Three years ago, I attended the Black Writer's Conference.
My fist book had not yet reached my house and all I had was the proof copy.
However I took the trip to Tampa, FL, to learn, network and to see if I had
what it took to be in this literary game. Now many told me "don't write
poetry it doesn't sell." Well I have always been hard headed. To fast
forward, I began networking and making connections. Well while standing in the lobby wide eyed and happy to just be a part of things; a statuesque young lady came over to speak to me. She stood a little taller than me. Not sure if she had on heels. Didn't matter. I am six foot and half inch tall. Well one of the first thing I noticed is her beauty.
She came over holding a bookmark and said a friend of mine at the table where she bought said come over and talk to me. I was a little confused but I am open to speak to anyone. It’s just part of my character. The young ladies name was Patricia Haley. I remember her name since she was one of the presenters of one of the daily seminars. After speaking to her, she mentioned the bookmark hit a nerve with her. Now forgive me if I get it wrong since it’s been a few years. The book mark said, "To be the butterfly you can be, you have to let go of the caterpillar you were" If I am wrong I am sorry to whoever wrote the mark. Patricia said often she feels like the caterpillar. I wanted to cheer her up. This lovely intelligent woman is sounding so negative about herself when others would kill to be where she is at and with the looks she has. A person cam and asked to take our pictures, she refused and said "I don't take pictures. I take bad pictures" I said impossible. You took bad pictures there is no way you’re going to know how the picture is going to come out. Well e took the picture and it was great. Now let me tell you this. I am a happily married man. However, if I had been single and if Ms. Haley was single, I would have wanted to get to know her better the way a gentleman should.
Later that evening around one am or so, I saw everyone coming and going in and our off the hotel. I was not in a partying mood so I sat in the lobby with my note book. My spirit was buzzing from the conversation I had earlier with Patricia. Why did this wonderful talented woman feel this way about herself? What is missing or not getting through. She is here to help educate others and she has doubt in some area within herself. Well like most poets, when the feeling won't leave its time to create. So create is what I did. I sat and decided what words would fit this feeling I have inside of me. A few hours later I had a poem I felt Patricia would like. I had planned on reading at the poetry contest they were going to have the next day. Upon getting up in the morning I thought it would be wrong to read a piece for someone about them without their permission. Even though these were my words, they were based on another’s pain and our conversation. You have to be fair. That afternoon I told Patricia I have something for you to listen too. This is where two lives changed. The Lord is truly great since I tribute all my gifts to Him. She asked "Am I am going to need a tissue" There was another author I had met the day before standing in tow who wanted to hear what I was going to lay down. Well, let me say this, this was the first time I simply wrote a poem for a stranger to be read to them. As I began to read the emotion inside me pulled on the emotions inside Patricia. The tears which came down her cheek were singing to my soul. I never expected such a display. To this day I get emotional thinking about it because it was validation I can be a true professional writer. As well as I can use my writing to help another person. Patricia whipped her tears and gave me a hug. I signed my poem for her and gave it to her as a gift. I then looked over at the fellow author and she was in tears from the emotional moment shared by my muse and me.
Well I came home to finish out the summer and lost contact with Patricia.
Once I started extending my Facebook journey the time for the 2009 conference came around and I was unable to make it. In searching for information I came across Patricia’s profile and sent her a add request. She said she was excited to hear from and then she explained how my poem changed her life. I looked at her photo album and here she had pictures all over with one of the biggest smiles you could see on a person. My heart was filled with joy to see this transformation (BTW this is the name of the poem). She told me to read her note from last year written a few weeks later after the conference. At the bottom of this note are Patricia Haley’s words towards my poem. It is an honor. To this day I don't take what I write lately or am I scared to offer my words. I have seen the power of honesty with the feelings inside of me. I would say to any poet, "Please don't short change yourself by writing and hiding your talent. Share your words with as many as you can because you never know who you can and will touch with your words. You see "A Man in Transition" was even for sale and her I was shown I had a future as writer. Father in heaven I thank you for allowing me to meet my sister Patricia Haley who I pray never goes back to being that caterpillar but remains the sensual, intellectual beautiful
butterfly. Meeting you changed my life. GOD BLESS
Here are the words of Ms. Haley on my words of my poem...
Stop by her page on Facebook, if you want to say hello or to do business with here.
""This poem was written
just for yours truly. It was based on six degrees of separation, and one
singular conversation, that was communicated from one person to another. It
started with me finding a wonderful bookmark at the Black Writers Reunion
Conference, and I believed that the bookmark was especially made just for a
girl like me. A conversation started, and from that, the birth of a poem. This was written by an incredibly talented person named KL.""
The caterpillar moves into position.
The Time reaches near, his end is the beginning.
How does he feel on the brink of oblivion?
We share the same existence as that caterpillar.
The vices, baggage, issues we carry come from the weight of contemplation.
If we are to conceive the newness which is to be our future, we can not resist the impending death of right now.
The womb is spun as the caterpillar assumes the position.
The cycle begins and magic is abounded.
Movement stills and the Creator whispers sleep.
We step forward to address our internal bondage.
The cocoon is slowly closing, we ask openly "am I really ready for this?"
Deep inside the Great One sends word "Leave that weight with me".
“SIDEBAR: THIS IS WHERE I DISSOLVE
INTO A POOL OF TEARS, BUT IF YOU TELL ANYONE,
I WILL DENY IT, UP TO AND INCLUDING IN A COURT OF LAW."
The butterfly springs forth with only the memories of it's previous life.
He must face the world as the new creature he has become.
With each stroke of it's wings the change is complete.
It is time for the world to see the new you.
No wings as the butterfly, but a soul cleansed of the blockage.
With your head held high, chest pressed to the sun, arms raised, you are