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Showing posts from May, 2013

Stitched Up Heart (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

They say the heartbroken can never love again
Most are destined to ruined futures and tear-dried skin
Their memories become crumbled up pictures in a trash bin
But they don’t know my heart and where it’s been

I have a stitched up heart and I, again, will love
I believe in roses, violets, Romeo, and all of the above
I see hearts filled with Cupid, Aphrodite, and a smiling dove
I know my heart will be given to the person I dream of

Love is always hopeful if, especially, you have a sewing kit
To myself, today, and tomorrow I shall forever commit
Those who live best say that love is always constant, so don’t forget
It’s not too late to stitch up your heart and put up with life’s shit

Phoenix (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

Make a list, darling
Of things you love
I'll help you burn it
In the backyard
Here's a lighter
What do your thoughts
Look like in your head
You know you have to
Let them go
If they're things
You truly care about
For whatever reason
Arbitrary, but that's the rule
Apparently it's proven
So tell me dearest
What are these things
That are extensions of
Your soul
Hopes dreams desires
The things that validate
The person you are
Flowers kitties seahorses
Dreamcatchers and sundresses
Books and fantasy tales
You and me
Let's burn it all
Burn the world
And like phoenixes
Rise from the ashes and flames
Whole, untouched, made new.

Stolen Life (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, LA)

You don’t even know me
brown skinned little boy from a mother’s womb
you came one day unexpectedly
like I was supposed to love you on purpose
I hated you on sight
smiling at me some kinda nice
like that will fix the ruin
you caused my life
crying when I should be smiling,
laughing when I should be crying,
hair piling in the trash-mans open palm when it should be the essence of my beauty
scarring my insides with your changes and turns,
scarring my outsides with your shape of your head
and then marring me on my most feminine parts
expecting me to love you on purpose.
don’t you know that you were bred on a sheet that was burned with blood
from a boy who didn’t know what he took
walked away with part of me still clinging to his dick and denied my innocence on a bible in his mother’s house
now here you come in the time it takes to mourn
expecting me to love you on purpose
It’s impossible to steal
what was always meant to be yours in the first place
funny, because you aint mine
I stole you from t…

The Stretch (Jadyne “Jay” Bell- New Orleans, LA)

I’m a rubber band to say the least
Moved and maneuvered into any make you imagine
Understand my limit better that I do

The dishes, the laundry, lunch and even dinner

Ask me to extend past my limits
Because I will, then retract into the praise you push upon me
I will humbly hide my given effort

With every extra task asked, my resilience gets thinner

Excellence is what some see
But few know the pressure and tension create when asked favors
Being broken is my biggest fear

Too much strain will pop me, and no one will care.

I should stay aware of my limit
And not overload myself by holding together everyone else’s stuff
Unappreciated success makes failure so easy

All the feats that I accomplish, it’s like they were never there.

Love in a Flash (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

He met her. She met him. They went on a date. They had sex. She got pregnant. He cheated on her. She cried. He lied. They made up. They got married. She went into labor. He went to a bar. Their first child was born. They got a divorce.

Time went forward. They learned themselves better. They both tried again.

She met her. He met him. She loved her. He loved him. She got help mothering her child. He got helped with his drinking. She married her. He married him. She couldn’t be apart from her. He couldn’t be apart from him. Two couples in love.

Diary of a Fat Fem Black Man (Lakari Jaquan Fontenot- Lafayette, LA

Is there a difference fat and phat...
Is it ok to be plus sized.....
Do the guys all say, "oh you're not my type", simply because you weigh over 200lbs?
Do they view me as unhealthy?
Am I ugly or unattractive?
Will anyone be able to love me, even though my community wants me to be unloved?
Men looking and thinking less of you because you don't have a six pick and beautiful hard toned shoulders
The same men who say they want masculine straight acting males
The very same men who say No Fems, No Fats, No Blacks
Maybe if I relocate myself out of Louisiana
Maybe if I lose a bunch of weight or just stop eating
Then will I be pretty?
No one knows what or how this can affect ones attitude about themselves
I know this, I'm big and I might not be the masculine man that all the homosexuals want
But I know that I'm beautiful inside and out
Big will Always Beautiful

