Category: poems

An excitement fills the air …
Preparing to celebrate
The promised Messiah
Our Savior.

As we wait,
Knowing we will celebrate His birth
Two thousand years ago,
At the same time
Expecting His second coming.

Joy fills my soul.

We welcome the Christ child,
Remember His birth
Still filled with expectancy
As we know He will come again.
Overwhelming joy,
An expectancy that never ceases.
What joy we shall have when our wait is done.

I’ve been shot…
by a man I’ve never met.
He put his pistol to my chest
Bringing back flashes of blue and red lights
I’ve seen before
as I passed out on the concrete floor,
trying to look passed his shades
to get a glimpse of his soul
but the sole of his shoe
was forced into my holy temple.

He wrapped his injustice,
around my wrists,
his hate around my neck,
and stripped my identity
from my back pocket.
You see he’s never met me before
but he’s seen my face
countless times on the TV screen
as he drives by my house waiting to see
if I would reach for the stereotype
he’s placed in front of me.

He’s seen my nappy-headed hair
on front of the magazines
he’s seen my brown-eyes
downsized by hate crimes and white privilege.
I’m forced to compromise.

You see, we’ve known each other for quite sometime
but this time I cried as I laid
In a pool of my black blood and black pride.

Momma warned me
this day might come.
“Keep your hands on the wheel, son.”
“Keep calm and breathe, son”
“Keep your attitude in check, son”
Momma, I did everything you said to do,
“Officer, I can’t breathe!”
“Officer, my hands are up!”
“Officer, I have a family to feed!”
but he shot me…
My body naturally resisted
this expected occurrence of black existence.

It is now 12:35 am, July 5th, 2016.
I have finally become
an official victim of a global genocide.
This nation will continue to divide
until you find the meaning in my life and death.

I’ve been shot
by a man I’ve never met,
yet I finally figured out
what it means to be
Black in America.

I go within myself searching for the purest place.
Untainted, unharmed by the toils of life.
I listen closely to hear the beat of my heart.
The strength of my diaphragm pacing the inhales and exhales
that stretch my lungs.
I travel farther into my psyche to discover when I came to this place.
This world of longing, searching for the missing puzzle piece that completes
this jigsaw.
Upside down conundrum that I chose to light my path.
My reason for living.
I wait for the jolt, the life awakening jolt, like penetration meeting
the squish sound of the ready orifice
Sweetly welcoming the electric,
The magnetic,
Swell of pulse.
Hopefully leading me down a more determined path of destiny.
Yellow brick road, not of mythical Oz, but my no place
like home.
Rhythmic steps familiar to me because this is home.
I go within myself calling, listening for the voice, my voice, that
I silenced to chase a dream that was not mine.
A path that was lit by dim stars.
Not my destiny, not my truth.
I go within myself seeking my kingdom where I am queen.
Sitting on my throne.
Ready to reign.
My destiny, my voice, my truth.
The path lit brilliantly with the stars created for me.
Great solar brilliance warming the cold iciness of my core.
I emerge from within myself renewed by my travels from the
ejaculated seed that merged with the ovum in complete
wholeness, nurtured in the womb of my brilliance.
Radiantly standing
Illuminating in my knowledge that a queen is never broken.
She simply cocoons.
Fascinating onlookers with her powerful ability to command rebirth.

Toni Parnell
© 20 April 14

“Black Face”
-(for Paige Shoemaker)

Don’t apologize to me for your mockery of God
Your Lord and savior Jesus Christ already knows your heart
Despite your blatant ignorance,
He in turn awarded you forgiveness for your repentance
And then….
… called him nigga

Don’t be taken aback

You have always prayed to the nigga
When the cotton needed to flourish
When your offspring required nourishment
Whenever you seeked entertainment or a fresh body to torment
Nigga was always there to answer your prayers

Yet you have the audacity speak a nigga’s name in vain
Blasphemy, to believe you could hide your face from God
By painting it the same color as your soul
That your jokes aren’t the headliners for Satan’s sideshow
And your false sense of security on social media deserves our pity

