels they are facing

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Every day we age
But on this day we have aged

We grow with wisdom and experience
We look back on our many years of endurance

We cherish what we have gained
And should never ever complain
About the things we don’t have

And remember, to have everything
Means to never need anything

So on this day, Happy Birthday!
And I wish many more to come your way!

Author Notes: A special poem, to a very special
person born on January 17. This person helped 
me through a hard time; when I was ready to 
give up on school she helped me get back on 
the right road. Because of her, I am in college.
I want to say thanks to my 10th grade teacher, 
Ms. Jessica Lilly.

Sounds Of The City


Beep, beep, beep
This what I hear as I stare out of the window 
Onto the streets of this city
This city is D.C.

This city is loud
This loud city Is unfair
This city is rich
But also poor
For all its beauty
There’s ugliness too

The sounds of this city are not for me
The construction trucks, with their loud roars and clashes,
Are not for me
They’re not for anything like me
Not my skin color, or my hair texture
Not for my disability, nor my many abilities

Beep, beep, beep
I hear again
As I stare out of the window 
Onto the streets of this city
D.C. is the name
God I hate this lovely city

Author Notes: Life is full of pain

Who Is She?

When you think of the Black women that you meet
Is it her struggles that you see?
Do you see all that she could be?
Would you even see me for me?

Would you see her as a mother who is not financially free?
Or would you see her as a hustler whose second title is welfare Queen?

Would you see her as a woman exploring her sexuality?
Or is she a Jezebel, Ho, or THOT to be abused verbally?

Is she a provider demanding resources for her family?
Or is she a money hungry gold-digger trying to take advantage of her nigga?

Is she comfortable in her own skin and finds joy in her community?
Or is she a loud ghetto chickened who has no dignity?

Is she a divine Queen worthy of respect from every entity?
Or is she a bossy bitch who needs to be checked sometimes physically?

Does she refuse to live by the rules made up to keep her from being free?
Or is she a sapphire, rude, and crazy with no future in this reality?

Author Notes: Break the silence, while breaking
the stereotypes. Co-Written By Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes

Would You Even C Me 4 Me? 

When you think of the youth in D.C. what position do you see?

Would you see all that they could be?

Would you even c me 4 me?

Would you see her as a youth who steals from stores?

Or would you see her as someone who has food no more?

Would you see all that she could be?

Or would you throw her away and flee?

Would you see all that they could be?

Would you even c me 4 me?

Would you see him as a youth who sells drugs?

Or would you see him as someone with a lot of burdens to lug?

Would you see all that he could be?

Or would you lock him up and throw away the key?

Would you see the power they have that’s so abundantly?

The fight, the love, the advocacy?

Would you still not see all they could be?

Would you even c me 4 me?

“We believe in the power of narrative to change perspectives, drive empathy and motivate people towards action for change. For our youth here in DC to truly thrive, we must create and promote more narratives that helps young people — especially youth of color — to be viewed differently by adults who can create pathways to opportunities for success, and also to view themselves differently in order to feel worthy enough to pursue those opportunities.”– cme4me.org
Author Notes: cme4me is a citywide campaign 
in Washington, D.C. to get people to look 
at youth from a different perspective, to see them 
for who they really are.Visit cme4me for more information

Mother Please!

Mother mother can’t you see!?

The baby you’re harming inside of you is me!

Put down that cigarette and breathe!

Cough cough choke, please let it be!

You’re killing me

You’re killing us

And you wonder why loves ones always fuss

Mother mother can’t you see!?

You’re precious little baby will be born prematurely

Author Notes: Please don't smoke while pregnant!
The long-term affects are serious. I should know. 

This Skin I’m In

I love this skin

This skin I’m in

Its dark chocolate color

To be this dark, some have said it’s a sin

But I love this skin

This skin I’m in

Author Notes: Love your skin

A Black Face Among Them

It ‘s sad that, in this new day and age with the President of The United States Identifying as Black, racism still exist.

Well guess what? There’s a new Black Face Among Them.

She’s as resilient as can be when treated redundantly.

A crowd of White suits smirk and stare at how ruby like this Black suit is,

how elegantly fitted and robust she is,

and how she doesn’t just bring home the bacon, but the entire market.

This face, this Black face, the one who makes every man, White, Black, Blue, or Yellow, heart’s race,

is the one who puts stragglers in their place.

There’s a Black Face Among Them, and that face indeed is me.

Author Notes: I really wrote this poem because when 
I walked out of the subway station, dressed to impress, 
I received looks of disapproval from my White counterparts. 

Thinking

Faster than the speed of light
Our minds race to tell us what’s right

Thinking out loud to hear ourselves
We find the answers that no one else will tell

Author Notes: None

Armor of The Soul

The body acts as armor for the soul.
When we allow our armor to be destroyed
We allow destruction to fall upon our entire being.
Author Notes: Protect Your Armor

A Piano

With each key that’s played
Comes a new tune

From soft and soprano high
To rough and tenor low

This instrument
So elegant and bold
Brings life to any word

Whether it be fast and popping
Or relaxing and slow

Author Notes: None

At the Arboretum

Under the old *columns I lie
breathing in the fresh air
and gazing upon the blue sky

A lady in red twirls in the grass
she twirls
and twirls
and twirls
then stops at last

Author Notes: My trip to the Arboretum where 
the old White House columns rest

A Letter To Baltimore

For the ignorance of a few, we are all portrayed as thugs

It pains me

To watch as the media drag our asses across the rug, leaving carpet burns for all of us to lug

It pains me

To stare into the faces of the Whites and basically tell them that they were right

It pains me

To watch my brothers destroy a car. Lord help them, they’ve gone too far!

