Written By: T.L. Tucker © 2009
We are in a day that would bring great dismay to previous generations
We have fallen out of fellowship with God and one another
There is no connection to other fellow brothers
There are some that have babies and fail to nurture
There are some that think their bank accounts make up for their character
I have seen little girls in daisy dukes, and little boys consumed with making loot
In their minds they kill one, when in reality they have killed a whole generation of what could have been
This world can be so wicked, and so full of sin
Everybody consumed with the rat race that they won’t win
They run after a dollar, they forgot about the father
I have seen them flaunt their bodies to try and be somebody
They don’t even think, and they don’t even know
Where did the integrity go?
We are no longer slaves of trade
But there are still some caught up in the game
They have become slaves to name brands, money, cars, and fame
A generation that no longer embraces integrity
A generation that does not even know the meaning of fidelity
Broken dreams, broken homes
We no longer care for one another, each man for his own
A roaming generation of the streets
How many know that if you don’t work you don’t eat
Pants hanging to your knee
And ladies teach your daughters please
Show them in the way that they should go
And I ask you, Where did the integrity go?
Look in the mirror and see
What God created you to be
Not the expectations of the world
Not some loose and Godless girl
Not some angry and violent boy
If you choose God you will find some joy
What does Integrity mean to me
It means the love of God, Self-love, self-respect and dignity
We need to remember the integrity and reach back
To those things of old, they still ring true
Integrity is the face of you
About the Poet
Author T.L. Tucker was born in Washington, DC. She resided in PG County all of her life. T.L. knew at a young age that writing was her passion, aspiring in her senior yearbook to be a journalist. T.L. is single with two beautiful children, Sabrina and Reginald.
In 2008 she released her first book, "Single & Saved in PG County," a self-help autobiography about dating, singleness, single parenting, and divorce. T.L. is also a motivational speaker focusing on women and how to effectively deal with women's issues through biblical principal. She has been the keynote speaker at Church events, women shelters, and State funded events. T.L. has also participated in panel discussions and forums.
She has stepped out of the box with her new fictional novel, Revenge Interrupted, setting a new standard for modern literature. In her latest novel she addresses the issue of family dysfunction, HIV, promiscuity, rape, and forgiveness. T.L. challenges society understanding that although we may not control our circumstances, we can control how we react to them. As an author her goal is to challenge society and give readers a literary experience that will make them laugh, cry, and think while entertaining them with her unique style of writing.
UBAWA: When did you first realize your attraction to poetry?
TL: I have always been a writer. However, poetry didn't spark my interest until the events of 9/11. The event birthed a need for me to express myself through spoken word/poetry. As awful as this event was, it stirred something up on the inside. The raw uncut emotions that ran through me as our nation mourned triggered something within. That something was the first of many poems to come...
UBAWA: Tell us about the very first poem you have ever written
TL: The very first poem that I wrote was titled, Big Mess. It was a plea to society for everybody to look at themselves individually and the role they played in the state of the world. It was also a plea of forgiveness to God. This poem was birthed out of the raw and uncut emotions that I felt after the twin towers fell.
UBAWA: Do you have a favorite poet? If so, who is he/she?
TL: Langston Hughes is one of my favorites. My favorite poem written by him is titled, "Little old letter." I wrote a reply poem titled, "The Answer." I really like Langston's work because of the understanding that it brought to the black pain that existed during his time. I named my first lead male character from my debut novel after Langston Hughes.
UBAWA: When you’re writing poetry, do you think in terms of genre?
TL: No. I never really try to fit my poems into a specific genre. I write from my heart. Whatever I am feeling, whatever voice I channel is a direct result of how I am feeling, what I may be going through at the time, and how passionate I am about the subject matter. It is my hope that I never lock myself into any specific genre. I want my writings to relate to everybody. I want my poetry and books to be respected by the urban literary community, as well as the contemporary literary community. Good writing is much like music; it is universal.
UBAWA: Some people say writing poetry is like writing a rap or love song. Do you agree? Why/why not?
TL: I do believe that rappers and artists of music are poets in their own right. The only difference is a beat. Without the beat they are words that resonate past color, genre, political affiliation, or class of people. They are words that are formed beautifully with profound meaning that capture the hearts of any ear that hears and relates to the human experience.
