Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

No Need To Change

Keep your attitudes
Hold onto the fears
Believe what you believe.

Keep your justice
Hold onto the laws
Believe you are safe.

Keep your gates
Hold onto your guns
Believe you are safe.

Keep your children
Hold them close
Believe they are safe.

Keep the verdict
Hold onto Trayvon
Believe he was your son.

Sent from my iPad

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Sunshine on a rainy day
Child unknown until now
Brings a smile like hers
To the father’s face.

The Devil beats his wife,
They say, on such a clouded day
Angels sang over the roar
Welcoming the child to play.

We know her only by her smile
We will keep the memory
Of sun shining on her face

A father, who has lost so much, was interviewed on TV. Through the questions and prying, he was able to smile when remembering his daughter. His face lit up with same bright smile captured in photos shared with those who will never know her. What has been lost when the children are gone? Let us remember her father’s words: “She was sunshine on a rainy day.”

Who knew?
The reference to the Devil comes from what we were told as children. When the boundary between rain and sun can be seen (often a line of wet and dry on pavement), the Devil is beating his wife. i do not know the origin.

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English: iPad picture

English: iPad picture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article was on FlipBoard, an iPad app told about the explosion of eBook sales. The ‘hesitant’ would-be publishers (present company) should take that first step.

What can you lose? There are free options. It could be a learning experience. You may find you are good at it. Success!

There are things I find I cannot learn. Maybe they just do not interest me enough to put in the time. Maybe it takes away from what I really love doing. Publishing may not meet the goal for money? The turn around time may not be fast enough. Why put yourself out for all to see and comment on your creativity. Bloggng gives you a chance to build an audience. Or not.

My blog, narcissus,hibiscus,mandrake started out with my complete unpublished book, one poem a day.  I decided it was better to give it free. It might build a poetry reading audience. The stats look like a mouthful of teeth and many, many spaces

Who knew?

My poetry did not draw as strong a following as this blog. The followers were faithful and interested. But were there enough to support an eBook? Evaluating these stats may help in making a publishing decision. Have I  taken advantage of free or low cost pre-publishing tutorials?

Do I have the best material?  Have I edited the manuscript with a fine red pen?

Can I drive interest toward my work? Does it fill a niche of interest? Timing is paramount.

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"Inspiring Blog Award"

Every morning there is a surprise. It may be just the sun shining (or rain).  Or it can be a surprise in the e-mails.  Yesterday it was receiving this beautiful award from Monya Neba.  How can you say thanks more graciously than just that, “Thanks for reading my blog and thank you for feeling that it inspires.”

There are obligations with that. Future planning for posts will be scrutinized for content. Still I have enjoyed the entire process of writing my thoughts and sharing those posts online. Following others adds to my knowledge.

There are so many creative people writing and sharing. And so in thanking Monya Neba, I also thank those of you who have inspired and encouraged me to be a better communicator.

The Rules are:

1. To thank the blogger who gave you the award.

2. Tell 7 things about you that have not come up in your blog.

I frustrate my doctors when I tell them I will not take their advice about medications. It seems I feel better, the less I take.

I waste more time than I should. Friends say I am thinking of things to do. That is why they are my friends.

I know that doctors, like all of us, cannot know everything.  I was not supposed to be able to have children. However, tomorrow four wonderful children will wish me well.

I did not realize that churches did not welcome women on their staffs when I was the only single woman in the Howard University School of Religion.

When I read My Mother, My Self, it reassured me. I had invented the word  ‘mother.’ But it also surprised me that I had no role model for that important job.

I am the oldest living person in my family tree. Fortunately, the tree has deep roots. I do not plan on dying.

My regrets are many. I try not to write or paint when I am depressed. We were taught not to write something that you would be embarrassed to read later. We were also taught not the write our names on walls, but most of my paintings are signed!

3. Pass this on to 7 other blogs you find inspiring and explain why:

I recommend bloggers:

The Solipsistic Me – because I find a strong point of view expressed in a caring and temperate manner. His writing is a good read any time of day. And I consider him a new friend.

Bill Chance – writes about himself and his city, Dallas, making you wish you could ride a bike along side him. Seeing his views of people, events and secondhand finds through his eyes would be fun. It is not so much that I want to go to Dallas. I would like to see my surroundings in the same way.

What Next – A blogger who writes about spending a “A Year of Living Aimlessly.” She is doing this at the suggestion of her husband after retirement. We often live like this but do not realize it until later. If I calculate correctly, her year will be up in July. What will follow?

Chief Writing Wolf – Each day there are several choices from this blogger. A cartoon, a list of birthdays on that date, and an essay on an interesting subject. Following his blog is a good way to start your day.

Steel City Writers – is a group of writers who studied together. They have continued to encourage independent writing and published an eBook together. Craig Hill and Pete Denton are two of the members. This is an example of professional interests following through with a plan.