Its easy to say”It feels good to finally be a nigga,” until they get a nigga good
Whisper that into the ear of fallen king and wait for a smile
Witness John’s vision of the Book of Revelation in
Michael Brown’s blood, shimmering under the seven stars and street lamps
Like the Son of God himself, prosecuted before the masses only to
Rise again in a flash of hashtags and post mortem glory

Don’t apologize to me for your mockery of God
For He, like every nigga that I know….
….knows a bigoted heart

I don’t even know where to begin…that’s how dope SHE is
Not to get into some deep sh*t or to be facetious but to describe SHE would take more than a thesis
See it’s the way SHE sees sh*t…not your typical lady
SHE told me SHE’s a unicorn and I believe it…it’s crazy
When SHE does what SHE does I stare in amazement
At the mystery of this amazing sensational lady
It makes me want to show her off to the universe
Yet conceal her and make any intrigued groups disperse
For what it’s worth I know SHE would be good for me
For we’d mesh like the tongue on my new sneaks
We’d both keep it 1K like 2 G’s. One day. You. Me.
SHE makes me melt when SHE grins at me
The thoughts I get when SHE speaks to me have got to be a sin at least
I feel like I’m rambling see….That’s what SHE does to me
Like the words I speak aren’t enough for SHE
But I’m dope with words so I’m sure this will cheer her up at least
I can see myself falling in love with SHE
Because I know she’s more than enough for Me…


The ocean
Offered its customary tranquility,
Jangled nerves quietly sighed
As calm was restored
To inner circuits
And tension
(The unwelcome intruder)
Fled before the advancing waves.

The movie theatre
Offered a new setting
For ever-increasing awareness.
Holding hands
In silent communication, we forged a link
Like co-conspirators
Against reality.

The park bench
Offered a welcome retreat
As conversation became more intense,
And we began the requisite ritual
Of subtle explorations
And the very gradual
Lowering of masks.

The waves rolling in
One after the other
The same, yet ever-changing.
The continuity lulls my mind;
The magnitude reminds me of my own insignificance.

As the daylight fades,
First the moon appears, a shining half orb surrounded by a hazy glow,
Next the first star twinkles brightly,
As we each make a private wish
I wonder if we ever outgrow all our childhood beliefs.
The magic is not as strong as it once was,
But I am reluctant to disavow it completely
(Just in case).

Soon the water is only a silver-gray form in the darkening evening
And it becomes impossible to distinguish one wave from another.

But the sounds remain.
Soothing, peaceful.
I reach out;
Our hands touch.

It was half a lifetime ago we held each other. Between then and now there have been so many others.

You should be inconsequential it would seem, but you still haunt me in my dreams.

Did I mark you like you marked me?
Is this affliction of mine a singular fantasy?

Also what sort of mark did I leave? Last heard the rumor you hated me.
Yet I remember you so well, your face hair smell.

Our end was messy and I a mess, it being short was probably best.
If it had been allowed to last I wouldn’t be able to delude my past.

If marked you are, it could have been worse: restlessness is my curse.

But now I’m haunted in my dreams, blurry face through windows beam.
Now in the day walking the street in every window I peak.

A chance meeting? No. Too many miles separate. But ah me of so little faith in fate.

No. It can’t. Beds have been made. Maybe in another life but not some far off day.

From mocks corner
To French quarter
Steeples so tall
80 degrees weather in the fall

Post and courier deliver
Looking over the cooper river
Nature trails
Walking along the battery rails.
Proud patriot
First time Stay at the Marriott
White sand
Blue grass band

Low country
7 beaches aboard
A bridge so long
Beautiful sunsets
Citadel cadets

Rainbow row
Mt Pleasant a stones throw
Walking the town afoot
Food so good

Sweet grass baskets
City’s market
South of broad
Summerville not to far

Goose creek
Shem creek
Sweet tea
Low country

a man is a man is a man.