It pains me

To hear the labels that are attached to us.They won’t want to be around us, and thus,

It pains me

Author Notes: Pray for Baltimore

Resource Denied

My teacher says our homework is on page 62
But we have no books to take home
So what am I to do?

Resource Denied

Our class work is on the computer and we are to have it done by one
But there’s only three computers per 25 students
How can I get work done?

Resource Denied

I’m having problems with math
There’s no tutors, and teachers aren’t available after 3:45
If I fail, I’m afraid other students will laugh

Resource Denied

Today I had a meeting with my mother, teachers, and principal.
The principal says, “You don’t turn in homework, you don’t complete class assignments, and you’re failing math. What do you have to say?

I looked at my mother, then at my teachers, then turned to my principal and simply replied:

“Resource Denied”

Author Notes: This poem explains my life in the 
DC Public School System. I was told that I wouldn't 
graduate from high school and make it to college. 
Yet, at the time of this post, I am a junior at 
Trinity Washington University. I sure proved them wrong!

My words, His words

I try to deliver my words to him

But my words won’t reach

The wind carried my words straight past him into nothingness

That nothingness gives little to no meaning to my words

Why won’t my words reach him?

I try once more, but fear catches my words and burns them in the Furnace of Forbidden Hopes

Word after word is destroyed before my very eyes

As I watch my words burn, I see his words melting alongside many other people’s words

Suddenly, I see him reach into the Furnace of Forbidden Hopes and start to grab his words

“You fool! The flames on those words will burn deep into your soul,” I think to myself

Then I notice, the flames can’t burn him

He reaches for his last word, “LOVE,” then turns to me

He says to me, “Are you mad woman!? Are you just going to watch them burn!?”

Confused, I said, “those aren’t my words. My words melted a while ago. Those are your words”

He stood there for a second, and as tears welled up in his eyes he said, “Our words are the same”

Author Notes: Oftentimes, when a person is in 
love with someone, they are afraid of letting them 
know out of fear that they won't feel the same way.

I Runneth Over

I Runneth Over

I Runneth Over With Pain

The Pain Of Isolation

The Pain From Words

I Runneth Over

I Runneth Over With Fear

The Fear Of Losing

The Fear Of Fear Itself

I Runneth Over

I Runneth Over With Guilt

The Guilt From Sinful Actions

The Guilt From Sinful Thoughts

I Runneth Over

I Runneth Over!

I Runneth Over!!

I Runneth…

Author Notes: none

Kick Rocks 2014

That’s it, I’m done!!

You left me with a lot of pain

You nearly drove me insane

You’ve done nothing but bring me down

2015 will be a new turn around

But wait

I’m elated to announce that I have a gift for you

I can’t say that you will like it too

For you 2014, I’ll give you a divorce

I showed you love, but now no remorse

You had your chance

Now take a Glance

At my new boo

Oops, I thought you knew

I’m dating 2015

The best looking year I’ve ever seen

So kick rocks, I’m through

I’ll be chilling with my new boo

Author Notes: 2014 was a difficult year for me. 
With the new year, comes new things...hopefully 

What’s Life to You?

Life goes on no matter what happens
Life is a Bitch!
So who really cares?
Life is what a lot of people want to take
Life is what others want to give.
What’s Life to you?

 Author Notes: none

Born To Win

I was born to take a stand

Born to work with these two hands

Born to fight

For what’s right

I was born to be free

And I was born to see

The things God planned for me

What I wasn’t born to do is lose

I was most definitely BORN TO WIN

Author Notes: My current life in foster care is 
what inspired me to write this

Night’s Beauty

She’s Night’s Beauty
No other dark creature compares
Elegant, yet frightening
Beautiful, but ugly

She’s Night’s Beauty
You’ll see her from the belvedere
Hot as fire
But cold as ice

She’s Night’s Beauty
Like *Alastair
She’s deceitful
She tortures souls

She’s Night’s Beauty
Beware of her glare
She’s a sight to be seen
But the last sight you will see

She’s Night’s Beauty

 Author Notes: *Alastair- A powerful demon from 
the TV show "Supernatural" (2005)

Gone To Hell Because Of a Great Sale

Screaming, kicking, shouting and tapping 
All this goes on while the children are napping 

The poor little souls don’t yet know 
What the morning will hold

The youngest awakes and shakes with fear
To see their parents guts all over the floor
She screams and shouts, ” Mommy and Daddy no more!”

The eldest rise with sleep still in her eyes
She calls out, “Lilly, what’s wrong?”
Lilly answers, “Mommy and Daddy are gone!”

Molly sees their parents in a flood of blood
Her heart breaks and the ground quakes

The house caved
Molly and Lilly can’t be saved

The floor opens to hell 
And they both fell

Molly and Lilly didn’t live to tell the tale of the great sale 
Their parents made to get paid

Author Notes: Inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe

Quick Links 

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© Ashley Strange. All rights reserved
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