Monthly Archives: August 2014

Don’t Shoot… [POEM]

Don’t shoot…
down his dreams
before he begins to believe
before he begins to see
before he leaves

He’s unarmed
unharmed by expectations
undaunted by limitations
unwavering,
just waiting

Give him space,
he’s pacing

Tired from chasing down doubts
constant accusation
and outs

no amount of assurance
no insurance
just endurance

He is a purist

Please don’t shoot

Little black boys have become target practice
their mothers forced to become activists
absentee fathers become advocates
or inactive
while the police laud them all
with laughter,
it’s fashion

Cell phone camera’s scream “ACTION”
but these ain’t actors

Its the music
Its the attitude
Its the sagging pants
Its the dread-locs

… But these ain’t factors

He is an addict

to capitalism
and orgasm
and momma’s religion
and television

So, please don’t shoot

him up
through intravenous means
without making sure that he knows
what intravenous means
he’s been drugged
through intravenous means

doubt
statistics
stereotypes
assumptions
conclusions
pressure
stressors

He is well acquainted with these
before he knows what any of it means

an antidote is what he needs

Please don’t shoot

videos that lead him astray
says the wrong things
and music the radio play
has the wrong theme
he is confusing comedy
with abuse
but celebrity makes it right
and the only way to choose
either live that life
or lose
so they say

But that is no excuse,

Don’t shoot,

Stop shooting down the competition
in attempt to abort their mission
STOP GUNNING DOWN OUR BROTHERS
because you don’t want to listen

and hear their TRUE STORY
or let them discover
what you and yours did
that is why you abhor him
because he is finding out
and you are too old,
to be hiding out
can’t keep up with the internet
or what him taltmbout

but why shoot?

Too many calls to 911
man down, R.I.P
and the Reason Is Police

Get it?

The reason he’s deceased

In front of his procession is awareness
In the distance is disbelief
we know how to be,

“FREEZE”
and saying “PLEASE”,

Don’t shoot.

-see

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

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Fear of fire? Time you burn…

It is not all a conspiracy. But know that there is a very BIG market for fear. While you are afraid and paranoid, there are people who live in the peace and certainty of calm. It is not always a fight, or a battle, or a struggle.

Understand that some people only want your happiness, as a byproduct of theirs. They would love for you to be happy if it meant that you’d be doing what THEY want or NEED you to do, or be. And if not, know that EVERYTHING you do is going to be questioned, assumed, criticized, and pretty much doubted. These people are “for you” if it works for them.

Ask yourself this question:

Does it matter that you ONLY matter when it matters to them?

That is a real question that YOU need a REAL answer to. You have to realize that life beats the shit and the hope out of people. And when that happens, they become routine citizens of the circular processes of familiar and expected. The problem is that those processes assume and expect negative and wrong as opposed to the sincere and RIGHT. Oh, and those processes hide old hopes and dreams. While you are out believing and trying and doing, people around you may only see what they lost, forgot, or are missing out on.

Misery loves company. And it gets a kick out of stealing fires. Miserable people love to steal your fire. They habitually douse the flames of your wildest fantasy and faith with the limitations and reality of their own inability. And they will remember and remind you of EVERY reason that YOU CAN NOT, SHOULD NOT, or BETTER NOT do that thing or go to that place that YOUR heart and soul desires to venture upon. They will extinguish YOUR embers of ambition and potential in the tradition of ancestral “hate” and resistance. They do this out of routine and FEAR. They steal joy as fluently as a kleptomaniac finds it natural to procure trinkets and merchandise left out in the open. EXACTLY like that, you leave your heart out on your sleeve and in the atmosphere, your innocent and inspirational thoughts and declarations- which are floating energy around you- in the open, as mere particles of your beautiful aura, and purpose. But they are snatched up, by people who don’t even recognize that they are thieves of these words, thoughts, hopes, or feelings. But they pick them up and hide them in their hiding places, as a reflex. They don’t even REALIZE that they do it. NOR DO YOU! Because you never expect the people that SHOULD believe in, SUPPORT, and help you, to do the opposite of these very things!

And sadly, this dance is a very popular one. People do this as a back-and-forth unlike anything else I have ever seen. It has become the norm, the “way it is”, “life”, as they say. It has become the theme. Far too many dreams and desires have been stolen or abandoned because of it! Because it is hard to find hope or reassurance or the voices that stand in the shadows willing to keep urging you forward. Nope, instead of that, most people in your life want to do that old familiar dance of lack and leave-those-things-behind. The hustle and bustle of it all tends to demand a sense of complacency and comfort that often appears to require the sacrificing of your purpose and power. And “potential” eventually becomes a poison. An agent of destruction or disease that you are tagged with once having. A cloud thrown over your head to keep you from remembering what you could have, been or done.

This universe is made up of tiny sparks. Your life is a spark. Your life matters for the sake of the universe being able to survive. Your spark keeps the universe alive. People often surrender or trade in their sparks for what society or what “life” says that they are “allowed” to be, or do. They trade in priceless sparks for pennies on the dollar. They “pawn” their sparks in their youth with every intention of picking it up at some later time, after things are “better”. When the time is right, after school, after marriage, after kids, after experience, after fulfilling the expectations and aspirations of parents or odds. The plan is often to first beat the odds, or the expectations, to defy the stigmas and stereotypes, to overcome the adversity, and then present our spark, when we can afford to not be tempered by the atmosphere and environments around us.

That philosophy is foolish and ASS-BACKWARDS!

Because YOUR SPARK, YOUR FIRE, YOUR DREAM… That is WHO YOU ARE. And to give that up, or to give up on that, is to erase YOURSELF from the annals of the recorded universe! It is to stop yourself, to defeat yourself, to leave yourself.

