Dear Daddy,
I am 8 years old, There are monsters invading my dreams, I cannot sleep,
I knock on your door; the clock says it is three in the morning.
You tell me not to be afraid, you say that whenever monsters haunt dreams
Just to think of you
You say you will always be there to chase the demons away,
You spend the entire next weekend building me a tree house on the tallest tree in our backyard
You say that up there, among the leaves,
So far away from this earth,
no monsters will ever be able to find me.

Dear Daddy,
I am 10 years old,
You tell me we need to move to a strange city,
Dear Daddy, I don’t understand.

Dear Daddy,
I am 11 years old,
We live in the city now, I like it here, I have friends
Except there are more buildings than trees and
I cant find a tree house anywhere and
You’ve stopped looking at mommy like you used to.
You teach me a new word, divorce.
Dear Daddy, what does this mean?
I thought love was everlasting
All I know is I only see mommy on the weekends now

Dear daddy,
I am 12 years old,
And now it is mommy to teach me a new word,
this word is called schizophrenia.
Dear Daddy, what happened?
You are in a strange looking hospital with bars on the windows,
where were you when I had a nightmare last night?

Dear Dad
I am 14 and I live with mom now,
I have long since stopped calling you daddy
Ever since you started finding comfort in tall amber bottles
Dear Dad, what happened to you,
I cant find you anywhere.

Dear dad
I am 15, and the doctors tell me I’m sad
I didn’t know being sad could be a sickness
But now they have me locked inside the same hospital you once were with bars on the windows,
These people know the words scitzophrenia and alcoholism all too well.
So do I.

Dear dad,
I am 17, and you are paralyzed on the entire left side of your body
The doctors don’t think you’re going to make it.
You did it, you have officially drank yourself into oblivion.
You promise if you live, you will never touch a bottle of beer again,
But dear dad, if there is one thing you’ve taught me it is not to make promises.

Dear dad,
I am 18 and by some miracle you made it,
And you went to rehab just like you promised.
You were sober for all of a month.
Dear dad, I guess some monsters are bigger than others.

Dear Daddy,
I am 19 now, and you are still fighting your monsters every day.
So, I think what I’m going to do is find the tallest tree in this city,
And I’m going to build you a tree house,
That way up there, among the leaves,
You will be too far away from this earth
for your monsters to be able to find you.

—  Dear Daddy // ahn
Don’t be an Activist

Don’t be that dirty A word: Activist
Like a viral disease
It always starts in college
took that sociology or ethnic studies class
joined that outreach recruitment center for
underrepresented youth of color
you wanted to hold it down for the struggle
at the rally for undocumented student rights
and then it happens
you become an activist
the symptoms will kick in fast and heavy

Your parents will tell you to get a real job
Fox news will tell you you’re unpatriotic
Your friends will call you too sensitive
Your family will call you too liberal
Your community will call you too communist

You’ll work at a non-profit organization
cause you said you want to make a difference
cause you certainly aren’t making any money
even though your official job title is just program coordinator
You’re really also the organization’s social media director
youth outreach manager
office technician
staff personnel therapist
grant writer
program assessment evaluator
and in-house cultural competency trainer
You’ll wonder how many top ramen will it take before you give up
on your close to impoverished 50hrs a week
$800 Americorps monthly living stipend
You will buy extra lip balm for all the future ass kissing 
you will do to potential grantees and funders
all in the name of community
…and to keep you job
…cause your grant contract ends by the 2017 fiscal cycle
way to stick to the man

You’ll feel guilty for listening main stream hip-hop
and that your favorite song is Tyga’s Rack City
even though that song represents everything that you stand against
misogyny, male patriarchy
the commodification
and dehumanization of womyn
that beat is still so DAMN good
rack city, rack rack city
I mean Sac City, Sac City…ssstitch

Don’t be an activist because you’ll just be angry
angry because you learned that everything evil in this world is rooted
from colonialism, white patriarchy and capitalism

Paulo Friere called it
when they made the matrix
once become conscious, you can never go back
and with liberation comes burden
that burden sits heavy like asthma

Ignorance must really be bliss
because it’s exhausting
looking through Facebook newsfeed
without saying “gooddammit this shit is fucked up”
without seeing white people throw peace signs and make squinty eyes in pictures with the #asianpose
without having another “conversation” with your
well-intentioned but racist ass friend
who commented on your scholarly post on
“microaggressions in the classrooms”
without seeing another fraternity throw another
cinco de drinko “cross the border” party
without seeing another newscaster blame the victim
and defend the rapist
without another black body being shot
by another gunman named officer

and feeling
like you can never do anything
ironically enough
you try to brush it off
so you can procrastinate on your 8 page sociology paper
on institutionalized racism in the California prison system

