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Mama Tayé’s Elder’s Prayer – Day 109 + 7: The World Reacted

Mama Tayé’s Elder’s Prayer – Day 109 + 7: The World Reacted
The sun glistens over the frozen ice and drips a nation’s tears. In shock and awe, held emotionally tangled for a day, a week ago when the wait was agony and the reading spoke ill of the dead. In silence they waited and held hands until the word came, the shouts from 400 years of soul anguish came from a deep place and the people refused to go home. In solidarity around the world the streets filled in a holiday week that declared no more, no business as usual, no system as usual, upset it all we will do. In space of righteous anger over unjust laws and systems that let murderers with badges go scot free, the people marched armed with signs and the energy of not wanting another 12 year old shot dead in a drive by for playing with a toy. In serenity they stood around campus bonfires to pray for justice and energy to keep going day after day, night after night, to dismantle something that refused to give. In somber realization …

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Twelve, Day 100+7 Completion

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Day 100+7 Completion The chirping birds sing out the song of morning calling us to our purpose, they greet us as sleep is left behind 400 years of midnight haze to rise like the sun over the mountains to declare our presence. We ain't going no where. On the dawning of the day that was supposed to say a yes or no but they announced they could not decide, the people still still rise up and stand up in front of and declare, We ain't going no where. See when the tanks and the armor from across the country came and the undercover tried to say they were a student and the hate of hate pulled off the sheets and picked up badge and baton, they thought they could scare the youth away. We ain't going no where. When they pulled little bit from the crowd to try to quiet her voice, one of the few among the men with found voices, she held tight and they surrounded the cell, demanding her release, they thought she would be scared, silenced, her tiny f…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Eleven, Day One Hundred

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Eleven, Sharing Day One Hundred In the dawning of this new day as frost dusts our morning window with the crisp bite of winter's cold kiss in the air, as the calendar turned to day one hundred that one son's blood still screams out from the street and activists still scream out through hoarse voice, we pause, we pause for a moment. Calling on the ancestors,our great ones, our spirit one, our creator, in this moment of realizing we, the many we of us, have been fighting an exhausting fight for 100 days, we call for our strength to journey one. We are resilient, even tired, but tenacious and determined and buoyed to keep striving for a people left without answers. In the psychological game of announcing no announcing, while hate gathers guns and anonymous pulls off hoods, we still hear the cry of this son left face down for four hours. Avenge me, remember me, change for me. When the least of these traveled to the halls of the greate…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayers - Offering Ten

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Ten On this sunkissed morning for the sunkissed people, we call on the example of our ancestors set before us and declare unity at all levels, we will not be distracted and fall at the enemy's sword of division. We who work with our feet in the community we call home, we who strategically focus messages of empowerment and economics, know we are greater than a splinter in the group who takes rhetoric over work. Let us who are truly people of justice and action know that this work is long, that enemy in sheep's clothing will try to engage and that the efforts of the many hands together will sheer that false covering and expose tactics of division. This is a marathon journey for righting centuries of wrong, of recognizing the human rights violations of terrorist flags and army tanks in American streets having no place among people of peaceful protest. Let the activists know that their message has resonated across the world and truly …

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering NIne

Mama Taye's Elder's Prayer - Offering Nine Hear the crisp crackle of the wind in threes. Feel the breeze brush past the chilled cheek. Touch the gloved hand and find a moment to inhale. Then exhale. Settle into the space of calm before the storm. Rest there a moment with the cloud of witnesses blowing heaven's kisses. Inhale. These are times unlike times before and just like times before so let we who are awake remain on watch, on vigil, on task so that all may be awake and all may be free. Let us continue the quest for justice for without it, there is a requirement that peace be disturbed. Let those who are the faces and voices and soldiers on these front lines of this movement know that they do not stand alone. Let them feel the soil deep roots that buoy them up and let them know there are many who stand with them. Let those whose time is past and who squandered their opportunity, step back and realize that all they need to do now is provide assistance, support, and voi…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Eight

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer, Offering Eight Calling on the one who is greater than the sun, the one who shines light upon us and exposes the darkness of hate and fear. Calling upon the one who brought new year and new light in the same week and covered the night voices proclaiming their duty to fight. Calling upon the great you to lead us into this journey. it is our duty cries the daughters and sisters who declare time to change the narrative, that remind us that black lives matter and all life has value. That we have a duty to unite, organize, and deploy to the place of the real work of social justice and humanity. From the middle out as watchers descend on the gateway city and declare the human rights abuses of those with a badge in the land of the free, we pause in the felt presence and watchful eye of the great cloud of witnesses, to center ourselves, the strengthen ourselves and prepare ourselves for the great work ahead. As seasons change and night becomes day and the w…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Sharing Six

Mama Tayé's Elder Prayer - Sharing Six . The black night calm storm to the morning blue of tears shed of lives lost of weary feet and souls wondering how long, to those we greet in the way of light and life knowing that there can be no greeting of peace as long as justice is unserved. The morning rises on the Weekend of Resistance where young and old join arm-in-arm and stand face2face against the policies that criminalize bodies in black and brown, against the system that profits on keeping them down. We honor their lives and their families that mourn them - all of them in all of their Millennial hopes and dreams dashed, in all their smiles and even in their errors, they were loved and we honor their right of existence. Standing united as one, we loudly proclaim our righteous fight to lift up to unit to organize and to deploy those into our land to protect, provide, and promote the lifes of our black sons and daughters. We stand as one in this supposed land of the free and we st…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer, Sharing Five

