Posted in poetry, stream of consciousness writing

Essence Art

 

 

embrace-change

embrace change

devour listening

look brother

know thyself

with rhythm angel

 

 

 

man-face-1

the doodle of a forgotten page

characterizes

a fool or a sage

words reflect who you are.

 

struggling-to-fly

in the clear night sky

I feel as if I’m struggling to fly

in the dream I see the produce truck

laid out with radiant foods, fresh

neatly boxed

ready for market.

Posted in inspirational, music, profiles, stream of consciousness writing

Poem for Nina Simone

SUEZmystic NINA

 

 

She
who played
the black and white keys,
the piano, the only friend of a lonely, dreamy, fervent
child from across the tracks.
She
grew prophetic, classical,
prolific,
little, lilted and black
yet she couldn’t strike back,
a husband who pretended to love her
with a mean hitting hand,
she

sought to ease her sorrow
looking with improvisation
for tomorrow.
Turbulence shackled her shoulders, her soul
and at corners she circled not knowing
which way to go,
raging, performing, shining on and on,
stage to stage,

stairs up and down,
the days of lights, laughter, and neighbors
and inky-deep indigo nights,

she

played and traveled and looked for a home.
We bid you only comfort, dearest,
darling with your righteous fingers
impressive
heart,
she

did what she could.
Sail on, ebony goddess, you are
forever bound in our endearments, twinkling
you settle, settle,
settled down
among the clouds of the comforting place
resting,
where you are
free, free, free.
Free to just be.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in social commentary, stream of consciousness writing, Writing for healing

Flint’s Watery Disaster

Here’s a link to how you can  help the residents of Flint.

 

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Oh if walls could talk, leaden paint chips
and
toxic oxidation

left to crack

and seep into

emblazoned genetic mutations,
chewing up neurons, ganglia,
and transmitters
making crazy, jagged children
whose mothers and fathers
must plead
for an answer.
Just wait. We have to prove you are being poisoned with further talk

and testing,

by crowding the icy air with our jargoned policy.
Just wait
a little longer,
we have a golf game to play

and a red carpet to stroll.
The suits sit
in boardrooms
in muffled sarcasm,

the ghosts of the land baron’s

scented bath water

reeks of parsimonious waste.
You go drink the water, sir.
You sit in the bathtub, sir.
You, who knew
in 2004
that the empire
is stained with lies and monster’s breath.
Your sleep may be haunted
by the eyes of the innocent.
There is no place to hide,
and if walls could talk,
the leaden paint chips and droppings
drifting in the water
will drip
into
the cellular structure
of apathy’s mistress.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Susan E. Rowland

Journal prompt: What do you think of  the water contamination in Flint, Michigan? Have you ever been exposed to toxic chemicals? Do you have any stories about environmental disasters? What are your thoughts? Write a letter or a short science fiction story to future generations describing what is going on with chemical contamination today.

 

 

 

 

Posted in self improvement, social commentary, stream of consciousness writing, Writing for healing

The Help and My Story-Musings on the Coming New Year

Some new year musings. It’s long one.

I enjoy the approach of the new year but I don’t make resolutions. Instead I focus on “wannas,” not to be mistaken for “wannabe.” I don’t wannabe anyone other than myself. My take on most of what others’ opinions might be, at least right now in my life, is-who cares? I know who I am, I know what I do and what I don’t do.

And of course I care, but at a certain age alignment with universal values becomes more important than what the neighbors think of your lawn or lack of it. And I’m sure when it comes to trying to sell my own work I’ll have to tone it down…somewhat. When in Rome….

What brought all this about?

It is the topic of self-respect and the quest for becoming a better person…and my personal goal until I take my last breath. Jesse and I haven’t watched the popular movies about “The Help” and all that. I am the “Help” and have always been the “Help” even though I come from a background where we were more than comfortable. When I was working in a bookstore some dude came in, took a look at me and said “Is this the new help?” I kid you not. One of my former bosses used to introduce me as “This is Sue, she works for me.” Yes. I did. And that is how you are supposed to act when you work for them. You play the role, you know the role, and you sure as heck learn a lot about people.  I’ve never been the doctor, lawyer,  or chief group; I’ve always been in the support system category. Sometimes I get a little twinge of something, maybe it is envy, but in my heart of hearts I don’t envy anyone. I worked for 30 plus years for low wages-not that it means anything. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough to land higher paying jobs. I’ll reveal more in my book.  I did what I could, when I could. I found a niche and I stayed. What anyone else does is up to them. I would advise young folks to go for the highest paying career you can get, without going into debt. And travel the world. How else can we learn about others? You are no less or no more than another person on this earth. Ever. Nobody is “above” you. They might have a more prestigious title, have more money, more influence, more power, better looks…but they are not above you. They go out just as they came in, same as you.

I guess you would say I’ve always been a free spirit with a strong alliance for justice. Now let’s move on.

