Statistics

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

I had a best friend named Chance,
As kids we were so close,
I ate in his house, slept on his couch, we even shared clothes,
We were like brothers,
Both born into a broken home,
Running the streets, we were often left alone,
before we learned to read or write,
we learned how to fight and dance.
So, according to the statistics we never had a chance,
Now, Chance was beyond his time,
At 13, he was going on 35,
And since he loved to shine,
He spent most of his time,
Trying to get a dime,
Selling base became his grind,
Baseball became mine,
So, as we grew older we barely spent any time,
At the age of 14, still in his youth,
He got the same tattoo as Tupac in Juice,
same Coogi sweater as Biggie under the leather, (pause)
It was all a Dream to become a rapper, but he needed one more chance,
Because at 15, while sitting in a car with one of his friends,
he was shot,
ironically just like Biggie and Pac,
Standing in Shock,
at his funeral, over his casket,
I couldn’t help but think,
This could have been me,
Because every year gun homicides,
continue to rise,
to become the number one demise,
of teenage minority lives(pause),
We must all realize?
The value of life,
Because If Chance is not alive,
and I survived,
Its a 50-50 chance,
And numbers don’t lie,
So, as young black men,
At this rate, we will always have a slim chance,
Statistics.

Bread and Butter(Struggle Acceptance Speech)

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

First of all, I would like to thank god for the bread and butter,
You taught me at an early age which side of my bread was buttered,
On those hungry days and long nights, when grandmother had no bread or butter,
Empty refrigerator and stove, lord knows, we needed that bread and butter,
Behind on rent payments and bills piled over her head,
dreams of steak and eggs,
but instead,
we had butter and bread,
Still I Wonder,
how during hard times, with only Parkay and Wonder,
grandma always found a way to do Wonders,
yellow spread and a slice of bread,
abra cadabra, hocus pocus, wala we were fed, and bred,
Off of buttered bread,
So before, the music plays,
To kick me off the stage,
Or tell me I can’t stand at the podium any longer,
I want to make sure I give a shout out to bread and butter
Because “What didn’t kill me, made me stronger”,
Thank You,

Heavenly Father

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

When my father passed,
I was forced to grow up fast
I went from 8 to 18 in the blink of an eye,
Every night I use to get on my knees, look to the sky and ask why?
(Pause) Oh, Heavenly Father!!!
Today, I met Devin,
he told me his father was alive but he never came to see him,
He looked just like him, talked like him,
but he never wants to be him,
Yesterday I met Rell, same old tale,
We both didn’t have our parents at our show and tell,
his father was in jail without bail,
and facing 25 to life,
On the news,
he was accused of,
taking another father’s life,
I am at the point in my life,
When I start to ask how?
How do we grow up to be men when our fathers are not around?
How do we learn to take care of our responsibilities,
When we had to learn about the birds and the bee’s,
from the radio and tv screens?
Learn to drive a car, ride a bike, tie our shoes,
From the internet and the news?
The worse thing is, this is what we are use to,
For every Lebron James, Jay-Z, Barack Obama,
There are thousand’s of Larry’s, Tyrone’s and Terry’s, who never made it,
Being raised by a single mother,
They say growing up without a father,
Can permanently alter,
The structure of your brain and turn a young kid insane,
So I guess that means,
where I from,
We are as crazy as they come,
And the penitentiary has become,
our sanitarium,
So, Instead of medication they can just burry him,
For life,
Another father trapped inside,
Another kid trapped outside,
in the dark,
With no band aid big enough to cover the hole in his heart,
Even if it was made,
There will always be a permanent scar,
Covered by a tattoo that says “victim of the endless cycle”,
Then you looks around and every fatherless son looks just like you,
That’s enough to
drive any teenage little baby,
crazy,
Enough to have me kneeling at the side of my bed,
during holidays,
When most kids my age.
Begged,
for a superhero action figure
Instead,
Oh, Heavenly Father!!!
I am praying for a father figure.
Amen,

