What Next?

© 2021 Tim Jones for Wordz & Rhythmz LLC.

As a nation stands on the cusp awaiting change, there’s a tension in the air that can be cut with a knife… Are you really ready for the answer to the question, What Next?”

 

What next, America?

This hysteria is overwhelming as loved ones held dear drop like flies!

Too young, high-strung, pre-existing conditions

Yet, ‘COVID’ marks their demise…

Hidden lies.

 

Everything smells of poop

As fellow men stoop so low as to smear their fears

Across whitewashed Capitol walls laid

By my enslaved and forgotten ancestors!

The reparations for Blacks stall and the poor class falls

As Congress’ too-little-too-late aid

Makes many of us wade and waddle

To coddle up new ways to reside.

 

Yet, the nation, with bated breath, bides…

Waits and relies on Biden’s imminent term,

Which widens the gap between black and white.

 

White and Black blends, forcing grey:

Blacks still hollering,

“Our Black lives matter!”

Yet our voices die…

Black man down…

Black woman down…

Blacks gunned down,

put down,

Black Genocide.

Watered down

Into new abbreviations like,

“P.O.C.” and “B.I.P.O.C.,”

Lumped together with other ethnicities

Who don’t believe Black matters matter,

So our Black love language is severed.

 

Miss me with that….

Lack of communication,

‘Cuz rejection seems to remain my station

As this nation continually stabs Blacks in the back,

Over 400 years now.

 

Like that best friend who said,

“I got your Black back, girlfriend!”

But in the end…

I was just a riser in her crystal clear staircase

As mine laid shattered…

 

Tattered and torn,

I’m so tired and worn,

Ready to just GIVE UP!

Throw in the towel as 2021

Hits me like a ton of bricks!

I’m so DONE!

Taking licks that no medicine can assuage,

So I meditate on a different page,

To my Higher Power of God!

 

As I lay subdued,

Eating a river of hot tears and spiritual verses like stew,

I spew chicken broth and brew — boiling mad,

Glad my Daddy sent heavenly angels

To help me climb out of my pit of despair…

Guarding my heart before I completely fall apart…

“Shanna don’t you dare…!”

 

See, I have to encourage MYSELF

‘Cause few listen when I call —

Emails go unanswered,

Ignored when I call or text,

But let them need something and I say no,

Those same folks be perplexed!

 

WHAT…NEXT?!?

I’m almost afraid to ask.

But God doesn’t dish out fear,

So I’m here for the last

REVOLUTION.

EVOLUTION,

BECOME MY RESTITUTION.

Turn now my eyes, my heart, and our kids to Lord Yah,

The Solution.

‘Cuz I’m learning that those who hurt you

Are sadly wrapped up in their own pollution.

 

See, the only One on Whom I can depend,

Will one day, part heavens’ skies with a shout, and descend.

And no BFF, Boo, Bae, or girlfriend

Will be able to save your lost soul

To ascend.

So…

Are you ready for the next,

For what comes in

The End?

 

 

Just Believe..

So, just when your mountain seems too high

And your valley falls too low

Just when your tears, they come so fast,

You can’t tell which way to go

Just when your heart’s about to break

From the pain that’s deep inside

That is the time when you just believe…

                                     ~ LaShanna R. Tripp, Just Believe. Wordz & Rhythmz Publishing, 2007.

 

I originally wrote the song, “Just Believe,” in 2007 for the one and only American Idol Songwriting Competition that took place that season. It didn’t win, but this season, those lyrics are speaking to me.

When God told me to “launch into the deep” in the Spring of 2019,

I knew then that I was about to be swimming for my life.

Literally.

My older siblings will tell you that I had a time battling water as a toddler, so any references to swimming around in deep waters instigate fear. I prefer to feel my feet touch bottom.

But we know that sometimes, the only way to overcome that fear is to jump in head first, right? Well, I seem to have that part down pretty good!

At the age of three, I saw all of my older siblings splashing around in the cool, aqua waters of our backyard pool in Yorba Linda, California. I saw their heads above the water so all was safe, right? I gleefully called out their names, waving wildly. Then, I launched my little brown body into that pool,  nearly drowning.

If it weren’t for my oldest brother, Lou Price, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

43 years later, I am drowning again, but God warned me and promised a safety net. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t apprehensive. The last time I left the comfort of a full-time job to pursue passion, I lost everything and ended up homeless.

I just couldn’t go back to that. As I prayed for a new response, all He said to me was, “This time won’t be like last time,” then sent me to Isaiah 54.

When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful!

~Eric Thomas, The Hip Hop Preacher

If this season has proved anything to those of us who believe in Him, it’s that God says what He means, and He means what He says. As I see so many of my friends, family and entrepreneurial cohorts succeed and make huge moves to shift their lives to greater during this pandemic, I am excited for them, and celebrate with them, but I myself am encountering some extremely dire circumstances that threaten to take me out completely.

WHAT. IS. THIS?!?

Ever feel like all you did was wake up to conquer the day and all you continue to hit are brick walls? I mean, how many meetings can you take and be told no? How many calls, how many emails, how many grants, how many auditions, how many opportunities can you apply for, and be told no, and keep moving? How many, how many, HOW MANY?

Yep. That’s me right now.

I can’t make sense of anything right now, and it’s so frustrating! And I can’t help but wonder, am I the only one willing to verbalize how low I feel? I have never been great at covering up how I feel. What you see is what you get, and my face will tell you everything. Want to win at poker? Play me. Worst poker face EVER. Heck, I don’t even know how to play poker, so there you go!

But this lets me know, more than anything, that there is something big brewing with every step I make. With every call, I am closer. With every email, I am closer. With every no, there’s a yes building somewhere. I just have to keep striking the rock, place my hope in God, and trust I will strike gold soon.

Every delay, every denial, every choice, every thing God has allowed to be placed on hold and blocked is leading me on a journey to something greater that must be completed in order for His will to manifest in my life. I will continue to work, I will continue to keep the faith, and I will continue to confess His Word.

I am in spiritual labor,

and these pains are something serious.

Lord, help thou my unbelief…

 

 

 

Depression: Alone With Him

Depression: Alone with Him

In the world’s madness, lies a battle within the minds of all African-Americans that no one can comprehend. How do we heal? How can we be restored? Who do we turn to when no one knows, or can even understand, how deep this hurts? There is only One I can turn to in this depression.

 

Laid prostrate before you
Weighted world pounding my head
No amount of sleep
Giving rest on midnight’s bed

Peacefulness has left me
Depression’s setting in
Few friends have come to call
Yet darkness soon descends

Silent, cries are stifled
Healing distances itself
But, The Spirit within me bursts
As another sista sheds her tears

Woman esteemed, now empty
Voice raised to appeal Black pain
I’m moved to share her moments
23 minutes is all it takes

Now, laid prostrate before You
Weighted world pounding my head
Alone With Him* plays softly
To guide my whispered prayers

A vision of our Savior Yahushua
Carrying a cross He needn’t bear
A weighted world upon His shoulders:
Man’s selfishness creates despair

I pour my heart out before You
Seeing Your faithful love so pure
The words swell deep within me
And I know I must endure

Spoken tongues edify me through prayer,
Breaking chains that ache head and heart
Waving goodbye to sadness
As darkness now departs

A talk with Him cures everything
Though world still lies in pain,
When I sit alone with Him
I find strength to fight again…

 

*The prayer and worship instrumental, Alone With Him by Brandon Roberson, which was an inspirational background for this poem. Visit www.wordzandrhythmz.com/blog for additional poems, articles and works by LaShanna.