Failure (Chay Bridges- Alexandria, Louisiana)

Something that scares the hell out of me
But I still soemehow continue with pursuing my dreams because being afraid of the unknown is pointless.
Afraid of falling back into the cycle of giving it my all and being denied what I've tried so hard to accomplish and then hearing "if it is meant to be it will be it will be" or " dust yourself off and try again" words that go in one ear and out the other because that's not what i really want to hear.
I feel like crying and giving up and then I realize that if I don't pick myself up then I have failed to try.
Understanding that failure is only a figment of my imagination because no matter the amount of times I try if I don't give up I HAVE NOT FAILED

21st Century Problems: WWJBD or What Would Justin Bieber Do? (#16) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

“If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go I can take you places you ain't never been before,” I sang along to Justin’s Bieber’s hit “Boyfriend” as I learned the moves from new Wii dancing/dating game, Justin Bieber: The Experience. It had finally arrived. I even got a new look to go with my much needed life change. I also quit all five of my jobs. I was jobless, but I looked good. I was one sexy African-American (Kenyan), Asian (Korean), Hispanic (Cuban), Caucasian (Scottish), Native American (Cherokee) America with manicured eyebrows and blond hair. Justin’s confidence was inspiration. She was the first young, open, lesbian rocking the charts. Everything about her screamed masculine boldness. Her hair, her use of a male name, her style, her public relationships with other female stars, and her wonder Bieber swag. I was in love with a lesbian. I was just about to begin a dating tips simulation on the game when my doorbell rang. Ugh, It was Nate, “Can I use your laptop and wif…

People Change (So Let Them) (R.E.) (Louis Toliver- Swartz, LA)

It would be a good idea to observe your neighbors
Notice how they struggle along, daily, with life labors
Pay closer observations to people that grow though
It is those good neighbors that change the status quo Why throw an obstacle in the way of people who change?
A changing human adapts to and leads in her or his community
Why chose to be the acid that corrodes what’s within your range
I must tell you, adversary to change, that humans reject disunity When a family unites and changes to maintain its values
It is best to decide what’s important, being a family or alone?
We believe that we can live together and die together fully grown
So any of those who use the past to stop progress, we refuse Dear adversary to change, please understand nature’s stem
Appearances evolve, not substance; people change, so let them

The Parts of Me That Are No More (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

Sometimes I get phantom pains
From my wrist
The faint, thin lines
Grooves in my flesh
Horizontal, non-fatal
From the darkness inside
Throb with sudden painful clarity
Sharp, shooting digs
Tonight they whisper at me
Barely audible screams
"Remember who you are
Look at what you did
Your frailty manifest in us
We embody the pain within your soul
The tears from your heart
The weakness of your spirit"
Their message only calms me
Because that was another time
Another place and another me
I am different now
I am healed, whole, beautiful
The scars from my cuts refuse to fade
But add a depth to me
Marked in my skin but etched into my very core
These parts of me that are no more

Drumbeat (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

The hands of my love are rough and calloused deep
So wide the palms and spaces 'tween their fingers.
With care, upon my hips, quick rhythms they do beat.
Although my love's away his echo lingers.

Upon me he drums; his eyes are always closed.
His tranquil face, it sways from side to side.
Within my bones a sweet vibration grows
As beats dance from my belly to my thighs.

So steady the tapping of my lover's hands
Rhythms closely ordered yet they flow.
The changes in their sequence, I do not understand.
The point from which they come, I do not know.

Yet just as he provides the base for joining melodies
My love, for me, is strong and sound; he is my steady beat.

