Friday, October 18, 2013


I'm 16 today
I am pain

I am weakness.

I'm 16 today
I am mute

I am not heard.

I'm 16 today
I am stubborn

I will not speak.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


As I speak, I learn.

Be patient with me when my actions contradict my words. It means I have yet to learn.

Assuredly, I have learnt to speak.

Yet, I must speak to learn.

Will you be an ear?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Truth, exploded.

BOOM; revelation unleashed.

The image of who you were exploded in a dizzying array of pieces like chunks of burning flesh disassociating from the bones of a destructive masochist.

So divergent is the split between who my mind had perceived you to be and how you now appear (subject to the bomb of truth) that I struggle to reconcile the contradicting images towards an appropriate decisive response.

To question you as you stand before me, morbidly exposed, is to naively expect a reincarnation of the you I once perceived.
An untrustworthy perception which would align with a supposedly truthful you, all proof of which currently follows variant parabolic thrusts upward to subsequently slap the sand at my feet.

My incapacity to formulate a response stems from the innate incongruity with who you were and what you did.
The constant is that you did do it, so I am left to surmise that the pre-explosion image of you is the variable in this equation.
You were merely an illusion.

Perhaps I am at fault.

For it could have been the unfulfilled desire of a parched soul (rendered unreliable by its thirst for the refreshment of a pure heart) which manufactured the mirage of your springs.
Perhaps you cunningly took advantage of my delusion and combined it with an appropriate appearance so that, together, we established the facade.

It could be, as well, that you are not at fault here.
Well at least not the fault of misrepresentation.
I discerned within you the glistening potentiality with which I interacted.
Sanctimoniously, I supposed that the future you would be the present you if only by virtue of my faith in you.

And then there is the possibility of corruption.
An impure introduction to your once pure person-hood.

Explanations aside, the retrospective reality is my reverence towards you.
An image I loved.

Then there was the boom. And all was changed.

The manifestation of my delusion/deception/interpretation was shattered.
Spewed, like flying body parts across my field of vision.
The pungent stench of disappointment erupted at once.
My stomach curled at the distasteful flavour of the air.
Shock chilled me to the core, causing the hairs on my arm to stand on edge.
Mistrust blew across my consciousness.

I wanted to embrace you, but I feared your sores.
I was urged to run from you, yet I hesitated.

You are not who you were/could have been/had been/are to be.
You are who you are.

I wonder who you are.

What I see before me is the pathetically limp image of a friend now dead to me.
No longer can you lie to me...

But, given the impossibility of forensic reconstruction, who will ever reveal the truth?

© Chereese La-vonne Ricketts 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Be Free, My Country

You are never a slave until you allow your spirit to be enslaved.This is a performance piece I wrote for the people of Jamaica. Stop suffering, don't bow down to difficulties of our past and present.Only then can we truly hope for a better future.

I have a story
'Cause mi need fi explain
How Massa take mi from mi glory
And tie me up wid chain.

A whole a two hundred year him keep me
But is a lifetime worth of pain
When him rape, beat, murder mi identity
'Til not even mi know mi own a name.

Although mi story might full wid  pain,
Time fi dash way dis yah ball and chain.
I am the resilient spirit in all a we,
The spirit of Jamaica saying "BE FREE"

By time Massa say him gone,
Mi did waan leave.
"Back to Africa as one!",
Dat mi shout back a Garvey.

'Merica, Hingland, all Canada mi run
Jus like mi friend Mister Stanley.
Mek dem vex? No Gordon House him sidung
And hear, "Five flights a day!" from Manley?

Yes, mi did run way pon jet plane

But, Time fi dash way dis yah ball and chain.
I am the resilient spirit in all a we,
The spirit of Jamaica saying "BE FREE"

Independence baby, not even learn fi stand
When rising oil prices knock me down!
In Manchester, is bauxite we mine from di land
But in the seventies, all a dem pick up and run!

A dat deh time tings get bad
When pon the shelf not even piece a bun
And mi, tun 'gainst mi own a bredda like mi mad
When Uncle Sam gimme gun!

By these hands too many were slain,

But, Time fi dash way dis yah ball and chain.
I am the resilient spirit in all a we,
The spirit of Jamaica saying "BE FREE"

Who is Massa now, in dis yah my country
Yes, it no matter how mi reach.
Is Massa, the withering economy
Or the IMF with them kin teet?

