In a Reminiscing Mood

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The World yawns, stretches and braces for a New Day

Birds chirp their morning Anthem.

Leaves unfurl

Grass shakes off its dew

And I lie here sleepless, thinking of you.

Missing the voice that cradles my heart.

Soothes and calms my fears.

Whispers gently, trust me

I will Not let you go

I get you.

Missing the Smile that twinkles

those gray/brown eyes

Deepening the dimples

bringing out the impish boy hiding inside.

Missing the Hands that heal the wounded

Pray to the Creator

And catch hold of mine

Carefully guiding me beside not behind.

Missing the Mind, lightning quick

complex, collecting, processing, storing

Zoom zoom on multiple tracks

Yet carving out some

cerebral space for me.

Missing the pet names

A language shared only by us.

Missing the passion

The volcano erupting, bubbling over

Spreading its fiery furnace over My land.

Missing my smile, my lightness, my glow

That touches all who knowingly Know.

Missing the love songs dedicated By you

Shuffling through my collection

Finding the perfect response to send to you.

Missing the kitchen. The back forty. The Farmers’ Market.

The half watched DVDs. The Lake. The Woods.

Damn, I am Missing You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SPOKEN WORD

1406038038668  I like the way that sounds…the feeling that it arouses in me when I hear that phrase–Spoken Word. It’s different from poetry with its meters and rhymes, iambic pentameter, structure, form. Roses are red/violets are blue.  It reminds me of blues/jazz/ playing late at night in some darkened room, shades drawn, voices hushed. Spoken Word.

The biggest problem I see with you/me is Time

Or should I say the lack thereof

I know it’s only been 2 months

And there are things you must do

But understand

I am not

Content to be alone

To face minuteless days/clock-watching nights

Of solitude/boredom/loneliness

In fact, I have had about

All the loneliness With a man

These past 5 years

That I can stand.

I deserve more

Need more

Want more.

You said it yourself

The last time

We entered Paradise.

When I was 20 I used to

Play this game

With my friend Pam

Called Isyoutheone?

Hanging out in bars, malls, jazz spots, bowling alleys

Searching each strange new face

For some sign

Of compatibility.

20 years later

The game ceases to

amuse me

I am a love song

Searching for lyrics.

Needing someone who

Unselfishly understands my needs

Whose first thought

Upon awakening

And giving thanks to the Creator

Is of ME.

And when life

Requires separation

I understand.

We are given

So little time

Why waste it.

When there are so

Many things/Places/Feelings/Thoughts

To Share…Together.

I really don’t relish

Doing this alone

In my

40th year

It is really no fun

And sooooo unnatural

And if having you

Wanting you

Means that I will

Still be alone

Then

Perhaps I am better off

Without You.

 

Negro History/Black History/African American History?

 

Okay, it’s finally here, February…the month I love to hate. And no, it’s not the 25,000 calorie consuming Super Sunday event that makes folks fanatical and grown men cry. Nor is it that cutesy bow and arrow kid all dressed in red taunting us to Buy, Buy, Buy even when there is No Significant Other for some of us to buy for. And it’s not even the days spent watching the weather forecast, checking the Farmer’s Almanac praying that the cold front from Canada doesn’t descend on Virginia and kill all my early budding perennials.

It’s the celebration of history and culture in February that has me wondering just who the *** am I ?

Lawd, this gurl done only wrote 10 posts this year and she already threatening a breakdown…

Reader, The 28 or 29 days of remembrance/activities associated with the history and culture of My people, frankly causes me to ponder. And now that I have left teaching and begun this journey as a writer, it has given me even more pause.

You see, in the early years, Black History Month was a time when I could legitimately get away with talking about the contributions of Black authors, poets, playwrights, rappers, etc. in my classroom without getting those raised eyebrows from an administrator who happened to stroll by my door.

Okay, I admit, I was a radicaluncoventionalgetitdonebyanymeansnecessary kinda teacher and culture abounded in my English class…year round. My walls were covered with the requisite grammar/writing/poetry/nod to Shakespeare, Keats posters. But they were also decorated with pictures of Zora, Langston, Alice,  Baldwin, Tupac and Alicia Keyes. I practiced equal opportunity teaching every chance I got. And Every good teacher knows in order to Really teach and reach your students, said students must be able to identify with the subject matter. And I knew/learned how to accomplish that.

