Thursday, April 28, 2016

Speak

Speak to me
Like art licks the butterfly
Like moon kisses the sky
Tell me stories
Tell me about grass growing
About water boiling in your grandmother's pot
Say anything
Make your lips move
Up and down
I will read your words as they fall from your mouth
I will fold your sentences and save them inside my bra
Tell me about your dreams
I will imagine bass and rain in the background
Tell me
Tell
Me
I can keep a secret
I can hold water
I can hear a whisper
I have stories of my own you know
I will tell you
Feel my breath warm on your neck
Make me gather your tales in baskets of straw
Tell me
Tell
Me
Make me remember the stories you told me before
Make me remember
Re
Member
Hold me
Like the rainbow lifts the sky
Tell me blues
Reds
Yellows
Tell me greens and oranges
Make me remember
Re
Member
You

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's 6:52 pm and I am at home. Today was a beautiful day. I taught a make up class at one of the schools where I teach. Normally I am only there on Fridays but we had a mid week class today. It was a good class. I took myself out to lunch after class today. I bought lunch and ate it at a park. I needed that. Sometimes being inside of my home makes me want to sleep. Too much sleep makes me depressed.

After lunch I came home to clean up and found Uraeus here still working on his paper due today. I took him to school and was present to how much I love my son. How blessed I am. He's working hard in school and is happy. Which is what I want for him. He's back home now resting after his day.

No big news to report, just releasing these thoughts in my head. Now I need to get busy on what I'm teaching tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I feel good today. Dealing with being bipolar I have days when I'm so down I can hardly move. Then there are days when I'm so up and talking so fast I scare myself. Today I feel well. I feel good. I don't know how long this feeling will last but I cherish every moment that I have this feeling. I hope you are well too. I hope you can feel all this love energy around you. I hope this last longer than today. I love y'all.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Yesterday Prince died and I'm still in shock. I have finally accepted that it's true. I was waiting yesterday for the radio to say they had been mistaken.
Ready to teach poetry to some bright and talented 10th graders. ‪#‎SayWordLA
Taalam Acey spoke to my class yesterday and was so inspiring! Thank you Taalam for being so great with the students. The work you shared was brilliant! ‪#‎SayWordLA‬

When one of my students asked who Prince was, at first I had no words.

I'm excited about working with the Children's Arts Festival tomorrow at the Buena Park Community Center! I'll be leading an arts and crafts room with over three hundred children running through. Sunday I'm resting though. Yep, Sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's 3:38 pm and I am at home. I had a good visit with my doctor today. I see her once a month whether I'm feeling okay or not. I'm feeling well. We talked about my sleep patterns. When I'm sleeping too much I get depressed and when I sleep too little I start to get manic. All this is information I know. Also that the lithium makes me feel better but also makes my hands shake a little. For now I can handle the shaking.

I have an early class tomorrow but I'm still going to Eerene's book release at The World Stage tonight. I need to be out tonight. If not I would probably just grade a few papers and turn in early. I'm beginning to sleep a lot. I'm also thankful for that because I remember the days when I couldn't fall asleep for anything. Speaking of things I'm thankful for, I got my iPad out of the pawn shop today. It felt good. Also thankful for going grocery shopping today. We were running low around here but God always shows up right on time. I'm still behind on napowrimo and I think I'm giving up, other than that, I'm good. How are you?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's 2:26 pm and I am at home. It's Saturday and a beautiful Saturday at that. I have some reading to do for CLI on Monday and some papers to grade for Tuesday at Fairfax and more papers to grade for Friday at University but I'm not doing that right now. Not now. Now I am enjoying the stillness of this Saturday. Oh, not to mention my floors need to be mopped. Still, not now. Perhaps not today at all. I may see a friend later on today and hang out with her. I'm due for a girlfriend hangout. For laughs and drinks. I'm still behind on napowrimo but I did like the last one I posted. That's a shift in the right direction. On second thought maybe I will knock out some of this reading.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Napowrimo for day 12 of 30 - This now me love