Today’s world has no shortage of complacency or commitment to conformity. There is an abundance of it. That is how these powers and purveyors of propaganda survive. They exist, handsomely enriched, wealthy, influential, and with a great sense of ownership, because they have gained control of so many sparks. Because so many sparks sit idle and abandoned in the deserts of broken hearts and abandoned dreams. Because commitments and obligations and deadlines have taken precedent over passions and purposes. Because hopes and dreams have succumb to expectations, limitations, statutes, and rules.

And there is a word for it, fear. And there is a very big market for that fear.

There is a market that survives on your fears. That market has subdued your spark and probably tricked you into believing that it doesn’t burn anymore. It, or someone, has told you that you have more important things to do, things other than believe in yourself at this point. No, because you have responsibility and commitment and things that have to be done! You have bills and children and people and things that depend on you, for survival.

But wait. Are you surviving? Are you going to last? Can you sustain this pace? Can you continue to live in this way, for that much longer? Will you make it?

Because that pressure, that stress, that wilderness of exile from your spark, will eventually put you in the middle of a darkness that will ultimately devour WHATEVER your fire could have been. And if you do manage to survive the time, you will not escape the torment of regret or remorse for abandoning yourself. I promise.

And then one day you will look up. There will be a flicker in the distance. There will be a remnant of heat that somehow resists the coldness of reality. And you will stand there in amazement that you recognize it. You will crack forth a hint of a smile as you suppose to chase after that glimmer. And it will still seem possible. It will still seem do-able. You will recognize that it is still real.

And then you will walk away from the mirror, remembering what you just saw in your own eyes. And you will realize that you have just made a choice to live in the bounty of your spark. Because at that very moment, you understand that the spark NEVER dies. And whenever you choose to honor it, is when the universe does.

No fear. No reason to. Burn.

-see

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

Name calling… [POEM]

You call him KING,
You crown him
You call him NIGGA,
You down him
You call him NOTHING,
You clown him

I know,
I’m around them

Found them to be more susceptible to success at the mere suggestion of possibility
Nothing to do with an unwillingness to comply,
but ability

They don’t have an opportunity to try
Just pressure to produce
and if you are going to find a problem with him either way,
He figures, whats the use?

This poem is for those of us being lied to
For those whose intentions got lost in the intermission of life,
I know you tried to
but before you could ascend,
You were accosted or assumed to
And as soon as you do,
They bury you
without a funeral,
I’ve got proof
and the scars too
speaking of speaking into existence,
Stop saying you got bars fool
They got bars too!
Daddy say we dun had too many signs,
He’s right, I’ve heard “Hell Yea” in too many rhymes,
that’s the law of attraction
Repeat this 20 times…,
Loud too…

Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music
Trap music

It’s that music, and music like it
that leads us wrong,
We were once a product made possible by freedom songs
unfinished business,
they beat us
then feed us wrong
got us in the paint, back to the basket
leading us on
we need to be gone
but instead we’re asking the big bad wolf
to lead us home…

You call him KING,
You crown him
You call him NIGGA,
You down him
You call him NOTHING,
You clown him

I know,
I’m around them

Truth is that we got egg on our face
ran at the first sign of smoke
and yelled fire
But it was arson
scrambled his story,
you can tell he’s lying
but we launched into full scale attack
and jumped on faulty bandwagons
driven by media
making insignificant issues out of locs,
and pants saggin
ass backwards
but demand action,
expedient
Oh, but that’s the scam,
catch it…

They pass out strikes
like chalkboards in math class
then tell him he don’t count
until he got cash
but he can’t count
so he got mad
and he can’t count on the system,
they got Dad
Momma counted on him
until it got bad
then she just blamed him
cause he count stash
everybody else counted him out
so he bout mad
and all he ever wanted to do was count,
matter of fact

You call him KING,
You crown him
You call him NIGGA,
You down him
You call him NOTHING,
You clown him

I know,
I’m around them

No sense in blaming Mr. White
when we complain about Mr. Right
steady playing Mr. Nice
putting it off until tomorrow
because we don’t feel like explaining this, tonight

And change gon’ come
been anthem since our ancestors
change gon’ came and went
we just a chantin’…

(Sing with me)
Fuck bitches
Get money
Thug life
Who want it
Pop that
Shake dat
Take that
Take that
Take that
Take that…

Like you’re supposed to
because of what you’re exposed to
because you were told to
not because you chose to

I told you,

You call him KING,
You crown him
You call him MIGGA,
You down him
You call him NOTHING,
You clown him

I know,
I’m around them.

-see

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

She fell in love, with words… [POEM]

She fell in love with words
words never meant for her
words that he spoke in general
words never meant to infer

She heard him say fidelity
as he spoke of a commitment
she got lost in his translation
I wish she would have listened

She drew of a conclusion
that was never soon to be
she thought she heard her man
she thought that man was he

He was only speaking theory
and had never thought it more
she heard him tell a story
she yearned him tell her more

Just as she had prayed
just as had been promised
but she had only seen his pretty
she ignored that he was honest

She fell in love with words
head over heels in fact
she gave his words a color
and she painted him with that

A blue to mask her sadness
A red to mask her pain
A green to give her value
A brown to keep her plain

A yellow that was bright
A pink that made her feel
A white that gave her balance
A black that made her real

And soon there was a picture
inside of her museum,
she invited all to see it,
as she praised the artist, him

Counted herself as his muse
imagined what he felt
she constructed such an image
did it all and by herself

But he was none the wiser
not a clue what she had done
she was only for the moment,
He was only having fun

And there were other ones,
just like her in fact
that were as important to him,
and surely had his back

But never was he distracted
he seemed always there, sure
alone had been her sickness
she discovered him as cure

She fought to keep him present
made amends and compromise
she made need out of desire
she made love out of lies

And if it wasn’t for his words,
then maybe she would see
that maybe she was wanted,
by a different man, like me.

-see

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

Note to YOUR self…

You,

If you remain silent, people who want you to remain silent will always agree with you.
If you speak up, speak out, and speak on the issues that YOU have the AUTHORITY, EXPERIENCE, and POWER to speak about, people who need to hear those things will agree with you.
Either way someone will be happy, someone won’t.

