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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NaPoWriMo.... Days 3-5

See the source image

Day 3 - Isolation (burlesque)

 Sitting in front of the TV
I don't know how much more
I can watch
Reruns and Originals
Movies and such

Sitting in front of the fridge
I think I have
 eaten every thing
What I scrounged up at the store
What every delivery person would bring

Sitting in front of the window
I wish I could just go
out there and see
Someone to walk with and talk to
Someone other than me

Sitting in front of my dog
My dog simply can't understand
why I am home all day
I think he has played
all the fetch he cares to play

Day 4 - Just (found poetry - Tweet from @realdonaldjtrump 4/13/2020)

For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect....
....It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others will be made shortly!

Day 5 - Covid-19 (haiku)

Friday, April 10, 2020


Another challenge. Another 30 (or so) days of madness on my keyboard. This year I add to NaPoWriMo a house full of kids who are the stir-crazy victims of the Corona Virus lock-in, a shortage of toilet paper, flour and canned soup, way too much stuff I have to get done around the house and a list of projects I yearn to complete.

Today is April 10th. I talked about NaPoWriMo last month with a dear girlfriend who pushes me to the limits of my creativity and then quietly, my computer stayed dormant for a few weeks and the first THIRD of the challenge passed right on by. Nonetheless (which is actually one of my favorite compound words and may become the focal point of my first poem), I start today, doubling up for the first ten days to get 30 of 30 completed before the end of the month.

Image result for SUNSET

Nightly, as the sun would set
Our vision on the horizon
Neither blinked. These moments
Etched eternally in our minds.
Two strangers,
He and I.
Lovers. Spending time together
Even though each moment was
Separate. Patiently waiting to
See the sunset together.

Image result for outside
DAY 2. OUTSIDE (Pastoral)

From the window in the front room
I dream of the days when
the world will be open and
available. Sparrows singing in treetops
above our heads. A song of
freedom in their voices. I yearn for
the grasses long and flowing and
freshly cut blades where the scent of them
rises into a spring breeze. I've nearly
forgotten what it's like to rake fallen
leaves and delight at a butterfly's chaotic
dance. Garden boxes have become tombs
for last year's final fruits. I am wanton for poppy
covered hillsides and melting snowcaps. Will
you be there to welcome the outside
with me? Bared feet against the cool earth,
roses smiling at us from overgrown
bushes wild like the beard that
has taken over your face. I like
the look: rustic and manly. But we can not
lie inside each other's embrace. I yearn
for the touch of the sun on pale cheeks
and sun-shy eyes. Until then, I sit near the
window longing to be outside.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Escape : Just a little fiction for fun!

     It was 2:15. In fifteen minutes her life would be changed forever. Handing a twenty to the driver and slipping her bag over her shoulder she stepped out of the cab into the heat of the day. Blinking, she shadowed her eyes with her palm.  Beverly eyed a small bistro on the patio of the coffee shop and slung her tote onto the chair closest to the wall. The shop was quaint. It was the perfect spot to connect. The wind rustled the leaves on the elm that canopied the patio. A cool breeze caused bumps to rise up on her back where sweat pooled and her shirt clung.
     A man and woman sat across from her. She watched his eyes as he glanced from the woman's lips to her chest. She wondered how the man and the woman might be connected. The woman's purse, she noted, was pushed tightly against her stomach by the edge of the table and the woman sat rigid. She was poised as if ready to run. She wore a red skirt and white blouse. Her hair was twisted in a tight bun at the nape of her neck. Her makeup was simple. Their voices were barely above a whisper. When the man looked up and saw they were being watched he blew a kiss in Beverly's direction and refocused his attention on his date. Beverly recoiled in disgust as she caught the forlorn glance of the woman. Then, in one deft movement the woman swung her hand across the man's face, her ring catching his lip causing a steady stream of blood to drip onto his white shirt.
     Beverly covered her mouth with a napkin to stifle her laugh as the seat across the bistro became occupied. "What's funny?"
     "Nothing," she lied.
     "Have you been waiting long?" Beverly watched his mouth move and remembered that was what had caught her attention the day they met. His lips were perfect as if they had been drawn on his face. It was alluring. "I'm sorry I'm late."
     She glanced at her watch. She hadn't noticed the time. "Thank you for meeting me here. The office makes me nervous."
     He smiled and placed his hand on top of hers and shook his head, "I understand. Have you thought about what we talked over?"
     Beverly pulled her hands back and folded them in her lap. She tried not to think at all since they last talked. It was uncomfortable. If she could, she would have forced herself to vanish and float away on the ocean breeze that lifted her bedroom curtain in a billowing farewell. "No." Her voice was sharp and she immediately regretted her tone. He was nothing more than the messenger, she reasoned. "I can't," she said more gently. "Thinking is killing me."
     "The window of opportunity is closing quickly. If you make no choice, there will be no choice to be made."
     Beverly winced. She knew he was right. She wanted to be an adult about the whole thing but she felt childish. Her concerns only magnified when she thought of the many repercussions of any choice she might make. Her nervousness shown as she pulled at the curls at the back of her neck. "Do I have to decide now?"
     "The door closes today, with or without you." He stood up and walked away from the table without glancing back her way.
     Beverly thought about her life before she arrived here. She was lonely and frustrated. She never felt like she belonged and this place made her feel purposed. Leaving would mean much more than starting over; it would mean being resolved to her old life. If she were ready for that the Keeper had made promises but what would those promises mean? What if it was too much for her, would he be obliged to return her to this status, alone in a coffee shop watching him walk away? Even with purpose would she never feel loved?
     She looked back at the couple. The man held a napkin to his mouth hiding his words and catching his blood. His eyes bore holes in the woman's soul. Beverly could feel the woman shudder and the heat of her fear turned her ears and nose crimson. He will try to kill her tonight. The thought made Beverly rise to her feet scraping the legs of the chair loudly against the cobblestone floor. The noise caught the attention of the couple.
     Even in a world where perfection was the norm she was unhappy but this new unhappiness had fatal consequences. At home she worried about nothing. The Azraat took care of needs. She came from a world without fear. Being here engulfed her in it but there was so much more involved in living that she was drawn to it despite negative reprecussions.
     The man stood and grabbed the woman by her arm. Beverly could feel his fingertips digging into the woman's delicate flesh. In that instant Beverly made her decision. The woman stumbled over her feet trying to keep up with the man who had begun to drag her from the coffee shop. Before they reached the door, Beverly closed her eyes and bowed her head. She made no sound as her spirit was lifted, this time with a companion into the clouds. Together they rose through the heavens, their feet gently finding their place among women, the Azraat closing the threshold behind them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Hour

The wood dragged against masonry leaving a shadow of splintered earth.
The wailing was muted by his breath.
Deep and long
Strides in sandaled feet.
Pausing to move weathered hands
Blistered and cramped.
Eyes never falling--
Cast upward--
Whispered conversations.
Fathers and sons.
Mothers whose breath pulled from clenched
The executioner's voice looming.
Fist-back drawing beads of sweat.
Freezing and holding up that hand to silence the voices.
The one that called his name and made prickly skin crawl.
Eyes wildly dance among the crowd.
Who calls he?
The mallet raised and slicing through sun beam.
Again the voice as the strike is blown.
The deafening ring.
Low groan that swells from gut to drown the sound of his name.
Lightning crash and thunder roll.
Fingers that curl around handle worn--
Barely holding as blood pools at both men's feet.
Remorse caught in the back of his throat is like bile.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Mixed" Feelings

I saw an ad on TV the other day for SheaMoisture. SheaMoisture is a haircare line designed (I suppose, but I'm not quite sure) for "ethnic" hair. The ad which, hopefully you can see here: 

(If you can't see the ad it shows the Black women confused and obviously hurt because they can't shop shoulder to shoulder with their white counterparts as they select shampoos and pomades. SheaMoisture comes to the rescue as the only one who sympathizes with the Black condition, inviting Black customers to cross the line and move over into the "white's only section (did I really write that?)." By the way, the mixed girl is with her mom on the "better" aisle.)'s where I am on this. I'm not impressed. I'm looking at the ad and I see that SM is trying to make us feel better about ourselves by making the attempt to pull me into something that they say is equal by throwing me into a sea of different and then telling me that I'm better off for it and, all this after SM told us they weren't for us in the first place. 

Oh...wait, what am I talking about?

Last year Shea Moisture was in the news because they used white models as the images to 
sell their products.  Not just this ad either, there were several... We got mad and rose a stink about it. 

What made us think a thing marked Shea Butter, or Cocoa Butter, or Coconut Oil belong to us?

And... who told us SheaMoisture was a Black Hair Care Product in the first place?

Granted, I was irritated in the '80s when I started buying my own hair care products and to my dismay, came to the disappointing realization that the products for my hair, if there were any in the store, were tucked away, not on the other side of the hair care aisle, or at the end of the aisle in its own section, but that it was on the bottom shelf under the foot powder and fungus remedies.

Flash forward to today, the section, and it still is its own section, is easy to find.
It's on the hair care aisle (where I shop) and there are 100%, maybe 150% more products than before.
I'm not mad about it. They've made it easy for me to find what I want. (Remember the spices and the ethnic spices aren't in the same place in the store either.) If I want to find a store filled with products designed for my type of hair there are indoor swap meets full of them. Certainly I can shop at a beauty supply (the one in my "white neighborhood is a topic for another time).

But, if I wanted SheaMoisture, where do you suppose 
I would find them in the neighborhood store? 
Would I feel better about shopping for them?
Would I feel... included? 
Would shopping for SheaMoisture make me feel better about myself?

