Mama Grey


Dear Lord

Take my hand

Lead me on

Give me courage to open these doors you’ve given me to do.

Help these women with children

You gave me this shelter of light to be a guide to those that are lost.

Except I need your help to run this place.

I got no children to help me run this place or children to live this Legacy to.

Buildings run down

roof about to fall on us

Love is the glue that’s holding this place together.


Mama Grey         ( a voice outside the office door)

Mama Grey

Laud see what I’m talking about.


Mama Grey (Young ladies voice outside)

Mother Grey

we need your help

Chloe’s water broke

Daphne and Linda are fussing over house chores.

Continue reading “Mama Grey”

Cinnamon: Walmart Employee

Alarm clock going off

I got to get up



Yawl get up now

Get a move on

Mo ma can’t be late

It takes 2 hours

to get to work.

I swear I can’t wait

til income tax time

Mo ma gonna get a car (singing)

Laud yawl stop fool-in’ around

Who at that door?

Mr. Smith

What does he want?




What? I got til this evening to pay rent.

Mr. Smith

I told you I’d have your money-IN FULL

tomorrow morning.

I gotta work a Double.

Oh alright, Mr. Smith! Alright

Good day, good day!

Continue reading “Cinnamon: Walmart Employee”

The Bitter Women’s Chronicles Volume 1

A Choreopoem written by Janiese Wesley

Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth even if they don’t. Author unknown

Bitter Women Chronicles: Volume 1 began the moment I went into Social Services four years ago.  One evening I grabbed a notebook and pen and wrote down the thoughts I heard in my head. The women I’d seen in my dreams became real every day women I worked with. Many come from different walks of life.As I jotted down my thoughts,  It didn’t matter how much education they had, if they had kids, were married, single, poor, rich, or middle class. What they all had in common was: They’re all women. My words flowed like rain on a cloudy cold day. In my line of work,  I see many wonderful women who are scared, lonely, uninformed and bitter.

Each woman told me their story, and I wrote it down. No, they aren’t real women, but the stories represent real women around this world.  Jasmine the Pole Dancer, and a Girl Anywhere in the USA were born in the journey of this work. These two poems starts the Bitter Women Chronicles: Volume 1. I’d like to mention that I first heard the phrase, “Choreopoem, ” from Ntozake Shange.  The author of, “For Colored Girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enough.” Thus, I decided to follow in her footsteps and create poems that come to life. I want the stories to jump off of the page into your souls just like they did mine. Each woman is apart of me.

Continue reading “The Bitter Women’s Chronicles Volume 1”

Jasmine: the Pole Dancer

Pinteterst …..saved from

It was Summer

around 12 A.M.

Saturday morning

Loud music blaring

Horrid men standing outside of the Dark Hole craving some entertainment

I waited for Jasmine to show up

A young lady I prayed for everyday on the 210.


I hummed, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found”

Hoping to talk with her before she danced, “the Devil’s Dance.”


Jasmine molested at age 10

raped by her brother’s friend at 12

danced around the pole at 14.


Men and women think she’s for sale

I will travail

They make her have sex

giving her drugs

just like she’s their object

polluted her mind/confused

She dances


She works every night

Dances/ the Devil’s Dance

Puppet master

moving the strings

limb by limb

raising one arm

then the other

Like a zombie

sou-less shell

moving to his jig

steppin’ to his direction.

2 A.M. 

Crowd of nasty men

coming out of the Dark Hole

Liquored up with Spirits

I prayed, “Lord touch there wicked souls

touch Jasmine….deliver her from evil trolls.

Save her from this sin

Don’t let the devil win

Give her victory from this trickery




A Girl Anywhere in the USA Volume 1

Picture created by Pinterest

A Choreopoem By Janiese Wesley

Dead Deniah


no good

You just like Him

You’re never amount to anything




Spitting out foul language

snorting crack

Grabbed the belt off of  one of her John’s pants

Wrapped it around my neck

choking me

Air left my body

Lifeless I laid there

wishing to die

I was just five

The word, “Him” became poison in my mom’s mouth

Infecting me /leaving it’s filthy residue on my heart.

