my lil’ sista Thea…
my lil’ sista Thea…
my lil sista… Ms. Tam Blue
So very proud to call this woman my sista…
I keep a list of things that motivate me. One of them is inspiring others past their fears and doubts. Having just finished the final drafts to a play and working on a new novel, I needed lots of motivation! In March, I decided to have guest writers in celebration of Women’s History Month. I had guest blog spots for writers to contribute stories about or for women. I called it She Chronicles and it was a huge success to me!
How did I measure the success? With the majority of my invites being accepted and the writers meeting their deadlines! I reached out to writers I admire and follow on WordPress, Facebook, Google+ and from my personal life. The stories ranged from historical recognition, domestic abuse, family dedications, sexual abuse to stories of continued strive. The writers would submit their blogs with concluding words such as, “I hope people like it…”, “Tell me what you think first…” I must admit, EVERY story touched me. From insecurities to doubts to fearlessness to promise, I could relate to what was being said from the contributors. The two things that also resonated with me were, only one man accepted the offer and no Caucasian women accepted.
I’ll use the word fear. Because it was a doubt of this not being the right arena. Why? I’m not one to beat around the bush so… 1) because I am African American and 2) because I am a woman. This presents the exact reason behind dedicating a month with the intent to honor women. As far as the Caucasian women not responding in a positive light, we are more alike than different. Let’s continue to create our own narrative to entail how our communications should be aligned for motherhood, the work place, how we are represented in the arts and most importantly how we are remembered in history or should I say, HERstory.
If you haven’t had time to read the blogs from March, grab a cup of coffee put on your favorite house coat, and enjoy She Chronicles 2015.
She said all it would take is $10
to sense the spirits around me
and read my future.
But I tried to tell her it wasn’t me I was worried about
my prayers are blown to the
sunset gray ridden waves
that have washed my wishes and haunts
my prayers are for the
street prophets freestylin’
thinking they showed me love and let me slide
ignorant to the active place of genocide
in his backyard and her bosom.
I pray for abandoned children with two parents
I pray so long sometimes I fall asleep
and dream of the ancestors
I dream of heaven
I pray for women with deep
that only her missing child can scratch.
I pray poets with purpose
plant potent seeds for
progression with poise
I pray the baroque docks
so other poets can simply stop.
I pray this teaches those that know
that they don’t
so we can hold each other.
The incense hypnotized the seconds
as she checked her clock
she ended up
giving me $20.
nikki skies for National Poetry Month
“A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
This is not about a single boy being shot and killed in the street
This is about black boys being shot and killed in
the streets by a white men who took a vows to protect and serve
And how too often for the comfort of other black bodies do the shooters go free
This is not about Michael Brown
Not about Darren Wilson
But I wish it could be
This is about america and its broken promise for freedom
About children not growing into adulthood
This is about a community continually being asked to have grace in the face of our children being murdered
About life spans being cut short
This is about buried bodies and eulogies
This too is about Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant
About justice being elusive
About rage and war
About white people not owning their racism
About white guild and obliviousness
THIS is about an anger you can not comprehend from the luxury of your privilege
So be mindful of your mouth because the world is listening
Listening to the lack of compassion for a community in mourning
No, broken windows will not bring him back but it sure does drown out the sound of sobbing
Sure does distract from the confirmation that we live in a place that doesn’t give a fuck about my existence
Mutes the realization that people will call you an animal for expressing rage in the only way you have left
This is about race
And how normal it is not to care about people that don’t look like you
Easy to speak to something you know nothing about
Have you ever seen life leave a body?
Ever felt wronged and had not a thing you could do about it?
This anger is about having to explain to white people on twitter and instagram why buildings are being burned
Because that is the only way to get your attention
Standing politely asking to have a conversation about race breeds discomfort and moans about playing the race card but
What do you know of being born black?
What do you know of the conversations black parents must have with their children about the way the world will treat them?
What do you know of a mourning like this?
