Thursday, January 21, 2010

The next book

My next book will be a book of photographs and notes
photos and prose of my favorite things
my favorite people, places
Uraeus, early morning sun, evening, flowers plenty of flowers, most things red
my office, my home, my mother, my family
Val telling stories behind a microphone in front of attentive crowd
Val and her band of women preachers sharing secrets, telling stories
strangers at bookstores, in parks, on the street

Rain, clouds, urban streets, leaves, trees
south central los angeles, long beach
my schools - all of them, my apartments - all of them, my phone numbers - all of them

Pictures of cookies and stories, poems and poets

Photos, and, stuff

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Pam

I remember years ago one night we were all outside of The World Stage hanging out after the poetry. I don't remember everyone there, but I was there. You were there. Don't remember how the conversation came up but I asked why I was so stuck. With people, work, life. The question was rhetorical but you answered it with the fireceness of a Goddess. With pointed finger, as my memory has it, you said "because you are a chooser and you keep allowing yourself to be chosen. And you keep allowing yourself to be chosen by people who are not choosers."

With quick reflection it was clear. I do do that. If not out loud, at least to myself. "You wanna date meeee????" "You wanna hire meee???" ...

These days, when I'm off my center I remember that conversation. Revelation. Then the questions come. Where am I not choosing? Where am I not honoring myself? Where am I not being responsible for me? And then I am clear.

This note is just to say, THANK YOU.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Jaha @ 40 would tell Jaha @ 30

1. Honor yourself in every relationship.
2. Pick your battles.
3. Pay close attention to your dreams.
4. Finish what you start.
5. Mean what you say and say it boldly.
6. So what if they don't like you.
7. You don't have to choose him because he chose you.
8. Have way more fun.
9. Don't take your life so seriously.
10. You don't have to have the last word. Say it once so that they hear you the first time.
11. Recycle.
12. It's ok not to know.
13. You are a leader. Don't be afraid of that.
14. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
15. Value your family and support system.
16. You are beautiful. Don't be afraid of that.
17. Know that you are powerful.
18. People listen when you speak. Respect that.
19. Listen.
20. Trust God. You don't need anyone elses approval.
21. Stay focused.
22. Drink more water.
23. If anyone tells you with their mouths or actions that they want to leave you, let them go.
24. Always tell the absolute truth in absolutely every situation.
25. So what if you look bad.
26. It's ok to make mistakes, learn from them.
27. Do the very best you can do.
28. Honor your meditation time.
29. It's not how many friends you have. It's the quality of your friendships.
30. It's ok to call the foul.
31. Don't be so judgemental. Others are doing the best they can with what they have and who they are. Hopefully.
32. Know that there is always light where you are. There is nowhere you can be that God is not.
33. Get your rest.
34. Respect and honor other peoples feelings.
35. It's ok to be alone. Find the joy in it.
36. Forty is not old.
37. Eat more vegetables.
38. Eat less bread, sugar, salt.
39. Maintain medical and dental checkups.
40. Be tactful.
41. Listen to and learn from valuable criticism about you without taking it as a personal attack.
42. Yes. You are worthy. Now stop asking the question over and over even if just in your mind.
43. Don't operate like someone will save you.
44. You don't have to do everything yourself. Use your support system.
45. Do not dim your light so that others can shine.
46. Notice that the people who have the most to say about what you should be doing are the people doing the least in their own lives.
47. God and you are the majority.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


These are forgiving times. These are times to define forgiveness. These are times to find the I in US.

xxDear God

listening to You
letting go
taking on


Dear Uraeus #15

When you've done all you can do, pray, listen and take the next easy step. There is never a moment that God is not completely aware of where you are. There is no place you can be that God is not. God is a force that exists within you always. Keep connecting. Keep connecting. To God.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Night with the cousins

Saturday night Candy, Yolanda and I met at Candy's place in Marietta for dinner, conversation, reconnection. We are first cousins in the same age range, who enjoy similar activies, all single (except for Candy who seems to have a new "Sweetie")yet when we see each other mostly, it's in California - at a funeral. Our last year at our grandfather's funeral. We said that we would stay in touch and I'm glad that we did. There were two missing from the group, LaToya and LaTrisha (Maurice's daughters), but prayerfully they will be with us next time. Hear that ladies! NEXT TIME!

