idea # 29-31 - purge*

get rid of whatever you can afford to get rid of.

clean out the fridge.

if you haven't worn it in 6 mos - 1yr, toss/donate it. if you're handy with a sewing machine, alter it.  if you've got a great closet, organize it.

do a 24 hour water fast (health permitting).

take 10 deep breaths in a row.  with each inhale, take in a positive feeling/word/image. with each exhale, release negative thoughts/feelings.  another way: inhale positives, exhale gratitude.

let it go. all of it.  make room.

*remember: the postings are spread over about 90 calendar days, so ideas that could take a few days or more will get 2-3 numbers to make up for it. this one will also span 2 calendar days. Happy New Year!


idea #28 - cultivate iwa pele


*i do not know the folks within this Ile, nor am i affiliated in any way. it's simply the best concise definition i found that i could easily link to. also see Awo Fatunmbi's excellent work on ori.



i've been
abused by family
called sister by friends
(and not sisters)

insulted by almighty african men,
treated like royalty by 'hood niggas;
accepted by latinas,
rejected by sistas.

found love in four arms
instead of two

(call me a whore if you wanna;
shock makes me smile.
at least i know
my power
my limits
and my dreams)

staying within the lines
can break your heart;
running boldly outside them
can free it.

i've been
many things
and will be
many more.

i know
and pain
lie in unexpected places
that cannot always be cleanly labeled
or clearly seen.

you've chosen your road
and might choose another tomorrow.

respect mine
as i respect yours
and we'll get along fine.

idea #26 - practice compassion.

see: guanyin


idea #25 - get some good news

go here!

or you could make some good news of your own.


idea #24 - explore relationships

step outside the box...learn something new...

beyond marriage

infinite relationships {adult language}

sacred sex


idea #22 - get to know your selves.

this is a woman-centered exercise, but you get the idea.


idea #21 - make a rubberband ball

self explanatory.

{i never said all of 'em would be deep. LOL}


idea #16-18 - count your blessings*

an oldie, but goodie.

do it silently or aloud.
every day or every other day.
do it when you're smiling
and when you're in tears.

be thankful for the mundane, the miracle, the special and the usual.

gratitude really does do wonders for your spirit. and it's a wonderful way to prepare for the solstice and new year.

try it!

*remember: the postings are spread over about 90 calendar days, so ideas that could take a few days or more will get 2-3 numbers to make up for it.


solstice 2010

grateful for my loving
and all it's taught me

moving forward
even when it's difficult


taking comfort in the light of the moon
as the solstice returns the sun

i am full
of myself
and others
life's bittersweetness
and pure joy.

idea #15 - start a journal

about anything.
in anything.
start with single words if you have to.
just write.


idea # 11 - challenge conversion

what do you perceive to be the most aggravating thing about you/your life?

now, whether or not you can actually change that thing, can you make it work for you? is there a way to draw abundance from it?

personally, i couldn't stop writing. that seemed aggravating since i didn't plan on publishing a book or anything.  i often thought of it as a pretty useless talent, despite the fact that i love to read and have been deeply influenced by books my entire life. but...i'd never write like that, though...

still, since i couldn't stop, i started a bunch of blogs. they don't cost me a thing, i can blabber on to my heart's content, and i've actually made some wonderful friends because of it.

food allergy? you're probably not the only one. how about a cookbook or food blog?

pissed off about oppression? how about some creative education?{another cool example here}.

name that challenge. own it.  smile at it--even if it's a bitter smirk.  turn it inside out.  make it holler. 

then, gain from it.


idea # 10 - learn the meaning of your name.

i've recently renewed my interested in this, and just read imakhu mwt shekemet's thoughts on it in her cowrie blessings book.  recently, a friend mentioned the revelation she had when learning about a new meaning of her name.  must be in the air.

here are a few links to get you started:

name meanings

namesite {various african names}

behind the name

akan day names

yoruba names


idea #9 - give/get a hug. daily.

hug yourself if/when necessary.

this improves mood. honestly.


idea # 7 - scene setting

full moon
new love


idea #6 - take up space

sometimes we make ourselves small. we shouldn't.

take up the space you need to be who you are, to say what you need to say.

the universe has your back.


idea #5 - writing prompt

i will line my eyes with kohl, and seduce anyone who gets in my way.



freewrite (for jean-michel)

watching basquiat
draw his crown
wishing he'd smile more
but knowing why he doesn't.

he's always intrigued me:
his beauty
his youth
those impossibly perfect bloodlines...
black lands, rich ports
colonial perfumes, afrikan spirits
retro euro original man mashup.

drugs didn't really kill him
brilliant blackness in america did.

idea #4 - get moving.

sistas, shake your hips.

brothas, appreciate it when we do. better yet, take a lesson from your latino & west indian cousins and get yours going, too.

do some yoga. walk. move your arms/shoulders as you ride. take a dance class. swim.

just stay in some kinda motion.


idea #3 - learn to use google docs

and proceed to collaborate on shit in an awesome manner.

more here.


idea #2 - start a tumblog

...if you haven't already.

here's why.

especially recommended for musicians & visual artists, but can also work for more traditional prose blogging, too.


idea #1 - desire lists & wishbooks

get all your desires on paper. all of 'em.

or make a wishbook.

the universe is the limit.


the sorceress

there was something about her...

the light magic and shape shifting
the cave she lived in
her calm poise and grace
her wisdom...

she didn't even need a name. she simply was.

the sorceress was my introduction to magic, female divinity, and a whole host of other things i wouldn't discover until over 20 years later.

it's amazing how the things we love as children can inform our paths as we grow.... 


100 ideas - the beginning

i have this tendency to come up with ideas, most of which i have no actual desire to execute.

so, i figured maybe i could bother you with them, thus clearing my head and assisting in keeping my own creativity flowing.  everybody wins!

beginning with the december 5th new moon and ending on the march 4th new moon, i will be posting an idea a day, for a total of 100 ideas {for folks paying attention, technically that's only 91 days, so there will be some doubling and tripling up}. 

it might be a writing prompt.
it might be an outline for something larger.
it might be a link to blog, website, or tweet. 
it might be a reminder of ideas you've heard before.

these ideas are meant to act as seeds, encouraging growth.  some you might want to plant yourself. others you might want to share with someone else.

take on 1, 20, 40, 99 of them...or none at all. it's all up to you. 

why do this from new moon to new moon? traditionally, the new moon is used as a time for planting and/or new beginnings, so that the seeds/notions can grow with the waxing moon. the waning moon (from full to new) is best for cleansing, purging, and pruning.

i hope you'll enjoy reading the ideas as much as i hope to enjoy posting them.

let's go! (c) casamena

...with many thanks to the sistafriend who suggested this notion and planted a seed herself.


sustenance & starvation

currently sustaining:

the moon
and this.

i am particularly drawn to the story of golden hair...
Golden Hair was her name; a woman so beautiful of soul and so gifted of spirit, with such a lovely singing voice, that all the villagers wanted to be near her, and all wanted to be like her. No one gathered to her out of deference, but out of true love. And that was returned to them by her a thousand fold.

Whereby some in the village were always pointing fingers at whomever they thought were sinners, she gave love and encouragement to the goodness in all, including those designated by scowlers as “sinners.” Her way of being was to lead by singing of the ways of love, and by giving others time enough and reason to grow and develop and learn, through errors and through inspirations, both.