In fact, the walls not only reflected African American artists, but artists from all ethnic/racial demographics…and not just in the month in which this Society has allocated for their recognition.

The result: My students were the liveliest, most well informed, high scoring, inquisitive make the school look good bunch (I and Principal W. knew). And They actually looked forward to coming to Rm 10, 3rd period English.

We got to talk to her about this horn tooting…do you think we should have an Intervention…call Dr. Oz? Oprah?

These same students in the person of an intensely serious 7th grader named Janeen (who announced during her introduction the first day of class that she was going to be a Medical doctor) inquired politely during our yearly study of Greek Mythology why we weren’t learning about the Egyptians whom her dad said really had the first myths. And nearly took over my laser pointer that day and challenged me to find the stories of mythological figures whose faces looked like theirs. This challenge by Janeen and the entire class..you always tell us to search for information, Ms. Goss ..led to the writing of my/their first book. (The book Dedication, accordingly was ascribed to that class and the cover drawing credited to a student who didn’t care much for writing… but enjoyed hearing about those Egyptian myth guys.

So, with 25 days left to go, Reader, and a calendar that’s overflowing with all kinds of delightful cultural offerings (only someone on speed could conceivably attend them all), I have to question why this Celebration has to be squeezed into OnE month and can’t be spread out all over the entire year. I mean we are Black every day, aren’t we?

Mercy…This chile need help…Can’t be her upbringing..des Presbyterians..umph, umph, umph.

 

Bye y’all!

Blogging: Lesson Learned

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Songstress Alicia Keyes’ melodious lyrics filter into my pre- dawn bedroom.  Yes, I was burned but I called it a lesson learned. Mistakes overturned So I call it a lesson learned. My soul has returned So I call it a lesson learned. Another lesson learned.

My three year journey into the world of Blogging has certainly been filled with lessons learned.

For someone who has authored 4 nonfiction children’s books and edited many more; completed a 300 plus page fiction/memoir about a 20 somethings R rated adventures/life in Los Angeles in the 70s; published journal articles in everything from the Ohio Middle School Journal to Afro Americans in New York Life and History; mastered the art of researching/writing complex legal pleadings (for lawyers); taught countless middle, high and college level students the joy of writing; successfully written federal/national/ and local grants; and conducted workshops/seminars on the teaching of writing to folks from 6 to 60– Blogging is by far the most challenging writing I have ever done.

A fellow Blogger (and English teacher) opined in her post that Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay. She provides a logical argument for this premise asserting that Blogging has the potential to reach and influence many, both in and outside of the classroom. Blogging represents a 21st century skill with real world uses. When was the last time your boss asked you to write a narrative essay? (S.Wright, Making the Shift)

After reading this Post and the comments (and they were numerous), I realized that I too have come to some startling truths about Blogging.

The idea of sharing your writing with others in a public forum sounds harmless but is certainly not for the thin-skinned. It is one thing to have a publisher reject your work (isn’t that what they are paid to do?) but to have an anonymous reader question your word choice, your style, your editing, your grammar, your font, your raison d’etre…well it can be, let’s say, a bit daunting.

 Blogging, despite what some hard working people think, is WORK. It is a most intensive type of writing-writing on demand- for an audience that you are totally unfamiliar with (age, gender, race, politics, etc.). And while you may be familiar with some of the readers, once the post gets passed on to a friend of a friend or available to the www public ..the audience issue becomes a slippery slope.

 Blogging can cause you to question friendship with people you thought really had your back and were supportive of your efforts to get your voice heard. After a few conversations with them and not once do they mention ANYTHING that was in any of your last 20 posts, you realize they have not taken the time to even peruse your site. You then begin to question the true nature of this relationship since you can literally make lists of the times you have been there for that person over the years providing money/advice/meals/a shoulder/a ride/late night phone calls/a ride/money..I digress.  There she go….grinding that axe..hmph

Blogging can make you realize what you already know… that ultimately writing is a solitary endeavor…best done in the privacy of one’s home/office/cabin. And only shared when it is finished…in final form… as in A Book.