It will hurt
it will hurt because
it will come from your own people
they tell you, you too cocky
that you’re an opportunistic
that left South Sacramento for a job at UC Davis
and that you a sell out
and so you buy into their thinking
and they said you were never REALLY down
and so you tell yourself that you were never REALLy down
and they called you out for saying something problematic
so you think of yourself as a problem
you didn’t get enough petition signatures
you didn’t stay long enough at the town hall meetings
you didn’t mentor enough youth
you weren’t there for your community when they needed it most
and so you questions everything that you are
everything that you stand for
you hit this point of confusion
of what it all means
and you succumb to self-doubt
and burn out
you get tired
of being tired
and you tell yourself
“I just want to be normal
just like everyone else”

That heavy anxiety sitting on your shoulders
makes you want to scratch your skin off
but then you realize
normal is that bystrander effect
that MNC chokehold that stops you from raising your voice
and forces you to turn you head away from injustice
and face down at iphones screens
Normal is making it easier for you
to keep up with the Kardashians
than to keep up with the sake of humanity
Normal is that basic shit!
Normal is that stuff that makes people cynical
cause being cynical is always easier than critical
Normal is making society a status quota
number of soldiers pulled out
the dowe jones down
unemployment up
climate change doesn’t exist
Racist republicans still do
and so we confuse normal
for this substance that cynicism made ugly
validation, acceptance, love

and you finally realize that it was never about you
and it wasn’t about them
but it was about everybody
It was about humanness - Ubuntu
a justice that institutions are incapable of achieving
so you’ve been forced to dream
you check your privilege for low paychecks
to implement your social justice
be the monkey wrench in the machine

activism is not a sprint
it is a lifelong marathon
and your most crucial asset in your run
is the not the power in your legs
but the strength of your heart
so you must protect it
You must pace to it to give it resiliency
you will be your biggest critic
but the minute you look far too much
in your own steps
you will lose vision
so you must keep your head upright
never lose sight of your finish line

this world does not need normal
it needs relentless unafraid pursuit of compassion
every action or inaction
disrupts or perpetuates that power of oppression
but you choose
to upset the set up
disrupt the corrupt
stand against the standardization
hunger strike for the hungry

you were meant to be different
you are greater than Normal
you are more than an activist
you are deeply and truly necessary

I think some men are a little confused,
And perhaps they misunderstood,
What a real winner looks like.

For those who are mistaken,
It isn’t the “one-night stand” kind of guy
And her phone number isn’t the prize
I am sorry but,
Undressing a woman is not much of a challenge
Try stripping down her pride.

Can you even open a woman’s mind
And stimulate her without opening her legs?
Or are you that focused on physically getting inside
That you don’t even know how to really get inside of her mentally.
Can you connect with a woman on a deeper level
On a realer level?

Have you even touched a woman?
And I mean, really touch her
To the point where she purposely gets naked,
Just so you can see the real her,
With the walls no longer up
And her guards finally down
Have you seen that side of a woman?

Can you unravel her emotions
And undress her ego
Because a winner doesn’t just get a night with her,
A winner gets a life with her
And the real prize isn’t even tangible
It’s a woman’s heart and soul,
The parts of her not every man gets to unfold.

—  Keosha Love, What a Real Winner Looks Like (via @keoshaloveee)
They weren’t just poems. It was my best proof of God. It was bed for my buckets of misunderstand. A glimpse of sin and salvation in the same second. What were once journals were now holy purges, and I learned just how fucking real a night could get with some paper and some secrets.
—  ‘Alcatraz of Balloons’ by Miles Hodges of Strivers Row

God, I hope you know that I’m here for the stormy skies and the teary eyes when you have them.
  That I’m here from the tightness in your chest that accompany thoughts that deafen you with screams that won’t rest.

  I’m here.

  I’m here not only for the bright and shining moments filled with laughter, but also the ones where the dark clouds roll in and put a whole shadow on the sun that lies in your head and heart.
  Those times where you are so done and you want to cry and yell and tear your whole world apart.

  I’m here. For all of it. For you. 

   You’ll never have to cry, or scream, or sit in agonizing silence alone ever again. I hope you know that.
  I’ll go through the motions with you every step of the way. I’ll try to help you make tomorrow a better day.

 Just never forget, that I’m by your side always. 
 Everything is going to be okay.
 I love you.

—  A.C.F

I hate the way you talk to me,

and the way you cut your hair.

I hate the way you drive my car,

I hate it when you stare.