But a giant of a brute saw her lovely golden hair, heard her lovely singing, and noted her beautiful hands that wove cloth so fine it could be passed through a golden ring with ease, and he coveted her -- not just her body, but her mind, her spirit, her very soul for it was so filled with life and vision and love. In contrast, he had made his life self-important, darkened and harsh. He was given to punitive judgment, and he wanted to somehow devour the golden haired woman, as though by so doing, he could somehow take on her light inside his own dimmed self.

And so he courted her, but she refused, preferring to follow her own visions of weaving and being, of ministering to the people who flocked to her to just be near and hear her songs.

The brute became wildly jealous of the love others had so easily for this woman, for no one cared for his stern visage. He became enraged. Who did this woman think she was to turn him down, he who had pillaged gold and jewels unlawfully from others, he who lived in splendor but surrounded by a sterile land, he who was the biggest condemner, criticizer and fault finder in the valley. Shaming and blaming, blaming and shaming, those were his power madnesses.

And so, he laid in wait for her one night, and when she passed by alone on the road, he sprang out and killed her. Down to the road she fell, her blood soaking into the earth. He dragged her body into the forest and there grunting with sweat, buried her body, believing this would hide his crime.

The villagers grieved terribly, but as time went on, an uncanny event occurred: her golden hair continued to grow in the grave. It grew in the soil of the forest, a small field of golden reeds swaying in the dappled light and singing ever so softly in the wind. Upward and upward it grew until it pierced the earth overhead.

One day, along the road came women and men musicians. Upon seeing the golden reeds swaying near the road, they tramped into the forest and cut the beautiful reeds and fashioned them for pipes.

Thinking how fine a music these unusual reeds would make, they tied them together with raffia and cut their stops, but when they lifted the flutes to their lips, the oddest song came forth, the same song for each of the pipes and the only song the pipes would play, a song that told over and over again who had killed Golden Hair and why.

The brute and his horrible deed were revealed. And the villagers, now seeing the brute down to his cunning and rotten core, shut the brute away and gave away all his ill-made booty.

In our family, the old people say the only song the golden reeds would play, went something like this, my translation of a translation from the Magyar:

Here I am, woman golden hair,
killed by a brute who gave no care.

Lonely hatred is more base than lust.
And so he killed to still my holiness.

But kill me once
and 10 will rise to ring,
for I am not the singer of the song
I am the song the Singer sings.

it makes me think of how i was "killed".

how he always praised my wonders while remaining unable to hold, love or care for me properly...unconsciously draining my light, my love.

unlike golden hair, i was not content to remain alone. i wanted to love him.

he wasn't as obvious as the brute. i thought he was safe...

now, i am here.

in this moment, i am acutely aware of my bruises and scars. aware of my loss of faith.

i will never be who i was before the pain.

but i can emerge anew.

some days i know what that looks like...or at least what i want it to look like.

other days, i have no idea.


sunday morning

remembering the beauty and value in heartbreak. the wisdom that comes from pain not merely experienced, but learned from.

Maman Dantor knew i needed to see her yesterday.
heeding Oshun's gentle whispers.
Mami used those rose petals to soften the blow.
even Pomba Gira waved at me, blowing fiery kisses.

my fierce, healing, raucous, loving Mothers.

the Ones who forced me to live with eyes open, head high, and chest forward, belly laughing all the way.

thank You...


fire & water

my prayers often begin as a catch in my throat.
a certain, specific confusion.

eventually, the words come...
torrents of joy, pain, hope, thanks, healing...

i'm feeling that way now.

caught between
a scream and silence
frustration and satisfaction.

sometimes i get caught up in the specifics of ritual
wonder if i'm "doing it right"
and i have to stop myself
remember that all genuine entreaties are heard
and answered.

lately, i've been focused on power objects
searching for the meaning in my names,
my date of birth,
patron spirits,
favorite symbols.

emotional rollercoasters have become an unwelcome norm.
longing for balance
something stable, reliable.

then i return to the problem of prayer...
remembering all is heard,
i try to get it right before i ask,
untangle my thoughts,
strand by strand.

sometimes it feels like caution.
other times, procrastination.

then i hear orunmila's constant chant:
balance, balance...

i'm trying, baba.
i'm trying.


the rainbow is enuf.

there's pain on all sides.
there's drama on all sides.

we've hurt, maimed, and damaged one another in many ways.

still, we retain the power to heal, dream, love, and uplift ourselves and each other.

i am afraid we are allowing the pain to cloud true wisdom and deeper guidance.

the hoopla over for colored girls seems to be unearthing a lot of old feelings and illuminating the still-open wounds and still-wide chasms that separate us.

there is wisdom in saying we must protect our hearts,
but protection is not the same as closure.

i feel like we're swinging to extremes, aching for balance.

maybe the pendulum just has to do what it does and settle into a softer rhythm over time, finally settling into center.

if so, is patience the lesson we need to learn?

are we trying to rush a process that cannot be rushed?

we need to talk about the ugly.
but we should not turn each other into stereotypes and monoliths.
we have to resist its tendency to dominate our minds and spirits.

we need to take responsibility for our own, personal wounds.
know ourselves, deeply, halting the wheels of futile, painful cycles.

there should be no unearned, blanket support without proof of progress and growth. we cannot allow romantic, unrealistic notions to erase or underestimate the challenges that exist.

still, we can learn how to deeply support one another as we tend to our collective wounds.

it is complex.
we cannot make it simple.

there is beauty in that complexity, if we can open ourselves to it.

there is not one way to love, to be loving, to receive love, to be loved.
the ways are so plentiful we cannot count them.

who taught us there was only one way to be satisfied? to be whole?

art, analysis, psychology...these are conversation starters. light-shiners that give us frames, language, concrete foundations to build on.

a means to an end.
a way to name.

but what's your soul saying?

now that we've unearthed the pain
we have to go deeper
unearth the healing
roll in the dark, fragrant, fertile soil that feeds the world
study star-shine.

all of that is part of us.
we are part of it all.

don't let the fear win.
or the shame.

cry the tears...just don't drown in them.

i love my brothas.
but i need you to learn how to love yourselves
so you can love me back.

can you do that for me?


{note: this is a pre-screening stream of consciousness. i'm sure there will be more once i've actually seen the film...but these are the vibes i'm picking up as i'm hearing/seeing folks react. i worry that there are countless, unexamined opportunities for growth, beauty, and strength beneath the surface. all my life i have heard the whisper, go deeper...i suppose i'm praying that everyone - in their way - gets that same message and gains the courage to do so.}


baby wisdom

my inner child half smiles at me from my ori altar.

in her thick pigtails and striped shirt, she could either be entering a fit of giggles or preparing to ask some profound question in the way only a 4 or 5 year old can.

i have no way of knowing for sure, but i am fairly certain she is a more innocent version of me. the sweetness before the pain.

my last therapist was also a shaman. once, near the end of a session, she asked if i knew someone named anne. when i told her no, she asked me to think about it. anne wanted to teach me, needed me to listen to her.

i became still, and it dawned on me: anne was part of my own name.

full of grace, mercy.
god favors me.

my inner child was speaking. she remembered why i came.

and now, finally, i feel like i might be catching on.


