INSPIRED BY MY DISCUSSION WITH A 10th GRADER...
Many complain that life is not fair.
I wonder when they were in school did they care?
In kindergarten were they excited to be in school?
In 1st grade did they try to break each rule?
In 2nd grade could they fluently read a book?
In 3rd grade did they pass each *SOL they took?
By 4th grade was excitement still in their eyes?
In 5th grade did their grades fall or rise?
Who helped bridge the transition to grade six?
Was there a chance in grade seven to fix?
Oh when did a love to learn turn to hate?
Was there a chance to impact them in grade 8?
Is the 9th grade really a brand new start?
Do they get a chance to find their heart?
What are they preparing to DO in life by grade ten
Is it too soon for them to search deep within?
What doors have been shut by Junior Year?
If college is out of reach should they feel fear?
What job, career or vocation waits after graduation?
FIRST COME...FIRST SERVED...in the world of REPUTATION.
Who U know in an "I-DON'T-KNOW-OR-CARE-LAND"
Can lead to a frustrated life complaining about "THE MAN".
Life CAN be fair I argue back.
U reap what U sow is a proven fact.
WE CAN DO THIS!
*SOL stands for STANDARDS OF LEARNING which is the nickname for the NCLB examinations
(No Child Left Behind Exam) required of public school children in the state of Virginia. Each state calls their high stakes exam by a unique name or acronym)
[This poem was inspired by a high school student that I was substitute teaching on December 14, 2010.
I pray that she is on her way to understanding GOD'S purpose and plan for her precious life!]
Love is what I knew before I turned two.
Watching my mom struggling Doing what her man chose not to DO.
Facing the blows at that babysitter she knew
Who had an unsafe place inside which my heart grew.
Cold is how I feel about these things I see.
If it doesn’t show me bling, then it is not for me.
Why DO I care about what U want me to be?
U were not around then nor is my dad here now..or is he?
I saw my future in a movie called “2012”…not fun.
I was introduced to the news watching on "nine-eleven-o-one"
So many lies were fed to each daughter and son.
So many hopes and dreams were cruelly undone.
Who can U trust in this world so jacked?
Where will my life go in a cyber network hacked?
When will I feel strong enough to move out of this pack?
Why does it feel that on me GOD turned his back?
School lunch time line. Something is on my mind.
"Hey! What's wrong with your eye?
Is it from your charcoal mascara or a cry?
Oh. I see. Because I was wondering...
These are your last few weeks of school...How's it going?
Great! That's good to hear from U.
Hey! What about this summer? What are U going to DO?"
"My plans were to spend with my boyfriend U see.
But he died two months ago and now it is only me.
Abandoned by his mom and left to walk alone to school.
He took a look at his life and decided life was just too cruel.
He got so sad. So depressed. It was suicide.
What can I do to make the pain inside subside?
I'm hurt. I'm confused. I'm battered. Bruised.
My heart bleeds. My mind aches. I am confused.
My sleep is gone. My mascara needs a place to run.
My eyes are weeping. My healing is sure not fun."
"Oh. I see. I see right to your soul.
I see. I see a gaping wide hole.
I know of the blood. The blood of the Holy Son.
My prayer for U is that HE becomes your sun.
A sun to clear your cloud right from your eye!
A sun to fill your void and to show U why...
Your life is so precious now...
Your life. My prayer. Your strength is how
When adulthood meets and greets U...by and by
U will recognize the window's soul of another "charcoal" eye.
Let me go. Let me let U eat your lunch.
Let me go. I truly had a hunch
That was NOT mascara under your eye.
That was simply YOUR soul waving, 'Hi!' "
In Memory of Our
FUTURE GENERATION...NOW GONE...
Who NEEDED our FOCUS, TIME and ATTENTION!
Dedicated to the ones we can STILL show OUR LOVE.