We ate all night, talked all night, ALL NIGHT. The first time I looked at my watched it was 3:45am. And we were still talking. It's always interesting hearing someones memories and how different they can be from yours.

Anyway, thank you Candy and Yolanda for the evening. Thank you for new beginnings, for family friendship, for friendship. For love.

Reconnection soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Brandon Bowlin

Sing, Nailah

The tongue can be your worst ememy! - email from Help Somebody Ministries

"Death or life are in the power of the tongue" - Prov. 18:21

Your words, your dreams, and your thoughts have power to create conditions in your life.
What you speak about, you can bring about.

If you keep saying you can't stand your job, you might lose your job.

If you keep saying you can't stand your body, your body can become sick.

If you keep saying you can't stand your car, your car could be stolen or just stop operating.

If you keep saying you're broke, guess what? You'll always be broke.

If you keep saying you can't trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.

If you keep saying you can't find a job, you will remain unemployed.

If you keep saying you can't find someone to love you or believe in you, your very thought will attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.

If you keep talking about a divorce or break up in a relationship, then you might end up with it.

Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and power packed with faith, hope, love and action.

Watch your Thoughts - they become words.
Watch your words - they become actions.
Watch your actions - they become habits.
Watch your Habits - they become character.
Watch your Character - for it becomes your Destiny.

"In the search for me, I discovered truth.
In the search for truth, I discovered love.
In the search for love, I discovered God
And in God, I have found Everything.

Watch how your circumstances and situations begin to change when you change the way you speak.

"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" - John 6:63

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Family ties

one day i will look back on this day
these days
therman on the love seat
me on the couch

rachel maddow
jon stewart
keith olberman


Facebook dialogue

Jaha: What do you call someone who wants America to stop killing children in his country and is so fed up he is moved

Chas: Christlike

Venela: A really good father

Jaha: Not really defending the father here. understand his concern and not saying the son was right. no you dont get on a plane with an attempt to blow it up. was more thinking about that boy as human and not terrorist. what was going on in his head over and over while we are killing the children in africa with our economic policies?

Venela: guess i didn't get the beginning of the
question or the con-
text...been IN, se-
questred, if u will the last few days so
what's this about?

Jaha: V, I was taking another position on the young man who got on the plane Christmas day in attempt to blow it up. i was saying that a person could really be so frustrated with americas policies and how they affect the world that they do really really messed up things in response to the really really messed up things we do.

Mary: Given a different VIEW, understanding becomes present. Lots of stories of people in prison that justify their crime, given the background of circumstances. We just never know and what we do is constantly judge

Grace: a terrorist.

Venela: i've found it quite
interesting, since i
was a child,how the attention is greater
on the one that hits
last instead of the... See More
one that started the
whole thing. and then there was always one person everybody knew never
to hit;but even they
weren't stealing yo'
lunch money.

i also find it odd that we allow terror
ists to define terr-
orism much like we allow rapists to de-
fine rape, racists
define racism (jb says "that ain't right").-v.kali

Mark: Jaha, Specifically, what American policies are you referring to.

Msadiki: Mark ... I'm assuming that to be a rhetorical question...? Why? Because all North Americans should know, all to well, what is being done in "their"/our name(s), and to attempt a "laundry-list" of historical and current atrocities this Country has perpetrated on the world, would cause one to be both breathless and may be useless to enunciate have you heard of the "Intelligence Communities term - "Blow-back"- ?!!! Well here is a brief definition of "blow-back": [ quote ] "Blow-back is the espionage term for the violent, unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the civil population of the aggressor government. To the civilians suffering it, the blow-back typically manifests itself as “random” acts of political violence without a discernible, direct cause; because the public—in whose name the intelligence agency acted—are ignorant of the effected secret attacks that provoked revenge (counter-attack) against them.[1] Specifically, blow-back denotes the resultant, violent consequences — reported as news fact, by domestic and international mass communications media, when the actor intelligence agency hides its responsibility via media manipulation. Generally, blow-back loosely denotes every consequence of every aspect of a secret attack operation, thus, it is synonymous with consequence—the attacked victims’ revenge against the civil populace of the aggressor country, because the responsible politico-military leaders are invulnerable" [ end quote ] Again, this response springs forth from the notion that each of us should know all to well what is being done in our name ~ African proverb says : " If you know the beginning well, the end won't trouble you " !!!! If, you really want a laundry-list, I can provide one, but, ultimately you did ask Sista' Jaha the question... ~

