Black Lives Matter: Six Poems

Poetry can often channel grief, pain, solidarity, and resistance in ways that everyday language can’t.

Black Lives Matter: Six Poems

Remember that we are all but shattered Mirrors looking to mend our images.

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PSqP- Opening Event and Experience.

Good Morning and Good Evening to some. So, how’s it going? I hope all is well.

So, I’m super excited as PSqP Xtended just popped off amazingly well. It’s the first local event for year that I was in attendance for. This year PSqP is extending the poetry beyond 5th Sundays and stepping out with a themed series. This years theme is Justice and Liberation. The first half of the year is Justice and the second half of the year is Liberation. Poets for the year have already been assigned to their theme. Since me and fellow poet and author Curtis Crisler were up first we had Justice as our theme.

First let me start by saying that this was not an easy task for me, given a theme and prompt. Justice…what is justice to me? I battled writing as I started from a place of research. And if any one knows me they know that I can’t write if there is not a vibe, an energy that allows my pen to speak. So, I struggled a little. Most of my poems were written a couple of weeks in advance of the event.

But there was a surprise….

It was announced that we would have musicians apart of the event. They would be playing live music as we performed! This had me super excited. The musicians were amazing. One was a 16 year old kid who was a saxophonist. At 16 he is a beast!!! Then we had a local bass player that was also amazing. He was not only talented on the bass but he was also fluent in other instruments.

Y’all…. It was amazing!

I wrote 5 poems on justice. My set was only 30 minutes, so 5 was enough. When I arrived at the event, early of course, the space was awesome. It was a recording studio. It was open and there were areas for lounging and eating. This space was so chill. The lights were dim and incense were burning. I was chill and excited.

Photo Copyright 2020 – Tehilayah

AND THEN IT HAPPENED…

I was up. For the first time ever, I wasn’t nervous. I noticed this time, that because of the music, it helped to bring out my passion as I was reciting my work. There was no red dot to make me forget my lines. I have fallen in love with music being apart of my poetry. I have so many ideas and projects that I would like to do.

There was another surprise. The entire set was recorded. It will soon be available for listening ears. So far 2020 has started off with a bang . I cant wait for the other poets and their spotlights for PSqP Xtended. This series is going to be awesome!

Photo Copyright 2020 – Tehilayah
Photo Copyright 2020 – Tehilayah
Photo Copyright 2020 – Tehilayah

Oh Yeah! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here.

If you have already purchased it, please leave a review, its appreciated.

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Have a blessed and awesome day!

And remember Leave No Line Left Behind….

Mistakes Happen…

You can be as prepared as you can be and mistakes can still happen.

So you practiced, researched, studied. You had everything prepared but something went wrong. Yep, that was me.

I had the awesome opportunity to be in a video with other talented poets focusing on Black History Month. I was prepared. I memorized my poems. I practice every line. I made tweeks to how I would say specific stanzas. I even practiced in the mirror. I walked around my bedroom pacing and practicing until it was perfect.

The Big Day Comes..

I wake up. Eyes still closed. Feeling the sun peaking through the curtains. I say a silent prayer, thankful for the day. Stretched and got out the bed refreshed. It was early so I had time to enjoy a quiet morning. Did my normal morning routine. Practiced some more!!! Recited and paced yet again. I was ready! I even prepared a back up and had my notebook in my purse, just in case.

The time is here. I arrive and I’m early. Like I said, I’m prepared. I meet the other poets, who weren’t strangers, and I’m comfortable. I sit on the side lines and they all did amazing, as always. We chatted it up and I recited more in my head.

Now it’s my turn. I’m ready!! Confident and excited. I get a mic on. I’m standing on the mark surrounded by bright lights. The countdown starts and the red light turns on….Action!!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I FREEZE!!! YES, I FROZE!! FORGOT EVERY LINE. EVERY DOG ON LINE!

I was prepared and sure. But that red light.. That darn red light was intimidating. The second it came on I just couldn’t get my words out. I fumbled and fumbled over my words. I had to just give up with reciting it from memory and read it from my back up. Boy was I disappointed in myself.

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

MISTAKES CAN HAPPEN NO MATTER HOW PREPARED YOU ARE.

This is what I learned…

There is the phrase, “Proper planning prevents poor performance”. The 5 P’s of success. I believe Stephen Keague said that. Had I properly planned? Now that was the question.

