for some it is
a glass of wine
at the end of a stressful day
a grueling and intense
session at the gym
to work off steam
for some it is
headphones in the ears
and volume on blast
not a second thought
spent on the past
it’s a slow drag
then passed along
out with the smoke
it is this pen
and these pages
and this emotion
you may keep
your spirits and
you may have
and your substances
but leave for me
on the page
I am free
this pen takes me
anywhere I want to be
I can plunge down deep
digging into the depths of despair
or I can traverse the tricky
terrain of life’s troublesome trials
I can linger a while in lament
or I can relish a reverie of the ridiculous
I can soar high on the strong wing of hope
or I can anguish in the longings of love
I can roar and storm with rage
or I can whisper a gentle rainfall of tears
save my own
but even those I put on mute
while pen glides
leaving ink footprints in the shape of
is where I
Poetry is my
in which to
gaze upon my soul’s countenance
an image I carry with me
when forced through
the madhouse maze of
distorted carnival mirrors
Poetry reminds me
who I am
who I want to be
I am not white
I am not female
I simply am
from so many different angles
of our upbringing–
something has always told us
that as women,
we are responsible
to keep everything
we present to the world
from our bodies
to our dinner tables
has been ingrained
into the innermost parts
of our minds
of our being
inequality is not pretty
depression is not neat
grief is not tidy
oppression is not delicious
abuse is not lovely
injustice is not attractive
disappointment is not desirable
the truth is ugly
break the bonds
of what society has called
re-image a standard of
let us be true to our souls
let us love our bodies
let us relinquish “should be”
let us embrace our imperfections
let us give volume to our voices
let us be authentic
let us be whole
let us be ourselves
For my nieces, that they might be themselves with joyful abandon. For all the womyn I know who are themselves, apologetically. For all the men who know how to cherish real beauty.
“Go ahead and dress to impress,
but you should careless about the press.
Because when it comes down to the rest, the vital stress is the success to suppress the congress’ devious address to regress ourselves from thy self-consciousness’ awareness ,”
She cries, “Shut up jess!
Hey, I just don’t want to look like a mess.
Besides you’re powerless to refresh the oppressed.
They’re helpless and far too repressed to gain access of escaping into progress.
All your work will be just meaningless.
I don’t mean to digress,
I must confess, i’m just feeling so damn distressed.
I want to find my precious looking dress, i don’t know what to wear next!
I’m looking like a freaking train wreck.”
“Look at you.
Stop and observe of how you’re expressing your terms.
Listen to your words.
You sound extremely curbed.
I strongly discourage your urge of falling into an endless desire of wanting to splurge.
The thought of these possessions got you seeming disturbed.
I suggest an everlasting recess.
Time to repossess the habits of your TRUE assets.
To invest in your reflex to text is what you have to dismiss next.
I know this is a complex process but what you need is a prequisite to allow your mind to permanently reset.
Trust, you won’t regret.
All this, is just a gist of superficial temporary bliss.
Take a hint from this synopsis.
This ain’t real happiness.
I assure you won’t miss this materialistic business.
Awake from your hypnosis of unproductiveness.
You will pass this.
I insist, stay ambitious.
It just takes PRACTICE.
Be an Activist.”
The sun has arised!
Feel that warm glow on your skin.
Open thy eyes,
let the light settle in.
Enjoy you’re alive.
This is what thou must realize:
Know that we will win this battle we all face within.
Dig deep inside and you’ll find peace.
Reside your mind with a kind rhyme and you shall be released.
Limit the beliefs and these fantasies will cease to be reached and
remain discrete from ones realities…
Did i say that clearly?
Well, I feel the need to preach.
Listen in and hear me, please.
Evaluate this phase to replace this foul taste to penetrate and force
innocents by the waist.
Resist to activate!
Rehabilitate from this corrupt way to procreate.
Self operate if thy actions have taken place.
It’s not too late to contemplate!
Edit this trait.
Retrace your paces, rewind and erase.
Reiterate to lift off those heavy weights.
Don’t degrade into your hate.
Segregate from that damned place.
Quit to stimulate and aggravate disease into the state.
Integrate and assimilate to accommodate so we can liberate this human race from being raped.
Stand and allocate to terminate this proliferating rate.
Rise to precipitate our path to deviate from this unfortunate fate.
Recreate a gateway to bring joy and advocate to contain the faith.
Revelate your talent, don’t procrastinate or let it go to waste.
Predicate your passion.
Dedicate to originate!
You’re not a disgrace so keep your chin up!
Trust, I woudn’t prevaricate or dissimulate because lies creates all to fall from grace.
All these fakes need to awake and emancipate from their masquerades.
Try to facilitate and educate those wanting to compensate.
Have compassion for your fellow mates.
Cultivate to evolve and regenerate all into our brighter days.