Aimee: Chicken or the egg? This is circular thinking... An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth- pretty soon we'll all be blind and toothless. We are "killing African children" with our policies, while the politicians in Africa are taking millions of dollars of American aid so they can have gold toilets and letting their people die in the streets ... See Morelike dogs. Why is it better to attack the Americans than to confront their own corrupt governments? What about Martin Luther King Jr's speech "Even if they kill our children. Yet we will love them." Or Ghandi's peaceful demonstrations? Ghandi freed an ENORMOUS country from Colonial oppression, by peaceful means. All that said... if someone hurts my children they are going DOWN.

Mark: Msadiki, while I admire passion on a subject, you come across as arrogant. Specifically, what is this laundry list you speak of that justifies terrorism. Put-up or shut-up.

Msadiki: ~ ... I beg your pardon ...circular thinking?!! ...nah ...I don't think so... now however, if you want to deal in trivialities, then I assume you'll also feel comfortable using that as your reductive analysis/argument. However, if you take one additional step, and read the book by Walter Rodney : How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" , it would be ... See Moreclear there is no such thing operating here as a so-called "Circular" argument !!! His thesis is that Europe historically ( and currently ) needed resources to "aid" in it's expansion, and to facilitate it's internal dogma; the notion and practice of "Manifest Destiny". That because of color ( Genes ) and Religion ( i.e., Christianity In the form primarily Roman Catholicism ), that it Europe and Caucasian Peoples had a right to essentially rape and plunder the peoples and resources of all who didn't either look or believe like them. Unfortunately, with decades and decades of this practices being perpetrated on the World, some peoples have developed thepractice of mimicking the behavior, or, rising-up agaiinst, by definition, when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty...there's no circular thinking her, truth be told, it's more like Justice...and the only thing that replaces injustice is the appropriate practice of compensational justice!!!

Jaha: Mark, "arrogant?" it is arrogant of you to come here with put-up or shut-up. it is odd though that you would ask for put up after he put it down.

Msadiki: ~ Really, I don't need to answer or offer a "laundry list , because, from this point on you'll only reductively announce my so-called list as a further example of "arrogance" !!! However, if you look closely at the statement that Jaha made ( her post ) you'll notice that she clearly says; "what do you call someone who wants America to stop killing... See More Children in his Country", that was the essence of her when you ask: " Jaha, Specifically, what American policies are you referring to." ... there's your answer, it's been staring you in the face all this time !!!! ~ Oh, and by-the-way, I never said or suggested the notion or hinted at justifying ( your word ) terrorism !!!! I think it would behoove you to re-read my statement . It's only a suggestion, however, if in the final analysis, you do still come to that conclusion, that's on you , you will be utterly responsible for that misuse of energy!!!

Mark: Yes arrogant, assuming everyone has his world view. Put it down, be real, what facts. And yes, put-up or shut-up, a common saying, anytime I hear someone say "everyone knows" it is by someone who cannot back-up their comments.
Once again I state my question: What SPECIFICALLY has the U.S. done to deserve the terrorism.

