Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poetry presents...

I have the distinct honor to present to you a phenomenal poet, Ismael Khatibu. I met Ismael several years ago while attending open mic at a local coffee house and it was there that I was instantly captivated by his spoken word. Since that time he and I have become friends and for that I am grateful.
When asked about poetry and his inspiration Ismael told me, " I have been writing since the day the ink dripped on my etch a sketch! I am inspired by the idea of freedom and its interpretations (or misinterpretations!). I am a three-time member of the Piedmont Slam’s predecessor, the Winston-Salem Poetry Slam Team and I stepped into the organizer’s role in February 2009. I have also been co-hosting since February 2009."

You can find more information about the local Piedmont Slam team and Ismael's bio on the Piedmont Slam website (

Every 4th Thursday of the month you can find Ismael along with numerous others at Krankies Coffee house in downtown Winston-Salem. Open mic starts at 8pm and the Piedmont poetry slam starts at 9pm. Due to the upcoming holidays, November and December open mic and poetry slam will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month. For more details regarding this monthly event please visit the website.

Mount of Olives
by Ismael Khatibu

There is an emerging Christ; face down in the lowest depths of the innermost valleys of Babylon

Where the air gets heavier with each descent into the realm of unfathomable recluses,

Where the breeze’s grip is the heaviest weight, anchoring imagination to a dream deferred

Where illusory shackles are slave ships turned arks and densely packed is a full box of Newport cigarettes in the breast pocket of Sister Clara’s best Sunday jacket.

Her crumpled crème linen with re-stitched lining and its usual scent of nicotine is thrown over her right forearm this hot summer day while the left arm uses every bit of strength to climb the church bus.

Her customary seat is taken beside the choir director;
Psalm book in hand,
A melody in her heart
and a tear in eye as she prays for perseverance.

“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more” Psalm 71:14

The bus climbs the unpaved road of the Mississippi Delta, turning right onto Mt. Olive Ct.

Bumpy, bumpy is this one-way street, abandoned by contractors, land banked by developers who read from the same psalm book as the choir director and thank God everyday for Katrina.

Gentrification was never so easy.
Cleophus Jackson the bus driver, a retired social worker, who lost his family to sea and sky, recalls the previous three generations where his family members were sharecroppers.

Cleophus prays the next three won’t clean the rooms of wealthy vacationers in the resorts of casinos.
He has seen enough gambling in his life and the shot of gin he inhaled before his first cup of coffee is his testimony.

Then, there are the little ones; with no idea of differences between thirst and drunkenness or any lasting impressions of pain and agony.
They smile, they cry; and they are as momentary and instantaneous as the good tidings showered on them.

Up they grow, from little darlings to societal threats
Up they go forgotten roads weathered by Katrina’s blown kisses.

That and every Sunday morning;
to a shotgun church,
from a rickety bus,
from a broken community reduced to rubble and ash and sporadic existence,
to the highest point of Mt. Zion.

There is an emerging Christ, nomadic, clinging to yesterday for tomorrow’s sake,
lacking everything except spirit because they know as sure as Sister Clara’s hallelujahs egg on Pastor Jenkins,
and as sure as these beautiful youth run back and forth down the narrowest of aisles of this church van without being scolded because the members of Mt. Olive Church knows it keeps Brother Jackson from falling asleep at the wheel,
is as sure as they know that through the work of God, everything will be OK.
And once again,
as in past Sundays
and with diminished numbers that
continue life’s journey, they have arrived safely.

The adults, in dire need of the Word, file out,
followed by the children, largest to smallest,
followed by Sister Clara, who secretly or not-so-secretly, takes her last pull from her Newport
and lastly, Brother Jackson who says a prayer to the Lord for safe arrivals
and also has a quiet word for his deceased wife Brenda.

Slowly they stream through the church doors and take their customary seats in the pews.
The choir is assembling, preparing to ‘Get Right with God”.

And while Katrina’s baptismal waters recede like a departing thief and the deep sigh of her gale is completed,
communion glasses still tinker and crackers still crumble
and the voices of twenty robed in purple velvet rises as one Christ emerging from three days of death to sing and shout
that even though levees may break….
our spirit does not.

Ismael Khatibu
Copyright © 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I listen to the sounds of the clock resonating in my ears causing a deafening sound.
I watch the days go by and the pages on the calendar turn.
I see the sun rise and fall faster and faster.
And yet time seems to stand still.
Tick Tock-Tick Tock-Tick Tock.

Today turns to yesterday.
Tomorrow turns to today.
Minutes turn to hours.
Hours turn to days.
Days turn to months.
Months turn to years.
And yet time seems to stand still.
Tick Tock- Tick Tock- Tick Tock.

I'm still standing here waiting for you to come back to me.
Is this real? Is this a dream?
Time races by and yet for me it still feels like it was yesterday.
Tick Tock- Tick Tock- Tick Tock.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Featuring Sea Glass Artist: Amy McDonald!!!!

