Category Archives: Literature

My Declaration of Dissonance:

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We hold these lies to be self-evident. All Men are not viewed equal. Our Creator has endowed us all with inaliable rights. But, some have been allowed to deprive Others of their rights. Life…Liberty…the pursuit of Happiness for some, and yet Death…Oppression…Imposition of Misery for those yearning to simply be humanized by their fellow Man. These United States go to, have gone to, various parts of the World to “liberate” & “spread Democracy”, while crushing the Humanity of Peoples within the American boundaries, the Homeland, without reservation…relegating the Original-Americans to destitute Reservations. Stripping them of country & culture, forcing them to adopt the ways of he who speaks with 2-Tongues…as if a few Indian-Owned Casinos are supposed to compensate for Wounded-Knee; I don’t think so. On to the Black-Man: you’ve tried to exterminate our pride through castrating our Men…raping our Women…slaughtering our Children. However, the Earth is round for a reason. Now, Jungle-Fever has invaded the interiors of your White-Picket Fences, and when your daughter’s asks, “Guess Who’s Coming Home For Dinner?”, it’s the one you hate the most…the Nigger. There were never any wants to free those shackled to your dominance, and when the dust of Civil-War settled, the KKK rose to repel the progress of Reconstruction: Black-Codes, Jim-Crow, Segregation, you know. Mexican-Immigration seems to be your greatest current fears. But, don’t you remember that all of the Southwest were part of South of the border in former years. After the Alamo fell, the Benghazi of the 19th-Century, you made a vow to drive-out the Brown from every Western town. World-War II, very recent to you: locking-up Japanese in Internment-Camps, mimicking the Nazis, using Asian-Americans as wartime Patsies. Then, 9/11: portraying every Muslim as a cold-blooded Terrorists. As the Buildings fell, our fellow Citizens damned us to Hell, simply because of lies told by our Government, so they sound the drums of War & Conquest: the Neo-Crusades. Then, the ISIS-Myth: nothing could be more ridiculous than claiming that a Group of Dudes who mostly speak Arabic, using English-Acronyms and the name of an Ancient Pagan-God to define themselves. Black Lives Matter is constantly confronted with All Lives/Blue Lives Matter, while completely ignoring Black-Lives.

Gareth Bryant/2016

I’m Afraid Of Being Black In America!!!

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For the first time in my life, I’m afraid to be Black…
…everything about who I am is under fierce attack.

I’m worried that my Mother will have to see me in a Casket…
…body mutilated like Emmett Till: a tragedy that’s so drastic.

I’m afraid that one day I’ll be blown away…
…by a Police-Officer’s Gun and at any day.

I’m apprehensive that I’ll just be another Black-Man killed in the Streets…
…and that my murderers will get away with it, and continue walkin da Beats.

It’s more likely that I’ll be killed by Cops than by ISIS…
…we live in a World where we just want to deny this.

Everyone wants to pretend that equality is here…
…tell that to Black-Men who live in constant fear.

Whether we’re Gangster or Corporate, it don’t matter…
…cooperating makes Police draw their weapons faster.

Why must Society make Others feel…
…that I do nothing but rob and steal?

Why are the Police trained to automatically view me as a Criminal?
The Racism of the 60’s resurfaced from its historical subliminal.

What are we supposed to do; how do we fight back?
The load is too heavy: I feel that I’m about to snap.

Gareth Bryant/2016

What I’ve Finally Learned From Ramadhan:

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Ramadhan of 1437/2016 will always be the year I’ve come to terms with what this month really stands for. To many Muslims, it’s a way to get closer to the proximity of Allah’s Mercy, for Others it’s a reason to fraternize with fellow Muslims in ways that’s not necessarily available at other times of the year, for some it’s an excuse to attempt to get in shape/lose weight, for some it’s the ideal situation to indulge in some Free-Food at various Mosques. But, for me personally, I’ve forced myself to search more indepthly, just to see what can be found within this month.