Msadiki: unfortuanately, you are the one, hung-stuck on this word terrorism ...some called it simplly Justice
Also, you can believe anything you wish, however, never, I'll repeat, never , underestimate a man ( person ), Because, my truth, doesn't need to be validated by, your ignorance!!! And, lastly, it's rarely documents, or for that matter evidence that brings people together, it's how you make them feel , and , evidence suggest that YOU wouldn't ... See Morebenefit from my truth...and, -so-it-is... I can live with that.... but what does our miscommunication ultimately do to a planet that is in need of healing through knowing ??? I leave you in peace!! ~

Therman: In yesterday's speech about the intelligence failures that led to the Christmas day attempt to blow up the airplane over Detroit, President Obama ended with these words:
"Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust. That is exactly what our adversaries want...we will never hand them that victory. We will define the character of our country, not some band of small men intent on killing innocent men, women, and children.
"And in this cause, every one of us--every American, every elected official--can do our part. Instead of giving into cynicism and division, let's move forward with the confidence and optimism and unity that defines us as a people. For now is not a time for partisanship, it's time for citizenship--a time to come together and work together with the seriousness of purpose that our national security demands.
"That's what it means to be strong in the face of violent extremism. That's how we will prevail in this fight. And that's how we will protect our country and pass it--safer and stronger--to the next generation"

So, what is our individual part in this cause? Our part as individuals is to actively exercise our citzenship. To me, that means, first, educating ourselves on the doings of our country in the world, so that we may contribute informed opinions about the reasons that our country is the target of attacks.

With informed opinions, we could end the "siege mentality" and stop hiding "behind walls of suspicion and mistrust." We could stop "giving in to cnicism and division."

So, in that light, I offer the following refences that provide a laundry list of policies that the American government has pursued, just since the end of World War II, that reasonably could generate antagonistic responses from the recipients of those policies. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambition: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World. Also his book, Hegemony or Survival

William Rivers Pitt, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence

Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict

Gabriel Kolko, Century of War: Politics, Conflicts and Society Since 1914

Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion

Any one of these books, and an untold number of others, provide detailed listings of the American government's antagonistic policies toward other countries in the world.

Facebook dialogue on "Dear America"

Jaha: Dear America: Really, I'm more patriotic than you think, please don't let the nappy hair and leather jackets fool you (I'm a poet and...well that's another story) anyway, we seem awfully quick to label others terrorists but what are we calling ourselves when we go around the world (really, the whole world) killing others ...(actually killing, not just possibly attempting to)?

Scott: Counterpoint. Touché. But.... (friendly debate) Am I any less a murderer because my weapon fails to fire?

Breathe: I feel you. But if you follow that Nigerian brother's trail, he was a terrorist. Most of our acts in America are terrorist acts too. We all just need more YOGA lol.

Jaha: Say I am 6 feet tall and the bully on the playground. I push and push and push and push...when you push back, you are still a pusher, yes, but what else are you going to do?

Scott: Second. We (you, I, and those before and after us) live under the blanket of protection our brand of "terrorism" provides. And we are free to criticize it publicly thanks to the sacrifices of my brothers and sisters who voluntarily put ourselves in harm's way.

Respected point. I'm that same bully who fed you when you were hungry, clothed you when you were naked, and defended you from your hostile neighbors.
I DO respect your position, but the scenery's all grey.
Although misguided on occassion.

Jaha: But it's not on occassion. Give me an example where it was guided properly?Also, please know, I have great respect for my brothers and sisters and fathers and cousins who put themselves in harms way. I don't want them dying for????

Scott, do you work for the white house? It's not grey. I'm an artist. I live off of knowing my colors.

Jeri: Scott, so do you agree America is a terrorist country too but since it's run as a democracy it's OK?

Scott: Maybe not in recent events were we "innocent"...WWII was clearly a case where we were justified in the use of our Military force.

And while I clearly understand the brutality of this country's imposition, I challenge ANY OF YOU to reject it's benefits.

Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan had within their power the military capability to determine the fate of all of us yet unborn had the U.S. not entered the Arena. The world we live in 70 years later is a byproduct of the will never to be at the mercy of another World Power. It ain't pretty, but where would you rather be?

Jaha: Me personally, I wouldn't want to live in any other country but this county. True. I'm not saying that there aren't many many many many benefits to living in this country. That's another link and a separate point. Because there are benefits to living here doesn't say that we aren't wrong for many of the acts that we do. And PS, you went all the way back to WWII?

