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Category Archives: Poetry

Podcasts: love ’em or hate ’em?

Everyone has a podcast these days. You can find them on just about every topic: some have a very niche target say, Stephen King book fans or Queen Sugar enthusiasts, and others have a broader audience of self help or a celebrity’s musings.

Yours truly in Delaware last fall for my girlfriend’s podcast Grown Women Shit.

I remember prior to the pandemic, I had never listened to any! Can you believe it? I can think of at least two people in my circle being horrified and wanted desperately to help me find my show(s).

Now, I’m about to dip my toe in… My significant other and I have been saying for at least the last year, when we moved to Costa Rica we would launch it. Well… we’re here! We’ve known each for 31 years (whew, that doesn’t sound right!) and we’ve had some great conversations. Some have been filled with laughter, others not so much. So we’ve decided to take our show on the road!

Talk to me! Tell me if you do podcasts or not. Let me know some interesting topics that you haven’t heard discussed and would like to. Please be respectful. 😉

 

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Writing Is Therapy

I hadn’t written a short story since high school. Literally. In high school, I chose writing over my love of numbers; that’s when I became a writer. It was quite accidental.

Two things happened: I took a creative writing course during my junior year and reality became too real. That year, I lost a few friends, 16 year-olds, to gun violence. Needless to say, I was having a hard time. Writing helped.

About a year later, I transitioned to poetry and as they say, “the rest is history.” That is, until now.

I have written hundreds of poems. That’s what I’d been inspired to write… Enter Costa Rica and my Black Writer’s Group. These writers are working on novels; a few of them are working on several, some have self-published. There is only one other sometime poet in the bunch.

A BWG meeting, less a few members.

I was content with being a poet. Not performing, only written word. Then, I read a short story by our writer of the week. It was wonderful.

And as I walked to that week’s meeting, I began to think: maybe I’ll write a short story! I haven’t written one in over 30 years, but why not?

I listened to the waves crash and lap the shore as I walked. Yes, I’m going to write a short story!

At the close of our weekly meeting, we share goals for the coming weeks and I shared my intention. I was excited. Now I just needed a topic…

That next week was an anniversary that I’d like to forget. It was the day that my cousin and an uncle died unexpectedly, seven hours apart. It was a Monday morning and the weight of the loss began to press down on me.

I fetched my laptop, sat staring out of the glass, sliding doors at the pool and began typing. The words poured from my fingertips. I wrote for hours. I shared it with the BWG and they loved it.

Now I’m working on short story number two. This one is about four times the length of Seven Hours. It is somehow more difficult to write; I don’t know why. But my guess is that I still have some unresolved feelings about the topic.

Years ago, I was found to be a match for a sick patient. I went on to serve as a stem cell donor. After a year of thriving, she took a turn and died. She was 14. That’s all I know. I never really talked about that.

I think writing this story is helping to sort something out for me that I didn’t know was there. We’ll see.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2022 in Poetry, Reflection, violence, women, writing

 

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Symphony

The jungle of Costa Rica produces a daily symphony.

A howler monkey’s call and response,

Mating calls intertwine with

Trilling lizards,

Thrumming of humming bird wings

And a cricket’s solitary song.

The crescendo of monsoon rain on a tin roof

With the wind as a strong accompaniment

To the bullfrog’s lament into the inky night.

Dissonance of the varieties of tropical birds compete and threaten

The overarching harmony.

Howling dogs

And roosters’ crows

Punctuate the arrangement.

I sit appreciatively,

Awaiting the encore.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2022 in Poetry, Youth

 

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Mist Rising

I was in the sea when I first felt the connection.
The teal water surrounding me…
And everything in its wake.

Mist rises
and disappears into
Palm trees and verdant jungle.
Peals of children’s laughter break through the
Call and response of the waves.

The tide rose
And lapped the shore.
It climbed
Still higher
Threatening our temporary encampment on the sand.

As the clouds descend
A brown man casts his line for the sea’s bounty.
The water is meditative
It matches my breath
Providing calm.