What I’ve come to realize is that Ramadhan for so many of us is to attempt to be a “Super-Muslim”…only during the Month of Ramadhan, and/or only during the last 9/10 Days of Ramadhan, in the hopes of catching what’s known as Laylat-al-Qadr/the Night of Decree, in which the reward for it is similar to worshipping Allah for 83 years.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.97, V.3) For so many Muslims, we wait for this time of year to pretend to be “Super-Pious”: praying, giving Charity, being nice, etc., more than in other times of the year. However, many of us have this all wrong. My personal-assessment is that Ramadhan serves exclusively as a period of Spiritual-Purging. I liken this month to the etymology of the Arabic-Noun Fitnah…the word Fitnah, meaning “Problem”, “Conflict”, “Drama”, “Trial/Tribulation”, etc., comes from Gold/Silver Smithing.(Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Because Gold & Silver is from deep beneath the Earth and/or embedded within Mountains: oftentimes these metals themselves are meshed which earthly materials, which diminish their value.

So, then what’s to be done about it? The Gold/Silver must be melted down, and then be forged into a purer substance. But, to do that, these metals need to be placed under extreme temperatures, thousands of degrees, in order to melt them, so that the turbid materials attached to these metals can be sifted away. And, this is exactly what Ramadhan is to me, a way to sift through all of our turbidity, so that we can be forged into purer types of People. We must allow ourselves to be placed into the heat of Hunger, Thirst, denial of our natural inclinations towards: Sexual-Intercourse, Anger, Revenge, Violence, etc. & all other things which naturally make us…well, Humans. The entire purpose for us to be Spiritually-Smithed is so that we can truly be worthy of the Favor of Allah, which is His Mercy, Guidance, via us acquiring Piety (holding ourselves accountable to refrain from all that Allah has made temporarily Mahrum/Prohibited, as well as things which Allah has made Mahrum at all times).(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.183)

For some/many, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, without me even having to write this. But, I’ve deemed it necessary, because it’s something that I’ve come to the realization of, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who hasn’t truly gotten the point of what Ramadhan truly stands for. Ramadhan, by its nature, isn’t for us to get things right all in one month, because that’s not even realistic. Rather, it’s a time to really dig through one’s self, to reflect upon what makes you work vs. what makes you halt…what makes you strong vs. what makes you weak…what makes you resist vs. what makes you sin, etc. I now have a greater understanding of who I am, as a Muslim, as just simply a Human-Being.

Everyday is like a fierce Internal-Fight: a perfect mixture or even an imbalance of spiritual victories & defeats-Resisting what just naturally comes to you, what automatically feels good and feels right, and struggling to rise above all of that to be someone greater, someone higher. It’s about sacrificing what you think & feel is for you, in order to please you, and really trying your best to replace that mindset with doing what’s expected of you from Allah, in order to please Him. Since arriving at this particular epiphany, in my journey as a Muslim, I’ve attained a better sense of how I am to improve and what I allow myself to still fall victim to. I’ve truly honed in on remaining more conscious of what drives me more towards Obedience vs. Disobedience to Allah. This is what I’ve been allowed to learn during Ramadhan, through the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

Britain’s Break From The EU:

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David-Cameron

Much to many People’s surprise, including Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, who resigned as a result of a referendum in the United Kingdom to retire from the European Union-This decision has caused a domino-effect/tidal-wave like phenomenal financial & political scare all across Europe, as well as the rest of the World. What’s even more surprising is the fact that the People of Great Britain have been vocal about both still wanting to stay in the EU as well as agreeing to leave the EU. Though the vote itself was relatively very close, much like the NBA-Finals score in which the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to upset the former defending-champions the Golden State Warriors: it’s plain to see that Cameron himself wasn’t in favor of the split between Britain & the EU, and for this reason, he’s decided to bow-out of his position as the UK’s PM. This as well has absolutely tantamount effects within Great Britain itself, because the helm of the government needs to be replaced quick-fast and a hurry.

What’s most crucial, I think, pertaining to this is how the EU will be weakened economically, as well as politically. This news about the UK dumping the EU like a frustrated Boyfriend dumping his Prom-Date who’s had a crush on him since Freshman-Year, has placed the World-Market at a stand-still: no one really knows how long-lasting this event will have a foothold on the World-Economy. This is especially important for the United States, who’s largest trading-partner just ironically happens to be (yeah…you’ve guessed it Folks) none other than the EU. The economic aftermath of such a move on part of the UK will be talked about definitely for the rest of 2016, and may even be the top discussion for years to come. This kind of reminds of when studying about how England separated itself from the Catholic-Church, to form the Anglican Church of England, during the reign of Henry VIII. This was primarily done to ensure religio-spiritual, religio-political autonomy, as opposed to being subservient to the edicts & dictates of the Papacy. This seemingly is History repeating itself, particularly because most of those who were actually in favor of staying with the EU were People from Scotland & Northern Ireland, whom ironically are also historically very Catholic, while most English People are predominantly Protestant.