Scott: Sisters, I'm an artist too (not a visual one), and I respect your viewpoints and will even defend your right to have them, but it's known and accepted that the lifestyles we all enjoy are paid with very ugly wages.

Jaha: Again, let it be said, let it be known, I'm not saying that it is not to our benefit and protection that we have a military force. I am very thankful. Why is it that when anyone charges America with doing any wrong, someone brings up the right? If you give me space to praise America, give me space to charge America. Also, we are now the world power you were speaking against.

Scott, no one disagrees with you. Yes, the lifestyles we all enjoy are paid with very ugly wages. We enjoy certain benefits at the expense of someone else. Perhaps those are the ugly wages you speak of. My "thing" about this conversation with you is that I don't feel like I am being heard. I keep giving you your point on the benefits of living in America, not that this conversation was even about America's benefits, but I am saying that we too freely put labels on others who are often defending themselves against us. My question again, if we are killing others around the world, when others defend themselves why are they the ONLY terrorists? No, I'm not rooting for a war on our soil. I'm saying that when you watch the news there is such a one sided point of view given that it makes it too easy for us to look at them and never at us.

Scott: This dialogue contains a fair amount of agreement on both sides. Your point is understood and respected and has validity. In our analogies, even the "bully" will have his day. Every "empire" before ours has fallen and we're no exception. The "bully" to some is "big brother" to others, and is still expected to protect homself at any cost. All in all, if given no other choice, I'll be aggressor rather than victim.

Jaha: And there you go. The milartistic world view of the world citizen. That's my thing. There is always a victim and an aggressor even when there doesn't have to be a victim and an aggressor. We can play.

Thank you so much for this conversation. Really. We are artists and what else is art about? This is not cue to shut down discussion. Let's keep it up in our music, poetry, theater, blogs, conversations, classes.

Msadiki: Scott, you're arguing an ugly point ... just because "we" as Americans (North ) benefit from war waging doesn't ever justify this greater notion of National Security Interest or Manifest Destiny ...just because it sounds good, and "we" grew up hearing these principles, doesn't preclude that the actions taken to realize them, is correct, no matter what the so-called benefits are!!! Because the deeper historical underpinning of the notion of "Manifest Destiny", rest squarely on the notion and practice of both White Supremacy/Racism and a backward Christian determinism, if held up to any real critic, could only be ultimately enforced at the barrel of a gun matter how well the lie is constructed, it's still at it's heart manipulation and the "selling of an "air-sandwich"!!!

Scott: Msadiki, Respectfully, let's make it clear. I'm not "justifying" nor am I validating our country's criminal behavior. My ancestors were stolen from the same continent yours were. I have been, as a former US serviceman an instrument of its will... Voluntarily. I have been in harm's way in uniform and have seen war firsthand. Have you? I don't defend evil of any kind, but I reserve the right to defend my homeland and the people I care about regardless of my Nation's ills. That's all I'm saying. Better or worse.

Jaha, I've always enjoyed the fruit of your mind. It's one of the many things that's beautiful about you. Many times our opposing opinions are the byproducts of our unique experiences but that doesn't mean we can't have heartfelt respectful verbal intercourse. In the end, it's our relationships as friends, co-artists and lovers of life that sustain us.

I value and appreciate you.


Msadiki: I hear you Scott !!! I don't agree all that America thinks acts and does should ever be determined using what we ultimately gain ( trinkets ) , as a barometer. I know that you aren't arguing that/this point completely either, however, to say or to suggest that in the name of "near perfect blankets of protection", or the notion that the " ... See Morelifestyle we enjoy is paid for by ugly wages", needs to be thoroughly debaed and discussed to assess it's contemporary accuracy and need as a analytical position we usse to determine our "might" and right as Americans ( Military included ). //\\ Given a REAL choice in-the-matter, I would venture that a fairly large number of North Americans would op out of the methods used to accrue these benefits we enjoy. Why, because the "blow-back" is too hideous and great !!!! Further,because American history isn't taught, running the gamut of the lengthy set of atrocities it took historically to be the so-called world single super-power, then ultimately what that non-action translates to is lack of understanding and a ultimate misuse of energy ( Military ). So, given all this then , again, we have a big job as Americans , because when bombs start going off on our shores, we can attempt to bomb the world to pieces , but we won't bomb it into to peace!!! Again, the very notion and practice of a Manifest Destiny , built on the utter lie, the notion of White Supremacy, must be re-examined or, we'll all fall under the weight of global mistrust , a clear mistrust because of our ignorance and arrogrance....most of the out-side world understands this, and knows that in a lot of ways "WE" are a paper tiger!!! Guns don't make us strong, making war isn't righteous, there are however some universal principles that can and should guide "our" hand. "truth doesn't need to be validated by ignorance" !!! ~