Is is bredda 'gainst bredda
Or rich versus poverty?
What is it now trying to
Bring my soul back to slavery!

Stop look round fi summadi fi blame!

Time fi dash way dis yah ball and chain.
I am the resilient spirit in all a we,
The spirit of Jamaica saying "BE FREE"

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013


We live in a world where it has become the norm to subscribe to fantasy more than to reality itself. We form our lives around norms, mores and beliefs which suit our desire of normalcy.

We live in a carnival house of mirrors, which, at best reveals only a part of our true selves but distorted in great proportion. And though disoriented, we fool ourselves into thinking we have seen the whole picture; that it is a clear enough reflection on which to base our actions.

The truth? Our innate lack of understanding of ourselves and our world scares us. For most, the effort is too great to try and decipher the true origin. Or perhaps it offends our ego to admit that the true authority of our own world is not ourselves.

So we take control, to the degree that one who had no power over his own eruption into being can do; that is, a minimal degree in the grand scheme of things. Yet, we utilize perhaps our only true power, that of imagination to soothe our fears of an undefined world, or one at least not designed by ourselves.

So close your eyes to reality, friend. Turn away from the noble task of uncovering absolute truth. Create your fantasy, subscribe to it... But do tell me, are you at peace? And then tell me, do you even know what peace is... Or have you only imagined it?

Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts © 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


darkness is darkness
from all angles; it will never be light.

but all is dark
to a blind man; he chooses what is right.

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. 
Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. 
So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. 
And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. 
As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 
Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools." 
(Romans 1:20-22 NLT)

Monday, April 1, 2013


Ghosts of the past pull strongly on my heart strings; tethered to my brain.

Dead things.
Rotten things.
Of-no-use-to-me things.

They want me to never misplace the memory of them.

They want to control where I place the memory of them.

Ghosts of the past visit me often and whisper in my ear,
"Just wanted to make sure you know we're always here,
 "You are ours," they taunt.
"Come fly with us," they want.

And as I stand here, eyeball to treetop, recalling the exhilaration of free fall drop...
I remember too the post flight crash,
On the floor: hopes, dreams, identity - dashed.

"Silly fears!" The ghosts of my past jeer.
"In any cases, it matters not, we control you."

Oh really now?!

I am securing my ancient remembrance; some things I must forget.
Like the pull of darkeness which encapsulates my regrets.

I jump past these things to the origin of truth, the origin of me.

My freedom is not defined by the right to plummet to my death.

Rather, I express freedom by denying my right to make faulty choices.

I tune out your taunts and believe His voice. And then my spirit truly flies, with all rejoicing.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


to wish aloud is to give permission to be
unauthorized wishes must not define me
my sovereign Lord has that responsibility
in him I rest, silently

Thursday, March 28, 2013

lost in translation - morality

Do you know that some languages have words to which there is no English parallel?

What this means is that in the culture of the English-speaker that concept isn't recognised; there is no need to put a word to it.

Consider the Zulu term "sawubona". Some English-speakers translate this to "hello", which is often a simple, meaningless passing phrase in the English-speaking culture. Truly, the word speaks to a much deeper notion of recognition which translates more closely to "i see you [on a deep spiritual level which brings you into existence]". Similar examples exist with other language comparisons.

Unlike a word which translates to something immediately tangible, like say a "chair", these concepts are harder to compare since the equivalent doesn't exist in that culture. So the words fall on untrained ears.

Thing is, the culture is not even aware of what is missing.

I've observed a similar phenomenon among many people in the world culture. The ideas of morality have been so skewed and eroded over time that some today know nothing else and can not comprehend the Godly concepts of righteousness and purity.

In their world, it simply doesn't exist.

Here's the thing though; blindness [and conviction in such blindness] does not validate lifestyle.

This is God's world [regardless of what one chooses to believe] and "my world" must establish [and be established in] His founding principles.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

misplaced hope

I broke a heart today.
crushed it.

The tender flesh barely resisted,
as I twisted it so.
I bound it with misplaced hope
now on my hands,
the blood of a doe-eyed innocent.

It was the gentle heart
of a true

am I?

Turns out
a broken heart
is a dangerous one.

since its devastation
my heart had only hoped to hope.

he came.

the atrophied muscles feared over-exertion at his proposition:

I reasoned:
Is it not
at the point of failure
that strength
is borne?