My point is I don’t need to go live in a Zen Center to find myself and to pare back on luxuries to create an atmosphere of humility or humbleness. I did that for many years, while washing CLOTH diapers in a ‘shit bucket” with gloves on, the old way. We didn’t have plastic diapers.The shit bucket was always used for diapers, nothing else. People don’t know how to clean nowadays. People don’t deal with shit. Mothers and fathers just clean their babies (hopefully) then they roll it up and throw it in the garbage so that it all ends up in a crap-laden land fill.

Back to my tough lifestyle story–so, once the diapers were rinsed, I water poured the gray water onto a separate compost pile that was carefully kept away from the regular garden compost. You had to heap topsoil or dirt onto the pile the cover it with hay and a bit of lime,  for decomposition. You leave that alone for at least six months. Enticing isn’t it?

Then I would transfer the damp rinsed diapers in a plastic bag. When we would go to town once a week, I would throw them in the regular washing machine ( luxury!) at the laundromat.

I did that with two children because we lived way out in the country, back up in the mountains where we didn’t have electricity and indoor plumbing. I hauled water and chopped wood. I worked at the log jams and did stream clearance, the women working right along with the men. I cut firewood with a chain saw to earn extra money. I was strong, never worried about “weight.” We didn’t have luxuries and I never really missed them at the time. What I missed was having a life without arguing, without verbal abuse, without condemnation. If you are in an abusive relationship, get out. As quickly as you can, just get out.

I got out and later on I met a good man.

I just remember a few paragraphs in Louis Armstrong’s autobiography. I think he was talking about this grandmother who took in washing for a living. In fact, most of her customers were ladies of the night. He shared her sunny outlook on life and the fact that she NEVER envied anyone, nor did she disparage her lot in life. She was the ultimate “Pollyanna” before the genre of positive thinking ever got started.
Norman Vincent Peale was one of the first known Anglo positive thinkers. But you KNOW Anglo people did not originate all this oozy gooey feel good stuff. Not to say everything boils down to race, but lack of awareness is truly a great “sin.” It is white privilege not to be aware, now, it is a class privilege not to be aware. Most people are hard-working and optimistic, but they are fed up. And it is not about political correctness. PC matters, Black Lives Matter, Native American lives matter, and protocol matters. Respect matters.  That is why I am voting Bernie Sanders. Until Clinton addresses GMO foods (think cancer and tumors) fracking (think pollution, toxic drinking water, and skin ulcers), and class disparity, I am not supporting her. I wanted to believe that a woman could be in the White House. But something just isn’t right at this point.

It’s going to be depressing not having Obama in the White House. I don’t know about you, but Jesse and I cried when we was elected both times. We sat on the couch in the living room….and nobody called. Finally I called my soul sister, Velma Sue, because she always understands me. Jesse and I were shocked. WHERE were all our friends? NOBODY called.  We wept for the historical breakthrough, for the victory, for the battle and all the lives that had been lost, and are being lost by injustice. But, I’m getting off track.

As we know mainstream American culture and ideology has its ROOTS from ‘other’ ethnicities and populations-originating with Native American, African, Caribbean Islanders, Asian, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Hispanic, European, Portuguese and so on. We might have a tough time melting in the melting pot of the US, but we are certainly all going to melt if we don’t change our dependence on fossil fuels, and our insistence on fouling, destroying, and decimating our lovely home-the Earth.

Here are two things I’ve been mulling over for the New Year:

1) I wanna change some things & of course I want to change myself. Since Christmas I did a bunch of leg lifts and counter push ups. Here’s how you do Sue’s push ups. Stand at any counter in the house, straighten your arms, lean in, bending elbows and then push back. IE, It is a standing push up. Do at least 10 pushes. I am on a mission to love my body more. Am out for a walk daily and I’m doing more minutes on the treadmill. One day at a time, as the saying goes.

2) I wanna use LESS plastic. Even when we are conscious about healthy eating we still end up bringing in plastic to the house. I still use bubble wrap in my book business because it is light and doesn’t make the shipping weight increase. Somehow, slowly I am going to decrease the use of plastic in my life. Cheers!

Journal prompt: did you make any New Year’s resolutions? What do you want to do this year? Or do you feel resolutions are a bunch of hooey?

 

Posted in journaling, stream of consciousness writing

For My Nieces

yesterday in solitude

two rabbits approached to play

where we put out bird seed.

just like a puppy, the bunny rolled around in an earthen indentation

while the doves fed and quail strutted.

roadrunner came by for a frantic visit

going this way and that.

I have so many wild pets and birds

that when thunder came by this afternoon

I was not lonely.

Never wanting for anything

the scent of desert waters

reminds me of childhood

when watching storms was the greatest pleasure,

yet when I hear your story

I wish there was something I could say

to ease your young mind.

The only thing I can think of

is what Mama would say to me

when lightning and tears

felt like they would surely suffocate my spirit:

“Keep that chin up, honey,”

You are stronger than you know.”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in humor, stream of consciousness writing, Writing for healing

I’m So Important!

