Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's been a long day. Really! Uraeus and I had a marathon of good conversation and The Boondocks episodes on Netflix until after 2 this morning. We went to a workout class at 8. Got home at 10:30. I had a show in Highland Park from 2 to 4:30. Came home and fed my youngin'. Taught a poetry class tonight at 6:30. Home now.

I'm breathing and preparing for bed. I have a funny story to tell you about an Ethiopian restaurant Uraeus and I went to tonight but I'm too tired to go into it. Tomorrow though. And for real. It's funny. I think.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 28 - Nigerian girls

They have taken you to
Some place I can't see
Stolen you from
Your family

Sold you as slaves
To wife without consent
How afraid you must be
How silently you must scream

Run little ladies
Run till you're free
Our little ladies
In captivity

Me with Kieta

My good friend, Kieta is going away (sad face, sad face, sad face). She and her lovely family are moving and I will miss working, laughing and crying with her! This is a photo of us today at her see ya later party.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 28 - Present presence

This is perfect
This moment right here
You tell me your stories
I tell you mine too

O how delightful
The sound of your laughter
The touch of your skin
The history we share

The future will come
The way we create
The way we receive
Let's speak love in the air

To one another too
Speak faith to the doubters
To our fears as well
This is perfect

O how delightful
This moment right here

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dear Uraeus

I can't say enough how much I love to hear and see you laugh.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 27 - Love

I choose to embrace who you are
Like you love all of me too
No matter where we go 
We never wander far

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 26 - Dear Uraeus

Everyday I think of you
How you've grown so fast
How the world is yours
Everyday I pray for you

The choices you will make
The man you will become
I am proud of you my son
It is God I have to thank

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 25 - Look at us

Look at all the ways humans pretend to be
Way we prance around so carelessly
Taking more than what we need unwilling to share
Forgetting that God within gave us hearts to care

Moving so fast no time to see when or why
Hearts broken and loved ones leaving without saying goodbye
We will know one day the world is bigger than us
Pray then we remember why all the fuss

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I just finished The West Wing series on Netflix! LOVED IT!

Date night with cousin

I haven't been writing lately. I mean, I've been writing but not writing writing if you know what I mean? I've been posting poorly written ballads that simply maintain the integrity of the writing challenge I have set for myself for the month. I am so looking forward to next month when I can begin acrostic poems. But I haven't really been releasing stuff. Real stuff. Not even in my journals. See, even this post is bullshit. I need it though. This free write about nothing. This reminder to write. This reminder that there is stuff stuffed inside of me that I am holding onto even though I think I let it go.

Tonight I went to a coffee shop with my cousin +Ursula Dillon  and it felt good releasing with her. We are first cousins and haven't had a face to face conversation in over two years. And then it was because we were at the same family New Years Eve dinner. It felt good crying in front of her over shit I thought I had forgotten. Shit, as we discussed, is pealed and forgiven in layers. It just is. I am thankful I got a chance to give her the space to hear what was stuffed inside of her. We all have our stuff.

I love you, Ursula. I do. Like we agreed tonight, we gotta keep showing up. We get hurt but we can't make that an excuse to say fuck it and move on. Although it could be easy to do. Family is not easy. Has it ever been? Is anyone's family easy?

Ours is a family unwilling to rock boats so the waters seem calm because we, I think, are resigned to that that's the only way they can look. But rocky waters is not the end of life. We don't fight in our family. Not really. I don't think any of us are really close enough to fight. We politely smile and hold shit inside and go our separate ways and retreat to our friends, the families we chose. Tonight, Ursuala and I were committed to doing a different thing. We recommitted to a for real friendship inside of family. A for real closeness and connection. So far it looks like coffee and catch up once a month and hey, that's a start.

Today was my second day with the students at the summer school program where I am teaching poetry. These children are bright and imaginative and more creative than I could have dreamed to have been at their ages. I am thankful for them today.