Waiting (Jadyne “Jay” Bell- New Orleans, LA)

The more that I’m away from you,
the more I want to wait for you.
I just want to enter your eyes
and walk where happiness lies.
But that’s lies
because when we meet it’s as if we’ve never met our lips.
Like we’ve never stolen loves like two thieves in the night.
And at night,
it’s like the moon shines just for us.
It shines for you.
But you act as if we’ve never locked our bodies in a pool of passion
pounding with a potential that neither of us can control
and when I dive...
I dive deeply, never worried about the waves
because you express that ecstasy in oh so many ways

I wait for you, just to wait for you.
See I don’t mind knowing that you’re walking my way
just as long as when you walk my way
You walk…my way.
That way that blows my mind
that way that slows… down… time.
See I remember that time we were at that place doing that thing
with those people on that date that doesn’t even matter
because when you made that face
you took my heavy heart and you held it.
See you had my permission without having to ask
an…

Walking, Dreaming (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

Yes I do believe
I am setting out again.
Must keep up the pace
while I'm still able.

The sleep gave me strength.
I walk now in a glide,
To that distant point
where the curving dirt path narrows.

Once I reach that narrow point,
No longer is it narrow.
The edges wide,
engulf me like a dream.

It's all a dream, I realize,
The new point and the old.
So many dreams I've had already;
So many yet to come.

Soul-mate (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, LA)

Our bond and his hands remained a strong connection and kept me tethered to life. People who saw us together would smile at the warmth that emanated from our bodies; flowing through my hands into his. And always his hands would hold me closer than life itself, binding me to him, and him to me. We would sit and talk for hours about paved roads that used to be gravel, books he’d never read, and foods from foreign countries he would never visit. He inspired my love of music from decades before me, and together we would dance and sing, in a world created only for us. I can remember him, in the kitchen, his hands moving and creating foods he knew I would love. Sometimes I would open the door and he’d be standing next to the stove, his back to me. I’d tip toe around the table and squeeze him heartily from behind; his body would immediately react to my touch. His hands often calloused but always soft, would find mine and we’d stand there clinging to each other, our familiarity radiating betw…

Belief vs. Reality (Madison Elizabeth Holland- Lafayette, LA)

I let the sounds wash over me
Waves on the beach
Moving me with their melodies
My hips sway to the bass
Pulsing through my core
That purple feel gives me chills
Serpentine movements flowing
Harmony, peace, and love
Things we can believe in
Strawberries sweet and drippy
To be someone is that better
Than just being alive?
Harsh realities set in
Once that trombone stops
But maybe, just maybe
That music that connected us
And the feelings it brought
Will make these beliefs come to pass

New Author: Madison Elizabeth Holland

"I first met Madison in London during the ULL Study Abroad program. I was instantly charmed by Madison's calm personality, sense of humor, & maturity. She was an extreme pleasure to get to know and I enjoyed the 2 1/2 weeks we spent together. I particularly loved her independence, yet her clear dedication to her relationship.
     As I left London to spend time In Scotland, she left by herself to spend time in Ireland. I never once, during our entire encounter, figured that she loved to write until she contacted me recently. And I must tell you, this is only the beginning of how much she has offered me. We are so grateful to add her to the Louisiana Words family. Ladies & Gentlemen: Louisiana Words introduces Madison Elizabeth Holland." - Louis Toliver Jr.

The Last Battle (With Myself) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

If I win, you win. We move forward
And this story will end with progress
If I lose, you lose. We fall backward
And this story will end with failure.

I am an enemy to myself because I am weak
On the surface and I can feel my judgment
I am a friend to myself because I have strength
Down to my core and I can feel my power

But I’ve decided the conflict ends
Both sides and all parts have combined to win
To make the perfect cultural ally
And I’ve decided the war against unjust begins

Within Me (Skyra Rideaux- Carencro, Louisiana)