I am very excited to introduce, Amy McDonald, a talented Sea Glass Jewelry artist. Along with enjoying my own personal piece of jewelry made by Amy, I had the opportunity to interview Amy regarding her life and art to find out a little more about what inspires her.

Amy lives in Maine where there is a lot of snow and plenty of availability for inspiration. Besides being a jewelry artist, Amy is a full time mother of 3 and a hair stylist. Her husband is a BIG hunter and total outdoors man and her kids are 16, 12, and 1.

Amy's beautiful work can be found on Etsy, which features handcrafted artists around the globe. Her Etsy shop called, Sea Treasures by Amylee, can be found @ Amy's pieces are made of Sea Glass found from the beaches in Maine. She absolutely loves making Sea Glass Jewelry and has spent a lot of time locating each piece of glass for her jewelry.

In Amy's words, "Up here in Maine we have lots of beaches, so my whole life I have beach combed and collected sea glass. My fondest memories are of being with my grandparents as a little girl and walking the beaches every weekend picking up sea glass. Well, I'm 34 now with LOTS of SEA GLASS. Being a stay at home mom I have found my creative outlet. I wanted to have a lot of jewelry but didn't want to pay their prices. Everywhere I went I found pieces I didn't care for and they were expensive, so I started my own line! I think I have always had a passion for this, in high school I took a pottery class and instead of making bowls and cups, etc. I made a beaded necklace. I think I get inspired easily, there are a lot of things that are so beautiful it gets me thinking, weather it's my catchy names for my pieces, or wonderful colors on a bird. My favorite color is purple and I love browns and aquas together. I have a work shop down in our finished basement with a drill press, (it's my husbands that I took over) but my creating happens in our dining room, it has much better light. My absolute favorite thing to work with is the glass. Holding it up to the light and finding just the right beads. It's a great thing. I was very nervous to have a shop on Etsy, I thought what if I don't sell anything or what if people don't like my items, but the experience has been wonderful, everyone has been so nice, and supportive of one another. Lots of helpful tips to be shared. The thing that I find to have helped me a lot are my pictures of the items, you really need to use props that really make your item stand out. When I did that I started to get more views and hearts and even SALES. "

Amy feels it is very important to buy handmade to support other artists and their talents, knowing every item is made with love and that the artist is sharing this with everyone. Amy says, "I hope everyone who purchases an item from me loves it as much as I did making it."

Besides being found on Etsy, Amy can be found at one of the largest craft fairs in Augusta Maine, located at the Augusta Civic Center November 28-29, 2009. If you live close by please stop by and see her beautiful work. If not please be sure to check out her lovely Etsy shop, I know you won't be sorry.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


If you are a bird, fly free.
I pray you feel the wind under your wings and the freedom you once sought.
When you grow tired from flight, I will be your tree.
Come rest your weary wings in my shade. You will find comfort and be restored.

If you are a tree, I will rest in your shade.
I will be refreshed and ponder the thoughts of life.
It is here I will say my thoughts aloud and find my own roots among yours.

When the winds blow, I will hear your music as you sway back and forth.
I will feel the energy of your love and smile.
I will remember the music we enjoyed and the merriment we felt as our feet moved to the rhythm and could no longer remain still.

If you are the wind, I will feel your gentleness as you tickle my face.
I will smile when I see the trees and flowers dance to your music.
On a hot summer day, I will delight in your breeze of refreshment and rejoice in the moment of comfort and feeling of love.
With joy, I will watch as you carry the leaves through the sky and their willingness to dance.
I will give thanks for the simple things in life.

If you are the sun, I will find warmth in your rays and feel your energy and love.
I will be renewed on the days I'm feeling blue and watch my personal clouds dissipate.
I will be reminded that the sun is the giver of life and bask in your glow.

If you are the moon, I will watch from below and smile as you find illumination from the sun.
With each cycle, I will be reminded of change and the importance of it.
I will be reminded that change comes from within and I am the beginning of change.
As I sit next to a fire, I will think of you as you cast your moonbeams from above and remember your grace, valor and love.

If you are you and I am me then our energies together will be.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

future endeavors

Thoughts swirling in this head of mine as they seem to do. Thoughts of yesterday, today and future days, what it all means and where it will take me. I don't have many answers regarding where my path will lead but I remain open.

This one particular evening thoughts were swirling in my head, thoughts of you and our energy. Thoughts that made me sad and happy at the same time. Thoughts about our future endeavors and where we will meet again. Thoughts about how we will know and whether you will recognize me and vice versa. And from nowhere I get this pull to go to the back of the house. Immediately I sink to the floor with emotion and hope. With tears streaming down my face I heard your message of hope and I was reminded that it doesn't matter when or how it will occur but that it will again.

I know within myself we'll see one another again. I feel it in the core of my being. I'll recognize you and your energy. Please be patient it may take awhile. Because no matter what.... Love remains the same.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kindness defines kindness as:
1. The state of being kind.
2. An instance of kind or charitable behaviour.

