Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My conversation with Ann

I called Ann on Saturday because I had been thinking a lot about her and because I couldn't let the year end without talking to her. She asked how I was doing and I answered her honestly in the moment. "Angry, evil, mean, frustrated."

"Oh, great." She responded, in her soft breathy voice.

"Did you hear me?"

"Yes, Jaha. I love it. See, all the voices in your head deserve a voice." And she meant that. "When you only allow the peaceful voice to speak you are like a painting that's only yellow."

Now that's what I call a friend.

Handbook 2010 - email from Shirley


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is
manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.. Instead
invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her
mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are
simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class
but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.
Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cleaning house

Dust bunnies


Clearing the space

For love

What goes around, comes around - an email sent from John

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

"Leave me alone," he growled... To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

"Are you hungry?" she asked.
"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president.. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader.

Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"
"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."
"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.
"Let me go, officer. I didn't d o anything.."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked."What is all this, is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.
"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place.."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."


The woman smiled again.. "I thought that might make a difference."

She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a laugh. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent... Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.

"Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment.. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I
saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office."

She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he asked.

"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways.. "Thank you for your help officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget, And thank you for the coffee."

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You always and don't forget that when you "cast your bread upon the waters," you never know how it will be returned to you. God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart . . .

The power of one sentence! God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor. If you believe, send it. If you don't believe, delete it.

God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close..
If you need God to open some doors for you....send this on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wake up freestyle poem #234a

because human beings are funny fickle beings you know
remembering to remember what is missing
thinking about what we dont have
things that dont have anything to do with keeping
us alive
not really
all the bills all the cars all the toys all the clothes

this morning i am remembering to be thankful for you
releasing and letting go all of the junk i held onto
the words the anger the ego the fear
remembering to remind you that i understand the journey
on the path myself

not resisting the wee hours
dedicating them to prayer
to poetry
to being


Monday, December 7, 2009

Wake up freestyle poem #234

because waking up posting poetry is makes me feel good
and isnt life easier when you feel good
because i am unfolding to all the answers
because i am loving the folks in my life
because all of you are my lessons my blessings

and freestyle poems are always bad
and arent they supposed to be
and whats the point of writing just to write
poems just for poems
poetry is the point

releasing is the point
letting go is the point
forgiving is the point
life is the point
health is the point
living my life like its golden is the point
even if that is a line from jill scott

a good line is the point

love is the point

Good morning

Slept through the night, mostly. Was glad to wake up at 7:30 instead of pre crack of dawn. Time to leave Chicago. Work was a blessing and great learning experience. Spending time with Genevieve and her family (my family) was priceless.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Uraeus #13

The lesson is to breathe and keep breathing
To know that the answers are already there
To stay right in the moment
To use what God has already given you
To keep developing the idea
Keep moving forward
Keep visualizing
Keep seeing it bigger than it is
Keep taking the next small step
Keep smiling through it
Keep claiming the victory

Know that this is your lesson
This is your blessing
This is your choice
Keep God in it completely

Keep being a blessing to others
Stay on the path that God has laid out
Recognize God's voice when you hear it
Find your quiet place
Listen for instructions

There is only one you
You and God are the majority
You only need God's approval
You only need God's blessing

What looks like a problem is an opportunity
You will move beyond it
Always be in prayer

God is always with you
Trust that
Eat well
Drink water
Rest well

Love, Mom


because this is a freestyle poem
on a sunday morning early
i did fall asleep
but i woke up
i always wake up
before i am sleep for too long
i dont know
i dont know

my mind is always busy
i am a virgo
what does that have to do with
the price of tea in china
like i really care
about prices and teas and china

because poems titled because are boring
but this is about you
because poems with the word because are boring
but this is not about poetry
this is about you

because this is not about you
because this is really about me
because i am growing and it is time
for the next level
because the next level is the test
you are the test
because you are the test

the question is whether or not
i am big enough to be bigger than
your pointing fingers
bigger than your mouth
bigger than your criticisms
bigger than your ego

the question is whether or not
i am strong enough to be silent
strong enough to stand still
faithful enough to know that
God has already handled
it all

Who/Why Me 5

My name is Jaha Zainabu.

