Friday, February 28, 2014


I am thankful for this day
I am  thankful for waking up to the sound of rain and seeing the gray sky
I am thankful for my son
For my mother
My sister
My family
I am thankful for life
For freedom
For peace
I am thankful for love

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 28 - Rain

Wash this worry, doubt, wash this fear away.
O let this water continue to pour.
Make me clean again. Grow these plants today.
Others wish you'd go. I only want more.

I don't cover my head when I'm outside.
Let you fall down my face, across my cheeks.
Eye make up has streaked, it looked like I've cried.
I've been waiting this day for many weeks.

Way you bring this solitude and quiet.
Then I walk for miles with boots and a coat.
You clear my head from all of the riot.
Memorize poetry over by rote.

Keep me company, rain stay here with me.
O water fall from clouds and wet my feet.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I am thankful for this day
For waking up
I am thankful for my son
For my mother
For my family
For seeing the sky
For my health and strength
For love and compassion
For dreams
For peace and understanding

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 27 - Given

My love is the brickiest brick I know.
I will hand it to you and will not take
it back. Care for flower and watch it grow.
My stone leaves will wrap around you and make

ground forever for us to walk and rest.
Look behind you at how far we have come.
Look into sun as we skip at our best.
Hear all those sounds, those birds, those bees and drums?

We tip toe sometimes because clouds get so
gray. Lessons to be learned, part of the path.
Still I keep my promise of floor to go
under our feet. Easy science, no math.

Sometimes I need space and then I'm okay.
Time to push evil and thistles at bay.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I am greatly blessed with good friends and other people in my life. I am wealthy in that department. I know that for sure. I am thankful for all the laughter I had tonight. For the new people I met. For food and entertainment. I am thankful for waking up this morning. For my son, my mother, family. I am thankful for folks and hands to shake and new necks to hug.

I look forward to a good rest tonight. I am thankful for the sound of rain. I look forward to waking up tomorrow and experiencing God's good love all over me.

And so it is.


At Starbucks and the guy at the big table with me brought in a box of Dominoes pizza. Bought a large hot chocolate and is drinking his drink so loudly I'm just going to scream. That's all.

Spoken word

I am thankful for words today. For all of the words that I have to give. Words that have spilled accidentally and purposely from my mouth out into the world. Words that have healed. Words that kept someone alive for another moment. I am thankful for the words God spoke through God's self when He, when She created all life. I am thankful for the ability to pull on words through prayer and meditation and song and poetry and memories. I am thankful for words formed through gut laughter with friends. I am thankful for the medicine that words are.

Words are clay. Did you know that? Did you know that words are as thick as clay and dirt and mud? Words are brick and stone. Words built this ground we walk on. Words, my words will build my tomorrow. My words about abundance and health and safety and love and protection and peace. These are my words. This is the world I am building for myself.

I have chosen unwisely in the past. I have used my own words against me and they bit me. But what else were they to do but bite? Then I was blind to my power. I am a powerful woman. Woman. Woman. A powerful woman with words in my hands and heart and art and on my tongue and in my mouth. Watch me. Just you watch me create!

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 26 - Workshop

We all sat 'round the table and she had
picayune remarks to say about our
poetry and art. This coming from grad
student. We so expected less sour

words and thoughts. We encouraged each other
with books and stories, with essays and blogs.
We are close as kin, sister and brother.
Sometimes we love, sometimes we are at odds.

But always we are in this together.
We share car rides and cabs, buses and trains.
Committed in any type of weather.
In good health and bad health, happy and pains.

We write out our feelings, ready or not.
We write through the days, be cold or they hot.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 25 - Weep

There's no solatium he can receive
For loss of his child so cruel and so mean
Sat on the court stand and lied and deceived
Emotions unreal like robot, machine

Fear of our boys is a lie that they told
Never afraid but filled with hate instead
Our boys have audacity to be bold
He pulled out a gun the boys ran and fled

One child was shot, the community cries
They scream justice and hold up signs in red
When questioned the man just sits there and lies
Sees photos of his son's body there dead

Where is the justice in justice we search
Knees bowed, body bent, head low in the church


I am thankful for this day
I am thankful for my life
For everything I have
For everything I don't
I am thankful for my son
For my mother
For my family
For my friends
I am thankful for my community
For the activists in my life
The poets and writers and dancers
The artists
The healers
The preachers and teachers
I am thankful for forgiveness
And peace

