Saturday, June 24, 2017

Grace and time

God is Great.

  There has been so much growth and love in my heart that I am amazed. God's grace has lifted so much sadness and pain from my heart.  A few years ago I lost a cousin to cancer. My sister and I drove to Chicago for the funeral.  I rarely see my extended family.  I love them but like so many families we don't see each other except for funerals.

    Of the group of us who grew up together,  I am the youngest by more than 4 years.   In my extended family, there was a great deal of abuse, addictions, incest, rape, prison. I mean, you name it and someone in my family probably did it.  So, this week I realized that the molestation I endured at the hand of one of my cousins was a lesion which was passed on to him.  He is just a cog in the wheel. No, I am not excusing him, but I see things differently.  I see him as a victim as well.  I see him as a teen with too much of the wrong information.  I was able to see him through an adult lens.

    I saw a man killing himself with a drug addiction and it made me sad for him.  I don't wish that sort of pain on anyone.  I saw him as someone trying to dull his pain.  I did not want to add on to that.  I was able to forgive him.  I called him a few weeks later and told him so.  And while his response was flippant, a few months later he had  gone to rehab, joined a church and a work program and looked so much better.

    I do not assume that any of his progress had anything to do with me.  But, I am so glad that God lifted that pain from my spirit.  I thing that He did the same for my cousin.  I am so amazed by His grace.


I Am Foreign To Myself

   I am carrying around a great deal of shame today, and I don't do shame well.  This past week one of my co-workers expressed that he wasn't feeling well (specifically he said his legs hurt because he had done a great deal of walking for the previous two days), so I asked if he could come in to work with me.  During the evening I asked him several times if he was feeling well, and he always said yes.  I assumed he was just tired and left it at that.  We talked but I noticed that his typing was jumbled, I told him to fix them but, again deferred to his assurances that nothing was wrong.

     During the night one of the supervisors came in to take an exam and during that time my coworker fell out of his chair.  I assumed he had dozed off, so my initial reaction was a nervous giggle.  I asked if he was ok because he had difficulty getting up.  I chalked it up to being sleepy and again he was fine.  I was certain that he was embarrassed, but I didn't believe that he was ok.  The supervisor just looked at him with disdain and kept on working.  I felt that I would have embarrassed him by running over to him, so I didn't.

    He stood to go out and I noticed that he stumbled.  I asked if he needed me to do anything, the reply was no.   He left and I was so uncomfortable with worry that I asked him to call me.  I assumed he was just sleepy, wanted to believe he was just sleepy, so I told him to try some coffee or a soda.

    An hour later he fell and injured himself.  His glasses cut his brow, he had a gash on his chin and knee and an abrasion on his arm.  He didn't tell anyone he fell and came back to the building.  I ended up calling ems for him.  He refused to go to the hospital.

    Now, let me say, I know I am not responsible for taking care of a grown man who won't admit that there is something wrong.  He could have, at any time, let someone know that he was not feeling well.  However, I suspect that he generally operates at that level and ignores how he feels. I get that I cannot change that he refused help all evening.  I also know that part of the reason he did not immediately call for help is because he didn't want to be ridiculed by other employees.

   The source of my shame is that I knew better and ignored what I knew I should try to do.  I ignored the alarm bells that went off and made me watch him closely.  I ignored my better self; I ignored the part of me that knows I have to do the right thing.  I should have pointed out what I was seeing to him and our supervisor.  But, I did not.  I knew he was not right and I just watched.   Who does that?

    I was never that person.  I am not that person.  If I am that person then I have become foreign to myself, or I am delusional, or both.   None of these options appeal to me.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lamb for slaughter: Raven EXPLICIT


He had sweet talk and paid attention to her. She had a serious crush.  He groomed her for more than a year. She liked the attention, she thought he wanted to kiss when he pulled her into the back room of the corner store.

She didn't know what to do with her hands. She wanted love, soft kisses, and slow, tender hands, but that's not what she got. Rushed fumbling, suddenly one leg out of her shorts and he is touching her there! Her hands fluttered as he kissed her; her first french kiss, real kiss. Hurried. Lustful. He held her hand long enough to put it in his pants. He was already hard. She had never touched a man there before. He showed her how to stroke it for him. After a brief, clumsy kiss, he pushed her down by the shoulders and pushed his dick in her mouth.