But… on the other hand…

Blogging can bring together like- minded people who share common interests and who are there to uplift each other as they all struggle to find their Voice. Many Bloggers on WordPress actually read each other’s blogs and post thoughtful comments/questions on their site.

Blogging can inspire, challenge, inform, entertain and even delight the Readers who take the time to read your Blog.

And  finally, for many creative types who suffer from the curse of insomnia, Blogging can give you something to do when the whole world except you and the people in another time zone are all fast asleep.

Does this girl have a man?  She need a boy toy or something!

Bon soir  

 

Is Fido the “New Black”

IMG_20160106_073831Okay, okay,  let me make myself perfectly clear- I  DO like dogs.  Not the ferocious I wanttoeatyouforbreakfast kind of dogs, but rather the panting, wide eyed, cannot wait for you to return home,  what can I do for you, Master kind of dog.

In fact, I have been the proud owner of several pooches in my 60plus years, as well as the adopted owner of two such canines- Lucky and Harry ( Some of you may remember my Award winning…seriously folks….Blog about daughter Js beloved Lucky who came to visit and never left). It was the Most Read of all my blogs in 2013! And was selected for publication in an online magazine. Certainly, a testament to America’s love affair with fido. ( and possibly my writing skills).

this girl never gets tired of tooting her own horn, does she?

So, why I am proposing that Rover is now the New Black? It all started when I was on an impromptu trip to MYrtle Beach during the frozen tundra winter of 2015. Searching for some sunshine and warmth, I boarded a Greyhound to MB in mid January for what I hoped was a respite from the el nino induced winter weather plaguing the East coast. MB, apparently, is the place where hundreds of Canadian “snowbirds” flock to each year from January to March..an alternative to Florida shores..in search of the Sun.

I thought this woman was Black. What she doing in Myrtle Beach with some Canadians..Hmph!

It was on one of my early morning strolls down the sparsely populated MB beach ( the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees) that I encountered not one, but several men of a certain age taking a similar outing accompanied by a little puffball at their heels, or in their arms, or in one instance strapped to his chest in a dog carrier.

Each of these older gentlemen seemed in some state of other world bliss as they walked fido stopping to offer encouragement, bag poop, or feed a perfect sized treat to their small companion. After day 3 of observing this ritual on the beach, in the mall, down deserted side streets, it occurred to me that something was missing! Where was the gentleman’s spouse, girlfriend, better half, or even sidepiece?

Being the inquisitive, never miss an opportunity to talk to a stranger kind of person, I posed this query to one of these happy go lucky dog walkers. The answer? Wait for it…Wait for it. There was none! She (or he) had been replaced by Fido.

I told you something was wrong with this girl..how can a dog replace a girlfriend…she done had too much Sun down there in MB!

As a person who likes to shore up her observations with evidence, I began to pay closer attention to men (and women) in my age group who were partner-less, but ..aha..had a relationship with a canine.

I will proffer the ‘One Who Remains Unnamed’ as my final piece of evidence. ( Many of you remember him from my Vegas adventure which was the catalyst for my first Blog). His ongoing relationship for the past 10 years with a Pomeranian named Marley exemplifies the point I am trying to make.

Not only has this  6 pound ball of black fur become the source of his constant attention, recipient of specially prepared meals, purveyor of expensive treats..when did dogs start eating duck jerky.. a place at the foot or side of his bed,  or constant admonitions by said dog owner to me:  Hon, I got to go home and see my dog…that movie/dinner/flat tire..whatever.. Will have to wait!

Huh? Reader, do you get my point? And no,  I am not jealous of a dog. I just believe all God’s creatures have a place in this life. That humans were made for each other’s companionship, misery or whatever.

So have we taken this dog thing too far?  Is having a relationship with another human too taxing, too much work, a relic of the past?

I believe a dog Can be man’s best friend..but best girlfriend??

Oh well, time to go watch some Reality TV. Until the next time.

 

 

Clothed in My Right Mind

(Reader, This post is from my original Blog started in 2013. It was a poem looking back at that year and ironically not much has changed. I share it with you as a  way to end this year since Father Time once again approaches.  Feel free to comment/share. Thanks for Reading..115 See you in 2016!)