I know who you are
knotted cords of binding, wrapped around the hurt
That skips rope to the thump of Jazz
Winding around purple forget-me-nots and baby’s breath
Nestled deep within my essence, rotting in the space
Where butterflies and fingertips curtsied
I know who you are
Walking away from 213 reasons why you should stay
Yet choose to tap right back to grimy slums of shame
Embracing every lingering scent of betrayal
Remembering the ambiance of coral pearls
Strung around my neck, you laugh
I know who you are
Cracked sidewalks, liquor, intentional groping
Swaying to the charms of my juices flowing down the street
Covered in the blood of stolen invitations
Forced kisses, all for the sake of making your
Acquaintance
I know who you are
Silent strangers appearing in circles I frequent
Smiling through lens colored vases, opening doors
Opening doors which were closed for business
You broke in, you broke in, you broke me
Puddles of rivers leading to your stench still on me
I know who you are
Friend of my friend o…

Mistaken Destination (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

The first proposition comes on Albert Street.
Old guy, green truck,
Asks what my name is and if I want to get in.

The second comes shortly after.
The type of car, I don’t notice this time,
nor the type of person driving it.
I concentrate more on the ground,
and on my feet,
and on the precarious location to which they've led me.

By the third offer it is clear
that women normally walk this street for work.
This third man eyes me with assurance,
desire glazing his face,
weighting his eyelids,
pulling his mouth into a sickening grin.
I shudder and walk faster.

My choice of streets wasn't very wise,
but no sign warned me of where I was going.
At its beginning
this street was genuinely harmless,
but following it seems to have turned me into a prostitute.
My eyes leave the ground for a moment to survey their surroundings.
They guide my feet left
towards a gathering of cars and stoplights and a bus.
I run at it, waving foolishly,
fishing coins from my pockets as I climb on,
sighing heavily as I drop into a s…

Sinner's Salvation (Adam John Schexnayder- Crowley, LA)

What do you expect?? Jesus was just a man. Created in his father's image, I endure the same fate. Torn between sin and salvation, I take the only road I know. I leave small pieces of myself in the trail. Hoping this will nostalgically remind me that there is a need to remember where it began to see the end. However, as time passes and people follow, I loose sight of my own pieces. Morphed together, they no longer lead my memories. Lost in the journey, I pray. I pray for forgiveness of things I'm not sure need forgiving. I pray in the same manor as him, but I have lost track of why. In the end's light of a long life's voyage, I finally recognize the pieces I left behind. It is then that I realize what everyone works so hard to forget.

Announcement: Upcoming Louisiana Words Event

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 will be the next installment of live performances by the authors of Louisiana Words. Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions will focus more on personal, introspective and honest writing. For more information about Louisiana Words/The Series: Confessions, please click the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/273243339486024/

There will also be live reading opportunities for authors who have not contributed to Louisiana Words. Louisiana Words/The Series: Open Mic is coming July 9th. More details will be posted soon!

American MANnerisms (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

Consider this an introduction ...
...to the new drag king on the block
Gentleman no other man can
Perform this masculine role as well
Until you step it up, it’s best
To respect yourselves but women more
Because they have carried
This land on their backs no doubt
So acknowledge the power they have
And the power you don’t
Get your emotions together
So you can help them rebuild this land

To My Brothers (Wherever You Are) (Louis Toliver Jr- Swartz, LA)

"To My Brothers (Wherever You Are)"

I know that some of you will read this
And I know some of you won’t
We are growing into men
This is a difficult for us all
As our parents fight to provide for us
We are drifting apart for good reason
We are learning ourselves
We are learning our purpose
We may squabble from time to time
But don’t doubt for one second
That brotherly love won’t overcome
Don’t doubt that we will come together
Some of us are very close
Some of us are very distant
Either way, the love for each other
Is just as valuable as any amount of gold
Our relationships will constantly change
But the family we have grown to be
Will always, always and forever remain
I love you all equally the same

To My Single Ladies (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz LA)

"To My Single Ladies"
I haven’t forgotten you I get so caught up in men That I need to give you some attention When you get dressed this morning Make sure that shirt is cut low Make sure that skirt is too short Put on them heels and walk out that door If a guy says you’re asking for it Kick him in the crotch and say “so are you” Because he is just jealous That he can’t show his body With the confidence that you do So keep werqing your jobs and flipping your hair
He'll just be scratching his ass and gagging for more ‘Til you meet the right single gentleman Who respects you as I do