I believe I did. But nothing, I tell you nothing prepares you for the nerves that show up. It was something about looking into a camera that just got me all messed up. I had done this poem 100 times in front of people. I had recited and memorized it to where I could see the words on paper with my eyes closed. But this… It was different. I was so hard on myself. It haunted me. But hey, it’s said that we are our own worst critics.

Sometimes no matter how much you prepare, there may be certain elements that you don’t figure into your planning. Maybe I should have practiced recording myself. Maybe I did properly plan. Was my performance poor?

No, it wasn’t. I did what I came to do. It wasn’t the way I planned. But all went according to plan. Sometimes the nerves win. Sometimes you can plan and plan and plan some more but things change. You have to be willing and ready to adapt. I properly planned to forget all lines. I had my back up journal in my purse! So I planned to adapt. I planned for the just in case. In the end, when I sit back and think about it I didn’t bomb it. I didn’t fail. I completed my task even if it meant I couldn’t do it the way I envisioned.

I properly planned to have a successful performance.

Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here.

If you have already purchased it, please leave a review, its appreciated.

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Public Square Poetry Xtended…. Don’t miss it!!

Hello Lovelies,

It’s been a HOT minute… Super busy!! Whew..

Just wanted to stop by and let you know that there is an event coming up soon. If you are free and in the area stop by. Check out the flyer below.

Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here.

If you have already purchased it, please leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind.

Have a blessed and stupendous day!

SALE….48 hours only!!!

Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, please leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind.

Have a blessed and stupendous day!

Poetic Gumbo Event…

Hello Lovely people. So the Poetic Gumbo collaboration took place on Sunday. Can you say AWESOME? The talent that participated was amazing.

So I will tell you a little about the awesomeness that took place. First and foremost the space was intimate. Wunderkammer Company is an Art Gallery that holds different events within the artistic community. The lights were dim and art was displayed everywhere. This made a calm and laid back feel.

I arrived early with my counterparts to feel the space out and run through our collaborative piece. I met an awesome saxophone player that I later found out was only 16 years old. He was our opening before we got to the poetry and he was amazing. He was nervous as he said he had not really prepared cause he couldn’t decide whether to play off the energy of the room or things he has played before. However when he hit the stage what came forth was pure beauty. He had all the vibes! He played so well that I got too relaxed. I was ready to close my eyes and just chill off that vibe.

Next, it was time for our collaborative peice. The idea of poetic gumbo is the fact that all three of us have very different styles. All of us together created this gumbo of styles. The poem we created was amazing. Both of my counterparts are super talented. The people loved it! After the collaborative peice we all had our own sets. We had about 20-25 minutes a peice. I was up first. Drum roll….

I read around 10 poems. If you have read any of my work you know that they are not really long. So having all these poems helped me fill up my time slot. I thought that I would be nervous but I wasnt. I was surprisingly ready. I was recieved with so much love. It was amazing. I only read 2 poems from my first collection of poetry No Idle Word. I also had a table set up to promote and sell my books.

I made some wonderful connections and we are all talking about getting together for other events.

Open mic was so fly. We had some singers and musicians. I met a beautiful soul who never had done poetry before. But she shed her inhibition at the door and signed up. She opened her mouth and she found herself in spoken word. What she said was so on point. The energy was real and patient.

This was an amazing experience. I was able to share with others my love of poetry. The experience was rewarding just to vibe with so many people who love poetry as well. I’m most definitely looking forward to the next event.

Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind.

Supporting other Authors…

This weekend I had the pleasure of family and friends. Yes, it was my yearly Lymon-Fincher-Johnson family reunion. Every year around this time its the place to be. It’s huge! T-shirts are made and there are games and even a talent show. There is also enough food to eat for everyone and then some. There is also a huge presentation where we are challenged to recount back as far as we can go how we are related. Along with a slide show and old pictures. The same person can go back as far as the 1800’s. My cousin Mary, but I call her auntie. I love her she is in her 90’s Sharper than any of us youngins. It’s amazing because she drinks dandelion tea. Swears by it says it keeps her young. She is one of those women that dresses like what some may call Sundays best, everyday. I love hearing her stories. But enough about that lets get to the real story.

Supporting others authors…

I asked my family if I could set up a table for my books. So it turned into this family fellowship/book signing. The love was amazing. I actually sold most of my books. I only have 3 left on hand, Wowzers! I’m glad I have some copies on the way.

In the midst of everyone asking about my book. I found out that there were other family members who were also indie authors. And guess what, they had books on hand. Before we knew it, we all had our books out on display. The support of family was awesome!

