Because WE ARE the courageous mahogany
The brown beautiful minds unselected
I AM the undefeated black She-Ra
Righteous redeemer of slight, ashy matchstick legs
And natural-born rough, tight and wiry crowns
Of glory unfavored
Like HER – I am a vision to behold
My beloved Nefertiti – Lady of grace
And all women
Because WE ARE the mighty amazons
Risking life and limb to prove our tanned bodies
As mighty as our hearts are devoted
I AM the unrestrained lioness
Blessed defender of innocence
And keeper of our dragons slayed – untold
Yet, I AM NOT weary
Because WE ARE our Mothers
Grandmothers, Sisters and Daughters
And triumphs unrecorded
I AM the courageous mahogany
Taking a chance on my brethren –
In this life
To want me
Forgive me – and then
Let me BE
Like a tiny black bird
Flying high, wings uncrushed
And all of the heavens waiting for us
Beyond the horizon.
We never spoke of Revolution
Or tireless demonstrations for freedoms unsung
And certainly not your voice – epic and deliberate
That still pierces the rumble
Of politically correct mumble jumble
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
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 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
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
For some reason
The thought of you now
Just takes me home.
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.
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”.
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.