Feel Part 2

If you’re not feeling

You’re feeling nothing

I was in my feelings

And all of the feelings

A path left for

Generations to chase

My feelings told me what

I would’ve chased

And my feelings kept

Me feeling connected

To my race

Thank God for feelings

In all the right places

And that means all


Thank you, God

For what’s more

Than what I feel

And endure

Feelings never stop

Never press go

Only hit the flow

Every day

Every minute

Feeling is for sinners

And we’re all sinners

Feeling feelings

Every minute

Free every day

His Love endures


I feel to consider,

Am I operating from


Or faith?


Will move mountains



I stayed inside

My little shell

I stayed

Inside my shell

And the sand

And the leaves

On the palm trees

Sprayed beneath

Into my ocean dreams

Palm trees

A piece of me

Slave ships

And white skin

All over me

But yet there

Living inside of


What a shell

What a story

To tell

Inspired by Fatoumata Diawara’s Kokoro, “Kokoro, which means ancestral heritage in Bambara, Fatoumata says ‘Why are we not proud of who we are? We are black Africans, descendants of Sunjata Keita, the emperor of the Mandé people. We have our own culture and civilisation, which we must be proud of. Instead, we want to look like Westerners, Chinese, Asians, and Arabs by bleaching our skin, selling off our land and resources, and adopting their fashions. As a result, we are lost and our traditions escape us. So who will come to defend our African dignity in our place?’” – https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2018/04/fatoumata-diawara-shares-new-track-kokoro/


Feel Part 1

I’m done chasing feelings

I can’t cut off my feelings

But I can choose to feel

And be still

I can choose to feel

And know I’m healed

The voice deep inside


It says where to go

It says what to do

I’m done chasing feelings

I have something



Than my feelings

And I’ll always feel

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When I open my eyes

And the sun rise

And new life

Speak love to me

I sometimes see

Problems yesterday and


Might be

But then

The sun


Makes everything to cease

The rain, the yesterday

The way back whens

The heartache

The ugly side to me

And well,

Without this


I don’t know where

I’d be

Hi, Friend. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed reading Rise, check out the poem I wrote below. 💛 You are loved. – Kelsey Jo



Refuse to go it alone

Refuse to think it can’t happen

Refuse to self-sabotage joy

Refuse to say those bitter words

Refuse to believe that lie

Refuse to see yourself unworthy

Refuse to be silent

Refuse to blame the other guy

Refuse to compare yourself

Refuse to live for fake acceptance

Refuse to think you know everything

Refuse to fall and stay down

Refuse to stay out of the arena

Refuse to say no to trying

Refuse to say no to trying again

Refuse to say no to trying again

Refuse to put the paper down

Refuse to throw away the pen

Refuse to run from your messes

Refuse to ignore responsibility

Refuse to live a lie

Refuse to do nothing


You Said

You said

You’re so smart

And I wish you dead

You said

You’re the best

And still I hate you most

You said

It’s not difficult

And you must be really dumb

You said

Get it done

And I got it done

I did what you said

Why do you want me dead?

Why am I smart and dumb?

Why am I best and hated?

Either way,

Thank you

For what you said

I’m alive and I’m dumb

In love

With what I came

To do

And it’s not

What you said

It’s done

**photo credit: Banksy



It’s backward, it’s forward

It’s never quite still, but yet still

It’s lost, it’s bewildered

And it’s loved beyond bounds

It’s home, it’s searching, it’s remembering

It’s carrying, it’s inspiring, it’s creating

It’s me

It’s you

It’s adored

It’s explored

It’s someone

Not seen but believed

And alive

It’s the life you give

And take to survive

It’s a soul

It’s fate

It’s destiny

Wrapped around the heart

Of mankind

**This photo was taken near Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York at the Caribbean Islands Festival in 2016. If you look to the lower right corner of the photo you can see a man with a cat sized Iguana on his head.


A Prayer

Will I fall

Will I misstep

Will I take the hint

Will I kiss death

Will my mind open

Will my heart set free

Will love show me

Will I forgive

Will I stand

Will I push to the end

Will I breathe new wind

Will I travel there

Will I escape

Will I rescue

Will I say a prayer

Inspired by a song my dear friend shared with me, “A Prayer” by Kings Kaleidoscope


Red Ink

The way your red ink
Fell like tears from your pen
And the soggy paper
Gathered around your bedroom floor.