UBAWA: Are there certain styles/techniques/rules of poetry you adhere to in your writing? Tell us about your writing style.
TL: I love spoken word. It is awesome to watch a spoken word artist go into their zone of getting into character. While I love to witness this, my style of spoken word is totally opposite. I just simply utter the words and hope that my audience can sense the emotion in which I hope to capture. I don't have a special technique or style. I am myself when I write my poetry and I am myself when I perform my pieces.
UBAWA: What poetry books have you written?
TL: I have written one poetry book. It is not published (yet).
UBAWA: Have you performed any of your poetry pieces on stage? If so, please share your experience(s) with us.
TL: I have performed my work numerous times in churches, concerts, and literary events. For me it is very scary. Once I get on stage and the flow starts, God does the rest.
UBAWA: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of love?
TL: Decisions. I say decisions because everybody has fooled themselves into believing that love is about how you feel. Emotions are like seasons; they change even more frequently than the seasons. Love is a decision.
UBAWA: Are you currently dating someone, married, or single?
TL: I am single. I do desire to share my life with the right man. However, it is not what drives me when I awake in the mornings. I know that I am most productive when I am single, and so I take advantage of this season in my life.
UBAWA: Do you think success is a matter of chance or a matter of choice?
TL: Both. I think that success is a perception. In my mind I know that I am successful. I have written two books, and both books have touched the lives of people. Both of my books have challenged people in specific areas of their lives. I know that I accomplished exactly what I set out to do because of this.
But we cannot ignore the business aspect of what we do. Are we making back more than what we spent to publish and promote? Is it financially feasible? These are questions that we have to ask ourselves. For me, it’s not about the money (although I do hope to make a respectable living). It is about touching people, challenging them and changing mentalities for the better.
UBAWA: Inspiration for a new poem can come from the strangest places. What inspired you to write your most recent poem?
TL: My most recent poem was inspired by a season in my life when I felt my connection with God was nonexistent. It is titled, "Where is the connection?"
UBAWA: If you could go back and “right” any past wrong in your life, which one would it be and why?
TL: Years ago I had an opportunity to meet the man that I believed to be my soul mate. Needless to say I let the moment pass. I was afraid. I know that sounds immature but I was. The opportunity never presented itself again. He was married a year later. In a nutshell no more, "What If" moments.
UBAWA: When you’re not writing, what are you doing?
TL: When I'm not writing I'm being a parent and thinking about what I will write about next.
UBAWA: There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a poet’s life, fill us in on what one typical day for you is like.
TL: A typical day for me starts off with me getting the kids off to school. I clean, I may cook, and I get some writing done. The kids come home, and I go into full parent mode. My day is like any other person's day. The difference between me and anybody else who is not a writer is I pay close attention to and appreciate those things that the average person does not. That is what makes me a good writer and poet.
UBAWA: If you could create the “perfect day,” what would it be like?
TL: A perfect day for me would be purchasing my home outright and being able to provide for my kids and live comfortably. My perfect day is me making a respectable living doing what I love most on my terms. My perfect day consists of me on a hammock in my backyard with my pen and journal while the children run and play happily as we wait for the delivery man to come with our food.
UBAWA: What do you do on the weekends?
TL: Spend time with the kids, rest, and write
UBAWA: Do you hang out or go to clubs?
TL: No. I will go to a lounge and listen to live music while eating good food.
UBAWA: If you could visit any other country in the world and take one other person with you, where would you go and who would you take?
TL: If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Paris. I would go alone
UBAWA: Tell us about one challenge in life that you had to overcome. What was the challenge and how did you get through it?
TL: I have had many challenges in life. My hardest challenge is having my only son to be diagnosed with Autism. It is a daily challenge that presents new and unique challenges. My son is a blessing to me. I think about his future and how independent he will be. I constantly wonder if I am doing enough. Nobody gets a how-to parenting guide on how to be a parent and advocate for a child with special needs. God is really giving me the peace and hope that I need to get through. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. This is a journey for me and my children and with Christ I have a renewed since of faith and hope that God is going to do something awesome!
UBAWA: Before you leave, tell us one thing about yourself that we may not know.
TL: I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but that doesn't make me perfect.
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