"Reality Check about Using Your Heart" (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

Reality Check about Using Your Heart
This is meant for good advice Lead with your head not your heart I didn’t say don’t show your heart But not everyone wants to see it Even if you mean it So don’t show it to the wrong people Because they will know how to break it Don’t take it personal that’s just life Though, not so fast, the heart is useful Because using yours will inspire love But let the potential for those who love Shine from them and show compassion As they learn to survive in a hard world Who you are is not who they are Most conflicts are caused by the heart For most who want love Don’t know how to give it So don’t expect love back Be patient and understanding Guide with your head See that people love even if they don’t say it Let those who love you Show their heart the same time as you And neither of you will expect Nor more or less than that This ishow happy relationships are formed

Uprooted. (Taylor Sloey-Lafayette, LA)

"Uprooted."

When my hometown finally saw the sky
It sucker punched us in the throats
Left us breathless
It said: I’m going to keep you awake some nights without touching you…
You see in this hometown, where you learned to ride a bicycle,
Twelve year olds work 16 hour days Getting cut by corn leaves,
Winter reigns 8 months of the year
And you got grounded for dating a black boy…
…so…you left.
Blindly jumped into the nearest river
And let it wash you
Let it Carry you
Til you could see the mouth of the ocean.
And this place
The ground is so soft it sinks out from beneath your feet
In this place
The people don’t mature with their years but continue to party like college freshmen well into their 80s
This place
That’s held onto a heritage,
Unable to forget the past because they can’t even bury your dead
This place.
That was hiding the kindest pair of green eyes you’ve ever known,
This place, is a paradise.
And you wonder how the rest of the country has forgotten it,
Never really knew it,
Has been SO …

Act 4: Scene 1(Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)

"Act 4: Scene 1"

Prologue

“To be or not to be?”
You don’t need a Shakespeare to answer
What you should know by now
Matter of fact don’t even explain

Not yet. Just listen first.
Be aware, that yes, you did read
The first three acts of my life
Admit you just can’t see things in the middle

Life seems to present you only two choices
But what if I told you there’s often a third
Though it requires you to hear, watch, and read
All the evidence to avoid suicide, right Hamlet?

How I Think (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)

How I think

Am I?
I think I am,
So I am.

Certain I am,
So I am certain.
Certain am I?

Do I make sense,
Sense this makes?
Makes it doesn’t.

I know I am alive.
Make sense of that,
But you aren’t certain?

Let’s just agree?
We know death
We don’t know life.

Well I do,
Do you?
Maybe.

Do You See It? (Katie Butcher-Lafayette, LA)

Changing
we are
always
Consumed
by the
Body
Life Force
Pulling
us under
Rise up
Float on
Drop out
into
the Sounds
of Peace
Dance
with the
Darkness
of our
Past
Present
Future
Do you see it?
it's there...
in the distance
Must Fight
Through
the Pain
the Pleasure
Must Learn
from
The
sneers
tears
fears
cheers
Open ears
Open eyes
Open mind
Taking
in all
things
Innocent
and
Corrupt

....for one cannot exist without the other

Revelation #2 from The Book of Human Revelations (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA

from The Book of Human Revelations

"Revelation #2"
There are four types of people in the world:
Type C: I mention these types first. These are “common” everyday people and my heart goes out to them the most. These are the people who do not know how to live for themselves and thus commonly make choices based are what they don’t know not what they know. They usually have not learned how to live happily and thus find fear as motivating cause for their decision-making. These are NOT BAD people. They just don’t have the education to be good people. It takes the most work but they can learn good ways.
Type F: These are types that are the people you should always avoid getting close or listening to. These types are usually the ones that create the "fear" that influence Type C people. They have no loyalty except the loyalty to themselves. They can be identified in that they will never give a compliment to an opponent. They find it most useful to give fictions and make rumors…

Weighted Down Blues (Rachel Jackson, Lafayette LA)

"Weighted Down Blues"
Who's that face outside my window, Thought that you was dead and gone. Why's your face outside my window, I thought that you was dead and gone. Yeah I thought I'd left you back there, but I Feel you hangin' on.

