Winter So Cold

Have you ever wondered why winter is so cold?
It’s Spring’s fault.
Let me tell you why.
Everyone celebrates Spring’s warmth and beauty.
Everyone celebrates her gift of renewal.
Everyone celebrates the way she ushers
Color and light and sound into the atmosphere and environment.
No one thanks Winter for preserving the ground
and giving the earth rest.
Not even humans can stay awake for 24 hours.
Spring is celebrated when she shows her face in the middle of earth’s slumber,
As if she is an unexpected gift,
When she is really an alarm clock that went off too soon.
But when Winter extends her stay,
She is admonished and told to go away.
And so after Spring, Summer, and Autumn have had their chance to play,
Winter enters silently with a cold and icy demeanor.
Without a backward glance,
She blankets the earth with frost to protect the seed and the bud.
She ignores the demands of a white holiday.
She only snows if she feels like it.
And when Spring comes in with all the fanfare and flourish,
Winter, most often, leaves with silence and grace,
Having set the stage for her sister’s arrival.

World Poetry Day 2017

I have a number of unfinished poems in my notebooks that I wish were in shareable condition. But they aren’t, so I can’t share them (yet). But there is a poem that is I want to share by Langston Hughes…two poems actually. I found these two poems in  school library books many years ago. I made sure to add the anthologies I found them in to my bookshelf.

The first poem is from a collection called, “I Am The Darker Brother.” (The book is still in print. I highly recommend adding this to your collection!)

Me and the Mule

My old mule,
He’s got a grin on his face.
He’s been a mule so long,
He’s forgot about his race.

I’m like that old mule –
Black-and don’t give a damn!
You got to take me
Like I am.

This is a short, sweet, and to the point poem, but it has so much attitude it makes me smile every time I read or even think of it. If the mule is free to be his authentic self, why shouldn’t a black man enjoy the same liberty?

The second poem is more poignant. This poem can be found in a collection called, “American Negro Poetry.” I also recommend this collection for your bookshelf.

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor-
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now-
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

This is a message that every parent has for their child: Do your best; Don’t give up; If I can do it, you can do it and do it better. You find in this piece that the mother may not have a great education – indicated by her broken english – but she pressed on in the hopes that her son would witness her efforts and follow her lead.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902. His full name was James Mercer Langston Hughes.  He was one of several key figures of group of black writers called The Harlem Renaissance. Hughes died on May 22, 1967. Click the links to read more about Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance.

Photo credit: Portrait of Langston Hughes. Photo by Gordon Parks / Library of Congress.

Be Quiet

Shhh! Be quiet!
Don’t let your voice be heard!
Don’t disrupt my bliss
by pointing out
that your house is on fire.
Don’t tell me about the arsonist
we both witnessed lighting the fire.
Hearing such horrible news
stresses me out!
Tell me what you plan to
make for dinner.
Show me a basket of kittens.
Pull up a chair,
pour yourself a glass of wine,
and let me tell you how much money
I lost in the stock market
when that law abiding citizen
set your house on fire.
Hush now! Be quiet!
Don’t speak at all!
If you pretend nothing is wrong,
that burned out
shell of a home you have left
will seem quite luxurious.
You really should do something
about that, though.
It’s pulling down the value
of my home.
Shhh!! Be quiet!!
As a matter of fact,
why don’t you just
go away…
Quietly.

Photo source: https://leithincluan.wordpress.com/tag/derailing/

Possession

I give you my heart willingly.

Once you accept it,

You own it.

Take it.

Keep it.

Care for it like it’s your own.

Don’t break it.

Don’t abandon it.

Don’t forget its value.

Don’t forget to keep it alive.

Protect it.

Give me yours, willingly,

And I will do the same.

I won’t break it.

I’ll cherish it,

Carry it with me wherever I go.

I won’t let anyone steal it.

I won’t forget it

And replace it with another.

I’ll own it

And care for it like it’s my own,

Because once you entrust it to me, it is.