One of the other major issues at play, aside from all the financial ramifications is how Europe will share the responsibilities of hosting Refugees from various war-torn parts of the World, especially from their former colonial-possessions. But, also it seems as though the UK wants no part in accepting more Refugee type Immigrants coming to their shores, which has been a hot-button issue for a long time, as is still a hot-button issues for Americans here in the US. We’ll just have to wait and see how World will respond, if they can respond to this recent break of Britain from the EU.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

In Today’s Times:

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We’re cheating on our Wives…
…are comfortable telling lies…

…support the same Tyrants we despise…
…and when punished we act so surprised…

…we murder our Mothers & our Fathers…
…disgracing our Brothers & our Sisters…

…the air is filled with no sense of Care…
…this World seems to produce only despair…

…War is rampant, Cities are burning…
…all we want is to turn-up & go shopping…

Lives are lost, when will this carnage stop?!!!
We’re too busy watching Love&HipHop.

We’d rather focus on how much Designer has in Atlanta…
…then being concerned about Millions dying in Africa…

…we’d rather listen to Beyonce drink Lemonade & throw Shade…
…than think about People who haven’t eaten for days…

How is it that we care more about who’s winning Dancing With The Stars…
…instead of Victims of Global-Conflicts burdened by battle scars?!!!

You have Birdman complaining about his Respek…
…while People around the World praying for Death…

All that’s happening in our times are totally out of place…
…I seek protection from Allah’s Wrath before it’s too late.

Gareth Bryant/2016

I’m the Balanced-Scale

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The perfect combination of a Scholar & Street-Nigga…
…I bury my foes 6-feet under, without pulling a Trigger…

…Academics on Fleek…
…my ears to da Street…

…I could hit U like target-practice wit my 6-Shooter…
…but you’re not even worth my time I got 6-Shooters…

…Always in the Mosque…
…so my Soul is never lost…

…I’m just a simple Poet, and no I don’t do rap…
…got my corporate office, but I stay in da Trap…

…There’s Haters everywhere…
…using the Evil-Eye to stare…

…I hope Guidance keeps me controlled & centered…
…Knuckle-Game on-point, in case I ever gets tested…

…I’m never abandoned, because Allah’s always there…
…He keeps me safe from enemies and erasing my fear…

…I always strive for excellence and improvement…
…never a Follower I’m leading my own movement.

Gareth Bryant/2016

Melody of Madness:

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Winter is no longer cold…I’m no longer young.
Confusion in my life…the War hasn’t been won.

Carnage fills my heart, like war-torn Syria.
AIDS & Ebola ravage from Rwanda to Libya.

The rise of Atheism immersed in Academia.
The demand for Petroleum from Saudi Arabia.

America uses ISIS for their warmongering devices.
Depletion of the Earth isn’t on anyone’s focus.

Climate-Change…something’s strange.
Blacks still lynched, nothing’s changed.

Why do we exist in this World with such pain?
Why is apathy normal & compassion insane?

It seems like everything’s just upside down.
The Oppressor a Hero, the Victim a Clown.

I’m so conflicted…my emotions stifled.
No one’s genuine, everything’s a trifle.

The Law is blind, because Justice is absent.
Xenophobia reign’s supreme, no acceptance.

I’m sad and angry because my nation hates me.
I live in a country threatened by my theology.

What if the banning of Muslims gets approved?
How can I survive in a World that’s so shrewd?

I can only prepare for the coming of the destruction of all I hold dear.
The end is abysmal, dark, and near; we’re now all ruled by fear.

Gareth Bryant/2015

My Advice to the Ummah

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#‎Muslims‬…especially ‪#‎MuslimReverts‬ and/or Muslims native to the ‪#‎WesternWorld‬ are in a serious bind & all because of ‪#‎Islamophobia‬: it’s turning Parents against Children, Spouse against Spouse, Co-Worker against Co-Worker, Neighbor against Neighbor, Friend against Friend. It’s tearing our Societies apart, and if we study the Sirah/Biography of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the same thing took place in 7th-century Arabia. And, yes…I know it hurts when someone mocks you for praying, fasting, trying your best to not do negative just to fit-in: I’ve lived it & I’m still living it. But, I’m here to tell you that when Allah rewards those who are sincere to ‪#‎Islam‬, in both word & deed, and by His Mercy grants us victory over our Enemies who want nothing more than to display us as blood-thirsty Tyrants, we will ond day look back, laugh, and say to ourselves, “Because I was patient with the trials which Allah imposed upon me, and because I sincerely worked hard to be Good in the face of Evil…this was all worth it: every time I was arrested based on false-charges, stripped-searched & detained at airports, denied jobs/fired from jobs, teased & bullied, forced to fight in order to defend myself, forced to endure the lies against our perfect lifestyle called Islam…it was worth it all.”.

