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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dear Hannah: Converse

Dear Hannah,

our conversations
have dwindled into
shouting matches
and "people's court" cases

posts and reposts
of articles that
align with our minds
to which we assign

absolute truth
with no consequences

where we want to prove
that our might is right
your wrong is strong
and always have both our say
... and our way

but civil discourse
- especially between dissenters -
promotes growth

it helps both parties
see that they are

two points
diametrically opposed
on the same circle

and that preservation
of the circle

is more important
than our "points"

check it ...

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!


By Derrick Brown

I'm a speak my piece
but keep my peace
so how 'bout cease
with all that fleece


we ain't sheep
we're just asleep
I know ... talk is cheap
when it ain't deep

and ... you can't keep
thoughts straight
- they creep
your mind's weight

- is steep
mental freight
- you heap
into piles that date

back years - much too late
fight back the tears
can't fight your fate
conquer your fears

slow down, bruh
- it's killin' ya
slowly revealin' ya
pent up with feelin ya

voice ain't respected
always rejected
by newly elected
fools that protected

policies erected
by people infected
never inspected
system perfected

folks who objected
were then subjected
then also expected
to stand corrected

----- begin spoken "random pontificator" interruption ----

hold up, hold up
pardon the interruption
wait just one second, my eloquent
soul brother from another mother.

I feel you, but ... errr ... uhhh
you have offered us a strong historical
context, but have yet to posit a
concrete solution to our status quo.

in other words ...
what are we gon' do?

----- end spoken "random pontificator" interruption ----

para (stop)

siƩntate (sit down)
let us weigh
let us pray

let us say
a new way
no double talk
no cliche'

let us stay
focused on "us"
and never "they"
that we may

make a new day
let us display
a greater sway
is that OK?

let's serve up
a new entree
new food for thought
on how we play

the "talking game"
let's meet halfway
show more respect
show less "checked"

let's converse
by considering
the converse
the diverse

the adverse
the reverse

keep it civil
don't shrivel
no drivel (hot air)
or snivel (whining)

let's graduate
to a level
where we revel
every angle
like a bevel

every minute, second
and degree
to understand
not just agree

that B.S.
can make you b.s.
that M.S.
can make ya "a mess"
that Ph.D.
makes u say
"get like me"

but maybe
you should say
"how come we
still ain't free?"

"come on now ...
for real, tho ...
how can this be?"

happened to

essential questions


future awaits

prepare yourself


CONVERSE is a difficult (moderated) conversation that takes place between two rational humans with differing perspectives.

its underlying principle is that civil discourse - especially between dissenters - promotes growth.

we will use this approach to explore topics like ...

how to exercise empathy with your opponent
when working towards common interests works - and doesn't
why people leave churches

we may produce no answers - but we will ask and answer essential questions.

... and we will LEarn.

we hope that you will come LEarn with us.




Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dear Hannah: Bag Of Life


Dear Hannah,

we need to talk.

we need to have sustained, substantive conversations with friends, fans, and foes that are affirming, accepting, accountable - and sometimes authoritative.

they can be focused, civil, intra-generational, didactic, inspiring, comforting, strategic ...

... and can still be pleasant & fun.

... or thoughtful, probing, and sobering.

... or downright serious.

they can edify and mature the mind, will, and emotions ...

... by speaking life

... and preventing death.

they can build bonds, teams and camaraderie.

they can birth visions.

they can create frameworks for change.

they can help to keep peace, help to make peace, or help to say "peace".

it all starts with a good question that provides food for thought.

check it ...

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!



"Bag Of Life"
By Derrick Brown

how you doin
what you up to
yo that's kinda fly
kinda fresh and new

what's on your mind
what you pursuin
steady on your grind
new ideas brewin

where you from
what do you do
man is that right
i've been there, too

what you wanna do
how you dreamin
now when you wake up
how you schemin

do you have some time
let's kick it for a minute
i'm out here tryna climb
up in to win it

hey is all good
tell me if you straight
i hope it's understood
that we met by fate

if not now, when
why and how, then
if not you, who
is all of that true

is there info
that you don't know
can the same facts
lead to other acts

what happened
how that make you feel
now are you for real
will you heal

can you forgive
let it all go
live and let live
know and then grow

am I your equal
do you respect me
am I your sequel
do you subject me

does this make sense
come on tell me now
or am i crazy
'gon do it anyhow

can you help me
please help me now
if would you show me
i'm willing to allow

can we pray, please
i need to find my way
which way to go
should I leave or stay

tell me what u thought
why not
i'm not gon say "you ought ..."

need some space
i'll take a step back
need some grace
i'll give a brotha slack

is it "you" or "they"
stand tall & straight
is it "yea" or "nay"
firmness carries weight

is this enough
or perhaps too much
should I scale back
use a softer touch

tell me what i say
to make you feel that way
tell me we're ok
to see another day

"Bag of Life" is my project-based approach to facilitating sustained, substantive conversations with friends, fans, and foes that are affirming, accepting, accountable - and sometimes authoritative.

You take a bag and fill it with cards containing short fill-in-the-blank statements like "I am afraid of _____" ...

... questions like "what are your core values about money?"

... terms like "commitment", "change", "love" that you describe to make the rest of the group try to guess - and in doing so you see how aligned your thoughts are with the other group members.

there are also some well-known and obscure Bible passages that challenge you to read, wrestle with, and rightly divide God's "words with friends".

then you sit in a circle, pass the bag, learn, grow, and get to know some folks in ways that encourage you to get together once you leave that circle ...

... and then you go serve people together in ways that expand that circle ...

... then rinse and repeat.

this is one small way we work for lasting change ...

... change that starts with "me" and the renewing of my mind.



Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Hannah: Life & Opportunities


Dear Hannah,

Life is a series of opportunities.

Here's how I approach life ...

    I listen, because I don't listen well.

    I am quiet, because I am not quiet.

    I observe, because I can't see.

    I know, because I know that I don't know.

    I speak like no one else is ever going to speak for me.

    I do like no one is ever going to do for me.

Opportunities are always disguised as work.

    This work always involves details.

    This work always involves people.

    I respect and engage details, because I have paid a dear price for ignoring and disrespecting them.

        They show you what you cannot see.

        They help you learn *that* you do not know ....

        ... by showing you *what* you do not know.

    I also respect and engage people, because I have paid a price for ignoring and disrespecting them.

    I engage people by observing how they view and handle details.

    People are quick to oversimplify and minimize details.

    In doing so, they exaggerate their own importance.

    They believe that someone else should handle the details.

    In doing so, they marginalize and disrespect that person's

role and essence.

    They treat 'em like fractions.

    Like "3/5 of a person" fractions.

My approach to life and opportunities can lead to conflict when collaborating.

    When I collabor, I demonstrate both my commitment and expectations by submitting to and engaging the work's details.

    I engage according to my abilities and the opportunity's requirements.
    My eyes observe the following - engaging *details* that people think are "beneath them" leads them to treat *me* like I am beneath them.

    My spirit observes it differently - engaging *details* that people think are "beyond them" leads them to treat *me* like I am beyond them.

    Either way, this leads to the same mistreatment.

    It results in the same marginalization and disrespect of me - and my important work.

    I accept this as a clear, sober warning that I need to choose co-laborers carefully.

    Here's another sobering thought - I have this experience often and equally with Black and White people.




Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dear Hannah: Renaissance

Dear Hannah,

I want you to see how to be free ...

... how to forge your own path in your own happy space.

... how to leave an inheritance to your children's children ...

... an inheritance of your heart - full of treasure beyond measure.

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!



By Derrick Brown

my name is Derrick.

my name means
"leader of his people".

my education began
when i finished school.

learning led
to unlearning ...

then a revival
of RElearning
and culture.

i am relearning
both my essence
and function ...

as a



i am relearning that ...

... teaching
is about reaching

... knowing
is knowing that
you DON'T know

... my gifts can
impact the world

... i can relate
to people with
great empathy
and engage the world
around me

& authority

... tradition begins
and ends with change.

... everything must change
- and STAY changED.

... i will build
a dream team
and strategic scheme
that will manifest
all my GOoD ideas.

... prophecy is not seeing
"the future"

it is understanding
"the past"
and speaking
truth to power
in "the present".

... vision is seeing
an idea clearly enough
to stir your passions

and cloudy enough
to make you move towards it
with enthusiasm
and careful intent.

i am relearning that

i am a ...


simple kinda fella

griot frio

stand-up storytella

... i can execute
any role necessary
to express myself
to this world ...

sax player

... i have taken command
of my time and talents,
and invested both

into building and protecting
my creative space
my happy, safe place

where finally
i get to be all of me
who i always was
who i am
who i wanna be.

... it will take
all of that
and all of me

moving with


with ideas & visions

armed with
mighty pen, pad
and boundless

knowledge and wisdom

my risky decisions

my best for last

to cash in
all of these chips.

... to make that happen,
i know that
standards must be set

for battles yet
to be waged,

by tigers yet
to be caged,

believers yet
to be enraged,

soldiers yet
to be engaged.

... i am on a mission to
challenge us to more than

learning to show
learning to owe

I'm about

learning to grow
learning to know

i want my wife to see
that this evolution of
the best version of me
is because of her love
and the freedom it grants.

i want my daughter to see
how to be free
to forge her own path
in her own happy space

and leave an inheritance
to her children's children ...

... an inheritance of her heart
full of treasure beyond measure.

welcome to my renaissance.



Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dear Hannah: GRASPP (Battle Plan)

Dear Hannah,

Creating change requires a "real-time" battle plan that can GRASPP, evaluate, and adjust in the middle of a fight.

It also requires a leader who takes ownership of their gifts and time - because when you don't, someone else will.

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!


"GRASPP" (Battle Plan)
By Derrick Brown

eyes on the prize
my man

yes keep the
goal in sight

but check your
people too

make sure the
crew's alright

respect the time
and place

the circumstance
and pace

make sure you
give 'em space

to be a
human race

go 'head and
dot the i's

and then go
cross the t's

reveal the

with simple

but know that
even then

the unforeseen
can win

patience gets

maintain your
peace within

speak on the
things that matter

skip all the
idle chatter

ignore the

so that your
mind don't scatter

stay fully
focused, man

and then adjust
your plan

'cause you are
greater than

when you
believe you can

you will from
time to time

hate and spite

so keep it
light and tight

fight the
good fight

might ain't
always right

don't correlate
with height

never resolves
the plight

written in
black and white

'cause we are ...

no one's

act once
think twice


come from
knowing roles

not by controlling

but via

your gifts make
room 'cause few

can do it
like you do

but you're the
owner, boo

so this is
also true

anybody who
kinda sorta missed the cue

to give full
honor due

had better
get a clue

put 'em
in the queue

teach 'em how
to treat you

they mighta
thought they knew

right church
wrong pew

line view

new to-do

the players who

get you "to"
get you through

take your one
give back two

tell 'em more
than "thank you"

take the sole
off your shoe

see how
many steps accrue

build a shelf
with no glue

then await your

no lemon pepper
in the stew

takes away the
flavor - ooh!

I made my point ...
no more ado (commotion)



Copyright © 2016 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dear Hannah: Sing A Song (Rhyme-In-Time Demo)

Dear Hannah,

You can make a whole new song - that speaks to our present-day plight - out of song & movie titles from albums & CDs that you have "sitting in the crates".

Let's give it a try ...

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!



"Sing A Song" (Rhyme-In-Time Demo)
By Derrick Brown

12 years a slave
but now I'm free

gotta believe in
the mystery

'cause history
will teach us nothin'

'cause y'all always
wanna be startin' somethin'

c - i'm not fooled
so easily

but uhh ... err uhhh ...

don't believe the hype
they still foolin' us

here i go again
retoolin' us

this masquerade
is rulin' us

that same old song
is schoolin' us

better shop around
for a new deal

higher ground
can-i-get-a refill?

be still
my beating heart


i can't go for that
no can do

can't stand the rain
joy and pain

do it again

don't know much
but i know that ...

ain't nobody
come together

fight the power
for the longest time

don't stop believin'
give me the reason

fly like an eagle
against the wind

change the world
and never stop

respect yourself
keep risin' to the top

when the world
is running down,

you make the best
of what's still around

'cause we are spirits
in the material world

and spirit boy
don't need material girl

message in a
bottle yea

you are not alone
at being alone

get up, stand up
do the right thing

no waiting

hangin' on a string

wrapped around your finger

if i ruled the world
i can only imagine

one nation under a groove

with a mothership connection
knee deep

in chocolate city revolution

on and on
from my window seat

flying high in the
friendly skies

it's gonna take a miracle
but faithfully

I heard it
through the grapevine

that we don't need
another hero

in the midnight hour

for the love of money
got us goin' in circles

got to give it up, y'all

when a stubborn
kind of fella

realizes that he's
a trouble man

a change is gonna come

have you ever
seen the rain?

well here comes
the rain again

purple rain

i'll be doggone
ain't that peculiar

history will teach (us nothing)

... but mistakes will

oops - i did it again

oops upside ya head

what a fool believes

is that pigs fly
when doves cry

and that smooth operators
don't know much

... and don't need to

you don't know my name

or the other side of the game

but lessons learned

break every chain

chain of fools ...



Copyright © 2016 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dear Hannah: The Formula

Dear Hannah,

Our world has ...

  • more urgency
  • less strategy
  • more shortcuts
  • less patience
  • more information
  • less wisdom

... because cats are quick to cut you off and say "spare me all these details, man ... just tell me what I need to know."

Alright ... here's what they need to know ...

Support Our Work - Buy This Song (SEE BELOW)!



"The Formula (U Can't C Me - The Remix)"
By Derrick Brown

songs in the
key of life



dog chase tail
look real busy

forecast says
kind of dizzy

get there early
stay there late

fall down seven
get up eight

one time - accident
two times - trend

three times - problem
fix that, friend

run your race
keep the pace

keep your lane
keep your space

stay aligned
on your grind

eyes wide shut
no rewind

slow & steady
nice & smoove

homework done
make your move

moments matter

take your shot

behind the scenes
pay your dues

sharpen all
the gifts you use

write it down
then go do it

pray - then add
some thinking to it

all that glitters
is not gold

eyes wide shut
no blindfold

all that wealth
ain't good wealth

live through giving
guard your health

BREAK (4 Bars)

fear is courage

rock that boat

keep your quiet
till time to say

speak your peace
the right way

freedom of speech
come correct

quick to listen
quick respect

slow to speak
don't get loud

meek ain't weak
move the crowd

know that you
don't know much

always keep your
human touch

pick your spot
papa don't preach

when student ready
teacher will teach

when faced with fools
let that go

but sometimes
let them know

teach your child
teach them well

lessons learned
time will tell

help them grow
quell rambunction

equal spirits
different functions

good deeds meet
great reward

patience though
on toward (Phil 3:14)



U Can't C Me (November 2012)

People just can't see me
But God they can't see you
You see all, you know all
Your every Word is true

So if they never see me
I’ll help them to see You
Through thoughts, words and actions
Patience, honor, faith and virtue

My life is but an instrument
Singing songs in many keys
Wisdom earned through lessons learned
From mistakes of several degrees

Do not mistake activity for achievement
Arriving on time means you're late
To be on time arrive early
Fall seven times - get up eight

One time is an accident
Two times is a trend
Three times might be a problem
But forgiveness is your friend

The race is not to the swift
But to the ones who maintain
So stay aligned on your grind
And stay in your own lane

Keep it slow and steady
That's it - nice and smoove
Always do your homework
Believe that God will approve

Every moment matters
You had better realize
Then you can quickly respond
To opportunities that you recognize

Don't despise the small tasks
Pursue them diligently
For passion and purpose are discovered
Through acts of ministry

Keep a pad and paper
And a nearby pen of ink
Write your visions plainly
Make time to pray and think

Don't believe the hype
Avoid the glittery and bejeweled
When we think with our eyes
We are often easily fooled

All money ain't good money
Sometimes less is more
Make a living through your giving
Learn to turn two into four

Your fear is your only courage
Be scared to disobey
Be scared to rock that boat
But sometimes rock it anyway

Know how to keep your quiet
Until it's time to say
If your heart ain't feelin' right
Then say it another day

Freedom of speech
Means come correct
Be quick to listen
Be quicker to respect

Be slow to speak
Even slower to get twisted
Meek ain't weak
Self-control beats double-fisted

The only thing to know
Is that you don't know squat
Nobody cares what you know
If they think you care not

So pick your spot
Practice - don't preach
When the student is ready
The teacher will teach

If faced with a fool
Proverbs 26 - verses 5 and 4
Sometimes you can let it go
Sometimes you gotta let em know

Train your child with loving instruction
Encourage growth, but discourage rambunction
Know you are equal in essence
But very different in function

No good deed goes unrewarded
But the payoff is seldom immediate
Dreams manifest at God's appointed time
Though it tarries, wait for it

Copyright © 2016 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2017 Derrick Brown and KnowledgeBase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.