MLK Quote, 1967

“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to re-educate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans…These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro, there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

Credits: http://bit.ly/1KukFCl

When Our Bodies get trumped

It’s not the first or most likely the last time the leader of the free world would attack and reduce feminity and being a woman to a shallow argument about physical looks. Dare to wonder why he thinks he gets a pass on that one. But as always, our bodies, our strong, beautiful and intricate bodies have been trumped.

Trump’s recent barrage on MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and her alleged botched cosmetic surgeryTrump should alarm us for the simple reason that a president is not expected to publically make such comments.  However, more so, his degrading Twitter tantrum speaks volumes about the trials and obstacles that women constantly face in order to succeed in the corporate world as well as life in general.

Women- whether, white, black, brown- are constantly having their appearance scrutinized and rejected. The status-quo of a male-dominated society means that women always fall short, even if they attain perfection in all aspects of their lives. Yes, talk is cheap but Trump has demonstrated as he has done many times before, that women can and will continue to be reduced to physicality and sexual prowess.

 

p.c: http://bit.ly/2ts2E8w

 

Letters to Ayoola (3)

Ayoola, ore mi,

A thousand oceans and broken telephone wires could not separate us. As I usually do, I have mused and mused over your last careful and cursive letter. Perhaps, I should have celebrated the coming of a new life by going through the traditional fanfare. Tears of joy. A congratulatory call. More tears. Anticipation. Rather, your impending birth has had me contemplating our beloved Orisha. I’ve thought about it often enough to say it: this new life must be floating somewhere between orun ati aye. Are you impatient? I cannot bear the anguish of waiting or more still, my absence.

Between soothing tears and building broken bridges, I have been praying for light. When the darkness engulfed my blindness I found it easier to shield my body. I enjoyed the invisibility and I would sometimes gracefully dance between the uneven shadows I found. My own was lost but there were many I found along the way. But I still prayed for the light. I prayed fervently and fearfully, knowing that my body- naked, shapeless and contorted would be seen- be unveiled-
to whom?
These questions, as do thoughts of how many tears paradise can carry, elude me daily. Where do we find the strength to build when stones so quickly turn to sand? Supposing I lost my footing, which I constantly do–which of the two worlds would accept my heavy, sinful bounty of a body? Ore mi, I am still falling: 

Ore mi, I am still falling: 

I don start again, abi? I know. All my love to Baba, at long last, some sense in the title. And to my beloved, yes, mine: whisper not only the beauty but also the pure evils and maladroits of our Great Care-Taker. If you won’t, I shall, and you know that is a promise

To more days of Sangria sweetness.

Yours,

 

Metamorphosis

Chances fall down as we circle the forgotten
days that once existed as long held breaths.
Holding on to bruised visions and
solemn prayers.
Hope has been shining in the glimmering prophesies
that promised refuge.
Refuge for the past we did not tred,
for the future that the waves brought
ashore much too soon.
For our memories that lingered between sheets
but did not think to bring honey
to stick on to the parchment of our hearts.
Now our fragility sits upon the moutain of the aged youth,
mounted and subdued.
Here we are,
Arriving to yesterday’s blues
but forgetting the tune,
once again.

Womens in me

To the womens in me and who have walked through me:

I thought about you all yesterday, as many hailed you and raised you up high. I felt a pride, yes. A pride of one who enjoys the yield of a sowing she did not attend. But between the lines of pride and joy, I also felt sadness, sadness that you must still request an invite to the table of humanity, sadness that your purity is still ranked according to pelvic tightness and painful groanings, sadness still that the pedestal is still too low and high and does not acrtually exist but you are made to believe and desire that it does, sadness again, that we cannot simply exist as womyns but as women always lacking-
and striving, sadness, that the present,
in all its future earnings,
can never simply be enough
for us,
for me,
and for the womens in me.

Fruit of love for Mine

The one that got away but returned to the troubled hearts waters,
stubborn one,
complex and
Mine.
My beautiful one- unborn,
rebirthed and evolving.
When shall this fruit ripen?
Let’s dance around the realities of
our becoming.
Were we only dreaming
when we lost
our paths
and forged
ahead to
the unknown?
Arms locked,
bodies in conversation,
praying mercy.
Mercy, mercy, mercy mercy mercy
I pour on your crown-
Solemnly in fervent wait
for the fruition of these waitings
and smooth endings.
My beautiful one- unborn,
rebirthed and evolving.
When shall this fruit ripen?

