Spoken Word

Spoken Word

Sunday, February 19, 2017

U M O J A (U N I T E D)

Could it be you've heard of me,

though we've never chanced to meet?

or maybe, we shared a common ancestor,

amid the Saharan heat?

My ancestors were Fulani,

Yoruba and Oyo,

Our cousins were Ashanti,

Hausa and Sokoto,

I am the Mansa's daughter,

The Griot from Segu, 

Could it be we've met before,

somewhere in Timbuctoo?

My mother? An Angolan warrior,

fighting the Portuguese,

In Queen Nzingha's army,

bringing white men to their knees,

My brothers? all noblemen,

scholars at Jenne´

before the transatlantic voyage,

seized them from Goree´

We were the language people,

fluent in Bantu and in Boor,

before they suppressed our languages,

our customs, and our mores,

They churched us with Jesus,

in the belly of 'The Whale'

before they sold us into slavery,

and delivered us straight to hell,

divided us by dozens,

and separated us by lots,

branded each of my cousins,

to be sold, bartered, bought,

Could be that you know me,

think you've seen my face before?

because they separated my family,

as soon as we reached the shore,

Sold my brother to a rural planter,

Sold my mother to an urban store,

kept my sister in the big house,

and forced her to become massa's whore,

Could be that you've seen Tom?

can you tell me which way he run?

Got tired of working from dawn,

To the setting of the sun,

He plotted insurrection.

the day he broke his chains,

can you tell me in which direction,

He ran off in the rain?

Could be he followed a northern star,

on an underground train,

He is my grandpa,

bound by a DNA chain,

and what a story he could tell,

if only he had a name to claim

and a "free" paper trail.

Could it be you know me now?

Don't I look the same?

Could it be you seen me,

just a little while ago?

fighting to be free,

from Jim Crow

You think I should turn the page?

You tell me to get over it,

say the pain will subside with age,

but until you've ever lost a loved one,

then you can't understand my rage,

I thought slavery had ended

in the year of jubilee,

instead I found my love offended,

tarred and feathered,

strung from a tree,

even after two Civil Rights bills,

we still ain't free,

I know now you know me,

I know now that you do,

Allow me to introduce myself,

For brother I am you!

Victori © written 1992 second revision



Roosevelt Bass 10/1/1932-12/9/2016

To hear him laugh.
Or feel his joy,
Was to watch the man,
Unchain the boy,
Inside his heart,
Seldom did wrath,
Distemper deploy,
Or ever his rages run wild,
He chained the man
Inside the boy,
And freed his inner child,
To know his science,
Or figure his math,
Meant you confirm compliance
With his laugh,
To make us delirious,
Was the sum of his reason,
'Cause we never knew when he was serious,
Or just teasing.

Victori ©


FaceBook Posts

On Vacay'
Feels good to be away
From the grind,
On safari through peace,
In a State of mind,
Good to be the observer,
With camera in hand
Instead of "May I be of service?"
Ready to lend a hand.
Just to sit back and watch,
The sights free of stress,
Or to pan in for the shots,
And be the annoying tourist.
victori ©—8/13/12
This House
Enjoy the peace in this house.
Away from the franctic world outside these walls,
The battles fought in shopping malls,
Or the stress of City streets
folks too hell bent on maliciousness,
Lurk round my door,
But inside these walls away from their viciousness,
I have a fortress from the war.
Just three doors,
Ten windows,
One thousand-three hundred nineteen square foot of floor.
Three hearts beat
One walks upright on two feet
The others down on four,
Relaxing to the sound of a fire roar,
As one head rest upon my lap,
And another on the floor.
Victori © Jan 7, 2012
Good Heavens
This year has been a roller coaster ride,
Of ups and Downs and turns,
And just when I think it will let me slide
Is when I feel the Burns,
Of not braking when I should,
And hitting curves, either too narrow or too broad,
And while I'm in a swerve,
Recalling All things work together for good,
FOR those who are in love with GOD!    Victori © October 4, 2011
Life should be lived in the sunshine, always in the sunshine,
Never in the shade,
Life's journey should be walked on the incline, always on the incline,
Never on the grade,
And when they see you moving, always keep on moving.
Never falling into the potholes that they've laid.
September 14, 2011
Before you pray, believe. Before you criticize, encourage. Before you speak, listen. before you spend, earn. Before you take , give. Before you write, think. Before you quit, try and before you die, LIVE!!!!            September 1, 2011 
<3 <3 <3

Saturday, February 18, 2017

To a "Nigga" on 8th and H Street

He staggers and stumbles,

relating these words he mumbles,

before he tumbles down,

I can't understand it,

it should be reprimanded,

that a nigga' be f--d around.

I listen in wonder,

as I begin to ponder,

the words He has avowed,

although, I can comprehend it,

it should be amended,

and those words never spoken aloud.

He has become so disgusted,

and his self-hood so rusted,

that he labels himself this way,

Man find strength in your sinew,

To discover the power within you,

And edit those words you say.

In a bottle you place hope,

The Lord is not in the dope,

surging through your veins,

the bottle holds you bound,

enslaved and beaten down,

and a slave you'll remain.

'Less you learn that nigga's are nonexistent,

a name the race was christened,

on a slave ship long ago,

surely we have outgrown it,

for never truly did we own it,

but were chained to it by a mocking foe.

You find it nonessential,

to rediscover your stolen potential,

and replace what was taken away,

For once we were Kings,

building empires for our Queens,

and it's time to recover the day.

So don't mumble, speak louder,

You are black be prouder,

and get up off the ground,

If you want respect demand it,

You're not a nigga' don't be branded,

then you won't ever be f--d around.

