Tuesday, April 29, 2008

circle of light

amidst the darkness your glow illuminates the land

roaming the world at your own beat

a mere reflection that you claim for your own

day or night never afraid to leave

whether obscuring the light of the sun

or the same away from you

you capture the awe from the young and old

whether red, brown, white, or blue

waxing, waning, first, last, full, or new

your ever presence rules our tides

spring or neap, strong or weak

following your moves we must abide

so stay where you are

in your ever-changing place

watched from here

is your ever-changing face

© 2008 Bernice Burks

Friday, April 25, 2008

april 25, 1998

ten years today i declared 'I DO'
solidifying i belonged to you

vowed to love, comfort, honor, and keep
the embodiment of your love in my soul deep

for richer or poorer, in sickness or health
your love the most valuable nature of wealth

through better or worse, sadness or joy
we were blessed with the birth of our boy

promised to honor and to cherish
a precious bond no need to embellish

although our life has not been what we've expected
my love for you has never deflected

through our trials and time apart
you are ever present in my heart

mutual prayer guides our way
through our destined path each and every day

most of all we must remember
keeping God first we will never surrender

this declaration comes from within
to my first love, my darling Ben

© 2008 Bernice Burks

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

eat more than words

Ironically, yesterday at The Rich House I made comment about how blessings are returned to you. I did not know how I would be blessed today. At my jobsite in the past few weeks, several raffles have been held to raise funds to support the team of my fellows workers in the Walk for Lupus Now that is to be held in the ATL this Saturday at Piedmont Park. For the raffles, many dishes were donated as prizes. For the Grand Finale, I purchased 50 entries for $10.

Not long before the gathering to pull the winner today, I began working on a support ticket that took longer than expected. I did not expect to win I just bought the tickets to support, so I continued working. To my surprise, I got a call to "get in here, you won".

The Grand Finale prize consisted of a Honey Baked Ham, Squash Casserole, Potato Salad, Collard Greens, Corn Bread, Derby Pie, and a bottle of Sparkling Cider.

Now normally, we would have devoured the fixins' tonight, but since Friday is my 10th Wedding Anniversary, we are going to wait until hubby gets home in a few days. Ain't we nice?

Ten-fold? A meal to feed all of us for 10 bucks.

I have become more aware of this disease in the past few years since there are two co-workers living through it. The team is a long way from their goal, if you would like make a donation, click here. Thanks.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

journey, part 3


The first area of change had to be outward appearance. How you see yourself greatly affects how you feel. Looking in the mirror, I looked like I was hiding myself among the baggy, over-sized clothes. After discussing my concerns with a friend/co-worker, we decided to immediately go shopping before I changed my mind, another friend came along. So over an extended lunch break, the three of us had a What Not To Wear shopping session at the mall. I made a vow to myself that I would not make another purchase of clothing that would hide me. Also, as I replaced them I gave away all the old clothing so I would not slip back into them and the accompanying mood.

The next phase was to find something to do for myself. The opportunity arose in the fall of 2006. A co-worker had sent out a notice that Adult Women's soccer league was developing and they were looking for players. Outside of PE in school and walking for exercise, I had never participated in any sport. I was always involved in academics. As a celebration of my 37th birthday, that day I participated in my first soccer pick up game. In the second half of that first game, I played the goalie position and stayed there every since. There was no way I was going to run around with the other women who were 10-15 years younger and in better physical condition. Even though I did not lose any weight I thought I would, I did get stronger and "earned" the nickname "brick wall". There were some that actually bounced off of me on collisions and I barely felt anything. There were two impacts that I recall best. One was when many teammates kept asking if I was okay after an impact. I repeated answered I was fine. Finally I asked, "what was the big deal, why is everyone keep asking me that?". A teammate answered, "because you were hit by two people at the same time." I knew I was hit hard but not by two. The other incident actually took me out of the game. I was hit while airborne; twisted my leg in the hip area and ended up on the ground, a rare situation. I think I took a week's break and back to the field it was. I have not played since last July; two family reunions filled the rest of the month and my son started 1st grade at a new school the following month. He had issues, so I did not have time for soccer.

During the same time I was playing soccer, I started something based on a thought out of the blue. Since my childhood days, I would always daydream, home, school, wherever. I got into plenty of trouble by not paying attention. I gained better control over it as I grew older but it was still there. I would take a situation I saw/heard/dreamt and asked "what if...". So one morning while thinking about something I had dreamed, I decided to write it down. What started as a small thought developed into a novel nine months later. I am in the process of preparing it to be published. I became a writer. A few months ago, I met someone who has encouraged me to write more. Since then I have started writing verse. I never thought that I would be a writer; they seemed to be so artistic and out of my league. And now I am one. I have started on another story that may be novel length also. I will just see how it turns out.

Thankfully, a few months ago hubby heard about T-ball registration at a park in the area. My son wanted to participate so I signed him up. Since he lives like an only child, his half-sister is going to college in another state, he needed to learn how to share, work with others, and follow rules better. Plus he would be around more male figures. I do not want him to grow up to be a momma's boy. His school life seems to be better since he started playing and he is learning a lot. He mostly plays third base. He does need more self-control and accuracy, but he is trying. Watching Major League Baseball has helped also.

In addition to the two game days and one team practice a week, I try to take him to the park for practice or we just practice in the yard. Usually I help out in coaching, just reiterating what the coach has demonstrated during practice, and last week I was the third base coach for a game when the regular guy could not make it. So at least I am participating in a sport again and spending quality time with my son.