But neither of their opinions matter if YOU aren’t doing what YOU FEEL, KNOW, and NEED to do. It won’t matter that you’re gone, if you didn’t matter while you were here. And even if you are “here”, there is no victory in being invisible for the sake of being invisible. Not when YOUR presence is needed, not when YOUR voice is necessary.

You’ve waited long enough. It is time for YOU to SAY SOMETHING! It is YOUR turn to SPEAK!

YOUR name has been called…

Don’t you agree?

Expecting you,
-Now

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

Somebody Say Something [POEM] {VIDEO}

Before he walks out that door
And before he tries a joint
Before he gets drunk for the very first time
Before he makes up his mind to make a point
Before he loses his virginity
Before he gains a reputation
Before he is influenced by the world around him
Before he forgets his way and finds himself waiting,
For a bus
that’ll take him where he has to be Rather than where he wants to go Because no one ever paid attention
To him
or what he was doing,
So before we let him go . . .

Somebody Say Something

Somebody say “Hi”
before he tries it
And show him what it means to not be focused
And just remind him that he doesn’t need Marijuana to manifest–
rather tell him now Hemp is hopeless and I hope this is no knock to those who feel the need to make herbs a dietary supplement
But I’ve done a study of my own
and statistics show
that an altered state of awareness may enact subsequent failure
and there is no need to tell you
how many brothers have already smoked away chance after chance to advance in a society that stands on a platform that pales in comparison to anything right–
but for just these moments we might want to oblige–
if not for our people,
let’s just say it’s for our pride
So we can be proud of him
because he stood for something
and couldn’t stand smoke
So he never started smoking
and as a child he realized drugs were no joking matter
and let’s hope he’ll learn an important lesson before he has to find
out the hard way and before we find out what happens after,

Somebody Say Something

Before he goes out into this world not knowing the difference between free will and freedom
and makes the mistake of not making the distinction that free will is from God and freedom is from this country and once he appreciates the difference he’ll know what it means to hear some things and some things can only be heard if you listen
So he’ll listen to his heart before he listens to his homeboys
and he won’t have to look so far for answers
Friends can give you advice
but they can’t necessarily give you chances
This is no dress rehearsal
This is real life–no second chances He’d better get it real right–right now.
And he might not know that because we didn’t show him
and what he doesn’t know is
what he knows
is way more important than who might know him
and where he is right now
is only the starting point
for where he’s going
and even though he might mean to
mean the best
when he becomes a man
meaning means nothing.
He’ll have to make a decision to be a man of his word
and that’s one thing he’s probably never heard

So, Somebody Say Something

He already has a predisposition to lack thereof–
Lack of funding and moral guidance
Lack of responsible individuals that will hold him liable
and won’t just lie to him
Lack of positive reinforcement
with examples of success
Rather we will expose him to poverty and the notion it suggests–
more than likely he’ll never hear from those who made it how to do just that because those individuals are never so visible once they move up
They do just that
and he’s already going to deal with a father who’s invisible
and a mother who holds him responsible for that
and a system that will teach him nothing of his past and won’t prepare him for his future
Don’t they understand that it takes more than nature to make this boy a man
When it comes to his stance,
what’s in his pants is useless
But they’ll have him believe he can use it whenever
and won’t tell him the pain that comes with pleasure
and no one explains that his body is a temple
and that what’s down there is a treasure
to be found
by someone special–
and special ain’t the moment that makes it feel nice–
special is the woman
that makes him feel life
By marrying him,
she’ll make him right
So somebody tell him to wait
Is there anyone that hates to see illiteracy more than I do?
I’m not saying you have to conjugate verbs and nouns like I do
But these little young black men sound foreign and
it’s almost as if they try to
But that’s because
we’d rather read them their rights than read to them at night
We’ll wait till they go wrong
Then try to lead them right
then blame it on their songs
or their situation
Someone please stand up and be held accountable
an entire generation is waiting
and no one seems to be concerned
So maybe we’ll send them to the church
Where the preacher will tell them they’ll burn
If you keep trying to hide the truth Then that’s exactly what they’ll learn

So somebody Say Something

Tell them that the only thing that matters Is that he matters in the end
And if he never finds himself
Then he himself will never matter to his friends
And tell him that real men believe in God
And we love one another
And we find beautiful wives
because we loved our mothers
and saw to it that our sisters didn’t find it hard to find someone worthwhile
and if she has any glimmer of hope inside herself
she’ll teach this to her child
and he’ll grow up to be the father that I never had
and he’ll have respect, honor, dignity and compassion
for the reality is–
faith is a concept–
yet one not so hard to grasp

I hope he hears me

Before he walks out that door
and before he tries a joint
Before he gets drunk for the first time
Before he makes up his mind to make a point
Before he loses his virginity
Before he gains a reputation
Before he is influenced by the world around him
Before he forgets his way and finds himself waiting
for a bus
that’ll take him where he has to be rather than where he wants to go because no one ever paid attention to him
or what he was doing
Before we let him go…

Somebody Say Something

©2005 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

Morning Kisses… [POEM]

IMG_5713.JPG

Sunrise
finds you there
reminds me
of
where we were
the night
before

Explain me these,
morning kisses

It started
some while ago
an affair
of words
some idea
about happiness
something
absurd

turned into,
morning kisses

Perception
about what
was
wrong
or right
or just
what was
best to do,

Don’t fight,
these morning kisses

IMG_5715-0.JPG

Music
playing
a remind of things
we did
in silence
the noise
we made
carried on
from long ago’s

Explain
to me,
where that time went…

with, morning kisses

No rose pedals
or holidays
just that
whisper
and
a gaze

To tempt me,
So come get me

says
my morning kisses

Alone,
in my room
consumed,
Thinking
of you

what if we got married?
and carried on
became grandparents
still
holding hands
finding
new adventures
after 50 years
of plans
still
standing in the mirror
wanting
to be
the best me
so that you’d see
fit
to
morning kiss me

