Saturday, December 31, 2011

Still Waters Run Deep

For months I’ve been wanting to sit down and write something intriguing. The year 2011 was full of significant events, both personal and global, so it’s not as if there was a shortage of things to write about. However, on this New Year’s Eve I am left with an unimpressive collection of writings to show for the year. At times I would start something, but the most that would come of it were some half-scribbled notes strewn about somewhere. On other occasions I had some worthy thoughts to share, but I had neither the energy nor time to commit any of them to writing. It’s been tough not being able to express myself as much and when compared to last year when I wrote prolifically, 2011 might seem like a silent river rolling through time. Yet as the old proverb goes, “still waters run deep”. For those on the “river banks” looking in, the true greatness and bounty of 2011 was what actually lay beneath the surface of my life.

2011 was the biggest year of my life. It was the year I purchased my first home. It was the year I ran my first race. It was the year I got engaged to my beautiful Empress. Finally, and most significantly, it was the year that she and I married and became one before the Almighty. All of these huge blessings came so naturally, but also so unexpectedly. Looking back several years ago, I would have had no premonitions at all. Even in 2010, where there were hints of things to come, I still wouldn’t have been able to fully grasp it all. Normally, I have at least some words to express myself on landmark events, especially when it comes to my own life. Yet, all I could do was just soak it all in, and absorb the love and the good fortune that I was experiencing every single day. It has been a year of giving thanks for all that I have.

How can one describe the most momentous day of his life? How do you capture the emotions, the nuances, and every single note of the symphony of blessings that played? You can’t. No photographs, videos, or written accounts can capture the absolute brilliance of that day in early October. Our wedding was amazing. We worked so hard to make it what we had hoped it to be, a joyous start to our lives together. We were the creators of our union... fusing our love for each other, our spirituality and love for JAH, our roots and culture, our families and our friends all together into a celebration that was more than we could have imagined. Moreover, we were blessed in so many ways that were completely out of our control, including having the most spectacular weather. It wasn’t a fairy-tale wedding with fanfare and ridiculous expenses like 2011’s British Royal Wedding. It wasn’t a typical wedding like you see in magazines or television shows. Rather, it was our own reality, our values, our design, our vows. It was the celebration of a lifetime for the union of lifetime. Even if things had not gone as we planned, the outcome would have still been the same, and nothing would ever or could ever keep my Empress and I apart. No power on earth could ever keep us from being bound together in love and unity. Of course... that was all the easy part. It was all in the hands of the Most High!

A lesson that I quickly learned is that becoming a married man means having additional responsibilities and an abundant amount of patience. In fact, a few days earlier I was joking with friends that you truly aren’t a man until you become a married man (and yes, I’ve been reminded that having children will redefine living once again). It’s not just about living for yourself anymore and doing anything that you want as long as you have the means and time to do it. Being married makes things completely different. I now think as a couple and I play the game of life a little more tactfully. For me, 2011 has meant having financial obligations that I never had to cope with before, making decisions and compromising on issues that I would not have had to consider. Being married has even changed my vernacular, it’s not “I” or “me” anymore, it is “us”, “we”, yes, it is I&I! Despite it all, it has not been all that difficult (although I’m sure that I can reflect on this more accurately next year). More than anything, it has been time consuming.

So while I have been adjusting to the responsibilities that come with being a married man, the world has kept turning. Politically, there have been huge changes in the world. It was the year of the “Arab Spring” with revolutions and uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Osama Bin Laden was killed, so was Muammar Qaddafi. Kim Jong Il died. South Sudan became the world’s newest country. All types of natural disasters reminded us that we humans are just one small part of the world: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, hurricanes, and epic snow storms. Also, we cannot forget about the terrible ongoing famine in Somalia (it seems that it only survived news headlines for a few days). Back in America we have had protests and demonstrations of our own with the Occupy Movement in response to the economy and unemployment. Politicians and candidates claim to have solutions to the nation’s problems but they continue to blunder and argue like fools. 2011 was a year of shifting tides, but the seas are still stormy and there will be much to reflect on in 2012.