I ask you these things because this is where healing begins
The second we get past political correctness and tell the truth
It is hard to wake up somedays knowing people that look like me are used as target practice
Knowing that my brother has not and may NEVER be safe
That I am safer because of the illusion my skin and eyes provide
The truth is, some days I want to hide from embarrassment because we are so disconnected from humanity
Value things over life itself
Choose to ignore the complication of rectifying inequality
and wonder why buildings are burning
Do not confuse the fire during a riot as misplaced rage
They are sending smoke signals to the ancestors
Begging for the justice our government fails to provide
Ferguson is performance art
Find the meaning in the broken glass
In the de-constructed police cars
Find the irony in how quickly the tear gas flies from hands meant to protect
Their voices have been ignored but these burning buildings cannot be
I pray we find our humanity
Find truth and justice
Learn to listen past our bigotry
and let this city destroy in order to rebuild.
When did you know you were a poet?
It took me a long time to believe that what I was writing in my room could fall under the same category as the greats. I really struggled with claiming that title but I remember asking Brutha Gimel, a fellow poet, when I first was beginning to take myself seriously how I would know when it was ok to call myself a poet. His answer was simple “You don’t have to tell a tree it’s a tree.” That has always stuck with me. I have always known I wanted to say important things, it took until I was 20 to know that poetry would be the way I would do it.
Do you have a favorite style of poetry? If so, what is it?
I really love free verse. There is a structure to my writing naturally so I don’t need rules. I started writing for the freedom of it, so free verse it is.
What can poetry teach us about life?
Everything has transferable truth. Every single thing. Therefore, poetry has the possibility of teaching us everything we want to know. It is the wise person who can learn from listening or reading and fully understand the experience without having to learn it by doing. I have learned so much about the world by listening to people sharing the way they see and experience life.
Natalie Patterson is a poet with the heart of a photographer, she is about capturing the moment. She started her journey with poetry at the age of 19, while in College at California State University, Los Angeles. She spent 10 years at the nation’s largest poetry venue and worked her way to being the first female host and producer in the 17 year history. Natalie has traveled the country on a college tour, has appeared in film, tv and documentaries. She has been Director of Poetry for Collective Voices Foundation and currently is Vice President of SisterSupport.org, a non-profit committed to the advancement of women. When she is not traveling for speaking engagements, consulting for Sephora or teaching her workshop Re-Connecting: Vulnerability & integrity, she is working on new ways to use her voice to inspire other to live fully self expressed. To find out more about Natalie or her work: www.natalieispoetry.com
I was born in New York, Long Island. I spent my formative years living in a Commune in Northern California. In 79′ we moved to Harlem USA where Mom put me in a Catholic school… That didn’t turn out well. We then moved to Hempstead LI. In the spring of 79 where I grew up. I guess I have always been an artist, I drew before I could write, acted before I could spell… Although spelling is still a challenge.
I self published a book of poetry, Naked Under My Clothes ( I sold over 2,000 copies independently), We recorded the CD (Naked Under My Clothes) in 2014 and we are developing the one man stage performance due to premiere this year, I paint ( water colors and acrylics) and I am a photographer.
Everyone has challenges and dark times… I am no different. I spent 10 years living on the streets, park benches, subway and train stations of NY, DC an LA. Battling an addiction much stronger that I, doing unspeakable things to feed it, but I never begged and I never robbed anyone. That experience has taught me love (for those who save AND those who suffer) strength, how to see beauty in the ugly crevices and empathy, tools that are vital to my approach to photography and to how I live & give of my life.
I started shooting because I inherited a very expensive camera (2012) that I didn’t know how to turn on, I fell in love with this art form instantly. I have not attended any of the prestigious film schools or expensive classes, I’m a kinda ” hit that button and see what happens” kinda guy. Besides I’m an artist and the prospect of student loans suck…lol
December of 2013 I picked up my paint brushes again and went to wir. June of 2014 my paintings were shown in two galleries, Vapegoat Gallery and NWO Gallery. My work is currently at the “Along Came Serenity” Exhibit at the Nate Holden Theater in Los Angeles, Ca through May 20, 2015.
