Archive for the ‘ Friendship ’ Category

Lansing

Seems I owe you an apology: so I apologize

Or is it, maybe, that I owe you two?

Recent memory might be serving me wrong and…

Really what I owe, is a few

Yeah… actually, come to think of it, that sounds about right

Some of the things I said

Out of anger

Really should not have been said… ever

Really… never, but especially not since it was during a fight

You live and learn from mistakes

I am not exempt from that

All the extra stuff that clouded the messaging

Man, I wish I could take that back…

Stolen Goods

Stole us from our homes

Stole our gold

Stole our babies while crying

Stole our blood, sweat and tears

Created the conflict

Stole the diamonds

Stole our culture

Stole our music

Stole our drums

Stole our voices

Stole our fun

Stole our choices

Stole our smile

Anything we created

Stole our style

Put our skin on trial

Jury of non-peers:

Color’s not worthwhile

See

We thought it was a trial

But it wasn’t really a trial

Stole the natural date of  death

Stole our loved ones

Stole their breath

Of all the things that were stole

You will never steal our soul

Thoughts After The Last Dance

Watching the last 2 episodes (7 & 8) of The Last Dance this evening touched me in a way I didn’t expect.  These episodes partly focused on how intense Michael Jordan was with the methods that he used to motivate others… It made me reflect on certain times in my life where I was similar.  Sometimes people can misunderstand that intensity.  When it comes to getting results, I have a more, “let’s get straight to the point” mentality.

The first memory I was visited with:  I previously was part of the coaching staff at a school in Detroit, MI called Burton International. I coached there for eight years total and coached both, girls & boys that were 7th & 8th graders (4 Division Championships, BTW). I had this one student during that time named, DC that came to me crying once. She said that she needed to talk to me and the first thing that she asked was why I was so hard on her. It seemed to her I was harder on her than anyone else.  The truth is, I didn’t know exactly why I was so hard on her at the time.  All that I knew is that I saw massive potential in her and I was trying to force that potential to the surface.  Luckily at the time, one of the senior coaches, Rev. JW, who always knows what to say, told her that I wouldn’t focus that type of energy on her if I didn’t really care… if I didn’t care about her and her being successful.

This has been a common theme with me that started with my younger brothers when the three of us were younger.  I was especially hard on my brother that is closest in age to me.  We didn’t grow up in the most favorable environment.  In that environment, I lived with a certain fear of not making it.  My fear wasn’t really of me leaving this earth… it was more, if I were to leave here, who would be here to protect my brothers?  So, in my mind, it was my job as the big brother to toughen them up enough where I knew they could protect themselves, each other and that they could also stand strong independently as individuals.  Mental and physical toughness was needed.  I’ve had the same best friend since I was in high school (CA).  If you were to ask him, he’d tell you, that’s the only thing that I worried about at that time.  There are no two people that I have talked about more than my two brothers.  The day that I knew that they would be OK is when we were out in the back having an intense game of basketball and I was being a little rough.  That game ended in my brother closest in age using a fighting move that I taught him and striking me above my right eye in retaliation for my roughness.  I was standing there leaking blood and needed to go to the hospital to get stitches. My brother thought I was going to kill him (figuratively). I’ll admit, I was more than a little angry that he used that move on me, but I was more proud than anything.  That’s when I knew.

I moved away from Detroit in 2005.  I ended up taking a job in Cincinnati, OH.  I actually had no intentions on coaching anymore and certainly didn’t think about mentoring, however, it fell in my lap anyway.  As I got to know people in the area from frequenting basketball courts, people started to ask me to work with high school kids in the area. I was very reluctant to do so since I had spent the previous eight years coaching at Burton International.  During that time, I felt that I needed to focus on me.  That never really happened.  I met a former Xavier University basketball star, BM, that was then studying to be a pastor and he asked me to check out this kid, GW, at a local high school, Roger Bacon.  BM and I went to a game to see this kid play; he then asked me to train, GW.  I initially said no. BM asked me to join him at a Men’s Night at his church and we really got to know each other, dropping the surface level pleasantries.  We had more in common than basketball. After BM heard my story, he stressed the importance of people like me wearing the mantle of a mentor. I told him, I only know how to do it one way… I push and push and push and then I push some more.

