Ache


The sleeping hours are
As mornings,

Quick and unexpected.

Here in the fullness

Of time together,

No rhyme or reason

But heat as one would

Expect as the temperature

Of the blood that rushes

When you touch me.
Ooh, when you touch me…
Fire answers you.

Mouths sweet and volcanic…

Drowning in the under of you.
Time stands still, willing my sleeping self

Awake and willing for you.

Those hungry, slick and open spaces.

Those spaces that when I wake

Won’t be stretched or open or

Have the remainder of your love there.
The sun greets me as your eyes should

Gentle and subtle, warm and knowing

What I held inside…
I shut my eyes and remember the us,

The warmth I belonged to when I was yours

And you all mine…
Love too small a word,

And lust cheapens it.

I am yours…even when light comes.
(c)JBHarris, 11.4.2017

Advertisements

 In The Hour


The entire month of October I was dumbfounded. I legit wanted to just RAIL through my entire blog space and sphere because I could not believe what the hell was going on in the world around me.
*Then, I realized I should probably get a YouTube channel for that.

I saw portions of humanity just railroaded due to the desire to only speak what is right.  I had to sit with the fact that the right to own the sound in your own throat is a constant, daily, sentient fight. It’s a legit fight to speak for yourself, by yourself.

This month, these succeeding series of like 15 blogging days, I’m going to examine this thing called speech and why we fear it so.

I’m going to talk about why people fear ‘Auntie’ April D. Ryan.

I’m going to talk about why the stereotypical ‘loud, black girl’ needs to exist.

I’m going to talk about why silence is a dual weapon in this, The Resistance.

I’m going to talk about why ‘shut up’ and ‘be quiet’ aren’t the same thing.

I’m going to talk about why speech needs to be messy.

I’m going talk about why when you tell a black girl ‘she talks white’ is erroneous and tragic…and weapon.

Words are what I do, and the reason that this space exists. Consider this your invitation into the greater alphabet soup of this ride known as The Ideal Firestarter.

The time has come and now is…so, this month, definitely I have something to say.

*-There have been thoughts The Ideal Firestarter being a YouTube channel. I’m considering this, considering the speed of thought, and fire-born opine I operate with here lately. I’ll keep y’all posted, as always. In the meantime, mark your calendars, RUNITBACK Friday starts 11/10 at 10pm. Follow the Facebook page for more information. Be blessed.

Pray With Your Feet

I am an activist.

I am a believer in Christ.

Ergo, I am a rebel.

In the current slice of the world I inhabit, there is no reason to be silent. I cannot afford to be silent. The church can no longer be silent while graves are filling and the gravediggers say they are only serving while others call these gravediggers peacemakers.

I have seen the empty eyes of those whom have run out of tears, fists bruised from the fisted tension, and look to this God we tell them exists and is ever present. Yet, there are not enough of those collared and called willing to acknowledge this pain, this anguish, this dispair.

The one thing seen in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke (my favorite), and John) is Jesus was among the people.

He was out among the people.

There are clergy in this movement, in this era of social change, that are willing, able and available to lend ear, heart and body to the overall societal better. And for that I am grateful.

I am grateful, in this march towards justice, that our faith, this faith, is a launch pad by which Christ is displayed in the most public fashion. When the church is displayed in its majesty outside of brick and mortar, we see how the church does change the world.

The thing that sticks out to me about Jesus Christ in the gospels is His accessibility and Him not being bothered about the multitude which hung around Him. He wasn’t ashamed of whom He was or whom they were.

This critical element, which cannot be overlooked, is His attention to the needs of the people He served.

He was attentive to the people He served.

In this fight, in this portion that is uphill, hard and dark, those of us called to serve cannot afford to watch those whom have headed protests and righteous agitation to not have help or soft places to fall. We cannot pretend that protest, unrest and injustice are outliers to the support, notice and strength of the church.

Sometimes all you need to go forward is someone to go with you, to see a face beside you, or to have hands on your back telling you to keep going.

That, those hands, should be the church.

Revolutionary Is Christlike


I don’t know this docile Jesus Christ people speak about. I don’t know who this passive Jesus is. I don’t know who this Christ they mention whom never had an emotion, a reaction or passion. I don’t know Him, and to be frank? I couldn’t worship a God that was like that or be familiar with that sort of robotic person.

Years ago, there was this WWJD movement. This acronym meant, “What Would Jesus Do?” Okay, that’s pretty alright, we can roll with that. This acronym was supposed to promote Christ-like thoughts, ergo similar behavior.

That’s always a good thing.

In the matters of justice, freedom, truth and activism, there are some in the faith whom seem less able to ask such holy application of wisdom to these situations.

My husband says he believes if Our Lord, the one we call Jesus Christ, were alive and among us, He would be an activist—out with the protestors.

For proof look no further than the Book Of Micah, chapter 6, verse 8:

 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


In these instances and opines, it is easy or even customary to associate the iconic, oft referenced Christ flipping tables as it relates to revolutionary behavior or disturbing the status quo.

Where this space is not appropriate or sufficient to discuss this passage in the Gospel of Luke, I will ask you to consider the parallels between what Christ did and what the activism community is trying to do.

Call attention to what is wrong. There can be no struggle without progress, but for progress to come there must be acknowledgment. If you acknowledge it, that means you’re paying attention to what is going on around you. If you’re paying attention? Well, the revolution can use you.

Not accepting the mistreatment of what and whom is important. What you accept, you allow to continue. What you do not accept, you will make concerted effort to change.

Revolution through forward motion. In flipping the table and chasing money lenders, in protesting, in organizing, in economic boycott, we are putting effort and energy behind what we are determined to do and showing exactly how serious we are about this myriad of things that are happening, have happened and are to come. It’s what my Father calls making a believer out of you. 