I gave my word to them that the space we share is safe space so I will keep the stories we shared there in the classroom but I am pleased to be doing what I am doing. God is good.
I am thankful for coffee and cousins who are more like sister than cousin and tears and forgiveness and remembering and moving on and holding on and loving and having each other's backs and fronts. I love you dearly Ursula Dillon
Today I am loving myself
Today I am loving the world

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 24 - I look in to You

No one hands me lilies on my darkest days
When quiet and time alone are the best and only ways
To pull from thoughts that cover my space
To crawl from covers over my face

I reach in to You because I know You're there
I trust Your words, I know they're fair
Will You help me please through this one again
Only You can, no other woman, no other man

Monday, June 23, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 23 - Danced

Once upon a time there was a pretty little girl
Who wore long silky braids and twisted and twirled
She spent her long days writing poems and songs
About lovers she dreamed and the lines on her palms

About good luck and happy days to come
About rain and the taste upon her tongue
The pretty little girl a woman she became
Perfected her cursive and the way she signed her name

She spent her days dancing, singing songs she used to know
The lovers that she knew, she had to let them go
The one to stay forever had yet to come her way
But she didn't fret, she danced and kept her faith
I will be for love today.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 22 - Love

Everybody should have to sit in the grass
So that they truly appreciate the sun
Everyone should spend time in the water racing in the sand
So they really know how to have some fun

Look at the ways we abuse ourselves
Living lives so filled with stress
Look at how we turn away from the options of good health
Look at how we could have more love
But we opt instead for less

Everybody should have a hand to hold
An eye to look into
Everyone should be so bold
To know the love I give to you

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tonight I was incredibly blessed to be among the many at Kaos while Peter J. Harris signed copies of his new book! Thankfully he shared some of his work. When I listen to him read, I know I am listening to greatness.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 21 - Love, beauty, life

I can pick a rose for myself and put it in a vase
I can look in a mirror and love the smile on my face
We forget how little time we have on this earth
There are only so many days to death from birth

So I will spend my time laughing as much as I can
Letting go of anger, of stress that doesn't serve me and
Finding peace and rainbows way up in the sky
Love is revolution ask and I will tell you why

I will love you all the ways I love myself and more
Come and dance with me there is room on this big floor
There is beauty all around if we just take the time to see
There is love all around, love that was first born inside of me

Friday, June 20, 2014

A photo of a light skinned blue eyed tear tattooed black man is circling the net. It's the brother's mug shot. You read right. And sistas are posting all these oh baby baby comments about him. Some going as far as to ask "Oh where is he I'll bail him out?" Yeah, probably just a joke, but seriously black women, can we please stop acting like a FINE black man is a brand new thing? Please.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 20 - Will you

If I write you a poem you have to know what it means
If I put ink to paper and memorize these words
If I stand on a stage and clear my throat before I speak
If I pull the microphone up close and look you in these eyes

Then read through the lines and take care of my heart
Then hold out your arms and catch me if I leap
Then pull out my chair, sit with me and talk
Then open your mind and dream with me where I go


I am thankful for this day
For the long walk
For my heart beating
I am thankful for my son
For the sun
For the village who rears and loves my son
I am thankful for the angels who guide us all the time
I am thankful for peace and grace and ease

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 19 - Fly away

They told her all her life she would live on the same ole block
But she was a girl who had bigger plans and dreams
O she would see the world with camera and a notepad in her bag
She would travel light and far even if she had a single pair of jeans

She would tell stories about the beauty of all the nature she had seen
She couldn't wait until the day when she was quite old enough
To pack a lunch and walk out the door with a few books and stuff

She would fly, fly so far and see so much
She would fly, everything she dreamed would be within her touch

Graduation day came, she wore a cap and gown, walked across the stage
Hugged her mother and her father, scribbled a note inside a page
Said she's leaving on a Greyhound off to find her way
Threw a bag over her shoulder before they had time to convince her to stay

She would fly, fly so far and see so much
She would fly, everything she dreamed would be within her touch

When you want to share a funny meme but it's just so grammatically incorrect you can't.
Me tutoring Zolah (5 years old): Does Johnny ask or does Johnny ax?
Zolah: Asks, because if you ax somebody then you can go to jail.

Red Stories - Sage Gallon

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 18 - Today

I see myself as if I am not myself walking by the lake
I see myself as if I am not myself dreaming wide awake
I am swimming through caves and deep in water blue
I am laughing at the sky, I am soaring through clouds too

Look how free I am without heavy on my back
Look how tickled I am now that happy is not an act
Look at me rolling in the grass
Look at me leaving a hurtful past


I am thankful for this day
For the forty-five minute power dance exercise session I had with myself this morning
I am thankful for good music
I am thankful for old school rap to dance to
I am thankful for my son
For the sun
For food and shelter
I am thankful for friend's celebrating birthdays today
I am thankful for love and peace
For the village that rears my son
I am thankful for my friends and family
For The World Stage tonight and Edwin Bodney as the feature
I am thankful
For words and art and poetry
For love

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 17 - See

Yes flowers, yes today, yes sun shine on my face
Yes easy, yes water, yes love all around this place
Look how my arms reach and grab the sky
Look how I run and leap and fly so high

I think it's time I share my world with someone who
Makes me laugh, loves to dance and movies too
And we can sing songs all about the way we met
We can read books, take long walks with our new pet

Yes dreams, yes today, yes moon on top my head
Yes grace, yes sand, yes peace around this place
Look how my arms reach and grab the sky
Look how I run and leap and fly so high

Boy, bye!

