Spoken Word

Spoken Word

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Periodic Chart of Elements: Group 18

What is the composition of lovers?
What are they made of?
I can't understand them
the movements of participants in love
is paramount and tandem,
as if they walk on HELIUM 
it's constant but random,
spontaneous and explosive,
at first they walk on eggshells  
seeking intimacy, and closeness.

Then attract and repel
and then they retreat,
to separate corners,
to get out of the heat
that NEON amasses
Like coy foreigners
in citizenship classes,
They collide behind walls
in moments of pleasure, or passion
which can expand into brawls
without significant repulsion or attraction.

Cold shoulders and cold wars
noble infractions like ARGON in action,
they either make-up or break-up
but they indeed decompress,
either by signing the prenupt
or divorcing the stress,
He had to know she was frigid
as KRYPTON when he met her
but still he said, yes
Didn't she know his rules were rigid,
with  a temper like NITROGEN
before she picked out the dress,
but she doesn't want to fight again,
so she lays it to rest.

Then there are those lovers,
who love one another
without pandemonium,
whose love surpasses all others
without malice or odium,
Their eyes radiate like RADON
and they knew from the start,
whenever their eyes meet photons
and electrons ignite in their hearts,
and that's not saying much,
their love also tops the physical charts,
sparks trigger and fire each time that they touch,
and because their love last
these lovers are phenoms
growing longer and stronger, like XENON
each year that goes past
I've concluded lover's are composed of well ... gas!
Maybe I should of paid closer attention in chemistry class.

Victori ©

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mother Tongue

I know where my mama come from
somewhere that she belong,
riding Atlantic wave,
singing a Guinea song,
walking the hallowed cave 
of her mother tongue,
barefoot from Chad to Brong,
She be ransomed
from the Horn of Alkebulan,
Arabian stash,
taken from Tanzania,
stolen like a bass beat,
breaking through brass,
I know where my mama come from,
somewhere that she belong,
sprouting from alluvial mire
surviving like a beating heart
pounding like a talking drum
tiptoeing over her mother tongue
from Yoruba to Cote D' ivoire
She be kidnapped
from the Bight of Benin
Portuguese cash,
taken to the Caribbean,
sold for sugar cane
whipped into a reggae beat,
gyrating to calypso,
dividing her mother tongue
betweenTrinidad and Tobago
singing a creole song,
bobbing for Barbado's
funking for Kingston,
I know where my mama come from,
somewhere that she belong,
heading to America,
picking cotton in Carolina,
praying to Orisha,
calling him Jesus, divine,
losing her mother tongue,
growing another one,
she be geechee
she gwine.  Victori ©

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It's Pretty Plain

I could write it pretty,
or I could write it plain,
but flowers in a meadow
won't describe a mother's pain,
unless I also tell you
that those flowers cover graves,
I can wax all spiritual,
and describe how Jesus saves,
because love is a miracle
when you know how hate depraves.

O I could write it pretty,

or I could write it plain,
but if I write it pretty
then please let me explain,
how those flowers are like medals
given to the slain,
who died without cause,
unjustified, a mother's loss,
with none to ease her pain
and does not condone some
men who unleash their fury
upon other men and become
judge, executioner, and jury
only to be absolved without blame.

I can tell you stories,
or I can tell you truths,
but if I tell you stories,
then there is no excuse
They must begin
He was stricken in his youth,
and they must end
He was taken before his time,
This ain't Aesop's fables,
we need be prayerful, not playful,
This is life, and we are dying,
and death has no reason nor rhyme.

I can make it pretty,

Or I can make it plain,
either way you know who to blame,
I won't name the culprit.
I won't even tell you who,
he could be behind the pulpit
he could be behind the gun,
he could be either black, white, or blue
she could be anyone,
but, His prefix is death
and his suffix is you.
He comes with such a venom 
cause ain't none but vengeance left
cause ain't no Jesus in 'im
cause your soul is his greatest theft
in him there ain't no truth
He wears the disguise of sheep's clothes
as he hides an inner wolf.
He wears your body like a suit,
and convinces you that you chose,
as if a body is bullet-proof,
to kill a man in his youth.