I started out Mentoring and training only GW.  Then his teammate, WF, became part of our group.  Shortly after that, a kid from Burton International that I had coached before, BJ, now in high school, called me up and said that Detroit was no longer the place for him and since we were from similar types of neighborhoods, I would be able to understand him, deal with him, and get him on a better path.  During the conversation with BJ’s parents, I was asked what my plan was to get him on the right track if he were to move in with me. I told them that I plan to treat him as he is one of my younger brothers and all that entails.  His parents didn’t necessarily completely understand what that meant, but BJ did.  To me, that’s all that mattered.  BJ knew that I would do everything in my power to make him a better person, whether he liked the method or not.  And just like that I had three teenagers that I accepted responsibility for.

I’ve had talks with all three of my Cincinnati guys as we grew to become a family. I’m sure though, if you were to talk to GW or WF initially, they would have sworn that I was a maniac.  BJ already knew how I operated from our time in Detroit together. He knew it was nothing but tough love.  He knew that I used my personal experiences and focused them into methods of motivation.  I was even trying to push them along in case I was no longer able to be there for them.  Not in the same manner I was worried about previously with my brothers as far as leaving this earth, it was more so just knowing that life happens… and if something happened where I could no longer mentor or coach, they would have gotten the best they could have gotten from me in the time that we shared.

Although my intensity has worked well in the mentoring arena.  I’ve also struck out with it at times.  Another memory that comes to mind is when I had been dating someone and she essentially told me that my tactics to motivate are very effective but sometimes not pleasing at all.  I can’t really disagree with her.  I am the type of person that will say what people are afraid to say and I’ll say exactly what you don’t want to hear if I think that will be what it takes to help you move in a better direction.  I am mostly like that with people I care about most.  Yes, it is something that I can work on.  It’s probably something that I should work on.  However, at the same time though, it’s hard to argue with results.

And I’m definitely known for getting results.  I am good at it.  I’m just not good at being soft about it.

My Only

I wake up in the mornin’

Fall asleep at night

Dream

It’s you I see

For the football team

Wayne State University

Only other time I took a knee

But that was different

Then I was told

Now it’s the warmth of your love moving me

My heart’s no longer cold

You are my only…

My one and only

My only baby

You’re my craving

The only one

And I crave you daily

When I see you

I think ultrasounds

A kid runnin’ ’round

You having my baby

Growing old in love

Old together

Babysitting our grand-babies

Telling our love story

Once upon a time

My girlfriend

Became my Old Lady

Thank You Series: 2 Pillars

Part I: My Best Friend

It was 26 years ago
When we first met
If I put money on us
Would have lost that bet

Words really can’t explain what you mean to me
The world programmed men not to say such things
Clashed at first but we hashed things out
Young Kings in King’s hallway
You know exactly what I’m talkin’ ’bout

I am from 12th Street
You being from Linwood (NFL)
In the hood back then in Detroit
That was anything but good

Weren’t supposed to be friends
But that’s not our story at all
Became one of my strongest pillars
Refused to see me fall

When I was right or wrong
You always had my back
When I was wrong
Once we were alone
You’d tell me just that

I literally lost my mind
After the accident
Contemplated taking my life
But you weren’t having it

With just one line
You brought me back from the brink
Stared me in my eyes and said,
“What about Richard and Malik?”

Held that stare for a while
And let it resonate
Pulled my heartstrings in front of my face
So I could really see
So I could wake

Knew exactly how to hit me
How to eliminate
The destructive thoughts I was having
Without a trace

Called me by my government name and said
“The “you” I know is much stronger than that”
A lion always knows a lion
That’s not something to ever forget

I don’t know where I would be without you

Thank you

Pain Blinders

If for you

To make my case

Uprooted myself

Moved across states

Would my intentions be clear to see?

If I actually provided us a home

Was present as a whole

Accepted your child as my own

Would you still be blind to me?

Would you just be questioning to question me?

Would you be faithless to the faithful?

Not recognize

Seem ungrateful

Say things

Distasteful

Because you’re plagued full

Of past relationships pain

Toxic & hateful

That fell apart at the seams

Or would you be able to see

Me for me

None of what you went through

Has anything to do with me

Be able to trust and believe

In the plan developed for us to seize

And know

I’m just here to love on you

Love on her

Teach her things

And help raise our daughter

To a queen

2 Questions

I come to you fully exposed…

No walls, no barriers

Defenseless

No bravado

No inflated ego

No mannish pride

No tricks or side angles

No games…mind or otherwise

You’ve overtaken my mind over time

And are in my thoughts working overtime

A natural cause and effect scenario

With the affect immortalized

By way of your many distinctive determinants

The impression on me you’ve made isn’t fleeting or miniscule

Its essence transformational

It has the meat of permanence

We both know what happened and what didn’t

We both share some responsibility

I admit

At times I was protecting me from you

Just like you were protecting you from me

I will do better if you let me

I want to

Known for keeping my word

And I want you…

…to trust we can succeed

The bricks and mortar are already there

Foundation

Opportunity to build on top of that

Is the only need

Here I am

Before you

Humbled and fully exposed

I’ve knocked down walls

And removed barriers

I have:

Open eyes, arms, heart and mind

None of them to you are closed

I don’t know how else to say it

I really don’t know how else to act

I do know how I plan to fix it

But the only power I currently have is to ask

Will you let me love you better?

The bond we share is not happenstance

You and what we have should be fought for

Will you give us the fighting chance?

Here I am before you

Vulnerable and fully exposed

No tricks or side angles,

No bravado

No inflated ego

All I have are these 2 questions

Along with

Open eyes, arms, a heart and mind

That are no longer closed

I’ll Be Your Puppet

Puppet For YouBy: Monique Brent

Puppet For You
By: Monique Brent

On my journey,
I have been many things
Believed my direction sound
Previously
Now I am walking
Aimlessly
No longer certain
What I was searching for

I’m retired now
Lifelessly
On the floor

Through many closed door…

You strolled right in
Lifted me up
Permitted me
To stretch my limbs
Through your fingers
My body now moves
I’m in your hands
I’ll take your cues

I’ll be Your puppet
Take my strings
Pull at these
As You please
Choose any path for me
That path I’ll go
Relinquishing all control
Asking You to guide my life
Be my maestro

I’m Your puppet
On these strings
Tug at them
As You please
Choose any way and
That way I will go
When it comes to You
Your hand guides me
Your love is in control

SO MENTAL

I am so mental when it comes to you…

My left brain & my right brain
Get into arguments over which can depict you best
The objective of being expressive and selective
Of the right ad-jective
Becomes a mean chess contest
Between hemispheres…
Both on a quest to claim you as Queen
While keeping the other side in check

Are my thoughts of you neurological contradictions?
You’ve been in my dreams,
Girl
But you walk in real life
Even though,
The actual definition of a Dream Girl,
Is synonymous with fiction

In right-brain vision
You’re a fantasy
You’re a Princess
I’m the frog…
You’re the Beauty,
I’m the Beast
See through your enchanted mirror
Past my exterior
My heart is exposed…
Before all the petals fall from the rose…

See me…

My left-brain has less in common with
Disney movies and TV
You are not a cognitive apparition
But a definite cognition
Don’t need my imagination to paint pictures
To Tell a Vision
The quantity of my logic
Is cognizant of your quality
I am such a realist
I speak your name and there we have
A living definition of non-fiction

Right-brain tried to paint you with colors
None were vivid enough for the job to do
Looked into & through the spectrum for your essence
However, there is only one of hue

Your voice to me is heavenly
It transforms words
Unique in melody
The sweetest thing by far,
I’ve heard,
Are your words when you speak to me
My ears are at concert when you speak
Sitting in orchestra seats while you symphony
I’m a stargazer when our eyes meet
And don’t need Galileo’s fathering of modern astronomy
To conceive a belief
Or grasp that I have
A celestial being standing in front of me

Which side of my mind will you believe?
Which half of me will be claiming you as Queen?
As I transition in between the two for another view
If I paused the pendulum
Just for a second or two
Your attributes stand in the middle
Of abstract and absolute

The battle of thought for you
Does not stop
That’s a statistic that’s not even probable
My left brain follows the thought process
Of the Great Architect and all knowledgeable

It weighs how you were made
Logical versus illogical
The possible vs. improbable…
Not only thinking of a single part of you
But every single part of you
From hair follicle to hair follicle
When God thought of you
From the very first molecule
You were meant to be cherished
Particle by particle

Most feed you empty words like calories
Now it’s time to change your diet
Standing mute could possibly end in tragedy
No longer am I silent
Pick a side in my mind in which you wish to confide in
Right brain or left brain
Which kingdom would you rather reside in?

If neither fit

And you’re being pulled from both sides
I won’t make you decide

Then,

The only thing left is to offer peace
A truce…
For you…
My left brain & my right brain
I will focus
I will metamorphize them and combine them

I’m so mental when it comes to you

“Words With Friends”

This is how I spent my lunch break today: