“A mother’s cry” – a spokenword poem

My son
If I could I would
Birth you into a world where the only colour that mattered was red
The red scotch bonnet in the iron pot
The red poppies in green fields
The red ketchup covered chips
The red blood that breathes life into you
Makes you you
A life formed in my womb
My firstborn son

I still remember
When we first met
I buried my nose into your
Neck and smelt your creases
Stared at your mouth
Your fingers
Your hair and a warmth consumed me
All I wanted to do was to protect you fiercely
A mother warrior rocking that biblical automatic
A spiritual fanatic

Silencing those who’ll hurt you
Hurt me
Hurt us
Paving your way with boxing gloves
Prayer bombs and side kicks
Building fighting sticks
Around you
Shielding you
Safeguarding you
You my son

My heart bleeds
I have to prepare you for a hatred
Of the skin that covers you
Because at some point you’ll be in situations where
All they’ll see is brown and afro
They won’t care about your internal bro
They’ll mentally try and hang you like strange fruit

The names you’ll be called under the sun
Punching gun powdered rimmed holes into your identity Messing with your destiny
Twisting your mentality
Face spat words and behind you they’ll smile at you and through clenched teeth they’ll call you
Like bullets shot at your back
You black
You black
You black
Black being the first word that comes before the cuss word
Black being the swear word more potent than the f word
Black being the only word that comes to their mind Because to them black is dirt and
Trodden on and
Monkey cries ringing out in the jungle
Do you hear the sounds in the concrete jungle
Do you hear the sounds in the football jungle
Do you hear the sounds in social media jungle
Do you hear the sounds

I am so tired

Tired of schools systems undermining black greatness Slavery is not the start
Middle or end
There’s so much more that needs to he celebrated

I am tired that paths to manhood is an education of a world where
You are the most wanted
The most hated the most deleted
Neglected and defeated.

Now go and be something great amongst the abusers
The bullies
The perverts
The dealers
The drug users

Hear my hearts cry my son

Seasons will come and go
Though you’ll fight your whole life
Strife won’t blind you for
Warrior is your name for reasons foretold
Making you bold are the promises covering your path
They hold you
God told you
Spiritually and emotionally able to overcome
Leading and trendsetting from whatever you come from
No form of negativity will hold you down son
Mum has your back fighting with you alongside you
On bended knee behind you

The is the mother cries and each tear drop that dries turns into prayer cries until the mother dies

Copyright © 2023 Traysi Benjamin-Matthew
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by otherwise without the express written permission from Traysi Benjamin-Matthew

Works in Progress #1

Copyright © 2023 Traysi Benjamin-Matthew
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by otherwise without the express written permission from Traysi Benjamin-Matthew

Instagram Poetry Tips Series

Tips #1 and #2

Do day dream about writing poetry?

Do you need some poetry writing encouragement?

Maybe I can help, hopefully? I have started a new Instagram Poetry Tips Series to encourage those who are either thinking about writing or those have reached an unmotivated stage where anything poetry leads to a dead-end! Trust me, I have been there many times!

Here are my first two tips!

You might also find ‘Why Do I Write? Reason #1: It Heals’ post helpful.

You can also checkout ‘Poetry Writing Inspiration.’

Writing for Wellness Workshop

Wellspring Wellness

Do you want to explore writing as a wellness activity?

Do you want some time to write with others?

This workshop will be a safe and welcoming writing space where you can set aside time in your week to write with others. It is not a writing technique workshop or a therapeutic writing group, but a place to encourage healthy wellbeing and explore self-expression and self care.

Wellspring Wellness has organised a Writing for Wellness workshop on Saturday 16th July at 10:30 via zoom. This will be facilitated by Traysi Matthews.

For more information get in touch at wellness@wellspring-church.org or sign up!

The year so far…

I entered this year with a plan, one that challenged and expanded my writing, where I hoped to introduce the world to a changed and new me. A more confident me. A more focused me. A more wiser me. A stretched-beyond-recognition-me as my plan pushed comfort zones into new, wider places. It demanded I said an active ‘yes’ to every writing thing asked of me, despite my mind screaming “noooo” and my body gearing up for run/ flight.