Still waters run deep, and I’ve been too still this past year to get too deep into any other thoughts, but I do end this year with the prospect of making positive changes in the year to come. I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do hope to settle into my new lifestyle a little more and bring balance. I hope to write more and reflect more. I hope to be more patient and more organized. I hope to spend more time with JAH, giving thanks and praises. I hope to grow more with my wife and my entire family in a positive way. I hope to make it to Africa. Whatever comes in 2012, I know that life is as good as we make it... so I say to make the most of it, and God will handle the rest. 2012 has a negative stigma to it because of Mayan calendars and Nostradamus prophecies, but you can’t live in fear and negativity. Better must come. Live up, live good, and be the change you want to see in the world.

One Love & Happy New Year,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

King & Queen

King & Queen

A royal love, a divine love
The very love spoken of
Since the earliest of ages
In ancient Holy Book pages
Now witness and come see
How he and she seem to be
Singing the Song of Solomon
In tune with the deep rhythm
Of their two beating hearts
This is what JAH joins together
And no one shall break it apart
For here before you stand
This woman and this man
Who with abundant blessings
Will reign for generations
This truly is the incarnation
Of a rare, legendary love
Conceived of in Mount Zion
And when you’re asked about
What today you have seen
Tell them it was the marriage
Of a king to his queen

(c) 2011

Celebrating the friends and families who attended our marriage on October 8, 2011. Giving thanks for all of the blessings and the most beautiful day that anyone could ever imagine.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Forged For Forever

Forged For Forever

Here it starts with our two
Hearts forged for forever
With Jehovah’s flame we
Sign and seal this love letter
Moon and sun become one
Our souls eclipse together
And we’ll never stop from
Shining all the days of our life
We shall share this journey
Eternally, united
As husband and wife…

(c) 2011

Our Wedding Day
October 8, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heed H.I.M. Utterances

Heed H.I.M. Utterances

H.I.M. come but they never heed the words
Of His Utterances or His Royal Standards
And so the world comes undone in tragedy
They really need the guidance of His Majesty
But they never yet follow H.I.M. way, no way
And I see the nations go astray, every day

Replacing old autocracies with democracies
While installing their western philosophies
Ignoring the world’s pandemics and atrocities
Like the brutal raping of the Congolese
And endless wars between the Sudanese
Only looking for who can oil their machinery
Babylon needs a prize to pay their war fee
So they put a mark on Muammar Qaddafi

We’ve seen tsunami and earthquake in Japan
Tornado and floods destroy American land
The resurfacing of Al Qaida and the Taliban
Even though Obama killed Osama in Pakistan
Every day there’s another story at the newsstand
There’s only so much that people can withstand
Just like the youths in Syria and Yemen demand
We need a revolution to free-up JAH homeland

H.I.M. come but they never heed the words
Of His Utterances or His Royal Standards
And so the world comes undone in tragedy
They really need the guidance of His Majesty
But they never yet follow H.I.M. way, no way
And I see the nations go astray, every day

Babylon will do anything for money in their pockets
Selling the youths grenades and hand-held rockets
Call it a third world when they mash-up the tropics
And come back again as deceitful philanthropics
No electricity is coming out from the wall sockets
No clean water flow freely from out of the faucets
Desperate people soon turn to desperate topics
And Babylon drinks their blood from their goblets

See the Arab Spring we should do the same thing
Tear down Babylon walls, and the world banking
The whole ship crash and the economy is tanking
We should make the leaders walk off the planking
Rise up, because it is JAH we should be thanking
And make we all hail up the world’s only true King
Take a look and see that Babylon city is sinking
Time to listen to H.I.M. Utterances and start thinking

H.I.M. come but they never heed the words
Of His Utterances or His Royal Standards
And so the world comes undone in tragedy
They really need the guidance of His Majesty
But they never yet follow H.I.M. way, no way
And I see the nations go astray, every day

