Dinner with Sister Sonia “To Sister Ivy – Walk your intellect and beauty across thus country, my dear Sister. In love/strength/peace,” – Sonia Sanchez

Funny thing is

We never spoke of Revolution
Your speech
Or tireless demonstrations for freedoms unsung
And certainly not your voice – epic and deliberate
That still pierces the rumble
Of politically correct mumble jumble

Even funnier
You were no longer on the defense
Or the hunt
Your black polished angry humor
Laid aside for now
You spoke on impulse –
Softly with head bowed
To nobody in particular
And to everyone

I don’t believe this is what I ordered.
I think this has cheese in it,
and I can’t eat dairy.

As you signaled the waiter
I recalled the hours past
When you stood before us –
Restless amused honored
And colossal in our presence
Dangling the principle and function
Of Blackness before us
Pressing each one
To push past the façade
Of brick and ivy
And rest soundly and solely
Upon less concrete matters
Like faith testament
And fire

Value yourself,
because others may not – WILL NOT.
They didn’t want you here – DON’T want you here.
You didn’t really believe that lie; now, did you?
SOMEONE had to fight for you
to have this opportunity.
So, how are you going to repay them?
Your community
your history
your people –

I only dreamed
That we shared more than a passion
But now I understand
That we are light years together
Beyond simple language crafted

We are cut from the same Nubian cloth
Share the beautiful terrible lore
Of wearing thick Black skin
Over broken hearts tired bones
And possess the unbridled power
Of the darker wilier sex
To fight fight fight fight fight
With or without
Syllabic rhyme
Prose or haiku

We were born with Revolution in our hearts
Flames on our tongues
Agency in our bellies
And grace in our strides
My dear Storyteller
And Sister Sister Sister
Sister Sonia

For some reason
The thought of you now
Just takes me home.

©ifd 2012. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.



Frances Sternhagen Triumphs in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings!

Standing from left to right Zaharra Myers, Guest, Peter & Mary Velotti, Actress Frances Sternhagen, Virginia Gilley, Felicity Dell’Aquila- Geyra, and guest. Seated from left to right Suereta Overton, Joann Trifono and Lorraine Currelley.

Poets Network & Exchange’s Poetry and Creative Writing Workshop hosted its first major event on Saturday 8, 2012 at Garito Manor. Our special guest for this event was Actress Frances Sternhagen.

Audience members arrived  filled with excitement and expectation, and Ms. Sternhagen did not disappoint! Ms. Sternhagen gave a wonderful reading of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings to a standing room only audience. Ms. Sternhagen mesmerized her audience by skillfully transforming her voice and persona to that of her characters. She transported a willing audience on a journey of emotions, and was showered during her performance with applause from her audience.

At the end of her presentation Ms. Sternhagen received a standing ovation and delighted audience members with a question and answer segment. During the question and answer segment audience members shared their appreciation for an enriching and rewarding experience. At the end of the Q & A Ms. Sternhagen was presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers by workshop member Peter Velotti.

Following the program guests had an opportunity to meet Actress Frances Sternhagen during a reception courtesy of  Garito Manor’s, JoAnn Trifono, Assistant Community Relations Specialist.

Brief Biography:
Raised in Washington, D.C., Frances Sternhagen taught acting, singing and dancing to school children before first performing herself with the Arena Stage Group. Since that time, she has been seen in numerous Broadway shows, nominated five times for a Tony Award and receiving one for “The Good Doctor”. She appeared in include “Equus”, “On Golden Pond”, “Angel” and “You Can’t Take it With You”. Ms. Sternhagen’s film debut was in Up the Down Staircase (1967). Her credits includ Fedora (1978), Starting Over (1979), Outland (1981) and Communion (1989). She delighted Off-Broadway audiences for over two years with her feisty portrayal of the title character in “Driving Miss Daisy”.

Actress Frances Sternhagen , Novelist Felicity Dell’Aquila-Geyra (Far Right) and guests.
(Left) Poet Sdena Heller and guest.
The late Novelist Felicity Dell’Aquila (Left) with guests.
Workshop member Barbara Bolden (Center) and guests.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Novelist and Poetry and Creative Writing Workshop member Felicity Dell’Aquila Geyra for assisting in the arranging of Ms. Sternhagen’s appearance.