I read a post yesterday by a black man who seemed particularly irritated that actress/rapper Eve just married a white fashion designer. I get it, but then I don't. Black women watch black men marry white women all of the time. It's such an old conversation it's almost not even a conversation anymore. Nameless even went so far as to say that only billionaires could "deal with black women." Why all the hatred, brother? Seriously. I read through as many of the comments as I could stomach, and they were mean as all get out. One man even said he "didn't care what that pie face bitch did." Okay, come on, fellas. I just can't take you right now! When black women bring this up we are mad wiggin' but when you do, it's all good? This comment made me think about another comment I read on Facebook and a brother asked, "What's with all these black female singers singing these man hating songs?" Um, get the fuck outta here! What have black women had to listen to for the forever years of rap history? Needless to say, I deleted both of the brothers from my Facebook friends list. The unfriend button, oh you are so my best friend sometimes.


I am thankful today for love
For forgiveness and peace
For long conversations with friends
I am thankful for acceptance and understanding
For my son
For the long walk I took today
I am thankful for my health and strength
For my family
I am thankful for poetry and words and wisdom
For knowledge and art and laughter
I am thankful

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rest in peace, Steve

I was shocked and am sorry to hear about the passing of fellow poet Steve Baratta. You will be missed. Thank you for radio time we had together and always pleasant conversations throughout the years. Rest now.
I love you. Whatever I was holding onto that didn't serve me, it doesn't matter anymore.
Next month I'm doing acrostic poems.
Even if you tell yourself you don't want Raisin Bran at almost 11:00pm you still do. Don't ask me how I know.

Sage Gallon at Red Stories photo by Michelle Williamson

Sage Gallon at Red Stories photo by Michelle Williamson

I knew it was over when you brought over a box of kiwi and honey wine and we ate as many as we could and drank as much as we could and did we have sex that night or not I don't remember but the next morning you asked if you could take the leftover kiwi with you and I said yes because the taste of them in my mouth after such inconsideration would have had me vomit and how could I see I guy again who couldn't leave fruit behind?

Lon Nie and me


I am thankful for love
For my son
I am thankful for the long walk I took today and how good I feel right now
I am thankful for the writing class I'm about to teach
I am thankful for tutoring Zolah today and watching her grow
I am thankful for peace and ease
I am thankful for being out in nature today
For a good rest last night
I am thankful for laughter and success
I am thankful for redefining success
For forgiveness and being forgiven
I am thankful for new ideas everyday
For my friends and family

Sting: Englishman in New York. Live in Berlin 2010 (3/15)

Lauryn Hill - Everything Is Everything

India.Arie - Brown Skin

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 16 - Watch

Why didn't I fly away back then
I had the ticket in my hand
I remember when the plane did land
Saw it in my mind
Hid my head way deep sand

Another chance will come my way
Creating voo doo every day
Until then I wait and play
Pay attention to these words I say

Now you see me
Now you don't
To some folks it mean something
To some folks it won't

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I so loved Red Stories tonight. Sage was on! Each Red Stories show is different. Tonight was no exception. Sage literally performed stories and poetry nonstop from the time he took the stage until he ended his set. He took us on a magical ride and at the end there was absolutely no need for a question and answer session because he boldly covered it all. Seriously!

Thank You, God for the amazing people in my life.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 15 - For my father

You are not gone I keep telling myself
I keep telling myself
Keep telling myself

Because if you were gone then how would I see you
How would I see
See you like I do

Reach out take my hand
Reach out tell my you love me like you used to
You used to

Sit me on your knee make me laugh like you did before
You made me laugh
You did before

Go back in times with me
Tell me stories I wouldn't listen to before
Make me laugh again

You are not gone
Remember no such thing as gone
No such a thing

Touch my face and call me your daughter
Way you did before
You did before

Who will love me like you
Who can call my name like you
Say words I believe like you

You are not gone
You so right here
So right here

Missing my father today

Sending happy father's day wishes to fathers and men out there who love children. Not just their own. Mother's day and father's day are always sensitive days to me. They are complicated days because are you a mother/father are thickly layered questions and can be triggering in the heaviest of ways. I was at a store last week and overheard the cashier ask the customer on the phone "Are you a father?" There seemed to be a pause in his response. Perhaps the reception was bad on the phone, maybe he dropped the receiver and didn't hear the question, sure. Or maybe he needed time to let everything that could be complicated about the question just sit. Maybe he lost a child, wanted a child and couldn't have one, doesn't know where his child is... all sorts of scenes play in my head. Eventually he answered because I heard her say "Well happy father's day then." And she hung up.