Monday, February 24, 2014

A sonnet a day February 2014 - day 24 - Moment

I love you today like I love myself
I look in the mirror and I see you
We are large beings not small as the elf
With all this love there is still work to do

Let's take a long walk and see 'bout our path
Take off my hat run your hand through my hair
Let's take off our shoes, our feet in the sand
Let's take off our clothes, stand naked and bare

Communicate with me, let's sit and talk
Let's go for a long drive up the mountain
Please come with me dear, don't stand there and balk
We can sit, wet our fingers in fountain

O how will I tell you how much I care
I'll leap to the ocean, only you dare

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I love my son so much. I love how his brain works. How creative he is. Tonight we had a conversation about films and history and what would make an interesting film about our history. Our people. He said it would be interesting to see a well written story about Hurricane Katrina. But without the politics and focus on the impact it had on a small group like maybe a family. Out of respect for his craft and ideas I don't want to go further but I am so proud of him. Proud of his passion for history.


For the past three nights on and off I have had a headache behind my right eye. I am praying for it to be lifted soon. Pray with me, k?

I had a wonderful evening tonight at Maverick's Flat at the Still Waters event. Tonight they honored artist Charles Bibbs and Jane Walker who is the widow of Walt Walker, who are my good friend's grandparents, Dietra Walker, whom I know affectionately as, Nspire. I enjoyed the poets, painters, seeing friends and exchanging hugs.

I'm home now getting ready for tomorrow and the week ahead. I have a meeting tomorrow with LODI and work to do with the workshop I am creating. Pray, ok?

Sleepy now.


Last night I had a dream that I was painting a house. My house. My walls. I was painting the walls and ceiling and I was so pleased. Then I looked up possible interpretations of such dreams and the one I liked the most said this, "You are soon or will be very pleased about some changes that are already in the process of happening to you."

A sonnet a day for February - day 23 - We

To love someone deep is to let him know
To hold him close and watch his shoulders fall
To listen closely and together grow
To walk hand in hand, to hear when he calls

To love someone deep is to know yourself
To look into your eyes and speak kind words
To know your worth belongs off of the shelf
To so love your life and sing like a bird

To love your lives together is to smile
To be committed to each other's win
To accept your own faults but all the while
Seeing yourselves as one, closer than kin

Look at how important love is to life
Peace, love, harmony, joy, all of these rife

I'm just saying

I am so looking forward to March. I am tired of writing rhyming sonnets.


So I'm watching this movie on Lifetime Movie Network about this bipolar woman and the upside is that they feature characters with mental illnesses and the downside is that when I do see these characters they are not characters we see functioning around us, sometimes painfully living with this illness. Showing the work it takes to deal with the ups and downs. Every bipolar character is not so extreme. It's I guess as Toni Morrison said, it's up to me to write the story I want to read.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Me at Vibrations Thursday night

A sonnet a day for February - day 22 - Path

My mind teeming with memories of us.
Remembering sand between toes and those
days we walked until tired then caught bus.
How beautiful, my locks, your big Afro.

All this time has gone by and I still know
that love never leaves, it stays in our cells.
Then I was your girl and you were my beau.
You'd pick me a rose and I would hear bells.

We are older now and so far apart.
Still we are so close, I'll never forget
Ways you made me feel, ways you touched my heart.
I remember sometimes and blush and sweat.

That's the thing about this life that we live,
take from this journey as much as we give.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 21 - Journey

O wake me up early morn' to see sky
O way my arms stretch, my knees and legs bend
O I love water and to see birds fly
I watch them eat bread crumbs, then just ascend

Look up at those mountains so far away
Look way up at those trees, so nice and tall
Look at the sky, how clear it is today
I watch the sun at noon, at night stars fall

Wake me if I miss the rainbow 'cause sleep
Wake me if I rest and don't hear you call
Wake me from this grass while shepherds herd sheep
I watch the animals hasten and stall

Before my own eyes, day turns dark to night
Before my own eyes, my blind turns to sight

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 20 - Process

My gray indicative of growing old
There's no avoiding its senescence now
Still my reflection shows a woman bold
Who has taken risks no asking how

Though I have my days when tired and weak
I wake in prayer, go out to see the sun
Bow my head under sky, ever I'm meek
I play like children, I laugh and have fun

I love every stage of my life, old, young
I am thankful for my health, strength and peace
Thankful for legs, feet, hands, ears, mouth and tongue
One of these days my human self will cease

Till then I will tell wonderful stories
About life and God, nature and glory

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I love my World Stage family. I do.


