Sunday, December 2, 2018


There's a vexed boy
Living in his grown-man torso
Who poisons his mind
With perceptions
That have blinded him
To the greatness
He was born with

The boy was there first
Feeding on hazardous
Outside commentary
Filling him with unrest
Stunting his spiritual growth
Leaving him confused
Stumbling around
In the hollow he has formed
In the man's heart
Breaking pieces of him
Every time he falls
Feeling cheated
Out of happiness
No one told him
He could have

Soul on fire
He's indignant
And refuses
To pack up his pain
And move out

Cuz how does a blind boy
Navigate the world that maimed him
Without a guide?

The man needs free reign
To find peace
Use his adult eyes
To see his value
But the boy
Desperately claws at them
Scratching distortion into his vision
Intending to fully blind him
To his worth
So he'll be too crippled
To carry on without him
And find contentment

They brawl every day
The man not realizing
His size and power
Over his vindictive kin
Who can't see
The truth about him
But he still has
Enough sight left
To detect it

The boy was there first
But the man
Deserving of serenity
Pursuing healing and wholeness
Moved in years ago
And there's only room
For one of them
In his body

©2018 Charlene E. Green
from my upcoming book You Betta WRITE!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


will not save you
from the fate
of your last breath

Your wings
are date-stamped
the worst day
of the saddest month
in the year of inconvenience
for people who love you

And on that day
and those that follow
you'll have plans

You'll carry on
as if your plans are solid
as if when you made them
you had no doubt
that you'd be here for them
for those involved
for the experience of it all
for the storytelling after

But when your wings arrive
on schedule
the story will change
and no one will truly be ready
for the alternate version
even if they planned
or wanted to

You may never be
in charge of
or prepared for
your destined wings
but you can regulate
your soar through this world

You can embrace

You can pursue

You can choose
your best life
even when it's hard
even when it feels unfair
especially when it's messy—
because if you can master
finding the message
in each mess
and share your discoveries
along the way
you'll inspire
people around you
to choose life, too
possibly at a time
when they're tired
of trying
of hurting
of being
at a time when
they're considering
making their own wings
and taking an earlier flight

And what better way
to be armed for your departure
than to ensure that you
have secured your spirit
and helped others equip theirs
for a peaceful trip home?

©2018 Charlene E. Green
You Betta WRITE!

Friday, July 27, 2018


That one time
he stood you up
missed your birthday
ignored your feelings
criticized your hair
your friends
your goals
your body

That one time
he didn't support
your dreams

That one time
he called you dumb

That one time
he said
you'd never accomplish it
without him

That one time
he said
you'd never be shit
without him

That one time
he said
you were lucky
he wanted you
cuz no other man

That one time
he said
she was nobody
meant nothin'

That one time
he declared
with concert-level bass
in his tone
you couldn't go
couldn't wear that
couldn't be that
better not
do that

That one time
he promised
you'd regret it
if you did

That one time
he purposely punched
the door
the wall
the window
but unintentionally
punched you

That one time
he said
you made him do it

That one time
he forced himself on you
in you
when he was drunk
while you said
the whole time
but since he was your man
you hesitated
to call it rape

That one time
he took the rubber off
without your permission

That one time
he sent you
to the clinic
to "get it taken care of"

That one time
you were sick
and he was a ghost

That one time
he threatened bodily harm
to you
or him
if you left

That one time
you deemed it unwise
to test him
so you stayed

That one time
he affirmed
you were a bitch
a nag
a problem
a disorderly mouth
a blasphemous tongue
an answered prayer
turned calamity
an unforgivable
act of God

That one time
you realized
your calculations
were way off—
it was never just
one time

That one day
you conceded that
like your blood pressure
the numbers were far too high

That one moment
you stopped
counting his infractions
added up your worth
divided yourself
from your fears
multiplied your faith
and subtracted him
from your life

©2018 Charlene E. Green
You Betta WRITE!

Sunday, April 22, 2018



How many more
Fender-benders to your feelings
Sideswipes to your ribs
Rear-ends to the back of your head
And fist-on collisions
With your face
Will it take
For you to finally admit
That this man
Is not accident-prone
He is purposely reckless
With your life?

