expect the unexpected: Voices from the North End

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?

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

Written By

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.

More from Guyleigh Johnson

expect the unexpected: Voices from the North End

If this generation is failing, it is because along the way somebody...
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