It is home.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2022 in Poetry, Reflection

 

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Belated Father’s Day

My First Love

Trips to the beach
Weekend shopping sprees
You holding my hand in yours,
Protecting me from the world.
I was your “Boop”.
Tall, lean and caramel brown;
A clefted chin and
Beautiful smile.
Your singing drove me to breath-taking giggles-

I thought no one could compare…

My hero
My king
My love.

Lonely days of waiting melted into lonely nights
And inconsolable tears.
Years went by.
You came back, charming as ever.
With your sincere words and tender kisses, that would lead to
Days unaccounted for
Unexplained.
Broken promises,
Money borrowed.
The shock of your fist knocking me to the floor.
The flashing lights,
Me giving a statement
As a crimson print settled onto my pale cheekbone.

At graduation you came smiling
As if you had a hand in my milestone.
Be nice and smile for the camera, said mom.
You had no right.

My hero
My king
My love.

So save the apologies
And personal attacks on my integrity.
You were an asshole long before the rock
Became your motivation.
I remember Mommy on the floor of my room
With a blood-stained Afro.
Me, wide-eyed in four-year-old feety pajamas
And you, swooping down to take me.

I remember our trip to Florida in a yellow, foreign car
You shimmying up a tree to get me a coconut.
Then twenty years later without decency or restraint, you shattered that tender memory
with the truth-
A truth that would have changed my identity.

My hero
My king
My love.

So excuse me.
Excuse my contempt.
For you
Your family and
Your life.
Excuse my hardened heart
And inability to trust.
That mean streak that everyone loves to hate-
Lovingly molded by you.
Excuse me,
For shielding my children
From your poisonous nature
And lobotomizing you from my life.

As a woman, my journey continues.
For the one to console me
Who will guide and protect me.
To rub my hair
And tenderly kiss my forehead
As a father would.
To rescue me
From the world
From myself
From you.

A girl never forgets her first love.

 

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RIP Phife Dawg

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Thank you for sharing your gift with us. You helped narrate my early adulthood. Rest easy without sickness or pain.

Malik Isaac Taylor
November 20, 1970 – March 22, 2016

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2016 in Arts, Fun, Music, Poetry, Youth

 

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Radio Silence

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I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting.

Sometimes the world becomes overwhelming and I become withdrawn. Like I need to recharge or reboot to successfully interact. I usually write poetry to get back to an even keel, but the words did not come…

I’m searching for higher ground.

 

Mother to Son

First published in 1922, it seems apropos for today…the regrettable conversations many mothers must have with sons about the police, debates about My Brother’s Keeper programming…

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landins,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

-Langston Hughes

 

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Phenomenal Woman

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R.I.P. Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

Writer, poet, mother, performer, activist. You made many fall in love with themselves.

 

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Five and Five

hi 5This year I actually completed my goals for the upcoming year at the optimum time during Winter Solstice (Mom would be so proud!). With that said, I will review what was “tops” for me in 2013 and what I think will blow the roof off the muthasucka in this new year.

Five in 2013

5. Children – The kids are fine. Wasn’t that the name of a movie? Anyway, they are…in fact they are fantastic and thriving in spite of their crazy mother.

4. Family and friends – Reconnected with estranged family members and past friends whom I missed dearly.

3. Photo Shoot – My children and I were photographed and will be featured in a campaign to encouraging people to donate bone marrow. Specifically, helping people with tips for talking to their kids about their upcoming donation.

2. Poetry – I finished tweaking my series of poetry books for publication!

1. Mother/Daughter Bonding – Kicked off the college tours in Atlanta, sharing laughs and some serious chats with my favorite girl.

Five in 2014

5. Wealth & Finance – New and exciting clients as well as long-term projects that will hasten numbers 1 & 2.

4. HGTV Dream Home at Lake Tahoe – I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Health – To learn that my stem cell recipient is thriving and living the life that a teenaged girl deserves.

2. Home – I am finally able to use all of these ideas that I have collected to renovate my home.

1. College – My daughter is admitted to her top choice with a full ride and I won’t stay in the fetal position too long once she’s gone. (My five year-old wouldn’t stand for that foolishness for too long…)

Oh yeah and…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
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