I am thankful for this day
For love and energy
For an opportunity to live and experience life again
I am thankful for my son
For peace and compassion
For ideas and inspiration
I am thankful for my mother, sister
For my friends and family


It's not that God just showed up out of nowhere. God is always always wherever I am. Sometimes though. My eyes are too closed to see.

A sonnet a day for 2014 - day 19 - Stroll

His tone very arch, his posture so stiff.
His gait very slow, his eyes dark and mean.
His fists balled up tight, his hat low as if
he is hiding, like in a movie scene.

Hoodie covers his head, headphones on ears.
Rehearsing rap lyrics, poetry too.
He crosses gang towns and silently fears
gun fights and knife fights. He covers his blue.

He makes it across town riding the bus.
He walks in the door and puts down his bags.
He kisses his mom and gives her a hug.
He goes in the yard, burns all of his rags.

Tired of these days confronted with strife.
Dreams of some ways to have another life.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I am thankful for this day
For waking up in a sound mind
I am thankful for a good rest last night
I am thankful for leading a pleasant poetry workshop at Compton College
Then meeting in Buena Park for a future crafts workshop
Then leading another pleasant workshop at USC
God is always good
I am thankful for patience
Patience others show towards me
Patience I have for others
I am thankful for my son
For the entire community that rears him
I am thankful for my sister
For my friends and family
I am thankful for words
For poetry
For the journey I'm on
I am thankful for the oneness of all beings
I am thankful for the connectedness between God and me
I am thankful for this moment right now
For love and compassion and forgiveness
I give thanks
And so it is

A sonnet a day for 2014 - Moonday

This moon, redoubtable in her glory
Bold as the heavens commands attention
I bow, I dance, I listen to stories
Of water, of land, any she mentions

This moon, she follows me so easily
There is no where I can hide from her gaze
Any attempt would be measly
I sit on the sand and contemplate days

This moon, how she shifts my mood up and down
Sways fluid in my body back and forth
I walk into sea, I could almost drown
Unaware of direction, south or north

This moon, this full moon way up in the sky
This moon, this big full moon only knows why

Monday, February 17, 2014


I am thankful for this day
Even for the headache that woke me up
Thankful for Red Stories last night
I am thankful for my son
For the time to twist his beautiful locks
I am thankful for my mother
For my friends and family
For love and compassion
And so it is

Red Stories last night and more

I'm thankful for another great Red Stories show last night. Imani Tolliver was the feature and did a beautiful job. I'm glad Donny was there and agreed to share a piece to open. I have wanted Imani and Donny to get to experience each other's work for some time now.

After the show Nspire and I went to Denny's and got super slow service due to being short staffed, but still... And the veggie burgers were only so so. That's not important. Fact is, I'm glad we got the time to chill. It's been a very emotional weekend for me. I was trying to be of service to others and was not taking care of myself as I should have. Even receiving words and energy that were not mine to hold, I held. The break I took from my meds didn't help.

I'm feeling some kind of way right now because I may have to cancel my therapy. It has helped me so much this past year and has been the only thing I really do for myself. Truthfully I just can't afford it right now. Also truthfully, I can't afford not to be in therapy right now. Lord knows I have my days.

I'm sending prayers to a special friend dealing with very personal and trying family issues. I hold him and his family close to my heart. I am thankful he reached out to me to talk. I am thankful he knows the love I have for him.

I need to take these meds tonight. To sleep. To shut my brain down for a minute. To figure things out. Somewhere I made a wrong decision and I need to get back on track. I don't know what that looks like in reality right now but I trust God to show me the way. I trust myself to follow.


P.S. My sister and Connie came out to Red Stories and that made me happy.