Seen so many folks slide under, Seen 'em slip on further away. Watched too many folks slide under Yes I watched them all slip away. By the time I saw them slippin', they done Too far in to save.
Well my steps sometimes grow heavy, Pavement crumbles 'neath my feet. Yes my steps grow oh so heavy, Pavement crumbles 'neath my feet. Its the weight of all them people I still Carry on with me.

Revelation #1 (Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)

from The Book of Human Revelations
"Revelation #1"
Children these days only know how to grow by the examples their parents or mentors set. So, parents and mentors, you may choose to behave like animals or like human beings, it’s your choice. But know what you do to your children, they will also do their children, because it will be all they know. If you tell them not to “be”, then they will never “be”. Unless, by some miracle, a book finds their minds, a movie finds their eyes, or a song finds their ears, in which they may receive the humanity that society doesn’t offer them.

Delcambre (Malaina White-New Iberia, LA)

"Delcambre"
I would ride the bus home every day. The bus would kick up dust on the dirt and gravelly road. It would drop me off at the end of the road because I was the only one that lived down there. I would cut through the neighbor’s sugarcane field. There was something kind of magical about wading through the tall cane…not being able to see where I was going and not needing to because I knew the direction by heart. It reminded me of the wheat fields of Kansas. I had never been to Kansas, but I had seen the Wizard of Oz and there were all these images of wheat fields in that movie! I imagined that there was some sort of portal to another world somewhere in that cane field. I never found it, though.
I would sometimes snap off a piece and chew it on my way home. That super sticky sweetness of pure cane juice. By the time I would emerge on the other side of that field my socks and pant legs would have sticky grass all over, my arms would have small scratches and sometimes I wou…

To Those Who Raised Themselves (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

"To Those Who Raised Themselves" To those who learned
Their values
From watching their TV screens, To those who learned
What beauty was
By flipping through magazines, To those who learned
What love is
Through the lyrics musicians sing, And to those who learned
What life's all about
Though whatever it is they could cling. . . To all of those who raised themselves,
What does the above really mean? It means that you were observant.
You could choose your own role models, too.
It means that you were empathetic.
And you found stability within you. You are insightful,
Resourceful,
And many more good things are true. Just because both parents didn't
Raise you,
Others aren't better than you.

21st Century Problems: The Return of the Surrogate Father (#15)(Louis Toliver Jr, Swartz, LA)

"21st Century Problems: The Return of the Surrogate Father (#15)"
I’m not going to lie. RightSaid Fred1991 a.k.a. “Me” has been laying low and avoiding gaming because I am not sure how to keep dodging FishEater2013 a.k.a Ben’s want for me to attend his parent appreciation at his Junior High School. I mean this is already a touchy line making friends with a 12-yeard old through PS3 online-gaming. Woah, I didn’t mean to use the word “touchy”.  Now this conversation is awkward. What if I’m being set up for one of those To Catch a Predator epsisodes? Right? I am no fool I saw the 1st episode of the 1st Season of Degrassi: The New Generation where Emma got lured into a hotel room with a pedophile. Except I feel like the roles are reversed. I feel like Emma. I feel violated. What should I do?I mean what kind of home situation is this kid going through that he is reaching out to a complete stranger to his act as his parent? I’m afraid to keeping ignoring him. What if he gets depre…

Inspiration Begins....

Superman (Jennifer Chehardy-Lafayette, LA)

I thought you were Superman. Taking off Brave. No gear. No fear. Kryptonite? Pffft!  Muah! So you thought. But discovered When you landed, there lie your krypto. The green glowing rock of  The familiar, routine, ordinary. What next? Another flight. But how? After you've worn the cape. Es-cape. Leave the cape. Only to discover you are Clark Kent. And he is Superman. Maybe not in flight but in person. Be that person With or without the cape. The story still ends the same. Get the girl. Know your weakness. Always a hero Just sometimes in a different place. When you were flying I said Who is that? A bird? A plane? When you landed I saw you really were Superman.