reason #455 i don't read/perform/slam

in responding to a friend's comment on facebook, i wound up articulating precisely why i gave up on the notion of performing pieces--and it felt far more concise than my explanations here and here. so here's my third angle:

typically, poetry comes to me because there's something i need to speak, then let go.  i would not want folks asking me to perform or repeatedly recite the majority of my poetry. even some love poem inspirations have faded into a sort of blurry collective memory. i don't want or need them lingering in my mind--that's why i write them down.

put another way: my poetry is usually an intense emotional experience manifested in words. once the moment's over, i'm done with it. there are times when i feel compelled to share those moments, so i do.  but tomorrow i'll be somewhere else...and trying to hold on to these lines or being tied to a "signature piece" would prevent the level of progression and evolution i enjoy.

afterword: i adore performance poetry, and the people who do it. this is in no way meant as a statement on the progression of those artists--personally or collectively--or the art form itself. this is just me talkin. as usual.  and something i can point folks to when they ask me questions & shit.


the constant challenge of empathy

full. overwhelmed. grateful. questioning.

there is, at once, so much joy, grief, tension, cooperation, splintering.

confused wisdom. glimpses of bliss, connection. collective frustration, pain.

i am trying to let it pass over and around rather than through me...keep it just outside my consciousness instead of allowing it to take over completely...

sometimes i forget to shield myself.

sometimes i can't do what "everyone else" does.

i need extra space to breathe and dream in.

sometimes i forget to take it.


more scorned woman ranting...

{maybe there will be a better title eventually...}

there are days i wish to see you bleed...

when i hope
a smile never crosses your face
and you never know the warmth of another woman.


i can't and don't always wish you well.

i am not always the "bigger" person.


some days,
i'm still pissed
to the heights of pissivity.
and i wanna throw acid in your face
or stomp on your foot
or slap the black off you...

anything to repay you
for the redness in my eyes
and the soreness in my chest...

i can still fking hate you sometimes.

(just being honest)

and i can just hear you saying
"that's unfortunate..."
and i want to
you still

one day
i'm gonna get over this hump
recall i'm 20 feet tall
and step right over you,
crushing the fear you passed on to me
and shoveling away the bullshit
you taught me to put up with.

i'm gonna remember
the love i give
is an asset, not a liability
remember the ways
it was reflected back to me
before you...

i will be presented
with your complete and utter opposite:
one who knows how to heal
instead of hurt
instead of take
instead of deflect
take responsibility
instead of blame.

and i'll be happy again
loved from my hair follicles to my toenails
not feared
not put on pedestals
not made artificially perfect
but loved
for my own sweet self
and seen
through loving, courageous eyes.

when that happens
i'll have no need for gruesome fantasies
and you can go on your merry way...

a mere footnote
in the epic story
of the true and living love of my life.



remembering that healing is a journey...

reminding myself of what's true, shining light on fear.

my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face.

mama shange's words resonate with me today. deeply.

there is a constant effort to recall that my magic is not the problem...the lack of wizardry and reverence for the Feminine in the present male population is.

needing to reread sassafrass, cypress and indigo...retrace the steps of sassafrass' battle for her soul as she tries to snatch herself back from a no-good man whose best just ain't good enough.

remembering whose i am
who has my back
and what's been promised.

i can be loved.
it is not difficult.
i will be loved.
properly and well.

it is possible...


28th day

the blood
is speaking...

the blood
is speaking...
preaching around my shame,
exposing what i refuse to admit;
inciting me to pray
for a love i desire
but don't believe i'll ever have

because that purity is gone
i can't unbreak my heart
can't undo
what he's done
or erase the mistakes
of the other
i am forever unlovable
in the eyes
of any man;
too strong
a fortress...

i don't dare
dream those drams,
voice those incantations

even when i know
can't is the worst
four letter word
stealin' my power,
untyin' my gris gris...

i know it.

the blood
pools into a garnet mirror
forcing me to face my true need,
fk what i settle for.

instructing me
to train my thoughts,
rearrange the soul-ache;
dig into my heart,
massage it with my own hands.

i know
i know

i have to stop this train
before it wrecks itself.

the blood is telling me
to let go
turn my fears into swords
pierce my heart and
let the bad blood out
so the golden light
of Her mantle can enter 
fresh from the deep, dark knowing.

mama audre told us about that knowing,
put the blood on the page

and mine,
like hers,
pulses in my ears,
my need for truth
trumps the egotistical denials
and petty concerns...

i'm bigger than any fear

it wades
through the bullshit
stuns me into stillness
and forces me
to listen.


witching hour

draped in blue and black

candles lit here and there
like points of starlight

honeyed altars
casting spells
lighting patterns
granting wishes


open patio
and window

front door negotiations
and parking lot whispers
by distant train whistles

cassandra wilson
sings over
a nearly sultry october night
the circle is never broken...

a summery breath
before halloween
brings cool spirits

wishing for love
settling for the decadence
of my own company

the joys
of peppermint soap
and shower steam

my magic
makes me feel
at home.



do not decry my lack of "femininity" when you hold me awkwardly, afraid of your own heart.

model tenderness, and maybe i'll show you my spirit.



mama moon is workin' me somethin fierce...

she forces my tears, pushes me to feel the pain inflicted by the ignorance and insensitivity of the world, while illuminating who we truly are...

who we could still be
if we would only open our eyes. wide.

i almost threw myself back under the covers today.


not even amid whispers and shouts of...

you brown, so you down, but hide your love from me. i don't wanna see its face.

you betta learn to slap that girl to make her mind.

yeah. i'm fked up. but that's just me, tho. i'll deal with it. whatchu mean i gotta think about how my pain affects the planet's energy? fk outta here. i'm aight. i'm aight.

mama africa is the source of EVERYTHING! ...except that.

stop bein so grown. who you think you is? hmph. you ain't special.

if you gotta drop of tha blood, you gotta be all black everything. all day. all the time. everywhere in the world. but you gotta be black like THIS, tho.  that other shit don't count.

always actin like yo daddy.

why can't you/they/he/she just deal with it?

i'll take rest,
but silence is too much.

we're still caught in this matrix of face saving and half truth telling.

of intellectualizing with no heart or spirit.

of keeping women locked in prisons of queendom and false righteousness.

of keeping men frozen in their own despair.

of keeping everyone between the binary invisible. 

of obsessing over lack and sex acts, blocking visions of abundance and variety.

we are microcosms
of the universe
if we are not healed
our mother will remain angry
and broken.

there is beauty in the struggle
in the ugly
in the figuring out
in the inbetween
...but only if we live unadulterated truth.

shackles do not only surround the feet and mind
they can lock down the heart and spirit.
or have you forgotten?

are you stuck somewhere,
heart still in chains,
afraid to grow, 
afraid to see?



mother's tongues

my soul
is coated in patois
with a tongue longing to dance
in geechee pidgin
by way of a yoruba village.

and portuguese
ring a bell...

but english
feels like an unfortunate circumstance;
an accident
forced upon me
for the sake of someone's convenience.



i wanna sleep
and dream of magic...




giving thanks.

dancing to the songs in this moment and wondering where the steps are leading me. what the sound is teaching me.


consciousness stream


warm/warming to touch
in progress/evolving
blessed with a song
affected, deeply.



sometimes the beginning of my moontime feels like a deep, long sigh.


infinite possibilities

{title track}

dipped in ancient well water, my senses flooded with goddess energy...

i have no idea how to finish that. but it's how i feel.

lately, many thoughts come in those sorts of bursts--incomplete but potent flares of feeling.

over the last few days, i have relived many moments. some joyous, some traumatic, all illuminating.  i have come a long way, and i see a long road in front of me.  i am not daunted by it.  rather, i am encouraged and inspired by the possibilities that await me. 

i hope to travel that road under a sky as beautiful as the one i saw this evening: wisps of peach-yellow clouds floating above a strip of blue sky, giving off just enough light to outline an impossibly thick bottom layer of mountainous, steel gray clouds.

you must be able to walk across clouds like that. you simply must.


in this moment

i am...



moving beyond...


epiphany #28499

the imperfect can be perfect.

contradictions can coexist & help each other thrive.

there is grace in wanton abandon and stoic control.

loving pulls it all together.

