Unsung Hero : a poem for the honorees of the 2018 Manny Awards

Congrats to the honorees of the 2018 Manny Awards. Learning and hearing about your accomplishments was inspiring. Much success to your future. To the board of directors; Mr. “Coach Hicks, thank you for trusting me to entertain your guest and special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Womack for being such huge supporters of my art. I look forward to all the excellent work My Brother’s Keeper of Greater Richmond will do in the upcoming year. Many Blessings!

-Paula M. Gillison

Mountain Top

Standing at the edge of a valley looking up

recognize the obstacle ahead of you.

You are at a crossroads

where the past in a busy highway of crashes and roadblocks

You are a traveler; forced to journey forward

Aware that nothing behind you offers solutions.

This will be your greatest adventure!

You, having to gather up the pieces of a broken person,

pained by the words spoken over you,

crippled by the ill wishes of enemies and even those you thought were allies,

who said that this mantle you are tasked to carry

must have been meant for someone else.

They said you aren’t worthy.

That people like you don’t accomplish task like this

That you can’t save lives and you won’t change the world

They say you fall short and frail when forced to overcome your own demons

They said this

Unaware that you were born a demon slayer!

That your faults and flaws are testimony

That you are a walking breathing chapter of Revelations.

But I understand why they quiver

For years their mind has been inhabited with doubt and fear

as they watched the community drown

and their families suffocate

crying to the heavens wondering who would be

their moses, their malcom, their martin

So when they saw you

Willing to commune with God on the mountaintop

They couldn’t see savior

No, all they saw was man

all flesh and bone and just as human as themselves

Afraid he wouldn’t be able to part a red sea or march on Montgomery

Couldn’t see that you are covered in anointing and clothed in grace and mercy.

How could they not question your potential?

You great overcomer of tribulations

How were they supposed to comprehend your calling?

When you’ve defied every stereotype they placed upon you

You’ve been an anomaly since the day your were born

Even when they saw your struggling

Even when your crown looked more like a cast

They saw dry bones

Didn’t know you were Ezekiel;

had no idea that life could be found in graveyards.

So teach them!

Show them your blood stained hands and the mud in your eyes

Remind them of the prophecy

that you were destined to do even greater works

And them forgive them

For not knowing

that the valley you stand at the bottom of

the mountain that roars in front of you

the road you’ve already traversed

the mantel you’ve taken up

and the baton you’re one day going to past

is for them and their children and this community.

You are a fire starter in a world full of smoke and ashes

And this mountain isn’t too big for you

You speak to it and it will crumble.

But not you, you don’t crumble

You are Emmanuel

And God is with you!


Link to “I Snap” ; also performed during the show



finger+snapping,+yoruba,+orisha,+body+language,+west+africa+gestures,+nigeria (1)

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