Category: Musings

The Expectation Of Life

I’m in mourning. Pray for me. -JBH

I believe once you become conscious of your own mortality, you fight for immortality.

You change diet, illuminate stress, sleep more… doing anything to stop the clock or wind it back in a few years.

The great sadness of it all is that we know and ultimately this is futile. Will know there will be one day where the Reaper will come for us… Yet, we hope that the day is a long time off.

That day, where the world will miss us, and we will no longer be in the world, yet prepare for the Great Getting-Up Morning.

We expect those in our world to be a part of our lives as much as they can as long as they can.

We speak to their hopes: so their heart don’t fail.

We sow into the talents: so they may not be discouraged.

We ask them to stay. We plead with him to stay!

We believe God with them, for them, to stay.

And yet they slip through our fingers in early mornings. Or late nights. When we leave the room unattended.

They leave because they’re tired. Or uncertain. And we are forced into mourning clothes. And pray they don’t fit too tight.

Life is steady, linear… And unfair. Yet for the great unfairness of it all, perhaps it is best that we not walk the clock too closely.

Which makes us forget the Reaper is there…holding it.

-JBHarris, January 2023

Written after the death of my adopted brother LeArthur Antonio Lee at age 40.

Being A Granddaughter

Thinking:

My grandmother was the indomitable presence, she could restore familial order with a look or a sound. She had the strength, and wit I envied. I aspired to master, not emulate. I wanted this essence she had. I figured if I had it, that wit would allow me to maneuver with ease through this life. Now, that same woman, granted mortality to teach us her descendants how to run, I learn was only mortal, perhaps more mortal than me. I now learn only a fraction more her after her passing. The regality of aging is not lost on me. I want to be able to retain a measure of grace and charm that will not make me stone, but won’t make a fool or trifled with either.

Good thing sanctification is a process.

-JBHarris, December 2013

Hell Is For Racist White People

Morrison said race is a distraction; looks crazy, feels crazy—stops you from doing your work. In a nation concerned with the color of Christ, than His character or cause, use history as eraser and bludgeon, powered by a theology by which will always see us as other as less outside of the God of the universe and His love—binding Him to White men whom need to hobble or brainwash anyone who does not find them to be the Almighty.

In pursuit of bravery and freedom, I leave the lazy descendents of slaveholders; grandsons of murderers; daughters of rape accusers and their defenders; daughters of all Confederates, to the god of their making, for the Hell they made for me and those who look like me.

This place devoid of privilege and power, where only suffering answers them. Gnashing on tongues they cut out or silenced out of Black people: remembering just how at that our of their death the plot twist most unimaginable! They see Mother Mary, her Son, and His Father are all Black.

-JBHarris, December 2022

The Immovable Trinity

Day-jobbing and listening to MasterClass:

Never think that this gift I have is not demanding. I have leaned into this gift, succumbed to the demand of it.

It is the best restlessness.

It is the most intimate of imagining.

Yet, I am keenly aware, what I do—

Black woman writer
Writer, Black and woman
Woman whom is Black and writer. —

Is an immovable, immutable trinity.

For such designations, I write.

I persevere and preserve.
I remember and reckon.

I reimagine.

-JBHarris, December 2022

To The First Work

Being a love poet, during social change is interesting. As you confront things around you which need, love, accountability, and justice… There is something in you that is overjoyed when you can be reconciled to that first work: love.

Knowing people that you care for sale in the world, that they are well, and that life has treated them well so far. Perhaps that is the justice of being a love poet… Love will always be your light, heat, and smoke. 

-JBH, November 2022

A Poet Is A Prophet Is A Poet

It is our job to take rage and give hope.

The job a prophet is tell the truth in love. There is a prophet in every poet and a poet, in every prophet.

Truth must be revealed no matter what is going on.

Hope must be given, despite the grief and circumstances!

I believe more poets are like Jeremiah: knowing the truth and no one‘s going to believe until all of law be fulfilled.

For the prophet, poetry is the vehicle we deliver truth, love, and fire.

There must be something we leave, we retain, that we reckon to remember—poets are the guardians of conscience, culture and circumstances. At the fall of the human will, when the soul is in despair—there we will be amongst the wreckage and rubble of suffering.

You must leave hope and do your work. Trust and believe it is worth it! To leave hope in the—world is to pick are the lock on Pandora’s box through the intention of all things.

At all times and all in all places and spaces.

We still must be able to leave hope.

-JBHarris, October 2022