Victori © 1982

This Reality Show

This is just another rerun
of that ole' 70's Show
You know the one,
That silent film
Where they break into
a Hotel and nobody knows nothin',
remember they all plead the fifth?
then they all claimed they hadn't seen,
We've watched too many episodes, of this,
for nobody to know a thing,
Y'know that movie starring Haldeman, 
Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean?
'Bout Time we turn the channel,
or better yet unplug the set,
I'd rather be watching Scandal,
but this scandal is better yet.
And I can recall my favorite one liner
from that ole' silent flick,
"The American people don't believe,
anything unless they see it on television."
Means they practiced to deceive us,
Like a rehearsed derision,
And we keep falling for this shit.

What was that ole' actors game?
with his best supporting actor,
Who was the precursor of this,
Whose first four letters of his lastname 
referenced the prefix, of the inger-y {injury]
to which he wanted us to Kiss...
and what is this, the 45th?
And what of that drug lord,
who traded weapons for drugs?
and starred in an internal War,
against imposed thugs,
who didn't exist.
We've gone from the silent film era
to a B Movie with a twist,
to a blackploitation flick
And now we're living a reality show
This is the season of remakes
Seems we can't write anything original
We live for retakes, and sequels.

And they keep doing this to us
screwing us,
convincing us that the worst actors,
are a gift from God,
insisting that the worst actors,
get the Oscar nod,
and win by a landslide,
We have already had two cowboys,
a Bonnie and Clyde,
and John Wick,
and don't remiss the porn, 
with the sex toys,
or ole' Tricky Dick.
so grab your popcorn.
cause the plot is about to get thick.

We have already seen this,
On an episode of "The Apprentice,"
I don't want to see it again,
They can't mute the Menace
So instead they fire Flynn.
Then they can continue to decieve
because nobody claims to see,
As he strokes the ego of Putin,
but we can see with our own eyes,
which they tell us not to believe,
but there is no refuting,
We see through his lies,
And his press conferences are 
loaded with cries, of foul,
and social media deferences,
who voted for this child?
Those insane few,
Who dare say to me,  "I know he's racist but..."
What's the basis of knowing,
Unless YOU are racist TOO?
NOW that's your reality showing!

Victori ©

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

From the Congo to the Ghetto

From the Congo to the Ghetto
By Victori Bass, Griot 1996 ©

Arising before Congo dawns,
to fresh air and gentle breezes,
the merchants, traders and artisans,
worked until daylight ceased.

They built homes carved from ogbegbe trees,
along tree lined avenues,
and wove silk sails, to sail the seas,
in hand crafted wooden canoes.
Talking drums, and braided hair,
and funerals bedecked in white,
drank palm wine, and played Oware,
our culture at its height.
Congo nights, of waning sun,
and dancing beneath the trees,
before the coming to Alkebulan
of the Portuguese.
Our language lost, we seek in vain,
and endlessly endeavor,
to secure passage rites, and regain,
our culture that was severed.
Although, we were content, whether,
our roots were Bantu, Ilebo, or Bushongo,
seems we can’t remember ever,
living in the Congo.
Arising now, before ghetto noons,
to pollution and an ozone layer,
unemployed December to jobless June,
surviving on a wing and a prayer.
Tenements and slums,
along littered avenues,
drunkards and illiterate bums,
and crack houses to abuse.
Processed hair and ghetto boxes,
blaring on the night,
synthetic drugs and narcotic toxins,
our culture in its flight,
Ghetto nights of uzi’s exploding,
and brother’s dying in the street,
a recurring sense of depression aboding,
but difficult to defeat.
Though our vision be blinded,
by our oppresor’s hand
we seek to be reminded
of another land.
And though, we are troubled yet,
from Watts to the townships of Soweto,
seems we can’t, ever seem to forget,
living in the ghetto.


Monday, September 12, 2016

What's In a Name?

My mother once said,
"Don't blame me,
Your daddy gave you that name,
I wanted to name you Dawn,
Like the break of day,"
and so I tried that on,
I placed one foot into the 'what'
of it, and the other into the 'if'
of it, and wore it,
It wore like dew,
on a blade of grass,
It was fresh girl fast,
with a lot of sass,
It was, 'what you say?"

It was, 'yes that's my name
use it don't abuse it,'
It was fine girl thick,      
not skinny little me,
It was, if I had that name
I'd be a mono-syllabic chick,
I'd be able to check a dude quick,
I'd be like, "h-e-e-e-y!"
I'd be taller,
and whenever I'd leave the clique,
I'd be like, "yo h-o-ll-a!"
It wasn't a name for the feeble,
It was cool girl cute,
Not like me, cerebral,

If I had that name,
I would be heartless,
I wouldn't shed a tear,
Luke Warm would be my partner,
I'd have nothing to do with sorrow,
I'd flip the bird at mourning,
and stay out all night,
never search for tomorrow,
I'd bend over and moon fear,
I'd give the slip,
to all signs and warnings,
and dance with sheer fright,
I'd be as cool as they get
better yet,
to reel me in they'd need a dragnet,
because like the theme, 
from that old show suggest,
Musical Note Emoji (Apple/iOS Version)Don ta donta, Don ta donta Dawnnnn!Musical Note Emoji (Apple/iOS Version)

Is a bullet proof vest,
and she don't take no mess,
but Dawn's not the name daddy gave me,
He wanted me to have a name of substance,
to be a lady who could face adversity,
to be a lady who'd trial any test,
He wanted me to have a name triumphant,
a name one step ahead of the rest,
he wanted me to be discerning,
and to always try my best,
to be more interested in learning,
than in the next dance step,
He wanted my name to identify me
 and defeat, deceit, fraud, and trickery,
so he gave me an identity,
that would always ensure 
that I'd get that victory!   

victori © Sept 12, 2016