I sometimes wonder if it's difficult for people to be kind. Is it in their blood? Is it a conscious choice for them? Is it too much effort and individuals decide not to do it?

I have decided for my self that it's a state of being. Something I must do and I try to do. Kindness presents itself in many different forms and sometimes we are so wrapped up in life that we miss a kind act.

Kind acts:

Nature's kindness ~
A bird sitting out your window singing a song as if it's just for you.
A butterfly fluttering in front of you as you walk.
Flowers in spring.
Autumn trees that are full of color.
Weeping Cherry Tree.
Rain hitting a tin roof.
A hawk/eagle flying in the sky reminding us of nature's magnificence and that I too can fly.

A friend calling out of the blue.
Little arms around your neck.
Surprise guest standing on your door step.
A letter in the mail.
A prayer uttered on your behalf.
and many more...

And today's heart melt and pure act of kindness:
A package made from a group of friends that made my heart smile and my day a little brighter.

.....thank you for your kindness.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes it doesn't make sense

We as human beings try to make sense out of everything. Even things that can't be explained. Events that don't make sense. Today I have battled with an event and events that don't make sense. Reality is so cruel to us sometimes. It doesn't mean to be. It's true, it's honest and it's in our face. We choose to deal with it and fight or walk away. I think there are definitely days that I walk away. Not because I've given up or because I don't know various events are real but because I know life keeps on moving whether we want it to or not. Another brutal blow by our foe, Reality.

I have always had a strong faith. Faith in things unseen and unexplained. But I also rely on science. I believe in science and let my faith carry me the rest of the way. The unexplained is where my friend, Faith, comes in. Some people in my life would like my faith to be as theirs but it's not and honestly it probably will never be and for me that's okay. I guess for them it's brutal because it's their foe, Reality. And maybe they believe in their friend, Faith, in order to deal with the reality. Who knows? Like I said it sometimes doesn't make sense.

Life has carried on over these last few months and I have walked and tried to flow with it. I've kept my head above the water, held high. I have been encouraged in my darkest hours of weakness by the blessings the universe has given me which are my friends, my family, hope, faith and love. Some days are harder than others and on these particular days I wrestle with the unexplained and what doesn't make sense even though I know it's a waste of my energy. Honestly, I don't know why I keep fighting this losing battle. I never win.

My longing for one more moment of time is stronger on some days than others. It's not that I don't want it everyday because I do. I suppose I push it down, keep moving and force myself to think about something else to escape the unbearable pain that comes from the thoughts and the longing of time. Moments that will never be captured whether it's with those we love that have left us or those that still remain. Missed opportunities. Opportunities all of us take for granted. So for this I say, "Carpe Diem." You never know when it will be your last.

This certainly applies to my brother. I miss him everyday. Some days it takes over and I have an unbearable pain. A hole where my heart is. Today was one of those days.

I'm sorry to those that read and follow my blog for my heart wrenching entries. I hope you understand my need for a release and it's here that my heart becomes unburdened.

On the brighter side of things....... SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

There is a promise of a new day. A brighter day. Longer days with more sun to warm our spirits. Life has so many blessings to offer and so much beauty around us. This week I have been enjoying the beautiful flowering trees, daffodils, birds in the sky and the warmth of the sun. I have been able to capture the beauty of nature with my camera and feel connected to it's magnificence. In this world we are so small, like an ant, but yet we like to think we are so big. We aren't, it's just our ego. Ego that takes over and gets in the way of everything. It can even get in the way of seeing beauty.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense and that's okay even if we don't want it to be. Life is beautiful even with the events that don't make sense. It doesn't mean that we miss those we have lost any less or that we have forgotten them. It just means that we are holding on to hope and realize it sometimes doesn't make sense.

Jon and I

Oh, How I miss you, Bro.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A full circle

Oh, Dear Heart... today I missed you. I have missed you everyday since you went away but today was a reminder of the fragility of life. It was a month ago today that I received the fateful call that I will never forget...the call that changed my life and the course of it. As sad as it is for me and as much as my heart and soul hurt as a result, today I was also filled with joy. Joy you created for me.

A sweet girl that I have not officially met but already love told me about sweet melodies. I went to the garage and checked it out. I saw you there. You were in the sounds. You were in the air. The melodies filled my being and I met some pretty amazing people. People you would have loved. I know you were there because I could feel you. I felt like I have known these people forever... a brother from a previous life so today I embraced a new beginning. Not a beginning without you...a beginning where I met someone new and added them to my family as you would have.

Music. Your soul. My soul. Combined. Intertwined. Beautiful melodies. Tonight our souls danced and I felt you there and your smile. Your love. I knew you would have been pleased. I met someone new and I felt as if we had been connected for a lifetime. Tonight was a full circle. In a few minutes it will mark the time I received a phone call that forever changed my life and tonight I met a new friend that changed my life with music and friendship. He was someone you would have loved.

I miss you and I love you.

Shayne, Me and Greg, our new friend, from the band Shallow Palace