Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Keys

The Keys

By- LaVar D. Lard

To nurture the existence of the earth, the four elements were created; wind, water, earth and fire. These elements were necessary for the earth to grow and nurture life. Though, when God created man in his own likeness he created four elements that acted as the keys to life. These keys nurtured the birth of man’s existence and that would bring balance between them and the earth.

The first key, Time, was created to age the earth and it’s inhabitant to prepare it for the coming of mankind. It also acted as an unforgiving force of nature that gave everything a lifespan, making no man immortal. In making no man immortal the next key created was Life and Death. Life and Death, acted as one key, giving birth to mankind in addition to taking life away from mankind when their lifespan have run it’s course. The third key, Nature, was created long after man’s inception and brought agriculture, spring showers, May flowers, drought, and disease. Although plants, insects, animals, and fish were sharing the earth with man long before nature arrived, there came a time when man started to destroy the earth and created havoc amongst the seasons. Nature took revenge on man and made the summers unbearable, the winters unlivable, and disease a common phenomenon. It brought balance, because of it’s rage man became fearful and

The last key, War & Peace, formed out of spite for man’s deadly sins; gluttony, greed, pride, anger, envy, lust, and sloth. This key put man against itself as a punishment for not cherishing the life they were given. This key would be the catalyst to the destruction of all mankind, but as long as the other three keys are intact man are not destined become extinct.

The coined phrase “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer” must have been God’s intention when he put the keys into four human beings cycling with the birth of a new key after the previous Key’s death. The keys are completely mortal human beings acting as the spark plugs keeping Time constant, Life and Death parallel, Nature at bay, and War and Peace balanced. Life as it is cannot exist without these four keys, so if one key is killed by another key, then all is on earth will be in chaos. So far none of the keys have ever met, nor have known of each other’s existence. Until some dare-devil archeologists put the Keys at peril.

Wound of War

The Wounds of War
(A look into the life of the author, the poet, the creator)
By- LaVar D. Lard

We all have battle wounds that tell stories, these wounds can be found; in our heart, on our skin, or in our actions. We cannot deny ourselves the truth that our past propels us forward and the choices that we make right now aims us in the direction that we want our lives to go. We call this being the captain of your ship and being the master of your fait. It’s taken me most of your adulthood to learn of this realism and then to prepare my life to be lived out just as I want it to be. In doing this I’ve realized that I don’t have time for all the friends I have made over the years unless they are valuable to my progress. I too have tossed family into the same boat, lacking to realize that they are a part of my past that is undeniable and essential to my grown. Though for some of my family I still have wounds of war that won’t let me forget many horrors of my past. For some people they can cover those scars in foundation or wear cloths that cover them up. For others they drink away their pains, hoping that their actions mask their pains and their past, because these are the ones who think that everybody can see their faults. There are those who smile, laugh, and dance away the thought of the wounds existence, hoping that they never find their way back into their lives. And as you know, my mother never gave birth to any girls, so nobody is covering up these wounds with foundations, but instead are drinking and laughing these pains away. When I realized this, I knew our pains resonated from the wounds of our past, the wounds of many wars we’ve experienced in our lifetime.

There were five wars that effected me and my brother’s life; the ‘War of Poverty’, the ‘War of Fallen Warriors’, the ‘War of Dead Daddies’, the ‘War of the Neglect and Malice’, and the ‘War of Money’. Some of these wars were more critical then others, but all of them had their lasting effect. A key player in all these wars was our mother, Brownie Lard, who had been the cause and comfort for the wars since our conception. She is now the proprietor of a new war that is brewing in our lives, the ‘War of Self-Centeredness’, which is still being fought out on a daily basis. What my mother fails to understand that her self-righteous decisions should be her own and affect only her. The factor that has been crushing her children’s lives for three decades now, is that she is blind of the effect her actions have on her children and how they will effect them for a lifetime. The saddest part of this entire system of wars is that she doesn’t seem to understand that her actions as a parent are crucial, because she not only teaches us, but if she is not careful about what she says or does in our presence she can scar us for life-no matter how big or small the action or word.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

WALKING THE BEATEN PATH - “Walk a mile in my shoes!”

By Author-LaVar "Mookie" Lard

I am tired of feeling sorry for myself for not living in sorrow and I am fed up of being alone because of being left out.”
- LaVar D. Lard

This road is long with many a winding turns, that lead us to who know where, who knows where. But I am strong, strong enough to carry him. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
- Author Unknown

The strength of the relationship between me and my line brother was unforgettable. Especially the night that I told him that I didn’t believe in God. I can remember the night like it was this very night. We were both sitting in his vehicle waiting for a Big Brother of ours to come out of an apartment where his girl had been staying. We waited for hours outside of this apartment building, just blocks away from where a young man had been shot just a week before. We weren’t too worried about that, because we had other things on our minds. Anyone who knows Evictus should know exactly what I’m talking about.