A sonnet a day for 2014 - day 17 - Forward

Held right hand over heart and swore truth
His words so far from probity they fell
The lies landed brutally on our youth
These streets we walk are worse than any hell

Privatized prisons seeking our black boys
To fill as slaves, free labor, as before
We are in the streets, on news making noise
Things will change, there is more for us in store

We grieve and we are weak, then we get up
We hold our heads down, we rest, then we stand
We breathe then we run, we drink from this cup
We vary in hue, but from the same strand

All by our faith we have survived this far
Our backs on the ground, our heads to the stars

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A sonnet a day for 2014 - day 16 - Florida trees

His mother's and father's hearts lay lorn and
Empty on the courtroom steps after trial
A white man can murder a black boy, leave stand
Where is the justice? We scream and they smile

O the heavy young black men carry now
O the heavy, black parents try to teach
O how they expect us to bend and bow
How many the people we try to reach

We still have our spirits though wailing hearts
Though dripping eyes we still show up to fight
We speak with our votes, fists, poetry, art
O heavy the burden of our long plight

Our ancestors fought and we for our young
We remember the trees from which we swung

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I am the mother of an African-American young man who is sixteen years old. He is kind and brilliant. He loves comedy and laughs so beautifully it fills my heart. He is brilliant. He rides a bike. He loves classical music. He loves the blues. He studies history. All history. He has delicious dark chocolate skin. He wears locks past his shoulders. He is incredibly particular about people he calls friend. He enjoys his own company. He has friends. He is funny. He likes the color green. He likes karate videos on YouTube. He is an ordinary boy. And he is unique. Like all of our boys. He is a human being who just wants to live peacefully in this world and make a wonderful difference. And he deserves this. Like all of our boys. Every one of our black boys.

A sonnet a day for 2014 - day 15 - Time

The crepitating sound of the dog's steps
In the silent night on empty wood floor
I could not sleep, so paced slowly 'cross reps
Pulled out paper, wrote to him I adore

This moon, this full moon, so big and so round
This dark, these stars, this heaven, this great life
The birds in the sky make beautiful sounds
I am alone with my drums and a fife

What to do now, all the questions I have
'Bout nature and God, 'bout wonderful things
I think about fish and ways that they calve
All of us special, all of God's beings

How my mind wanders from this place to that
Stare out my window, I sit on this mat


I am thankful today for my life
For my son
For my mother
My friends and family

Friday, February 14, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 14 - Blah blah blah

Some days are easier than are others
It's no one's fault I make myself second
Then I'm angry at sisters and brothers
Because I jumped because someone beckoned

Not loving self to take care of my needs
I will not cry because you are so sad
I needed this day and not for your greeds
And still we can't talk because it makes you mad

My happiness is a priority
Too many days I am down in a slump
Can't give my joy to a minority
I sit quietly while you vent and dump

Pray tomorrow will be better than this
Pray that I soon find some kind of a bliss

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Red Stories

Yay! Red Stories is this Sunday at 7:30pm at Vibrations located at 2435 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA. $10. I would love to see you there! The feature this month is Imani Tolliver! I am super excited to have her on the Red Stories stage.

There is a writer's workshop before the show that starts at 5:30. Come out and get your workshop on. Yes, I mean you.

Me at Vibrations tonight

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 13 - Dear Jaha

Because loving myself is my good love.
My hands, my feet, my eyes, smile. My whole self. 
There are some times I need reminding of 
My shine and not to hide my gifts on shelf.

My legs hold me steady. My knees bend free. 
My spine is strong and my skin is so thick.
I give myself space to breathe and just be.
I am air and water, red dirt and brick.

This long neck, these breasts, my fingers and toes.
Loving self is not always this easy.
I wear red and green and colorful clothes.
I stand proudly and speak rasp and wheezy.

This poet, this painter, this woman me.
This artist, lover, this face that I see.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 12 - We the PEOPLE

We stand deracinated together
From soil we know, far overseas, our home
Grassland. Blue sky. We recall forever
Where giraffes, elephants, buffalo roam

Beautiful jewelry and clothes and gold
Our silver, our diamonds, our people. Strong.
Men and women and children young and old
Our voices collective lifted in song

Through abuse and slavery, hatred, war
We have survived miraculously so
Scholars. New land. Still growing far. We soar.
Changing with tides like the water we flow

It's up to us to now tell our story
Made it this far to God be the glory


I am thankful for this day
For my son
For my mother
My friends and family
I am thankful for my health and safety
For poetry and art
I am thankful for creativity

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 11 - Match dot non

We walked easily through store filching grapes
And candy / Was there he confessed his love
Of sky diving and sea / Asked me for dates
Of my avail to see life from above

Perhaps one day / I said slow in response
I put my items on counter then turned
To him to say / Let's walk earth for the nonce
Then gave the cashier the money I earned

