Glow

Even if you
cannot see it

Glow! — Even if you
cannot see it at this time,
you still hold a spark.


Photo by Jordan Graff on Unsplash

Today, June 30, is the last day of Pride Month in 2020, but learning about LGBTQ+ history should happen all year long! Stonewall Forever is a virtual monument that includes videos and resources about the history of LGBTQ+ movements in the United States, from the resistances that preceded the Stonewall Riots to modern day Pride. They also have a documentary that I have yet to watch. If it is good, though, I will include it as a resource in the future.

Also, I have an update about my article that was stolen by another website…The stolen article was removed! If you want to read more about what I did to get it taken down or just see me rant about the process, I did a full update on the post about the content being stolen. You can read that here.

Lighthouse (A Collaborative Poem) — This Engrained Heart

A great dreamer you have always been, a wisher-upon-the-stars
A wayfarer, an adventurer, and a wanderer you are.

Image by J. S. Klingemann from Pixabay This is my second collaborative poem that I wrote with Joy from the Yellow Brick Ave. Joy’s section is in blue and mine is in grey. Our first collaborative poem (Selah) that we wrote together was started by Joy asking me to collaborate the poem with her and […]

Lighthouse (A Collaborative Poem) — This Engrained Heart

Click the link above to check out my newest collaboration with Ismael from This Engrained Heart!

Fake Tomorrows

This cycle is too persuasive
and this cycle calls my name.

I long for words I’ve never written
and for songs I’ve never sung.
I long for feelings I’ve never felt
and for bells I’ve never rung.

I’ve imagined these possibilities–
my mind does this when I’m down–
It makes problems out of naught
just like a dust mote on a crown.

Though reminiscing about nothing
and self-berating causes shame,
this cycle is too persuasive
and this cycle calls my name.

Now, my blue skies all have faded
to shades both gray and dark
with no more hope of sunshine
to light the outlines oh, so stark.

I cannot fight or face it–
I’ve already gone too deep
I can’t climb from this chasm
Nor call for help nor leap.

So, please come Serotonin,
please come Dopamine,
please come Vigor for Life,
please come Fresh, and please come Green.

Take me back to my home–
I have somehow lost my way.
I became trapped by fake tomorrows
and by pretend yesterdays.

I’ve tried to end this poem
on a nice, uplifting note,
but today, I just can’t make it happen.


Photo by Aakash Sethi from Pexels

Today’s resource for knowledge and compassion is the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which lists suicide prevention helplines throughout the world and in various languages. Just use the helpful map on their homepage to select your continent, and you’ll be redirected to a list of hotlines and websites that might be pertinent to you.

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The True Enemy of Progress

how much progress
would have been made in the world
if we spent less time thinking about the enemies of progress

When I look up the true enemy of progress,
I see one person say that it is fear,
another states that it is perfection,
another says complacency,
another comparison,
another habit,
another routine,
another stagnation,
one refutes the stagnation assertion and says that it is false progress,
another says comfort,
another says it is your last success,
another thinks it is corruption,
another indecision,
another convention,
another delay,
another distraction,
another ego,
another self-conceit,
and yet another claims that it is free time.

Maybe they’re all right,
but it makes me wonder how much progress
would have been made in the world
if we spent less time thinking about the enemies of progress
and more time dreaming about and making that progress
that seems to concern us so much.

But what do I know?
I’m just a hypocrite
who wrote a poem
about the true enemy of progress.


Photo by Felix Mittermeier from Pexels

Today’s resource for compassion and empathy is the first episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. This series was created by Emmanuel Acho as an educational resource for white people in the U.S. at a time where many are coming to realize their white privilege (although many of his points probably help with understanding the actions and reactions of marginalized groups around the world).

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Baby Pink Flower

On the fragility of beauty

Baby pink flower–
petals trampled underfoot.
Stem sighs, “Such is life.”


Photo by Brianna Swank from Pexels

Today’s resource for love and understanding is Crisis Text Line, an organization that provides text lines in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland for people experiencing mental health crises. Their website also has places to donate or volunteer if you feel called to do so.

A Father’s Words

For Father’s Day

“What’s wrong?” he asks,
his eyes full of empathy,
his ears ready to listen.

“I’m happiest when you’re happy,” he says
with a genuine smile flooding his face.

“How was your day?” he asks
in a curious tone,
settling in to hear all the stories
of triumph and heartbreak.

“I’m so proud of you,” he says
in times of joyous celebration
of accomplishments.

“How can I help?” he asks,
rolling up his sleeves,
with hands ready to do the work.

“I love you no matter what,” he says
no matter what.


Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere and anyone else who takes on a fathering role!

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels


Fathers, father figures, and other people who take on fathering roles are so important to a child’s development. The Child & Family Research Partnership at The University of Texas at Austin put together a list of “5 Things You Should Know about the Importance of Fathers.” Unfortunately, I am ignorant about the programs that exist to support fathers and father figures. It felt disingenuous link to an organization that I know little about just because that organization says that it supports fathers. If you know of any charities or other organizations that actively work to support people in fathering roles, let me know. I’d love to broaden my knowledge on the topic.

A Spindly Strand

Sometimes change isn’t enough.

a spindly strand
hangs down over his face,
blocking part of his line of sight.
he brushes it away,
hoping that small action
will allow him to see clearly again,
but it doesn’t.
no small action ever can
when he’s so deliberately ignorant
of his surroundings.

Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

Today’s resource for love and understanding is the video of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED Talk titled “The urgency of intersectionality.” She speaks specifically on the way that intersectionality affects black women in the United States. Warning: this video does contain some graphic clips of black women being brutalized by police. It happens in a video that Crenshaw shows at the end of her talk, and she does give a warning about the clips before she starts the video.

Selah (A Collaborative Poem)

Music, Selah, they went on, Selah, Selah
With lyrical psalms like Proverbs, Solomon
Had chosen the path he sang of Selah
Too many songs to cherish the solemnity

The following is my first collaborative poem that I wrote with Ismael Mansoor from This Engrained Heart! Ismael’s contributions are in italics and mine are not.

I provided the prompt, and Ismael started the writing. After that, we went back and forth with adding pieces to it until we finished. I think that the final product of this poem is very much a mixture of our two different writing styles, and I’m excited to share it with all of you!

Selah

Music, Selah, they went on, Selah, Selah
With lyrical psalms like Proverbs, Solomon
Had chosen the path he sang of Selah
Too many songs to cherish the solemnity

Like him, we sing, “Praise, praise!”
For we have been bequeathed with
the grass, the dirt, the trees,
with the rain that provides life and renewal
to all.
Does not every songbird whistle a tune,
rejoicing for the gift of this land?
So, too, shall we.                                        Selah

Honour thy garden that dwells with thy prayer
Foundation shall water, and recircle of it
Pray, praise to the faith that dwells in ye
Listen to the songbirds and feel the vibrations

Blessèd are those who sit quietly in the moss
and breathe in the scent of the forest.
Blessèd are those who can only take
a moment to witness the verdant splendor
through panes of glass.
And blessèd are those who live in jungles
of concrete and smog.
The pleas for a future
with equitable access to
flora and fauna and fresh air
shall not be ignored or forgotten.               Selah

Selah in the Psalm, oh, they said, who is she
King Solomon, the wise one who was David’s son
Called a name, Selah, oh, they said, who is she
Even the wise Solomon was with the Saviour

Such a word to pronounce such wisdom, but they said who is she
Selah, a musical figure, probably 
Selah, her merry songs that danced Solomon’s weddings
Words to rejoice, oh, Selah, but they said who is she


Alight! Selah is in music. Praise, and rejoice
Sheer the will to smile with songs
Selah, perhaps, personification to melodize
Gentle to the ears and the feelings

Selah of hope and Selah of praise
Selah of wonder and pleading
Lifting up exultation
toward the bounteous heavens
in awe of creation,
all hearts shall proclaim
Selah, her melodious name.

Blessings be upon all the living souls
Oh, blessings be upon those who bless themselves
And who bless others
Selah, in the heavenly place in the soul



Photo by Simon Leonardo from Pexels

I loved this opportunity to collaborate with Ismael on this poem! If you’re interested in creating a collaborative poem with me, reach out through my contact page.


Today’s resource for love and understanding is this video featuring Leah Thomas talking about the relationship between Black Lives Matter and environmental justice. Leah, a black woman who works in intersectional environmentalism, also runs a blog called Green Girl Leah and an Instagram page by the same name.

A Rainbow

Yet, the gorgeous light
still cascades down like a waterfall,
its spectrum of hues bright, intense,
undeniable.

I was taught that a rainbow
was a promise,
a secret message
to tell us
that the Universe
will never again flood our land–
will never again cause us to drown.

Sometimes it feels like that promise
has been broken,
that we are all drowning
in hatred and fear and chaos.
It feels as if the heavens
have not heard our pleas for absolution,
for peace.

Yet, the gorgeous light
still cascades down like a waterfall,
its spectrum of hues bright, intense,
undeniable.
I wonder if we have misinterpreted its meaning.

Maybe the rainbow is a reminder to move forward,
to empathize, to unlearn bad information,
and to fill ourselves with better knowledge.
Maybe the rainbow is a reminder to never do harm
to one another with our words and our actions.
Maybe the rainbow is a reminder
to set our gaze and our focus
on light,
even as it streams
through lingering droplets of rain.


Photo by Raine Nectar on Pexels.com

This poem was inspired by Photo Challenge #319 from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.

I found this wonderful article about white privilege and racial microaggressions written by Lori Lakin Hutcherson. Check it out if you want to read about Hutcherson’s experiences and learn more about these issues.

Obsidian

Something they could
make into a gorgeous pendant
and then set in a jewelry box
and forget about it.

What they wanted
was obsidian:
smooth,
brittle,
dark glass.
Something they imagined
would go down
real easy
if they tried
to swallow it.
Something they could
make into a gorgeous pendant
and then set in a jewelry box
and forget about it.

They didn’t realize
that the glassy surface
they loved
was really a way
to reflect the light.
They didn’t realize
that the power of a volcano
is ingrained in the rock
from its very origin.
They didn’t realize
that the beauty and worth
of that black stone
cannot be hidden
or denied.
They didn’t realize that obsidian
can be used
to make
the sharpest of blades.


Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Today’s social justice resource is the Frontline PBS film about the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Exercise created by Jane Elliott. It is lengthy (close to an hour), but it is free on YouTube via Frontline PBS’ official channel, and you can find it through this link. The documentary shows children learning about racism through real-life experiences as well as their reactions to the experiment as adults decades later. I highly encourage you to check it out. Bookmark it for later if you need to, just don’t forget about it.