Dealin’

Sonia’s been talking about all that

all that storytelling about being black and bad

all that knowledge woven in the politics of

dealing with one’s self and

I’ve been thinking about what

it really be about when Sonia tells me

that i am a black women who hasn’t meditated

on my self and only myselves

i’m really thinking about what Sonia is preachin’

through her sweet monologs and sultry lullabies

that tell me my blackness is worth more than a

glimpse, more than a shame-filled, passionless

fuck.

so I am really thinking about what Sonia has got me thinking about:

that I ought to do more

to deal with all of this,

all this blackness

and all that lays beyond it.

Sonia most definitely has me thinking about

dealin’.

Letters to Ayoola (2)

Ayoola,

I can barely hold in my excitement and sadness at the news that Baba has proposed. What a beautiful and sorrowful way to end this convoluted and complex year and a half. I am just ecstatic that one of us will be walking down the ailse but also deeply ashamed that I will be the friend and sister unable to attend because she neither has the finances nor the immigration papers that will allow her freely leave her country of residence. Is this where I apologise? My whole body and mind and spirit and soul is in apology for you, my dear and only friend.

Ayoola, you’ve told me before but I believe it came more like a dream or an epiphany to me the other night: I have been giving of myself and receiving snowflakes and sand dunes in return. How did I get here? It seemed the more I gave of myself, the less I recognized the reflection in the mirror. How could this be? I wrestled with the inner demons to contort my face into pleasing and desirable forms–faraway smiles mingled with inner tears.

I’m walking backwards these days–retracing my steps to the Eden of the departure of joy and well being. It looks like a long journey, one that may never actually reach an end-point. You might wonder if this does not worry me or cause me some discomfort. Funny enough, dear friend, I have not felt lighter in years. There is so much depth in the past, and I often have to wake from it’s sweet slumber to realize that I must still be present in the present. I’m coming and going somewhere new and my mind is finally understanding peace that can come without price

Greetings to those of the world and the spirit.

Faithfully yours always,

 

Letters to Ayoola

Ayoola,

I was filled with so much joy when I saw your handwriting (that cursive script I could never master) on the envelope that was left on the doorstep of my apartment. As I read each word –I felt the peace, the joy and the love fill my soul. You’re happy and my heart could not rejoice with you more. Baba sounds like a wonderful man: everything that you waited and prayed so dutifully for. In short, your letter has brought sunshine and smiles to my spirit. Ose, Ore Mi Atata

I’ve been praying more and working harder. I know you’ll smile at this and say “Less work and more prayer!” I am trying to strike the balance but there is the common saying “God helps those who help themselves”? So I suppose I am testing the hypothesis.  

It seems, however, the more I have tried to organize and categorize all the various facets, the more out of control everything has gotten. I was thinking the other day what a beautiful feeling free-fall must be–letting go completely. But more truthfully Ayoola, the more in-control I have set out to be, the more out of touch I have become accustomed to feeling.  So, I’ve been building barricades that will ward off any unexpected pitfalls in April.

So, I’ve been building barricades. You first saw them and tore them down but I have rebuilt them to be much more solid and encompassing than before. It was an unconscious decision. Unpacking insecurities is so cliche and I have never been very good at articulating  my emotions. So these barricades have worked to ward off those who want to see beyond the smile and laughter. The barricades have made me an island but I realize this may only last for a fleeting moment. When love leaves and resentment comes to nestle in the corners. 

I am just somewhere between floating and dodging peace. Yet it is all I long for these days: Serenity knocking as opposed to the jostling bodies and loud sirens. So I’ve been thinking maybe the barricades must come down? but how?

Ore mi, I know you’ll probably read this saying or thinking, “you don start again oo” and you are probably right…But I long to see your cursive again so please fill me in on all the details of passionate Baba and the unrelenting pot-bellied Oga-CEO.

Stay well,