Then the purple windows
Flooded with light and music
Your arms held tightly around you
And you kicked down the door.

Your red pen still inside you
The soggy paper on the floor
You skated down stairs
And the lawn met you there.

Your fingers hugged the blades
So green around your feet
The pen dripped and bled
And the green soaked up the red.



It’s better to be free

Knowing bondage

Than to be bound

And not know

You’re bound

In a tree, in a thing

In a thought

In a mistaken you

From the you from


You know the


But that’s how you


What you know is something

Kind of


I mean you’re bound

Don’t you wanna know

What it’s like to be





This girl was shopping at a store one day

When a man ran in with a gun

and she thought to run but instead

she hid inside a clothing rack

and got real quiet, her heart was shook

4 people died, and 2 others shot

But that clothing rack

Kept her safe and so she stayed

For four whole days

She kept real quiet

While the store was closed

And some time after

She walked out side

She felt she died but was still alive

And she didn’t know what to do

Her car for some reason or another

was still in the parking lot

From the day the gunner

shot up the store

She got inside, a little unsure

But when she started the car

All she could do was think to drive

She cried and she drove

She cried and she drove, then she prayed

For the gunner who died soon after

He killed those people

And the police didn’t resent

He took a bullet straight

To the heart

What about him?

She thought

What about his family?

Woah, I’m alive.

And so it goes sometimes

In life

A gunner runs in

To shoot up what’s alive

And while we hide

We find ourselves

And we find something

Inside that says Love is

And that Love is

Enough to make you

Cry and drive

Cry and drive



Mountains are for babies

Because they cradle

Like a mother’s arms

And just for a moment

You’re fearless like a baby

Growing to know no fear

Safe from before

But even then

When you’re grown

They still promise

A sunrise and sunset

And a start

And finish to home

But we know fearless

Is not safe

The mountain then

Is more than a cradle

It’s a keeper

And it can only keep so far

The mountain

It’s too exotic

Like a mother’s arms

It will only cradle so long

Keeping without time


It loves its babies

Kept safe inside

For Scarlett, my sissy ❤


Choose to Live

In almost every city

I lost my youth

I made some friends

Then on I went

No worry or dread

Then there was

Sometimes in every

Other city or two

I got swept away

And started to dream

I’d dream and dream

Until I went blind

And my life became

Bright city lights

And trying to survive

I lost my values

And I lost my youth

Only to find

A stronger me

And some truth

The truth is this,

I thank God

For bright city lights

And people who choose

To live

Instead of to survive


Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


Never Have I Ever

Have you ever been

inside a cage

with closed doors

on the walls and

also the floors?

Have you ever stood

behind a table

with hungry men

staring at you

from each end?

Have you ever laughed

at a love so parallel

yet so alive

and perpendicular

you’re grateful for hell?

Have you ever thought

just a bit too hard

to run from love

and still

love so hard?

Have you ever?

Never have I Ever


Ocean and Trees

When the world inside you

is shouting

with all its might.


it feels good

to stay inside.


it feels good

to hide.


it feels good

to lose your mind.

It’s not something

you want to repeat

but then

it repeats

and repeats

it doesn’t stop.

The thoughts are never ending,

the phase so incomplete

just repeating.

The truth starts to reckon

And you start thinking

And thinking

And thinking

Going further out to sea.

You then find yourself

in the dark

with the water all around.

You see the moonlight

high in the sky

it’s all that can be found.

The moon whispers,

“I get how it feels too.

I know how to swim

and drown too.

Nothing to balance.

The water all around.

Just me shining down.”

So then

I put an end

to what feels good.

I choose to swim.

I choose to feel pain

No longer hiding

I embrace.

I choose to repeat the phase

from a new place.

Then I find myself

in the trees

no longer in the ocean


No longer pushing

to feel good,

I feel free



“See the forest for the trees.”

– John Heywood 🍃


Misfit Girl

I saw the world

From the eyes of a misfit girl

Full of limitations, disappointments, fear


But then, my eyes were widened

To a pop

And the world spilled out some truth


So, I took notice

And I saw the world

And how it measured


Truth is:

It wasn’t fitting

It was missing


It was lost

And gone forever


When I saw this


I lost the



I lost the girl

And the world

From the eyes of a misfit girl