Gareth Bryant

Ambitious Aspirations

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Shirley Bishop

Shirley Bishop, a very talented writer, in my opinion, has decided that she will embark upon her own writing project, a poetry book. I was very interested in getting to know more about her project, what inspired her to do so & what she hopes to make of it. Here’s her, in her own words, concerning her drive to become a literary-artist:

Poetry to me is the language of the soul! It can discreetly reveal my deepest secrets, it can make some of my harsh and raw feelings sound so eloquent to others. Poetry doesn’t pacify my curiosity, it embraces it! The beauty of poetry is similar to someone’s smile . A person’s smile can mean so many things, joy, strength, nervousness and fear yet it puts its audience at ease. I realized that poetry was my choice of expression when I was about 11 years old. I come from a family that has immense talent (musically), to where I’ve been influenced by significantly. I’ve always been drawn to words, studied the dictionary for personal enjoyment, since I was 3 and I loved the concept of rhyming. I was so fascinated to see how much power words carry, in terms of affecting a person’s mood: this alone became my addiction to word play! I started writing poetry in junior high school. I’ve written between junior high school and high school 4 books worth of poetry. But, sadly my books have all been damaged beyond repair.

With my new poetry project in the making, I hope to accomplish bringing enlightenment to the public, to see beyond the (typical) stereotypical styles of poetry: poetry is not “boring”, it’s not “roses are red etc” and it does not necessarily reflect thoughts of “loneliness”, “sadness”, “grief” or “despair”. It is not a tool to highlight “bad times”, “regretful moments”, or “negative experiences”; but, rather a versatile form of expression, creativity and eloquence: demonstrating how we all can relate to one another, as human beings. I am excited to infuse my favorite genres of music (dancehall, 90s hip hop/r&b) into my poetry: to give my words some edge, give my readers entertainment that doesn’t need to always be in a form of a “status update”. This book is very important to me because it expresses some of my very personal experiences, it shows my creativity of people’s stories that I wrote which can be related to all, and it speaks on the topic that holds a strong hold to many of us…being judged! This book is my chance to show the world what keeps me smiling, at peace, confident, and full of life: poetry!

If my words can bring encouragement to others to deal with hard situations , empower men and women to both know their worth and reinforce people to put their all into their passions in life , then my mission is accomplished. The effects that I would like my book to have on readers are strength, comfort to know I relate to them, self-love, and most importantly a mental escape. So many times to me it seems like many try and compete with how clever or “deep” they can post a “quote” on social media, which to me are empty words. Empty words I say b/c many do so without knowing the authenticity of the quote or perhaps it’s meaning let alone how can you realistically  apply that quote to your daily life. With my book, it’s pretty straightforward, we all been thru things most won’t dare to speak, and if you keep looking for answers to all of life’s ups and down, when will u take a moment to actually just live life. Nowadays, with immense popularity of social media and increasing expansions of technology and it’s gadgets, most don’t take that old fashioned approach to escaping mentally which is reading a damned good book! I hope my book can bring that groove back of a simple getaway of the harshness reality do bring.

I would say 10% of the book’s content is from my personal experiences, will I tell you which ones? Nope lol gotta keep the suspense going! The remaining 90% content consist of experiences told to me, observed and moments I wished I had in real life. I strongly believe my work will be well received simply b/c it’s raw in feelings of myself and others. I would like my work to define myself as poet with a neo soul attitude, a jazz of feelings of expression and a reader’s jones for more and more til I can’t write no more ! I would like my work to be respected, enjoyed and even used to uplift others. I do see myself going far with writing as it is my sincerest of talents and a form of art I absolutely love to create! I am hopeful to write a collection of poetry and possibly entertain the thought of expanding my work to film. No matter how small or big of the success that my project will receive, my humility will be in tact and to make a difference in someone’s life for the better is my true aim.

Shirley Bishop/2015

For more info. about Shirley Bishop & her Poetry-Book:

srollins1982@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/sbishop82