He carried my bags and walked me back home
He asked to come in / We sat on the porch
Stared in my eyes / Wrote my name in the loam
I sent him away / He looked at me scorched

I went on inside and sat down for lunch
Sat down alone glad I followed my hunch


Giving thanks today for waking up
For seeing the sun
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
Thankful that my mother is feeling much better today
I am thankful for peace and ease
For the love, protection and grace surrounding my son
And all the children in my life
I am thankful for the care of DeJohn today in hospital
I am thankful for the calm of his mother
I am thankful to be available to her as friend
I am thankful for trees
For water and sky
For life
For my life

Monday, February 10, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 10 - Uraeus

I want you to run, be happy and free
I want you to laugh, have friends and good love
I want you to sing, spend days on the sea
I want you to pray, have peace like a dove

Beach. Party. Yellow. Smile. Skate. Purple. Blue.
College. Work. Travel. Weekends. Planning. Years.
Passport. Land. Air. Roads. Languages. Brand new.
Ideas. Leadership. King. Partnership. Gears.

Brown skin. Long locks. Vocabulary. Bold.
Journey. Path. Good health. Plan. Intelligent.
Serious. Play. Free. Expressive and gold.
You are beautiful. Lovely, elegant.

Walk left foot then right. Hold head up and straight.
Strong. Smiling. Wonderful. Steady your gait.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Up with my mother

Sitting with my mother who is still not feeling well. Watching the LMN channel coming in and out of sleep. Hard watching my mother vomit and feel ill. I prayed all last night, tonight is for letting go. That's what I keep telling myself. The doctors said it is a virus so thankfully they didn't keep her in hospital. Thankfully she is in her own bed. Prayerfully she will be feeling much better tomorrow but not trying to do too much.

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 9 - Home. Health.

Prayers for my mother who's sick and in bed
Woman who reared me. Vomiting and pale
I offer water, wet rag for her head
I'm used to her strong, not weak and this frail

She is resting and warm, gray is this day
Maybe come rain, clear the sky of this smog
So she breathes and sits up easy and gay
Sleeping myself, clear my head of this fog

Change linen and basket, feed her some toast
Tired, reluctantly drinking water
I know healing will come. Rest she needs most.
Alone in the house, mother and daughter

She will get better, I know this is true
This is not easy, this fighting the flu

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I am thankful for this day
For my mother who is not feel well at the moment
But is home from hospital
I am thankful that she is resting
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
I am thankful for feeling much better today than I did yesterday
Thankful for Dietra
For CDs that sold
For love and forgiveness and compassion

Black history mentions

Queen Socks. Food 4 Thot.

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 8 - 20/20

And what about the way we window shop
For love like dress and suit, diamond and ring
Like humans are rags to wear and to swap
To parade and to own like car and bling

I'd rather alone than pretend with you
What good is my reach if you jerk and pull
Only have room for a dance card for two
There are others you need play till you're full

Love does not hurt, it is kind and it's true
Love lifts and it holds, it warms me at night
Love does remember the kind things you do
Love is concerned and it stays through the fright

Maybe time has taught us what we now know
Lovers need distance to ready and grow


I am thankful for this day
For this evening
For friends who love me
For an evening of laughter and food with friends
I am thankful for the energy to leave home
Though I did not want to
I am thankful for the pull
I am thankful for fog lifted
For faith
For honesty about where I was
Thankful even for the fog that came
For knowing that fogs do leave
I am thankful for life
For my life
I am thankful for my son
For my family
I am thankful for creativity
For ease
For preparation for good rest now

Friday, February 7, 2014

Should it show up for you, this is what it looks like

It's quiet
There's a lot of silence and noise
Inside noise and pointing fingers
It's stiff
There's all this desire to move and make the bed
And fold the laundry and align the shoes
And wash face
And shower
And change clothes

It's dark
It's pretending that if I make enough people laugh
I will see my own reflection
It's hiding
It's make up
It's brave face
It's avoiding the question
What's wrong with you
It's overplaying the happy

It's waking up logy from the meds
It's feeling guilty for taking meds
It's remembering how close to the ledge I was without them

It's not having permission to die
It's knowing my ghost will not be forgiven
By human beings who could never understand
It's wanting to live
Just differently

It's the same T-shirt and no bra
Sweats and socks for three days straight
There's that sometimes
That's when I know
Like now