I don’t know this quiet Christ, this conservative (whatever that means now-I think it’s coded language meaning Jesus is white), Republican Jesus. The Christ of the Gospel, of the Bible I have read, the One I serve, tells me that to be silent in the face of what is wrong is not what He has called us to do.

Since He was not quiet, don’t ask me to be.

Everyone Can Be A Servant

When my siblings and I were young, my mother told us,

“Don’t you stand there and watch me work! Find something to do.”

From these words came my restless and curious nature. From the words of my mother came my desire to indeed find something to do. In the doing, came my love of books, questions, reading and the world around me. I love my mother for this instruction.

When President Obama proclaimed that Dr. Martin Luther King Day should be a day of service, that regenerated the need and affirmation to indeed ‘find something to do’. It was around this time that I began in ministry. It is around this time, I began to learn (and notice) what it meant to be a servant.


Selflessness. The job or assignment at hand is what the focus should be. It’s bigger than feelings and more important than credit. The goal is completion. Many people get assigned to things, but what can be completed?

Faithfulness. Can you commit to what you start? When it’s hard (because it will be) can you still keep the goal in mind with the instruction given? The key to faithfulness is focus. What has your attention, and how does it help what you’re doing?

Love. Love is beyond how you feel, it’s what you do—and do on a consistent basis. What do you love, who do you love, and why do you love it? Love keeps no record of wrong, yes, but rejoices in the truth! In your service, in finding something to do,  can you tell the truth when lies are common?

Devotion.  Can you do that which you are able to? Can you indeed DO it? Devotion is enabled faith. Will you do it in the face of nay-sayers, the ever-present, doubting vox populi? The chatter will always be there—but what will you do about it?

In finding what your hands may do, remember you may not, will not be able to do it alone. Don’t think yourself so mighty you can’t stand a hand. God sends help when you need help.

In the meantime, don’t watch no body work.

                    Find you something to do.

Found Faithful


My life at present is unbelievable.

From a quiet, daydreaming little girl to a lioness that preaches the living gospel of Jesus Christ, I would never have planned this for myself. Ever. And I write.

From this journey, I have met unbelievable people and been confronted with situations where my faith has been tried, questioned and subjected to further scrutiny.

It was at 16 when I told God I wanted to be a ‘mighty woman for Him.’ I had no idea what that meant or even what that demands of me still. The Holy Bible tells all those who believe they should have childlike faith.

After living past childhood and into adulthood? Sometimes this is the hardest thing to be asked. You believe but you have so many reasons not to believe anything besides what your eyes and hands validate.

However, there is one thing I strive to do in regards to life so far:  hold on to the childlike faith. 

The daily goal is to remember that my life is a process. I am responsible for my life and all decisions therein.

I hold on to this faith by belief. The belief that all that is happening to me is the tapestry that is me.

The strength I have found to continue, despite what may be happening, is found in that continuation. The motivation behind it is to be a better woman while trying to be the woman that God can use.

In that being used, I have to be willing to be separated from what it is that is comfortable, to be lonely and watched afar off. In that being used, I decide that nothing is worth deviating from the plan I have been set on.

It’s not worth deviation because of the valuable resource of time. The Bible tells us to be faithful over a few things, and He will make us ruler over much (Matthew 25:23).

I believe that God can indeed do all He promised me if I would believe and follow. That childlike faith is what makes everything I have encountered bareable.

Every time I wanted to quit, I found life impossible (or grief made it dark), or I didn’t believe anything else would happen for the better, my grip would loosen, but I couldn’t forget.

There is a portion of belief that requires discipline as patience. From that, all things can come.

I have decided it is better to believe in what shall come rather than focus on what will never fit. From that, I have the strength to keep going to see what the end shall be.

Mike & Jemele & Me


So…ESPN cowed.
The network with few female journalists and fewer journalists/anchors of color, cowed to the red meat-sated viewers who just wanted her to ‘shut up and stick to news.’

(Aight. Okay.)

So, she’s suspended for two weeks.

(Oh, word?)

Yet, her co-host for The Six, Michael Smith, went with her.

(Waitamin…*record scratch*)


Yes, Michael Smith on the day her suspension was handed down did not host The Six with the co-host the network offered as a suitable stand-in.

What did our girl Jemele do to get all this tension and static? What all black women do when shenanigans is afoot:  SPEAK UP.

This was taken from http://www.variety.com, the article is dated October 10:

“…ESPN on Monday suspended Hill for two weeks. The move came in response to statements the anchor made on Twitter encouraging fans to apply pressure to NFL advertisers as a counter to mandates from owners of the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys that players stand during pregame performances of national anthem. The suspension came one month after ESPN became embroiled in controversy over a tweet by Hill calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.”

So for resisting, Jemele was told by her employer to shut all that up. Call it what it is.

I don’t like it either.

However, what gave me hope, in this GOP Reign of madness, chaos and suffering? Michael “He just might make all this aight” Smith.


When he didn’t go on without her? All of me as a black woman was encouraged and strengthened. He’s hosting it solo.

Why is this?

He supported her.

This is one of those basic things that go into being a complete person:  receipt of support and deserving of respect.

This here? I was elated over.  We as black women sometimes eat each other alive before we support one another. Or that support isn’t what we’d hoped it would be from whom we wanted.

It was phenomenal to see him support her. PHENOMENAL. In the adversarial nature that can be male-female relationships, where support is rarely-traded commodity, the simple act of him saying to himself, “Nall, they ain’t about to do my girl like this and me not say nothing,” and put that into action?

Bruh.

Monumental.

It’s not about who I’d always have in front in matters of support, but who will have your back when the knives and flames reach there while you stand in the front for and with everyone else.

The world needs more Mikes.