Justice: My Imaginary Friend…#Poetry…#Baltimore

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Disclaimer: I am not a poet! I wrote this poem for a poetry contest on Scribophile. However, I ended up missing the submission deadline so I thought I would post it on here, so the work put into it doesn’t go to waste! The prompt was “My Imaginary Friend”…I hope you all enjoy it and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section

Justice: My Imaginary Friend

She calls to me at bedtime,

When her skin is shrowded

By the Darkness of the falling night.

Justice is her name.

She is my truest friend

And my most dangerous enemy.

Her voice is pure and kind

Like the sweetest taste of honeymelon

From my childhood dreams

But her face is twisted out of form

And her hair is matted

With the flesh and blood of our innocent youth.

Tonight, she cries over the bodies in the street

And she throws herself, weeping,

Into the fires of social unrest.

After she burns, she stands next to me;

A weeping, fiery mess.

Together we walk

Down the middle

Of a Baltimore street

And as we walk,

They reach for her;

Both sides certain that she is their patron.

Yet she shuns them

Becuase she knows no truth but her own

And she is no friend to those who blaspheme her.

“They are not my own.” She whispers

And I advert my eyes from the condemned

As she leads me back to my blistful rest.

So when they tell me

That justice is dead,

I will call them “liar”

For she is my imaginary friend;

Living both within and without

Of my most vivid dreams.

She judges without prejudice

And she loves without mercy

But her blade is sharp and hungry for the blood of the unjust.

The Painted Line…#Poetry #LGBT

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95 bags of mulch…

The hot Southern sun.

Pink gloves and manicured hands,

Fumbling through the dirt.

All day to contemplate,

My juxtaposition.

Tinted Hair and Painted Eyes,

Strong back and durable hands.

I am not either or…

I am not neither nor…

I am both me and myself,

I cannot walk a painted line.

Haiku…#atozchallenge

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Spring-Is-My-Love-Rain-Wallpaper

Spring rain trickling on skin—

Guilt in my stomach,

The end Begins again.

I write Haiku Poetry from time to time…It can be quite a challenge because my writing tends to be very, very wordy….sometimes, it’s TOO wordy. The haiku stands to teach us that we can communicate emotion with just a few words. It teaches us that writing can be effective on a smaller scale…that words can be powerful, if the correct ones are chosen.

So, this is what I do when I feel like my writing is taking a deep dive into the abyss of rambling and my descriptions lengthen to unnecessary sizes. I focus on the emotion I’m trying to convey and I write a haiku for it. The Haiku isn’t always great…okay, they’re almost never great but they serve a purpose. In addition to working on concise language, it really helps to pinpoint descriptive language that works best with the emotion or subject matter that I’m trying to describe.

What writing techniques do you use to improve your descriptive language? Am I the only one who uses a form of poetry as a writing tool?

 

Euthanize Your Dreams…#atozchallenge

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We now interrupt your regularly scheduled A to Z Challenge post for a bit of poorly written poetry….

Euthanize Your Dreams

AC Willis

Euthanize your dreams,

Offer them up for the sake of humanity.

Let them drift quietly into the night,

Blanketed by the shadows of your greatest fears. .

No longer will you weep mournfully over the heartache of strange men,

Nor will you sleep soundly,

Without the ticking time bomb in your head.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you already know that I’m not a poet. However, I think it’s good for a writer to step outside their comfort zone from time to time. It’s rejuvenating to try to write things in a different way, even if the attempt isn’t always successful. So, I decided to make a go at “E” with a little poem….because I thought it would be fun and maybe it would help inspire my “regular” writing.

To my readers: Tell me of a time when you moved out of your comfort zone? How did it effect your writing?

 

Poetry and Spoken Word…Indie Spotlight Aray Brown

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Aray Brown is a new independent author/poet.  Her first book “Expressions OF Me” was officially released on October 2013.

Ever since she was little she always wanted to be a writer.  She began writing at an early age, her short stories consisted of Araycartoon characters such as She-Ra and He-Man.  Later on she decided to delve into something more real and personal.  Despite the trials and tribulations she endured in her life, she wrote her first novel “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, a tell all book centered around the life and times she spent with her grandmother while her mother was in prison. It was never published.  She then went on writing more unpublished novels, honing her craft so to speak.  She didn’t dabble into poetry until later.  It all started with a pen and paper then escalated to her very own YouTube channel (1,551 views and counting). Then finally self publishing her first poetry book.  If it wasn’t for a certain r&b artist she wouldn’t have the courage to showcase her poetry.  She always wanted to do it but she hated her voice at that time.  After watching his videos off and on, she figured if he can do it then so can she.  After that, a star was born.  Writing has always been her passion and will continue to be, until her last breath.  She is currently working on her second book, her first novel,  entitled, Blood Is Thicker Than Water.

Your first book: Expressions of Me was released in October 2013. Tell us a little about it.

It’s a collection of poems that I have written throughout my life. It’s about love. About fear. About heartache and hope. Some of them speak to the people and deal with real issues that plague our society (like aids, education, domestic abuse, etc.)