My favorite color is red,

I write poetry,

I am here because I have stories to tell,

Who/Why Me 4

My name is Jaha Zainabu.

My favorite color is red,
like sky,
like Lucy,
like love.

I write poetry,
about life,
about trees,
about me.

I am here because I have stories to tell,
with words,
with with pictures,
with paint.


Your complaint about me only tells me about you.


Every time you judge others, you find them guilty.



A healing breakthrough is coming your way and you've done what you needed to do to prepare yourself to recognize it. You can spend years looking for remedies and failing, and then one simple change exposes how the cure was obvious and right in front of you all along.

Who/Why Me 3

My name is Jaha Zainabu.
My favorite color is red,
like sky,
like Lucy,
like love.
I write poetry.
I am here because I have stories to tell,
with words,
with pictures,
with paint.

Who/Why Me 2

My name is Jaha Zainabu.
My favorite color is red.
I write poetry.
I am here because I have stories to tell,
with words,
with pictures,
with paint.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why? When being up at 2am is more than a choice

why am i up watching pelham 123 for the millionth time?
why am i typing a why poem?
to fall asleep?
freestyle or rewrite?
plastic or paper?
married or single?
black or white?
how much money will i get on tues?
is the check in my mailbox?
find a new home for the dog?
sex or celibacy?
the book or a movie?
did i eat too much chicken tonight?
white wine or red?

am i crazy or not?
what is crazy?
how do you know?
does it matter?
go to bed or keep writing?
does it matter to anyone?

will tigers wife stay?
is the grass greener anywhere?
is greener real?
whats the difference?
fate or choice?
is heaven on earth possible?
hell on earth?

how is john?
why is the check engine light on in my truck?
which poems will i do on tues?
how many books will i sell?
hair or bald?
red or black or gray?

will my period start tomorrow or what?
cramps or crying or crazies?
or what?
laugh or cry?

where do women tell the stories we need to tell
without black men getting so angry about them?
sometimes the bruises hurt worse than the roses smell good
am i a bitter old woman because i remember?

nappy or straight?
green eyes or brown?
ginger ale or tylenol?
kiss or cuddle?

Order your copy of THE CORNERS OF MY SHAPING



Although you have high hopes about what you want to do this weekend, you might decide to cancel some of your plans so you can catch up on your rest. You could resist your normal tendency to make a list of what you want to accomplish because you believe it will give you more flexibility to relax. However, scheduling your activities is still a smart idea, for creating some structure will enable you to have more time to yourself.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Who/Why Me

My name is Jaha Zainabu
My favorite color is red.
I write poetry.
I'm here because I have stories to tell.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My horoscope today


You may be struggling with your own need to analyze your way through a crucial issue now, but your intellectual gymnastics may just be a way for you to maintain the illusion of control. Unfortunately, you could run into a wall if you are unwilling to consider information that comes to you through your imagination. Obstacles will be easier to overcome once you accept the importance of your dreams, even when they defy logic.

untitled by Rachel McKibbens

To my daughters, I need to say:

Go with the one who loves you biblically.

The one whose love lifts its head to you despite its broken neck.

Whose body bursts sixteen arms electric to carry you, gentle, the way
old grief is gentle.

Love the love that is messy in all its too much,

The body that rides best your body, whose mouth saddles the naked salt
of your far gone hips, whose tongue translates the rock language of
all your elegant scars.

Go with the one who cries out for his tragic sisters as he chops the winter’s wood, the one whose skin

Triggers your heart into a heaven of blood waltzes.

Go with the one who resembles most your father. Not the father you can
point out on a map,

But the father who is here. Is your home. Is the key to your front door. Know that your first love will only

Be the first. And the second and third and even fourth will unprepare you for the most important:

The Blessed. The Beast. The Last love. Which is, of course, the most terrifying kind.

Because which of us wants to go with what can murder us? Can reveal to us

Our true heart’s end and its thirty years spent in poverty?