H.I.M. seh, good can never grow out of evil
H.I.M. seh, life is in the soul, the body is a vehicle
H.I.M. seh, education is guarantee for a better life
H.I.M. seh, have confidence and continue to strive
H.I.M. seh, belief in the Creator is the surest foundation
H.I.M. seh, there is no peace without cooperation
H.I.M. seh, feel the needs of others before your own
H.I.M. seh, Mama Africa is our spiritual home
H.I.M. seh, laziness breeds sin, poverty and discontent
H.I.M. seh, let the whole world rebuild the continent

(c) 2001

Today is the Earthstrong of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I! In this world crisis we must remember to follow the words of the King. The world would surely be a better place. I&I Rastafari give thanks for the example of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Mountains

Two Mountains

Mi breddah tell mi seh
Two mountains don’t meet
But I-man know when we speak
I&I sight up the mountain peak

The Most High seh
Seek and you will find a like mind
Iyer ites united by divine design
Like mountains that endure time
Standing firm as a righteous sign
To remind all mankind to combine

Mi breddah tell mi seh
Two mountains don’t meet
But when we greet pon the street
Surely, Satan must retreat

(c) 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Time Has Come

Around this time last year, if someone had told me about all of the huge blessings and positive changes in life that would manifest for me, I would have probably laughed and thought that it would be great but unrealistic. After all, a year is not that much time... especially when you are busy and a good portion of your life becomes routine. How could so many things happen in such a short amount of time... things that I had been waiting on for ages it seemed? I am an optimist, but I am also a realist. When I turned 30 last May, I had my ideas and hopes for the future, but I was mostly looking back on what things I had accomplished and the significance attached to the milestone year I was passing into. What would come, would come in its own due season. Apparently that season was my 30th year. It was a very good year!

So what exactly happened? It is hard to fathom, but within the days falling between May 22nd of 2010 and May 22nd of 2011, I was given the following blessings. One, finding and becoming engaged to my beautiful fiancĂ©e, “my puzzle piece”, who fits into my life as if she were tailor made, and I truly know this to be true. Two, owning my first home, my own place, my own space... it is amazing. Three, taking on an additional job in education and succeeding at it. Four, getting healthier by the day and surpassing goals in my physical fitness. I could go on and recognize many other good things, but no words could ever do any of it justice. Moreover, each of these things are not mere “flashes in the pan”, rather they are investments that will continue to multiply during this next year and the years to come. Nothing in my life thus far can compare to this sense of achievement that I feel. It is a natural mystic...

All of this proves to me that life is full of so many great and wonderful possibilities. Often times, we may see our goals as far away and unobtainable, like a mirage in the distant horizon. Yet at the same time, what may appear as a mirage could in fact be the real thing, and in that case one would only have to be patient, persistent, and trod forward in the proper direction. Some things will come into our lives quite naturally, but other things we will have to work for in order to take advantage of the opportunity. By doing certain things in advance, I put myself in a good position to receive what was in store for me. It hasn’t been easy, and at times I am exhausted (so exhausted that it is harder for me to find the time to write and reflect these days), but it is for the sake of being progressive and being fruitful.

We must also realize that there is a time for everything, and it’s usually not the time that we have in mind for ourselves. I had gone through most of my 20’s seemingly chasing the proverbial carrot on a stick. I would never have thought that it would come back to me on a silver platter once I had stopped running after it. Therefore I must tell my friends to not get caught up in a tangle of time and age... because the proper time will come if you be still and have some faith. There is no need to fear time or try to stop it. Embrace it and experience it... it opens doors of overstanding (understanding).

So, having turned 31 just a few days ago, I must say I am the happiest that I’ve ever been. I know that I will continue to hold this joy because it doesn’t end here. Although it is easy to single out “30” as being special, there is the potential for the next years to be even greater because everything builds on the foundations of times past. I can’t wait to enjoy some of the harvest I’ve reaped and to take the seeds and plant again for the next season. Good seed grows good fruit!