I am getting older
Old
Older
Just old enough
My hair is turning gray
Not just at my temples either
Like a handprint on my head
I am touched
Touched
Maybe by God
Who knows
This is not the body I remember from my twenties either
This is someone else's body
This is my body
Mine
It is up to me to love this me
This gray and black fro
This body with flesh so everywhere
Once upon a time I was the skinniest bitch in the room
Once upon a time I was a bitch
I was proud
Not anymore
I have curves
I am a woman
A beautiful woman
I have to get used to this beauty
This woman I am
I am a poet
You know poets
How we are
You know women poets
How we talk about our bodies and periods and menopause
How bloody bloody we are
Yes, I am that woman
With hands like trees
To reach and hold you if you need me
Do you need me
Did you call
Tell me I am beautiful
That is what I am saying
When I am saying something else
Like me
Hold my tree hands and love them like they love you
Free me from all these thoughts and poems inside my gray and black head
It is up to me to love myself
Don't you know this is true
Don't you know the part I have to play
To love you and me too

I have been writing pretty poorly this napowrimo but I'm going to get my act together before the month is up and produce something I love. Just watch.

By the way, napowrimo is NAtional POetry WRIting MOnth. April is poetry month and poets all over the world post poems for the whole month. The idea is to do it every day but I've been bullshitting and skipping days and posting two for the days I skipped. Hey, however it gets done though. It's been a challenge for me this year. I've done napowrimo before and poems came a lot easier. This challenge makes me even more proud of myself for completing a poem a day in 2013. I didn't skip any days and had each poem posted before midnight. I even had more than one poem on some days. And good work too.  Work I still use. Speaking of that project The World Stage Press is going to publish it. I'm so happy about that.

But I still don't have a poem to post for today yet.
7:46 pm. Home. My mood has been pretty up lately. I think the lithium has been doing some good. This combination of meds have been the best so far.
It's 9:56 am and I am in my car near the high school. I just finished my first period class and am waiting around for fourth period. I have things to keep me occupied though, like this pile of papers to grade.

I woke up thankful this morning. Thankful for my job. Thankful that I get to spend so much time with bright, energetic, creative future leaders. I love them.

I was / am also thankful for my friends and family. Thankful for a new day. A new opportunity to create something wonderful or change someone's life for the better.

Anyway, papers to grade.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

11:41 pm and I am at home. I went to The World Stage tonight and I'm glad I did. Pam was featured and it was good to hear her. I knew I would be inspired to write after I saw and heard her and I am. The inspiration is in good time too because I'm behind on Napowrimo by a few days. I don't think I'm going to post tonight either. Perhaps tomorrow.

I feel good. Even though I have to work tomorrow. I'm cool. I'm looking forward to two really cool and easy classes tomorrow. Oh, I saw Taalam at The Stage tonight and he did a new piece I hope he will do when he comes to my class next Thursday. Whatever he has in mind to do will be great though.

Anyway, I'm about to get ready for bed.

I am thankful for this day and my World Stage family. For my family and friends. For Uraeus. For love and peace. For being in a good space in my head. I am thankful for love and happiness. For ease and grace. For good dreams and hope. I am thankful for being thankful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Napowrimo for day 11 of 30 - Weekday haiku

This is the routine
Get up, drink water and work
Come home, rest again
On Friday I shot my cousin's prom party at my family's home in Palmdale. The pictures came out great by the way, but that's not what this post is about. Anyway, I stayed the weekend. My little cousin was there and stayed too with his mother and sister. He is eight years old. On Saturday he woke up and said that he had "the best dream" the night before. He said that he saw the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He had breakfast and played for a little while then announced that he was going back to bed to get his dream back. I loved it. When it didn't come back after his nap he complained that he couldn't stop thinking about it and wanted it back. That night when it was time for bed he said he couldn't wait to go to bed to get his dream. I loved so much watching him waiting to get his dream. I totally understood him. Bless his young heart.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

There is a picture of me with my sister where we are dressed alike (I never liked that). That picture is my favorite with us in red and white outfits. We are four years apart and I was much taller so we looked funny being in the same outfits but whatever. I wish I could find that photo. Anyway, I love you Roshann Reed Williams and wish you a happy sibling day!