{word to mama audre}


for now, i feel open...like a screen door. air flows in and out at will, refreshing everything.

but a chill is slowly creeping in.  eventually i'll have to close the door, maybe build a fire or make a cup of tea to keep warm.

once i do, i'm wondering who i will want to stay inside with, weaving a double cocoon until spring reemerges...



if i didn't know any better
i'd worship at your feet
the way you once did at mine.


99 problems...

but an idea ain't one.


you have returned,
bearing joy
and freedom

in equal measure.



you have always been
the first.


versed in the art of seduction
offering the first taste of bliss,
you slipped in and out of darkness
bearing just enough light
for me to see my hands
in front of my face
and your hands
all over me

but never enough
to find my way out--
until you were ready.

this time
i am protected,
shuttered behind fences
you did not build
and cannot break.

i hear the warnings,
know the signs.

can i deny you
when you know
the heat in my blood
and the sweetness in my tears?



playing with some words...

while checking in on tumblr...
and deleting all gchats consisting of 10 lines or less...
and singing luther vandross songs...
and thinking about life...
and feeling like i need to pray...
and reviewing last night's dreams...

this is how my mind works.



new visions/dreams taking shape...

you can't stop my go...



longing for something sweet

...and lasting.

that lingers
in the back of the throat
like honey.

sunlight life-giving,

mmm hmm


just plain love.


learning patience...

so many dreams just beyond my understanding...
google winds up being a hopeless tease.

the real understanding is still passed down in the old ways...at the feet of elders...

where will the next set of lessons take me?


in remembrance of me

i will line my eyes with kohl
and seduce anyone who gets in my way.


time travelin'

{title track}

still learning to trust my visions, the whispers...the memories my soul sends rushing through my body as i struggle to throw off this over acculturation.

they always bring power.
they always ring true.

it's just that...
in fighting for a full, true vision of myself,
i did not expect to run into a vessel of the goddess.


via twitter {or: rant #98,127}

i'm in love. with everything. mainly myself. but when i get full, it expands and runs over and i see the beauty in it all... and i know that can sound like some hippy dippy bullshit, but it really isn't.

in my opinion, it's at the core of our nature; it is nature itself. why flowers bloom, the ocean moves, and the sun rises.

when we love, when we are loving, when we are loved...it all fits, it all works. but we've gotta expand the boundaries. marriage, partnership, kids, home, family...all of that is love, but it's not ALL love is.

you can be loved/loving if you live alone, if you're childless, if you are {financially} poor.

true poverty is not understanding this; the constant search for things instead of soul.

things are great. they make life easier. but they are not all.

you are all.
earth is all.
sky is all.
water is all.
fire is all.

go deeper.

{begin here}
{if you can't see the timeline, follow me.}

this saturday

i woke slowly this morning from warm dreams, gazing through open windows...

song-thought: "love language"


sun moon child


Sun Moon Child from pierre bennu on Vimeo.

{addendum: i went and listened to some cuts from the rest of the album. go buy it. now. you can listen here.}


i am a lusty broad.

my lust gets me outta bed in the morning.

it is as rich as cream,
sweet as chocolate,
smooth as marble.

my lust is the scarlet red blood in my veins.
it is delicious.
it rolls off my tongue like caribbean spanish r's
and makes it tingle like cayenne pepper.

my lust
is fundamental
to my being
and needs
no fixing
no repentance
and no pity.



feeling dazed

things are changing
trying to keep up
stay focused


struggling to reemerge
even though i don't want to
it's safer, here.

but staying hidden won't help forever.

i'll find my way home



i want
to split me open
like a peach;
force my sweetness
from the pit.

i am
the fruit
and the tree;
savor me
with eyes and tongue.

i will
keep giving
and giving
until you
(concerned with choking)
ask me
to stop
(so you can breathe)

to catch your breath
and reach for me


may the goddess grant me pardon

Alas! I know not either Thy mantra or yantra,
Nor how to welcome Thee,
Or how to meditate upon, nor words of prayer to Thee,
Nor do I know Thy mudrā,

Or how to lay before Thee my griefs;
But this I know, O Mother!
That to follow Thee is to remove all my pain.

from hymns to the goddess



current challenge: staying aware of all the good things about myself.

the divine.
the essence.
the light.
the warmth.

the be.

originally posted 6.30.2010


understanding 2

i am the gentle healing,
the breeze before the hurricane;

the first answer to your cries
to the universe.

if you can learn your lessons
through sweetness,
i'm a blessing.

ignore me,
take kindness for weakness
and my affection for granted,
i remove my asé
and the fires begin to burn.

après moi,
le déluge.

i will always
move on
will always
be whole
or without

choose wisely.


me:  whatchu doin?

him:  That artistic genius thing I do that you like so much


missing love

i miss my loving body.

the way it changes
and rounds
and curves
when i'm regularly loved
and ecstatically pleasured.



platinum blonde
kewpie doll girl
turned beet red
at the slightest embarrassment

really embarrassed
certain touches don't
go well with classrooms and
the prying eyes of peers.

in hindsight
i wonder
what happened to her at night
and other quiet moments at home

who was hurting her

no one hurts her now.


writers always have 99 problems

some time ago, i decided to write in real journals instead of plain spiral notebooks, as a way of respecting what i was doing and honoring my commitment to never deliberately stop writing again.*

problem is, i can't afford one of my nice, pretty journals right now.  it'll probably be another week or so before i can.  

yet, i'm running out of space in my current one.

being low on blank pages is quite aggravating.  trying to scribble freely while fearing that you'll run outta room simply doesn't work.  screws with the flow.

so the bottom line is that i haven't been writing much, and my brain's starting to feel clogged up.

still, if i start in one of the plain spiral notebooks, i'm gonna have to ride it out until it's full. i could paste the used pages in the new, pretty journal once i get it, but...eh.

decisions, decisions.

*long story

body art

i kinda wanna write about my tattoos.

i know. how played out/cliche is that?

but i do. kinda.

i'll think about it.



oshun mends my heart.
sango sharpens my mind.
ogun lends his machete.
olokun gives me rest.

i am grateful.


the once in awhile

most days, i don't mind being single.
it's not something i think about a whole lot. 

but when i have a bad day--
the kind you can't plan for, 
days that make you want to run and hide,
or stress you out...
the ones that dredge up the bad memories
or ugly habits...

those are the days i wish
i had someone i could look at
and think,
you know what? fuck it. i've got you.
and you've got me.

those are the days it hurts.

primordial {revisited / continued / expanded}

for each of us as women, there is a dark place within, where hidden and growing our true spirit rises...

these places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through the darkness. within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. the woman's place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.