"Suck it," while fucking her mouth, "watch your teeth.  Suck it."
 He tried to shove his entire length into her mouth. Fucked her mouth while she gagged. After a little while he pulled her up and quickly push himself into her.
He thrust harder. She felt a sharp pain and felt something pop.
Her pain excited him. There was just pain, as it eased he thrust harder. Moaning. Coming.
"Damn, that felt good". He says more to himself than to her.
He shoved some toilet paper at her.
"Clean up."  and left her there, stunned with a broken dream, broken hymen, a wet pussy, pain, and pregnant, standing with her shorts on the dirty bathroom floor. All in the span of about 4 minutes.

She was 14 and he was about 28.

Raven and  Frankie sitting in a tree
Ain't no love, no thought of marriage
Here goes Raven to the special clinic.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

FOUND! Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight

 This has been a week of euphoric joy and foundation shaking sadness for the families of these women and for the entire Cleveland area.  We have been seeking them, actively.  We have prayed, held vigils, lit candles, tied ribbons, and then we prayed some more.  This is the first step of their recovery which, like most everything worthwhile in life, is a journey.

   There are many stories coming to light and by the time we have a trial there will likely be a great deal more.  I watched the news in disbelief, crying, and so thankful for neighbors who are willing to respond to a plea for help.  Goodness.
   Then I cried more for all three women, for the girls they were, for Amanda's six year old who hasn't known another life. I cried for all of us who have endured and survived being mistaken for prey.
Thankfully, I don't have to find the words.  I can share Lucille Clifton's shapeshifter poems:
shapeshifter poems by Lucille Clifton

the legend is whispered
in the women's tent
how the moon when she rises
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night their daughters
do not know them


who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing not the moon
that awful eye not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue who who who the owl
laments into the evening who
will protect her this prettylittlegirl


if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him


the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow the one
she cannot tell the one
there is no one to hear this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

Credit: Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

who is this person?

I used to believe in love.   I vaguely remember when I believed in love..
Where did that funny, silly, happy, sassy, sexy(?) part of me go?  I REALLY miss her.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"In The Morning" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, my goodness.   All of a sudden the first two lines of this poem came to mind.  I LOVE THIS POEM.  This poem made me fall in love with poetry.  Because, I could hear her voice.  My grandmother, "Mama" was a southern woman and I could just hear her fussing at either my cousin or me.  And, I ADORED Mama, so this poem just tickled me beyond belief.

I was very young when I found this poem.  I want to say around 2nd or 3rd grade.  My parents would look at me sideways when I read it aloud.  They didn't expect this to come from their proper little girl. But this poem was comforting in a beautiful way. Those two years I had the best teacher, Ms. Grace White Ware (especially when you consider that she taught two grades simultaneously).  She was simply phenomenal.  I thank her for sowing a seed that is still growing strong.

And on a terrible, horrible, not so very good day, I truly needed a reason to smile from my inside out.  I am so thankful for all of my teachers.

In the Morning
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

‘Lias! ‘Lias! Bless de Lawd!
Don’ you know de day’s erbroad?
Ef you don’ git up, you scamp,
Dey’ll be trouble in dis camp.
T’ink I gwine to let you sleep
W’ile I meks yo’ boa’d an’ keep?
Dat’s a putty howdy-do–
Don’ you hyeah me, ‘Lias–you?

Bet ef I come crost dis flo’
You won’ fin’ no time to sno’.
Daylight all a-shinin’ in
W’ile you sleep–w’y hit’s a sin!
Ain’t de can’le-light enough
To bu’n out widout a snuff,
But you go de mo’nin’ thoo
Bu’nin’ up de daylight too?

‘Lias, don’ you hyeah me call?
No use tu’nin’ to’ds de wall;
I kin hyeah dat mattuss squeak;
Don’ you hyeah me w’en I speak?
Dis hyeah clock done struck off six–
Ca’line, bring me dem ah sticks!
Oh, you down, suh; huh, you down–
Look hyeah, don’ you daih to frown.

Ma’ch you’se’f an’ wash yo’ face,
Don’ you splattah all de place;
I got somep’n else to do,
‘Sides jes’ cleanin’ aftah you.
Tek dat comb an’ fix yo’ haid–
Looks je’ lak a feddah baid.
Look hyeah, boy, I let you see
You sha’n't roll yo’ eyes at me.
Come hyeah; bring me dat ah strap!
Boy, I’ll whup you ‘twell you drap;
You done felt yo’se’f’ too strong,
An’ you sholy got me wrong.
Set down at dat table thaih;
Jes’ you whimpah ef you daih!