As I grew older

I lost me somewhere between the sheets

I’m just saying, “I never was a little girl.”

It left me looking, wanting any man to fix the void in me.

Mommy let them have me

She’d get high in the other room

I’d scream ,”Mommy please help me!”

She’d yell back at me for not liking it

or distracting her from getting high

I thought, why won’t she look at me?

It’s crazy how she’d listen to BB King and get high at the same time.

Every night I laid awake thinking about, “Him.”

I wished he was here to protect me now

I never knew, “Him.” 

He left before I was potty broke.

Those men left their dirty stench on me

the smell will not pass

Who am I?

I’m no one

just a corpse / a crack heads daughter

My insides were given to the wild birds

I’m their prey

They ate me

I am nothing

Blackbird singing in the dead of the night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly


It’s your time

Jasmine the Pole Dancer


Lost Soul

A Lost Soul

Family Life

I grew up in the foothills of Georgia.

Raised on bald faced whiskey and country music like Patsy Kline.

We were poor and didn’t have any money to buy new clothes.

I wore hand me downs, jeans with patches, and shoes that were ate out by wood rats.

Townspeople called us,” pile up with trash and  corn-fed critters.”

I have no idea when Pap started selling bald face whiskey, or growing marijuana. All I know that life for us changed.  Pap sold whiskey to local  coal-miners and marijuana. At night he’d get drunk and hit ma-maw until she turned black and blue. One time he hit her so hard, she couldn’t see out of her eye. It’s like he nailed it shut.


Puberty came knocking on my door and Ma-maw  and Pap introduced me and my sister to a lot of things. I’m not sure if it’s bad or not, but it was a way of life. We had Sunday night parties where marijuana, whiskey and sex went on until 2 in the morning. Then Pap would leave for his boating trip for a week.

Things aren’t always the way they seem. One minute they’re playing cards.The next,  I’m seeing ma-maw having sex with my Auntie. It’s as if  my sister and I weren’t there. I feel that they wanted us to see them.. I thought they were sisters because I called her Auntie all my life. When we tried to leave they made my sister and I sit at the bottom of her bed and watch.

Then she threatened to feed us to the Ghost on the Appalachian trail if we ever told Pap. She and Aunt Benny  laughed a wicked laugh, ” Nasty Naughty Girl.”

“Come over and touch them,” she said holding Auntie’s breast.  Sissy and I ran out of the room screaming. I threw up on the kitchen floor. I don’t know if it was the whiskey or them that made me sick.

A Week Later

Pap came back from a boating trip with a man-a stranger. This man looked was about Pap’s age and wore a patch on his left eye. He walked with a limp too. The stranger had a nice boat. It was beautiful and it looked shiny and new.  Pap said, ” Sweet child don’t be shy. Come say hello. Show him a good time like ma-maw taught you now.”  Pap gave me a drink of whiskey and made me smoke some marijuana first. Now this wasn’t the first time Pap gave me whiskey or marijuana. He gave me my first taste of whiskey at age 7.

Pap said, “It’ll take the edge from you.”

I cried and said, “Why Pap….no I don’t want to do this.”

Pap did something to me that he’d never done before, he beat me with his fishing rod and threw whiskey on me. Then he threatened to throw a match on me if I didn’t have sex with this man. With tears rolling down my face, I laid there on that bed where I seen the act of sex performed by Pap, Ma-maw , and their lovers. Our eyes met, and Pap didn’t look away. He sat and watched , and I hated him. I hated me, and I hated ma-maw who set in the next room doing nothing. When the stranger finished, Pap called ma-maw to come into the room. When she came in I looked into her eyes for comfort, and for tears of regret. But instead she said, “You a lost soul now little girl!”