Mama Tayé's Elder Prayer, Sharing Five

The sun rises and kisses us into a new day even as the darkness in the hearts of the land hopes to discourage and disassemble a righteous cause, we shine bright and keep shining for truth, honor, justice, and life. Let us who are conscious stand in the healing warmth of the sun's rays, knowing that as the sun shines down on one of us, renewing and reviving, the same sun shines down on a collective us. WE are stronger together. When we are weary from the endless fight and the false apologies, let us hold each other up and protect the voices that were once lost, let us support and be the oracle for the ones telling us justice is still unserved in our land. May we press and keep pressing even as they throw out token and we ponder the actions of a burned memorial quickly rebuilt and peace in a place they want to destroy. The pride of the mothers rests in the sons who protected and promised to stay out, speak out, and stand in front of power …

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Sharing Four

Mama Tayé's Elder Prayer - Sharing Four
by Tayé Foster Bradshaw
The crispness of the air ushers us into the change of seasons and forces us to acknowledge that we are part of a massive universe, only a dot in the atmosphere of time. In so pausing to remember that we did not create the sun that warms us, the breeze that cools us, and the moon that soothes us, we also pause to remember that we also did not get here alone and must honor, respect, and thank those who walked before us, must remember and honor the path they set out and the example they set, must humble ourselves in our momentary slumber, lured away form the righteous cause by the trinkets dangled before us and the promises unkept. This day that greets us with heavy minds and heavy hearts as news of yet another brother meeting an untimely end at the end of a weapon, we are reminded of the reason we gathered together in unity and peace to fight for those who have no voice and to march for those who have no legs. We are o…

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayers

Over the course of a few weeks, in the beforemath and aftermath of the tragic, senseless murder of unarmed Ferguson teen, Michael Brown, I began to call upon the elders the ancestors the ancients in our moments of grief, anger, and disbelief that this repeated fifty-year cycle in St. Louis played out on the body of this eighteen year old innocent.  In so doing, I wrote these prayers, chants, utterances to the United Front and share them here to give honor to all the innocent blood shed at the end of hatred's weapon:

Sharing One:
May this Friday, this day rise up and greet you in peace and purpose. May you capture hold of the reason we are all connected here in this time and this place using this technology to make this change in this day. Let the spirit of the elders surround and guide you, let their strength encourage you, and let their sacrifice humble you. May you walk in connected universal love with your brothers and sisters, whether we are milky vanilla or creamy espresso, whe…

And The Lion Laid Down To Sleep

The Lion Laid Down to Sleep - Elegy for Uncle Red
He opened his mouth in that smoky smooth voice and made you feel like he was not miles away. His voice cut through the clutter to utter clarity in the situation. We sat at his feet and met him in the virtual and he was as real as real as any man could be. He gave it straight and honest and without the fluff to cloud the truth. Many phone calls and hours of council and he was giving in wisdom. If you listened you learned and niece was daughter and nephew was son. He never faked the funk and told it like it was so you could get on with the doing what you should be doing. The Lion's roar is the voice of reason, the pragmatic is what it is to help you find your way though the what ifs and the whys. No apologies in his realness, radical red self. He knew the what and didn’t bother too much with the why, just saw it clear and invited you to be bold. His voice message, “well hello, I’m not available to take your call” was in that cool groove…

Eyes That See You

Eyes That See You by Tayé Foster Bradshaw ©2007, 2014
First awake, last asleep Master at multitasking   Expert stretching and mending Lives between want and need Desires sleep Giving everything Every thing EVERY THING Comes last eats last thinks last sleeps last… Last Last…LAST
Wears many hats Juggles home and money and chores And…and…and… Cries silent tears Whispers tender prayers Hugs little bodies Counsels young minds Smiles sighs Does it all…Alone A Lone ALONE
She is Hagar and Bilhah and Zilpah Feeding prophets and nurturing Kings Wishes whispered through hands without rings Unnoticed neglected forgotten Silent unspoken dreams Giving life always all ways All WAYS Unseen seen love Seeing celebrating honoring peace
Giving more with none Loving silent with no one Keeping life to give every more Wanting help to walk through the door Striving for more for them Wondering when they will see him Hard trying to be brave in all Wanting someone to answer your call
To give rest you crave Money you deserve And Help you need I can …

Shattered Standing

TumblingShattering Million pieces Crystal falling Smashing ...heart like glass soul like water tumbling down cascading forever stone million pieces shattering crystal glitters fell innocence splinter shining on the ground Standing Claiming speaking puzzles putting pieces together again Proclaiming ...heart like rock soul like water turrents forward casting forever fear shattered million pieces crystal glitters shine innocence reclaimed standing in the sun
This poem was inspired by a racial incident experienced by my twelve year old daughter and her strength in taking back the fear, speaking her truth, and telling the world what the cowards thought would break her.

Pearls

My husband calls them pearls worn close to my heart.
Would the meaning of each make others tear me apart?

Does this story waiting to be told
have elements to make their heart grow cold?

If I opened up my soul with words to tell
Would their judgment condemn me to hell?


Will their image of my accomplishments change
causing them to look upon me with rage?

Pristine little me the preacher's daughter
would my life story send me to the slaughter?

These pearls I cherish in my spirit
Would they ever stop to really hear it?

Let me muse and wonder out loud
Would my living distance me in their crowd?

It has not all been a crystal stair
I ask the question, would they really care?

This life lived like no other
Will they condemn me, a former teenage mother?

My pearls are a living testament I do not hide.
Does it matter to you that my heart is open wide?

Radically Bougie

They call me radical
the others say I'm bougie
'cause I speak a truth
- authentically
so let them talk
and wonder why I am
proudly walking down
the street
with my latte in hand
I am radically bougie
and there is no other way
-genuine
-real
so let them chatter
and wonder why I am
standing tall
speaking clearly
demanding change
with my latte in hand
I am radically bougie
and there is no other way