Mourned with the nation

once again

As halls of learning

Became graveyard for

Innocents.

A reminder of my own

Brush with violence

In the classroom.

Endured silently as close friends

Battled the big C

Praying for their strength

And God’s mercy.

Where is the cure for

This unspeakable disease.

Battled my own

Insidious malady

That like some thief

In the night

Robs me of sleep

And my Memory.

Marveled as my Readership

Climbed to new Heights

Propelled by the Musings

of a Canine with an attitude.

Witnessed two couples

Become Betrothed

Renewing my blistered faith

In Happily Ever After.

Watched painfully as another

Sizzled and burned

The vows of Matrimony

Sacrificed on the

Altar of Deceit.

Relished the fervor

Of an Unexpected Romance.

That awakened a spark

And just as quickly

Flitted and Died.

Marveled as hordes of folks

Worshipped at the throne

Of Scandal.

While the real scandal

A President without support

Played out up the road.

Bid adieu to a Pillar

Of the community

And of the family.

Her battle courageously fought

At peace now finally at Home.

Labored in my Jardin

Harvesting food for my Soul

Feeding family and neighbors

And daily stopping to smell

The Rose.

Celebrated parents, brother

Sister, and two girls.

Not always in harmony

But always in Love.

Confided in good girl friends.

Sharing both highs and lows.

Thankful for the voice

At the end of the phone.

Celebrated life in the faces of

I, J, K and D

Becoming Men of the Family.

Hoping that the New Year

Already frigid and cold

Offers a Chance

To once again

Pursue the Dream.

technophobia:a 21st century disorder

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Look familiar? These are the ravages of a 21st century disorder!

Hi, I’m Linda. I am a Baby Boomer.  I am not afraid of Technology.

In fact, I was the first on my block (back in the 80s) to have a MAC desktop courtesy of my employer. And despite my title as a teacher of English, I ran the computer lab and became the unofficial fixer of all problems MAC and otherwise.

Through the years, I graduated from MAC and became a PC user (Higher education folks looked down on us MAC users). I even became a proud member of Blackboard club and successfully taught freshman English to someone. ( Never sure who the students were since they could easily sit in their basement, blowing smoke and pretending to be on my roster).

Recently, I even enrolled in an online course and literally taught myself. Glad I didn’t have to pay for that travesty, but  it is one of the perks of living to be a ‘senior’. I digress.

Beyond the computer, I have owned a number of smart phones, tablets, and my most recent toys- Bluetooth keyboard and headphones.  My point Reader, is that I am not a novice when it comes to technology.  And as further evidence, you’re reading a Blog which I singlehandedly setup on this site. With only 2 consults to the ‘help’ button.

My technology concerns however, are not my own but rather global ones. Because, you see, I fear that we have gotten ourselves in somewhat of a pickle with this whole computer driven society.

For example, I was one of those ( former) hard working government workers who received notification that my security information had been hacked and all my personal information (including my SS#) was floating around in cyberspace.  The government’s response to this travesty was to provide all hackees with free identity theft services for a few years.

After spending several hours online providing the id theft fixit people with more of my personal info, it occurred to me what happens if they get hacked…what then?  And in fact, after I was awarded with a user name and a strong verified password by said id theft fixit company, I attempted to  log onto my account  only to find that my user name and/or password was not correct. Denied access to my own protection site..hmm..is that  like the pot calling the kettle black?

After several torturous hours of waiting on the phone for a customer service rep from the id fixit company, I was told someone would have to call me back as they were overwhelmed with other government employees seeking “the answer.”

Two whole days later, Jenny did call me back. But alas, I was cruising down the road and couldn’t talk to her. She hurriedly stated that it would be some time before I would get another crack at a rep so I pulled over to a parking lot and engaged in what turned out to be a fruitless foray into notgettingwhatyouaskedfor.

And despite her assurances, that everything was now fixed, when I returned home and attempted to log onto my id protection site, I was still denied access.

Despite all of this, Reader, like many of you,  I unfortunately drank the kool aid and continue to participate in using plastic for money, paying Peter and Paul online, shopping at the 24 hour Amazonia, and downloading movies/music  when the spirit moves me. I just pray the Hackers are gentle.