All this time…..all these years I thought they loved me. How could they do this to me? What I do to deserve this?

Then Pap Said, ” Daughter you’ve entered into womanhood, and its time to leave home.”

I said, ” No Pap please… I don’t want to go with him.”

Pap said, “Go ahead he paid me a nice amount of money for you. Come on….let’s not keep him waiting.”

One last time, I looked to my parents who birthed me for consolation. I thought that this was one of Pap’s sick jokes.Until the stranger dragged me out of my parents house.  No it was true….pap sold me to this man for $500. And in that moment I realize that I was nothing to them, but a lost soul.

I Let You Down


While sitting in my office  my phone rings.  Frantically, I answer the phone, “Hello… pumpkin how you doing? She breathed heavily into the receiver and shouted, ” I RELAPSED LAST THURSDAY!”

My heart rose to the center of my head… I kept hearing over and over, ” I relapsed last Thursday.”  I leaned back in my chair in unbelief.

In my line of work, relapsing isn’t a good thing. It is a death sentence depending on the person.  I worked so hard to keep her off of the street.  What next?

I thought, “You fool!”  For the first time, I felt useless.  What kind of Case Manager am I? I can’t even keep her off the street!”

I pinched myself and wondered, “Is this real? This is a dream. I’ll see her tomorrow and everything will be fine.”  A tear dropped from the corner of my eyes.  Then a flood of tears came.

She started crying and said, ” I let you down….I’ve been clean five years. Look at me now.”

  • I’m thinking, ” It’s your fault.  You didn’t go to the CAG meetings. You didn’t see the Therapist, and you barely saw me……Your Case Manager!”

Feeling guilty at the fact that I’m thinking this way. I’m not thinking about her. I’m worried about my ego, and the agency.    Then I thought, ” What would I want someone to say to me?”

I said, ” No! No! You didn’t let me down! Everyone makes mistakes. Can you come see me today?”

Her crying stopped.

I couldn’t hear anything.

One more time I asked, “Can you come see me today? We love you.”

Still sobbing she answers, ” I’ll be there in an hour!”

Lady In White


Hello Guys it’s been awhile, but I hope that you like this story.  I changed the name of the characters as well as, the location to protect the individuals.  I enjoyed listening to this young woman’s story and it blessed my Soul.  I pray that it will bless you too.  Be Blessed!

Lady In White

As far back as I can remember the color white always meant ,”Purity and the holiness of God.” I hated the color white ’cause as a chile growing up I’d git my outfit dirty on the way to church. My mother  beat me in the church bathroom fore we went into the sanctuary.

At times, Mamma was nice toward me and she’d encouraged me by sayin’, “Baby you are elegant, graceful, and invitin’…One day the men will worship you, and the women will hate you.” She’d continue, “But God will always love you, so hold your head up high.”

Men would swarm around my mother like bees clinging to the sweet juices of honey.  Sometimes old cockeyed  Joe would make me sit on his lap while mama made us supper.  When mama wasn’t payin’ attention he’d stick his hand up my dress and play with me. I’d scream and mama come running out the kitchen with a spoon in her hand, wavin’ at Joe, “Joe leave my baby along.”

She’d tell me, “Hush your noise and go play now. Mama got things to do with Joe.”

As I entered the church, I heard, mamma’s voice ringin’ in my ears, “Men will love you.” I walked down the aisle of the church. Just like mom ma taught me.

She’d say, “Baby a lady ain’t a lady if she don’t at least own one white dress.  You got to use what God gave you.”

I saw how people moved away from me just like I had an odor or somethin’.  With my head lifted high, I kept walkin’ down that long aisle.  I’d swear I was having hot flashes ’cause I felt heat formin’ on the back of my neck. As I reached my seat on the second row, some men stood up, applauded and praised my arrival.  