Don't wait for him to stop
Make your move
When he pauses between hits
Eject yourself from his joyride
And find a safe companion
To travel with
On your journey to love
Before riding with him
Makes you a casualty

©2018 Charlene E. Green


When the sun is ornery
As it wakes
Cops attitude
Its warmth a blank stare
Shine selfishly tucked
Behind its frown

When the morning air is catty
Picks a fight with you
Pimp-slaps your face
With its icy breath
Before you've even
Negotiated with yourself
About how many more
Snooze-button taps
There will be
Before you'll have the capacity
To untangle yourself
From the all-night caress
Of your covers

When yesterday's balmy breeze
Is now a gale
In the throes of tantrum
Assailing trees
Fracturing branches
Hurling leaves
Flinging dust

When the clouds are murky
Weak as a tattered bladder
And their untimely incontinence
Puts a damper
On your carefully thought-out
Wardrobe selection—
The one the weatherman said
Today would be perfect for—

The day is still yours
For the winning

Resilience has extended its hand
Hopes you'll take it
And unleash its power

Your favorite activities
Still await
Your enthusiastic participation

Loved ones
Anticipate your wit and cheer
Smiles and encouragement

Unmet goals
Anxiously predict
Your continued fight
For their achievement

So no matter
What side of the bed
Mother Nature wakes up on
Don't let that
Impede the control
You have over your fulfillment

Don't forget
That you're not
At Her mercy

She's allowed
To start the day
Throwing shade

And you're allowed
To make light of it

©2018 Charlene E. Green

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


(After Ollie Woods's day-three poem "Free Write for Queendom")


You're my favorite free verse
Been studyin' you my whole life
Amazed at your levels of fortitude
How you wield your brilliant mind
Over so many matters
Ones that have killed others
But only made you stronger

Been watchin' you work that secret ingredient
In your DNA
Making you phoenix
Hugely sought
Flavor and favor unlimited
They all want it
But it can't be bought
You're no longer being sold
You're a free verse
Striding uninhibited through life
Sporting your melanin
Like the finest African couture
Telling the kinds of stories you want
With the endings you deserve
Baptizing souls with your zest
Stardust, they should call you
Cuz their systems call for you
Cry and reach for you
Yet they can never get high enough
To reach your heights
Can't get your potent effect
Anywhere else

Neither can I

Your embrace
Robust and consoling
Pure in its intention
To showcase love
Your gentle graze a light sweetener
Your aroma arousing my senses
Your steady breaths
A mood elixir
I wanna savor
So my pores sip your clutch slowly
Consume all your medicinal properties
Make sure my spirit is quenched and healed
Before you're gone

Your laugh
A djembe rhythm
Pulsating in your throat
Powered by generations of triumph
Ancestors Zulu dancing
In your belly
Stomping out your stress
Making your roar
That much more vibrant
Your joy contagious

Your smile
An eighth-grade dance
Filled with mystery
Serving me all the feels
Giggles and butterflies
Baiting me
Luring me closer
Urging me to relax in your space
Your eyes
Strobe-lighting my path
Inviting me to engage
In your lively offerings
And enjoy my stay

I accept

You're my favorite free verse:
Perfectly unstructured
With a message of omnipotence
Made clear

©2018 Charlene E. Green
You Betta WRITE!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018



Always bring love to
a hate fight; shift bitter hearts
with spite Kryptonite

©2018 Charlene E. Green

Monday, April 2, 2018



Nourish your heart via
mine; feed on its beats when yours
needs strength to push through

©2018 Charlene E. Green

Sunday, April 1, 2018



Scorned my growth process,
now wanna reap my beauty
and favor? DENIED!

©2018 Charlene E. Green

Friday, March 30, 2018


You know what people say
when they want you to leave
and not be seen:
"Go out the back."

You know what people do
when they too chickenshit
to bring their issues with you
to your face:
talk behind your back

You know what part of the
people tuck secrets
they don't want
nobody to find:
the back

You know where
in people's minds
they purposely escort
information they don't intend
to deal with:
the back

You know where
blue rogues
shoot unarmed men
whose eyes
and hands
they refuse to search
for innocence

whose black skin
is a tripped panic alarm

©2018 Charlene E. Green
You Betta WRITE!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Spring forward from their
dark views, spite. Slay, prolong your
light. Make them fall back.