Work to alleviate the fallen.
Once done then we all can praise the rise of the humankind.
But while kept inside where there’s no shine,
Scrutinize and say, “I know mine…”.
Strive to survive, not deprive your life from sunrise.
You gotta spend some time.
Love, shall entice and feel so right.
All will visualize and ignite thy divine light!
So wipe your eyes from crying.
Thou will be just fine.
And when no longer confined take a step forward only when you can forgive and start over again.
Repent and be penitent.
Dispense the occurrence of admittance into intense constant adamant impertinence.
Be vigilant of the forbiddens.
forgiveness to your Brethren is relevant.
Rather than building a hurt weapon as a mason,
construct a plan for your development.
Make that your occupation.
Organization can lead the way.
Your ready to set.
Time to play.
This isn’t the end.
Breathe in this present moment…
We must stay persistent to uplift friends into an emergent state of coexistence.
There is no difference, we are all equivalent.
Even the malevolent are convenient.
Become advent that the absence of bad presence seizing into innocence and confluence represents a prevention of a declaration of a balance within the earth’s inhabitant’s sense of recognition towards a new
Coherence will influence subsequent fervent contents of the current environment to commence.
Indeed a transcendent evolution.
Do your best to be consistent.
My intent of this document is to enhance our performance in this resistance of frequent interference from insignificant substance.
Study the flagrant evidence.
Check out some reference.
Understand the circumstance.
Stray away from mis-perceptions.
Try some separation.
There are many different repellents.
It’s always good to have an abundance.
Utterance is my favorite way to vent.
To brush against a canvas is a proficient antidepressant.
believe you have a limitless extent.
Don’t believe those who tell you, you are incompetent.
Because everyone is important and significant.
Trust in yourself, in others, and then…
It will be clear and evident that all of this was meant to happen.
Overcome the opponent of pestilence and take a movement for enlightenment because self amendment will be time well spent.
Well, these are my tenets to save our planet from pollutants.
I’d appreciate any pronouncements.
“…be attentive to what is arising within you, and place that above everything else…What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your entire love; somehow you must find a way to work at it.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
…Innermost self…worthy of your entire love…
Empowerment. Ultimately we are the only ones who can give ourselves permission to love, “what is rising within us,” above everything else. How many among us are able to grant ourselves that? I was born into a culture that revers ideals that represent the opposite of what Rilke encourages; self-sacrifice & martyrdom are fed to us, especially to females from the time of conception.
We are guided and prized along a path of continuous service. Service to our parents, our siblings, our faith. All needs, wants, desires, that rise within us are set aside to attend to the others: warm your father’s and brother’s tortillas; wash their dishes; do their laundry; make their beds; sweep the floors; mop…an endless circular list of chores. The older attend to the younger, females to males, younger to elderly.
We are encouraged to yearn for the day we will be the zero to the right of a man that will choose us based on our virginal worth. A silent partner that will give him courage, strength, and value. To raise our children in line with the values we have been raised with.
We have, many of us, been raised to distrust what may ever happen in our “innermost self.” We are provided with stories of fallen women, social discards, continuing examples of what could happen to us.
And then there are those among us who–so loved, were they, for their uniqueness by their mothers, fathers, a “strange” aunt or grandparent–were allowed, and who allowed themselves to escape to their innermost selves!
Set me free!
I beg myself.
I raise my hands up
But my womb stays in place
The soles of my feet mold into the mud
my toes clench the brown clay dirt
the hardest place to arrive is inside me
I am a series of smiles and tears
What might I more be?
Steal my insides please!
Take the butterflies
I set them free as I keep blind
I can’t see, I’m caught up in getting free
Arms up to the sky
Can I help you unknowingly?
Just don’t hold me down
I’m to busy getting me free
And take all their little wings
To help you glide and glow in time over the sky
And if you don’t need these creatures of ideas, love, support, and gentle touch,
For I won’t recognize what comes out of me
I’m too busy getting me free
I’m getting what I need
To be seen as a human with a womb
You can love me, buy me, even hurt me
But I’m here for my goods
All men are created equal
But our wombs and our breasts get in the way
Bartering butterflies for freedom
Practically on my knees I beg
We women got to get free
And let our herstory speak!
Every woman does this by any means
A year ago, my brother Seth and Ali, his girlfriend of 2 years, visited my parents in Oklahoma. While Ali appreciated the family-centric culture of our hometown, she commented on the emphasis on getting married young. Girls remarked she had the “patience of Job” at not receiving a ring by this point in the relationship. When she went to our high school’s homecoming festivities, the queen candidates expressed future goals of finding the men of their dreams and getting married. Though most of my brother’s friends are in their early twenties, most are either married or hope to be soon.