As for me, I am thankful for my father, Joseph Reed, Jr. and if he was here I would be on the phone with him and he would undoubtedly be making me laugh as only he could. He is not here. Not in the way he was before I got that call in 2009. I miss him. Often. I miss, oddly, even what I don't miss about him. I miss him being on the other side of sober and the slurred word stories he would tell me that always began "Verily, verily" because "that's how Jesus talked to his disciples to let them know that he was being serious." I miss him starting the story from the beginning if I or anyone interrupted him. I miss the call when he asked me if I was dating anyone and I said no then he responded "Hnn! It was somebody cute at the sto! He might still be down there, I could go check if you wont me to." I miss the slew footed way he walked with his arms and fists George Jeffersoning behind his back with ripped work pants and brown leather zip church shoes. My father had his issues. Issues in his own hilarious ways he was trying to work out. Like when I asked him if he was taking the medication his doctor gave to him and he said "Nooooooooooo, I don't touch that stuff." And when I asked why he said "Because the doctor told me not to mix those meds with alcohol. So I don't take the meds." And then his gap tooth smile and laugh. "But I'm doin' better." He said sneakingly. "I used to drink one hundred proof. Now I only drink eighty-seven proof!" I miss my father. I really do. My father was the only man who accepted every single thing about me without judgement. My father was the only man I felt comfortable enough to tell any of my stories to. I miss him. I miss the way he loved his "DAWters!" That's how he said it. I miss how he meant that. I called him in tears I tried to hide once because someone tried to break into my apartment while I was there. The guy was just high and I knew who he was. My call was mostly out of frustration. "Do you want me to come down there and shoot him?" My father had a ready gun handy. Once he met a certain guy I was dating and told him "Looka here, I love my dawter so much!" And because he had an example for everything, "If we was all on a boat, say me, you and her, and a strong wind came and you and her fell off, then you shouldn't waste none of yo breafs callin' on me for help 'cause I'm gon save my dawter. But I like you though." I remember him telling me "Look, Ahm gonna die first, then ya mama, then you and Roshann can flip for it." He couldn't live without us, he said. And I believed him.

I remember the last story he told me before he died. I was living in Georgia and he was in California. It was chicken o'clock in the night / morning and he started in in the way he began stories. "Verily, verily." He was drunk. I didn't want to hear a drunk story in the night of the morning. But I listened. I am glad I listened. "The shark always get a bad rep. You know that?"

"What, Daddy? What?"

"The shark. You know what a shark is, don't you? Don't you?" Because 'don't you' was not rhetorical.


"Well the shark always get a bad rep."

"Why?" Because if you can't beat him join him.

"Think about it. If you ever hear somebody downstairs in yo kitchen in the middle of the night and you tip toe down there with a baseball bat, it ain't never ever gon be a shark." Pause for chuckle. "Think about it, if you ever walking in a dark parking lot to yo car and you hear somebody following you. When you turn around it ain't never ever gon be a shark." Another pause. And because his examples came in threes, "think about it, if you in a dark alley and something is after you, it ain't never gon be no shark." Pause, this time for my giggle. "In fact, the onlyist time a shark can ever get you is if you go in the ocean. The trick to life is knowing your ocean. So, if you are a crackhead then you can't live by the crack house, 'cause that's yo ocean. If you are a shopaholic, then you can't live by the mall, because that's yo ocean. The trick to life is knowing your ocean and staying away from it. And if a shark get you, you can't blame the shark because you in the ocean. The shark just think you food. You just gotta know yo ocean, okay?"


When he died I flew from Georgia and I walked into his impeccable room. And there taped on his wall in Christmas tape was my head shot. That made me sad. My photo there on his wall. It was a reminder to me that no man will love me like that. Not like that. Not the kind of love we shared. Though his parenting skills and accessibility when I was a child left a little to be desired I always knew he loved us. As an adult, he was there for me in the way I needed. He had the words, wisdom and honesty I needed.

I am a storyteller because of him. I will never fill his shoes. I will never be as funny or quick witted. But he wouldn't want me to be. I am proud that he reared me to be perfectly myself.