©2018 Charlene E. Green
from my upcoming book
You Betta WRITE!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


She is a circus
a one-woman show
needing no training

no, sir
you cannot teach her this gig
she was birthed
with the instructions
encoded in her womb
programmed in a language
you can’t decipher

come, sit
bring snacks, drinks
prepare to be mystified
by her unmatched skill set

this exhibition
is strictly for your delight
and education


do not
attempt any of her tricks
without her help
irreversible damage
to you and others
may occur

only she
is equipped
and ingenious enough
for this endeavor


stay alert—
her execution is swift—
she is known
for her ability
to perform multiple
perplexing stunts

like her balancing act:
eight-month-old baby
under one arm
seven-pound basket of laundry
under the other
six grocery bags
between both hands
stepping nimbly
up five flights of stairs
in four-inch heels
after a three-hour commute
functioning on two hours of sleep
while on day one
of her period

yes, gentlemen
she’s talented
wait till you see
her exhausting
juggling-needs act:
and hers...
sprinkled among
all the busy

like no other
watch closely as she
twists and arches
her physical and mental
to bend
and break
all her rules
to ensure your happiness

observe in astonishment
her alien-like tendencies
you won’t believe
how she morphs
herself indestructible
for those in her midst
seven days a week
while sometimes so ill
she can barely
sit upright
for sixty seconds


some of you may lose consciousness
during its shocking display
so channel your inner soldier
and give your undivided attention
to her most fascinating
death-defying feat:

nowhere else will you witness
anything more spectacular
than a human
ushering another human
through a tiny orifice
that performs its own
stunning expanse ceremony
so a life
can begin

this will be
a groundbreaking affair
you won’t wanna miss

the premier attraction
will be here
to emblazon your world
for as long as you
are discerning enough
to keep her


your A-game
must remain unaltered
or she will take her production
to another location
with better patronage

and she will find it

after all
she is
the greatest show on earth

and everyone
needs her

©2018 Charlene E. Green
from my upcoming book
You Betta WRITE!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Asking for more of something isn't a sign of being ungrateful; it's a sign that you liked it, that it felt good, brought you joy, enhanced your life and/or someone else's, and you want more of it so you can continue experiencing those great effects. You can be grateful for what you have and still ask for more. There is nothing wrong with asking for more—a whole lot more—of what you already have, just had, or maybe haven't even experienced yet (in which case you would ask for the initial experience).

When you enjoy (or need) something, asking for more is a natural response. When you're a guest at someone's home and they feed you really awesome food, and you want more, you politely ask for it. It's a compliment of sorts. It says, "Hey, you really did the damn thang with that food, and I enjoyed it so much that I'd like to do it all over again." People generally like it when you express that something they have given you was not only appreciated but also that more of it is desired, if possible. The universe is like a big "all you want" buffet, where there's no limit to what you can have. You're a guest here, and if you need or want something, all you have to do is ask.

Settler's Gratitude is when you're playing small, not confidently and passionately asking for [more of] the things you need and enjoy (things you know deep down that you deserve). It's equivalent to quietly accepting an unfulfilling relationship, being meekly grateful for the [inconsistent] times your mate actually treats you the way you want, and hoping that one day, if you're grateful enough for "the little things," the person will kick that good treatment into overdrive. Because you're afraid of being an ingrate, afraid that asking for more is tantamount to balking at your [lovely but inadequate] blessing, you lack the courage to assert yourself in said relationship and make it clear that being treated well "sometimes" isn't acceptable, that you enjoy and deserve being treated right all the time. If, when frustrated enough, you do try to assert yourself and pursue your ideal relationship, you do it while feeling apologetic and guilty. Part of you is like, "This isn't working for me; I deserve, need, and want more"; the other part of you is like, "Dang! How ungrateful are you right now? Think about that good thing your boo just did for you last month! It was so special, and now look atcha! You can't be content with and focus on that goodness, that blessing; you just gotta be negative by thinking about how this isn't enough and how you want it to be like that all the time. See, that's what's wrong with you; that's why you can't get ahead in this relationship. You just refuse to be happy with what you have. Ole ingrate."

No matter what disheartening drivel your ego tries to get you to believe, the fact is this: you deserve the buffet of wonderful treatment and perks in your relationship, and in all of your life's scenarios.