(especially Shauna as one mention)
22"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
New International Version (NIV)
POEM: Out of Place in a Testing Space by Joan E. Gosier
November 05, 2010 10:55 AM EDT
AN EXCERPT FROM "COTTON PICKIN' PAYCHECK-A 21st CENTURY JOURNAL OF ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY (1989-2014)
With one clock on the wall
One teacher standing tall
One test that fits all
One mind back at a mall
One mind left in the hall
One mind running ball
One mind on a cellular call
One mind like a solid brick wall
One mind not even here y'all
What time ends this class?
No! Not giving another hall pass!
Some are rude, disrespectful...just crass...
Some obviously can't go fast...
This mindset just can't last!
Can't DO...Won't DO...Never win...
Turn in your test completely filled in.
Log off your computer, here's your pen.
I don't see how U are going to survive.
This mindset won't fit a 9 to five.
What in the FUTURE are you going to DO?
Well, the bell has rung, it's now on U.
I have heard one too many folks say, "College don't mean nuthin'!"
Why not say, "Being a drug dealer ain't nuthin!"
"Being a hooker ain't nuthin'"
"Being homeless with a bunch a kids ain't nuthin'"
I rarely hear that because it is knocking someone down who is already down.
Why can't we INSPIRE, UPLIFT and EMPOWER one another towards success...towards the TOP?
Get really really sick...go to the hospital and ask the surgeon go ahead and ask him why the heck did HE/SHE go to college "when it aint nuthin'"?
Get really really in trouble..go to the courtroom and ask the judge go ahead and ask him why the heck did HE/SHE go to college "when it aint nuthin"?
Get really really bold...go to the White House and ask the President or Mrs. Obama go ahead and ask them both why the heck did HE/SHE go to college "when it aint nuthin"?
Did U know that only 2% of the people in THIS COUNTRY ARE BLACK with a college degree or above?
2% is not enough to taint a quart of milk...
August 02, 2010 12:42 PM EDT (Updated: August 02, 2010 04:13 PM EDT)
My inspiration for this poem was a little boy I met 2 years ago who was in kindergarten with my daughter but failed to pass to the next grade. I created a reflective post about him back then because I sensed he was going to have it hard in school. Recently I have encountered him again and discovered he can't read going into the 2nd grade.
My thoughts and prayers stay on him ever since this revelation.
"Off to Battle and Can't Even Read!" by Joan E. Gosier
There U stand
like a tiny little man
that borders on rude!
There U sit
mean as a pit
one funky little dude.
There U cry...
Does ANYONE know why?
your momma snatched your food.
There U stare
in class with NO care
NOW teacher is in a bad mood.
There U sit
stuck in this pit
one lost little dude
WHY DO I care?
Is this rare?
This world, your world
either boy or girl
requires U to read.
It is a basic need.
To do battle
We NEED warriors
Winning the war
We NEED thinkers
How can U think a NEW thought?
How can U win this battle long fought?
Think Phyllis Wheatley or Benjamin Banneker!
Think Paul Dunbar or Margaret Walker!
WE need U to read!
We need U to lead!
Lose the attitude...
and win U little dude!
Read this poem.
It is a tiny start.
Read this poem.
It is from my heart.
P..S. WHY SHOULD WE ALL CARE?
"Truth lies in the letters
if he never learns to read
bad attitude and no job
so sad indeed.
We all need to take some level of responsibilty to teach him to read."
Response by DELCANO
They DO not care by Joan E. Gosier
What future gives them hope?
They think there is glory in slinging dope.
Sitting in a classroom they find a jail.
They don't care...just want to fail.
They see no reason to even try.
What they talk about is getting high.
I wish there was a way to help them.
They show no effort not even in gym.
Nothing seems to reach or inspire.
This group...no one wants to hire.
Yet outsiders will scream, "It's unfair!"
Yet if U ask these kids, they shrug "I don't care".
When and Where did they get so jaded?
At what age did their dreams get faded?
Learned Helplessness needs to be UNTAUGHT.
Those who perpetrate should be CAUGHT,
Tried and convicted for this crime:
Wasting society's gifts and talents one baby at a time!
Yes! We ask "Who brought them here?"...THEY did not ask...
Why is there no one willing to own the obvious task?
[An excerpt from "Cotton Pickin' Paycheck-A 21st Century Journal of Escape from Slavery"]