(In Spite of) The Evil That Men Do

On a mote of dusk, suspended on
Sunbeams, was something
Foreseen, like a recurring dream
In the twilight of tides ago
Waking me from fits of sleep
To news of innocents
Made victims of the darkness
That plagues us, with the light
In their eyes plucked by villains
Broken inside
With no regard for the strings of life
Trying to blight
Everything in sight of broad daylight.

But, in spite of the evil that men do –

It is in the light
Of these innocent souls
Saved by the burning spirit
In the sky, that the shadow of their
Lives is made whole, grown
Out of Earthen echoes
Of the cosmos, aligning their
Footprints with healing rays that sing
Reflections of a golden dream:
Out of myriad
Hues casts one light of the world.

©2019 MDSHall

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The Very Best of the Voices in My Head Side 1

1. “When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.”
—Thomas Szasz

2. “That was the thing about the world: it wasn’t that things were harder than you thought they were going to be. It was that they were hard in ways that you didn’t expect. ”
-Lev Grossman

3. “To feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know … widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.”
-Pablo Neruda

4. William S. Burroughs on Love:

“Love? What is It? Most natural painkiller what there is. LOVE.”

5. “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
-Aristotle

6. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
– Henry David Thoreau

7. Politically Incorrect Advice to the Young from William S. Burroughs:

“Any old soul is worth saving at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth buying.”

8. “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln

9. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”
-Vince Lombardi

10. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”
-Rosa Parks

11. “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
-Florence Nightingale

12. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
-Herman Melville

13. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
– Charles Darwin

For H. I. P. H. O. P Heads 2019

This is an extended revision of a 2016 Facebook post.
——————————-
Rapper(s) I like: Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole
Favorite rapper now: Joey Bada$$ (what I’ve heard by him)
Rapper I can’t stand: Drake
Rap Group I can’t stand: Migos
Rapper I once liked but not now: Kanye
Rapper(s) I still don’t like: Lil’ Wayne & Master P
Rapper(s) I think is overrated: Jay Z & Eminem
Rapper(s) I think is underrated: Wu-Tang Clan, but it took me watching “Of Mics and Men,” then reminiscing back, to realize it; plus, All of the Native Tongues (DeLa, ATCQ, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, but especially the Jungle Bros.)
Rapper(s) I like a lot : Mos Def
Rapper(s) I secretly like a lot: now – Jay Electronica/back in the day – Siah & Yeshuah DapoED
Rapper I truly respect now: Tupac (though it took me all these years to delve into the legacy of his influence through the looking glass, so to say, and see him as one of the progenitors to the BLM movement rather than just analyzing his rise as a walking contradiction of an artist who walked right into the reins of his own demise. )
G. O. A. T. : Rakim
Runner-Up(s)to the G.O.A.T. : KRS-One, Chuck D. & Melle Mel
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Favorite Beat Makers: Madlib, J Dilla, Premier, RZA, Pete Rock, The Ummah, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow, Kan Kick, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder
———————-
Copy & Paste Your Choices in the comments.

Writes of Passage Pt4

1. “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”
– Marcus Garvey

2. “An artist needs a certain amount of turmoil and confusion.”
-Joni Mitchell

3. “I am the American heartbreak—
The rock on which Freedom
Stumped its toe—
The great mistake
That Jamestown made
Long ago.”
— Langston Hughes, “American Heartbreak”

4. “History is our blueprint for living, surviving, changing the dynamics of our situation & the contours of our journey, do not set aside the lessons of a lifetime for changes that never make the grade.”
-African Queens Collective

5. James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist:

“An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are.”

6. Aldous Huxley on How You Become Who You Are, How to Get Out of Your Own Way, and the Necessity of Mind-Body Education:

“In all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.”

7. “The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”
-Mary McLeod Bethune

8. “America is an interracial marriage that can’t be annulled. And we are the offspring of a shotgun wedding. And every generation unreconciled, our children the orphans of history.”
-Nathan Richardson

9. Against the Illusion of Separateness, Pablo Neruda’s Beautiful and Humanistic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance…”

10. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pillars

This old wary
Weariness is wearing on me,
So I fall back

On the works of warriors
& wordsmiths
Equipped with mother wit, not
Letting worry
Walk off with the youth

I have left.

©2019 MDSHall