Now, don't get it twisted: gratitude is always crucial, and it's a major key to getting ahead in life quickly. Gratitude is encouraged to be in the front seat during your journey, and you're urged to employ it daily. As a matter of fact, the truly courteous thing to do before you ask for more of something is to say thank you for what you were given or experienced. If you wanna uplevel your request game, you can say, "Thank you [Universe/God]! I enjoyed that! I'd love an unlimited supply, please!" And you know how sometimes when you're asking someone for something, and at the end of your request you say, "Thank you, in advance"? You can do that with your source, too. "Universe/God, I need/would like XYZ. Thank you in advance." I know these options may seem extra'd out or silly, but remember that the idea is to help you learn how to confidently do two things simultaneously: be grateful while requesting more because you comfortably acknowledge that more is not wrong, especially when it's necessary to function at full capacity in life. Some people have no problems aggressively asserting themselves in pursuit of more when something's not enough. Good for them. Maybe that's not you, though—but you need to get better at your asking so you can advance in life, so, hey, maybe you have to start off being a lot more diplomatic than the veteran guilt-free asker. The point is to finally feel good about your request, to not feel like you have no right to be asking. If you have to pretty-up the language a bit in the beginning, then so be it.

You can totally go about getting more while being grateful and courteous.

Another important aspect of this concept is that it's important to keep asking for more (in life) when your whole need or desire isn't met. Nobody but you can properly assess when your needs and desires have been fully met in your various scenarios. If they're not, then yes, give thanks for all the parts that are, the steps that are leading to the full fruition of your needs and desires, but definitely continue to pursue the rest. It's your job to make sure your best interests are tended to, so don't apologize for doing so, and don't let people make you think you shouldn't be asking for more or better for yourself. What you want or need for you is none of their business.

Now here's the hard part: Not asking for what you need and want is a sign of low self-esteem. Huh? How, Sway? Because encompassed in self-esteem (which equates to self-respect) is self-care, your depth of it, and how you feel about engaging in it. Self-care involves doing and pursuing all the things that are in your best interest—confidently, not timidly or halfheartedly. Any time you're struggling to do what's best for you, it means your self-care meter is out of whack. You are really the only person who can spearhead taking care of yourself properly (unless you're having a medical emergency in which you're unconscious and need medical professionals to decide your best interest for you). You're in charge of making sure to initiate and follow through with your pursuit of happiness. If some part of doing that makes you uncomfortable, it's time to dig deep and ask yourself why. Because you have every right to be happy in this life. Going after it, asking for it, and feeling good about making moves toward it, isn't intended to morph into an emotional crisis (which subsequently blocks your advancement). If you're not passionately and unapologetically compelled to pursue the peace of mind and overall life you want, then what's an even more painful pill to swallow is the fact that you'll be hard pressed to acquire the [full] outside support you need to get there, because what you get from your environment is a direct match to what's going on inside of you.

Getting yours begins with your having a high level of determination to do so. Look around you. What do you have that you enjoy, love, appreciate, and desire more of? What in your life makes you feel your best, feel at peace, feel confident, and helps you feel like you're adding value to the world? Whatever those things are, I encourage and invite you to practice expressing your appreciation for them, and then having the chutzpah to ask for more—as much as you think you'd like, that will allow you to keep that smile on your face and that contentment in your heart. You deserve it. Every day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Sometimes there are no words needed
for what needs to be done
to fulfill your needs
the way you've been needing all day
after being needed by so many
in ways that you needed that extra boost
to be able to give what was asked of you

But all you need to know right now
is I got you
right where you want me to have you:
face down
middle of the bed
coconut oil
and your favorite
sandalwood-scented candles
that serve you
an essential, calmative high
and these healing hands
filled with all the magic
that your limbs
and cells
so desperately need
to traverse
the trail of stress
trying to name you Home
and evict it
before it has a chance
to furbish you
with its chaos

Soft, electric passion
surging from my fingertips
your soul quaffing the vibration
of my silken graze
savoring it like
the finest wine
seduced into
the sweetest inebriation
from my rhythm
as you descent
into a slumber
you don't dare fight
cuz the peace you need
your arrival
and I
have Lyfted you there
thru this Uber love
and parked you safely
in its graces
for the night

©2018 Charlene E. Green
from my upcoming book
You Betta Write!

Monday, January 22, 2018


Sometimes I panic

Cuz it feels like this love

Is strapped to my heart

Like a bundle of explosives

With faulty wires


Its strength

Sometimes an overload

That I fear will surely

Decimate my vessel

Leave it jigsaw puzzle

Too damaged to reconjoin

Too many pieces gone missing

In the blast

If I don't find a way

To sever this connection

That has me at the mercy

Of cravings with enough force

To trigger

My soul's massacre 

©2018 Charlene E. Green
From my upcoming book You Betta Write!