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  • Genevieve VenJohnson

Updated: Oct 18

Greetings from Gentlebee's hive, HEXAGON, in this year like no other. It's a day when words fail to emerge through the body-blow trauma of yet more racial injustice in our land. As the murder of a sleeping black woman in her bed fails to elicit the justice that every American deserves.

So, in a year that defies description, and on a day of great sadness -- I offer this poem birthed 3 weeks ago. Bittersweet, but honey nonetheless. I appreciate your interest.


Third Quarter

As 2020 -Year of Plenty, brought itself to view, I took a stand; I made a vow: “I’ll know just what to do.” I listened in, and heard my heart say,‘Lean toward happiness​.’ “I’ll make a home with my True Love. A nest; a place of bliss. We’ll figure out the rest in time.” My soul was sure of this. And with the snow melt came a Spring with virus in the air. “This too; shall pass”, I told myself, I gave it little care. “I LOVE this break, this pause in time, this respite from the scramble!” Then, little could I realize its value as preamble.

For soon enough all screens alight with horrors left, and monsters right, With Evil twisting words of fright, and rage enough to burn the night.

Not even sleep will calm the sight of pressing knees in broad daylight. --Of chasing brothers on their run, --Of backs now shattered by a gun, --A lying woman faking harm, who sounds her fictional alarm, while weaponizing rule of race, who wields her cocked and loaded face.

No; sleep becomes an entry door, for elders who have gone before. The fury of their seasoned grief , denies me access to relief. For ancestors I never knew, take full possession --through and through. Decrying justice never theirs. The justice they still seek.---

---Breonna and Elijah, too. Treyvon, Tamir, and Sandra: -who had had enough. And so, --- she fled. ‘Ah well...another niggah dead.’ They join those ranks now up above, While here I wonder, “WHERE IS LOVE?” -2- This blazing scene without retreat, now seares my fog of fear. I speak those things I would not see. Plain truth at last is here. What can I do with sight so keen, --so crystal sharp, --so new? But Rage. Scream. Cry. But Write, and try to change a heart, or two.

My friends: I ask you, “What comes next?” This heaviness upon my chest will not abate, ‘till systems change, and not just merely rearrange. It’s long past time for us to see the depth of our complicity. All comfort with the status quo, is a decision: NOT TO KNOW.

So, name it first:​ ​Supremacy. Established lie of Legacy given to Whites; much like a gift. (Just name it, and I cause a rift!!) But, look with me, and recognize the ways in which we’ve swallowed lies. Your psychic guilt cannot abide the churning up of truth inside, nor restless comfort that you keep, for privilege you didn’t seek. Yes; there it is. And here we be, deciphering all that we see. Conservatives, Progressives, too! Good Liberals: YES, this means, you!! -- Get off your ass! There’s much to do! ​Try picking up a book, or two. For, when it's read, you’ll see the day complacency just falls away. That’s how we start dismantling falsehoods within our hearts.

For neither I, can here deny, I’ve sometimes been complicit. But, siding with inequity, can never, ever fix it. I wanted to believe the lie, to navigate with freedom, So I excused all stumbling blocks, I wouldn’t deign to see them. My revenue for mental coping with the daily dose? A gruesome inner landscape; an internal whippin’ post.

It’s taken almost sixty years to fully own what’s always here, In every room over the years where I’ve been -- well, “The Token.” We rarely ever mentioned race, it was: Not To Be Spoken. ‘Just get in there’, my parents taught,

‘Your presence there is what we fought to bring about.’ ‘And later on, --we’ll make the changes needed.’ -3- I wonder if I’ve done my part, contributing my best to Art. It feels inconsequential now; that nothing really matters. Except, --a little girl may see reflections of herself in me. Might wonder wider what might be, to see me acting on TV. I hope the stories that I tell, will bring about some magic spell to help her heal. But, who can tell? There’s so much more that’s needed...

I ask my allies, “Join with me? Remove the blinders. Choose to see!” We cannot live hypocrisy and share a brighter future.

Let’s strip the System of its lies; Devourer of human lives! Let’s dare our better selves to rise above our tortured past. For, if Awakening’s begun, may we not lose another one. The trauma takes its toll upon us all.

I teach myself to see anew, the things I thought I couldn’t do. I speak of race; of mine and yours, and hope you’re opening the doors to rooms you’re in. For truth be told: Great work now rests with you.

So, hear these words as they come through, From trusted source in me, to you:

Fear not brave Ally; --- friend of mine. We’ll figure out the rest, in time.

~Gentlebee

Third Quarter
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