31 Flavors

31 flavors of posting in 31 days, well 29 for me as I missed two of them, and now it’s done. Some of those flavors were humorous, I hope, some downright maudlin, that’s life, all of them a slice – a flavor of my everyday.  I had my fingers crossed tight for this year, very tight.

In previous years I did not make it past the halfway mark before I threw in the towel. Granted some of my posting this month was rubbish and only submitted so I can say I posted a slice. So yes, I am honestly proud of myself  for having made it to the end with only two missing days. Those who follow my blog know last week was especially taxing for me. I was literally posting my slices minutes before, if not the at, the stroke of midnight, but I got them in. Yay!

A friend posted this to her wall in Facebook and I thought it very apropos to my current mood as this month, this year’s writing challenge ends…


So now March is done and I return to the regular weekly slices on Tuesday, but no rest for the wicked! Tomorrow is April 1st and thus begins National Poetry Writing Month! 30 more days of flavors because I’m a glutton for punishment and prose.

And again I’m crossing my fingers tight on that.


Day 31!!!! Congratulations to my fellow slicers who made it to the end!



Just Enough

Because I over book myself on occasion and this is one of them, I know if I do not post now it will not happen and that will have to be just enough…

I pray you have just enough sun
        to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the  day  may appear.
I pray you have just enough rain
        to appreciate the  sun  even more.
I pray you have  just enough happiness
        to keep your spirit  alive and everlasting.
I pray you have  just enough pain
        so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear  bigger.
I pray you have  just enough gain
        to satisfy your  wanting.
I pray you have  just enough loss
        to appreciate  all  that  you possess.
I pray you have  just enough hellos
        to get  you  through  the final good-bye.
I pray you have  just enough of everything you need
        so you never know the feeling of having nothing.


I pray you have more than enough of an enjoyable weekend!


Slice of Life Writing Challenge Day 18 – Two Writing Teachers

Being Present Is The Gift

“Doing what we like is freedom, liking what we do is happiness”  as I hope most have noticed is the tag line of this blog. But it seems like I’ve been so busy chasing the funds to have the former, that there’s rarely any time left over to engage in the latter. And I know I’m not the only one.

We spend so much time getting ready to be happy and not enough actually being happy.

The poor are so busy trying to get money to be rich, because then they will be happy. The working poor, formerly known as the middle class, are so busy trying to keep and obtain more money to be happy.  The rich are so busy trying to to prove themselves worthy of having said money to be happy. Yet how many of them truly are?

Someone once asked the Dalai Lama, what surprised him most about humanity, he answered:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

The Dalai Lama is very astute in his statement. In the bombardment of information, society, culture and idealism, I sometimes feel we’re slowly become something so homogeneous by silent consensus that we tend to lose that spirit which makes the individual so special. We mute the individual spirit that dares to pursue anything than what the masses have decreed should make us happy, when the masses themselves continually change the definitions.

Another favorite quote of mine: All are born originals: most die as copies.

Too many of us see ourselves through the eyes of others. And those eyes are most likely only viewing what they have been told to look at. When everyone is looking at the same things is anyone really seeing anything?

Android has a series of commercials out with the closing tag line of be together, not the same.  I think that also works in finding your own sustained happiness.

Life can be this amazing place full of light, happiness and serenity. Or it can be a dark place, full of drama and fear. It’s life, it holds all of these possibilities, but it’s up to you to choose what’s possible for yourself. And you must choose this for yourself everyday, sometimes several times a day.

When it comes down to the basics of life, we must remind ourselves of a few things:

We are alive.
The world does not make us.
We build our own kingdoms of spirit.
We build our own hearts.

Life can be a beautiful thing right here, right now, in the present, we just have to take a moment and keep reminding ourselves that.


It’s Monday, let’s see how others are slicing it it this Day 7 of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 7 – Two Writing Teachers


Via Dolorosa

I go where it began
My faith a spiraling question
Seeking answers

He passed here

My fingers lightly graze the warm stone masonry
At the Lion’s gate
I am as repulsed
As I am enthralled
In modern reverence
And ancient remembrances not mine

He was robed and crowned here

I look upon the heavens now
That surely looked upon this path then
And kneel under the weight
Of the millenniums twice beheld since

He fell first here

I hear those most ancient of sounds
And understand at last how
Simon’s act was hardly simple
I’ll share your load
In its truest meaning
As he and I follow the throngs
That once walked these cobbled streets
Worn smooth with time
Yet as torn as a betrayed heart
And a marker carved in stone tells me

He fell again here

Past and present collide
As somber robed monks walk the path
Singing songs
Alongside khaki clothed pilgrims
Marker molded in gold tells me
What in my mind’s eye I see

He falls for the last time here

Among the sun faded stones of then
Contrasting a gaily painted door of now
He speaks to this Daughter of Israel
Where I, this woman of the new world
Kneels down to kiss the sacred silver disk
Of Christ’s ending, Christianity’s beginning
Arising with a metallic taste
That tingles my lips reminding me
There is power in the Blood

He died here

No longer in question
My faith found answers
Where it ended

Via Dolorosa, “The Way of Grief” in Latin, is a winding cobbled stoned street within the Old City of Jerusalem, belief held to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion. Dotted with “stations” that mark specific moments – Simon helping Him carry the cross; Christ speaking to the Daughters of Israel; etc. Many Christians visit Jerusalem for this pilgrimage, especially around Easter.

I personally have not taken this pilgrimage, but it is on my list.

dVerse ~Poets Pub | Poetics – Adventures in travelling

Yourself First

I was conversing with a friend a few months back, stating while things were far from ideal in my life right now, I am happy with my life in general and with myself  as a person. I was completely taken aback when she said she didn’t think she has ever been truly happy with herself, ever.  I understand it is human to have times when we may not necessarily like ourselves, but to not have been happy – ever? That is deep.  It also explained a lot about her, which was kind of why I was having the conversation in the first place, but that’s her story.

Since that conversation, the subject of personal happiness has come up several times since. Again, I’m continually surprised by how many of my friends are secretly, or not so secretly in some cases, unhappy, with their lives, with themselves. Many don’t, refuse to or simply can’t see the self loathing that is the basis of much of their unhappiness.

Whether you realize or not, It is very hard to love life when you don’t love yourself.

I spent years not being miserable, unable to get along with people, until I finally realized my difficulties with other people were really my difficulties with myself.  I’ve carried my (un)fair share of self shame, unwarranted guilt, inferiority, rejection, etc., internalized it all into a lack of self-love and acceptance. The infamous They say fake it until you make it. Well, I faked the funk well with those who didn’t know, or didn’t care, enough to look deeper. And then self-flagellated as to why didn’t they care enough to look deeper? Because I wasn’t worth it? Charming little cycle of viciousness ain’t it?

There’s a boat load of things I likely would have handled much better when I was younger, had I asked for help at an earlier stage. I told myself I was being strong, I’ve got it handled. Bullshit. I was too weak to ask for help because I did not feel I was worthy of receiving it. If the first step of solving any dilemma is admitting to yourself you’re in one, then the second step most certainly is voicing your need help and the third is accepting that help and actually helping yourself.  It’s a long road, often a tough one, but it is a worthy one. Sometimes you have to put yourself first to get there, and that may mean, reminding others that you are worthy of personal happiness not because of what they allow you to have only after their me. me. me-s, but because YOU give yourself permission to be happy.  There’s a difference between selfish and taking time to take care of yourself. And part of taking care of yourself is making sure you’re doing enough to love yourself for yourself. Not when you reach some arbitrary goal, or if something happens to you – love who you are, as you are right this moment.

Only you can do that for you.

happy 2

As I recently posted on Facebook…

happy 1

Because goodness, and every one else for that matter, knows I love me some me now!

It’s really an old adage, but to paraphrase Rupaul who has made it popular in all her blunt glorious sass,  “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody or anything else?”


Let’s see how others are slicing through life…

Slice of Life : Two Writing Teachers

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers

Feeling Good


I’m feeling good…

Good like the cool rain taking the heat out of a sultry day
Like the breeze causing my skirt to gently sway
In that zany, loopy fun kind of cray

Good like finding a long-lost favored ring
A walk in the park the first days of spring
On a hot day, a sip of some cool fruity thing

Good like cutting with the Little Joker in Spades
Knowing I still have the big one to be played
Hiding the gleam in my eyes behind some shades

Oh, I’m feeling good.

For I’ve  spent way too many days with my smile lying
Fake laughing to cover how my heart was crying
In a world not even close to caring how my soul was dying

And too long I let others tell me how I should be
But never was it ever what I knew I could be
So now I only work on what is it good to me

Now that’s not saying I’m not feeling for my brothers set adrift
Or lost my empathy for my sisters getting the short shrift
Or that I don’t care about our socio and economic rift

Because sometimes the world makes me wanna holla from that stress
And like Marvin I want to know what’s going on with this mess and…

Excuse me, I digress…

Where was I?

Yeah, but right now? I’m feeling good!

Good like looking the mirror and loving the sight
Whether in silks by day or leathers by night
When I know I’ve got it all together so tight

Good enough to wear a mini in a skinny crowd
Not hide my beauty in some mumu or shroud
Head high, gut forward, loud and proud

And yes, sometimes it comes to pass
That there are those who chose to lambast
For they have a problem with my fat ass

But I’m not the one that’s going to obsess
And with each bite of food reassess and…

Oh excuse me again, I digress…

I am feeling good!

Good like having a day that started with doubt
But then proving I do know what I’m about
And later catching someone fine checking me out

That kind of good that can only come from within
That sneaky good I feel when I’m about to sin
With the one that gives me more than just a grin

The good of being in the zone
When my voice takes on that tone
Like the sound of a pleasured moan

Good like when I get that feeling of that special caress
From the hand slipping slowly under my dress and…

Damn, did it again, huh? My bad… Excuse me… I digress…

But no, y’all just don’t understand! I’m feeling good!

The giddy with friends that’s fondly tolerated
The kind of good that’s always celebrated
Where those near can’t help be feel elevated!

Feeling like Joy has answered my speed dial!
Good like not a thing on this earth can cramp my style
Good like the strength of my strut, the gleam of my smile

Good for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m able
To handle the crap still left on my mental table
Feeling a  good, that’s so good, that I a poet can’t even label!

Umph –  that kind of good!

And yeah I know I can’t sing it as Nina would, but

Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun up in the sky, you know how I feel
Leaves drifting on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and…

I’m feeling GOOD!


Feeling good about dVerse ~ Poets Pub’s | OpenLinkNight : Week 104

What’s Yours?


No I cannot forgive you yet
No I cannot forgive you yet
You leave us all in debt
I should have known…

When the Foo Fighter’s song “I Should Have Known” came out, group lead Dave Grohl stated -and he does have a point- that anything he writes relating to loss or death, the public will generally read into it that it is in some fashion related to the suicide of his Nirvana band mate, Kurt Cobain. However, the song becomes especially more haunting and Cobain related for those of us that knew that Dave was joined by two other members of the now defunct Nirvana as guests musicians on this song.  And while Grohl certainly understands why the public instantly makes the connection to Cobain here, he has stated repeatedly that yes Kurt is in there, the song was not specifically about him.

And that I can understand…

For  just as much as I feel the impact of the loss Cobain in this song, as I also feel the loss of my late-husband…

I was home  -thank goodness- when I first heard the song. On that very first listen, by the end of the first stanza, I remember I stopped everything I was doing at the moment, sat down and just listened to the song on repeat. “I Should Have Known” immediately reminded me of some of the stages of grieving, I went through…

The guilt: I’m still standing here, You leave my heart in debt, caught me unawares

But especially the crescendo as Grohl refrains No I cannot forgive you yet.

It’s raw, it’s pounding, you can all but see the fury and anguish pouring out. For those of us who have walked the grieving path, especially for the loss of someone who left us unexpectedly, we know this. We know it too well.

When my husband passed away, I recall being in that anger stage for a very long time.

A. Very. Long. Time…

And this song took me right back there to that very first year of grieving.  It hit me so hard, that when I was finally able to turn the song off an hour later, I was hurt and wanted to scream all over again.  This song is  such a brilliant mood changer for me, even now.  Here I am -some seven years after my husband’s passing and two years after the song’s debut- that the moment I heard those first opening chords of the strings through my iPod, it still gave me a moment’s pause, that I stopped reading my book and just listened.

Enough of a pause that, hours later, I still had to acknowledge it and write this blog.

Everyone has a song that gives them pause… what’s yours?

‘Till Next Time

Each morning I wake up begins with a stare
An urge to see who’ll be staring back at me
Life’s hectic, I’m moving, yet going nowhere
Adrift in life’s ocean, yet so lost at sea
My jammed nerves so frayed to the point of threadbare
Dark circles don’t lie to the mirror I see
I usually manage, to give all my best
The effect of make-up hiding lack of rest

Most days, I can get by, with little fanfare
I’m trying to live past the title of wife
But some morns, like this one, just too hard bear
The last place one think I’d go, to release strife
I’m gallantry trying to right the unfair
When breathing without you, just cuts like a knife
I fall to my knees; bowing my head in prayer
So strong in the love that came so late to life

Sweet serenity falls down on me in there
And I stand now slowly, still with upturned palms
Your presence surrounds, like church bells in the air
Its notes resonating; yes I’ve found my calm
My favorite music, only I can hear
Alone at your crypt I am relieved of fears
I leave and the sun finds me through clouds above
A kiss to the heavens “’till next my love”


Today’s form is technically three forms into one poem. Welcome to the Sicliano, Romagnulo and Toscano types of the Strambotto.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | OpenLinkNight ~ Week 84

Notions of Beauty

As an adolescent she’s told her looks are of a different class
Thus she finds herself staring hard in the looking glass
Not something she understands like ‘cute’ or ‘pretty’
Or even something as distinct like ‘siddity’
Just a tad too young to get the full meaning of erotic
But just old enough to know it’s not good to be exotic

Ferried every other Friday to the beautician’s chair
The only way to tame her long tightly woven hair
Suffers sleeping at night with a snug clothing pin
Shaping her nose so it’s straight and thin
Wooing her lips to sit just a tad inside
Knowing what they say about lips that are wide

Gone are the colorific beads that once adorned her hair
She’s older now and looks like that look cause stares
No batiks of blazing hues or other prints of ‘that’ fashion
More intents to belie the stereotypes of passion
Make sure her posture, like her diction is just so
Muddling through comparisons to a cookie we know

Walking ramrod straight without a rounded swerve
An attempt to camouflage of her natural curve
For decades she carefully toed that social standoff
Through the changing climes of wardrobe and coif
Never looking like ‘that’ was her personal pride
But conflicted as social and ethnic respect collide

But one perm too many turned it all about
Years of chemicals caused her hair to fall out
She tried extensions and other sorts of hair aids
She’s told leave it alone or more will fall out in spades
Her hair short and kinky, not since her childhood
She’s forced to face her definitions of what is good

Her childhood teachings, the well meant suggestions
Every single bit of it came into question
Resentful for feeling defensive of other’s disdain
Now that her looks no longer follow the ‘main’
Realizing she herself was once guilty of the same negation
That had nothing to do with her character or her education

It was a few years more to combine mentalities
Before she was comfortable with her new realities
Now she revels in her cultural prints and chains of jute
And she’s just as gregarious in her pinstripe suit
No longer concerned with how well she blended
Notions of beauty redefined, her spirit mended


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics– The Art of Letting Go

30/30 – 11 | Three Litte Words

I’ve rehearsed it all in my head for days now. I still wasn’t ready to face her. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t have an idea of what her response would be. It is just three little words to the most important woman in my life.

Carla D’Scalia – the world knew the single mother, put herself through college, achieved her masters and then her doctorate all the while raising two children. Now an ordained minister, she was well loved and respected in her church. But I knew Carla D’Scalia the woman. For instance, I am one of maybe three people maximum who know, reverend or not, she can cuss up a might fine blue streak in the privacy of her own home, to relieve tension on those rare occasions she gets majorly upset. My love for her and all that she has done for herself, her children and her community, knows no bounds, yet I’ve been ducking her for a while now and considering how close we were she’s understandably confused and upset by the distance I inexplicably put between us.

But I can’t do this any more. I need her in my life. I had to be honest with myself, with her, that this is the path I wanted / needed to take. She knows how I feel, I know she knows, but I still need to say the words aloud. And once I do – well, that’s on her. After nearly six weeks of being chicken shit, I finally called her up for dinner at my place. Ate some serious crow to get her here, but I had it coming.

So here we are sitting on my couch face-to-face. The only sign of her nervousness of the moment is the rapid tapping of her pinky against the stem of her wine glass as she patiently waits for me to get on with it.

It’s just three little words I had to say right? So I take a deep breath and say them…

“Mama I’m gay.”