Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden

•July 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.

Excerpted from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden

Consolidation

•April 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Dear Reader,

The likes, follows and whatnot have done my spirit and writing over the few brief years I have been sharing quotes with you. However, the times they do change and so must I.

I have imported my diary into my main blog, http://stilllivingonmyfeet.com.  During my not infrequent post hiatuses, I scour the Internet to find and read things that will assist me in my goal of getting my own writings and other literature out to the reading public. Today, I read this:

#4 TOO MANY BLOGS

How many is too many? For most writers, two is too many, because you end up neglecting one or the other 50% of the time. As Kristen Lamb says : “When do writers need multiple blogs? Um, never.”

Unless you write erotica or extreme political stuff that’s not suitable for all readers, put all the stuff on one blog. Don’t make your readers jump through hoops to find your author blog.

If you want to blog about recipes AND zombies AND collecting floaty pens, use your pages. Blogger has 20 of them. Until you fill them all up, you do not need a second blog.

If you write books under different names, have a page for each. Ruth Harris and I share a blog. We don’t even write in the same genre. I write rom-com mysteries and she writes womens’ fiction and thrillers. But we are able to co-habit. We have a page for Ruth’s books and a page for Anne’s. We also have an About Ruth page and an About Anne page. And we still leave much of the blog unused.

If you write SciFi under the name Brad Goodyear and sweet romance under the name Beryl Goodwife, find a neutral color scheme and let Brad and Beryl share. Everybody who is trying to find you will be grateful.

What Annie had to say was inordinately helpful and I decided to take the advice she so freely offered. Hence, the consolidation.

It is my hope that everyone who has followed and/or liked this blog will migrate with me.  I will keep this blog “alive” until May 1st. At that time what has been a semi-hellish semester involving the ancient Greeks, ethics and the problems of modern Ireland will be over and I’ll be able to breathe and share more consistently!

 

Thank you,

Siah

Reflections on the Boston Marathon

•April 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I am against terror in any of its manifestations. Any of its manifestations? How many manifestations can terror have? Isn’t it strictly Islamic fundamentalist? Growing up as a black immigrant girl child in Boston during the late 70’s and 80’s, I have to say no. In fact, I have to say more than no. I have to say this.

This is how dichotomy works in the US:  there is the legal economy of drugs (pharmaceuticals) and the illegal economy of drugs (meth – or whatever its street name is currently; crack/cocaine, etc). There is legal terror (the pigs) and illegal terror (Boston marathon bombing). The legal is sanctioned. The illegal is not. Everything inhumanely possible is being done to coerce our support for the reasoning behind the legal economy and the legal terror while corresponding attempts are made to coerce us into closing our minds and hearts to the correlation between the two.

If you need it said poetically to get what I’m saying: here it is.

Twin Towers

We are reflections of each other
except I’m on the top
and refuse to look down.

We are reflections
except I’m on the bottom
constantly looking up.

We are reflections
but I stand in the sun
which lights the way.

We are reflections of each other
but I stand under the moon
which lights the night.

We are twins
yet I stand tall.
We are twins
yet I crawl.

We are the twins towers
of poverty and privilege
connected
by an umbilical cord
which pumps
only bad blood.

Oh look!

A plane is coming our way.
Come, plane, come!

We are the twin towers
of poverty and privilege
and there is nothing
permanent
that one plane or two
can do to us.

We can be tortured.
The steel that structures us
can be made to scream.
Cities can be blanketed
in the ash
of our destruction.
Thousands upon thousands
can die.

What is that to us?

Once the wind clears
and time has silenced the cries;
once we have sent our own
to kill and be killed
we will be rebuilt
even higher

as a single monument
to the twin towers
of poverty and privilege.

Twin Towers was excerpted from my first book, In the Whirlwind.

 

The Four Steps Required to Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Garden

•April 5, 2013 • 2 Comments

In addition to being a mad reader, I am an urban gardener-in-progress even if I am currently limited to balcony gardening.

word pond

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God in Her Infinite Wisdom Sends Crows by Christina Pacosz

•April 5, 2013 • 2 Comments

National Poetry Month, Day 5. It fits into the poetry/nature motif that is the theme of my postings for this month.

word pond

God in Her Infinite Wisdom Sends Crows
by Christina Pacosz

For weeks now God has been trying
to send messages with what is available.
Leaves, a thousand eyelids opening,
the iridescent scrawl of slugs,
mundane waterfalls dripping off eaves,
the rare sunlight
and daily gift of mud.

And God has been especially
persistent about sending crows.
Suddenly black feathers
appear at my feet.
Cr aa a k  audible above the thunk of my axe,
the ringing phones at the office.
The visibility of crows

Sunday strutting on the fence,
their middle of the week, middle class
plump edge, dark before the salt
and foam of waves.
The self satisfaction of crows
in the wind and on mowed lawns.
God guarantees crow call on waking,

the only sure thing all day.
I see wings, dark, indecipherable
statements in a gray sky.
When I am certain no one is about
I strike…

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Picking On Rick Ross: Runt of the Hip Hop Litter

•April 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The author may not be an activist but she is definitely a thinker!