Napowrimo day 10 of 30 - Now

Today happiness
is present. Sun shines across
my face so freely.

Napowrimo for day 9 of 30 - Seed

Wait and see how high
I will grow when this blossom
Sprouts so lovely bloom

Napowrimo for day 8 of 30 - Time

Because I believe
in love I know how patient
I must be to see

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Napowrimo day 7 of 30 - Why I do not like being called girl anymore

Because girls are not grown
Because girls have not earned these hips
Girls giggle when it is more appropriate to speak straight
Girls make too many moves based on what boys want
Because I am a woman
Because I love being a woman
It's 9:29 am and I am sitting in my car across the street from school. I just finished teaching my first period class and now I'm waiting for fourth period. Class was easy because it was lab day. They are working on the rough draft of their poems. Their is a senior assembly fourth period so I won't have much time with them.

There is a store on Melrose Ave where they buy gently used Jordan's. My nephew asked me to take in a pair of his shoes. His strict instructions to me were to walk away if they offer less than $80. Shoes cost so much. I'm so thankful Uraeus was never into Jordan's. It's only 9:40 and the stores don't open until 10 so I'm chillin' with KDAY until then or maybe I'll just go after fourth period.

Hopefully the poem for today will come to me. I need to be reading more. Hiram lent me a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri called Interpreter of Maladies. I think it's her first. She's the subject of the lesson I'm teaching at CLI this Monday and I've only read one story so far. Gonna get on it though.

I'm going to Palmdale tomorrow to shoot my cousin's prom party. Sage is lending me his camera because mine is in the pawn shop right now. Hey, it happens. But thank God for good friends who are willing to lend cameras.

1:09. Home.

Got the camera from Sage. He also gave me the gift of a large canvas to paint on. I need to get back to painting and this just might be the inspiration I need.

I still haven't thought of the poem I'm going to write today. It'll come. It always does. I just hope I like this one.

I made the appointment for Uraeus to see the doctor today. His knee has been bothering him. Thankfully they had an opening today.

7:29. Home.

Ready to get this poem out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear Jaha, get off of Facebook and go to sleep. Love you.

Gratitude

I am thankful for this day
For waking up in good health
I am thankful for Uraeus
For his health and happiness
I am thankful for my family
For my friends
For food and shelter
Love and forgiveness
I am thankful for ease and breath
For medication and doctors
For a good nap and places to go
I am thankful for poetry and stories
For fun and thanksgiving

It's 11:07 pm and I am back home. I went to my nephew's basketball banquet. It was a beautiful experience. I enjoyed seeing him sitting up there looking all grown. He received the scholars award for getting a 3.8 this semester.

I should be asleep by now. I have to teach a first period class tomorrow. Actually first and fourth periods. I'm pretty wired awake. We were sitting right underneath the air conditioner in the restaurant and so I had some coffee to stay warm. I'm wired. Coffee and more than my share of chocolate candy at the table. Writing helps me settle down. I'm about to try to get some sleep now. Night all.

Napowrimo day 6 of 30 - Breeze

My father
Is the breeze across my face
Reminding me that he is still
Walking with me
That he knows
When I am happy
My bad days
When I am low on medication
When I don't have to words to say
To fill a prayer

I feel him
I feel him
Cool on my scalp
Whisper in my ear
"Keep going"
He says
"Keep going"
I listen
It's 3:29 pm and I am at home. I took Uraeus to school this morning, went to Starbucks and got the car washed. Other than that I've been home all day. I needed the rest. Plenty of rest is needed for the anxiety but not too much. Too much is bad for the depression. Anyway, I'm up now. I'm going to Reuben's basketball banquet tonight. I'm proud of my nephew. It's in Long Beach and the family is going and I love family outings.

