• expect the unexpected: Voices from the North End

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    excerpt-expect-the-unexpected-guyleigh-johnsonFour Poems Excerpted from Guyleigh Johnson’s expect the unexpected: Voices from the North End


    Pointing One Finger Three Point Back
    Life’s lessons can sometimes be heartbreaking
    To lose someone so close to home is life taking
    Never mistaking the love you held for them
    Just the sadness you hold on to
    A shootout on his aunt’s step
    Is where he took his last breath
    A community lost for words
    Shocked, saddened, and surprised
    What hurt the most is to look into the kids’ eyes
    Two young men driving
    Struck by a drunk driver
    And guess who was the survivor?
    A fight in a basement
    That ended up being a life misplacing
    ’Cause by the end of the night
    Without right
    Someone’s life was taken
    This is just the beginning of the tragedies
    To most of us a memory is all we have to carry
    Bodies buried
    Families grieving
    And still we’re convinced the solution is leaving
    A community lost
    Elders confused
    And children running wild
    So many people sit back and talk about how they talk back, but did we
    forget who taught that? Don’t forget we are a product of our producers.
    If this generation is failing, it is because along the way somebody failed
    us. Did you ever stop and think maybe we don’t need to be talked about,
    but talked with?
    As a community we need to communicate.
    Nine times out of ten, people in the streets have more impact
    on your children than you. Who a child spends the most time
    with, they gain trust, respect, and admiration for. Everything
    that person says and does is like gold to them, so just imagine
    what it would be like if we had more people in the streets trying
    to take you out of the streets rather than keep you there. The
    only way to go is up, but if you have no one to show you, and
    they had no one to show them, the only direction you’re all
    going to go is down. Until someone comes along willing to help
    you come up …
    Trapped in Trouble
    Locked in a cell boxed in
    I can’t wait to be boxed out
    Locked up I can’t wait to be locked out
    A criminal to society a criminal in the system
    Listen, they treat me no different
    Same routine same block same cell
    Imprisoned in prison they call this jail
    I understand my mistakes and mishappenings
    But ya’ll don’t understand what’s happening
    In the streets you’re either street or you take heat
    Better grab that heat
    Or grab a seat
    There’s no such thing as safety I grew up on Lahey
    Where boys tried to play me daily
    And when there’s nobody to teach you right all you know is wrong
    Half of the boys I grew up with are dead and gone
    Same thing in jail it’s like living in hell
    Because there’s no one here to understand me
    My situation or where I’m coming from
    Only the inmates that are just like me
    to find someone willing to do right is unlikely
    If you don’t rehabilitate me in here,
    how do you expect me to get out as a civilized citizen?
    Let’s be real I came here not knowing who I really was;
    in here I still didn’t find myself
    I’m going back out there
    only to become another person that I don’t even know
    And you wonder why I can’t cope
    in the end I’ll go back to selling dope
    For the simple reason that for a young brother like me
    Coming up going in and getting out
    There’s just no hope
    Lotus Flower
    I am the significance to your heart
    Never falling apart
    I connect with your mind
    With both combined
    My soul bleeds your purity
    My mind craves your growth
    I emerge from the depths of dirt far from hurt
    I bloom
    Into a beauty unimaginable
    Almost impossible flower
    Though the soil I came from is in the slaying of a swamp
    Still I rise, I rise
    Into a soul that streams a great significance of spreading
    Strength spiritually
    The lotus flower I am
    The dirty seed I used to be
    Doesn’t define me
    What defines me is the state I’m in after
    Surviving the struggle
    It’s not where you come from
    It’s where you end up
    Some of the ugliest places create the prettiest people from the inside out

    expect the unexpected
    by Guyleigh Johnson
    Pottersfield Press

  • Guyleigh Johnson is a young spoken word artist born and raised in North End Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who has been passionate about writing since the age of four.

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