I give thanks to the Almighty for my time to shine, for the goodness to light my way on this journey called life. It was an amazing year of my life, and now I can share this life with my Empress and a family gained. Oh JAH, You have been so good to me! Please, bless me continually!

Life Is Beautiful,

Saturday, May 21, 2011



One hundred years ago, he was
Born in a tiny village amongst
The chestnut trees and ancient
Churches in green mountains
And his legacy fountains through
My veins because he remains
Here, alive and well in my heart
And though he now rests up on
Another green hill, I know he will
Always watch over us, just like
San Michele high above Volturara
A sentry through our centuries

(c) 2011

Livicated to my Grandpa, Edmond Gioielli, who would have been 100 years old today, May 21, 2011.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Intercontinental Ballistic Miss-You

Intercontinental Ballistic Miss-You

I'll launch up to the highest height
Up among those satellites
And travel near the speed of light
To land beside you in the night
I'd do anything to hold and kiss you
So I'm sending you
An intercontinental ballistic miss-you

I need you back at our place
So I'm starting up my arms race
They're longing for your embrace
Shooting from the home base
The love you inspire isn't standard issue
So I'm firing off
An intercontinental ballistic miss-you

It soars across Atlantic skies
Straight into the sunrise
Toward the target, my heart flies
When you wake-up, you'll realize
That my aim for you is always true
So I'm launching
An intercontinental ballistic miss-you

(c) 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Build You A Castle

Build You A Castle

For you, I will build a castle
With my cornerstone of love
And on that solid foundation
Together we shall rise above

No enemy can break us asunder
No one can penetrate our walls
Because we are always protected
The Most High guards our halls

Inside, there’ll be many rooms
Each one empty to one’s view
Only filled up with great treasure
When you are passing through

You will take the throne beside me
And here together we will reign
No matter what the circumstances
Our love will remain the same

From the windows of your room
And the vista from your balcony
All that you see could be yours
Because we conquer impossibility

For you, I will build a castle
High enough to kiss the stars
And from the tallest tower
I’ll declare the world is ours

(c) 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stop Dreaming, Start Doing

Many great things have taken place in American history thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders who devoted their lives to overcoming the evils of injustice and hypocrisy. It took a phenomenal amount of courage to lead a revolution against the status quo that dominated American society at the time. It took determination to boldly fight for the transcendental Truth which had been hidden away and ignored since the founding of the United States. It took wisdom and foresight to look for changes and dismantle racist and oppressive institutions but without vengeance, without blood, and without hatred. Finally it took action. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke eloquently and his words will always live on, but he is mostly remembered because he was also a man of action. Rhetoric is not enough to make change occur. Dr. King emerged as a leader during a tumultuous time in the U.S. , as did many other people, mostly nameless, who also dedicated their lives to battling racism and raise awareness of the problems in America. We have examples of Thurgood Marshall fighting against legal segregation, the Little Rock Nine, Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in MLB, the murder of Emitt Till, Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts. We think of the nonviolent protests, sit-in movements, the Freedom Riders, James Meredith, Medgar Evers, and the Dr. King’s March on Washington. The protests and several tragic killings of black Americans brought national attention to the civil rights movement. Without action and without sacrifice, social justice and progress might not have happened.

Since MLK’s time, we live in a free and cosmopolitan society. Whether it is in our own communities or through media and pop-culture, America can be seen as a place where all kinds of different people can hope to live in peace and happiness no matter your race, creed, complexion and now more increasingly, your sexual orientation. Ideally, you can safely walk wherever you want and you can go to any public facility or event. Legally, there is equality in schools, and in the work-place. Generations of American children have grown up with multiethnic friends and heroes. We have even lived to see the election of a black president, President Barack Obama. These achievements have been an inspiration to the world, especially in nations that lived vicariously through the victory African-Americans had won during the civil rights era. The Caribbean and African nations drew on the examples of leadership and struggle found in the U.S., as did all types of people from Asian, Latin American, and European countries. This is why we celebrate Martin Luther King Day in America. Yet, it is also why we are forgetting the true example and legacy of MLK.