I am thankful for this day
For easily waking up
For a good rest last night
For attending Sage's art show last night
I am thankful for talented friends
For my son
For my friends and family
I am thankful for peace and ease
I am thankful that today is Red Stories day
For food and shelter
I am thankful for love and art and abundance

Saturday, June 14, 2014

At Cultural Interiors last night Paul Mabon, Food 4 Thot, Iona Morris, Me, Lena Cole Dennis, Joyce Andrews Stone

Me, Lon Nie, Leana Cole Dennis, Aja Zakiya Hall at Cultural Interiors

I have been thinking about the visioning black parents have to do for our children. Speaking light and love and success into their futures. We have to. There is enough to worry us. Enough for sure. I find myself consciously affirming:
I see Uraeus healthy
I see Uraeus happy
I see Uraeus successful
I see Uraeus as an adult
I see Uraeus graduating from high school
I see Uraeus continuing his life
I see Uraeus as a man
I see Uraeus in love
I see Uraeus working
I see Uraeus as a responsible adult
I see Uraeus as a creative and unique expression of God

and so on.
I know the best people. I just do.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 14 - New

I took a long walk yesterday, went the same way that I used to go
Heard someone calling my name, looked around, there was no one I knew and so
I kept picking flowers and kept skipping along
Then the voice told me I didn't belong

Who could it be, I wondered, interrupting me on my day
Who could it be, I wondered, so disturbed at my self folly and play
It wouldn't go away, followed behind me instead
Soon I did realize, voice was all in my head

So I could see sun, create a new voice from scratch
One that would love me and to sweet songs it would attach
I took a long walk today, went down a different road
I sang a new song, left behind voices of old


I am thankful for waking up this day
For seeing the sun
I am thankful for food and shelter
For my son and friends and family
For peace and ease
I am thankful
I am thankful for a good show last night
I am thankful for poetry and art and words
For respect given and received
I am thankful for the quiet in this moment
For the birds singing
I am thankful for loving myself
For my growing plants
For chicken and fish after the show with Laura
I am thankful for Laura
For laughter and shared stories

The event last night at Cultural Interiors was so grown and sexy I think I'm pregnant. Thanks to all of you were out there with us. I had a ball seeing you and sharing words with you! Thank you for creating and hosting this wonderment Paul Mabon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 13 - Back when

Pretend it was way back then and you could see what I saw
Your dark eyes and brown skin, your fingers caressing my jaw
My bones shaking like love at your touch
My mouth against yours because I loved you so much

Do you remember way I knocked on your door
Do you remember way we made love on the floor
Look at the sky these days
Look at the walls in this maze


I am thankful for such a good rest last night
For waking up easily
For a show to prepare for tonight
I am thankful for poetry and words and art and love
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
For peace and ease
For forgiving others and being forgiven
I am thankful for happiness and knowing
That my head is guided by a power greater than I
I am thankful for life
So thankful for life

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ruby Dee. Thank you, Sister Ruby.

Sad to hear that Ruby Dee passed away yesterday. She and Ossie Davis were such a beautiful couple. I loved them so. In the best way that I can love a celebrity couple. I loved them as a couple and as two whole and complete human beings. I have listened over and over to Ossie's speech at the funeral of Malcolm X. "Malcolm was our manhood" he said. Ahhh swoon. Oh Ruby, what you taught me about love. About being beautiful and black and owning that. About being an artist. About being committed to my craft. Thank you Ruby Dee. Thank you for being.

Join me tomorrow evening for this sexy grown event!

Walked up hills today and my legs feel like brick. And I feel good. That's how I loved myself today. Watch me love myself again tomorrow.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 12 - We

We are reaching higher, higher than before
We are getting smarter, smarter than we ever scored
Who are you to judge us, see us as the light that we've become
Who are you to change us, look at all the work that we have done

See our feet on fire, run so fast we set the world aflame
You will all remember, call each one of us by name
See our hands waving, reaching up to sky
Hear our voices lifted, lifted up so high


I am thankful for this day
How the sunlight rests easily in my space
I am thankful for the long walk I am preparing for before work
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family and the blessing they are to me
The blessing I get to be to them
I am thankful for words and grace
For beauty and ease and art
I am thankful for health and strength
For food and shelter
I am thankful for life
So thankful for life
And for the really good rest last night
I am thankful for seeing my paternal grandparents in my dream last night
Though I am still unaware of the meaning, their faces were enough
I am thankful for enough
So thankful for enough

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 11 - Way we friend

Make it all better again
Make my mind and heart stop thumping this way again
Help me breathe like you did before
Save my life like you did before

The way I saved yours when you were down too
I showed you I loved you and you loved me too
We held onto each other to fly away free
Bit through the chains and made our way free

Now I'm calling for you because I need you right now
I'm calling for you come be with me now
And when you need me I won't let you down
And you will need me and I won't let you down

Stay down for what?!