The night went on and we became tired of educating each other about the history of others and began to questions the history of each other. I wanted more than anything to be closer to this man. Even though by our appearance we had nothing in common. He was nearly a foot shorter than me. His complexion was that of the stereotypical African. Dark skinned, dry looking hair, and very animalistic features. Almost like a panther or a small ape. But he a was full bread American......African-American. He was telling me about his childhood and about the decisions he had made as a child and how he wouldn’t have been who is today if it weren’t for God. I looked at him in wonderment as to how God affected his life and to what extent. Though, instead of expanding on what he just said, he asked me “Now, are you a Christian?”

I paused then replied, “No.” I though that this was a good answer because it was honest and it left room for him to think that I was a believer in God, and that I may be of some other denomination other than Christian. But I guess that the word Christian wasn’t the title for a specific denomination, but meant that you believed in Christ, because he then turned and asked me another quesiton

“So you mean to tell me that you don’t believe in God?” He seemed puzzled and uncertain that that was the answer that I meant to give him. I knew I was caught. I just knew it. I felt like I was cornered into a room with four brick walls. There was no place to run.

I paused and thought about my answer because I hadn’t been asked this so directly before and I hadn’t had time to practice. Well, I guess I thought I could candy coat it. “Well, I do have some sense of higher beliefs, but I questions God’s existence“. He seemed appalled by my answer and sighed out loud as if he were saying to himself “what did this dumb ass fool just say?.” I didn’t know if I said something that was so deep that even he could relate or if I said something that totally didn’t make any sense.

That night seemed to go on forever and ever. He asked me every question in the book and I alluded more than half of them and answered the rest very honestly. The night got even more uncomfortable. We dropped our Big Brother off at his mother’s home where he invited us in and chatted with us a bit. I was very affluent with information and nonabrasive whenever the conversation got deep. But, we somehow had gotten on the subject of God. Suddenly I was knapping. Or at least it appeared so. I had to make them think that I was so out of it so quickly that I couldn’t grasp onto consciousness even when being nudged and bumped for a response. I strongly felt that my line brother knew that I was avoiding the issue, but had my back anyways. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

My Love Life Is Like A Slow Jam CD

My Love Life Is Like A Slow Jam CD
By Author- LaVar "Mookie" Lard

It has been almost two years to the day that I was left at that rainy bus stop. My heart was broken into tiny pieces and every raindrop pelted me like it weighed ten pounds. My pants were soaked up to my thighs and my shoes felt like large sponges. Every minute passed as if it were an hour. At times when it felt like twenty minutes had gone by, but one glance at my watch and I would notice that it was only one or two minutes. The rain took the place of my emotions and every raindrop symbolized the tears that I should have been shedding. I could have sworn that he knew to pick me up at 10PM. There was no question about it. He knew exactly when I finished up, so where the hell was he?
It had been an hour since school let out and I began walking to the nearest pay phone to call a cab collect. My intentions were to pay the cab once I got home. But damn, he had my keys so there was no way I could get inside my home to grab my wallet to pay the cabbie. This was what I feared. This was the feeling that was sweltering in my since he drove off with my car. What if he actually was on his way and because I left too early he doesn’t see me at the bus stop? That would make it my fault that he didn’t pick me up. Let me hurry back to the bus stop just in case he pulls up. I waited at the bus stop for an hour more then walked home twelve miles. I should have realized that his sorry ass played me stupid when he was fifteen minutes late. By then I was already drenched in my sorrows.
Years ago I had realized that every relationship has its favorite song. There is also a song that follows the relationship, which spawns from the separation of both people. I don’t necessarily expect to have that second song, but I can honestly agree that there is always a slow jam that reminds you of the many things that you and that person had. This song tends to remind you of the relationship to the ‘T’ or it can have that one verse that just spells out the entire relationship in just a few words. Oh, I can think of many songs that do just that. For example:

Alicia Keys, If I Ain’t Got You - Some people want it all, but I don't want nothing at all. If it ain't you baby. If I ain't got you baby. Some people want diamond rings. Some just want everything, but everything means nothing. If I ain't got you.

Musiq Soul Child, Half Crazy – “Lately I gotta watch what I say, cause you take things personal nowadays. We use to laugh; now you get mad. Damn, I just want my friend back.”