Fork in the Road

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

The sounds of a walkie talkie in my ears,
Sweaty palms, and under arms as I fight back tears,
Wondering if I am being taken to jail was my fear,
As I sit in the back of a Truancy van with some of my peers,
5 minutes ago I was just walking to school,
We were only 15 minutes late,
are these the rules?
Or are these our rules?
Accusations of profiling run through my mind,
Feelings of worthlessness empties my heart,
The strong arms of the law has rattled my soul,
Will I have to deal with this my entire life?
Another inner city kid reaching that fork in the road,
The voice to my right is telling me yes,
90 percent of this van,
Ear pierced, brown skin, baggy pants,
So at one point you will all have your finger prints ran,
Through the system,
So why even try to be different,
When you will always fit the description,
A spade is a spade,
Just call a friend of a friend,
Get in to the game,
You don’t need a masters or doctorate to sell the prescription,
because beyond a reasonable doubt,
it is the only feasible route,
for a kid who looks like you, talks like you and walks like you to ever make it
out,
Then I heard a shout,
The left side interjected,
Whatever the right side is telling and selling you just reject it,
and forget it,
If you go down that path I guarantee you will regret it,
Don’t be a fool, stay in school,
I see you as college accepted,
Then you can look back on this experience and share it in your message,
That a kid who lost his parents at 12,
Raised by a single grandmother without any formal education,
Overcame the obstacles of the inner city,
And made it,
To became a first generation,
College graduate in Education
Then, a light bulb flashed, over my head
I realized that the left sounded just like what my grandmother once said,
I sat back,
as my wandering mind snapped back,
I decided to do what’s best,
and go toward the left,
By rejecting the “poor me” story I was being told and sold,
I was able to take full control,
When I reached the inevitable fork in the road.

This I Believe- “Education over Everything”

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

Confusion and blank stares sit upon my face,
As my mom sits upon the stairs with tears upon her face,
In her hands I see paper,
but in her eyes I see disgrace,
I’m thinking to myself, why is she in this state?
Then she looked me in the eyes and said “Put your Education is Everything”!!
I realized, she had my middle school rejection letter in her hands,
She places it in my hand,
and again she says,
“Put your Education over Everything”!!
Out of respect I stood silent but in my mind I said a lot,
I thought,
“Even though I was not accepted, I know Im not a fool,
It’s just another stupid school, with too many rules,
Plus their uniforms are not even cool”
But in reality, I just stood there and cried, Not because I was denied,
but because my mom was disappointed and I didn’t understand why,
As she went on and on about how she never expected, for me, her son,
to ever be rejected,
I still didn’t get it,
I just walked to my room and called it a night,
little did I know this conversation would save my life,
Expectations.

Less than 2 years later, My mother was no longer living,
She succumbed to the disease that killed my father three years prior,
But the feelings of letting her down lived deep in my heart,
right next to the images of her body breaking apart,
and directly under that, these words were engraved really dark.
“Put your Education over Everything”!!
It finally hit me,
These are the words that she wanted to instill in me,
before she had to leave,
She knew she didn’t have much longer to live due to this disease,
She knew I would be,  “an orphan”,
Through my many trials and tribulations,
These are the words that helped steer me in the right path,
Straight to perfect attendance,
Above the honor roll,
Right through high school, with great grades,
because I always remembered that day, and the painful expression on Mama’s face,
And when it came time to apply to colleges,
to write an essay for multiple scholarships,
“Education is Everything” was exactly what I titled it,
This was my motivation to be all I can be, to climb mountains with these words
tattooed on my sleeves,
looking down at it every time I was in dire need,
Of Motivation.

And, when it came time to become a first generation college student,
I had the mental strength and perseverance needed to get through it.
When it was time to move to a town in the middle of nowhere,
I had no fear, I was ready,
When it was time, to be a walk on the scene with the baseball team, I was
ready,
When it was time to work in the campus kitchen to pay tuition, I was ready.
When I leave my college baseball team, and my childhood dream, I was ready,
When my college degree was in doubt and I felt like dropping out, I was ready,
To work three part time jobs, and be a full time student,
Because again, I had the mental strength and perseverance to get through it,
And on college graduation day,
I stood on the stage,
Chosen to represent all of the “Education” students,
In the pouring rain, I knew it,
Was my mother’s tears, of joy,
and through the cheers,
All I heard in my ears,
Were the words “Put your Education over Everything” in my mother’s exact voice.
I looked into the sky, to let the rain hit my face,
As my future as a teacher awaits,
I thought to myself “Education over Everything”.