I questioned:
How could this be real?
Be true?
When it comes to the core of life
he doesn't see it like i do.

i found myself marking my daydreams
perchance they came true;
beginning to idolise a simple man
a lovely man.
But just that;
a man.

Where things of beauty
once brought my spirit to God,
they filled my mind of him.

I had to

I missed the mark.
And there is collateral damage.
For me,
For him.
I inflicted wounds
with the shards of my own broken heart
as, well-meaning,
he offered to cradle it.

Ohso, forgive me.

Lord, forgive me.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

addressing my self-indulgence

Last year, I went through enough experiences of failure [within a relatively short period of time] to rock me to the core.

My most recent posts have mostly been about that. About looking inside and seeing [and confronting] the inner turmoil which now seemed to define "Chereese".

It is rough.

I'm not necessarily proud of all my moments; of the weakness and darkness my poetry began to represent. The theme of hope was never lost, though perhaps only expressed intermittently. And this being the journal of my trek to self-realisation I own every moment. However, it is time to move up and on with joy.

But what did I hope for?

Indeed, it was to be free of the confusion that comes with the territory when one's identity comes into question.

This means re-turning my gaze to my Lord; away from the pain and uncertainty that is in me and to the clarification and invariability that IS him.

I have discovered His peace, which abundantly covers those who "worry about nothing; instead pray about everything" [Phil 4v6] and I am determined to return to it.

In short, my posts [and my life] shall be less about my pain and more about His reign.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


The fuel of daydreams is the hope that they will be.
The fool of daydreams is that they probably never will.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Memories wrapped up in experiences anew.

See, memories don't leave like people do.

Is anything, then, ever truly new?

If all I encounter, is a memory of you?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Studio Sunset

Today was better than yesterday, which means it was a good day.

As class ends, I look through the louvres on the west end. The olive green of the hills has faded to a deep purple, contrasted by the rustic orange of the soon-to-be-night sky.

Twinkling lights of the distant homes read as perforations in the hills, with the sky bursting through.

With the perceived mass of the mountains gone, they seem like paper motifs. Readily blown over by the night breeze or burnt up by the fire of night lights.

Presently, in fact, they fade completely into the dark sky and are no longer of effect. All I see is the sparkle of lights from the abodes which house life.

Yes, today was a good day.

I am myself my own fever.

"I attempt from love's sickness to fly in vain,
Since I am myself my own fever and pain.

No more now, fond heart, with pride no more swell.
Thou canst not raise forces enough to rebel.

For love has more pow'r and less mercy than fate,
To make us seek ruin, and to love those that hate."

-Henry Purcell

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Alas, there is room for pain in a good life.
For heavy days, like today,
crises of heart, of relationship, of self.

There is room too for silence.
For quiet days, like today,
of hope and hidden strength rising up.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013


It's not that I don't trust the strength of the waves to carry me to shore
As I tread with the little strength I have left.

And it's not that I've lost faith in myself either;
That perhaps, if I mustered all, maybe I could endure.

It is this, that I am tired,

Tired of kicking and floating and wading
And still not seeing the shore.

It is not that I believe drowning is inevitable,
It is that I wonder if it is easiest right now

And perhaps, indeed, as I let go and sink
I may change my mind, and see that life is worth the fight
And worth the effort it takes to move in sync with the waves that should carry me home
And as my lungs fill with the poison that is to do me in
I may decide that I want to kick, float and wade
But perhaps it will be too late, because by then I would be too weak
And the depth too deep
And then my suicide becomes my murderer.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

sad soul sojourner

Today, sadly, I leave.
Today, my soul, I heave.
Though it begs to cleave
To this place;
To its home.

Today, my heart, bereaved
Must beat, it must, believe
Though thoughts meant to deceive 
Challenge its motive;
Tell it, it's wrong.

The journey, it is, to take
Is one, the mind, did make.
"For health and wellness sake!"
Such Irony!
For now, it seems, it'll break.

But, weary, it holds true
To, prospects, of hope anew.
Prospects, of hope, renewed
The unseen,
It must come true.

So, heart & mind, combine!
And, body, trudge behind.
Yes, strength, do find.
But quickly!
Our only currency is time.

Today, boldy, I leave.
Today, in hope, I heave
My soul, to new ranks, to cleave
To find its rightful place;
To find its own home.

© Chereese La-Vonne Ricketts 2013