Well, I was in the store and looked today. Yay! SheaMoisture, for the breakthrough. Aside from being very difficult to locate in the sea of products I found you here:

Yep, that's them... down there near the floor... ahem...

...with the anti-theft stickers on them.
I think I'm feeling some kind of way about the whole thing.
I think I'll just go to the section where I can find what I need or better yet, 
I'll buy my products hand-to-hand or online from small businesses who
truly have my interests in mind.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Worked on breathing today!

February 14, 1997 I started the Sheriff's academy in San Diego. I was never an athletic person. I mean, I like dance and step and zumba class but I the band. I was a nerd. I was a fat kid. I played growing up, but nothing like the academy. But I was determined that the academy physical training wouldn't beat me! The first day we had to jog. It was probably only about one mile and we jogged pretty slowly. They drove a van behind us and told us we could get on it if we gave up. I watched some get on the van. I refused and pushed through. I finished that first day and really had to consider if it was worth it to do this every day for the next 11 weeks. Again, I told myself I would not let them beat me! Everyday when it was time for PT I would start having anxiety. My heart would start pounding, I would sweat and pant. Jogging was the hardest thing I had ever done. I graduated from the academy eleven weeks later. I was #1 academically, but the greater success was that I was able to meet all the PT requirements.
Fast forward to 2010. I started a school at my church and in accordance with our vision to incorporate mental, spiritual, and physical fitness our pastor started a boot camp for the staff and students. We worked out 6 days a week for an hour each day for 3 years straight. After the first few months, guess what he added to the training? Yep! Jogging... ugh! But it wasn't that bad. With pastor leading the pack he would call out "Lean back, throw your legs out in front of you and breathe!" Well, the school had to close after 3 years for lack of funding and with it went the boot camp.
It has been three years since we closed our doors. I still work out at the gym, I take the classes (Zumba, RIPPED, SPINN, U-Jam, Kickboxing), I take karate classes, and I still jog. Last week I went out to jog a couple of miles and at the 3/4 mile marker I was DONE. My body was good but I had not been able to control my breathing and I was pretty much hyperventilating! I'm overweight but I'm in pretty good shape. This wasn't about being able to do it or even about my anxiety any more, it was about BREATHING! So I looked it up online for advice and pointers. This is what I learned: Start slow and concentrate. Walk and breathe. Deep breaths. Then walk faster still concentrating on the breathing. Count the number of paces for each breath. Then a slow jog. The breathing should be easier to control. Then step it up to your goal pace. Today I jogged an ALMOST effortless 3 miles!
But this LONG post is about more than that, isn't it? It's about not giving up. It's about focussing on what sustains us and what gives us the power and strength to do what we set our minds to do. It's about overcoming obstacles, looking (asking) for help when we need it and never giving up. If you've read this far, I hope you are encouraged. Don't let struggles in life get to you. Don't let anxiety stop you. You may just need to work on your breathing!

Monday, April 11, 2016

What I Learned This Week: I QUIT!

Dear sirs,
It is with no regrets that I write this letter. I was at one time very grateful for the opportunities with which I had been presented during my stint in your service. I have, however, come to the understanding, observation, and recognition that you mean nothing but harm for me in everything that I put my hands and my heart to. You made me believe I was doing well but with every job review I was getting worse. I worked many overtime hours without pay or recognition. Each of the tasks you gave me I took on wholeheartedly, each one taking a piece of that same heart. I will no longer spend my days doing mundane tasks. I will no longer serve ill will. I will no longer smear lives with hatred. I will no longer maintain an attitude of despair and defeat. I will no longer give the worst of me to highlight the best of you. In my time under your supervision I have killed many dreams and lost many opportunities and you made me think I was my own supervisor. I slammed doors closed and locked them before I realized I had no keys. 
Your promises, when I came on the job, were all lies. There were no lifelong benefits; my health has suffered and there is no WELLNESS plan; my finances have suffered and there is no SAVING plan; my family has suffered and there is no LOVE plan; my soul has suffered and there is no SALVATION plan!  Even the meals you served in the lunchroom were unfulfilling and lacked nutrition. You commissioned me to do your dirty work, to steal from the poor and ignore the brokenhearted, to kill and destroy, to maim and mar. I won’t do it any more. The final straw was when I realized you were charging me to work for you. The cost was too much. Much more than I can afford to pay. It was costing me everything that I AM. 
Therefore, this letter is to serve as my resignation, effective immediately. I will not be returning to your service. I will not be applying for unemployment benefits and require nothing of you. I have been approached by another job. I have accepted another position, one with EVERLASTING benefits. The pay is more than I can carry. The potential for growth is astronomical. I’ve already been given a RAISE! I am turning in my badge, on my new job I carry a different kind of SHIELD. I am turning in my uniform for on my new job I will wear a WHITE ROBE. The nametag you assigned me is of no use, because MY NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED! 

Thankfully His,
Child of God
Child of God
(Previously known as Sinner)