Deacon Tom greeted me on the cheek with a kiss and said, “Your style is elegant, graceful, and invitin’.” He sound just like momma sayin’ that…God rest her soul. His wife Susan smiled and waved at me. I loved these people very much. They were my mom-ma’s closest friends in this town. If it wasn’t for this couple takin’ me in I’d still be layin’ beaten on the side of the road.  Dusty Graves beat me nearly to death ’cause I broke it off with him on the account that he’s a married man. 

I’d guess you’d say I’d had my share of datin’ married men. They’ll never leave their wife for you. You’ll always be second to the wife, his job, and kids.  I guess that’s how it’s suppose to be.

The other men barely looked and smiled at me ’cause their wives threatened to divorce them if they spoke to me.  A group of  women in the middle section of the church rolled their eyes at me, and whispered, “Who does she think she is?”

“Girl  will you hush? She just heard you,” said  Fanny Mae the church secretary to Beatrice the town Gossiper.

Beatrice continued, “Ya’ll know she ain’t nothing but a huzzah…just look at her dress.”

Today  I didn’t care about the nasty comments or dirty looks.  I got to make things right with Jesus.  In the past, I ran out of the church crying because I feared their comments.  Deacon Tom told me  that my focus isn’t on man, but on God.

Although, I’m reminded daily of my past love affairs with married men, and how my mom-ma had every man in town.  I am guilty of all of these things, but God loves me anyway.  wpid-a7540805a9396059944b88f58eb95f3b.jpg

‘ Somewhere’ between me thinkin’ and dreamin’ Minister Jackson opened up with Prayer. Then he and the choir sang their hearts out. I closed my eyes and rocked my body back and forth. I felt free. I felt like dancin’, and so I danced.

I danced my heart out on the song, “He loves me…oh oh He loves me oh oh He loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.  I felt those women looking at me and I heard them calling me names.  I didn’t care.

As usual, Pastor Glen took the mic after the last song. He told everybody to Praise the Lord and shout the name of Jesus.  In unison, everyone shouted, “Jesus.”

Then he said, “Saints ya’ll remembers the woman at the well? You know Jesus didn’t care that she slept with every man in the town ’cause he loved her. Ya’ll sit down….you making me preach faster than I wants to”

Everyone took a seat and ‘ol Gossiping Beatrice  set at the end of my row rolling her eyes. Pastor Glen continued speaking, “Saints we need to treat one another kindly jist likes Jesus did.  How you going to go to heaven if you can’t love one another?”

Pastor Glen jumped down from the pulpit and stood at the front of the church.  He didn’t say anything for awhile, and no one moved. Then he said, ” Some of ya’ll don’t know I seen how ugly you’re to this young lady here.  He walked over and stood by me.  I started feeling embarrassed. “It’s okay darling..hold your head up high ’cause God loves you.”

Then he paced back and forth in the front saying, “Some of ya’ll should be ashamed of yourself callin yourselves Holy, Saints, and People of God. The God I serve love everybody in this place. I ain’t no saint either ’cause fore I got saved Tom found me in that gutter drunk. I smelled bad, but he and his wife took me in. They ministered to preacher man.”

Pastor Glen walked over and hugged Deacon Tom, and Deacon Tom started crying.  I ain’t never seen grown men cry, and then I noticed that every man in the church gathered around the Pastor and Deacon Tom.

I started crying and all the women sat in awe.  Then Pastor Glen’s voice began to shake into the mic like troubled waters, “You women of this church need to gather round about that baby and love on her.  Some of ya’ll mad at her mamma and making her pay for it. God don’t like ugly.

Susan and Beatrice made all the women get up and gather around me. Beatrice started praying over me and the other women joined her.  I felt light like a feather floating in the sky.  I couldn’t hear the preacher anymore.  The women screamed and hollered, “Lawd save her…Lawd touch her.”  As crazy as this sounds, I felt peace.  I couldn’t tell you everything that they prayed over me, but I felt good.

For the first time I felt love and it was good.  God loved a little dirty girl from Valley Springs.