Today Deana and I went hiking. I'm just getting in. The hike lasted just over two hours and I feel sore and awesome. This morning I didn't want to go and was going to call and cancel. I'm so glad I didn't. Instead I followed behind her because I was determined not to stay the whole time. I stayed the whole time. Something about spending all that time in nature, hiking up and down those hills through trails and feeling the muscles in my body take me farther than I wanted to go was just what I needed to get me out of my own way. And I was seriously in my way this morning.
Last night I was reminded in a quick bee sting of a way about sharing my dreams with others not ready to hold them with me or emotionally support me through them. I shared details about something important to me with someone I shouldn't have and got what I interpreted as a negative response. And that's okay. My dream is my dream and is not based on others understanding or believing in them too. And that's how that is.


I am thankful for this day
This wonderful and beautiful day
I am thankful for a good rest last night
For my son and friends and family
I am thankful for the protective hand of God
I am ever thankful
I am thankful for long walks
For creative thinking
For forgiving others
I am thankful for others forgiving me
I am thankful for the way this day feels over my head
I am thankful

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I am thankful today for life
For my life
For my son
For my friends and family
For peace and ease
I am thankful that even though I didn't want to work out, I did
I am thankful for a good rest last night
I am thankful for art and poetry
For food and shelter
For laughter and rain
I am thankful for my health and strength
For abundance and quiet
I am thankful for this moment
And this one

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 10 - One day

When my grandfather was here he would talk all day about missing his dad
Would go on and on about the good times that they had
Now grandfather is gone, resting in peace
He's with his dad, together at ease

One day will be my turn whether I'm ready or no
I will leave this ole body, somewhere else I will go
Before I travel on, I'll make good times right here
So come time my funeral, only the happiest tears

I'll see my grandfather again, and his father too
I'll see my father again, wonder what we will do
For now I am fine, with work on this side
But some day will come, when I'll go for that ride

Monday, June 9, 2014


I am thankful for this day
For the gray clouds and possibility of rain
I am thankful for peace and ease
For food and shelter
I am thankful for my family and friends
For a writing class and words and art and stories
For clean water and fresh air
I am thankful for my son
So thankful for my son
For the village that rears and loves him
I am thankful for time with my mother
For lying in bed and audio books
I am thankful for simple
For my functioning limbs
My eyesight and voice
For ten fingers and ten toes
For knees that bend and a back that straightens
I am thankful to be going to bed with good thoughts
9:41pm. Home from the writing class. I had a good time once again. It's still new and I'm looking forward to seeing what it's going to grow into.

Major work to flesh out in my novel. Lovely ideas flowing. (We like that!)

For now though, sleepy time.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 9 - For you

These flowers for you, celebrate the day you were born
This melody for you, for the love that we've grown
Gather the crowd and sound the horn
Today is your day, the world's for you to own

Here we are now, with cake and ice cream
Like children at a party, laugh and play all night long
I tell you I love you, and you know what I mean
I write you a poem, and you know it's a song

Last night my mother and I sat in her bed and listened to a book on tape. One of my favorite things to do.

New growth

Yes I did!

Sisters. Water. Words.

This Sunday! I hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

9:56pm. Just getting in from the Still Writers Workshop. It was absolutely fantastic tonight. I'm sleepy as all get out though. Still not time for bed though because I'm watching some science show all about the galaxy with Uraeus and that is giving me life. I didn't get much sleep last night because I spent much of yesterday working on my novel, that I am loving so much by the way. Then I watched too many episodes of season 2 of Orange is the New Black than I shouldn't have. Yada yada yada. You know what kind of over sharer I am. I'm looking forward to this rest tonight and the day with my son tomorrow. Then my writing workshop that I'm leading tomorrow night. Again, yada yada. See you tomorrow.
I'm publishing lazy unedited, "ballads" I know. Stall me out though.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 8 - Fish

Swim to me. Come find me in the blue.
Reach out to me, and I will hold you too.
Flutter past my way, and see how I stare.
Call me to you, I will follow you there.