IMG_5716.JPG

without
reservation
or
consideration
but
for the taste of
my lips

You’ve slipped me
something
got me
feeling
like this
under
some influence,

I knew it
was
The morning kisses
that
kept you
sleep
daydreaming
fantasizing
and thinking,
Of me…

Come
tell me
again
how crazy you feel
how much it hurts
how hard it is

… To see me go

Or just
let me know
that
what you were
saying
meant
something else

do it
with
morning kisses

IMG_5732.PNG

kiss
my toes
with
your legs
gently rub
against
my nose
with your hands
slide
your forehead
along
my back
kiss
my shoulder
with
your neck
rest
your body
into
mine
kiss
my stomach
with
your spine
fall back
onto
my chest
kiss
my fingers
with
your breast
hold me
until
I
forget

what you have
to leave
if even
for a moment
even if
it makes me
want it
more

meet me
on the floor
or
on the side
of the bed
in the shower
or
out on the ledge
in the car
or
by some waters edge
or

between your legs,

with morning kisses.

IMG_5719.PNG

-see

© Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

For this reason… [An open letter to my son]

The reason(s) for the things I’ve been saying to you lately…

[An open letter to my son]

Hey “Bud”,

I hope that you are able to read this letter and comprehend what I am saying here. Truth is that I am going to read it to you anyway, but I hope that you get it. Like, really get it and use the things that I am going to tell you as gauges and dials to help you become a thermostat for your own environment and not a thermometer, subjected to the climate of someone else’s setting, as much as possible. I’m writing this letter because I have no choice but to force myself into action right now and I pray and hope that you NEVER have to find yourself in a place or situation like mine, without the right mind, spirit, and health to be able to deal with it. If my experiences do anything, I want them to be a roadmap that is able to lead you to a much better place, in much better timing, with much better feelings about life. Because I think that if someone would have just told me things, and explained them, earlier, so much of the mediocrity, redundancy, and mistake-prone behavior could have been either avoided or averted. I believe that my issues were only necessary because of my situation. I don’t believe that what happened was necessarily “supposed” to happen. No, that’s a copout. That’s a way for people to excuse themselves from the presence of the past that they didn’t take advantage of, or to absolve themselves of the feelings of responsibility that they could have done better, or different.

{The mindset that is passed down traditionally in our culture, specifically of guilt and shame and secrecy and lack and suffrage and poverty and struggle and all of those other ideals that came down through the lineage of a slave’s mentality, can no longer be how we approach and face living. Though we live in a country that has never treated us, corporately, fair nor equal, we have to stop allowing ourselves to believe and operate in ways that further demonstrate the sick and cruel intentions of how evil planned our destinies to be. We must think and be responsible and accountable to and for OURSELVES and realize the commitment- that being born draws us into- to help and aid others towards discovering meaningful and purposeful existence. I recognize that I have a much greater call to action as a father than I did when I was not. It is my job to give you every piece of advice and inspiration, warning or word of encouragement, that I can possibly find, in order to prepare you for what lies ahead. And yet I realize that whatever I say is nothing but expression if I do not reinforce it with example and exercise, in my own life, vulnerable and transparent for you to observe. So my son, this letter is just a key to aid you as my life can stand as one of the maps you use to get you along the way. Its going to be a journey. Get ready.}

This is going to be a pretty long letter, and its not going to be everything that I want to say but it’s going to give you some of the reasons that I do or say certain things.
I just want you to know…
I love you.

IMG_5437.PNG

•The reason that I’ve been taking you to the doctor with me:

The other day at the doctors office, you probably heard her tell me that I was in the 3rd stage of kidney disease. While she was explaining the repercussions and realities of what the 4th and 5th stages could mean, you probably heard me promising to do everything in my power to ensure that I will take control of my health to prevent myself from having to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant because of renal failure. It is a very difficult thing to have to hear that your body is not in full capacity and that there are issues and concerns within you that present serious ramifications to your health. It is a terrible feeling to feel helpless and at the mercy of things seemingly out of your control.
I am only 35 years old. I have been dealing with hypertension (high blood pressure) since I was 17. It had never, until now, been under control. I didn’t understand the significance and toll that uncontrolled hypertension was taking on me for most of these years. It had never been explained to me the way that I am explaining it to you. Some of the contributing factors to hypertension were things that I knew no other alternative of. They were things, actions, habits, characteristics, all remembered and reflexes of tradition and identity. Some of those contributing factors being diet, exercise, and stress. What I ate was what I had always eaten, it was what the family had eaten. It was “comfort” food. It was a diet conducive to the convenience of our lives. Fast food, “Soul food”, canned goods, meat, and fried everything had always been what everyone around me ate. There were no vegetarians or health conscious people present. The only times I had ever heard about nutrition or health was when my mom had gone on one of her annual diets, usually prompted by the new year or by some fad or pop culture trend that was in style. I’d known that my grandmother was diabetic and had some severe health concerns, but no one ever stressed how instrumental or significant the factors that were in her control had allowed her health to get out of control. I had never knew a person in my family that actively worked out. Other than regular physical activity and maybe some basketball games, I had never known anyone in my households that went to gyms or exercised on a regular basis. I had never known the real effects of stress and pressure on your body either. It wasn’t until these last few years that I learned how much mental and emotional health were capable and responsible means of influencing the direction of my own health. Stress, internalization, anger, and un-forgiveness, all lead to the bouts of depression which fostered the erratic and extreme eating habits, lack of exercise, and lack of positive emotional well-being that deteriorated , or assisted in, the deterioration of my own health. Although I am doing a lot better now, my body has paid a hefty price for my ignorance about these things. I am no longer in the dark about my health and I will not keep any information about my health from you. I wish that my mom or my father would have taken me along to their doctor appointments. I wish that I would have been given an opportunity to know the family history of particular ailments and issues so that I would have been able to adjust my nutritional focus and exercise regimens, appropriately. As the doctor said, I am not out of the woods but I have a chance to continue to improve my health and extend my life with a pretty good chance of even reversing some of the damage already done. But that will take an extreme dedication and deliberate course of action towards changing years of what I have learned and done. It will take willpower and focus. It will take hard work. It will take me making choices and decisions that will also affect you and how you eat and view these things. I am willing to do whatever it takes though, because I must. I need to be around as long as I can and in good health in order for me to be able to continue to be the best possible individual that I can be so that I can set an example and leave a legacy and example for you. That is what I want and I am going to do what I have to do in order to do that.
At the doctor you also heard me ask her for a printout of my HIV/STD test results. Son, it is a very different world out here than- the one that not being informed about it was my excuse for- was for me at your age. There are diseases running rampant, especially in the African-American community, because of sex and because individuals are neglecting or afraid to be informed. Rates of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise and some of these infections can cause severe problems with other areas of health. For the last couple of years I’ve been on the fence about when to discuss this subject with you because I wanted to hold onto what I feel is your rightful innocence. An innocence that you are deserving of and entitled to. But I know the reality. I also know my own history and at your age I had long been introduced to sex in a very improper and inappropriate way. I began to curiously seek and search out sexual activity by the time I was 9 and by 11, I was having sex. So I cannot misdirect my own truth in order for me to live in some fashion, vicariously, through yours. That’s not what I have the responsibility to do as your father. My job is to aware you, prepare you, and be here as long as I possibly can in order to help you along the way. The reason that I get an HIV/STD screening every six months is so that I am always informed about my sexual health. That printout, for me, is a reminder and a tool I use when speaking to others about these realities.
Bringing you to the doctor with me is a way for you to witness me surrendering any ignorance I possess about certain things to the intelligence of expertise and education that can inform and position me in a better way to positively go forward. I want you to know that your body is nothing to be embarrassed about and there is nothing taboo about discussing things that affect your health and well-being. You deserve to know what is going on with you, as well you deserve to know what is going on with me. I cannot change how the habits and traditions before me were put in place but I can definitely change how you and I deal with these things. This is what I know best.
I love you.

•The reason I always ask if anyone has “touched” you:

You probably think nothing of it when I ask you if anyone has touched you or made you feel uncomfortable or when I ask if anyone aside from your mother, grandmother or myself has given you a bath or touched your body. You’ve always answered no, and I am a little relieved every time you say that. It’s not that I am over-protective, and it is not that I am paranoid. It is because I am protective, and because I know what can happen.
By the time I was your age I had already been molested and I had already been exposed to sex in very deceptive and destructive manners. Looking back at pictures from that time in my life, I smiled just like you do. I seemed happy. To the non-concerning eye I was a normal kid, and my mom and every other adult around me was none the wiser. I don’t remember anyone ever asking either. My mother and I never had a talk about sex. We never discussed my body in that way, regarding sex. It was not a comfortable subject matter for me to attempt to talk to someone or tell. I used to feel like I would get in trouble if my mother found out what had been going on. I don’t know why I felt like it was my fault or that I would get in trouble, but I did. I don’t know how my mom felt about it (the subject of sex) or whether she just figured everything was okay (for me, at that age) but the silence and secrecy created a very toxic and unhealthy system of ideals and attitude about sex, for me. I don’t know where it started or when but so many of the environments that I was exposed to back then were involved in indecent and improper sexual contact. I hate to think that kids “play” like that but, kids “played” like that. At first we were “hunching” or “grinding” or “freaking”, but soon after, we were “doing it”. As a 7 and 8 year old little boy I can recall it being a game that was played. It escalated and became what was done in the closets and corners while the adults were doing something else. That was the way it was, but nothing was ever said about it. It was a secret but not to us. It was crazy.
Very early on, I developed an appetite and lust for sexual activity and I had no one responsible to talk to. No one that I respected had given me information or advice. I learned by doing. And I did both way too early. The real tragedy was that a lot of the things that I did and the way that I thought about them were from a sincere belief I had that this was the way that things were supposed to go. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that a woman that I was dating sat me down and said to me that my “ways” were really harmful and I needed some professional help. She told me that I treated sex like it was as casual as breathing. I had no attachment, feelings, or care about it. I just did it. She was right. So I began to ask questions about it. At 20 something I was asking questions about what sex was for and how should I feel. I sought out pastor friends of mine and some of the men I trusted around the barbershop. Before then, I had never even had a conversation about sex outside of whatever I had seen on late-night cable, or heard from some of my peers and friends. The problem there was that a lot of those conversations were about what they wanted to do or were going to do (one day), I WAS REALLY DOING IT! And it was a secret. And as I got older I always treated sex like a secret. Women had complimented me on my discretion. It was supposedly something that grown men did, not brag about their conquest. It wasn’t that I was being discreet, I had only known sex to be a secret and so habitually, I treated sex like it was a secret. What I was really doing and what they thought I was doing were two totally different things. Crazy how that worked.
But it wasn’t until around the time that you were born that I started to even think about it. Around that time I took a vow of abstinence in order to rediscover my body and mind. I tried to pray certain images and ideas out of me but to no avail. Eventually I went back to my old habits and routines. I was infatuated with having sex with women and with pornography and I was very private about it. I didn’t think that anything was wrong with the way I thought or felt. It wasn’t until you were about 3 that I started to realize some of my biggest issues and started to remember vividly my past and that is when I began asking you these questions.