Destiny’s Child, Bug-A-Boo – “Its not hot that you be callin’ me stressin’ me pagin’ my beeper you're just non-stop. And it’s not hot that you be leavin’ me messages every 10 minutes and then you stop by.


R-Kelly, When A Woman’s Fed Up (Pre-molestation) – “I'm standing here looking in the mirror, saying "damn" to myself. I should have known the day would come, that she would find somebody else. And all the things I took her through. Shit, I shouldn't have lasted this long. Now I'm at this telephone booth, calling Tyrone.

I am not sure why we do this to ourselves, but we think it’s cute to choose ‘our song’ before a month has gone by. At the end of it all, we’d listen to the song over and over until it saddens us. Everyone has done this to themselves at least one time and I’m sure we all have our own slow jam CD of our pains, sadness, and our happiness. This is the story of my love life as a slow jam CD.

Epic - A Black Saga

Chapter 9 - The Truth of It All
By Author, LaVar "Mookie" Lard

Grandma Patrick began to tell the children the entire truth about the Patrick’s past.

Listen Closely children! It was the Day after the incident with the ground’s keeper. Master Patrick sent him home packing, stating that he didn’t appreciate a disrespectful servant, whether he was nigger or white. Mrs. Patrick was happy to see him going, especially because he caused her to get laughed at. The entire plantation laughed at her story about the grounds keeper. The only person who didn’t find it amusing was Teeba.

Master Patrick assigned Teeba to the house after he sold off her parents. He knew she wouldn’t be of any use as a field hand. Teeba despised Mr. Patrick with all her might, but Mr. Patrick adored her because of her pretty face and petite figure. Teeba didn’t feel the same about Mr. Patrick, instead, when she turned fourteen she eloped with one of the field hands named Madai. For years she pledged her love to Madai, in exchange he gave her a child. This is when Joshua Patrick was born. He received the last name Patrick only because he was born as the property of Master Patrick.

Unlike the rest of the children, Master Patrick put Joshua in the fields as soon as he was strong enough. In exchange, Mater Patrick sold Madai to a neighboring plantation. Joshua wasn’t given the chance to play as a child or to know his father. This was Mater Patrick’s way of getting back at Teeba, although his attraction to her was forbidden. The things that Master Patrick had done to Teeba over the years began to take their toll on her. She became week and frail. Her beauty was still there, but her strength to deny Master Patrick’s advances withered with her memories of Madai.

Years later when Joshua was fifteen years old, he heard screams coming from the slave quarters. Teeba had been pregnant for her ninth month and was in labor for the past three hours. Joshua knew this, but he had no authority to leave the fields. He also knew who the father of the child was, but was too afraid to speak of word of it to anyone. There were many times that the Masta called his momma into the house and he known good and well that she was not house nigger. There were also times that he would catch Masta Patrick coming out of the slave quarters while all the slaves were out in the fields, except for Teeba who was always taken away from the fields just in time for the Masta to come and visit. Joshua and many of the other slaves began to think that this was driving Teeba crazy. She was seen, many times, talking to herself or gazing up into the sky conversing with no one. Joshua always thought it was her way of praying, especially when she was looking up into the sky. Once, Joshua asked her who she be speaking with and she would reply, "well baby, I'm speaking with everyone." And she left it like that.

Joshua was out int he field when he heard the sound of Teeba screaming in pain. Joshua stopped picking and looked over to the slave quarters, hoping that the screaming would come to a cease soon. Then it finally did. Joshua stared hyptnotically at the Shack where his mother was giving birth to her new child. Suddenly there was a sharp pain in his back, which was soon followed by the crack of a whip. There was a slight pain on his back, but not enough to distract him from gazing at the door of the shack.

Get ya butte to work boy,” yelled the grounds keeper as he pulled back the whip once more to frighten Joshua into continuing his tiring labor.

Joshua turned and proceeded to work, but his attention was once agian taken by the shack. There was no sound coming from the wooden door that barely hung on the brass hinges. He glanced back every few seconds to hear if there was any new or any sound of the babie's faint cry.

Whenever a new baby is born, the medicine woman runs out and yells “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.” This time when Joshua glanced back to see the medicine woman running out of the slave quarters and into the Master’s mansion. Her and Master Patrick returned, running from the mansion to the slave quarters. Joshua knew what had happened. The baby must have been bright skinned. There was no crime worse than having a bright skinned child. Moments later Joshua turned when he heard a loud yelp come from the slave quarters.