ExpressionsOfMeWhy poetry?

For me it’s like why not poetry. It has become a vital part of my life. To put my thoughts and feelings down on paper, it allows me to express myself in such a way that I’m not able to verbally. At the end of the day it’s therapeutic. It’s a gift that I don’t take for granted.

I just spent some time watching your spoken word performances on youtube. It’s very inspirational. For those readers out there that might not be familiar with spoken word poetry, can you explain it a bit for us?

Spoken Word is poetry that is written but performed for an audience. It is more aggressive and “in your face” than traditional forms of poetry. Even though I have showcased my poems on youtube, I have yet to grace a stage. My time will come though. Just hope I don’t get stage fright.

What impact does your spoken word have on your written poetry?

Like every poet, when I recite my poems I try to pour my heart and soul into it. Especially if it pertains to me in anyway. So to answer to your question, a huge impact.

What I really like about your poetry is that it has ups and downs, just like real life. Do you draw your inspiration from your own life? If so, how?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. But my own life experiences have played a part. I haven’t had that much life experience(I’m a hermit) but the things I’ve dealt with firsthand are reflected in my poems. We’ve all experienced first love, unrequited love, heartache and getting over the loss of a loved one and being stuck with nowhere to go. The best thing about being a writer is that you can write through your pain. All of them have a powerful message and they reflect me in some way.

Poetry often comes from the poet’s own conflicts. What conflicts have you encountered in your life that lends itself to your poetry?

The stresses of everyday life. The trials of tribulations of not only what we women go through but what we people deal with as well.
This blog is about the struggles and triumphs of being an “Indie”. What motivated you to do Independent Publishing, rather than seeking a traditional publisher?

I just decided to do it. I had always planned on going the traditional route, but for some reason it didn’t work out as planned. And although I think there are more advantages to Traditional more than the Independent, I do like the full creative control aspect of it. I have say over the whole process and it’s a good feeling. I wanted to get my book out there and I wanted to make a name for myself. Independent Publishing was the best move for me.
I know that promotion has been the hardest thing for me, as an Indie Author. One thing that you do (that I’m not brave enough to do yet), is use YouTube as a platform. What tips do you have for someone who is shy or a little insecure but wants to make Youtube videos? How did you overcome these things and decide to put yourself out there on YouTube?

I was shy and insecure. I’m still shy. Before youtube, I would showcase my poems on my blog. And of course tweeted it and shared it with as many people as I could. But I wanted to do more. I knew there was a much broader audience out there and I wanted to reach it. But I had one setback. I hated my voice. At that time I was an admirer of this guy who had this amazing voice. Needless to say, after watching his videos, he gave me the courage to do it. He was my inspiration, in more ways than one. The only tip I would have would be to just do it. Find your inner strength. If God gave you a gift you have to share it with the world or else what good is it?

Your poem; Epiphany III ends with the lines: “You only get one shot to live this life. Live it to the fullest, give it all you got”. How do you do this in your own life?

I try to live my life by that mantra but I sometimes I fall short. I just try to do the best I can do. Spend my time doing what I love, spending it with the people I love and doing God’s will. Epiphany III has to be one of my favorites. It depicts apart of my life I wasn’t proud of that time.

Finally, what’s next? Do you plan on releasing more books of poetry or are you working on a different type of work?

I’m currently working on a mystery/suspense novel. It’s about a woman who tracks down her mother’s killer, killing off people one by one, while losing herself in the process. There certainly will be more poetry books in the future for sure. After all I’m poet. I can’t deny that part of me. But for now, I’m leading towards my first love. I have a lot of up and coming projects coming so stay tuned

Where can my readers connect with you? 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Aray_Brown

Facebook: http:// on.fb.me/1fkDiJV

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/arayb

YouTube: www.youtube.com/floacistms35

Aray: www.araybrown.blogspot.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/17C1HZx

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1ckMyQc

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Aray_Brown_Expressions_Of_Me?id=peLHAQAAQBAJ

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/expressions-of-me

ADD and the Writing Process…#HappyNewYear

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Sometimes I wish my mind was a steady stream, rather than a blazing fire…

…yet I burst into flames, because I like the burn.

Sometimes I wish I could wrangle my thoughts and quiet my mind…

…but I feel at home within the chaos and clutter.

Sometimes I wish that I could see things lightly; feel things lightly…

…instead, I write to lighten the load. 

I am a seer, 

I am a feeler, 

I am a visionary and

I am a dreamer. 

I am a writer; 

And a damn good one at that. 

Words ease the pain and isolation, 

Of my frantic brain. 

My attempt at poetry. I used to fashion myself a poet but it was a ruse. I put it on and wore it around for a while, like a petticoat that didn’t quite fit. I’m not a poet…the verses are too short and my writing tends to be lengthy. My thoughts are too disconnected; too scrambled for the subtle flow of poetry. No, I’m not a poet at all; I’m an empath.