Epiphany- Don’t Waste Our Planet

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

What if you had, an older brother, single mother, without a dad,
At the age of 12 your mother had passed, What if?
Your grandmother sacrificed everything she had, to play the role of mother and
dad, to make sure that,
You and your brother had(pause),
a roof over your head, food on the table, and
clothes on your back, what if?
She didn’t have a high school diploma or college degree,
but she had what the
mind cant teach and what the eyes cant see,
She was Selfless(pause).
Selfless enough to give her all,
to make sure, that you didn’t fall,
Victim to the system, where the odds are stacked against you, and everyone is
trying to convince you, that your potential,
Goes beyond jail, or a hearse,
She saw Yale,
So she made you put education first, even if it meant every penny in her
purse!!, what if?
All of the statistics, classified you as helpless,
She bet her life, rolled the dice and didn’t think twice,
Now that, is selfless,
What if your grandmother lived in the same Brooklyn apt for 33 years,
paid
her rent, taxes, drunk a few beers,
but the rats and trash made her fight back
tears. What if?
The front of her building was Mcdonalds for rats,
with a ball pit of litter, and
all you can eat trash, What if?
The trash was never recycled properly and rats and rodents began to take over
the property, just another game of monopoly!!
What if?
Watching helplessly was something you hated,
as the woman who raised you,
practically made you, basically saved you,
grew more and more frustrated(longer
pause)
Frustrated with rats
Frustrated with litter
Frustrated with mail that was never delivered
Frustrated with trash, and the way it was managed,
Frustrated with how people were treating our planet,
Frustration.
What if your Grandmother was diagnosed with cancer(pause),
should you forget about the small problems
or try to search for the answers. What if?
You sit back and watch as she loses hair and weight,
wondering what is going on in her mind,
as you stare in her eyes and just admire, her strength, what if?
At the moment you think of questioning your faith,
You remember what she told you..
Grandma told you with conviction,
We must stay strong and just listen,
Because we are all here on a mission to spread Gods vision. What if?
Grandma told you that everything happens for a reason, so even, on rainy days,
please remember(pause)
god works in mysterious ways,
now that’s strength,
What if? You look to the skies, close your eyes, to listen,
and then realize, a blessing in disguise, and the reason you must keep living,
because grandma told me to be the hardest working,
everyone is here to serve a higher purpose,
That’s was my Epiphany(pause),
I finally got the message he sent me. (Pause)
and through my pain,
I came up with the name Geo Friend-Lee,
Dedicated to using the talent given to me, on Earth,
to encourage others to treat our planet with the
respect and dignity, it deserves,
So, I will not just talk the talk, but I will
walk the walk to help make a greener and cleaner New York,
and better World for future generations,
because we only get one planet, and it wouldn’t be smart to
waste it.

My Super Woman- Grandma Dee

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

The phone rings and my heart stops,
I see the caller I’d, then my heart races,
I pick up the phone and it’s Doctor Mason,
He asks to speak to my grandmother,
Since its been a week full of bad clues,
Deep down I just knew,
It would be bad news,
So, I passed her the phone and walked in the bathroom,
I got on my knees and prayed,
I prayed for my mother to be in a better place,
A place where she is no longer suffering and fighting,
I prayed for the strength to deal with my mother dying,
Then I heard my grandmother crying,
I walked out of the bathroom and we held each other tight,
She looked in my eyes and said “by the grace of god everything will be alright”,
For the rest of my life,
I remembered this night,
The night my grandmother lost her only daughter,
The night my brother and I lost our mother,
The unforgettable moment,
When my grandmother,
Revealed her cape and became my super woman, (short pause),
I could have been in a foster home all alone,
I could have been in the streets and trains begging for change,
I could have been on the corner trying to become a hustler,
Instead,
I was at home with my grandmother,
Helping me get through every situation in my life,
pushing me to always give it my all,
When I started to slack,
and fell off my path,
she always made sure,
I got back on the right track,
then I gave more,
She taught me about sacrifice, and above all,
She taught me to dream big, and work hard,
So when I look in her eyes, I see the sky,
I see no limits, I see the women that raised me,
a single grandmother who taught me how to be a man,
The remarkable woman that saved me.