Joshua stopped working and turned towards the slave quarters as Master Patrick walked out the slave quarters holding a pale white baby. The baby wasn’t yellow like Joshua expected, but whiter than usual. As soon as Master Patrick entered the mansion Joshua saw his mother running out of the slave quarters. She hobbled from the recent childbirth, with her dress torn in the front and her legs covered in blood.

“Give me my baby you bastard,” she growled as she hobbled across the landscape. Her eyes gleamed green, which grasped Joshua’s attention.

The ground’s keeper saw Joshua doing nothing and went over and hit him with the whip. Joshua didn’t react. He just stood staring at the entrance to the mansion. From the inside of the mansion Teeba yelled and cried. Then there was a bright light flash from within the house and afterwards the sound of a fired shotgun. Joshua ran towards the mansion. Right behind him was the ground’s keeper running with the whip in hand. Joshua ran to the doorway and cringed in terror. Teeba was lying on the ground bleeding from a wound in her chest. Joshua fell to the ground next to his mother, crying and hugging her. He held her limp body in arms and rocked her as she once did him.

A deep threatening voice echoed from the mansion, “Take care of him, he may be a problem.”

Joshua looked up and saw Master Patrick holding a shotgun in his hand. Next to his head was large burn mark on the wall. It looked as if someone had tried to burn the wall.

Master Patrick yelled, “do him now!” Then he turned and walked away. Joshua was angry, but at the same time scared. He kissed Teeba’s forehead and with his last good-bye, laid her back on the ground and whispered, “I love you mom.”

When the ground’s keeper approached Joshua, he pushed him to the ground and ran into the nearby woods.

Grandma Luda paused from telling the story and sobbed lightly, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Those men went after Joshua and they were going to kill him."

The hunt had been going on for fifteen minutes and Joshua had gained enough distance in front of them that if he continued to run, he could make it to freedom. Joshua ran in panic from the sounds of the hound dogs barking and shots being fired far in the distance. One shot ranged so loud that he swore it was right behind him. Joshua fell in fear, ripping his shirt off on a broken tree branch. He regained his balance and continued running, despite his blistered and callused feet. When he felt he couldn’t go on any further he began to pray.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

In the distance ahead, one of the slave hunters inconspicuously hid behind a tree awaiting Joshua’s approach. Joshua continued, “He may give me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”

The slave hunter cocked his gun and took a deep breath. Joshua uttered, “Yea, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Just as Joshua spoke these words, the Slave hunter revealed himself within Joshua’s sight, and aimed his gun.

Joshua stopped running and froze in fear. He kept praying, “I shall fear no evil.” His last prayer began to echo through his head as the slave hunter pulled the trigger. Joshua clutched his fists as he watched the bullet leave the barrel of the gun and draw near.

To the slave hunter not even a second had passed, but Joshua watched as the bullet crept towards him. In his mind he began to repeat. “I shall fear no evil. I shall fear no evil.”
The speeding bullet instantly ceased movement and hovered directly in front of Joshua’s brow. His look of worry turned into vicious smirk as he repeated out loud. “I shall fear no evil”.

The slave hunter looked in fear, then dropped his gun and ran away as fast as he could. Joshua gave the bullet one look and it immediately rotated towards the direction of the fleeing slave hunter. Joshua then threw his fists open and the bullet jetted off hitting a tree next to the retreating slave hunter. The slave hunter screamed in fear, throwing his hands up and running hysterically.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Invisible Man I Tried To Make Visible

The Invisible Man I Tried To Make Visible
By- LaVar D. Lard (Blood son of the late Robin Stoner )

The Invisible Man in my life was the one person that I could not wish was never alive. If it was not for whatever he did when he did it, then I would not be here on this earth nor here in spirit. You’d think that’ll be someone whom I’d revere and love, if not respect and cherish, but it wasn’t. Some terms would describe him as Dad, Father, Pops, Ol’ Man, or Papi. I, on the other hand, refer to him using the terms; Him, Ol’ dude, the Sperm Donor, or My Momma’s Baby Daddy. And as you can see, I can’t excuse him for what he did, because he did nothing. And it was exactly that-nothing. That is if you consider ‘nothing’ to be impregnating a woman and leaving her presence for fifteen years straight. The job he supposedly did had a whole lot of responsibility that came with it. He left his responsibility on the cub and took off-and I hated him for that.