I need to post my poem for napowrimo today. I don't like the poem I'm about to post. In fact, I haven't liked any of them I've posted since the month started. I'm being patient with myself, there are plenty more days to go. Time for me to jump in the shower.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Napowrimo day 5 of 30 - A boy a cat a walk to school

I was nine, my sister five and we were walking up Delta Ave. to John Muir Elementary School
We had barely crossed the street from our home when we saw a boy my age holding a cat by the neck
Squeezing harder and harder
We saw the cat's eyes get bigger and bigger like soon they would pop out of the sockets
We were frozen, my sister and I
Suddenly the boy slammed the cat on the ground
The cat sprang away so fast like it was never there
But it was there
That did happen

I think about that boy from time to time
I wonder if he remembers that day
Like who could forget
I wonder what kind of hurt did he have to hurt a cat and scare two girls like that
A cat
A cat
What kind of fun
What kind of a game
What kind of pain

I have hope though
That the boy who almost killed a cat in front of my sister and me
Has somehow adjusted well in the world
That he has healed from his own pain and is
Love in the world
That he has a lover and maybe some children
That he has forgiven himself and others who hurt him
I have hope though
That he can see a small animal and pet
Just pet

Monday, April 4, 2016

Napowrimo day 4 of 30 - You

If I had a blank canvas I would draw you
Paint your face red with brown ears
Put flowers in your hands outstretched to me
I would paint you
I would paint you
And you would know why I care for you like I do
Would paint a blue sky above your head
Green grass as your feet
Paint you in blue jeans and dashiki and sandals
Paint poems falling out your mouth
Would you recognize yourself on my canvas
Would you know your lips and eyes

I would paint a bridge in the background
You could run to me and I would meet you in the middle
Somewhere in the middle

I would paint you bigger than you are in my dreams
You would have everything you need
Everything you need

If I had a blank canvas I would paint a picture of you
Sketch the outline first in charcoal or pencil
Something temporary
Cause nothing lasts forever
Then paint
In red and blue and green
Red and blue and green

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Napowrimo day 3 of 30 - Dear Uraeus

You are my favorite song
Hum your licorice skin when the noise in my head is too great
You are a river
Water rushing to and fro
My son you are snow
Falling easy in the quiet of the evening
You are peace
The stillness before storm
You are not alone
The ancestors hold your head
The sun follows your back
Flowers your feet
You are love
My love

Dear Helen, you told me from time to time you "stalk" my blog. Well hopefully you come across this note to you from me. You were great at the youth slam yesterday. I was so proud of you! Thank you for being what poetry needs right now. For being honest and brave and bold. I look forward to hearing more from you when you return from Brave New Voices. Have a ball in Washington, D.C. this year.
Big hugs,
Jaha

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Napowrimo day 2 of 30 - Gratitude

I know a blessing when I see one
My hands and feet
This heart that beats
This body these eyes these lashes
My nose and neck
My back and legs
All gifts I am forever grateful
For arms and smell
For the little voice inside that reminds me to pray
To give thanks for lips and lungs
I am thankful
For my mind and memories
For my life my liberty
For happiness and hands
For shoulders
For stories and secrets
I am thankful for thankful

Friday, April 1, 2016

Napowrimo day 1 of 30 - Easy

I hold this peace like blossom
Like egg, like bubble
Walk softly for it blows away
This happiness
This smile cross my face
Nothing lasts forever
This easy breathing
This breeze through my hair
I am happy now
Now
Now
I hold onto this feeling like
Wet grass on my toes
I will not worry it away
Will not put up with sadness coming before her time
I will swim in this
This feel
This smell
This touch
This this
This time