Never Go To Bed Angry

I’ve taken a vow
Not to go to bed angry with the world.
I tell myself sweet bedtime stories
and fairy tales of better times.
I watch movies about
sustainable farming and healthy living.
I leave
pollution and the toxic air
of politics for daytime reality.
I pray while the sun is up,
and light shines on the truth.

I can’t go to sleep angry
with the world.
I want to have sweet dreams
of endless possibilities.
I don’t want to have doubts about humanity
or its existence in my sleeping hours,
the same way I do during my waking hours.
I will leave the day behind,
and enjoy sweet rest.
And when I arise,
I will work toward a hopeful future.

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Haiku

I want to live in haiku.

I want to be the sunrise

peeking over the horizon,

stirring the morning mist.

I want to be afternoon tea,

and the patch of light

in which the kitten

takes her nap.

I want to be the full moon,

and the rising tide,

the cool breeze over the water,

the owls hoot, and the cricket’s chirp.

Even as I want to be more than

three lines and seventeen syllables,

I want to be all peace and beauty.

I want to live in haiku.

Love Is

Love is patient
            Love is kind
                      Love is not easily provoked

But love ain’t no pushover

Love ain’t for the faint of heart,

The weak-minded,

The lily-livered, or narcissistic.
Love is tough.
Love is hard.

Love demands honesty and vulnerability.

Love is not a gentle place.

It is not a rosy-cheeked cherub.

Love is a soldier.

Love will not fail.

 

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Blue Skies

Today is day two of National Poetry Month, and I’m already a day behind! I’m usually prepared ahead of time. But here is my first submission for the month. Let’s see if I can keep up with a poem a day! (Pray my strumph!)

I love the fact that the earth has a blue sky.

It’s the one time that clear, bright blue shade is a symbol of joy.

It reaches out and across

And spreads over us like a spring comforter.

And even if it is cold and dark where you are, I know this blue sky,

Under which I stand,

With its light and joy,

Will reach you, eventually.

But I Am Changed

 

I’d like to think I’m perfect.

But, I know I’m not.

The skeletons in my closet

are just as boney and white as everyone else’s.

I try to keep them in order,

hung behind the cloaks and veils,

so they don’t tumble and scatter across the floor

when I open my closet door.

Piercing eyes dig and stare,

boring holes into the fine fabric of my life as they pass,

never noticing my washed robes,

well kempt appearance and clean hands.

They cast judgment on the scale and lank

of my collection of bones,

attempting to read them like diviners,

and cursing me with the words:

Once a liar, always a liar,

Once a thief, always a thief,

Once a cheat, always a cheat,

Once a criminal, always a criminal,

as if redemption from God

can never set one free.

 

This poem was inspired music from Esperanza Spalding’s recent Exposure project. I’ll explain a little bit more about my experience viewing this 77-hour project and its impact in a future post. (I’m still processing! 😀 )

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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.

What to do when a Blizzard Turns into an Ice Storm with a Bonus Power Outage

In case you missed the news, the east coast was abused and assaulted by snow, ice and high winds Monday night into Tuesday. Power in my area went out at around 7:30am and didn’t come back on until about 6:30pm. Some people in the region were still without power this morning.

In between my four naps yesterday, I had some time to think about things I could have done to be better prepared and entertained while waiting for the power to come back on. Here is my list. (In no particular order…):

  1. Layer up – Wear two or more pairs of socks, heavy sweat pants, long sleeve t-shirt, heavy sweatshirt and hair bonnet (to keep head and ears warm). Gloves, optional.
  2. Stay out of the fridge – As much as you can, keep the fridge closed to prevent food from spoiling.
  3. Take a cell phone picture of the contents of the fridge – so you won’t have have to keep opening the door to see what’s in there.
  4. Use your phone for emergencies only – Curb your usual daily usage habits! Don’t take a lot of pictures, stream video, etc. Trust me, you can live without social media for a few hours!
  5. Use protection – Do I really need to spell this one out? Ô_o
  6. Purchase room temperature edibles before the storm – Most people go for milk, bread, and eggs to make it through the storm. But consider purchasing things like: bananas, oranges, apples, bread (still makes the list), chips,  and peanut butter. Don’t forget about the packages of jelly you swipe from your favorite greasy spoon. They come in handy at times like this!
  7. Make sure the heavy comforters and blankets are clean – You may need to layer up in bed as the temperature drops overnight.
  8. Books – Real books. Paperback, hardcover, any genre, any topic that tickles your fancy. Curl up under the layered blankets and read your heart out!
  9. Make lists – That’s what I did while waiting fro the power to be restored. Try it. It’s quite therapeutic!
  10. Talk – If you live with other people, this is a great way to pass the time and get to know each other better! If you live alone, talk to yourself. (I’m being serious!) It’s a great way to problem solve or brain dump!

What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Snow Day
Snow Day by Nike Writes

Happiness Thieves

It happens every holiday. The holiday thieves come out of the woodwork to steal your happiness and enlighten you as to why you need to be as “woke” (meaning enlightened, mentally and spiritually evolved) as they are. If you celebrate a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, you are labeled as “sheeple,” and pretty much called stupid for daring to celebrate these religious traditions for various reasons that they have spent countless hours researching. It’s a little worse when days like Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day roll around. The “too woke” crew starts barking about how it’s just a holiday created by the candy industry to take your money, and how you shouldn’t need a holiday to remind you to tell someone you love them. If you really love a person you should give them flowers every day! Say, “I love you,” everyday. (How many times have you seen one of these “too woke” people holding a bouquet of roses and professing their love to anyone on a non-holiday? Yeah…my point exactly!!!)

It’s sad, because these “Too Woke” folk come off as angry and unhappy. (I’m sure they have a few good days, here and there.) They are always finding fault with everyone else’s joy. So what if I spend MY hard earned dollars on some cheap chocolate and flowers on a designated day of the year? The problem is, you’re TOO WOKE! Lack of sleep makes you cranky (and quite annoying to the rest of us well rested folk)! So, to all of you “Too woke” people that may read this, I encourage you to look at this Valentine’s Day as a day of rest. Take a chill pill. Meditate on happy things (please). Read a book and continue your course on February 15 when the celebration of love is over. Buy some discount candy on the 15th and experience some of the love you’ve been missing. Share some of your discounted candy haul with your significant other and see what happens.

And for all my “sheeple” out there, I wish you much love!

 

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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/