There were various mind maps of ideas and goals, a to do list so sophisticated it had chapters and scheduled notification reminders that buzzed. I was so sure that 2021 would be a another year of growth and development, much more than what I have ever imagined. Unable to contain myself, I walked around stiff and tight, bursting to the brim with excitement.

“Ideas, goals and to do lists”

“Just say an active yes to everything creative”

Traysi Bejamin-Matthew

Then the penny dropped! A few months into the year I realised weeks had went by and I hadn’t done much. Those weeks quickly transformed into months and before I knew it, I was already halfway through the year! (Yes… I did cry and grieved the 6 month loss…)

Life was hectic and overwhelming, an uncontrollable beast that sucked my creative energy and motivation dry. I must admit, I did lay there for a bit and allowed it all to happen. It just felt easier and I didn’t have the emotional and mental will power to say to myself “Come on Traysi!” “You can do it Traysi!” “Don’t stop Traysi!” (I should have just paid someone to give me a hard kick on the butt!)

“Do the work Traysi!”

But, amongst the mess I knew deep down it would be OK. I was reassured by my trust in God, the gift of inner strength and the fact that I have been in these places before and survived.

When I got a spiritual nudge two weeks ago, I jumped up with joy! The nudge whispered “love letters to God.”

That was all I needed. It reminded me that the year isn’t over and I could still end this year achieving something satisfying and amazing. I just needed to refocus, replan, set aside time (fight for my time) and not be so hard on myself for the way this year started.

So I am throwing this out there and being accountable to all who read this and those who love me and my poetry. I will (start to) finish my “love letters to God” poetry collection and end this year with a bang!

Watch this space!

Why do I write? Reason #1: it heals

Reasions why I write #1 by traysi benjamin-matthew

Copyright © 2021 Traysi Benjamin-Matthew

This is the first in a series of poems that explores why I write. Reason #1 is the healing aspect of “expressive writing,” and obviously, my chosen format is poetry. However, if you want to try something different; “expressive writing” can be writing diaries, journals, songs and thought pieces.

In the new world of Covid-19 there has been increased conversations about mental health, wellbeing and wellness. For example, the signs to an unhappy mental health, the different things that impact mental health and the many wellness activities you can do to ensure a healthy and happy mental health.

“Expressive writing = happy mental health and wellbeing”

What’s on your heart and mind?

“What’s on your heart and mind?” is the subtitle of John F Evans article titled Expressive Writing. He describes the rhythms of expressive writing, the connections with wellness and challenges readers to ‘become their own researcher,’ trying out his tips and advice, seeing if it works.

But that question, “what’s on your heart and mind?” Is the foundation of expressive writing. It is the starting point where the tumbling of words from your heart and mind become written (or typed) and ignites the healing process. It is the outpouring of soul that helps the transformation from an unhappy mental health to a happy (or happier) one. And like most things in life, practise makes things (writing) easier.

“So, what is on your heart and mind?”

From very early on in my writing career (as a young teen, lol), I had some awareness of the links between poetry writing, emotional healing and a happy mental health. Of course, I wouldn’t have used those words to describe it, it wasn’t talked about like it is now. I just knew writing made me feel better. It helped make sense of my world and I just found it easier to explain my thoughts and emotions with a pen or pencil.

The strong urge

As an adult and during my most rock bottom places, I translated my emotions to paper or computer screen. Often prayerfully scribbling down (or typing) a difficult period of my life, after feeling a strong urge just to get it out of me!

For me personally, this “strong urge” was usually connected with a previous “God time moment” (as I am a Christian), where I had a verbal/ thoughtful outpouring of what was on my heart and mind. Followed by a still moment wrapped in God’s warmth.

It’s unimportant if you have just a “strong urge” or something else that helps you to write like another wellness activity or strong motivation. Just write something! Everyone has to start somewhere.

“I must write, I need to write, I am going to get it out of me!”

The routine

However, the “strong urge” might not be enough for some or they just might never experience the “strong urge.” Don’t worry because a regular expressive writing routine will get you there. It doesn’t matter if it is daily or weekly, in the morning or before bed, poetry or journaling. You have to do what feels right for you, be consistent and take baby steps. Just get through the week and the month, despite the never-ending assortment of emotions and distractions. Then before you know it, your “expressive writing routine” is a daily habit like brushing your teeth and sleeping.

“Start writing and healing.”