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"Spiritual Awakening", "Freedom", "Acceptance", & "Vulnerable" by Nyah Bernucho

Spiritual Awakening

cousin rolled up in grandpa’s backyard

waiting for the one to come home

grandpa said “you can’t control a man, but you can control your emotions”

yea yea blah blah

i released them anyway

nature of man nature of man

where did my love go?

i carried the emotional weight on my shoulders

my heart waited for hours

but He never came.

uncle asked “nyah. Do You Know What A Slop Jar Is?

no. i don’t

listen to this

donald byrd 1973

a melodic high beyond words,

funky rhythms shroud us like a forcefield,

a time capsule punching my soul

i feel nothing now

these country nights

ancestral experience

right in front of my eyes my whole life

why couldn’t i see it before?

“i’m sittin on a slop jar

waitin for my bowels to move

i’m sittin on a slop jar

waitin for the pain to go”

he passed the j over to me

i couldn’t take it no more

why must we go through this sufferin’?

i’ve been searching

for answers ever since.


sometimes I wonder what does freedom feel like

we’re not free, our bondage has taken a new form

i wish you all could see it like I do

i’m running from something hidden inside me

my mind shows me all I need to know

i‘m not in control anymore I’ve surrendered to Spirit

guiding me, divinely.

i’ll never lose, Beloved.

i see my ancestors around me in everyone

why can’t we see it?

it’s been blinded from us. but wow,

if We are the descendants of queens kings and gods,

then why can’t we be those too.

they’ve minimized us once again, but

Freedom is near I can feel it.

the astronomer said if you look to the sky,

you’ll be guided by generational stories.

oh I wish we knew the stories our people told

of the vast sky and it’s secrets unfold

we all have a story

we all have a goal

i’ve been arrested because of my mind alone.

isn’t that powerful?

i’ll share my story in time but all I can do is write

write until i’m free.

Shit, I feel free.


coming to terms with my condition

is the hardest thing i can do

you mean the old me died

system cracked

and now i have to make do with the new?

something like that

but ill be okay

ill be alright

ill live a normal life

i deserve at least that.


To be vulnerable is to die

Every person I like

I can’t get it together

I bottle my emotions like water

I dance around my meanings in fear

I wait til the bond fizzles out and scream

All I wish I could’ve said

when I had you in my reach

how unfair to you

and cowardly of me

Nyah Bernucho is a recent Howard University BA graduate from Austin, Texas. She’s a writer, DJ, model, and digital designer. Nyah loves to create art that inspires others and shares stories of the Black experience.


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