There is a man
And he is standing in all the wrong places
Mumbling the wrong words, contorting his face into all the wrong forms
filling his mind with thoughts impure and unsound
and he stands there all alone
in the wrong places
sleeping inside of himself because it’s the only place he can call home these days
and you haven’t seen him in 3 years or so
seen who? Not really too sure
as he stands there all alone
in the wrong places

there is a man
and he moves so freely
finding himself just where he wants to be
he breathes deeply, thinks openly, lives fearlessly
but he drowns in a sea of blank faces
moving freely and ending up right where he means to but it all feels so hollow
and he’ll see us all again on the other side
as he wanders all alone
to feel solid and whole

farewell to the masterpiece.

take me before you lose me
before I lose myself in the wrong place at the right time
flame comes to common ground with earth and I melt away just in case I say something out of line
I told you to take me before you lost me
And now I’m lost again in myself, trembling like a young one far too innocent to know when to close the door
Shriek you masterpiece, scream and writhe and twist all about with peeling eyes while I stay here
Hidden in the back of the drawer next to Kodak moments and the lingering musk of dignity lost
Racing home in an eclectic Silverado under the great and chivalrous flying giant
Lights in but tuned out
We talk the same but don’t say the same words, feel the same but I can see a face changing when words are spoken
And the seasons roll on towards an end with no end
What were once vices are now habits
Pump the poison, apologies scribbled from head to toe when I found myself at the dark end of the street
Take me as you left me
Reach out with your quivering hand and hang on with irresolution
We were never ready, our money no good
No clout, no scrote
And without doubt I hang on to the hope
That you’ll take me as you left me,
As the seasons roll on towards an end with no end

Gray matter tackle box.
How could I forget
Where the rats with their keen moustaches used to hang out by that old elementary school everyone thought was so spectacular
A big green swing set giving wings to the young ones with the big ideas and too much to say
Worries were a thing of days past because those days past were so few
But here we are sitting
Washing the dirt off from behind our ears and laying our heads down for one more good night’s sleep
And here we are
And isn’t it beautiful how we all just fit here
Smaller pieces to a grander scheme
Inspecting those big ideas of the good-for-nothings
Tip-toeing over the finer details
And I am the prince of this palace the sun
And I am the narcissistic king of the earth
And I am the perceiver of infinity
Impossibility and inconsistency
And I am the prince of this palace the sun
And I am the narcissistic king of the earth
And I am the nervous son of this place
And I am the fine knower of the finite problems that we do stumble over
But mightily we do so triumphant and
Here we are
And there you are
How could I forget

I’ve had some greetings and some farewells but nothing like this.

Hello you
Standing softly waiting for the crash of earth and wind
Hello you
Walls built and windows snap thrash crash and slam against your psyche with the force of the days you had to walk away
Hello you
And there I’ll be on the peak of the rolling hills with a joint rolled and 1,001 stories untold of better days
To see you smile and to hear you laugh and to see your nose wrinkle in ecstasy
Hello you
I haven’t seen your face around these parts for a while
Hello stranger
Who I used to sing songs with and talk about the creaky floorboards in our old place that we tried to call home
Hello stranger
Goodbye you

the other side.

Take a walk on the wild side
Garnish it with a sprinkle of experience
Only to fuck in dreams and float through days one by one by one and so it goes
Live to score, sly handshakes and heads spin
Kicked back floating through days one by one by one
Living smoke to smoke, laugh to laugh
“no Bueno” says the mirror walker, and over there I hear her whispering “mas drogas” with blonde tension and sunken moan
Never mind that, let the road take a beating for a few hours while I screw my head on straight
I seek solitude from craving but find habit more inviting than change
And in a circle it goes again, oh yes
Hear, it goes again for this night and the one before and the next one and so on and so on
so it goes until something grand throws itself into being and with it brings purpose
oh boy, how things have changed
better or worse, just the same because here we still rest and here we lay our heads to try to find a kinder vision to calm us in the vicious eventide
Good night,
And good luck


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