Tonight..after being deeply inspired, I shared a poem about widows in Cameroon with my community. My friend came to hear me read and was in tears at the end. I feel blessed...to be listened to...to have a forum to speak...to have a community to listen to me because I take it as an opportunity, every Wednesday, to share meaningful stories and poetry, to help educate other people about issues in our community and global concerns.
My journal was on the table after I read. A friend came too late to listen and was upset that the cafe was closing. She asked to write something down in my journal. Afterward, she said, "Please don't laugh at what I wrote. It may be gibberish."
I did not laugh. Nothing in me could muster the energy to laugh. My heart cracked open. Most people view her as an addict and a child, the speak to her exactly with those perceptions in their minds about her. I know she has problems and struggles and addictions...I know she is in an unhappy relationship and has denied herself her..self...for so long that she finds it difficult to take the next step. I see two options in supporting her: the first is to be like everyone else, pointing out the obvious as though she is unaware of her issues. She is not unaware. The second is to remind her she is built of quiet poems that MUST BE WRITTEN. How else will she feel empowered? I can think of no better way than to re-introduce her to her own voice and be here to listen when she reads things that will simply liberate her by opening her mouth.
I began the evening by sharing poetry about my experience as a lesbian, feeling isolated in my community which is heavily influenced by religious ideals and perspectives. I read a poem about Cameroon because Shekina's post said she wanted her story to be read as far as possible across the globe. I'm not sure how many miles are between Shekina and I, but tonight there was no distance too great to share an issue the whole world should be concerned with.
I offer back the world a poem from my friend who cracked her own shell open while writing in my journal. I will also say.. I feel so deeply blessed in my life...to be surrounded by strong women, to be surrounded by women who tell me I inspire them. My journey through Voices of the Future has been so inspirational. I joined to learn more about the world, and have been offered gratitude over and over simply for speaking. It has reminded me ten-fold why I seek to work with women by teaching them self-expression and how drastic the impact is when a woman refuses to be silent.
Thank you for reading and always listening.
by a poetbird who is learning to fly...
I have been thinking....
where do those poets go
I hear them - but when spoken
they are broken
silence is what I choose -
mouth shut the energy flows
wild, it affects my surroundings
but it is a groundhog day
it does not change.
I woke up one morning with three kids
and a man who sees me as a ...
if I only knew...I am shattered glass
but the glass that is broken has become
a soldier, I am an army
no guns, no defense, an army
of one - i can do what no one
has seen - I give life
I choose to be an open pallet
Stop, don't stifle me
I alive am stronger than I will
fuck you for trying
to stop me, flourish I will,
stop me and I will open the sky
with my drill, my inner being
don't hold me back