Dear Uraeus #14

they will tell you
over and over
stories about your "enemies"
stories about your country
stories about your name

you will pass their tests
about your history
your memories
your dna

you will stand
you will sing
songs about bravery
songs about justice
right hand over heart
pledging allegiance
one justice for all

and you will remember

In honor of "You teach people how to treat you"

i honor myself with truth
spent too much time speaking through
filters of peace
of sage
of incense of wine
red by the way
always red

i honor myself with truth of the moment
at least to myself
i am a fixer
a desirer to change undesirable traits
in you
in me
charge it to my ego
you are never good enough as you are
neither am i
not to my ego

you told me who you were
i didnt believe you
my fault not yours

i made you wrong
you told the truth
i was listening to what i wanted to change
in you
in me

my fault
not yours

i wanted you to think i was brave
different from the others
that i could stand the wicked test we call

but i dont owe you answers to any test
proof of any love
any friendship
i only owe me the me i am in the moment
and then the next

charge it to my ego

time is only time
not good
not bad
just time
lessons are only lessons
not easy
not hard
just lessons

to be learned and relearned
repeated and rehearsed

we only know ourselves
through those we call friend

mirror my mirror
mirror my mirror
i taught you to lie
i taught you to love

mirror my mirror
mirror my mirror
i taught you to remember
i taught you to see


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Queen Sy

I've known this fly sista since my first days in Leimert Park. To me, and many, she is as much a part of that community as the trees, the fountain, the cracks in the sidewalks that hold so many secrets, dreams, yesterdays, tomorrows. I just couldn't have a blog and Queen Sy not be in it somewhere. Her colors, styles, smiles, art. All of her. Sy is such an inspiration to me. She is a bird that will fly no matter what. Clipped winged or whatever.

Sy represents a freedom that comes only from accepting and loving who she is. Earth, art, poetry, stories, music, dance, rhythm, blues, color, bird, sky, wind, fire, breath. You see her coming and you just know that you are in the presence of blessing. She will gift you. With smile that only those teeth could say, "baby, keep your head up!" She will compliment you in a way that lets you know that YOU are what matters and whatever roads you have to cross to get to understanding that, remembering God in her will get you there.

My sister teases me sometimes and says that I don't know when to stop getting dressed. I'll have on a dress, a pair of jeans, every necklace I own and four rings and think I am the BUSINESS! She thinks it's too much. But I have a freedom all my own and I stop off in Leimert Park to pick up a candle or bean pie, incense or just to sit. And I see Sy walk by and after we hug and exchage blessings I think. Yeah...yeah. Freedom.

From Val

Dear Jaha
I thought about you
all day Saturday
and today I looked on your blog
to see you wrote to me that day
I have been smiling
warm inside and the memory
of you on my couch
in the kitchen
rocking the mic
laughing with a glass of wine in
hand, marveling in the sisterhood
of righteous women
full of raunchy wisdom
I thought about you all
and when I saw that you were thinking
of me too, I got happy again.
gift. joy. friendship. love

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My playlist


1. Giving you the best that I've got - Anita Baker
2. Angel - Anita Baker
3. Just the two of us - Bill Withers
4. You make me feel like a natural woman - Aretha Franklin
5. I believe in you (you believe in me) - Johnny Taylor


1. Mountains o' things - Tracy Chapman


1. What a friend we have in Jesus - Aretha Franklin
2. Precious Lord take my hand - Aretha Franklin
3. Stand - Donnie Mcclurkin
4. Beautiful Anyway - Nailah Porter

Mercury Retrograde by Molly Hall

What is Mercury Retrograde?:

This happens three to four times per year, when the planet Mercury slows down, and appears to stop (station) and move backward (retrograde). It's an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train -- as it recedes, it appears to go backward.