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Have you ever wondered what the side effects are of endless picture -taking, self broadcasting, and constant talking on the phone?

It’s all about ME-dia!

Here’s ME and my take on modern people and social *ME dia.

ME in the morning, ME at night, ME in my nightgown, ME in a fright. Me during fight night, ME in a book, ME in a magazine, ME at a brook. ME in the afternoon, ME at the store, ME and my sister, ME getting sore. ME in dress up clothes, ME as a bum, ME at the laundromat, ME eating dim sum. ME in the evening, ME and my mother, ME with the babysitter, ME and my brother. ME and my father, ME and my kids, ME and my hot booty, ME telling fibs. ME with my grandfather, ME right now, ME in the can, ME herding cows. ME in the shower, ME as a model, ME as a movie star, ME wearing flowers. ME on the run, ME on the lam, ME as a hero, Me as a flim-flam man. ME in a Dr. Suess book, Me as an artist, ME in the aftermath, Me farting gas. ME in my robe, ME in sweats, ME doing yoga, ME strumming frets. ME without make up, ME playing pool, ME doing algebra, ME as a fool. Me being silly, ME being serious, ME teaching classes, ME half  delirious. ME at the mall, ME with my friends, ME with my husband and that’s the end. ME with my cousin, ME with my lover, ME with my smartphone, ME under cover. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,ME, ME. Me as a prisoner, ME being free, ME as a dilettante, ME as a she. ME as a goofball, ME as a spoof, ME  as an acronym, ME as a goof.  ME at the ocean, ME at the beach, ME at the grocery store, ME as a leach. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, it’s important to be ME.

I hope you get the message, I hope you understand, I hope you get the story line, I want attention on demand!

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME.

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,

ME.

I think there’s a country song about this ME topic. Yes, there is. I just found it. It is called “I Wanna Talk About Me” by Toby Keith.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Susan E. Rowland

 

 

 

Posted in poetry, stream of consciousness writing, Writing for healing

Oracle of the Pacific

 

oracle of the pacific copy

Writing 201 Day Nine

Prompt: landscape

Form: found poetry

Device: enumeratio (counting, naming one by one)

 

 

                                                                             Oracle of the Pacific

Little bird in a basket, flying to the sea,

I am an illustrated journal

exploring archetypal imagery;

I am the oracle of the Pacific,

stitching design, twining, splintwork, plaiting, weaving,

beading the light with 1000 spirit guides.

 

Discussion. This was  a free form take on nature/seascape combining basketweaving, oracles, and journaling which are some of my favorite things. Hey, what can I say? You never know what found poetry will bring. Have fun. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in inspirational, stream of consciousness writing, writers, Writing for healing

A Group Poem by Some Facebook Friends

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Thoughts Over Time

 

A light rain was falling in the desert.

Snoring from the other room

became a backdrop for her midnight story

as she tapped on the keyboard at the FB Sunday night gathering of kindred spirits.

Dormant color stirred and rolled

like a painting or a lithograph.

Cleansing my muddy rut,

I gazed out the window as tiny drops of rain danced down on the glass,

memories fill my mind, as I trace thoughts over time.

The mist of life to quench my heart.

 

yellow flower

 

A collective effort by six women in random orderMJ Gillot, April Joy Garrett, Ginger Bliss, Vicki Soto, Vicki Butler-Hagan,  Sue Rowland-Facebook friends.

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Journal prompt: Find some friends and write a group poem. Work quickly, don’t labor over the lines.Then read your poem aloud, each person taking a line and speaking it. Do you find the exercise to be uplifting? Do you feel the need to be attached or identified by what you have written?

Side note: this was an impromptu fun thing we did on the spur of the moment. The lines in the poem do not correspond with the list of participant names at the end of the blog. This does not follow a formal structured group with a “formal” leader as in a trained journal or poetry therapy group.  Imagine a group of friends breaking into song at a café and you have the setting for the poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in earth friendly, inspirational, journaling, stream of consciousness writing, time

Quiet Times and Grandfather’s Monsoon Song

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1)

In times of quiet
the low hum of air conditioning units on tiled roofs and bungalows becomes an invitation  before the morning call of dawn bird.
The spirits are free to come down from the woods out of the Great Mountain. Softly they  might appear on the deep desert floor.
You might just catch a glimpse of a winged one
when time stops.
A bounding shape-shifter leaps into the long evening.
Mesquites guard a shadowy panorama-what was that?
Songs of the ancient ones.

2)

Hush my child, your guardian is ever near

in the glistening mid-day sun and underneath your eyelids at midnight.

Reach out with your fingers, I am here.

My shoulders are strong and you may rest your head between them

as you are still young-no bullies live in our neighborhood

where mixed skin tones and gathering souls honor the four directions, the four colors.

I am telling stories before you dream.

There now, you are safe.

You are a reverie

born to the peaceful ones.

 

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