Over the last 5 years I have drastically changed the way that I feel and behave in certain areas. I am still working on others. It took me almost 30 years to be able to face myself and my past in a way that has given me a sense of clarity and understanding. I have a very warped sense of what trust or commitment and relationships are. Even as hard as I try to act a certain different, the fact remains that I had felt a particular way for such a long time and had no dialogue or discipline to shape me otherwise, and so my true feelings, confused and as complicated as they were, always came through in the end.
And it all began in the basements and under the covers of my childhood. It was happening under the noses of the adults that were supposed to protect me, it was happening in the rooms and backyards that they sent me- to go be a kid- into. And I didn’t know any better or anything else. They didn’t ask.
I won’t assume that you are informed, I will inform you. I won’t just assume that you are okay, I am going to ask you. I won’t let you go without having the opportunity to communicate openly and honestly about your body, your feelings, and the information that you need to realize a healthy and effective life. I will be here for you. I am going to always be here for you and willing to consider whatever may be going on within or around you, because I know what can and does happen.
I love you.

•The reason that I repeatedly tell you how much I love you:

Because I do. With all of my heart I do. And because you need to hear, from me, that I do. For many reasons.

I don’t ever remember, as a little boy, my father telling me that he loved me. That left a void. That created an attitude and an imagination of emptiness and abandonment. It created distance and dysfunction in the relationship between he and I. Not ever hearing him say that he loved me contributed to some of my feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. It is a difficult and complex story to explain the nature of my relationship with a father figure because I did have a man who raised me and provided for my basic needs but there was always something missing and in my adult years I have come to realize what that absence was. The fact that MY father WAS alive and that I knew where he was played a very significant part in shaping and influencing some of the constant questions and ideas that inspired my anxiety. There is something about knowing where and who you come from that has always been an intrigue of mine. It might have been an issue compounded by the way events and history had turned out, but I always wanted to know the identity and history of my blood family. I was raised around a wonderful family that for the most part accepted and loved me, but they were not my blood family. As a child I was constantly “explained” and that created a complex in me. I wanted to be a part of a system that didn’t have to do that. I just wanted to at least know who my family was and the genealogy and past about them. I have sought out and searched this information for years. I couldn’t help it either, it was a natural and innate curiosity. Wanting to be a part of my biological father’s family sometimes appeared as a slight to my other family but I didn’t know what else to do. The fact of the matter is that I always felt a sense of oddness and un-belonging that created distance and discord. I hated having to know that the people I called Aunt, Uncle, cousin, and etc, weren’t. In my mind it was an issue and it was an issue that I could not even force myself from having. I have always felt like the outsider, like the half/step/explained kid, and I just wanted to not be that.
What made those matters worse is that my father held a great deal of resentment and regret because I had such a relationship with my Stepdad. It angered and made him feel belittled and worthless that his son was taken care of by another man. He voiced this anger, through snide and negative commentary about my “other family” (as he called them), to me. He had made me feel some kind of way about them. And because I wanted to be a part of my father’s family and because I wanted his love, I drew a conclusion that the reason that he didn’t show or do certain things, was my fault, because I had abandoned him, for my “other” family. I regretted things that I should not have even been considering, because my empathy was washed in the emotional wellspring of those feelings. I wanted him to say that he loved me. If he would have said it I would have felt that he approved and accepted my wellbeing and that I was being taken care of. That he loved me would be the bar and standard and substance of love for me and with it I would not seek or settle for anything less. I know far too many people that have succumb to lifestyles and livelihoods that are the immediate effects and results of not knowing this specific love.
That is why I tell you that I love you so often and so much. The fact that I do is one thing, but I also want you to have a reference and reflex point as you enter and engage life that will never force you to seek out or search for love, appreciation, or acknowledgment from outside sources because you lacked it from where it should have come from. I know that to be the part of the reason that some young men seek out gangs, unhealthy friendships and behaviors, and fall down the path of drugs/substance abuse. That lack of love, especially from a father, is a dominant factor and cause of the emotional instability, sexual confusion, behavioral issues, and psychological pattern, that are responsible for some of our major societal concerns. I am grateful that my mother provided an amazing foundation and sense of what love was in me but it was incomplete and her premature death further complicated how I perceived and processed love. My father should have picked up that slack, he should have been able to set aside whatever his issues were and make himself available to me for at lest that love, but he did not. I know how that made me feel.
I will never allow you to feel that way, not on my watch, under my care, or as long as it is in my power to do something about it.
I love you.

•The reason that I never say bad things about your mom:

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Your mother and I don’t always see things the same way. We have very different perspectives on a lot of issues, parenting styles even being one of those things. But we both love you very much and I believe that whatever it is that our personal issues or beliefs may be, we have a common goal and objective of providing you with the love, support, and environment that gives you SAFETY, SECURITY, and SIGNIFICANCE. Because we can agree on that, I believe that any compromise and understanding is possible.
We grew up in different households with different views and exposure to life. Because of that I think we have differing ideas about how “life” works. I don’t suppose who is right nor who is wrong because the truth of the matter is that it is all a matter of perspective. And I understand that there are many ways to achieve a common goal, other than what may be the way or view that either of us individually has. I consider this in every instance of regard that matters when it comes to you. I do my best to make sure that I never dismiss nor disregard how she feels or how she thinks about how something should be or in which way things should go. That does not always translate to a peaceful and calm conversation or relationship between us but there is a reason, 2 very specific reasons actually, that I never talk bad or down of her, to you, especially.
1. No matter how mad, angry or frustrating things ever get between her and myself, I always remember that we were once in love and we were together and we believed that we would be able to be together, forever even. There was a time when nothing she did was wrong in my eyes. I believed in her, I trusted her, I cared about her very deeply. What we had as it relates to a relationship was not perfect but it taught me some of the most amazing things that I have learned about myself. It was special while it was. When it was over, it was. Whatever happened to us, was never and is never going to be your fault and so I have promised myself, you, and her that I would never allow what could have turned into a mess to become a mess, for you. So I do whatever I need to do in order to calm myself or relax the tension. Having to stand down, shut up, and sit back at times when I felt or feel like something is not to par with what I believe is right, is sometimes a struggle, but I do it because your best interest are my intentions and so I practice different techniques and strategies in communicating that will aid us in doing what is best for you. This has been a very big help, as has been witnessed in the last couple of years, where we communicate a lot better than we used to. I know all too well how the effects of one parent badmouthing and assassinating the character of the other parent can affect the ideas and attitude of the children who hear it. Most often these words are because the parent has been hurt and this is their way of firing back at the other person. I have no ill-will towards your mother that would be rectified or justified through me ever doing such a thing or talking in such a way. There is no reason for doing so. She gave me the greatest gift that I have ever received, you, and I am eternally grateful and appreciative for that!
2. She is your mother. You only get one mother. I know what it is like to not have your mother around.
I never want you to have to experience your childhood without your mom. I never want the relationship between the two of you strained for any reason that could be responsible for separating the two of you. I don’t want you to have to live with questions and perceptions about her that are unhealthy or inappropriate, or due to an impression that I may give by saying things out of anger, frustration, or spite. I won’t ever force a wedge or barricade between the two of you for any sake. I want you to always be able to openly communicate with both of us. You are too important to us for there to ever be anything to circumvent our role and responsibility to you. I know the added value of being able to have both parents in your life. Even though I had a strained and difficult relationship with my biological father and I lost my mother in my teens, I can remember what I wanted and what I had hoped for. They are both deceased now and there are more, if not bigger, questions than answers in my head regarding both of them. I don’t ever want you to have to live or tell this story, so it is my vow and promise to always work together, with your mom, for your best interest. For as long as I have breath in my body I will do this and I will make every effort and action necessary to accomplish it. My mother once told me something about my father that I will repackage and give to you…
She is not my mother, she is yours and I will never do anything to take her away from you. I can’t build or break the bond that you two have and I don’t ever want to. No matter how I ever feel about her, it is not how you should feel about her and so I won’t influence you with my feelings toward her. You love her, and I believe that you should. If we have disagreements or mess, it is OUR problem, you don’t have to have those same problems, and we won’t give you OUR problems.
(Now, my mother and father had a host of issues that your mother and I do not have but I always remember that conversation. I respect that my mother did not allow her issues or anger towards my father to move her to make rash or irresponsible decisions about the relationship between he and I. The problem with us (He and I) was not her, it was him. He was dealing with a host of issues and “stuff” on his own that was either more important or important enough to be able to put distance and discord between us. We had a very rocky and turbulent relationship but I forgave him for not being there, and on his deathbed, I was there. When he took his last breath, I was there. One of the promises I made to him was that I would be a better father for my experiences. And I am.)
I love you.

•The reason I always ask you if “you’re good”:

All they had to do was ask. They just didn’t.

I know that you want things and want to do things and want to go places. I know that you’re a kid and the world looks and seems so big and interesting with so many things to offer and afford you. I know that you feel urged and eager to experience and adventure in the fervency of your youth. I know how it feels to feel like you can do anything, be anyone, and go anywhere! I get it. You are entitled to all of the strength, hope, faith, and optimism, that is in you.
And, you deserve to be a kid. You are not supposed to have to deal with or suffer from the undue influences or pressures of what life has to offer or present to us adults because we don’t properly prioritize or handle our responsibilities and by default thrust upon you unnecessary and ridiculous expectation or experiences. You are not supposed to have to bear the burden of our pain or our issues or our concerns. It is not your responsibility to be responsible for me or to take care of me or to have to do for me. I owe you these things. I owe you to give you every advantage and piece of advice, wisdom and lesson, experience and example, afforded me. YOU ARE MY SON, YOU ARE MY RESPONSIBILITY. I have to protect and provide for you.

But I know all too well how great intentions can turn into greater disasters. And disappointments. I wasn’t so “good” for a whole lot of years. But everyone assumed I was and I felt like I was supposed to act like I was. When I was young, it was always said of how “strong” I was, or how “independent” I was, or how “responsible” I was. And I was none of those things. I was really hurting and stressing and frustrated and confused. I was really depressed. I felt unloved and unappreciated. I had identity and esteem issues. I was paranoid and suffered from severe anxiety disorders because I felt like no one cared. These factors greatly contributed to the health concerns that I have been dealing with. They created great amounts of stress which was the conduit for the genetic disposition to hypertension to be able to foster. But I didn’t know any better. I should have had counseling and therapy in my youth, for the sexual abuse and abandonment issues, but especially after my mother’s murder, in order to help me relieve and process some of that grief and hurt. But none of it happened. The system and community around me failed miserably at protecting me. It left me alone, it left me to my own defenses. It can not deny it. For whatever the reasons were, it is what happened though. AND I HAD TO DEAL WITH IT.
But that is not the way that it SHOULD be. I was forced to create my own immediate ideas about things that I should have been given time and opportunity to discover. I was not taught or spoken to about things that should have been discussed with me by the RESPONSIBLE adults charged with my care. I was exposed to life in a way that was by its own right, the way things happen, but unfortunately and poorly handled. And I suffered from that. The process of healing that I have been going through for all these years has definitely turned things around and me in a different direction, but there were years and opportunities squandered and wasted as I chased my tail and pissed in the wind. I spent years in seclusion and hiding from my fears and my faults because I did not know how to talk about it or do what was supposed to be done to correct it. My abandonment issues had created greater trust issues and so I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable to being helped at other points. That is where that guilt and shame played a major part in affecting my behavior.
There are things around me now that I know you have questions about and in regard to and most of these things and concerns are because of what was “not good” so long ago. In my youth, I developed some bad habits and I was very irresponsible. I made some tremendous mistakes and I hurt a lot of people because of my mistakes. I even hurt you and your mother with my indecision and irresponsible behavior. That is why I walked away from everything a few years ago. That is why I sat you down and made the promise to you that I was going to do WHATEVER it took to figure this thing out. That is why I stopped doing what I felt I was “supposed” to do, in order to discover what I really “wanted” to do. That is why I made drastic lifestyle changes and commitments to get myself better. So that I could be “good”.
When I ask you if “you’re good”, it is because I am supposed to make sure that you are. Every time I say it to you I feel a deeper sense of commitment and responsibility to do whatever it takes in order to make sure that you are. And because I know that there will be times that you are not, I have been getting my self and stuff together so that I can give you whatever is in me by way of expression, expense, example, or experience, to offer you, for aid. A father can not do it all but all that I can do, I must and I will. I do not believe that I had to suffer so that you could succeed, but because of what I suffered, I know what I can offer you towards your own success.
I believe in you. I trust you. I will always be available to you. I love you!
So when I ask if “you’re good”, it is an affirmation. It is an exclamation. It is a proclamation. It is my declaration to give you the confidence and comfort to always be able to know that you can come to me. It is a question that within itself is an answer. I want you to know that someone other than you wants what is best for you. You need to know that. You need to be reminded of that. You need to know that someone cares and that you are a priority. I have no doubt that you are loved and cared for and will be taken care of but I will not just assume to entrust that things are being taken care of. I will always communicate with you. I will always communicate to you. I will always listen. I will always do whatever is in my best interest to assure your best interest. My promise is to always illustrate the value and importance of things. I want you to understand and embody SAFETY, SECURITY, and SIGNIFICANCE. I want you to feel those things at ALL times and to be conscious and aware of when and why, if ever, you don’t. So because I want you to be able to talk to me about anything, is why I am willing to talk to you about EVERYTHING! Because even with any and all that can and may be bad, we’re good.
So I ask you this because I want you to have a baseline by which to measure what is and what is not support. I want you to know the difference between what people say and what people do and the benefit and beauty of what happens when someone does both. Selfishly, I ask you this because I don’t remember anyone asking, especially on a consistent basis. So I will. And I am making every preparation and practice essential to enable me to be able to be accessible to whatever your answer is. Because not only is your Dad supposed to ask you that question, but I am supposed to be able to do whatever it takes to make sure that your real and truthful answer is YES.
I love you.