~audre lorde, "poetry is not a luxury"

i came face to face with this deep, dark womb-self recently.

interestingly, she is veiled, cloaked in luscious merlot red.  the occasional urge to wrap myself in gossamer scarves must come from her.

i can only sense her face...but her form is less important than her energy, her gifts.

she is sensuous, ethereal...real yet fantastic.
a lover of garnet.
a lightness possessing the gravity of eons.

and somehow,
almost unbelievably,
she is me. 

{other primordial post}



hips rose,
the scent of rose hips
and cedar
buried in
neck hollows.





dark night.
new moon.

thinking of what i've gained so far,
and what's been lost.

wondering what the future holds...
what new things will fill currently empty spaces.

lots of changes on the horizon.

i hope i can keep up.


what i want {need?} - silly and not so silly

{dynamic post. new wants will be posted @ the top.}

i want somebody to scratch some poems outta my head.

i want enough money so that money's not an issue, but not enough to make people want to kiss my ass.


i want freedom.
i want katie holmes to run away from tom cruise.
i want the 'hood to have fresh fruits & veggies.

i want people to love themselves. not out of selfishness, but as a microcosmic love for everything and everyone else.

i want indigenous people to thrive. they are the earth's voice.

i want memorization of "umi says" to be a mandatory part of the curriculum in urban schools.

i want cassie to know she'd be fine without diddy.
i want a new lauryn hill album.
i want rich people wars to end. corporate personhood can bite it, too.

i want non-holistically minded scientists to stop fooling with things they don't fully understand.

i want women to regain their rightful standing in the world.
i want poor people to thrive - with or without money.
i want more people to know about heifer.org.
i want conspiracy theorists to take a breath & have a little faith.
i want folks to remember what hip hop sounds like.

i want farmers to be able to do their jobs. i.e., grow real food. all kinds of food. eff a mono/cash crop.

i want to know why the honeybees are dying.

i want haiti to thrive, not just survive. that goes for the rest of the so-called 3rd world.

i want peace. and happy, healthy babies everywhere.


as seen on tumblr...

"a sad child"
by margaret atwood


born between
my lai
and jonestown,

hip hop seeds
planted in my baby bottles,

i remember cartoons
that didn't coddle;

heard whispers
of real journalism
while deciding whether or not
to show up on this plane.

why be surprised
at us 70s babies
and our shit talkin' ways
...knowing y'all had it coming?


going in circles...

same old questions
that still don't have answers...

feeling frustrated

is there a cure for this?



{stream of consciousness related to the cleansing}

lotus blossom
petals in the wind
releasing fragrance

heart reaching towards sky, beating to please the sun
closing in upon itself like morning glory
reborn in the morning

do i still remember how to be this released?

mindful of the lotus on my hip
walking in perfection
the spirit behind the etching becoming clear again

thinking about
intersections of the physical and spiritual
what's feeding what
where the nurturing lies...

back in touch with my heart
dipped in the love i rarely allow myself to feel
glowing sticky with it...



{adapted from a cell phone notation. months old.}

easter pastel palette sky:
hint of peach...

the moon
a solitary pearl
opposite tangerine sun
setting fire to skyscraper glass.


beautiful dreamer

i'm fascinated by this character...

the morlocks are/were also interesting in their role as the stepchildren of the mutant world.

i love the juxtaposition of those words...beautiful dreamer. used to use it as a sign-off for some writings over on myspace.

plus, i always figured that if i were a mutant, i'd have some sort of psionic power...



your silence will not protect, insulate, truth-tell, or do much else.

it will imprison, deflect, stress, isolate, and falsely secure.

i am learning.



Dreaming comes so easily
'cause it's all that i've known
True love is a fairy tale
I'm damaged, so how would i know

I'm scared and i'm alone
I'm ashamed
And i need for you to know

I didn't say all the things that i wanted to say
And you can't take back what you've taken away
'cause i feel you, i feel you near me

I didn't say all the things that i wanted to say

And you can't take back what you've taken away
'cause i feel you, i feel you near me

Healing comes so painfully
And it chills to the bone
Will anyone get close to me?
I'm damaged, as i'm sure you know

There's mending for my soul
An ending to this fear
Forgiveness for a man who was stronger
I was just a little girl, but i can't go back


today's observation

with pigeon shit
splattered on concrete subway walls
posing as modern outsider art
who wouldn't miss
new york graffiti?



just the other day
i was annoyed with my ass
even as i attempted to make peace with it
...as i do with any offending body part
or blemish.

during this latest
spontaneous reconstruction, 
it's shifted, somehow.  lost mass. 
not quite as high, i don't think
or full
for whatever reason...

never mind that
my hips remain wide as ever.

i take solace
in the pleasantly consistent jump
of my waistbeads
in motion,
but little else.

just as i'm wondering
what soul food miracle
will give me my booty back,
i happen to see him.

in greeting,
he playfully pinches
my disappointing ass
later, he kneads it
with both hands
and an appreciative exhale...


apparently he hasn't noticed
all these flaws
which makes me smile...

succumbing to sensation,
i file away my grievances
{for now}
and relax into his busy palms,
welcoming a smiling kiss.



the ancestors are close...whispering, nudging, laughing, playing...

i am, all at once, grateful and curious about what they have to share with me...my great grandmother, especially.

i only know her through photos and my mother's stories, although my great aunt looks a lot like her.  she was gone a full 15 years or so before i entered the world.

to me, she's been a sweet presence with a wind-chime laugh, smiling through dreams and waking visions.  and it seems she is part of the crew ushering me into this next phase of life. 

it's her recipe my mother uses for the christmas rolls. although they're always delicious, she says they never come out quite like nanny's. 

she helped with my biscuits last night. they're delicious. i will remember the technique. 

afterwards, i wondered how often she'd guided me around the kitchen...if her chicken-raising in the basement somehow girded my spirit against squeamishness during sacrifice.

her presence reminds me of the long absence of her oldest daughter - my grandmother.  she has been on the other side nearly 30 years now, but it feels like she never really left me.

i knew her briefly. my only memory is of hands the color of old ivory - hands i apparently share, albeit in a deeper caramel - and snatches of a voice. i do not remember the distinctive laugh my mother says she is slowly forgetting.

maybe if i mix her favorite drink, she'll whisper a hello...


girl talk {a monologue}

{TRIGGER WARNING - the piece that follows contains descriptions of sexual coercion, harsh language.}



The Day the Sun Spoke

Did you know the Sun spoke for a day? It's true!

One day, Mama decided people must want noise everywhere, all the time.