Because so much has seemingly changed, and because generations of young Americans grew up in a country that no longer has obvious signs of racism, we often forget that this progress was not an overnight phenomenon. Dr. Martin Luther King did not give his “I Have A Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and immediately afterward people were overcome with the need to hug each other and apologize for the wrong’s of the past and present. No, MLK was an example of one of those people taking the first steps toward equality. After African-Americans were protected by the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, resentment against this legislation led to increased racism in some parts of the North with de facto discrimination. Opponents of civil rights became violent, activists were attacked and killed... Dr. King was assassinated. Change did not come right away, in fact, it seemed too slow, which is why many African-American activists like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael sought out more militant forms of protest against discrimination and segregation. Much of this frustration and racial tension erupted in the form of violence and riots. Although it may have not have followed suit with MLK’s dream, this part of the civil rights movement ultimately led to cultural pride and political gains that had not existed before. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered, but we rarely recall the continuation of the civil rights movement or the transition into our modern identity as America, which is still a mission in progress.

It is great to honor and respect Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other civil rights leaders and activists... but the greatest honor to him would be to realize that the movement still continues and that we all need to continue to be activists. Too many of us have become comfortable and apathetic. Problems did not end with the civil rights era. Neither black or white, or any other Americans, are living in a utopian society. Unemployment, urban poverty, and homelessness have been in the rise for several decades, and because of the current economic and social challenges that we are facing, these problems only continue to grow. Furthermore, these issues are magnified in the African-American and other “minority” communities because of their historical situations and years of discrimination. It is not enough to depend on historical legacy or our government to make the change. We have to initiate it with direct action, and we must fight against the enemies of our advancement.

MLK’s mission in life was for people everywhere to have dignity, equality, and justice... especially within the disadvantaged black community. This has not yet happened, and there are still plenty of roadblocks in the way. Racism and discrimination still exists in America. It would be foolish to believe that it all just disappeared after the civil rights era. It is alive and well, but not blatantly obvious. Instead, it is hidden in conservative political rhetoric, disguised as concerned radio talk-show hosts, and in agendas that in reality negatively affect the black community. Educational and social challenges remain. An achievement gap exists between white and black students (I see this first-hand as a high school teacher). Black students have higher dropout rates, lower test scores, and fewer enrollments in colleges. Many schoolchildren are increasingly separated by race in resegrated schools because of middle class families moving into suburbs. The increase in single-parent families has resulted in a struggle with providing education and health opportunities for the youths. The cost of living is high and many black communities are still plagued with crime and inequality and job and educational opportunities. These have been on-going problems and all too often they are blamed on the victims instead of the powers-that-be.

It is hard times in America, for everyone, but disproportionately for minorities and the working poor despite the progress that civil rights have made. People have a right to question things, people have a right to have opportunities available to them... yet there are some that would like to reverse many of the advances we have made in regard to social equality and justice. It is the same sentiments that existed before the civil rights but now in the angry voices of movements like the Tea Party which speak of “taking America back”. Yet I have questions to ask, and questions which must be answered honestly. Taking America back to what... back to when? When the whole nation wasn’t feeling what African-Americans and others have been feeling for centuries? Back when there was no political participation voice for these people? Back when there was no government assistance or political progress for these people? Back to when black people were 3/5ths of a person in our original Constitution? Dare I say, back to slavery days?... Many conservatives and concerned citizens are blaming President Barack Obama, a black president, for these problems, but if you are a student of American history, you would know that these economic and social problems have been in the black community all along. Is this all political rhetoric against “liberalism” and “socialism” or are some Caucasian people afraid of losing power in a time of black leadership? Some of these same people pretend they love Dr. King and even “March on Washington”, but they really do not agree that political and economic progress must be shared by all, for the benefit of all. They are afraid of change... They refuse to give up a little power after cheating millions of people for centuries with inferior education, poor housing, unemployment, and inadequate health care. To try and repeal the Health Care Bill that President Obama passed is just one example of this disguised attack against social and racial justice.