What are the Mercury Retrograde dates for 2010?:

The dates are:
December 26th, 2009 to January 15th, 2010 in the earth sign Capricorn.
April 17th to May 11th in the earth sign Taurus.
August 20th to September 12th in the earth sign Virgo.
December 10th through 29th, in the earth sign Capricorn and fire sign Sagittarius.

What happens during Mercury Retrograde?:

Since Mercury rules communication, it's said that everything goes haywire in that area -- emails get deleted or bounced back, mail is returned, calls go out into the ethers, etc. Some people find that their computers go on the fritz or phone lines go down. I've never seen the hard data on this, so make your own observations. It does seem though that miscommunications abound during the retrograde period.

A Time-Out:

Mercury retrograde gives us time to catch up with ourselves, and to look back. Something from the past might return in a different form. This can mean people, ideas or buried insights that need to surface for you to move forward. Often it's felt as a contemplative time, depending on the sign, a chance to go over old ground again, to claim what you missed the first time.

Be Non-Committal:

There's a long-held belief that it's best to avoid making set plans during the Mercury Retrograde. This means being cautious about things like signing contracts, and forming partnerships and corporations. What gets put in writing at this time may turn out to need serious revising after Mercury goes direct. But since tying up loose ends is the domain of retrograde, this type of finalization might fly.

Can you repeat that?:

In our relationships, sometimes we gloss over things that pushed buttons at the time, but which we let slide. What seemed not worth the trouble may reveal itself as a major issue in need of our attention. The Mercury retrograde is a time for review, when the underlying patterns come to light.

Back to the Drawing Board:

Some dreams and goals get lost in the hectic rushing around of daily life. The Mercury Retrograde period can be a rich time of reflection on those longings. This makes it a time for the soul to ponder its destiny. You might look over old journals, review your creative work, muse on serendipities of the past that have pointed you toward your spirit's calling. It can make the retrograde period a time of solidifying a sense of your personal story and where you're headed.

What does it mean in each different sign?:

The Mercury retrograde is shaped by the sign through which it is cast. For example, a Mercury retrograde in Cancer turns the mind toward things like family, home and the invisible emotional bonds that connect us. On the other hand, a Mercury retrograde in Aquarius gives it a different spin, with a review of group dynamics, the larger human community, all from a detached perspective.

Making the Most of Mercury Retrograde:

Astrology is a tool that can make you aware of patterns, like those that come during a Mercury retrograde. Just observe and see what happens, and be open to the past returning for review. If it's coming back, there's likely something more to learn or release from it. You don't have to retreat to the zen monastery, but a little solitude and quiet reflection never hurt anybody.

New Year

there is no new years poem
not yet
and i am full of words

but no words for readers
right now
and i am full of words

i am full of codes and fairy tales
fire and forgiveness
and forgiveness we know by now
is only code for victim

and i am victim of no thing

busying myself building alters and stories
painting my face and writing poems
poems for me
poems for me

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Because I like to read my horoscope - Virgo

Here again is that same issue you were dealing with yesterday. You're angry and ready to stop being nice and fight back. Why put up with what you don't deserve, especially when you'd never do this to anyone? Words can hurt worse than weapons if aimed at the heart. Let it fly.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dear Val

for community

for words
for poetry

for pie
for wine
for trees


for memories
for future

for something else
to say thank you for

Twittascope - Virgo

This can be a very enjoyable day even if there isn't very much going on. The simplest tasks can bring you great pleasure today, so don't go out of your way trying to make something special happen. Just settle in for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Don't worry; your life will get busy again soon enough.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Being ready

When it happens take advantage of it. It, the opportunity to have conversations to complete, to begin, to make right, to declare wrong, to call foul, to call hurt, to heal. Wherever it happens. Remembering Ann's words to me, "All of the voices in your head deserve a voice."