I can say it pretty,

or I can say it plain,
guard your eyes, 
for therein lies your wealth
they're the window pane,
to see it for yourself,
now I can tell you stories,
or I can tell you truths,
but will you hear it?
the media is the proof
Guard your spirit 
We are at war
We are under attack
Need I say more
The powers of the air
want to turn time back
Cause they have so little time left
to finagle, defraud, and prod,
and commit the grandest theft
to convince you, that there is no God,
and that believers are insane
The author of confusion
has but a little time
be not partakers of his collusion,
or accomplices to his crime.

Victori ©

Sunday, July 31, 2016


If  I'd have known then,
I'd have kept you talking 'til ten
In the morning,
I wouldn't have let you go,
so quietly into that dark night,
If I'd have known,
That our line would be interrupted,
By that Divine Operator,
Calling you home,
I would have intervened with a prayer,
"Please Lord take him later."
If I'd have known then,
That we wouldn't have an end,
Like an unfinished song.
That our call would just drop, so abruptly,
To cause both our hearts stop,
Replacing my atrial beat
With dial tone,
And nobody, nobody else worthy
To pick up the phone.
If I had known that summer of 2014
Would be the first and last time,
I'd get to have personally seen,
You and shown
just how my love's grown,
I wouldn't have left you alone,
I'd take your hand,
And never let go,
If I had just known.

Victori7 ©

Thursday, July 21, 2016


This election
I'm gonna write in, 
"concerned for my brother"
on the ballot
and if 'love one another,'
isn't a proposition,
then I'm gonna add it
This election 
I'm gonna write in,
if you protect and serve
then do it
step in and defend
be true to it
speak for the unheard
bring abuse to an end
This election
I'm gonna write in,
'It's not you against them,'
It's U.S. we're all in
The land of the free,
So be the change
that you want to see,
This election
I'm gonna write in,
'I want to see the hungry fed,'
'every one given shelter,'
'every man have a bed'
and maybe then
we won't have to swelter
through another long hot summer,
without bread,
once again,
This election.
I'm going to scribble in
add how absurd
it is for anyone 
to go hungry
on these amber fields of grain,
above the fruited plain,
so crown thy good,
with brotherhood,
and end their hunger pains,
This election
I'm gonna write in,
take what's great and make it greater,
instead of trying to make it great again,
go to the shelter
and feed the homeless and destitute
educate the young and restless too,
give jobs to the best, and ambitious,
the best of you,
give credence to the auspicious,
give aid to the elders, who
have run short of dreams and wishes,
This election
I'm gonna write in,
'stop killing each other'
stop the violence
stop the tears of grieving mother's
break the silence,
and on that note,
get out and vote,
This election
I'm gonna vote 
"We the people,"
for president
set a precedent

Victori ©

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Revolutionary Spirit

We sit and dangle 
crossed legs, 
like loose wires,
in coffee houses, 
fueled by espresso,
surges of power,
as we reload
our vocal chords
our throats parched,
we remain
electrically grounded,
Urged to march,
as the world usurps our energy,
we must come unplugged 
to the podium
fully charged and ready,
to unleash our capacitor
from its power source
for revolution.
Speak our determination
Into existence
Extinquish any resistance,
exploit our injury
Use these frayed wires 
to set a fire
from our core,
stop trying to pacify,
the pacifist
setting our sensors
to ignore
tip toeing around
land mines 
to avoid the explosives 
that they've set
we should unleash the 
expletives and give
as good as we get
Lift our heads,
and raise our signs above
Knowing full well
we can't legislate love,
but we can decrease
the number who fell
victim to the hate,
instead we read our fate
in newspaper headlines,
which always end the same
unarmed black man dead
his killers walk of shame,
as his sentence, is read
absolved without blame,
we are left verb less
we are left unspoken
we need to make them nervous,
we need to increase the tension,
we need to become verbose,
we need to remain unbroken,
we listen as she utters the lie,
which we really hope she won't
That all lives matter,
but we see with our own eyes,
that obviously black lives, don't
we nurse this coffee cold,
black, bitter to our lips,
We live our lives in, Why's?
What for's? and what if's?
and post our status in R.I.P.s
Revolutionary spirit never dies!
you can't kill it,
Revolutionary spirit isn't always violent,
but it gathers up it's rounds 
and reloads
it won't be silent
and it's never careful
if it steps on any toes,
Revolutionary lives matter,
and they don't die in vain,
only cumulate into a cloud
and still it reigns!

victori ©

Thursday, June 23, 2016

No kind of Man... by the way Happy Father's Day!