In the cities, there were few places left for quiet, and more space for noise was being cleared all the time. Nearly everyone was running to the cities anyway. So, She decided to give the elements voices.


the end (napowrimo #30)

i'm gonna cheat again...this won't be a poem, but a little self-back pat for actually getting through this...

at first i thought it would just be fun, but it wound up being more than that. it was a catharsis. i got back in creative touch with some other writers i'd missed. i got a good bit of flow back.

never thought just trying to write a poem a day could do all that.

see y'all in 2011.


haiku (napowrimo #29)

bad news killin highs.
information overload
crushes the soft heart.


oya's hands (napowrimo #28)

trying to hold my ground
being pushed and pulled by the winds
of the moon and my womb

a monthly tornado
forcing me to take shelter
in words and candlelit altars

i emerge
but scattered
wandering slowly
among my pieces
seeking reassembly.


confection (napowrimo #27)

your chocolate, my
peanut butter. a cup full
of loving sweetness.


to the young man on the train (napowrimo #26)

creamy coffee
with a sunshine smile

where do they make
men like you...
who listen deeply
eyes soft with care
full of yielding strength?

how did you achieve
such early liberation
from the ridiculous posturing
society demands from you?

and can you teach
your brothers
your secret?


epiphany #3127 (napowrimo #25)


with thanks to d.w.b.

i fear losing this moment's lesson
in the midst of unbridled bliss.

then again,
maybe that is the lesson...

rivers flow without ceasing.
chameleons live in relevant rainbows.

it is necessary for me
to surrender to the will of love
allow Her to sharpen my desire
and go where She leads me--

whether that means your arms
or to the edge of the ocean,
my arms filled with offerings.

i exist
to serve
from a seat of power;

such servitude
brings no shame
to the servant or the served.

only comfort
and countless blessings.


birthday (napowrimo #24)

for s.i.m.

one day
they brought home
a big, wiggly baby boy.

...and the chubby cheeked goon
had the nerve to take over.

i had been

he bored me for awhile
but before i knew it
he could walk and talk.

then, wrestling was fun.
so was making him cry.

...but that was my sole privilege.
anyone else who tried
got the evil eye.

more time passes
and i come to appreciate
the sweetness in baby brothers
grown into young men.

who knew
an occurrence so annoying
could turn out to be
a blessing.


overflow (napowrimo #23)

filled with prayers
i can't speak

i can't name

i can't soothe

sometimes i hide in my dreams
just to see
who has the senses
to find me

working pisces magic
to tuck myself between waves

waiting for one
to hear the prayers
fulfill the desire
soothe the pain...


emancipation sideshow parade - now with more negroes! (napowrimo #22)

bright lights
pretty pictures
and microphones

tallow candles
sepia flyers
and overworked throats

college days
spent playing and praying
fun with a purpose
of being picked

mornings in dank cages
spent praying and weeping
of family compounds
and palm wine

a long way
from home.

dressed now,
naked then...

no perks
to being snatched
under cover of night
being snatched from the stage
in colorful jerseys...
while lawyers wait
to seal dream deals...

capitalization exchanged
for oppression
sort of...

it is

we know those men
on wooden platforms
only dealt in nightmares...

it is

softer voices
untwisted countenances
they only run from opposing teams
while bloggers crack whips

it is


before the moon (napowrimo #21)

for the ladies

i got an urge
to lay in the lap of luxury
be pampered and
fed rich foods
sweet fruits
sip tea or
gargle honey...

be pleasured
every hour
on the hour...

dream deep dreams
light incense
wait for divine inspiration...

all in
undulating cycles
of bliss

but the alarm rings
and i gotta go to work
fit into the flow
sit and stare
at paperwork and such.

defying womb-deep desires
for something as petty
as a paycheck.


liberation (napowrimo #20)

rise up. take light from
my hands and line your lips with
sweetness, beloved.


my desert (napowrimo #19)

heat rises from flesh
begging for contact, release.
your kiss: cooling rain.


untitled (napowrimo #18)


i am

can't stop my go
interrupt my flow

i am

candle lighting
mojo working
sweating sweetness.

i am

come see
'bout me.


epiphany (napowrimo #17)

has probably called me
everything but
a child of god.

in your arms,
i could be
nothing less
than divine.


heroine (napowrimo #16)

the only thing worse
than needing to fight
in the first place
is summoning all my energy,
loading on the armor,
only to be disarmed.

i burn bright
then stall out
like a car expected to run
on a -10 degree day
after a 10 second warm up.

you wouldn't like me when i'm angry...
disappointment's almost worse.

but to understand that
you'd have to know
the level of control i exhibit
on a daily.

feel like ororo's sister
when letting go
isn't an option;
frustrated from forcing myself
to walk instead of taking flight;
keep emotions checked
to avoid random tornadoes.

phoenix rising
purified in the fire
of self preservation;
impossible to cease the progression
once mental walls start crashing.

being temporarily thwarted
is not a denial
of my power.

give me a reason,
and i'll blow
your house


tanka (napowrimo #15)

reminding myself
of my totems, i release
brokenness, refuse
extinction. snakes and tigers
adapt swiftly; fear no foes.


expedition (napowrimo #14)

i am irked
when a mouse-click reminds me
of your existence...

moments when
i'm forced to remember
i was someone
with you

i'm still forgiving myself
for allowing you--
wannabe black cousteau--
to awkwardly explore my depths,
testing my love
and spirit;

for allowing you
to poison my oceans
in the name of
your self-serving
heart-healing experiments.

i proved strong
and survived;
still beautiful,
though battered.

sliced through pages
and slaughtered inkpens
to avoid murder charges
and assault accusations...

finally realizing
the best revenge
is to search within,
remain grateful
for the awareness you lack,
love myself
all the ways you couldn't,
and swim
towards warmer waters.


dream house (napowrimo #13)

honeysuckle on the back fence;
rose bushes
lining the wrap-around porch...

wide, open rooms
full of windows
draped in pretty curtains
or maybe some plantation shades...

a bedroom
with french doors
and a california king bed
covered in pillows

overstuffed chairs
littered everywhere
for reading and napping...

a bathroom
with aquamarine tiles
and a mirror covered in seashells;
claw-foot tub with brass fixtures
alongside a crystal clear shower...

...and you
to share it with.


untitled (napowrimo #12)

in response to this...

when he walked in,
i wished i hadn't come
with this clown.

we met in the kitchen
a few times
seeking to refresh drinks
or a break from the music.
but tipsy, too loud guests
prevented casual conversation openings.

when he laughs at someone's joke,
i fantasize about kissing his smile--
until i'm distracted by
my date's over-eager hands
in all the wrong places.

next time
our homeboy throws a party
i'm following his lead
and coming alone...


imposter (napowrimo #11)

bedroom window breeze
dances across my shoulder
mimicking your lips.


understanding (napowrimo #10)

for miss lizzie, lena mcpherson, lauren olamina, marie levant 
and their real-life counterparts

how do i tell you
i can belong to no one
because i belong to all?

i am always myself
and others;
walking between worlds,
i could be snatched from your arms
before your next stroke
return with knowledge of
ancient ritual and
a recipe for a healing bath
before the next.

who takes my place?
usually one of your past life lovers
grateful for the chance to see you again. 

she'll offer blessings

before i can tell you
i love you
i have to determine
which voice i'm speaking in
who i'm speaking for
what language i'm translating from
and what part of you
i'm speaking to...

it will be
with me.


haiku (napowrimo #9)

i travel between
strength and shame as i open,
betraying desire.


ebo (napowrimo #8)

something told me
it wasn't really my money...

so when she walked by
i didn't need to know her story
i only knew it was hers.

so i gave it
and she genuinely blessed me
for helping her get home.

and i knew
the offering
would help me find mine.


the encounter (napowrimo #7)

part 3

recalling the beauty of your instrument
makes me want to sing.

you tell me
you'll be my toy--
if that's what i want.

i want
to play into the night
hitting high notes
and strumming bass lines.

i've noticed
i'm having difficulty
erasing the handprints you left behind.

you wanted me to know something...

i want to make sure
i got the message.



the encounter (napowrimo #6)

part 2

the beat
is on the other side
of the wall
you've pinned me to.