Our workshop members are, Barbara Bolden, J. Finney, Felicity Dell’Aquila-Geyra, Virginia Gilley, Lenore Jenkins, Cecilia MBA, Zaharra Myers, Teresa O., Suereta Overtn, Susan Rose, Gurbachan Singh, Peter Velotti & Theodora Weber.

Poets Network & Exchange was founded by poet and writer Lorraine Currelley.  She responded to the need for a creative venue that encouraged and supported the creative process of poets and writers at all levels. A place where poets and writers could meet to share ideas, information and network.

Poets Network & Exchange is a global community group of poets and writers on Face Book.

Poets Network & Exchange host conferences, lectures, retreats, seminars, poetry and creative writing workshops and an open mic. We have many exciting  upcoming programs! Stay tuned by joining our email list.

For more information visit us at


© Lorraine Currelley 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A Fine Void Author, Ivy Ford DeShied

I am prettiest

When I am fierce
and fully composed

By mere overture
and faulty design
No novice to this game
I make the rules
As I go
1 – 2 – 3
Follow my finger
As I trace a path
Between here
and sweet oblivion

I put a spell on you
Long ago
Your will was no match
Your heart –
Never your own
And your soul

Oh – my most precious thing –

A puppet on a string

©ifd 2012. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from author is strictly prohibited.


Unlock Your Soul Author: Jane Lynahan Karklin

Carry me down to
that river of my dreams
where moonlight casts its
spell upon the water.

Stars in the night sky
glittering like diamonds
speak of our radiant
home so far away.

Here we are all still
hiding in our darkness –
what a deep, sad lonely place,
not where we want to be.

Unlock your soul and breathe in nature’s glory –
The gentle force within us all
awaits the coming dawn.

© August 10, 2012 Jane Lynahan Karklin. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author  is strictly prohibited.

Good Morning Author: Ivy Ford DeShield

Awaken and rise
Great Mother Beast
Your tasks ahead

Are too great in number
And wholly splendor
For me to bear

Your infinite beauty
Pregnant in a single, undressed petal
Your majestic vision
Proudly born by the massive oak
And your unflawed wisdom
The superior mark of the queen honeybee

Awaken and rise
My Beloved Sovereign
There is much to be done
Let the hermit rest
Throughout the day
For nought depends upon him
Sun sky moon
Nor valley
Need his ready approval
Or steady hand

But your gifts are precious
Oh Infinite Dowager
And presence most remarkable
In every bloom
And twinkle
Rush and rumble
Hush and quake

Dear Natural Mother
Only grant me this – worlds to conquer
While I leave you
To gift miracles of loveliness
And kiss mountain flowers
Good Morning.

© ifd 2012. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author  is strictly prohibited.

A Song for Emma ( Emma Lee Ford, 1919-2011) Author: Ivy Ford DeShield

Train/whistle/stop Train/whistle/stop
Miss Mary Mack – all dressed in black

Twenty-four buttons down her back
She asked her mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence

The matriarchs of the community
Form a closed circle on the platform
As the first car pulls out of the station
Their vocals crescendo around us
A familiar song – a well-known hurt
This is not the first time they have
Gathered together and sounded in unison
Remembering one of their Beloved

Unlike most other folk
They have withstood the test of time
From nursery rhymes to soulful laments
Cornered between faith, ritual and rite
Horse-drawn buggies to sleek sedans
Leading mules and men – sunup to sundown
As one century meets the next

Old age is not cumbersome
To this group – when they look upon each other
The faded lines of youth linger still
And their memories ever so vivid
That they grieve impressively and wantonly
Clinging to each other as the caboose fades into the distance

Miss Mary Mack – all dressed in black
Twenty-four buttons down her back
She asked her mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence
He jumped so high
He touched the sky
And never came back

As the minute hand will cease to tick
So the chime will silence on a scheduled hour
And like their Beloved
They will one day ride the rails to nirvana
But the matriarchs stand steadfast – together – against fate
Willing the world to push them beyond the edge
Before the whistle blows

The circle opens now as each of the women depart
Tradition will not allow them to speak of this day again
Nor will they turn for one last look
Their Beloved has jumped the fence
And will touch the sky
For all of eternity




© ifd 2011. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this  author is strictly prohibited.