Speak the language of water, of earth and of stars.
Tell me you love me. Shout from Earth up to Mars.
Swim around with me, all the time long.
Come play with me, forever on and go on.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 7 - On

I do well enough pointing out my own flaws
I don't need your help with this
I do well enough not returning calls
I don't need your help to sit

On my sofa alone, wondering how it got this far
Under the moonlight alone wanting to drive away in my car
I don't miss you at all, that's not what this is
Remembering can be painful, that's just how it is

The guitar and drum, poetry and art
My blood and my veins, my limbs and my heart
This is what I have, these pieces to move on
This is what I have, this life to carry on


I am thankful for this day
I am thankful for the sun and my son
For my friends and family
For my plants and books and art
For sweet words and food that nourishes me
I am thankful for clean air and water
For shelter and my limbs
For safety and freedom
I am thankful

Friday, June 6, 2014

A ballad a day for June 2014 day 6 - Call from you

There are layers to the bitterness we hold
Inside this valley wounds fresh and some old
A phone call from you brought up all those times gone
Moved on with my life, I now have a son

He's almost a man, will create memories of his own
If I've taught him one thing, I hope he knows where his dreams belong
That's high as he wants them to fly
I'll do what I can so he knows that I

Will always be in his corner, that's what I needed from you
I needed your hand to lift me up, but put me down is what you would do
I thought I had forgiven you all those years ago
But seasons change to remind us, the ways we need to grow

A ballad a day for June 2014 written day 5

All those nights she sat up and cried
All of that make up to cover her eyes
All of those nights begging you please
Just wanted a kind word, be treated with ease

Now you're behind bars, and she is no more
Now you're really sorry for all of her sores
You have years left to sit, think about what you've done
You have demons at night you wish wouldn't come

But now it's too late, she's never coming back
But now it's too late for the kindness you lacked
What would you say if you could see her again
What would you do to go back to then

Gratitude written 6-5-14

I am thankful this morning for this morning
For the music in my ears
For my son
For my friends and family
For peace and ease
I am thankful today
For love

Written 6-4-14

So far I pretty much such at ballads but I am just starting. I'm giving myself credit for trying them at all.

A ballad a day for June 2014 written day 4

Baby girls, our baby girls
Stolen from your only world
Hear us cry for you
Feel our arms around you

We won't give up, we won't give in
We will search for you until the end
Hear our wings flapping to and fro
Hear our songs
Our voices reach high and way below

Lovely girls
What is wrong when our girls
Can't just be girls
Baby girls, baby girls

Gratitude written 6-4-14

I am thankful for this day
For work and art
For opening a new book
For laughter and space
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
For grace and mercy
I am thankful for forgiveness and being forgiven

What had happened was...

I haven't been able to get online from home so I've been posting my ballads from my phone on Google plus, which I thought was posting onto this blog since I have to go to Google plus on my phone to get to my blog. Anyway, today is the first day I was able to get online from home and boom, I can't see the posts I've been making on my blog. Sucks. Sucks for the consistency I've held for so long. Well, if we are friends on this blog site then you know I've been posting. For the rest of you I will post what I had posted.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Getting it in

I've been working out with a workout group for the past few weeks on Tuesdays and Fridays. I'm trying to honor my commitment to myself and lose the weight I need to lose. I just finished the workout for the day. Maybe I'll do a walk on my own tomorrow. I feel great.
(This is a rewrite of an exercise I worked on last night as a free write. Maybe it will go somewhere from here. Maybe it won't.)

"I'm going to tell you what my mother told me about forgiveness, Baby. Baby let me tell you." I sat there and listened. Just listened and watched her wrap herself in a soiled apron. I sat at the table ready for words like bombs. Words like ice splashed cross my face early morning. I did not want to hear Grandma's words. I did not want to feel Grandma's icebombs. What did she know about today? About my worries now? It would be sin punishable by brimstone to walk out and leave. You do not walk out on Grandma, whoever you are.

Sweat dripped from her face to the floor. I watched each drop fall. I stared at the white square fan that held up the window. Tried to keep track of the blades as they spun round and round so fast. What? What, Grandma, what? Hurry and get this over, I thought. "Baby, as simple as it sounds, you have to let it go. You have to remember that we all human beings trying to get it right. Don't you know that by now? Don't hold on to poison or it will kill you so painfully slow. Don't you know? Baby don't you know?"

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 3 - Again

(This is the song in my head. The line breaks are not traditional I know but communicate the pauses in the song. I'm new at this, give me a break.)