The Dainty Damsel – a poet from India whose About page says she is 18 years old. I find her words inspiring. We can encourage young people to feel their work is valuable.

Jottings With Jasmine – always a good read. Her recent blog “My Mom and Joan Crawford” is pretty special.

Receiving an award for blogging is both an honor and a challenge. It is like getting an A grade. There is no place but down. So I shall be watching what I write. I will try not to disappoint. Do look at Monya Neba also.

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Artist: B. W. Harwell

The Help

Both book and movie versions are getting a lot of recognition. Some of us choose not to read or  see either. It is a choice, like drinking coffee or tea. Personal.

This means no disrespect for any who have played their roles so well, so dramatically. The story has captured the interest of a large public.

As so often is the case, personal choices may be hard to explain. The child adamant about no mayo on her sandwich cannot tell her mother that she is allergic to it. The adult may not be able to trace sadness or anger to some childhood event. Nor should he or she be asked to defend these personal decisions.

Expressions of emotion

When a teenager, I wrote a Mother’s Day card to an aunt. Regardless of how it was received, it made me feel good to express my feelings. Since Mother’s day can be any day, since mothering has many forms, this is what I wrote at age 17:

Dear Aunt ….,

Up and down the winding streets, I go

Wherever autumn breezes blow

In nooks and crannies, in each wall

I search for what is best of all:

A mother’s love..


There are many kinds of mothers:

Some take the place  of others.

Some let help their offspring raise.

Who is more worthy of praise?


When a person takes a life to mold

And is anything but cold,

If she carries on her task

And only loves, and truth ask


Then I can tell you what is there:

That person bears a mother’s care,

And when she gets above

Proclaim – she had a  mother’s love!


So no matter where I roam

I’ll always think of home

Where such happiness I find

Is nowhere else, nor kind:

A mother’s love. (more…)

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Reading List

English: Ernest Hemingway with American writer...

Image via Wikipedia

Genet, A Biography of Janet Flanner by Brenda Wineapple (1989)

A great read! This easy to read biography is of the woman who wrote for 50 years as the Paris correspondent for New Yorker magazine.

She first went to Paris in 1921. Her observations of  her times included the Second world War.

She asked: “When I die, let it not be said I wrote for the New Yorker for fifty years. Let it be said that once I stood by a friend.”

Despite her admonition, she is remembered for her ‘Letters from Paris’ as well as her personal friendships with writers and artists who were also ex-pats.

Alice Dunbar Nelson

Image via Wikipedia

Give Us Each Day, the Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, edited by Gloria T. Hull (1984)

Clouding her own work as a poet and speaker, Alice Dunbar-Nelson lived in the shadow of her first husband.

Paul Laurence Dunbar was acclaimed as the ‘first famous African American poet.’  She most often was asked to speak about him and to recite his poems.

While it is often tedious to follow a diary, this is edited to keep the reader interested in what happens next. The introduction by the editor is most informative.

Like Janet Flanner, Dunbar-Nelson associated with writers and other artists, was on the fringe of the Harlem Renaissance and fought with the ‘injustices’ of her day.

Money was always an issue for her. She struggled through the Depression years to keep her extended family afloat and to assist her husband in his dreams to get a political appointment.

The book covers years important for the country and for the financial elevation of African Americans. She travelled repeatedly to make speeches. This caused her at times to use her identity as a white person to get better accommodations.

Despite these setbacks, Dunbar-Nelson is seen as devoted to her family and her writing.

These two women present interesting contrasts in their choices and the circumstances of their lives.


Dr. Robert Farris Thompson attended a  Studio Museum in Harlem forum on October 20, 2011. The interview is posted on the Museum website. Dr. Thompson is a professor at Yale University and famous for his work in African art. His recent book,  Aesthetic of the Cool: Afro-Atlantic Art and Music builds on his research.

The interviewer was Dr. Lowery Stokes. She was a former president of the museum.


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@julianritter informed that leartiste is on klout and that he gave a rating of +K!

This notification came from a tweet. Thank you to all who know about klout. And a big THANX to any who have mentioned the blog. Would love to know who participates in klout.

The nominations for The Versatile Blogger caused the days of the week to blur. Many thanks for kind responses. Back to reality.


The writing is fun but has a serious side. Le artiste boots considers it a responsibility to communicate  in the best way possible. Gaining an audience is a bit overwhelming!


Rita Dove, one of our poet laureates, read a poem by Alice Dunbar-Nelson this past Friday. She was being interviewed on PBS Newshour. Poems for The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry were selected based on her criteria. She placed the poets in their culture (time and place) and also looked for influences on other poets.

Her research took four years to complete. Her approach may differ from others who compile anthologies.  I look forward to expanding my understanding of the people who write poems.

Who knew?

Christopher Hitchens, who died this week, was known as an atheist. He was certainly much more than  that. His critical voice will be missed.

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