Too many times I have encountered individuals who behave as though only they have a right to exist on this planet. As big as this rock is… really? I can’t say I’m surprised with 45 fueling the flames. But I was inspired by the words I’ve been reading on here tonight. I wrote this poem, Black Without Apology, as an in your face call out to those who are closed-minded about anyone who is different:
Does my skin offend you?
Has my DNA mocked you?
Has my resilience taunted your very existence, pushing you to hate me?
Does my intelligence frighten
the very idea of your
subsistence on the degradation of my genetic make-up?
I guess nightmares and dreamscapes of terror
encourage you to intake artificial courage
to defile the image of my being
solely because you can’t bear
your child-mind of feeling inferior,
that gestating seed of uncertainty
that gnaws at your immorality
while you justify your (lack of) humanity
to your brotherhood of nonsensical brethren…
But I digress…
Your inability to come to terms with your ideas of the world
belong to YOU.
I am my melanated self because I am
and always will be
Black without apology.
– Why Yet 4/3/17
Poetry month has returned again. I always find myself enthralled reading other’s words and feeling surprise at someone being enthralled by my own.
Don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE my works. My poetry is my therapy – therefore it is very personal and raw for me. Which makes me shy and proud to share it.
The first poem I remember having to memorize was Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred. I didn’t understand that poem at the age of ten but it stirred something in me. That quiet stirring continued until I read Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman.
Maya Angelou’s passion ignited the stirring in me and I began to slowly release my words onto paper. Not ever did I think, “I’m going to publish these poems and sell books.” But here I am, poetry collection published, writing more for another collection and pondering what to do next.
But every April for thirty solid days I am reminded, by myself and other poetry friends acquired over the years, that all poetry has beauty in it and speaks to someone somewhere.
Poetry is appreciation of life in the raw. Simple. Elegant. Rough. Raw. Love. Hurt. Deppressed. Happy. Excited. Sad. Mournful. Erotic. You get where I’m going with this.
Should you be a poet or know poets, show them some love this month. Read, share and/or review some of their work. Let them know their words mean something to you. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and expressing my emotional transitions for all who choose to enjoy them!
I am learning to recognize when my life is in transition. You know those moments in life that you don’t realize you’re moving from one phase of life into another until after it happens? I get glimpses of those phases when I quiet my mind enough to hear the whisperings of my spirit.
My moments are unique to me. When I begin to feel suffocated in life (with my job, family, obligations) I know there is change brewing within. When the ‘adults’ around me irritate me with their childish behavior, I know there is change stirring up inside of me. Many times I have found myself feeling restless and unable to maintain my thoughts on singular ideas. When my mental space is crowded, I know it is that time of transition.
Learning to recognize my signs for life transitioning is important. Once I started noticing the signs I remember to be more mindful of my thoughts, words and actions. I can also be more deliberate with my thoughts, words and actions. That is a powerful feeling. To be deliberate with the thoughts I choose to focus on, deliberate with the words I choose to speak. To be deliberate with my actions that choose to (or choose not to) partake in.
That is power. Power over myself. That feels strong. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” I heard that said at a Mary Kay convention in 2004 and it is so true.
I was chatting with some online writer friends the other day and the topic of branding came up. I read the commentary in silence because I understand it is necessary – I just hadn’t figured out what my ‘brand’ is… yet.
Basically, what I took away from that conversation is that your ‘brand’ is your message. What message do you want to relay to your client/customer/follower/audience base? How do you want your base to perceive you? These questions helped me further understand what a brand is and why it is critical to any endeaver you engage in. How people perceive you determines how they interact with you.
Fair enough. That got me to thinking about what message I want to project. I immediately thought of my favorite t-shirt with the saying, “I’m A Hopeless Romantic With A Dirty Mind”. That t-shirt describes me perfectly! That’s why I love it so much.
That’s when it hit me! That’s my brand all the way down to my poetry. I’m a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind. And with that, a new poem surfaced that I had to scribble down on my way to my day job this morning:
Fantasizing about you
brushing my hair away from my face
with fingertips that set fire to my soul.
A flamed blush
coursing through my veins
as thoughts quickly skate
south of the border of your waistband,
mentally encouraging this inferno inside
to become contagious
and catch you like a whirlwind
of Caribbean heat…
– Why Yet 3/16/17
You ever have one of those days where you want to check out of adulthood and go back to childhood? Today was one of those days for me. But I started thinking about what I could do differently, given the chance to advise my younger self. So I created this of seven things I would tell my younger self.
- Trust your gut. Your instinct will keep you alive because it’s the universe sending you signals. Trust the vibe the universe sends your way. Your gut instinct will direct you to (or away from) anything meant to help (or harm) you.
- Laugh often. Laughter is healthy. Your laugh is unique to you, when you relax and be yourself.
- You ARE beautiful. Hurt people hurt people. You can’t stop them from hurting, only they can decide when they’ve been hurt enough. Don’t allow anyone to dampen your shine.
- Being intelligent is good. Having a love for learning and wanting more knowledge is not a bad thing to be punished for. Wanting to understand the world around you is the most beautiful thing. Keep learning.
- Don’t give up. For anything that sparks your soul and gives you joy, hold on to it!
- Get plenty of rest. You can’t enjoy life if you’re exhausted. Let tomorrow’s worries care for themselves… I’ve read that somewhere and it makes sense.
- When you discover your true love, hold on with all of your might. It’s not often that people connect on multiple levels in a synchrony that mimics a musical dance, so when you do – make the most memories for as long as you can…
If you could go back and advise your younger self, what would you say?
I’m sitting in a McDonald’s eating breakfast before heading into my day job and I start flipping through a notebook I keep in my purse.
Skimming old notes my phone rings and it’s a caregiver. My first thought was, oh damn what now? Gratefully she was letting me know she worked out a situation she had brought to our attention on Friday. Huge sigh this Monday morning.
Returning to the pages I had begun to peruse, I came across a poem I wrote two months ago, currently untitled:
Good morning beautiful.
Look at me,
I am you
And we are here, together
Scars and all.
We are always
One and the same
Of the same candle
Looking for clarity external
The clarity has always been within
Scars and all…
Good morning beautiful,
I am you.
-Why Yet 1/3/17
May all of your mornings be beautiful.
Okay, I accomplished the re-release of my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts (available on amazon Kindle for $2.99), and signed up for the NaNoWriMo 2015 challenge. To put it mildly, I’m terrified! 50,000 words in thirty days, how do you guys do it?! Is it insanity or is it normal to feel this fearful of writing? I have ideas floating around in my mind but not sure which one will be THE one to write.
How do you guys decide what to write for NaNo? Do you create outlines on your computer/tablet/phone or write them down in a notebook? How do you decide on how many characters go into your story? Character names? Personalities? Quirks? Are you tempted to start writing before hand or do you wait until November 1? Will the story be finished in time? Will there be time to edit or do you wait until NaNo is over to edit? And will it be good? Do you block everything out for thirty days? I will keep you posted on my progress when the challenge starts. Until then…