It's wondering the point of keeping therapy appointments
Except that she will listen and make me laugh
And I am hungry for knowing, listening ears
It's being an artist and having to choose
Therapy I need and rent for the week
There's that

It's separating this darkness from self pity
It's knowing that this is someone else
Someone who visits from time to time
To claw away my clarity

It's having bills to pay and no time or desire for hospital
It's wondering how long the cycle will last
It's the anguish of amateur proselytizing parishioners
I am underwhelmed

It's being afraid of being stuck on this side of the cycle
It's being afraid to ask for help
It's not knowing how to explain
It's knowing the fog will lift
It's hoping it won't be too late


I have my phone.



A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 7 - Swing

I write letters to myself about love
Stare into mirror long enough to see
How wonderful I am, how peace, how dove
I walk 'long the grass and sing with the bees

All this worry over time and money
These racing thoughts about death and life
Take time to laugh when nothing is funny
I'll marry myself and be my own wife

There are days that I smile. Sometimes I cry
I cannot explain this thing that goes on
Smiling one minute then dying to die
Some doctor a cure will stumble upon

Early morning now and I am at rest
Wake up in hours in prayer at my best

Me at Vibrations last night

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Black history mentions for today

Lalah Hathaway. Gregory Porter.


I am thankful for this day
For this after midnight, before the sun hour
To pray and rest
To love and forgive
To be forgiven and compassionate
This day and this time to make new choices
I am thankful for my poetry community
For V Kali and the World Stage
For my son
My mother
My family
For my friends
For food and shelter
Gas and a vehicle
For clothes and my sanity
For time to be still
For the protection of my son and his circle
For all this I am thankful

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 6 - Heads. Tails.

Ever wonder why life is way it is
Why much as I reach you seem out my way
We are a soda that flattens and fizz
I think of you spare moments of my day

Remember how we talked all through the night
Then morning would come and one of us left
Not knowing the why, the start of the fight
Doubts of the future into our minds crept

I have given lucky charm its due meed
Heart 'round my neck only circumstance make
The rest is the faith that you and I need
No amount of kiss or cookies I bake

Make this thing work, only you and I know
I have to be brave, to stay or to go

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I am thankful for this day
For creativity
For love and peace and understanding
I am thankful for performing last night
I am thankful for my son
For my family and friends
For a good rest last night
I am thankful for guidance and ease
For poetry and art
Compassion and forgiveness

Black history month mentions

Serena Williams. Arthur Ashe.

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 5 - We play

As always you, soigné and beautiful
Refuse to look my way when passing by
It's cool. Your distance is excusable
My witchy fingers reach, stretch, bold and wise

I am not frequently so yell and grab
I know better than you how time does fly
Attention is work I labor in lab
All this work. I could fail, breakdown and cry

Love is a game I jump into and play
I twist 'bout my feet and spread open hands
All in or nothing is only the way
Left foot then right foot I go 'bout this dance

Loves me. Loves me not. Then loves me again
He will or he won't. Who knows with these men?

Me last night at Da Poetry Lounge

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Black history month mentions

Ruby Dee. Ossie Davis.

Conversation with my son

Uraeus told me he was eating lunch at school and this "kid with this big, big, puffy Afro" asked him if he was going to eat his biscuit. Uraeus said he looked at the biscuit and said, "No. Look at it. It doesn't even have honey or jelly or anything. You can have it." Then he said the kid said, "Man, this is a white school! Donchu know the only place you get biscuits like that is at yo Aintie house?" And then took the biscuit.

That interaction sparked a conversation about accepting people for who they are and what they can provide and accepting ourselves for who we are and what we can be for others. A friend of mine shared a story with me about a guy friend she had who blessed her life tremendously without him even really being aware of how great. She is a single mother of three and didn't get off work until after all of her children arrived home. Her friend, who didn't have a lot of money and could not afford to take her out or buy her gifts, would be at her house when the children got home and make sure their homework was done. That they had eaten and the house was clean. Priceless. We can all bless each other by standing in the gap between someone and a need or even want they have.

What if we took that on? Just standing in the gap. Just being who we could be for the people in our lives and without placing age, cultural or gender normative standards upon them. What would that look like, in my life, in yours?