The positive side of this is that family is given such high value, but as someone who’s 30 and single, I have also seen the great benefits of having time to grow and develop on my own. I’m not writing this to knock people who marry young. I know plenty of couples that married right out of high school, during college, or soon after, that have had long-lasting, successful marriages. But I do want to encourage people who’ve chosen or found themselves on a different route.
I’ve had a myriad of experiences over the last several years that I probably wouldn’t have had if I’d been married. I studied art and Medieval spirituality in Italy, taught American group dances and English in Poland, auditioned for American Gladiators and met Hulk Hogan, competed in 6 triathlons, moved cross-country to attend grad school, danced on the stage of Dancing with the Stars, and I’m currently training for my first marathon.
All that to say I’m not sitting at home, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for someone to come and “complete” me. It’s very empowering to find your first job or place to live, to set up a retirement account, to travel on your own, and to do these and many other things without the safety net of a spouse. So while you may have days of something-less-than-enthusiasm over your single state, I’m going to suggest you do something radical…embrace it.
Say “table for one” with confidence.
Go to that movie you’ve been dying to see…by yourself.
Buy something you’ve been eyeing and don’t worry about having to tell anyone about it!
Spend a day/week/month experiencing a new neighborhood/city/country on your own.
Enjoy your own company.
The poet Mary Oliver states it beautifully:
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When its over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
Here’s to amazement, taking the world in our arms, and doing more than simply visiting!
Once upon a time a beautiful little girl was born. She was precious, sweet, joyful, and full of wonder. She loved nature, laughter, windy days and cute kittens; her horse was one of her best friends in life. This lovely little girl could be found helping creatures in need – trapped lady bugs, snails stuck on the sidewalk, cats in the rain, and hugging homeless dogs.
Some days the little girl would curl up on her bed, read a good book, stare at the clouds, or listen to her music and dream of other lives and lands. She had a talent for drawing and painting. When words would not work, she expressed herself in colors, art and poetry. She loved butterflies, and sparklers, and kites, and coco, and dancing, and swimming, and climbing trees….and twirling around and around for no particular reason.
The little girl was a good student when she wanted to be; she had a flair for organizing her work and attending to details that helped her and others shine. Her appearance was also very unique as her hair looked golden some days, red on some days, and still other days, it was a rich dark chocolate color! Her eyes had the unusual quality of appearing green, brown, blue and hazel…all at the same time! Often people did not know what to make of this little girl – she was both light and dark, happy and sad, graceful and clumsy, outgoing and shy.
In many ways, she was every little girl.
As the little girl grew, she was known for her kind heart, great sense of humor, outgoing personality, and quiet intelligence. Even though life wasn’t perfect [and some days could be pretty hard, lonely and scary], this little girl had a secret…a secret that only she knew about. Deep inside she knew she was different and special…she could just feel it! She knew this to be true because when she stopped and listened to her heart, the steady beat reminded her over and over again:
You are precious
You are special
You are unique
You are valuable
You are a princess!
This little girl held onto to her heart’s secret knowledge of her special inner princess. She feared that no one would really believe her if they found out, or worse yet, maybe they would even make fun of her. Truth be told, some days when bad things happened, it was even hard to believe it herself!
Especially the days when she felt like SHE was the bad thing. The days when she was hurt, abandoned, disappointed, wounded, shamed or pressured by someone she loved. And sometimes, the voice of her heart felt muffled when she told a lie, or when she was mean, manipulative, secretive, or when she gossiped, snapped at her mom, stole something, kicked, stomped, sulked, slammed…and was generally pretty miserable.
Sometimes it got so bad, that she would actually have a:
Sometimes her tantrums were loud and proud, sometimes sulky and…well…kind of obnoxious! As she got older, she learned to hide her tantrums on the inside where no one was the wiser. Where no one could guess what she was feeling – especially not the little girl. She would smile on the outside, but hidden away deep down inside, were numbed feelings that she had been told were bad. And the weirdest thing of all..she did not even know it! It was as if something was trying to silence her heart’s secret princess message.
The years continued to unfold and the little girl discovered both the joys and pains of life. While there were many adventures and lovely memories and moments to cherish, she also discovered that people sometimes leave you, hearts can be broken, that lies are told with smiles, that rain falls on sunny days, and that people and pets we love and cherish pass on to other places. At times the little girl felt lost, alone and frightened. Other times she felt angry, resentful and filled with hurt. And sometimes, well…she felt just plain hopeless.
Where she used to draw hearts and rainbows, where she used to dream of love, joy and adventure, where she used to dance naturally and organically with abandon, where she used to wish and pray….little by little this began to fade away and was replaced by other ways of coping in order to silence her wounded heart.