My friend
Can we meet on top of the hill and talk
Will you put your hand atop my chest
Feel the muscle beating underneath my skin again
Can you feel blood rushing in my veins
Put your palm cross my forehead
Your fingers on my lips
Darling can you hear
What my ego fears

My friend
Can we meet in the dirt behind the field
Will you reach and hold my hand
See my legs strong and ready to run to you
See my arms spread broad and free
Let you eyes meet mine
Darling o darling
These words I have for you to hear
What my ego fears


I am thankful for this day
For love in my heart and ready passion
I am thankful for the sun in my room
For work to do and energy and integrity to complete it
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
For peace and ease
I am thankful for my health and strength
I am thankful
1:27am. I haven't been on social media much these days. Mostly to post an event or so. I have been purposely avoiding much of the news. I have needed to do this in the name of self care. There is so much to see and hear and get all on you. I read through my news feed today on Facebook and I can see I missed a lot of the world violence. As much as I try to stay up on what's up, I needed to miss it.

I lead the writing class last night at Vibrations. I enjoyed it. It was just the beginning. I have good thoughts on where we can go. I'm hoping they materialize the way God has them go.

I'm off tomorrow. Not really. But kinda. I have a lot of work at home to do and plan to make a great dent by the afternoon.

Enough of this dear diary stuff, I'm finally sleepy.


Monday, June 2, 2014


Again I am thankful for this day
For witnessing the sun that shines its light into my room
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
For peace and harmony
I am thankful for love and balance
I am thankful for work and words and art
I am thankful for being thankful today

Writing class

I'm teaching a writing class at Vibrations on Monday nights from 7 to 9. Hope you can make it. It's $25 per month or $10 per class. 2435 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA.
12:31a. And now, after a day of work with a new client and writing my first two ballads ever, I'm going to bed. I have work in the morning with the students and I'm praying for ease. It's the end of the school year and so the students are on full TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?! mode.

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 2 - Off paper

You loved me like a framed Mona Lisa on a wall
Not the flesh in front of you, that's not who I am at all
These crooked feet walk concrete and not soft grass
These palms and fingers tried to tear an ugly past

I am not a perfect being
But then you could already see
Oh darling you knew
And neither were you

You held me like a Basquiat, scattered and priceless
I could not live on a museum wall, lonely and frightened
Bulging eyes and permanent smile
My flaming blood missing attention all the while

Did you love the idea of me
This poet that I am
Did I love your strong arms
Without your tender eyes attached

Will we ever know
Like moon above that glows
Like water way below
Only faith can tell us so

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gregory Porter - Hey Laura

A ballad a day for June 2014 - day 1 - Gone

Do you remember when we used to play
Simon says make love all day
How you would say the sweetest things
Even promised me a wedding ring

So long, my dear
It seems so long ago now, my dear
Yesterday has come and gone so fast now, my friend
It's a new day and our touch has come to crazy end, my friend

You rubbed my chin so nice and slow
Remember how we thought we'd grow
Tall as palm trees up in the sky
Deep as questions, wonder why

So long, my dear
It seems so long ago now, my dear
Yesterday has come and gone so fast now, my friend
It's a new day and our touch has come to crazy end, my friend

Simon's gone, will he return
Bring magic we thought we earned
Just like that time's gone away
Think of you, mostly by day

Close my eyes at night to rest
I'm a bird, caught in her nest
Afraid now to fly away
How to leave if there you stay

So long now, my dear
It seems so long ago now, my dear
Come and gone now so fast, my friend
Come to crazy end, my friend


I am thankful for the honor of the sun
For waking up in sound mind and body
For love and compassion
For peace and grace
I am thankful for my son
For my friends and family
I am thankful for another day
For deep breathing and faith
12:54am. Reuben went to the prom last night. Yes, I'm getting old. No, this isn't about me. He and Migina looked so lovely. I was such a proud aunt.

After prom party I went to see Donny feature at Shades of Africa in Long Beach. I could hear all of his work all of the time and hear something new. Tonight he did a piece I heard before about his mother that made me sad in a way it really hadn't before. Just something new I heard in it I suppose. Sad, but lovely. It was great to hear him do a set instead of just one poem. The rest of the night was cool.

I'm still on my form poetry every day this year. I'm doing a different form each month. I told Donny that tomorrow I'm going to start ballads and he said "So, you're just gonna be Lionel Ritchie all month?" That was hilarious.

On another note, I've been getting these crazy and super painful leg cramps lately and I feel one coming on now. Gonna walk it out before it gets here. I'm such an over sharer. You know me by now though, I have to write when I wake up, some time during the day and before I go to bed to sleep well. Art is healing, or haven't you heard?