Can mimic the sound of our birdthroated mothers, replicate the warmth of our brothers' tempers? Can pull us out of ourselves until

We are no longer sisters or daughters or sword swallowers but, instead,

Women. Who give. And lead. And take and want

And want

And want

And want

Because there is no shame in wanting.

And you will hear yourself say: Last Love, I wish to die so I may come back to you new and never tasted by any other mouth but yours.

And I want to be the hands that pull your children out of you and tuck them deep inside myself until they are

Ready to be the children of such a royal and staggering love. Or you
will say: Last Love,

I am old, and have spent myself on the courageless, have wasted too many clocks on less-deserving men, so I hurl myself

At the throne of you and lie humbly at your feet.

Last Love, let me never roll out of this heavy dream of you.

Let the day I was born mean my life will end where you end.

Let the man behind the church do what he did if it brings me to you.

Let the girls in the locker room corner me again if it brings me to you.

Let the wrong beds find me if it brings me to you.

Let this wild depression throw me beneath its hooves if it brings me to you.

Let me pronounce my hoarded joy if it brings me to you.

Let my father break me again and again if it brings me to you.

Last love, I let other men borrow your children. Forgive me.

Last love, I vowed my heart to another. Forgive me.

Last Love, I have let my blind and anxious hands wander into a room and come out empty. Forgive me.

Last Love, I have cursed the women you loved before me. Forgive me.

Last Love, I envy your mother’s body where you resided first. Forgive me.

Last Love, I am all that is left. Forgive me.

Last Love, I did not see you coming. Forgive me.

Last Love, every day without you was a life I crawled out of. Amen.

Last Love, you are my Last Love. Amen.

Last Love, I am all that is left. Amen.

I am all that is left.



My friend Rachel McKibbens' cranberry sauce receipe

(Don't say I never gave you nothin')

1 pkg. (12 oz) actual cranberries
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. water
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 granny smith apple or whatever (chopped into hash-like bits)
1 cinnamon stick (or you can just dump in some regular cinnamon, to taste)
an orange
a cheese grater, or zester if you're a dork

in a medium bowl, mix all the shit I just wrote, except, of course, for the cinnamon stick, orange and cheese grater and/or zester.

pour it into a medium saucepan over high heat. grate the orange over the stuff, making sure you're only getting the ORANGE part of the peel, don't get the nasty ass bitter white part.

grate the cinnamon stick as well. or, dash the fuck out of the sauce with some regular old cinnamon. mix around until the smell punches your babymaker. once it starts boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 to fifteen minutes. do some sit ups to pass time.

put your finger in the burning glory, tasting to see if it needs more sugar. it's gonna be tart, but it's also gonna be the realest shit you'll ever smear onto a biscuit, bootie or turkeymama.

remove from heat and let it cool off to room temperature. cover and put in the fridge. chill for however long (the longer the better for coagulatory purposes)

this is about 12 helpings.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements is a book I want my son to read one day. The subtitle for the book is "A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom." Perfect. Who wouldn't want that for their child? For themselves?

I went to bed in a bit of a funk and grabbed a book off the bookshelf to rock me to sleep after my prayers. I didn't open the book. Fell asleep with it in my arms. But this morning at 3:30 when I woke up I opened it. Right there on the flap was enough of what I needed.

I have read this book many times. But it keeps showing up when I need it. I am working in Chicago and am staying with my cousin Genevieve and her family. When I walked in the door, in my space, my mood, my self-pity, my forced optimism... I saw it on the mantle. Perfect. A reminder to me that I had broken one if not all of the agreements and sure enough, I had.

In a nutshell these are the agreements:

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

So, you see why this book pops up in my life every now and again?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dear Uraeus # 12, Books I want you to read one day

01. Holy Bible
02. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
03. The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
04. Just Above My Head by James Baldwin
05. Wish You Well by David Baldaccui
06. Eat Pray Love
07. The Corners of my Shaping by Jaha Zainabu
08. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
09. Do You by Russell Simmons