Made in Brooklyn

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

I’m from Brooklyn,
When we never followed trends,
but what we did moved the culture,
The place where you learned to keep your friends close and your enemies even
closer,
Because if you got caught on the wrong block where no ones knows ya,
The blood sucking vultures,
Would approach ya,(pause)
And hand to hand combat,
was normal contact,
Its was just our way of life,
If you lost a fight, and its was a fact,
Your mom or brother was bringing you right back,
not to talk to their mother, but for a rematch,
This was their way of making you tougher,
Since many fathers were not around,
this was the recipe for many mothers,
They knew if you didn’t learn to stand up for yourself,
You would go your entire life needing their help,
And since Respect was like credit
You had to do a lot to get it,
But once you messed it up you can forget it,
And once you are labeled an ATM.
You become everyone’s debit,
So, certain colors were off limits,
Just forget it,
If you wore red, blue, black and yellow,
Without medal,
You may not live to regret it,
It was even worse in the summer,
The corners were packed with hustlers,
Looking for customers,
The blocks were flaming hot,
because even when they got caught, and sent away for a few months,
When they came back,
they went right back to the same spot,
On the 4th of July
When we had block parties during the day, cook outs at night,
You can always expect a shoot out or fight,
what can I say, That was our Independence Day,
Fire crackers were often mistaken for gun shots,
you can go a whole day without seeing one cop,
Violence was out of control,
So you learned that when you heard a loud noise,
you had to stop, drop, and roll,
Because one minute a kid could be outside, jumping rope,
The next minute people are crying, missing Tyrone,
So, whenever kids were playing tag or crate basketball,
Parents counted on the entire block to look after them all,
If you got caught doing something wrong,
Like going farther than the green pole,
And Ms. Pell saw,
When you got home you were getting the belt, raw,
We called that “home cooking”,
The scars from the whoopen,
was your unique stamp,
That tells anyone looking,
that you were Made in Brooklyn.

Poetic Justice

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

They say a picture is worth a thousand words,
Then I say poems, you are priceless,
You’ve been around since the beginning of time,
Better than fine wine, you are timeless,
Epic,
your imprint on our world we must never forget it,
What’s the Mona Lisa without Paint?
What’s the World without Poetry?
You are the mighty sword and force against suffering and injustice,
The magic pill that can heal all pain,
The glue that keeps us in tuned with our history,
The Psychiatrist who keeps the creative mind sane,
Without you, the world will not be the same,
From Edgar Allan Poe, to Maya Angelou,
Shakespeare to Langston Hughes,
Nas to Rakim,
Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Shel Silverstein,
Deepak Chopra to Oprah,
And many poets in between,
You even walked with Dr. King,
When he had a dream,
You helped me see my dreams,
And overcome hardships,
By teaching me to remember the past and learn from it,
Rejoice and celebrate in the present,
And reimagine the future,
Because of all of this,
We owe a lot to you,
We must carry the torch for you,,
keep our world moving forward with you,
I Love you so much,
Named my first son after you,
Poetic Justice

Baseball 4 Life

posted by Geo Friend-Lee on February 16, 2016

I fell in love with baseball at the age of 7,
Every day spent with her, was heaven,
On earth,
She married me to education which
helped me see my true worth,
It all started in the back of a friends home,
with a plastic bat, a wiffle ball, and a garbage can top as a strike zone,
Unfortunately, It came to an end,
in my last year on a college team,
When the coach pulled the cord on my childhood dream,
But, looking back on my life, I would just like,
To thank baseball for all of the things it taught me to do right,
Like,
always step up to the plate,
With confidence and faith,
Stand up straight,
And keep my eye on the ball,
Never complain about calls,
Just always give it my all,
Scoring a run is not about cutting corners,
Its about learning to live in the moment,
as I moved from base to base,
In order to get a hit I must stare down the person on the mound,
And hit the ball right in its face,
Always remember,
As long as I work hard, and learn from my errors,
I will continue to get better,
I get more than one strike, more than one at bat, in life
If I want to hit a homer,
I must first learn to sacrifice,
To advance the runner,
Which may often,
be more important,
Because nothing feels more rewarding,
Than scoring,
a winning run as a team,
The wonderful feeling of a teammate stepping on home plate,
As the crowd screams,
Together,
living out our dreams.
Thank you Baseball.