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Man and Woman

Photo credit: Leslie Jane Moran

My Valentine

If you know about me, you know that (like many women) I lust after Idris Elba. Me and my cyber girlfriends fight over him like a bunch of schoolgirls all the time. (Seriously, he doesn’t even know we exist. We’re not even friend-zoned. We’re fan-zoned!!) The competition to be his imaginary boo has been increased by his latest promotion to win a date with him. (It’s a great cause – raising funds to help educate girls in Africa. Contribute if you can!)

I reposted a video of my future-baby-daddy consulting the experts on how to make our date special, and one of my girlfriends asked if I’d put my name in for consideration. I just tossed my name in the ring (but could still use a few sponsors). But her question inspired me to write a poem about what a date with Idris would be like. Fellow writer Elisabeth Velasquez inspired the cinquain format. (Check her out!! She’s AWESOME!)

My Valentine

Yam Smash
Criss-cross dancing
On fluffy clouds of joy
My Valentine’s Day date and I.
Oh yes!

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Just look at him…so sexy..not too long! Look away!

Photo credit: Tina Franklin

Post-a-Day Blog Challenge

The challenge ends today. This was intense, but well worth it! A brief battle with the immune system took me out this weekend, but I’m back! Today’s post is a recap of all the posts I’ve written for this challenge. I’ve placed a star beside each of my particular favorites. Feel free to back blog, like, and comment!

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What a sad existence

To want love

And only receive a semblance loyalty,

To have power

And no control.

How pathetic it is

To be able to snap your fingers

And your will be done,

Only to have your intentions

Work against you,

To discover that respect

Doesn’t always accompany a title.

Petulance and bribery

Got you everything you wanted at home,

But aren’t in Manhattan anymore.

Your position amongst the aristocracy

Is worth less than piss in this town.

What does a city boy know about wolves and snakes?

If you knew your history

You’d understand the ending

Even before you began.

You’d know your vessel has holes in it

And that your crew drilled the holes.

You don’t know how to walk on water

Or doggy paddle.

What a sad reality,

That you really think you are wearing new clothes.

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Photo Credit: Владимир_Шеляпин

Why Loving You is Killing Me

We are tightly wound together

Bound forever by the heart.

You’ve forgotten

How much you need me

And don’t realize

How much I have left to teach you.

You want to run,

But haven’t even learned

How to roll over onto your tummy yet.

You aren’t strong enough

To hold your up.

But you think you’ve seen it all.

You don’t understand

The process of letting go.

You still want to run beyond the gate,

While still clinging to the edge of my apron.

You think the world

Is a glistening marble.

Even thought I’ve tried to tell you

It’s nothing more than jagged rocks

And rough waters.

You want to jump into the deep end of the pool

But think you’re drowning,

When standing in ankle deep water.

You’re a baby in an adult’s body

Demanding that I let you be you,

While you are led astray

By every gentle breeze,

Or seduced by every turn of phrase.

You don’t believe that I once stood

Where you are standing now,

Ready to take on the world

And not even knowing how to spell the word.

But this is life.

Neither one of us knows how live

Something we’ve never done before.

We muddle  through it the best way we know how.

But maybe we can do it without

Ripping each other’s heart out,

If we remember that

We are tightly wound together,

And connected by the heart.

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Broken Hearted

Faded hope,

Broken fantasies,

Distant memories,

Repressed emotions,

Getting comfortable with emptiness,

Acceptance of loneliness,

Denial of possibilities,

Focus on reality,

Looking for evidence in actions,

Symbols are meaningless,

Destiny is a vocabulary word,

The darkest end of the tunnel is ahead,

Floating in a sea of teardrops,

Analyzing every approach,

Doubting every advance,

Seeing nothing but takers everywhere ,

Because givers don’t exist,

Eros is a myth,

“The One” is a lie,

Wearing a smile,

Saying “I’m fine,”

When a part of you died

After the love of your life

Has gone away.

But life goes on

Until the pain goes away

And “Alone” becomes the new normal.