“Ai Listenin’” by Yaari

April 5, 2016

Ai Listenin’


Who says deh ain’t listenin’


Deh is actions

dem speak louder dan words.


Is who ain’t listenin?’

Is who ain’t doin?’


It dere for some closer lookin’


some examinin’

some analyzin.’


Money eats truth

live and kickin’




Is who ain’t listenin?’


Murda I cry by Yaari

August 25, 2013

Murda I cry by Yaari

Dedicated to all black men and in memory of Trayvon Martin
inspired by events at Santa Barbara City College

Cold Bloody Murda…
(okay!! by 70% of white America)

I am that “boy” you shot in cold blood

I am that one
you intend to kill

my spirit
my spirit



and the
schizophrenic ghost


bend that back
rake that hoe



The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Crowd them in


Kill them

Sister Citizen by Milissa Harris Perry




your hair
your clothes


your skin
your nose

Kill them

I too, sing America by Langston Hughes

MBee and Me – reconstructin’ history by Yaari

October 21, 2012

October 3, 2012

This is how I know, I know

It is in dialogue that he and me become a new WE.

I know that when we talk,

as friends,

we listen and become something new with old ends.

With Mbee I can feel and see the whole idea


of reconstruction

of new pardigms

of the need for new times.

So, we talkin’

What’s new?

Students have lots more now than they did before.

No need for the writing of long long long paragraphs,

not when books now competing with FB pages and smart phones

an’ spell check, and check check

in all the students’ grasps.

It’s not for WE to say it can’t or can.

What’s true is that it’s here happening,

and we’d better get listening.

Yesterday, yes, we got to talkin.’

You know, I said, I think it gotta be

a combination of prose and poetry.

Now, you know, talkin’ to Mbee

has liberated me….. he talk, I listen,

then … time time and again

click click click sometin’ sometin’

Language, communication ,… education

change must happen…

bite sized information

words in another kind of formation.

So, where were we…….?

What’s this new paradigm?

Multitaskin’ creates multiple pathways;

neurologically the brain is still a mystery

changin’ over time to sinc with human practice.

And, now is all about this multiple intelligence business.

no need complainin’ about them bein’ expert at nothin.’

Young people adept at code switchin’

an’ is now we seein’

all kind of redefinin.’

Language changing

difference engaging

cultures realigning

positions reorganizing

teacher student compromising.

By any means necessary.

we makin’ history.

It’s a constant evolvin’

deconstructin’ an’ reconstructin’

always always always

becomin’ sometin.’

Vera Bacchus/mothering

July 26, 2012

Vera Bacchus/mothering by Yaari 2004

Age is wisdom.
Learning is experience.
We are molded
by love.

It dawned on me slowly,
like the familiarity of the ocean,
the warmth of home –
Like the blossoming of a new rose,
that I am blessed
with a mother
who is always my friend.

Words are inadequate
the stage too small
dance limited
poetry not expressive
to truly convey
my message.

You and your ability
to keep the light burning
in the tunnel of our lives,
to hold life’s promise in your eyes.

Determination, optimism, and laughter
you give so that if we falter
we stand and walk again.

I am that much stronger,
that much more generous,
filled with more compassion.

I know friendship.
In your company
I learn the quality of love.
You make laughter
my best friend.

Independence has meaning
without guilty feelings;
it fills itself with
repeated self indulgence
and loud pleasure
one goal after another.

I am proud of you mother!
Your vitality
your uncomplicated view of reality.
Your incredible ability to
pick up the pieces.

I am lucky to have you near me
so that I learn
strength in genes,
sustained curiosity
awareness of life,
the forever lasting
YOU in me.


July 23, 2012

Black fire

the beauty


flickering orange

white hot

the inner roar




heat seekin’


heart pumpin’


a gesture

the tilt

a smile


a high five

the jive



tryin’ hard

to find words

to express


Hip Hop – lookin’ for heroines and heroes by Yaari

June 8, 2012

Lookin’ for heroines an’ heroes by Yaari

Just in time

beats an’ rhymes


heroes an’ heroiiines


Hip Hop magaziiine


my “academic” leanin’ miniiine’


deh academy

weh ai hear it happenin’

sufferin’ bad

shackles of deh miniiine’

constant intellectual masturbation

status, class, an’ reputation

rhethoric spinnin’

an’ no change fas’

In deh lookin’

on purpose ai been searchin’

fuh somethin’

some sign

words of some kind

an’ dere

just so … been dere all deh time

ai fin’

deh same kinda questions

in deh XXL magaziiine

runin’ thru dem rappers too.

Say Something.. What happened to the message in rap music? words Seth Colter Walls

Out an’ up front

dey contemplatin’

wuh to do?

“Who the f— is Margiela?” – YASIIN BEY, “Niggas in Poorest”

As Walls sey “it was hard not to cheer when Bey took ‘Ye’s shout out to a Belgian high-fashion designer and responded from the streets.”

Wey in deh academy are deh heroes, deh heroines tekin’ anythin’ to deh streets?

“My mind won’t allow me to not be curious/My folk don’t understand so they don’t take it serious/but every now and then/I wonder if the gate was put up to keep crime out or keep our ass in?” – Cee-LO, Goodie Mob, “Cell Therapy,” 1995

Between you an’ me, ai wonderin’ deh same kinda thing ’bout deh academy.

“What’s the solution to stop all this confusion?/Rewrite the constitution? Change the drug and what you’re using? -KRS-ONE,”Stop the Violence,” 1988

What about dat paradigm, dat hegemonic cloud deh academy sey deh want out of?

“They say keep ’em on gangs and drugs/You wanna sweep a nigga like me up under the rug/Kicking shit called street knowledge/Why more niggas in the pen than in college?” -ICE CUBE, “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate,” 1990

Deh man keep buildin’ he house wid dem tools an’ Audrey warn we in deh academy to fin’ new tools an’ build a whole new crib.. we gon’ listen?

dem bannas

dem brothas

like canaries in a coal miniii’

smellin’ somethin’

hollerin’… deh hollerin’

Ai Listenin’ by Yaari

June 8, 2012

Ai Listenin’ by Yaari

Ai Listenin’

Who says deh ain’t listenin’

Deh is actions

dem speak louder dan words.

Is who ain’t listenin’

Is who ain’t doin’

It dere for some closer lookin’

some examinin’

some analyzin.’

Money eats truth

live and kickin’


Is who ain’t listenin?’

Flirtation with Death by Yaari

May 26, 2012

Sweet  love

I know what joy you promise

I felt your breath on my shoulder

you held me

For a while in your arms

I must have slept

I woke

a new sense of peace

my mother



my father

I no longer

fear your whisper.

Spirit to Spirit by Yaari

April 9, 2012

Spirit to Spirit

it flows out of hand

trying to connect heart

to capture

the intangible in me.

Pain comes

with recognition

moving beyond flesh

my breath stops

sensuality stirs


threads her way

through nature

the matrix of life quivers




kindred spirits

breath eases

In this world where mayhem crashes against incredulous beauty – there exists the likes of you – that aura stabilizes the inherent chaos of the world.

What today means by Yaari

January 28, 2012

I recognized today

that growin’


what it means


new meaning

the purpose

the writer


the future


Morning by Yaari

For days after we make love,

I am content

Problems seem easily solved.
I am patient!

Ideas flow freely,
I am exuberant!

Confusion unravels into meaning.
I am soothed!