I hate your big dumb combat boots

and the way you read my mind.

I hate you so much it makes me sick,

it even makes me rhyme.

I hate the way you’re always right,

I hate it when you lie.

I hate it when you make me laugh,

even worse when you make me cry.

I hate it when you’re not around,

and the fact that you didn’t call.

But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,

not even close…

not even a little bit…

not even at all.

—  10 things I hate about you ( via non-colorem )

Black president elected, Guess that we made it.

All lives matter, Guess that we made it.

Black Oscars host, Guess that we made it.

We’ve must have overcome, we must have made it.

Leo got a Oscar, only whites were nominated but at least blacks were invited,

we must have made it.

We are perfectly pimped butterflys,

Who flutter our wings cause we are free, unchained

Untitled and Unmastered, we have our own names and own and purpose

They call us Tobey and put us to work,

We were kings and queens,

Then we were captives,

Now we are outcasts, I mean relevant

We are Trending

We shall overcome, we will overcome one day; a song no longer sung…

Guess that we made it cause,

If you tweet #blacklivesmatter you get three followers and 4 likes, we must have made it.

We are relevant, We are trending

Our deaths are nationally broadcasted on CNN for the world to see

Secretly whites citizens marvel at their handiwork, we must have made it.

Our murders aren’t convicted, we must have made it

We’ve made it viral, so viral that white kids copy our culture and get endorsements

Damn Daniel, back at it again.

We must have we made it.

We’re a trending topic on the lips of white officials

Hillary Clinton supported Barry Goldwater for President, Goldwater was against the civil Rights act

Hillary has the black vote, we must have made it

They love to call us thugs on television

Black power is racial hate, actually

Anything outside of white love is racial hate.

Black friends = not a racist

We must have made it,

This isn’t the American dream,

This isn’t the Dream Dr. King was killed for

This is a God dream, This is everything  

We’re on a destructive path towards contentment

But at least we’re trending.

I sit here staring at my phone
Feeling completely alone
With no idea what to do
All I want is to message you
But something pulls at my heart strings and in my ears rings questions, and doubts
And my gut shouts to walk away, but I can’t
I’m drawn to you
No matter how many times I tell myself to stop thinking about you my thoughts always come full circle
And I am no closer to understanding what I am supposed to do
But I am finished with demanding answers, none of that matters
I just wish I could explain how I am feeling
But we are dealing with a difficult situation, caught between friends and maybe more
But focusing on friendship and all I can think
Is how do I stop the boat from sinking
How do I stop thinking about you constantly
Wishing to receive a message
How do I know when to message you first
How do I know when to wait
I hate this feeling, all I want is to know that you’re thinking about me
All I want to know is I matter
—  MeganTalks

I’d fight for you, you know. But I know you aren’t asking that of me. So I’ll be here for you, to fight beside your side if you need me. Because you shouldn’t have to shoulder all this by yourself.

These moments where everything seems like it’s against you. Even your thoughts and emotions. You don’t deserve them.

But they will happen. Especially the latter. Your mind working against you, digging claws into your skin, ready and willing to tear you apart. And what should that matter when you’ve had blood on your own hands before? I won’t tell you pretty words just to brush that under the rug.

You. Dear youngling. Get out of that headspace of yours, get away from whatever is bringing you down. Place your headphones over your head, blast music into your ears. Make art. Rip paper apart. Whatever can get those feelings out without hurting yourself or anyone else.

Listen to me. You are so much more than you know. You are beauty and brains. Kindness and soul. Strength and bravery. Sass and sarcasm. You are not alone. And even if you don’t believe that, look up at the stars that will tell you how not alone you are because you are one with them. Young stardust trying to make its way. Don’t let your mind twist that. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and that even includes that voice in the back of your head that whispers all those hurtful lies.

Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. Don’t give up that power to ANYONE.

This moment will pass. You will get through it. You have the means to, you just have to realize it. You have to aim to kill, darling. Silence those bad thoughts. Shut the voices in your head or from others up.

Shoulders back, chin up, take a deep breath, focus, you’ve got this. You are strong, you are a warrior, you can go for the gold, you have bravery running through you, you are bloodthirsty.

Tear down the idea that you are unworthy, not enough, that you can’t be this or that, that you need to lose weight, or change yourself in such extreme ways.

And if you need to stop and take a breath from that fight. Gain some stability. Have a hand to hold. I’m here for you, always. And if you need me to pick up my sword and fight for you or watch your back, you know I will.

I will go down kicking and screaming in the fight for you to break away from these feelings that plague you from time to time if need be.


isfahaneyes : “Lessons on being a black Muslim woman”