this dance is different,

time is of the essence:
we stuff soundbites of our lives
between kisses
and inappropriate hand gestures.

you are both sweet
and completely irreverent;
playing the gentleman
as you grab my ass.

i bite your lower lip
'cause it looked good
when you did it.

all the while,
the grind continues.

i ponder the futility
of exchanging information
when i'll never see you again,
but i oblige

making a mental note
of the beauty of your eyes.

i give your hand one last squeeze,
then leave to get ready
for my next party...


the encounter (napowrimo #5)

part 1

felt hands and hips
before i saw your face;
let myself fall into a slow wine
forgetting the club rule:

always watch for signals
from forward-facing girlfriends
when being danced with from behind...

abandoned myself to the rhythm...
first the dj's
then yours.

but it was cool
'cause i turned around
and the strong hands
were cloaked in pretty brown skin
the full lips were a nice bonus.

i wondered
what you looked like
in full sun,
away from disco balls
and fog machines.

on a whim,
i kissed you goodbye.
you whispered an island breeze
and i smiled,


ambidextrous (napowrimo #4)

my magic is white
before your hands trace my spine...
then, hips drum dark beats.

{a brief explanation: for some, white magic--or the right-hand path--is considered chaste and/or decidedly non-sexual. sex magick, tantra, and other sensual pleasures used as spiritual disciplines are deemed "left-handed". the left hand path is often maligned as completely "evil" and full of "black magic", when really there are positive and negative poles of each. e.g., white magic used to manipulate emotions and free will--such as a "come back to me" spell--could also be considered negative.}


the split, redux (napowrimo #3)

a poem fashioned from prose, in two parts.

sekhmet's come to clean house--
reminding you
that violence and intelligence
are not always mutually exclusive. 

lioness eyes gleam with razor-wit
kind only to respectful seekers,
cursing all others.

don't make her cut you...

ever-purifying fire of change,
evolution's catalyst; 
queen whose pleasure comes before all else.

sweetest thing
this side of honeycombs
and sugar cane.

full of love mantras,
gossamer dreams,
and pleasing ways.

she rests
in flowing waters
moved by compassion and kindness.

love makes any sorrow irrelevant.

who could ever notice
the tears of a mermaid?


haiku (napowrimo #2)

he speaks to me. i
am lost in lucid brown eyes,
trying to translate.


love manifest

i have received many answers to this...

but even in my gratitude, i have felt empty, like i have nothing to give in return for all the wonders that have been placed at my feet.

then i realized, it's true that i am empty...but only in the sense of a beautiful vessel waiting to hold fine perfume or rare, precious oil. 

my heart is cleansed and ready to receive--the best kind of emptiness.

i am still myself. still whole. there is plenty to offer.

i have just learned to give wisely. 

primordial (napowrimo #1)

not all wombs open as easily as legs.

there are many ways to warm a bed
and feed from breasts. 

there was a time
when a woman unto herself
was understood
and embraced
as a different kind of ideal.

over time,
politics became important.
the men got suspicious
and aroused the suspicion of our sisters...

She said:
"it's all right.
from now on, you will just have to be brave.
respect that this path will be laced with broken glass
instead of leisure.
but you will know who you are.
and, if you learn your lessons well,
i will guarantee you want for nothing."

so, daughter,
we have always been here.

yes, some turned bitter
seeing our sisters' comforts;
the years of smug smiles and haughty glances
inspired the negative side of darkness.

therein lies the worst of our reputation.

most of us
were simply good
and misunderstood.



when you sing your spirit
i have to keep mine
from rushing out of my mouth
to greet you.


blessed {or: a retelling of my birthstory}

{original posting}

my arrival was cloaked in silence
rest. immobility.
more like a wake than a birth...

there was praying
wringing of hands...

i was early but
cosmically punctual;
i had to belong
to neptune:
ruler of murky and
clear waters
destined to duality,
soul comprehension.

the prayer became protection
prenatal apprehension an excuse for fierce independence
"no need to worry...i am here."
hands that rubbed themselves raw
in anticipated grief
were rarely turned to me in anger
but fed/held/clothed me
with love

relearned priestess rites thru
house-playing shame
...the universe has to
make up for our deletions;
denied rites of passage become
misplaced ashe
creeping into unicorn wallpapered bedrooms...


lived life in books and magazines
...it was like the written word
was never lost to me
i'd kept
the histories/mysteries/stories/wisdom
too long
to forget.

my womb is lined with
cave etchings
sumerian script and
griot lessons
hieroglyphs they haven't uncovered on earth yet...

if they could decipher menstruation,
they'd find many women
are actually treasure maps.

goddess heritage my birthright
not because i'm african--but because i remember.

willfully refusing amnesia
in the face of babylon.


the ritual

they placed me on the altar...the tea they'd given me dulled my senses, made me sluggish and weary.

i snapped awake when i saw the knife hovering above my head, then my heart...

i begged them to spare me--anything but death. suddenly lucid, i wiggled my naked torso, struggling against the binding on my hands and feet, still begging, don't spill my blood...

an elder woman heard me and stopped the priest's hand. 

her will is strong, she said. if she does not want to die, she must be put on trial.


a new season...

spring is coming...

she always brings hyperawareness;
a near constant state of arousal.

all my senses light up.
breezes feel like kisses;
i can smell the earth before/after the rain;
my heart blossoms with the tree buds;
the wind sounds different.

coats and clothing slowly thin out.

small pleasures include
a day without socks,
going to lunch without a jacket.

i've been blessed with deep, sweet love dreams
i revel in their deliciousness as i write them down...

i feel delicious

something like
a perfect peach
waiting to be split open
then devoured...

{he's gotta have a pretty mouth...}

of course,
summer is my true season.

but the prelude is nearly as nice.



the moon is making me restless

somewhere in my mind
i'm pacing the floor of a cage

trapped in a finite space
with too much energy
too many thoughts
and not enough dreams

or maybe there are plenty of dreams,
too many deferred.

we never answered langston's question.
not really.
if one observes the distress of black america
{particularly on mlk's boulevards}
one could come pretty close.

but i digress.



you're the devil.

i know it.

and don't care.

i'm not some innocent damsel
with no heat of her own.

bring your fire dance;
i'll keep time.


the island {part 3}

{part 1}
{part 2}

A breeze danced across the garden, bending the tall grasses and tickling the hibiscus bushes. The shores of a teal sea sparkled on the horizon.

The Lady fell into one of her hammocks near the garden wall. The wall itself was covered in honeysuckle vines, the hammock strung between two palm trees. She sunk into the thick, silk sling, closing her eyes and inhaling deeply. Golden eyeshadow flecked with emerald green glitter danced off her mahogany eyelids. The breath sent one side of her kimono sliding over her collarbone, exposing a bit of her shoulder to the sun.

Concentrate on the vision, she chided herself. There'll be time later to play with the sun. She allowed herself a smile to thank the sunbeam for its warmth, breathed again. Focused.


the interview {a monologue}

{TRIGGER WARNING - the piece that follows contains descriptions of molestation/rape/incest and harsh language.}



{background/between stanza soundtrack}

for b. & witchy too much womyn errywhere 

pretty baby
wit yo pretty words
an' ugly ways

fulla game
an' fire
gettin whatever u want
whereever u go

til u got
to my door
an' i snatched
the crow
outta that cock
wit'out even tryin...

u told on yaself
real quick.

silly me
thinkin there was
somethin behind
that smoke u breathed
an' those mirrors
u call eyes.

pretty baby
wit yo pretty words
an' ugly ways...

hope u learned
ur lesson.

my favorite painting


Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954). The Broken Column, 1944.
Oil on canvas. 15 11/16 x 12 in. (40 x 30.5 cm).
Collection Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño, Mexico City.

good morning

easing out of dreams,
i am bathed in warm honey
that pools at the base of my spine,
rinsed in river water,
and loved.



filled with wanting


{the first of these}

she entered
in gold-covered brown skin;
african face under a halo of hair.

i was already in bed
i'm not sure which...

she made no sound;
her smile awakened me...
sweet. full.
adorned with glossy blackberries.

suddenly, she's leaning over me.
i don't think i ever spoke;
her presence paralyzes.

slowly, she kisses me,
now i'm afraid--
even as i return the gesture
through a haze of shock.

what do i do with this woman?

she lingers, then pulls back
there must be fear in my eyes
'cause there's more warmth in her smile.

she tells me--without speaking--that she will teach me...

i gulp air
and wait.
she hovers over me
then bends down for another kiss...

my arms reach for her waist
i relax my thighs to make room.
she is so
beautiful. warm.
more than.
and she loves me...that i know

the kiss deepens
we move
in a cacophony of light

i awake
nearly in love myself.

it was months before i understood
this was no mere dream
but a visitation.

She'd infused me
with a piece of my/Herself;
embedded Her love
in my humble human soul...


the dialogue

an exercise in self preservation.

sometimes we forget how strong we truly are...

the boys downstairs

{originally posted march, 2007}

aside from my alarm clock
the first thing I hear in the morning
are the cries of a 3 yr old child

after repeatedly hitting the snooze button
there’s the echo of
mommy yelling and
baby trying to figure out why she’s so mad

a few months ago it would be
mommy and daddy fighting that greeted me
7am or earlier
fussing about lies and all other manner of what not
i suppose the experiment in playing house failed
since daddy’s not there anymore

i don’t know what that boy did
pretty as he is
i remember coming out of the house the same time as them
and was greeted with a bright, cheerful “hi!”
then, later, the mischievous face
staring out of the front door calling
(I’m guessing she was in the basement doing laundry)
I playfully put a finger to my lips
and he grinned that pretty grin
at our quick game of peek-a-boo
and kept calling

i don’t pretend to know
what motherhood is like
but i understand a bit
about the making of happy children

i also know how the other little boy
who used to live in the same apartment
became my godson’s bully

…no one spoke to him
unless they were yelling
my gentle “hey” caught him as a deer in headlights
then he shot finger guns at me
(he was always shooting finger guns
or play ones
expecting you to fall down dead)

i remember hearing the tantrums he’d throw
after daddy dropped him off
on a weekend or
after a weeknight visit
remember thinking
that anger’s gonna get him in
big trouble



urban haiku

{originally posted april, 2006}

she got them across
the busy street in one piece.
brown boys safe for now.


questions: a drumchant

who listens
when brown girls cry?

who loves them
when they're lonely?

who offers sweet smiles
on days they don't feel pretty?

who understands
brown girl pain--
the special moments
the breakdowns
before the breakthroughs?

who walks the road
to their recovery
with them?
do we deserve
emotional pit crews
trained in instant repair?

who knows
what's wrong
before we reveal the frown?

who listens...
who loves...
who offers...
who understands...
who walks...
who knows...



pushing out words and tears...
as they leave, chills settle over my shoulders.


the fight

dreamt of deep tombs filled with wary bones...
a botanica/jewelry store built on top.

as my "mother" and i were leaving,
a ham-fisted man caught us in the hallway.
we tried to keep walking.
the man's wife tried to keep him walking.

he threatened anyway.
came for mother first.

somehow, in a way i didn't see, she cut him.
slashed right across his throat, but he dripped instead of gushing.
tasted his blood, fed it back to him...

i was shocked.
then it occurred to me:
she wanted to know how insane he had to be to step to her.
the blood told her.
she said,
"if you would harm someone, harm yourself first. drink your own blood."

that's when he, weakened, lifted his fat hand to slap her.
i waited.
he did.
i got my hand around his bloodied neck
and choked him til his eyes bulged,
saying, "don't you ever lay a hand on my mother..."

"draw me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge; to your hands i commit my spirit, by you have i been redeemed." ~psalm 31:4-5


omo oshun

sometimes i forget
that love will always bring me back to center...
fill the holes
mend what's broken
seal the cracks.

sweet scents.
shea butter rubdowns singing silent love notes to my body.
hot tea after a hot bath.
tracing the lines of my tattoos...remembering their intent.

love surrounds, protects, insulates me.
love is my guide, shield, weapon and light.

love guides my waters home
and water has no enemy.

ore yeye o


for kings, soldiers, babas, brothas and lions

dedicated to the fall of tkon

i have become
everything you've asked of me:

my hair is coiled
into beautiful roots...
i wear bright colors
long skirts
the copper bangles you like.

feed the babies vegetables and fruits
i grow with my own hands
and watch us all glow.

but you complain
if i cry;
deny my reason
if i reveal my heart.
i know the stories of our african kings just as you do
{i overlook your dismissal of the queens,
but whisper their stories to our daughter...}

no one cries for my deferred dreams
not even me...
maybe i need to release those backed up tears
when i hear a beautiful poem
or song
or when you hold me
...if you hold me.

i cannot help who i am.

is there a reason your heart
must remain locked away?

i love your mind,
but i also know you have a soul.
i glimpsed it when our daughter was born,
when our son took his first steps.

i'd like to get to know it.
but it never emerges for me.

because of the struggle.
because the people's pain trumps our own.
because i can take it.
because you're "over it."

i have become
everything you've asked of me.

but you never asked me
to be

a moment

breathing love
into the sad spaces
and sore places...


an open love letter

to the tall, beautiful, kind-hearted brotha-i-don't-know-yet, 

i have to admit, i am a little nervous, writing to you.  see, some time ago, i thought i'd found the person i'd spend the rest of my life with.  things didn't work out.

that's where you come in. events appear to have conspired to find us here, searching for one another across these spaces and times.



candles and honey.

sandalwood-scented house under a full moon...

dreaming of new love as shakti dances up and down my spine...


about the author...

see here.


i hear you talking...

please know--
in the midst of your arrogant self defense--
i'm already treating myself better
than you ever could.

i'm not the one you need to worry about
or answer to...


brimming abundance

"long as you have your voice...you'll never need arms to hold you..."

i feel...full, self contained.
a world unto myself.
content as a well-fed child.

my entire emotional self seems to have shifted into some new phase of evolution.

although my loving, empathic spirit deeply fears loneliness in the long run, i have settled into the extraordinary power of this epiphany.

i can always share myself with the right person, but i will choose and determine the necessity of that sharing.

this is mine to know, to hold.

i am awake.

i have my voice.



~for c. 

i look down and notice
there are galaxies
behind his eyes

with me,
he remembers

pomba gira's song

i am enchanted by her rhythms, her colors...

as a child who'd newly overcome her fear of halloween,
i dressed up as a devil lady.
another time, a black cat.
no princesses, no cartoon characters, no tiaras...

as we stand in the light of growth
we cannot ignore the shadows
power lies in both sides - and all the shades of grey.