We have the responsibility and privilege to work together and improve the quality of life for our generation and generations to come. We need to continue a legacy of progress that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spearheaded. We need to stay focused and work toward the goals of racial equality for all persons, no matter race, color or creed. We need to take an active role in our communities and in local and national politics. We need to fight against ignorance and poverty until we can stand together as one solid foundation and to once again be an inspiration to rest of the world.

It is easier to praise a man or woman and venerate them than it is to follow in his or her footsteps and continue to do their life’s work. Instead of taking the message and actively applying it to the world, the person becomes idolized and even worshipped. It has happened all throughout history with all kinds of people, the greatest example being Jesus Christ (theology aside). It only took a few centuries before the early Christians became less concerned about fulfilling Christ’s way of life and more focused on the worship of Him. It only took a few more centuries before His followers argued over His divinity and waged wars and killed in His name, instead of remembering His teachings and His life. It is happening more and more with the name, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr”. We are becoming dependent on him as an icon. We are idolizing him and saying that the work is done. We speak of MLK, the name of our hero, but barely know the sacrifice and the struggle, or respect the fact that we are now the torch-bearers.

Most of us have become stuck in between the lines of “I Have A Dream”, and we are still dreaming. We have not woken up to reality. We have not done enough to continue his legacy. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you can do something to fight for social justice... you can do something to improve the lives of the human race. Why not remember Dr. King in an active way, instead of a day off from school or work? We should follow the example of President Obama and others who ask us to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service and demonstrate our hope and faith in the future. H.I.M. Haile Selassie I once said that, “he who is worthy of praise amongst men is the man who, animated by sentiments of justice, perseveres in the way of equity...”. Dr. King was certainly a man worthy of praise. Let us also be men and women worthy of praise. Let us keep striving in order to grow as a nation and as a people.

Stop dreaming and start doing! Rastafari!,

“Justice for black people will not flow into society merely from court decisions nor from fountains of political oratory. Nor will a few token changes quell all the tempestuous yearnings of millions of disadvantaged black people. White America must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society. The comfortable, the entrenched, the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change in the status quo...” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hand Of God, Part II

Hand Of God, Part II

A new day had dawned and it was time
That I began ascending toward Zion
High above the murky mires and valleys
That I had once roamed in my distress
Yet His Gracious Hand delivered me
And He then filled me with love and said
"Now you are a light unto the world
Shine in the darkness so that all may see
And never hide yourself under a bushel"
So I went forth to follow His Majesty

The road proved to be rocky and steep
But faith helped me to find the way
Through tight passages and sharp peaks
Climbing, I heard cries from behind me
And His voice said, "Be my Hands..."
I turned to see so many people who had
Been guided by JAH lamp within my soul
And so I pulled, as my Father had told
But while reaching out I started to slip
When I recognized the grip saving me

And behold, I was held in His embrace
It felt to me like my parents
He said to I, "Love created you"
It felt to me like my siblings"
He said to I, "Love grows with you"
It felt to me like my neighbors
He said to I, "Love lives with you"
It felt to me like my lover
He said to I, "Love comforts you"
And behold, I could feel JAH Love within me

(c) 2011

January 7th is “Lidet”, or the “Birth of Iyesus Kristos (Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha'Mashiach)”. Iyesus came as the Light of the World to glorify the Father. He said for us to follow him and shine our light in the same way and manifest love, so that we may bring His children out of the darkness. I give thanks for the Love of Jehovah through His Son, Iyesus. As a Rastafari, I see this also in the personality of King Selassie I. This love however is also ever present in my life through my family, friends, and companions. Light begets light... Give thanks to the Savior, The Light. I&I Rastafari do the work of His Hands.