As a child I didn’t know what Fathers were. I didn’t realize I didn’t have one until my mother kept introducing me to all these different people, beginning when I was 4 years old. She would always refer to me as “Robin’s Son.” Shit if I knew what that meant, but I met many people over the years and in experiencing that I learnt what a Father was to me. I learned that a Father was someone who was supposed to be the opposite of your mother. He was suppose to be someone who was always there everyday of your life. I soon realized that that was what a Father was to other kids. I felt incomplete because I only had a Mother and knew nothing of who my father was, not even a picture. I did my research by asking the right questions to the right people. I knew that he was in California, I received bits and pieces of his contact information, and I was told that I looked just like him. After some years I was able to contact him and I told him that I wanted to meet him. I asked him how his life was and if he missed me. I don’t recall exactly what his answers were, but I was comforted that I did have that other parent. It was just that he was not in the same state as me that made it difficult to pursue anything else.
When I was Fifteen my family lived in the shanty part of the city. Down the street from us lived a man whom I learned to call my Uncle Syl. It was my Uncle Syl who had married into my Father’s family and widowed out some time later. I often went to visit him to feel embraced by my some semblance of my Father’s family. He was a good man, even til’ the day when he called to tell me that Robin was in town. He went into detail by telling me that he was over at some homeless shelter in Rock Island, IL. I saw this as my opportunity to meet he man, the myth, and the legend-my Dad. Maybe my facial expression didn’t show it, but I was surprised, enthused, and amused to meet him. Me, my brother, my mom and her boyfriend all went to the homeless shelter to see him.
Robin, My Father, Sperm Donor, Baby’s Daddy, and Ol’s man was not what I expected. Although I never met him in person I expected for him to be glowing, if not sparkling like gold. He was a small man with bad skin who looked as if the last 20 years of his life where at the bottom of a whisky bottle. This was where I became amused. Now, I knew my mother could have done better than this, but this was the one she chose. There could be no other and at the time I didn’t wish that he never existed. I appreciated the new fact that I had a Father now and I embraced it. I hugged him and touched him for the first time. I didn’t cry, because I was relieved that I finally met him. How could I have known that this wasn’t the last time I’d yearn for a father to be in my life?
I was not sad as hell about my relationship with my Father. When I was eighteen and I haven’t seen nor heard anything from Robin in the longest time. Actually I had seen him 5 times ever since I first met him when I was fifteen. Sometime between then and when I was eighteen my mother filed for child support, being that he wasn’t being active nor visiting frequently enough. Little did I know that this pushed him away more that I could ever expect. He was angry of mother’s resentment for him not taking a hold of this responsibility a long time ago. Her bitterness at him caused him to resent me. Lucky me huh? I invited him to my high school graduation and I made sure that he received an invitation by dropping one off at his job, at his case worker, and at the place that he lived. I continued with me life and went off to college; thinking that I’d never see him again. Before I knew it I graduated college, moved to Kansas City, and spent several years there only to learn that he lived there for a year prior to the first time we met. I found myself thinking about him often, then I realized that I had to ask this man some questions before he die or something. Who knew what would happen with him, being that he and alcohol were one of the same. I made a special trek to the Quad Cities to find him. It took me a whole 2 hours, but I found him, with alcohol in hand. I asked him if I could speak with him for a moment, he obliged and we went off to have lunch together, minus the alcohol. At this luncheon I asked him questions that I didn’t want to follow him to his grave. These were questions about who he was, his mother, father, and any other fallen family members that I haven’t had the chance to meet during my life time.
Anyone who reads this would be surprised of the outcome of me going to talk to him that day. He kept rambling on about how much I must have loved him since I would search him down like this. In a sad demeanor he said he was proud of me and apologized that his Mother didn’t raise him to be a man or a father. He regretted never having raised me and seemed unhappy that he and I couldn’t have been a better pair. After listening to him I lost the ability to coldly tell him that I resented him. I was thankful to have come out great, being that he was not there for me. I wanted him to be, but there was nothing we could do about the past and my childhood was over. Meeting with him was a major milestones, which left nothing else for him and I to discuss any further. He missed out on my entire life and I missed out on his. I held back my anger and pain that I’ve acquired from him resenting me. I still don’t know how it would’ve made him feel to hear that I lost a piece of my heart every time I went looking for him and he wasn’t there to greet me or to know that he made no attempt to see me graduate and accomplish great things. I gave him every attempt and he did not take advantage of it.
I admit that I’m still bitter that my very own Father raised a boy that supposedly was not his own, but took no opportunity to raise me in any way. What makes this the saddest story ever is that he is now deceased and I will not mourn him in any way. I’m angry that there was no relationship there that would subjugate me to want to mourn or pose an ounce of respect for his now fallen life force. All is done and done it is. It’s a shame how we couldn’t have been better towards each other. I almost wish that there was something there; anything. But there is nothing.