Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In Rememberance of all of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina which struck Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region, I wrote this poem, which was in part inspired by Spike Lee's Documentary, When The Levees Broke...


Spike gave the world another birds eye view, a reminder
Of the devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina
He offered a fitting tribute to the lives lost, many unnecessarily
As our government put on blinders and pretended not to see
As men, women and children, old and young alike
Begged, screamed and cried and pleaded for help
Some from atop rooftops, atop bridges, while some floated in infested waters
Waters that continued rising, rising, rising up to the sky
Hurricane Katrina may be partly to blame for some of the destruction and lives lost
But a huge burden rests on the shoulders of the government of this free land in the US of A
Spike's documentary serves as a poignant reminder
That not much has changed for those who survived this horrific event
And while there are many who say they're tired of hearing about Hurricane Katrina and its victims
That it was almost a year ago and those people need to move on, get over it
Let this serve as a reminder that
There are still entire communities that resemble war-ravaged countries
There are still countless don't anyplace to live and are waiting on FEMA trailers to call home
There are still countless who are waiting on schools to enroll their children in
There are still countless who are waiting for their ruined homes to be torn down and the debris taken away
There are still bodies being recovered under this debris
There are still over one hundred people who have not been found
There are hundreds of bodies that have yet to be identified in makeshift morgues
So in union with the countless individuals who are still going through it
I beg you to stand in support of these people
Help give them a voice in hopes of giving them some closure
Help give them courage to go on in spite of having lost everything they've ever owned
And prayerfully your voice, your help will make their voices, their cries louder
So that our government WILL be held accountable
To help the people of New Orleans and the Gulf region
Get back a sense of normalcy, a sense of belonging
Because while nothing will be the same for the victims ever again
With your voice and your help, we can continue to give them hope
For if there is no hope, there surely can be no future.
God help them, God help us all.

Love & Peace,

Thursday, July 27, 2006


July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining.

On this day, 48 years ago, I was born.

Happy Birthday to me,

Happy Birthday to me,

Happy Birthday, Dear me

Happy Birthday, to me.

Love & Peace,


Monday, July 10, 2006

My Heroes - What Ever Happened To The Good Old Days

Yesterday, I visited a website, and on the website there was a question posed about heroes. The question asked was, Who were my heroe(s)? Not needing to give it any thought, I immediately answered the question and stated that I considered my parents to be my heroes.

My parents were products of the 1920s and 30s. Nether of my parents finished high school, but they both knew how to read and write. Needless to say, they struggled to make ends meet, but by the grace of God they did, for I cannot remember a time when we went without food or clothes on our backs. We had a roof over our heads, and it wasn't government subsidized. My dad and his friends built our home. No it wasn't much, with three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room (that also had a bed in it), a den and a bathroom. Three bedroom, you might say is a lot, but my parents had 15 children, but only half was in the home at one time, as there's a huge age difference between the first 8 and the last 7.

But even without a high school education, my parents instilled morals and values in each one of us. It did me proud when the neighbors highlighted this fact to my parents, so I can only imagine how proud they were hearing it.

We surely didn't have a lot of money, so mom made good use of what little they had. She always said, if she had eggs, flour, potatoes, rice and sugar, then she could make a meal. Now mind you, this meal may have consisted of enough starch to make a dietician have spasms, but as my dad used to say, "A belly full is a belly full. Didn't matter what made it full."

No one in the neighborhood had better not catch you doing what you weren't suppose to be doing, or they'd whip your butt, and of course that meant you were in for another butt whipping when you got home. And to top it off, you usually had to go out and pick your own switch too. And you'd better have your butt inside when the street lights came on at dusk, if you knew what was good for you. Boy, I didn't know it then, but those sure were the good old days.

My parents also instilled work ethics in all of us. I began working at thirteen years old, and all throughout high school, I supplied my own needs, as well as help contribute to my siblings needs as well. There was no if, and, or buts about it. Nothing was given to you. Really, there was nothing to give, so you had to work if you wanted to have anything. And I've been working ever since.

Next year, on June 16, 2007, I will officially retire, with FULL benefits, from a job that I've held for the past 30 years. And I'll only be 48 years young. How's that for work ethics? I'm proud of this accomplishment, and I pray I've instilled the same work ethics in my children.

Both of my parents are now deceased, but I pray they're looking down on me and they're as proud of me as I am of them.

Love & Peace,
Synopsis for my upcoming book, Sacrifices In The Name of Love

I'm almost finished with rewriting my next book, Sacrifices In The Name of Love, so I thought I'd give you a brief synopsis here and see what you think.

As teenagers, how often do we heed the advice our parents give us? Better still, how often does their advice cause us to do just the opposite of what they tell us to do? Well, its no different for teenagers Trey Martin, a black guy, and Tessa Phillips, a white girl, who are neighbors in a small Louisiana town in, Sacrifices In The Name of Love.

Sacrifices In The Name of Love, is a coming of age story about two teenagers, Trey Martin and Tessa Phillips, who like most teenagers, gives into desire and partake in the pleasures of the forbidden fruit. But before long theyll realize there is a high price to pay for their pleasures, and will give truth to the saying, Whatevers done in the dark will come to light.

When Trey's family move next door to the Phillips, Tessa's father, Don, a self-professed racist, openly objects and spews racial threats and insults at the Martins, hoping to deter them from moving in and exposing the secret hes been harboring all his life, to no avail. Tessa is aware of her fathers racist beliefs, but they arent enough to keep her from desiring Trey. Tessas mother, Delores, idly stands by her husbands side, all the while harboring secrets of her own.

As Tessa's desires intensify with each passing day, Trey discovers her watching him, and so begins their afternoon trysts. Eventually they get more than they bargain for, and soon find themselves having to make the ultimate sacrifice, all in the name of love. Feeling trapped after her indiscretions are finally brought to light, Tessa hi-tails it out of town to a new life, fearing the repercussions of her actions from her father, thus leaving behind the love of her life, as well as the product of their love. Haunted by recurring dreams that shes needed back home, Tessa returns back to Louisiana after a four-year hiatus and discovers that the life she once knew is no more.

Tessa and Trey's journey will evoke all kinds of emotions from you, as you become familiar with them. They will take you on a roller coaster ride filled sexual escapades heavily laced with love, lust, lies, deceit, secrets, loss and sacrifices. It wont take long for either to realize that some sacrifice come with heartache and pain.

What lessons will they have to learn through the school of hard-knocks called life? Can they forgive each other, their transgressions? With all they endure, can there be a happily-ever-after for any of them?

Please hit me back and let me know what you think.

Love & Peace,

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today is March 18th. Like me, this may be a special day for you, but for others you may be wondering what's the big deal. Well for me, the big deal is March 18th is my 29th year anniversary on my J-O-B! That means, I have 365 more days to go before I officially call it quits.

To say I'm heard a lot of things, seen a lot of shannigans, met a lot of people, (some good, some, well, you know, I could live a lifetime and be very happy if our paths never cross again) would be an understatement. As some of you may be aware, while others may not, I am a 9-1-1 Dispatch Supervisor for my local Police Department. And for now, I'll leave it at that. (Maybe one day you'll read about it all in a tell-all book :) Hell, in 29 years I'm sure I could write a few books)

And as I begin the stroll down the last leg of my professional journey, my mind seems to want to recall the many faces that I've crossed paths with as they roll across the screen of my mind. I'm rather excited about this journey though. For surely life will not end when this journey ends. No, life will be just beginning as I'll leave the J-O-B behind, but the many friendships that I've made along the way will be with me forever.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 states, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to plant, and a time to harvest; a time to be born and a time to die.” As I march toward March 18, 2007, I know that this will be my season to move on, make room for the new. And I'll start a new journey, a journey that will be as rewarding and fulfilling as the one before it. So come along, walk that last leg of this journey with me.

Love & Peace,


Sunday, February 12, 2006

FEBRUARY 17, 1994 - SEPTEMBER 30, 1994

Gone But Never Forgotten

Our darling baby boy, our heart, our love,
Although you’ve ascended to a place up above,
Away from us, truly only God knows where
To a place, a space as surreal without any cares.

When we first found out you were to be.
Our hearts were overfilled with joy and glee.
From the start you struggled to survive,
You would not quit; early on you proved you had drive.

You arrived somewhat early, screaming and kicking,
Following a car accident, I thought would stop your heart from ticking.
But your heart proved to be as great as your will.
Premature and all, all our hearts filled with thrill.

Two months later, your breathing tube was removed,
And you proved you could breathe on your own to everyone’s amuse.
Two days after that you were released from the neonatal unit,
It actually was the original date, April sixteenth; you were due to be born on it.

You continued to grow, steadily progressing,
Until July twenty-eighth, your intestines needed rotating.
But you managed to fly through this surgery with a breeze,
You never uttered a grunt, whine or sneeze.

You proved to be our rock for what was to come,
For one month later, my world would start to come undone.
Momma died unexpectedly, from a massive heart attack it appeared,
And if you weren’t around to keep us busy, we surely would’ve fallen apart, I feared.

But little did we know what was lingering around the corner,
That death would come and claim you; you’d physically exist, as we knew any longer.
We will never forget that day, September thirtieth,
It would be a little over one month later that your life would be over with.

The day and the hour will be forever etched in our mind,
We were devastated and lost all track of time.
For not only did your life end, for in a sense ours did too,
For with you went a piece of us, that left us empty, sad and blue.

Although we have somehow managed to go on without you,
It hasn’t been easy, only with God’s help we have made it through.
And though you are not here on earth physically,
We feel your presence for your spirit lingers peacefully.

What gives us the courage to continue to go on,
Is knowing that God is true to his word and he’ll never leave us alone.
We know that we will see you, be with you again,
When life as we know it will abruptly come to an end.

So until then rest in peace our baby boy, our angel,
We know you’re watching over us guarding us through life’s toils and tangles.
And every day as we look up to the sky,
Wave to us, wait for us, for we’ll see you in the good ole bye and bye.

Happy 12th Birthday son. We Love you and miss you dearly!

Mom, Dad, Haven, Alexis and Jaylen.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Remembering A King - January 16, 1929 - April 4, 1968

Monday, January 16, 2006, marks the 77th birthday of one of our greatest Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century. Yet for all of the struggles Dr. King and others endured so that Blacks could partake in the same liberties as Whites, I wonder what Dr. King would think about the present state of this Union.

I can picture Dr. King shaking his head at the manner in which the leader of our great country was chosen. I can also picture Dr. King heavy laden with grief at this senseless war our brothers, son, daughters, fathers and mothers are dying in. A war that seems to not have an end in sight.

I imagine Dr. King's head hanging very low in shame about being an American, yet see so many Americans perish needlessly during the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina. I wonder if Dr. King would have been able to stand how our government took its time in coming to the aid of these dying people with basic neccesities of food and water after being abandoned for days on end after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Would Dr. King be surprised to see that in 2006, racial discrimination is as prevelant, if not more prevelant than in the 1950s and 60s? Would he be shocked to see that Blacks are still targeted for racial profiling, although now its hidden under the guise of 'national security'? Would it be a surprise to Dr. King that much of the Black population in America is still living below poverty level? What would Dr. King say knowing that we have an African American woman holding one of the highest political offices in this free country who think Blacks have made tremendous stride in the fight for justice and equality?

My heart is burdened as I try to imagine Dr. King's reaction. I dedicate this poem to America to indicate my feelings on the state of this country, the great US of A!


I pledge allegiance to myself,

Because I can’t depend on no one else.

In these divided States of America,

Things for us just aren’t getting any better.

Just look at the last presidential election,

America is declining, and there is no self reflection.

And to the Democracy for which it is suppose to stand,

It’s a high stakes game becoming harder to understand.

Look at the fighting and turmoil around the world,

Many divided nations under one God, all on the same soil.

A nation that’s suppose to be indivisible but 9-11 proved otherwise to us,

We’re a nation of many with plenty of unjust.

As far as our Liberties, what liberties I ask,

Ain’t none for us, although we’ve paid for it with the sweat off our backs.

Some say we’re not worthy it only applies to their race,

They’ve put themselves well ahead of the game at a steady pace.

Justice, well break it down slowly,

Just-us, they mean and hold us lowly.

Plenty of injustices, just look at the past several hundred years,

And the future looks no brighter, strengthening our fears.

If we, Black people don’t learn to pull together,

Learn to love and support one another.

Won’t be nothing left for us to pass on,

Only more injustices and less opportunity, as we moan.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Something tells me that if you were here today, this day would not be such a happy occasion for many reasons.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to Arcadia "Grace" Woods Alexander, My Mom

January 12, 1932 - August 28, 1994

Today is my mom's 74th birthday and instead of celebrating in the usual birthday way, I celebreated it by reflecting on some of the wisdom my mom passed on down to me and my siblings. It was a day of reflection because my mom is no longer here with us. She passed away suddenly on Sunday, August 28, 1994. So, here's to you mom:

1. My mom constantly told her girls, "NEVER, EVER let women friends hang in our homes. If you do, she said, before you know it they'll be in and you'll be out." I've seen it happen a time too many to know mom was on target with this advice.

2. Whenever she didn't like how we acted with her or my siblings, she'd say, "Y'all are gonna miss me when I'm gone. Y'all are gonna be searching for me in the daytime with a flashlight." Boy how right she was there. I think if I owned stock in a battery company, I'd be rich because my flashlight is contantly on, searching for her.

3. "Some secrets you take to your grave." Mom didn't believe in kissing and telling. She said, "If you're gonna be woman or man enough to do it, then be woman or man enough and keep your mouth shut." I've seen too many times when the truth got someone mamed for life or killed.

4. "If you're gonna do something, you don't need company to do it with. Your so-called friend will turn on you in a New York minute and will tell all your secrets in a hot second." I've often seen this unfold too many times as well.

5. I always smile at this one. Mom said, "Never let a man know everything you got (money). Always, always keep a stash for hard times. You never know when you need that stash to make a fresh start."

These are just a few of the wise things my mom passed down to me under the guise of 'advice'. I don't know about you, but I considered my mom to be a very wise woman then, as I still do today as she is still guiding me in the decisions I make. She may not be here physically, but she is ever so present in my heart and if I listen closely, I hear her speaking to me.

I think my mom would be proud of the accomplishments I've made, particularly with my writing. She'd be equally proud that I'll be passing down all of her wisdom to my soon-to-be 7-year-old daughter, Alexis.

Happy 74th Birthday momma. I miss you like crazy!

Your loving daughter, Vanessa

P. S. The above pic is of my dad, my mom and one of my brother's Dwight for his graduation.