Next, change in living arrangements

Saturday, April 19, 2008

journey, part 2

Now we were both out of work with an infant, mortgage, and two car notes. He was able to find work here and there in his field but it wasn't enough to cover everything and he had to travel.
As expected, assets dwindled and the house was put on the market. Mom offered her home to us so my job search expanded to my home town. Finding no job postings in my field, as expected, I had to find a job a tedious way. I searched the Yellow Pages online for ads that contained web addresses for IT companies in the area. I had found a few that were promising. On a Monday, ten days after sending my cover letter and resume to their HR department, I received a phone call from the president of the company. An interview was set for the Friday of the same week. Knowing I would be in town, a family friend tried to make arrangements for me to get an interview at her job on the same day. It wasn't necessary, I was offered a position before the interview ended. Of course I accepted.

So there I was, employed again, but at less than half of my previous income, and separted from Hubby during the week. Hubby's work ended and he had trouble finding a new one; and there was still the mortgage, car notes, utilities, etc. for the home in the ATL. I commuted weekly until the house was sold 10 months later on a Friday. Hubby started truck driving school the following Tuesday and was gone for three weeks. After completing the course and a few weeks searching transportation companies, he became an official long haul driver, coming home every two or three weekends; another form of separation.

The financial recovery process began to clear the mounds of debt; including payback to family that assisted during that crucial year. It took several years but it was done around the time I started my personal evaluation in 2006.

... jumping back to future...

journey, part 1

I feel I need to get this out as to continue on my journey.

Early 2006, I visited my family physician for a regular checkup. As normal, a routine bloodwork was ordered. The results showed that my iron level was too low, so doc prescribed an iron/vitamin supplement to raise the level.

Within the first few days of taking the pills, I realized how much of a slump I had been in. My energy level seemed to shoot through the roof. I began to analyze myself and quickly determined that I did not like what I found internally and on the surface. I was a perfect candidate for What Not To Wear, Dr. Phil or The Oprah Show, even though I am not a fan Phil or Oprah. Basically my days were spent on working, and taking care of hubby, son, mother, sister, niece, and whoever needed whatever. I was not taking care of myself.

During further evaluation of my life, I remembered hubby saying that I had changed since my son was born in the summer of 2001. During my pregnancy, I had to take iron supplements, but after his birth I gradually stopped taking them. I believe that was when my downward spiral began coupled with the loss of work. I was contracting at the time and had planned to start a new contract when my son was 2 months old. Unfortunately when he was 6 1/2 weeks old, the 9/11 attacks occurred and the bottom fell out of the IT industry in the ATL area. That contract was cancelled and it seemed that there were no contracts for perm jobs to be found. So there I was with an infant and no job.

I spent my days taking care of the house, the baby and the rest of every waking moment in the job search. It did not seem too bad at first, just tiring. We thought that within 6 months things would be better. We were wrong. The following January, hubby was laid off.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

alone in a crowded room

Alone in a crowded room

Voices all around
Too muffled to distinguish a single sound

People come and go
Can they see me, I do not think so

How can this be
When there are so many surrounding me

Should I drink
No, I must be able to think

Why can’t I be seen
What does this mean

Tears stream down my face
I have to get out of this place

© 2008 Bernice Burks

Sunday, April 13, 2008

in your arms

In your arms

In your arms,
A web of security envelops

In your arms,
The burdens of my world ascends

In your arms,
There is no apprehension of accomplishment

In your arms,
Your fine follicles caress my soul within

In your arms,
My spirit is consumed of pellets of love

In your arms,
Our bond illuminates upon us

In your arms,
We are one

@2008 Bernice Burks

Thursday, April 10, 2008


How could a word so small control the majority for one’s life?

As children, we fear our parent’s wrath, loss of their love, and the ‘boogie’ man.
As teenagers, we fear lack of popularity, not ‘making the grade’, and making incorrect decisions that affect our future.

As adults, we fear financial instability, substandard parenting skills, and lack of a significant other.

Why should we fear these things? They are unknowns.
What are we lacking in our lives that allow us to succumb to these emotions?
How do we conquer these emotions?


The love of God erases the doubts of the unknown. Within faith, nothing should be feared.

© 2008 Bernice Burks

Monday, April 7, 2008

rock of my gibraltar

In honor of National Poetry Month

Rock of My Gibraltar
April 4, 2008

you say that you don't know me
it is 'cause i constantly change
i am a deciduous tree
high on a mountain range

through strong winds forever blowing
swaying from side to side
what i feel for you
it is something i can never hide

as solid as your limestone
your foundation is strong
i stand before you
this is where i belong

without your support
i can't do all that i do
deep in your heart
you must know I love you

there are many times
i may seem bizarre
it is who i am
but you are the rock of my gibraltar

@2008 Bernice Burks

Friday, April 4, 2008

my first time

Since this is my first post, I am starting with the first essay I have formally written.

February 16, 2008

In regards to my writing, I was once told to ‘Do what makes you happy?’
What is happiness? Pleasure? Feeling of satisfaction? Contentment?

If we ever reach a point in our lives where we feel that we have achieved happiness, what else is there for us to attain?

As Americans, we believe that we are endowed with the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The pursuit, not achievement, should be our goal.

Whether it pertains to our relationships, employment, family, religious affiliation, or just in our hobbies, we can attempt to achieve the state of Happiness, even though it can never be achieved upon this Earth. True Happiness occurs after our physical death and the transition of our souls to a heavenly state.

So why should the pursuit exist, if it can never be achieved? The pursuit is what makes us human. We strive for love, wealth, possessions, and family. The pursuit gives us energy, makes us strong. It gives us the strength to endure failures and setbacks, but also the resolve to try again.

To give up on the pursuit is to give up on life. Being endowed with this life is a true blessing. None of us should waste it.

© 2008 Bernice Burks

What is Happiness to you?

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