Poets

Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Honey Bell-Bey

Honey Bell-Bey holds a BA in Broadcast Production Technology from Bethune-Cookman University. A motivational poet, writer, educator, and community advocate, Bell-Bey is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist and the founder and director for The International, Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, a character based performance troupe for adolescent males who perform on topics of disparities and social injustices. She has performed, directed, and choreographed Spoken Word performances internationally and has received numerous awards and accommodations for her service and activism utilizing poetry as a tool to unite communities around issues in social justice and equity. She was appointed the poet laureate of Cuyahoga County in January 2020, the first poet in sixteen years to hold the position, and lives in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Read about Honey Bell-Bey’s 2020 Poets Laureate Fellowship project.

By This Poet

4

Genetic Abduction

Honey Bell-Bey performs “Genetic Abduction.”


 

It's Too Late

Honey Bell-Bey performs “It’s Too Late.”


It’s too late to throw in the towel,
if you were going to quit you should have done it by now,
 When you’ve already seen God’s power.
 It’s too late to dim the light when you’ve already climbed the light tower. 
All the tears you’ve cried, you serve a God who told you Revelation that He’s going to wipe every tear away. So pick up your tears, pick up the towel, wipe your sweat and get in the ring even in those days where it doesn’t even feel like a boxing match, 
but it feels like it’s a hurdle match and you’re jumping over
Hurdle after hurdle after hurdle after hurdle
 it’s too late to quit, it’s too soon to throw in the towel
 it’s a fixed fight and it’s fixed based off of who your daddy is.
Your daddy is a champion. Your daddy got in the ring with death and took dart after dart after dart and if it’s in your daddy then it’s in you because he’s there, he’s always watching you, ready to jump in the ring and fight your battle,
 always there, watching not just you, but watching the opponent, watching, carrying you, sometimes the people closest to you don’t know what to do with you, but his yoke is easy and his burden is light, when you’ve cried more tears than the law should allow,
 you’re going to smile again, when you try to be strong when the people closest to you can’t fix what’s wrong, do you want to know why you’re gonna win?
It is because he’s carrying you, he’s protecting you and every battle that comes against you he already won. He won the greatest battle when he defeated death, dart after dart, blow after blow and if it’s in your daddy, it’s in you. He’s always there, watching you, watching you, watching your opponent, ducking and giving you exactly what you need to win it’s too soon to throw in the towel. You were born with greatness in you. In fact, there’s not a fight he’s not prepared to win. He’s watching you. It’s impossible for you to lose because when it’s all said and done
He’s carrying you, every tear, every scream, the things you wanted, but couldn’t tell anyone else. I don’t care how bad the pain, the tears the brokenness, he’s watching, he’s holding you, he’s smiling down on you, protecting you. Get back up. 
When your back is against the wall and it’s hard to stand tall and do the work of a Paul, when you feel like a Saul, and your back is  against the wall…
No matter how far you’ve gone, he’s taken the darts,  he’s taken the blows and he’s defeated the greatest opponent and if he did it you’ll do it too because he’s carrying you and it’s too late to throw in the towel!

Lost and Found

Honey Bell-Bey performs “Lost and Found.”


Every little black girl needs to take a trip to
the lost and found.
Every little black girl needs to look through boxes marked 
“rejected,”
 “abandoned,” “promiscuous”
and if she’s too strong,
she needs to look through the box marked “arrogant” or “witch” pronounced with a “B”
all of that weave and all those naps, those locs...
she needs to look through the box marked “hair”
she needs to search, “light skin”, “dark skin” the box marked “fair”
those big lips and hips that drop with ease,
and you see them searching for Sarah Baartman with the drop of their eyes, 
every little black girl needs to remind herself that she is the prize.
Every little black girl needs to search
through the remnants of what another little black girl left for her,
she needs to take a trip through the lost and found and find her some “her”
Every little black girl needs to search through the lost and found.
She needs to look through the ballad of Sonia Sanchez
she needs to allow her ego to trip all the way with Nikki Giovanni,
she needs to assure Ntozake Shange that she is not considering suicide because the rainbow is enough,
She is not considering suicide because the rainbow is enough!!!!
She needs to dance through the Renaissance and find Zora Neal,
with her eyes still... watching God.
She needs to find Maya Angelou whispering in her ears “Still I Rise” 
and when you feel broken ,
you are still a phenomenal woman, even with their bitter twisted lies,
every little black girl needs to take a trip to the lost and found
and there singing and chanting and praising will be Nina Simone,
and she’ll tell you that you are
the fifth woman in the song
and she’ll invite you to join Aunt Sarah and Safronia and Sweet Thing 
and Peaches and Peaches 
she’ll tell you that these are the stories that only the living teaches
Every little black girl whose stumbled like me along the way, 
take a trip to the lost and found, and when you find it,
you leave a path for another black girl and when she finds it, she’ll leave a path  for another black girl and then when she finds it, she’ll leave a path for another black girl and then she’ll leave a path for another black girl and then she’ll leave a path for another black girl and then she’ll leave a path for another black girl!!!!!