Phillis Remastered

I’m a radical Black feminist and proud of it, but I don’t call myself an activist. I write and once in a while I get paid for it, but that’s about it. You’re not going to see me marching in the streets or getting arrested, mainly because I was a victim of abuse in my childhood and young adulthood, and I’m not going to willingly put myself in harm’s way again. Call me a coward. Call me a Weak Negro Intellectual Punk.

Guilty.

The other reason I don’t call myself an activist is because I don’t like to be around people with no home training, trying (and failing) to get them to see things my way. I don’t have a winning personality that gets people to take my side. I figure, I’m right—and if they don’t want to get with this right here, then they can get with that over…

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A Letter to Dr. Martin Luther King ~ Sonia Sanchez (National Poetry Month, Day 4)

•April 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Dear Martin,

Great God, what a morning, Martin!

The sun is rolling in from faraway places. I watch it reaching out, circling these bare trees like some reverent lover. I have been standing still listening to the morning, and I hear your voice crouched near hills, rising from the mountain tops, breaking the circle of dawn.

You would have been 54 today.

As I point my face toward a new decade, Martin, I want you to know that the country still crowds the spirit. I want you to know that we still hear your footsteps setting out on a road cemented with black bones. I want you to know that the stuttering of guns could not stop your light from crashing against cathedrals chanting piety while hustling the world.

Great God, what a country, Martin!

The decade after your death docked like a spaceship on a new planet. Voyagers all we were. We were the aliens walking up the ’70s, a holocaust people on the move looking out from dark eyes. A thirsty generation, circling the peaks of our country for more than a Pepsi taste. We were youngbloods, spinning hip syllables while saluting a country neutral with pain.

And our children saw the mirage of plenty spilling from capitalistic sands.

And they ran toward the desert.

And the gods of sand made them immune to words that strengthen the breast.

And they became scavengers walking on the earth.

And you can see them playing. Hide-and-go-seek robbers. Native sons. Running on their knees. Reinventing slavery on asphalt. Peeling their umbilical cords for a gold chain.

And you can see them on Times Square, N.Y.C., Martin, selling their 11-, 12-year-old, 13-, 14-year-old bodies to suburban forefathers.

And you can see them on Market Street in Philadelphia bobbing up bellywise, young fishes for old sharks.

And no cocks are crowing on those mean streets.

Great God, what morning, it’ll be someday, Martin!

That decade fell like a stone on our eyes. Our movements. Rhythms. Loves. Books. Delivered us from the night, drove out the fears keeping some of us hoarse. New births knocking at the womb kept us walking.

We crossed the cities while a backlash of judges tried to turn us into moles with blackrobed words of reverse racism. But we knew. And our knowing was like a sister’s embrace. We crossed the land where famine was fed in public. Where black stomachs exploded on the world’s dais while men embalmed their eyes and tongues in gold. But we knew. And our knowing squatted from memory.

Sitting on our past, we watch the new decade dawning. These are strange days, Martin, when the color of freedom becomes disco fever; when soap operas populate our Zulu braids; as the world turns to the conservative right and general hospitals are closing in Black neighborhoods and the  young and the restless are drugged by early morning refer butts. And houses tremble.

These are dangerous days, Martin, when cowboy-riding presidents corral Blacks (and others) in a common crown of thorns; when nuclear-toting generals recite an alphabet of blood; when multinational corporations  assassinate ancient cultures while inaugurating new civilizations. Come out come out, wherever you are. Black country. Waiting to be born…

But, Martin, on this day, your 54th birthday–with all the reversals–we have learned that black is the beginning of everything.
it was black in the universe before the sun;
it was black in the mind before we opened our eyes;
it was black In the womb of our mother;
black is the beginning.
and if we are the beginning we will be forever.

Martin. I have learned too that fear is not a black man or woman. Fear cannot disturb the length of those who struggle against material gains for self-aggrandizement. Fear cannot disturb the good of people who have moved to a meeting place where the pulse pounds out freedom and justice for the universe.

Now is the changing of the tides, Martin. You forecast it where leaves dance on the wings of man. Martin. Listen. On this your 54th birthday, listen and you will hear the earth delivering up curfews to the missionaries and the assassins. Listen. And you will hear the tribal songs:

Ayeee Ayooooo Ayeee
Ayeee Ayooooo Ayeee

Malcolm…                                                          Ke wa rona*
Robeson…                                                          Ke wa rona
Lumumba…                                                       Ke wa rona
Fannie Lou…                                                     Ke wa rona
Garvey…                                                             Ke wa rona
Johnbrown…                                                    Ke wa rona
Tubman…                                                           Ke wa rona
Mandela…                                                          Ke wa rona
(free Mandela,
free Mandela)
Assata…                                                              Ke wa rona

As we go with you to the sun,
as we walk in the dawn, turn our eyes
Eastward and let the prophecy come true
and let the prophecy come true.
Great God, Martin, what a morning, it will be!

*he is ours

Poem excerpted from Homegirls and Handgrenades

Sonia Sanchez website

Song by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sweet Honey in the Rock website