I am thankful this morning for waking up
For an easy rest last night
I am thankful for having known a wonderful woman, Lois Gilmore
Who made her transition last night
I am thankful for my life
For my son
For my family
I am thankful for V
For peace and ease
For art and words
I am thankful for guidance

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 4 - Capture

Dear, is your heart so perfect as it seems
Are there times you sit on the sand and stare
Do you pontificate romance and themes
Like sex and joy and whether life is fair

I wonder sometimes about trust and faith
I think about God and nature, you, me
I write poetry about haints and wraiths
I bet you never think 'bout things like these

You are refulgence of lava of sun
Way you move and speak. Your lips rose and full
You ever wonder if I could be one
Of foreheads you kiss, your hands in my wool

These are just things I think late in the night
Let my dreams flow, whether wrong or it's right

Monday, February 3, 2014

Black history month mentions

For day two I mentioned Maxine Waters and Tom Bradley and today for day three I mentioned Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Shhh. Untitled.

This morning I woke thinking about the denial of mental illness in the black community. Even the denial of mental illness in my own family. I thought about how quickly I was hushed by an elder in my family when the subject almost came up. And I was only going to mention that something has to be "going on" with Relative for her to snap out like that. That she was doing more than being abusive against Other Relative. I know, I know that there is "No excuse for behaving like that!" But when Relative's father was diagnosed as Illness Unnamed then shouldn't we at least consider it a possibility that Relative is showing some signs to get her some help? Or will we be one more generation to sweep Illness Unnamed under the rug?


This morning I give thanks for waking up
For my son, my family, my friends
I give thanks for art and words
I give thanks for food and shelter
For early morning conversations with friends
I give thanks for forgiveness

A sonnet a day for February - day 3 - Hands high

O my dear Mother, Father holy one
O how thankful I am to see this day
O to touch and feel, to run under sun
O the joy to have You guiding my way

I with trees, clouds, dirt, simpatico all
I take time to recall journey before
I know that without Your breath I would fall
I know You mighty, wind, stronger than Thor

My eyes close and open. I smile again
My feet stop then carry me forth and back
My mind wakes, rests then returns back to Zen
My heart holds wealth, goodness knowing no lack

Praise You for life, lessons, forgiveness, love
Praise You for comfort below and above

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 2 - Open

Look at how heartily love laughs at us
She knows that we are fools trying to breathe
I have begged to be released without fuss
But love knows how tough, strong, hold we believe

Look at the sun shining, lighting our path
The bright rays must mean something I know true
Love is tricky and pain, heartbreak and wrath
Love is lottery, only meant for few

Look at what we think we hold, faith and hope
Keeping us scattered like pages about
We must be vigilant, prayerful to cope
Meditating. Waiting. Ready. Devout.

Look at our reflections there in the sky
Look at our questions always asking why

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sonnets for February

I'm still writing a poem a day. Last year I wrote three hundred sixty-five plus free verse poems; and so this year I am working on form poetry. I began with haikus for January and for February I am writing sonnets. I am so thankful that others are on this journey too. Good company counts! Today I wrote my first sonnet. Sonnets ain't a joke. More work for me than haikus. The most common form of haikus is three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second and five in the last. The most common form for sonnets is fourteen lines written in iambic pentameter. Ten syllables on each line and rhyming scheme as follows:




I posted my sonnet this morning. The first one I ever wrote. Already I know I am going to have to make myself a priority because I am going to have to write it before I leave home or get involved in other activities. So, I honor myself today, for committing to a month of sonnets.

Black history month day 1

Today I celebrate black history month by mentioning Toni Morrison and James Baldwin.


I am thankful for this day
For love and compassion
For waking up to witness the sun and sky
I am thankful for exercise
For health and strength
For my son
For touching his face and every conversation we have
I am thankful for another opportunity to create art and poetry
I am thankful for space and time alone
For friends and family
For my mother and all in my circle

A sonnet a day for February 2014 - day 1- Skin

My heart, pusillanimous and wishing
Your love, mellifluous and given free
Searching for ways to call you mine. Fishing.
Speak kindly to me, remind me to be.

See my arms spread, hawk, wing, open so wide
This place on my shoulder for you to rest
There is no place, mountain, valley to hide
Find me, see me, please your hands on my breasts

I will wait patiently long as I can
For stars to align, your senses to come
I mouth loud and so scream I love this man
But you don't believe, you think that I'm dumb

I light up the sky with sparkles for you
My eyes wink with secrets between us two