Sometimes, I still write poetry but most of it is not good. I do it because the emotions rise within me and clog my brain. I do it because poetry is power and writing is better than exploding. Actually, a lot of my work spawns from half-written poems. I find it helps to expel the emotion before writing. Then, the logical parts of my brain can take over and I can communicate in clarity.

This particular poem has come about because I’ve been frustrated lately. This is how it happened: I published a book. The release of that book was exciting. Excitement for me, always leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to frustration. Sounds crazy, right? Well, that’s just me. My emotions are a strong and pointed cascade which have ruled me for most of my life…so I have to learn to control them.

My mind is strong but scattered. I am an extremely adept learner and inherently curious. Knowledge is a drug for me and I yearn for it, when things around me become quiet. However, thoughts do not flow through my mind in an endless stream. The world comes at me in flashes; random and incomplete flashes. Writing, for me, is more like quilting.

I think this is why “The Writing Process” does not work for me. By the time I set down to put something on paper, it is usually already written in my head but it is scattered and stored along with little pieces of emotion. My job, as a writer, becomes retrieving each piece and sewing them together; so that they flow logically.

Sometimes, my writing doesn’t flow…sometimes it’s not logical…that’s just one of the prices I pay for having a mind like this. It is a great mind but it’s wild. I’m sure if I wasn’t so good at dodging teachers, principals and counselors, they would have diagnosed me with ADD…but my mom wouldn’t let them.

She’s too smart. She understands that brains don’t come in a “one size fits” all format and she has always seen the beauty of my mind. I’m glad for this everyday because it never gave them the chance to break me….

I hate when I do this…when I use terms like “them”. I hate feeling like “the system” is against me; like it wants me to conform and curses me when I don’t. It’s not the system’s fault…I think that it tries hard to “fix” people like me but medication and heavy scolding only leave the creative mind broken and tattered.

I see the fire within my children. I’m just waiting for the day; after the phone calls home for their “behavior” pile up and the teachers have deemed them ‘uncontrolable’ that the school system will try to tell me that there is something wrong with them. They will try to convince me that their outbursts in class are disruptive and that their thoughts are too big. They will try to get me to make them conform…but I wont.

Because they are beautiful. They are strange and wild and full of life. For a long time, they will probably not ‘fit in’ but then they will realize that fitting in is overrated and then their souls will soar. At least I can teach them; help them direct their minds and control their emotions. I can help them flourish but I will never tell them that there is something wrong with them. I will never tell them that the way their brain works is “wrong”…

…There, I go, I’ve trailed off again…

The purpose for me writing this was to talk about the ADD mind and the writing process. Because it is both a New Year and a New Moon, it is to lay aside my anxieties about marketing and sales and focus my mind on writing. It is to dig beneath the clutter and find the strand which will unravel my newest novel.

It is also to say that writing, in all forms, is as unique as the mind. We don’t all think the same way and so we don’t all write the same way. The differences between us are not meant to set us apart but to bind us together as a whole; to make us stronger. This is true for the writing community and this is true for society, as well.

Death of an Unborn Legend.

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The memories intertwine,

Like the branches of my equinox wreath.

Though I have lived a life of fullness,
Documentation of it cannot be found.

Every Scar,

Every Tear,

Every screaming word
Falls from my biography

Like the leaves of the trees

 

My words melt into the background

Of a dying society.

My life’s work:

A story that will never be heard;

Words that will never be expressed:

Scattered beneath the folds of my societal robes.

 

These burning labels mute me:

For mothers don’t speak like that:

Lovers don’t speak at all

Students only speak when spoken to

Yet inside I am burning:
Dying to convey ancient messages;

Stories of a fallen angel.

 

Broken and Tattered,

Yet glowing with godly grace:

On a journey to teach, to lead

To devour and feed.

Darkness and Light,

Constantly crashing,

Pulling me down

 

Would I be heard,

If I had traveled a different path?

Would I be heard

If I were born of royal love?

Would I be heard,

If I weren’t one of the 47% of useless souls,

Clamoring on the brink of apocalyptic fall?

 

 

The validity of my words will not be defined by society

And as I shed my second skin,

Strength wells inside me.

Out of the deafening silence, I emerge:

A firebird with a tongue like a blade,

And the strength of soul

To save a dying race

 

With change on the horizon,

I answer the call

And blaze toward enlightened society

With the ferocity of a thousand demons.

I must shatter every label,

Understand every crisis,

Jump over every boundary,

And dodge ever bullet.

 

For sane opinion in an insane society

Will become the death of an unborn legend.

Condemnation

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“Devil”
They whisper from their golden thrones,
And anger envelopes me.
Their words feed;
Like maggots on a rotting corpse.

Poking, Stinging, Burning flesh;
The wings, the fangs, the razor claws.
My soul deteriorates,
And Shadows devour.

The shift occurs,
And before I can conjure,
My feathered wings are ruptured;
My fiery blaze doused.

I stand condemned before the righteous ones,
The crown of thorns piercing tainted flesh.
Through cackling laughter and pointed fingers,
I pick my mark.

It is revenge that I seek;
And revenge I will gain.
I have sold my soul,
For the purpose of it.