January of 2014 I was named as one of the 40 Black Artist to watch in 2014 by NBC’s the Grio, I was also interviewed by the Huffington Post the same month about my “Crack(s)” series… Not bad for a guy who was homeless right?
My Spoken Word CD Naked Under My Clothes will be released in 2014 and we are developing a one man show with the same title, also released in 2014.
I can’t say that I have won any awards, YET, but I do have the gift of life, shooting, painting, creating, sharing and loving what I do. Art, all forms of art, is a spiritual experience a communion between Higher Power&artist, artist and audience and all back to the Higher Power.
I am happy to share me with you and hope you enjoy. Peace – SG
IG, twitter and FB: Sage Gallon
We are women, at times we’re complicated or misbehavin’ depending on the day or date shall I say. We are amazing in our own way. We step up to the plate and make the impossible, possible. For without us the world wouldn’t populate due to our ovulation chart.
We are women and we are smart, talented, independent and fabulous. We make remarkable things happen, when we’re multi-tasking. We set goals and achieve them, honor our parents and believe them when they say we are winners in their eyes and don’t forget baby girl you’re the prize. Walk with your head held high, and be wise making decisions in life.
We are women and we are brave. To our men don’t be afraid if we’re too strong, we had to be through history when others did us wrong. But if you’re patient you’ll see, our love is deep as deep can be, and we’ll treat you like a king on a throne, standing beside you like the queen we were born to be and trust we’ll show nothing but loyalty to thee.
We are women who wear many hats, we’re mother’s who’ll protect their children no matter what, we’re wives who stands by our husbands side, we’re sisters who will ride or die, we’re cousins, granddaughters, friends to the end and great lovers. We run companies and have our own businesses, and some of us are just everyday women, hustling to try and get ahead, making it all look easy with various styles on our heads, naturally curly, kinky, blow dried or pressed, cut short or dreadlocks, braided, weaved up or the morning hair mess is our crown and glory and yes we are blessed beyond this story, with our stilettos on and a smile on our face, keeping our families happy or our single life in place.
We are women, hear me now, we live out loud and we are proud to be exactly who we were created to be, we are royalty to the Most High. Oh yes, everyone knows we are fly, or else the media wouldn’t glorify the things we’ve had our entire lives. We are women with beautiful thighs, luscious lips and seductive eyes and we’re not all just one size. We thrive on being the women we are, we are women and this is our song.
Where you always aware you were a writer?
I always knew there was a writer inside of me and I had a hidden talent for writing poetry and stories but suppressed it until recent years. I found writing to be therapeutic, it’s a way for me to escape reality and live my own fantasy.
What is it about poetry that resonates with you?
Poetry tells a story in a melodic way that speaks to my soul.
What can poetry teach us about life?
Poetry teaches us that life is not perfect, life is tragic and comedic all rolled up into one or a series of stories.
Evette Fergerson developed a love for the performing arts at an early age when her mother took her to see the musical Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies with Gregory Hines and Paula Kelly. Not long after seeing the musical her mother enrolled her in dance classes and later she had the opportunity to dance with Lula Washington Dance Theatre in Los Angeles.
Evette attended Grambling State University where she continued with dance and live theatre performances throughout college. She was an on-air radio personality as a freshman, by the time she graduated she had worked professionally as an announcer for three different radio stations.
After graduating, Evette moved back to Los Angeles where she continued working in radio for Personal Achievement Radio, KJLH Radio in the promotion department and Radioscope. She was given the opportunity to work for Quincy Jones’ recording label Qwest Records where she held two positions in the promotion department and media relations. There she realized she had a talent for gaining exposure for artists and entertainers. Evette continued working in publicity with Elektra Entertainment and later for The Courtney Barnes Group.
Today, she works independently with up and coming artists, she’s developing an activities program for children, she writes her own poetry blog and also writes a segment called Poetry Corner for Natura Magazine.