One night as the little girl slept, a dream monster revealed itself to her. This monster was responsible for stealing the hope and confidence of girls, and had been stalking this particular little girl for many, many years. The monsters name was:
S H O U L D
Monster Should reminded the little girl that his job was to creep around feeding his fiendish friends: Doubt, Dissatisfaction, Envy, and Apathy. He would drown out her beating heart’s message of hope with his loud ticking clock to remind her that she was slowly but steadily… running out of time.
Monster Should informed the little girl in no uncertain terms that he and his cruel friends were going to continue to set up home in her mind for as long as they darn well wanted to. And that the only way she could banish them was by listening to her true heart’s voice of hope.
As the little girl awoke with a start, and shook off the bad dream, Monster Should chuckled to himself, knowing full well that it was very hard for little girls to learn how to listen to their authentic hearts. The evil monster knew that he had a lot of support in the outside world that would happily assist him with his nasty cause.
And he was right. For a very long time, the little girl learned to should all over herself. The monsters ticking messages within her head said things like, “I should be prettier, I should have a better education, I should have more money, thinner thighs, a better job, a cuter hair cut, a nicer home, a fabulous car, a man to support me, a work out schedule, more discipline, more friends, more, more, more, I should, I should, I should….”
In the harder moments, sometimes the little girl ate too much in order to sooth herself. Other times she took a pill, smoked or drank. Sometimes she slept..and slept..and slept. Sometimes she watched TV, or stayed on the Internet for hours on end. Sometimes she clung to the shredded tatters of old relationships that no longer fit. Other times she shopped and dieted, and exercised herself silly! And many times, she worked her fingers to the bone to keep herself distracted from what really matters.
And…what really matters?
One day, many years later, the little girl found herself living in a land that was flanked by mountains of both flame and snow to the north, and a vast and mysterious sea to the south. It was filled with palm trees, hidden trails, sparkling streams, dessert canyons, and flowers of every kind. After some time had passed, a new season came to be known in the land, and it was proclaimed:
The Compassion Season
As this new season arrived, for the first time in a very long time, the little girl began to stand still in her life and listen to her heartbeat. Monster Should’s ticking thoughts grew fainter and fainter. And as she settled down into that familiar feeling of knowing that she had a special princess deep within, she began to trust her heart again. Beat by beat, the language and lessons came back to her. Her heart was telling her so many things that she had forgotten, and some things that she was hearing for the very first time!
She even found out that her secret princess name was Tout Le Monde!!
As the season of compassion matured, Monster Should and his vile buddies fled one by one for other habitation. And this beautiful, precious, sweet, creative, funny, intelligent, artistic little girl who was now a woman, began to express her authentic self, to honor her heart’s voice of hope, and to awaken to a life that was like a new present each day to unwrap. She discovered that some days the presents were just what she asked for, and other days, it was a gift she needed, but had not known.
Again and again, she realized that life did not have to be perfect, people did not need to be perfect, situations did not have to be perfect, and best of all she did not need to be perfect either…Hurray! And even in the imperfect moments, with imperfect people and her imperfect self, she could still be grateful and she could still create new possibilities each and every day of her life. She even created a princess tiara just for herself; she decorated it with all the colors and designs she loved, and on the inside she wrote her secret princess name Tout Le Monde so she would always remember she was a gift and a blessing, and that she had value and meaning in this world. In fact, her secret princess name meant “all the world.”
As we say farewell to Tout Le Monde, we leave her with our good and healing thoughts, our starlit wishes, and sweet sister prayers as she continues to discover all of the wonderful gifts that are just waiting for her.
And now, we bring the story to ourselves, to our own life and journey and precious inner princess. We now know that the road ahead will be filled with both harsh stones and refreshing streams. Yet we can breath easy on the more difficult parts of the path, as we listen to our own authentic heartbeat reminding us that:
This story is my story.
I am that lovely little girl.
I have a life that is worth living.
I have talents that are uniquely my own.
I am a valued child.
I am a woman of strength.
I am an over comer.
I am a gift.
I am an authentic being.
I am worth loving.
I parked behind a flashy car
out of which a woman stepped
I noticed her license plate
around which these words proclaimed:
I’M BAD…because the men like it
and I thought about
all the decades
all the centuries
all of history
during which womyn
have been taught
ourselves into some more
“palatable” version of womyn
in the end
we are not womyn
and for those who resisted
and still do resist
there awaits her
sentencing to solitary singleness
without the possibility of parole.
we’ve learned that
if we like men
if we hope to be liked
we need to be
what the men like
pushed things up
cinched things in
stuck things out
“because…the men like it”
gave things up
kept things in
went with out
“because…the men like it”
but now here I am
what is not me
by striving toward
in which I
do not believe
all because…the men like it?
Now, I cannot lie
I do love a good man
but I gotta love myself more
because a man?
well, he may stay
or he may go
’til death do us part
I’m bound to my self
authentically ever after
so here is how I plea
sentence as you will:
I’m me…because I like it