I don't know when
I came to realize 
He was just no kind of a man,
I mean sure he was an adult,
who put his pants on
one leg at a time,
He was a male,
who had reached his prime,
but no kind of a man,
not quite a man,
Still just a boy,
when she met him,
Just pulling a ploy,
To get her,
not really sure.
if he knew what it meant,
to endure,
the early loss of a parent,
but endure he did
it was apparent,
He compensated for his loss
by playing, teasing, tickling, BAILING,
no discipline,
no yelling,
He was no kind of a man,
He made sure the bills 
were paid on time
and brought the money home,
momma said, 
we just got used to,
the back of his head,
she would 
innuendo that 
he was even good
in bed
but his eyes would roam,
where did the man begin?
from the lost of prime,
and the boy end?
the broken home?
the lost of time?
not being apparent,
to your own,
but to someone else's
kid's you shone,
could it be you thought of me
just four years old
ancient history
eyes whose beam,
fought back the night,
eyes too young,
to know your plight,
eyes already wise,
beyond my years,
eyes that had already 
seen too much of 
your fears,
did you think that
leaving me would replace,
the expectation in my face?
with implication?
Even now you're seldom seen,
The next generation,
Did you plot? 
Did you figure?
Did you plan?
That ev'ry male I'd meet
would be a reflection of you,
and no kind of a man?
that look in my eye,
is not one of need
of any earthly thing,
it's not one of greed,
it's not one of hunger,
or of want, but sadly
it's for the essence,
of a love, needed badly,
of a gift I never got from you,
your very presence,

Victori ©

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Song for Ghana

We sprouted fugitive from holes in the ground,
pushed through fertile soil,
like warrior weeds, no seed,
our roots foraged 'til they found
this plot we claim today, 
when asked to change our creed, no need,
it is our loyal way.
Our branches stretch toward sun,
our skin blackened by toil,
we stored water beneath our tongue,
we welcomed the rains,
we followed the rivers course, and with it run,
we chose to follow our right brain,
never revealing our source,
or the place where we begun,
we've always been here, our choice
we are the indigenous one,
our roots vying for this space,
we stand our ground,
no longer on the run,
we douse libations on this place,
our place, under the sun,
as we praise, this sacred ground!

Victori © 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The question is....

What's the difference?
Between this ol' girl
face full of time,
and this perky young teen,
the difference now is I'm
just a tad bit mean.                                                        
What's the difference?
I've become guarded, and set apart,
getting stronger as I live,
A little wiser, but with the same heart,
just a miser, with the smiles I give.
What's the difference?
Now it takes a lot of shots,
to get the right one,
a lot more pixels, than forget-me-nots,
before I'm done.
The difference is:

A life time,
A life line,
the distance between two points,
my left prime,
my right mind,
the wisdom that time anoints,
the difference between,
a slaughtered lamb,
by the end of my teens,
to a thriving cougar,
that's where I am,
of a different persuasion,
but with the same good heart,
my age is an equation,
the sum of all it's parts,
times five,
carry the one God,
into every situation,
just thankful to be alive!
Victori ~ © 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

On Staying in the USA Despite Trump....Part I & II

On Staying in the U.S.A despite Trump.... part 1

Our ancestors sleep in this ground, which they sowed,
planted like seed buried deep,
where they fought and died and G. I. Joed,
praying that whatever they sow, same shall they reap,
They placed their hope into this soil,
for some, hope is all they'd ever owned,
and we, are the harvest of their toil,
and for those, the only freedom they'd ever known.
Victori ©

On Staying in the U.S.A despite Trump.... part 2

Our family been here long before the Drumpf kin came,
loud and wrong, spewing hate, and bearing blame,
promising to make America great again,
As if he can recall a time it wasn't, but my family can,
Different singer, same song,
We've heard it all before it doesn't, refrain man,
Now here come Donny come late'
He's just one more,
His family just off the boat in 1888,
Mine been here since 1774, and before, before,
So where he been?
He don't want war!
He better choose a battle he can win!
Victori ©

"Blair said that Trump's “grandfather Friedrich Drumpf came to the United States in 1885 which was the height of German immigration to the United States."