So yes Bud, there is a reason I do and say these things. And I will be saying and doing so much more.
You know the conversation we had the other day about those “challenges”, dares, and stunts, that individuals post online? Those things that I called stupid and ignorant and dangerous. Well, I believe that one of the major reasons that people do some of those very irresponsible and foolish things is because they want attention. They want recognition. They want those three things: SAFETY, SECURITY, and SIGNIFICANCE, that I always speak on, and unfortunately they believe that getting “likes” or “followers” will satisfy those cravings. But they won’t. Not only will doing those foolish “challenges” NEVER compensate the need for real fulfillment, identity, and acceptance, but they are very dangerous and the fact is that many of the people prompting them to do these things are people who are hurt and void of these things themselves. It is true: HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE and misery LOVES company!

Many of the people who make decisions and mistakes in the error of those ways are insecure and feel inferior. Too many of them are victim of some of the same abandonment and alienation issues that I once felt. I get it. I cannot condemn their intentions, I can only comment to their actions. I could have fallen into worse messes than I did, had social media been as available of a medium when I was in that young of age. There is no telling what I would have been influenced or inspired to do.

The same with all the violence that I believe is result and ramification of much more specific reasons than the gangs or the music or the video games (and media or economy or race) . People are suffering from voids and lacks in their spirit and souls and they are on edge and paranoid (granted some of these reasons are compounded by those other ones). But the rampant violence and ignorance is product of that. It is because there are generational and systemic problems that have gone unaddressed and thus unresolved. This is the effect.

I speak to you, I listen to you, I cover you, for these reasons. I know that I don’t have ALL of the answers but I have some and I am willing to find, listen to, and learn from others. I will be accountable, honest, and transparent, always, so that we can face whatever comes our way. That means that I will be present. That means that I am going to be in your business. That means that I am going to be on top of things. That means that I am going to ask questions and require answers. That means that I will make my experience available to you for guidance, instruction, advice, or just information. That means that I will be learning just as you do. That means that I know that I will learn from you as well.

I am so proud of you. You have given me so much joy and happiness. I am so appreciative for having you in my life.
I will do the things that I have to do, in order to for us to be able to do whatever it is that you want to do. Because you deserve the best. You deserve my best!

There is a reason for that.
I love you.

-Dad

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

What if… [POEM]

What if you were here
to serve him
and her
and then
to praise high
fellows
and worship
in concert
the lesser
of men
and honor
of your heart
and mouth
the doctrine
of that which is,
them

What if the God
that you are to believe
breathed,
an innocent bystander
cleaved
along side of a road
that you are
all too willing
to leave

What if “Amen”
was an ode to a man
in speaking to all men
being that God was
just a man
or first a man
or-esque,
a man

And what if
none of it
that had been
of significance
been significant
or anything more
than impotent
towards making
a difference
because you found no same
in the different
and such
made no difference
while making
only progress
but no sense of it
a shame,
isn’t it?

Because what if
God
was asking Himself
who himself was
because He had
somehow forgot
for no reason other
than, because
because He had
gotten distracted
with all of the other stuff
that had become
from the simple
that His intention
once was

what if
you missed the point
hitting the mark
or refused to see the light
because you were afraid
of the dark
and got left behind,
carrying the spark

what if
what mattered
was what mattered
what if
we were more aware
of the moment
and less obsessed,
with after
and in such genius
realized
that the purpose
was laughter
born of comedy
that picked fun equally,
honestly
but wasn’t badgered
wasn’t based in hatred
and wasn’t taken
so seriously
or literally
but was instead
exactly
what was needed
to heal the sickness
of greed and envy
and so it healed
and cured
and left power
in the tombs
of old wounded bigots
and covered holes
like divots
and made truces
and compromise
the standard
what if
what if we demanded
to see justice
just as much as we seek
just is how
we bring peace
what if
what if
what if
we didn’t sleep?

-see

©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet