Dance Woman, Dance

Loving
Saturday mornings
when there’s coffee
and sun showers
filtering through old windows

when it’s clean
when there’s flow
when I’m writing
while the house is still, quiet.

When age-old griots inspire
and new-age poets remember
we share our tales and stories
make them tall and personal

women writing
remembering
sharing
flowing

my ancestors dance inside me
beckon me to finish
welcome me to the circle
“the floor is yours”, they say
“you, yes you”

1295536158-ubw_southern_diaries_ayano_hisa1the oldest sway
nods yes
no words are spoken
no need
the middlers hold court
we make merriment

Our dresses laugh
make sport of rainbows
for we are so much more colorful and beautiful
radically unscripted

even in our quiet
in our regaling
we affirm each other
our individual might
our stealth
our silent strength

We are power
yet it’s me
who’s made anew.

Reprise: Dreaming of A Nightmare Killer

“A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream”, says Maya Angelou, in Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.

Lord rest her soul, but Continue reading

dreamable

Let Me Be Your Dream Killer

“A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream”, says Maya Angelou, in Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.

Lord rest her soul, but Continue reading

Love Unmasked

mask-of-love1What I have for you is love.

An abiding love to
Propel you through your day,
Inspire you to new possibilities,
Awaken you to the infinite ability in you.

Done right,
Love is a most dutiful eraser and organizer, an equalizer even.
Unconditional and unrelenting in its pursuit,
Gentle in its gait, yet determined in its duty.

Love shoves despair and destitution back into their respective corners,
Confirms and accepts the deciduousness of our blues.
Love knows, wants to know.
Forces us to ask and contend our most gut-wrenching and troubling questions,
Grows us…. somehow.

Love withdraws you from you,
Sheds you….
From that second skin you grew…. for what?

Pulls you from those places which served only to confine you,
Keep things dark,
Keep you in place.

Love exposes you and dresses you up,
All at once!
Replenishes you,
Gets you truly ready for the occasion of your gift-giving.

Makes you feel the kind of pretty not yet captured onscreen or in a glossy ad.
Yeah, that deep-down kind of soul pretty,
Same one that makes you feel….
Ready, poised, certainly capable…. again,
Indeed.

Lets you know you are worthy, beyond indispensable, amazing!

Gives you that glow that rests atop your shoulders,
Kisses you gently,
Whispers deliciously and all breathy-like into your ear.
Reminds you of just how beautiful you are,
Brings to light the brilliance of your gifts.

Yes, you!
Most worthy, beautiful, indispensable, radiant, amazing someone,
You!
Your gifts,
Your very concentrated essence, the extract that is you!

At its epicenter is love.
Unyielding and uncompromising…. Love.

In Other Words, by James Baldwin:

Musical Inspiration:

© SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form, [2010 – 2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

So What … Of the Meantime

In the meantime,

I’ve been….
Writing
But, of course!

Watching
My babies grow.
Enjoying
Summer.
Investing
In….
Loving
him.
“He loves me…. he’s special…. ly different”

In the meantime
I’ve been
Working
On a masterpiece–
“Thinking of a master plan/’cuz ain’t nuthin’ but sweat inside my hand”

I’ve been
Affected
No doubt
Inspired
By
Little, but Tuff lights
Glowing in a dark world
But back to
In the meantime….

I’ve been
Recharging– everyone needs a respite
Reprioritizing
Settling
Into my new
Physical places, and
Metaphorical spaces
Tying up my literary shoelaces….
Getting acquainted with
Folk,
Fictional and otherwise.

Shedding
Clothes that don’t fit,
Pounds that won’t sit.
Lifting!
Them

Yes!
Lightening the loads.
Can’t nobody walk tall weighted down!
Ah….
Quiet, personal victories.

Accepting….
A New Season.

In the meantime
I’ve prayed.
For….
Our children,
My sisters-
Several of which,
Though new to me,
Lived in me–
My very nerves and sinew
Long ago
From the start.

My brothers too….
It’s complicated.

In the meantime
I’ve been
Writing
Speaking…. Greater
Life
Into my own Life
Reveling
Quietly
Yielding
Humbling…. to my own gifts
In the meantime….

I’ve been praying for–yes again,
And receiving too,
Divine inspiration
In my….

Writing
Healing
Encouraging
Reading
Engaging
Submitting
Connecting
Loving
Acknowledging
Spoken Word-ing
Injecting
Real…. Meaning
In the time-ing!

I’ve been
Still…. Present
Yes!
Me
In the meantime

Loving
Me.

 

 

© SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form, [2010 – 2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Now What?

A Not Guilty verdict… returned sometime between my bedtime and this morning. Truth is, I am not entirely shocked by the outcome. Though I was hopeful, I had little expectation that the justice system would indeed serve justice. The brutal reality is that Trayvon Martin’s death did not have to happen, and “not guilty” appeared fixed from the start.

Regardless, we must give rise to our voice while we are still very much alive. We must speak for social justice for all murdered children and act courageously when any child is killed.  Our community’s issue is bigger than Trayvon. I wept for Trayvon but I am sickened when discussing murdered children in New York, Philadelphia, Trenton, or my second city Chicago. Though we profess innocence, many of us are found guilty, even in conscience–sitting idly by, simply nodding our head in disapproval when it comes to the rampant violence that is wiping out families and communities.

Ironically, there will be more cases which call us to respond. The name will not be Zimmerman, but perhaps one more familiar. Though the names of the criminals might be known, we won’t dare tell of their deeds though our very freedoms are compromised.

We must use our grief and outrage to ante up our courage and ask of ourselves whether we are really doing all that we can to stop killing in our communities.  This is a challenge for me and I will not assume that the next generation will handle it. Moreover, we cannot simply pass the baton to politicians, legislators and court systems, while huddling in our private circles to just pray about it.

I am a woman of faith, and I know that my God is one of justice, but a worry-free world was never promised. I will pray, then act, speak, and fight for those who cannot. I will not let George Zimmerman cause me to grow bitter, but better.  The community needs better.

So this Sunday, I draw strength from my faith, and from a modern-day hymn by the ministerial Chuck D.

”Kick it, Chuck!”

This part of the bridge is most convicting, yet it provides a perfect close to the urgent question: “Now What?”.

Feel the people
Heal the people
Need the people
So heed the people
Help the homeless
Underfed…
Where’s your groove?
Check your heads
I shall not be moved
I shall not be moved
Uh come on.”

Feel, heal, need, heed, help. Amen.

© SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form, [2010 – 2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Power of “Magic”

I am so pleased to bring you this post! In it, my eldest daughter River, age 7, reviews a beautiful story called “The Girl with the Magic Hands” by Nnedi Okorafor. Nnedi rightfully earned the 2012 Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature (fiction). Her novels, listed in their order of publication, include: Zahrah the Windseeker (2008 winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature); The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax award and Essence Magazine Literary Award finalist); Akata Witch (An Amazon.com Best Book of 2011); and, Who Fears Death (2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel, 2012 Kindred Award).

Continue reading

Hold That Thought

rottenecard_30479444_bjg8xkxtmpI recently called the doctor’s office and was greeted by a receptionist who seemed less than enthusiastic about helping me. She rattled off her barely comprehensible, customary greeting, which ended with “How can I help you”, but hardly sounded like she wanted to help. Before I could complete my request, she abruptly interrupted me to

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When Can We Breathe Again?

charlie_brownI went to pick up my four-year old daughter today from her preschool located inside a community church.  I had a relatively good day trying to be reflective and more available and open to Spirit, and less distracted by the noise of social media or the news.  So you can imagine my reaction when I learned of today’s horrific news that a 24-year old gunman opened fire at an elementary school claiming lives too many to count without streaming tears of helplessness.  I must be dreaming.

It seemed surreal as I stood there zipping my baby girl’s jacket, adjusting her barrette which I apparently clipped too tight this morning.  I could hear the chilling words from the chief reporting parent, as well as the words of the other mothers chiming in to confirm what they had also heard, but I was hearing all of this for the first time.  None of it made sense.

I am sure that finding meaning in all of this was on the minds of all the parents and grandparents gathered to retrieve their children, but it was too early to contemplate.   What will parents tell their children about their murdered friends, classmates, neighbors, or even siblings?

I stand away from Connecticut, but still know that tragedies like these seem to be hitting closer to “home”. Violence is quickly becoming a growing trend, and our most vulnerable are often the victims. In this case, it was children and courageous teachers who seem to be working in hostile times instead of developmental classrooms.  Please someone, tell me I am hearing wrong.

I loaded my girl into her safety seat and then my heart sank. I looked back at her more often than usual, to make sure that she was still there, safely buckled and intact where I left her. I needed her fully awake and present. I needed to see her eyes. I looked for comfort and assurance beyond their glimmer. I needed to hear some more incessant pleading, and annoying requests. I don’t mind them, nor do I complain today.  I needed to hear her.

My heart grows heavy with the knowledge that there are parents, not too far from here, who will not have the same privilege this evening. Instead, grief and an overwhelming sense of incomprehensibility await them.  Though we who stand outside of their community empathize, we’ll mostly go on about our business, while their realities will be forever altered. I pray that one day these families will find the strength that they need to carry on, but in the meantime, as they search to find meaning, I hope that a comforting touch, a deeply pressed hug, and the openness and sincerity of community will tend to their hearts and homes during a very difficult time.  This is my hope.

We may never find the words to describe this condition which seems to plague folk determined to carry out violence for whatever selfish, angry reasons they have, but I pray that our response will be one that will help these families find meaning in this.  But I am not sure anyone can.  I trust that in time we learn to trust, hope, and just breathe again.