Evah mo’nin’ on dis place,
Seem lak I mus’ lose my grace.
Fol’ yo’ han’s an’ bow yo’ haid–
Wait ontwell de blessin’ ‘s said;
“Lawd, have mussy on ouah souls–
(Don’ you daih to tech dem rolls–)
“Bless de food we gwine to eat–”
(You set still–I see yo’ feet;
You jes’ try dat trick agin!)
“Gin us peace an’ joy. Amen!”

Monday, March 19, 2012


I am wondering if I should plan an entire funeral or is a memorial service more appropriate.   I have lost my 'sparkle', my glow, that swing in my hips that says "I know you're looking, but you know you're not ready".  I miss my sassy, sexy, brassy self.  I miss my inner Mae West, my inner Bettie Page.  They just left, no forwarding address and the phone is disconnected. 

I wanna cry.  I just cannot believe it.  I don't know what to do to convince them to come back and stay.  I miss my sassy self.  I miss that womyn who KNEW that her love was 'the business'.  That womyn who walked into a room with confidence because she knew what she carried with her; good or bad, she had a sense of her worth and didn't feel less than anyone.  Now, don't get me wrong, I know when someone else has something going on to which I cannot hold a candle, and I admire that in others.  I think its wonderful.  My value was not diminished by any one else's light!  I knew that if I fell in love with someone, they were getting a full, beautiful and passionate love. My space was worth being in. I knew that when I went to work at anything, the instruments I needed were finely tuned.

Somewhere along the way, I left those finely tuned instruments out in the rain.  I neglected myself.  I lost something.  Now, I am hesitant paralyzed.  I feel that nothing about me is.....anything special.  I don't feel that anything about me is worth anyone else's time.  I used to be the sexy thick womyn; the one who could blow your mind any way I wanted. Now, I'm just the fat, nerdy broad.

I'm not trying to have a pity party. Just need to get this out.  And since I am the only person reading this, it may make me feel better to just get it out.  I am not the person I was 3-5 years ago.  I know I should change, but it's supposed to be for the better.  Isn't it?

I feel that I have lost everything.  The sexy, sassy, confident, good girl/bad girl I used to be is no longer here.  Believe me, I keep searching.   Should I offer a reward? It would be worth it.  I must have done something to deserve this, but for the life of me I cannot think of anything for which I haven't apologized.

No, I am not as low as I was a few months ago, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am still raw.  There are few, precious few spots that aren't raw.  The healing is long and hard. This is my coldest winter ever.

If anyone finds my inner Mae West and Bettie Page, my Mama-Mojo, please send them home.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Did Dante Know You?

Acheron - the river of woe
Cocytus - the river of lamentation
Phlegethon - the river of fire
Lethe - the river of forgetfulness
Styx - the river of hate

Acheron and Cocytus, woe and lamentation.  I finally escaped their muck and mire.
Phlegethon, the fire. Oh, I have been forged and refined by the heat.
Lethe, forgetfulness. Who knew hell could offer a blessing?
Styx, hate.  This is where I take my leave, and pray these waters leave me be.
Even your brand of hades cannot take away the god in me.

Monday, July 18, 2011


looks ahead;
is not fearful;
isn't resentful;
doesn't cut;
isn't a weapon;
doesn't hurt;
is healthy;
is sexy;
is playful;
is funny;
talks late into the night:
laughs often;
does not tear up the very foundation on which it's built;
doesn't cut with words or deeds;
isn't passive-aggressive;
is a soft place;
offers cushion from the bruises the world can offer;
doesn't strangle joy;
blushes red with passion again and again, and again;
allows us to shelter each other;
dries tears;
rubs backs;
takes joy in anothers joy;
is naughty;
loves back;
is beautiful;
is a gift;
doesn't look back;
is worth the gamble. Get lucky;
is loose and free;
is more precious than gold;
is free;
is Free;

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

My post for this weekend is on Indigo Storm.

Have a beautiful weekend.

If you know any Veterans, let them know you appreciate them.  If you know any who could have been exposed to Agent Orange, love them enough to tell them to have their doctor check them for kidney disease.