Tag: Poems

30 Days Of Jaye: First, Awakenings

First, Awakenings…

In this daily grand unveiling
Between mirror and man,
I present as goddess, mortal, and woman.

More invulnerable than I would like
The woman is choked out,
Voice stolen in the awakening of
Constant responsibility,
And the duty of the service to others.

In this moment, both bare and naked,
I embrace the most excellent now.
I see me as I wished I could
When girldom and life we before me.
I seize and reclaim all that is me and you
In the legacy of all whom are female
And woman to follow,
To be resilent and thankful.

From my crown, I see hair of
Free and authentic as lion’s wool.
Indicative of the she-warriors before me,
And to be descended from me.

Eyes as clear as summer blues
And regal and brown as earth,
Housing passion, hot and molten
As moved by the whims of God Himself
To Gaia in love and justice.

Skin as luminous as clear moons,
To the luxe shades of ebony alabaster.
Because you see, I too am
And am made by sacred fire.

I stretch hands, open and warm
Towards sunshine, surrendering to
All the day will wield and hold.
I remember the strengths of
Them that bore and shaped me.
Proud of my blood—beyond family.
Sharing wisdom beyond years
And years lost.

Those forces both male and female
Whom have poured into my
Mortal divine,
Have given ear to unapologetic secrets
That make girl-women invincible
In times proven to try our souls.

I house, we house courage limitless
When none are left,
But we who see and defend
Them, too, whom bare the
Weight which is accustomed
To the bold-believing to effect change.

I am she.
She are we.

In this light, in this place
Before one but my Creator,
Whether in locker rooms, offices,
Beaches or quiet nights,
I can at last admire His complete

The deft of the skill of
A sovereign power, that
I be made oracle, over this life
Given, without hesitation,
Chose to live.

I am a vessel divinely written
And breathed that exudes
Joy and hope unspeakable.
The creative power of the
Almighty is infused in every
Sway of hip, slight of hand,
Full use of tongues and dialect
I seek and speak.

The worthy harmony of my voice,
Our voices, together remind the world
Of the tenacious beauty harnessed
In the presence of the impossible.
These things hidden in my, our, souls.

I am more than breasts,
And curve of hip, plump with oh’s and ah’s.
I am more than the hunted and unconquerable pussy.

I will not be stifled by boxes
Meant for those without truth.
I am human, I am present
And I will not fade away.
My voice, my sound, as echo
Is joined with heavenly choruses
From my belly that sing in
Ancient tongues, fit and fluent.

Ancestoral wisdom I greet
In my reflection, reminding me
Of all that is priceless to those
That listen to the whispers of
The aged:
IMANI (faith)
KUJICHAGULIA (self-determination)

I embrace the non-smootheness,
Thickness of my thighs,
How they gape, tough or rub,
As they end and become calves,
That attach to feet,
Fearless as thunder.

I am aware of curses sent by
Conjurers of this world,
Conspiring to weave a shroud
Around the path of whom I will
be, in favor of the steady seducing of
Whom it is easier to become.

I embrace that sentient
Autonomy that has made me
Unstoppable as water.
I own all that has been owed to me,
To be able to transcend this
Shell that the soul inhabits
And let go of all weight and waiting.

Such vulnerable, soft dignity
To live life embracing scars from
Wars future and past—capable, compassionate.
Yet, I smile, still beautiful, with
Healing presence offered to those
Found weary along street corners,
Bar stools, and the Jericho road
Fallen among thieves.

It takes a survivor, to know a survivor.

After I have imbibed perseverance,
After earnestly suffering awhile,
I can breathe deep and easy, as naturalists do.
When the new, fresh journey is set before them.
The world outside is home,
Carpe diem it’s theme.

Now, peace for the life after,
For now, always now,
I can awake, and look at whom
I always was, to whom I will become
And know I matter.
Know I am special.
Know I am engraced and equipped to journey.
I know to this world, I belong.

-JBHarris, 4/1/17

(This piece is written for the First Cycle of The Awakenings Project in 2017 by its artist.)

The Day Harriet Tubman Died…




“I go to prepare a place for you.”


In the most excellent now,

The journey of 300 trips,

From North to South.

Thousands of nights

And the guided by moons

And Suns,

Our greater mother

And greatest protector

As awoken to see her last



On this day,

Answering questions,

Giving smiles and self

Her body slows

Eyes heavy.


But she fights.

She waits.

The air in her body heavy and laboring.


The world around her,

Apart from her,

Will ask for her

Need her,

Seeing her as superhero

And angelic.

On the end of this day,

When beans picked,

Visitors and family fill

Spaces, furniture and hours.

Windows are open,

Only to shut again, as

She goes to her room.

Body and soul,

Matching cadence

Of those needing rest.


Step by step,

She lays on the clean bed

Made and kept for her.


The breath that tasted

Possession by force,

Seeing death, chaos around her

Immeasurable grief,

Called to the law of the Lord

For strength and guidance…

That breath slowed.


Her eyes heavy.

The rest is coming.

The rest that is needed.

The rest that is owed to her.


The murmuring of the house

Loud in the ears which are shutting,

As her breath,

The same breath she held to swim

To hide,

To gather strength for the journey

That breath is fading.


In that body,

Cared for, carried by

Breath for 9 years

Less than a century,

Seeing the fall of a institution,

Which thrived, fed on

Blood, life and bone

Of a stolen people.

She saw the

Dividing of a nation,

Still, and now, trying

To find it’s way back


The breath, this dynamic cadence,

Was giving way.


Her eyes shut,

The Great Chariot wheels

Louder, beckoning for

The Conductor to come.

Yet, she is held by the love in the room.

The ancestral core, shedding, stirring

Ready for the last sojourn, to follow

That same North Star,

In the same endless sky.


She is leaving.

She was, leaving.

And in the leaving,

The comfort is still coming.


The Comforter still in the room,

The rushing mighty wind

Filling the same space,

That held her by love,

Kept her by power and duty.

That same breath tells all those

Waiting for the last blessing

The last words,

The last right to her,

She does what all

Black women do.


She gives herself before she leaves.


“I go to prepare a place for you.”


This place, this place

Giving from mother to daughter

Given from daughter back to mother

To be held by mothers to give to the daughters

To be carried by wind and earth

To remind those whom are to come,

Are here, will come after

That someone will be there

When we got there.

 (c) JBHarris, 2019

This piece will be included in For A Black Girl collection, to be published in June 2020.