The book pictured called The Republican is my cousin Terry Lymon. His book is available on Amazon.

This is my cousin Francine Shaw. She had three books available. Yess, cousin! The books on display were called Wisdom for Financial Success from a Biblical Perspective, The Cycle of Sin and In Pursuit of God. All available on Amazon as well.

Family is Amazing! Support is so important to a creative person setting goals to do what they love. Support doesn’t have to be financial some times a share on social media, the taking of business cards and just word of mouth helps. It was nice to know that my family is a talented bunch. Here’s to next year’s family reunion may we have a few more authors and even some entrepreneurs.

Oh wait….. And about that talent show. My son won this year!

It’s always battle of the families. This year my son stepped up for the family. I, my sisters and my mom were his hype men. (Hype men are people who just walk around keeping the crowd hype). If you saw how hype we were you would laugh. We just yelled aye and danced the whole time. My mom is the funniest and most hilarious woman I know. She screamed the whole time. If you know my mom then you know she has this high pitched scream that’s crazy. I wonder if she still has a voice, hmm.

Remember to always support your indie authors, family and friends.

Dont forget about Poetic Gumbo if you are in the area.

Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind.

Thoughts…

Artist – Alexander Nanitchkov

I imagine she is thinking

Thinking of change

Thinking of future and present

I am going to use my gift to set the sun on fire

And these tears will fill the ocean

I will be unstoppable

I wont be silent

I will write my life in blood if I have to

Leave my chocolate skin on the tongues of many

They will pick peices of me from their teeth

They will breathe in the scent of my worth

They will remember my name.
©2019 Tehilayah Ysrayl

Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Almost forgot….

Until next time, Leave No Line Left Behind….

6 Things I learned at My First Book Signing…

Hey there lovely people. Today was the big day. Thats right, my first ever book signing!

I hosted the book signing at a local book store called Half Price Books. Awesome books for half the cost. The name of the store is true. You can find all kinds of books for half the price. You can also sell your gently used books to the store and earn some cash. This store was intimate and busy! This was a plus for me. The people were great! So things I learned, hmm.

First, I was set up in the front of the store by the door. Awesome sauce! I say this as a preface to my first lesson.

1. You can not be afraid to speak to people. You have to get out there and sell yourself. People will just waltz right passed you and not say a word. Not one Idle Word. You see what I did here. Lol. Be prepared to have a conversation starter to break the ice. I am not one to be afraid to speak to people so this wasn’t too hard.

2. Keep the conversation going. Once you introduce yourself be prepared to answer some more questions. One of the many questions I got was, “Are you from here?” The answer of course. I live right here in the city. I’m “your” local poet. Many people were so surprised and elated that a local gal like me had released her first collection of poetry. That alone made them want to support.

3. Social media is important. We live in a time where social media is used as a means for review and advertisement. People want to follow you. They want to know what kind of presence you have. I had these bookmarks/business cards created with all my social media handles and I passed them out to many. People were so happy and immediately I recieved follow request. Awesome!

4. Thank people for their support even if they don’t buy your book. This leaves room for them to support you in other ways. Following on social media. Spreading news to their friends about upcoming events and where to purchase the book in the future. Trust me those business cards are lifesavers.

5. Accept different forms of payment. Yes, not all people carry cash. But if they do make sure you have change. That could be a huge deterrent from people buying your book. I have a square reader and a cash app. These were essential in making my transactions seamless. People were eager once they knew that cash was not their only option as a form of payment.

Last but not least. It’s actually pretty important.

6. Have a great support system. I had my husband and biggest fan with me pushing me and promoting right along side. He was also my camera man. So shouts out to my best friend/hubby for the support. My mom and sister also stopped by. Shouts out to you guys too. You rock!!!

All in all, this was a great experience. A couple of people asked me to read a poem and this intrigued them even more. Cool Points!!

I’m looking forward to the next one and the next one and the next one. Take a look at some of the pics. Enjoy the rest of your day and remember to leave no line left behind.

These kids were sooo AWESOME!!!

Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind!!

Announcement

Don’t forget to check out No Idle Word here. If you have already purchased it, leave a review, its appreciated.

If you would like to leave a book review on Goodreads, click here.

Follow me on social media…

IG – @tehilayah

Facebook – @AuthorTehilayah

Twitter- @tehilayah

Remember Leave No Line Left Behind!!