Can You Count for Me? (Adam John Schexnayder-Crowley, LA)

"How do I love thee?? Let me count the ways." Then somehow, you forget math. You forget sound. You forget. Some words best unspoken, but the silence breaks my soul. Like waiting for rain in a drought: useless. All the things, once AND twice, bring me to hell and back. The one place you swore to never go seems to be the only place that we know. As the lifetime promised circles the drain, I find the only thing that will bring me to shore. The undertow takes me back, but only for a moment. For now I know, arithmetic will save my soul.

How to Start a Family (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

"How to Start a Family"
There once was a boy or girl (whatever is fitting to you) Who had no parents nor family and felt very blue He or she dreamed of love from others that was never had The feeling of loneliness consumed this child’s mind real bad
You see, this child parents neglected him or her with no good reason Because they couldn’t handle how this child’s life would seem like treason This child appeared superficially different to them on the outside Even though much like his or her parents was the soul on the inside
This lonely child wondered from foster home to foster home Adopted then rejected, destined on this earth to aimlessly roam This boy or girl wondered why she had been born and not aborted Since his or her parents never wanted him or her, their family values distorted
Neither I nor anyone else could ever understand why this child was unloved Why are so many children requesting to be themselves pushed and shoved? One day I found this child walking towards me…

"Totem" (Samuel Jones, Bastrop, LA)

"Totem" Snap,
Snap,
Snap,
Goes the bones of the forest
Beneath my feet
As I'm guided by my familiar,
The Blue Jay. Blue for sky,
White for cloud, and
Black for magic-- It second guesses my insecurity,
Punctuates my intuitiveness, and
Encourages the personal power I was once afraid to use. The Blue Jay,
My totem,
Reminds me that I create my own reality, therefore myself. It leads by example: Blue Jays aren't even really blue, they just choose to be.

Little By Little (Adam John Shexnyder-Crowley, LA)

I fell all the way down. And now there is no one to pick me up. Pick the pieces up. I'll have to leave some there. For some stranger to walk on without knowing the disrespect they are committing. I can only fit so much in my hands. The rest will have to stay. The next person will just have to deal with the parts I managed to salvage. As for the rest, maybe it's where it belongs. We all survive with missing parts. They chip away: little by little. I'll just have to learn to survive with just about nothing. And if one day you find a broken part scurrying in the wind, just leave it be. It's better to be a part of the world than to be part of nothing.

Showtime (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

"Showtime"
Hello our good local friends Our play is about to start So please listen until it ends Hold distractions, don’t event fart
We plan to give you good shows All we ask is our audience love us Me and my friends will lessen your woes We will take your mind off political fuss
We know the spotlight is on us now So before the curtain opens to you Performing magic so your minds say ‘wow’ Know our goal is to entertain and love you too

Mother's Day Poem (Annette Redmond Walters-Lafayette, LA)

Thank you for making all my birthdays bright Celebrating all my years
Thank you for getting up late at night And dispelling all my fears
Thank you for the values you taught me Being patient as I learned
Thank you for filling me with glee At every milestone I turned
Thank you for teaching me to be a woman Others could look up to
Thank you for doing everything under the sun That you could possibly do
Thank you for showing me the kind of mother My son would need me to be

Bravery Runs in the Family (For My Mother, born Mary Magdalene Young) (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)

"Bravery Runs in the Family" (To My Mother, Born Mary Magdalene Young)
The place that I stand in my life right now To my mother, I owe the most credit Every virtuous quality that you see in me It is from her in which these values were set
My mother once told me long after I left home That I was the bravest man she soon knew It is funny to now to think of this moment Because to me I was then young and cowardly
Though I will always be my mother ‘s baby son I now claim that I will be that brave man That my mother saw in me before I did And take care of myself and my community
Spiritual, hardworking, giving, loving, funny, noble, These are just a few qualities that “Mama” gave me So the success you see through me in my life Remember this man was shaped by his brave mother