Do We Live?

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

‘Everyone gets to be born – which is a lot of people’

~ My 4 year old daughter a short moment ago at bedtime.~

I wish I could have said to her that not everyone gets to live though, dear – but I am glad I didn’t. So I say it here. LIVE the best you can. That one chance we all get could evaporate today.

We can never be reminded of that too many times.




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Part three.

You appeared in my dreams too often,

A stranger.

Before I could put a face to your name, 

Before your name knew the inside of my mouth, 

Before time said, ‘Okay. Enough.

You, were a prayer in my mind,

Over and over.

That shadow of a doubt that followed every relationship

That nagging voice insisting, ‘he is not the one’, and

he was not my friend,

and how unfair,

That there are people in the world that can recite a million things about you

When I’ve been waiting to meet you for the better part of my life.

And when finally you came,

You didn’t stay

Because it wasn’t you, but your voices sounded the same, and I was blind,

and forgive me baby,

but seeing is difficult when all your other senses get in the way.

And isn’t it crazy,

That conversations hang like corpses in the closets of ex-lovers we are still trying to forget?

Lovers that keep secrets of night and dawn folded under their tongues,

Who can probably describe to me in great detail exactly what you tasted like,

That night.

In the park.

Three years ago.

When I lay in bed less than a hundred miles away,

After my third breakup

With the same boyfriend.

And isn’t it funny, 

That even fate has a sense of humor

It takes experience, 

To rip the wool from over our eyes

And after we have given,

So much of ourselves freely to strangers we have met along the way

I can only hope,

That when time

Finally clears a path from where I am, to where you are

That they’ll be enough of us left over,

To still be able to call it home.

“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”


Have a read…

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

Young Writers of Colour

by Hip Hop Teacher

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial…

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The Lost Verse

You’re the kind of thing I keep in that part of my brain
Where I store stuff for later
After my six hour slumber

Will I remember you when I wake up?
When my body serpents across the sheets
and sky darts its tiny fingers into my still sensitive flesh?

Oh, how morning hurts sometimes
It’s arrogance is petty
Not all thoughts are sins,
We are not all trying to be born again

I just need a grip
Or a nail
Or something to cement you to my frontal cortex

Anything to keep you at the front of my mind
Anything to have you as you are



I’m fading.
I’m not looking for commitment–
I’m tired.

All I ask
Is that you resurrect in my mouth instead of retreating into a memory

Give me something to look forward to,
and I vow to never keep you prisoner again

What I try to d…

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come. — Maya Angelou

Performance is key to getting students hooked on writing poetry

Originally posted on Mass Poetry:


MassPoetry is sponsoring school programs to promote poetry, especially spoken word poetry. This interview with Dr. Susan Weinstein is the first of a series of stories on the benefits of spoken word poetry in the classroom. Dr. Weinstein is an associate professor of English and Director of the Secondary English Concentration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.


Dr. Susan Weinstein believes there are many ways to successfully teach students to write poetry, but she is convinced there is one crucial element that can’t be left out: performance. “It doesn’t have to be open mic or a slam contest. It can simply be having all the students read their poems aloud to each other.” Weinstein, an associate professor of English and Director of the Secondary English Concentration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, has a counterintuitive reason for believing performance us crucial. She believes there is…

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For Adam and Shania

When I was six years old, I got in trouble for playing with fire

Not because I burned anything

but because the plumber’s daughter was intimidated into admitting that I was the culprit behind the litter of matchsticks piled in our newly installed, yet-to-be-connected toilet bowl

A few years later, in the bathroom, I decided that instead of cutting a string that hung from my towel, I’d burn it

The spark meandered its way along the strip almost instantly

Quick thinking and countless movies showing people stomping fires out with their feet are the only things that kept the flame from spreading to the shower curtain.


Needless to say,

I’ve always had a fascination with fire.

Maybe it’s the way the flame dances with itself, waltzing around the emptiness,

Or the way the colours melt into each other like ink dripped into a puddle

Or it could be the fact that children are fearless and at seven years old I saw my cousin place a lit match full-flame on his tongue

and so to me, fire might as well have been synonymous with magic


Last week I read that two children died in a fire that started while they were home alone…asleep .

One paper said that the little girl was kneeling in a corner, the walls closing in on her was the last thing she saw aside from


and the colour red

And though she was in the perfect position for prayer,

The last prayer that left her lips went out to a woman who stood a wall away but wasn’t able to save her


Her brother,

Eleven years old

Died a few feet away

-no one reported hearing him cry out

They said,

His body was found in a protective position

In my mind, I imagine him hovering over her,

body a shield,

arms, a waning force-field,

I imagine he thought

if I close my eyes tight enough maybe I could block the pain out

Just maybe,

maybe if I pray loud enough in my mind then God will hear us


Their words…

Weren’t the only things that were eaten by flames that day.



When I was eight years old my biggest fear was the dark.

I’m almost 21 now and the only fire that’s ever broken my skin hugs from the inside.

I’m sorry my childhood hero was the one that dug your grave for you…

It must be hard to rest in peace with smoke in your lungs.


And Adam…


you will forever be more superhero than anyone I know.