These Are My People: Anjana Love Dixon

Wild Woman Goddess

Wild Woman Goddess

I remember the day you were born in my heart.
I was ignorant that I would fall in love with you so completely.
I could never have guessed that the iridescence
You displayed would seep into my bones
Leaving me breathless with passion for life.
But there you were.
Clothing barely covering the privacy required
Golden skin flaring sunlight under the spotlight
Of the darkened room filled with soon to be worshipers
Your smile the Goddess’ blessing glimmering
Love on those who cat-called for your attention
As you walked, no, strutted into your skin
I witnessed something that makes me weep
Even now.
I watched you become;
as the fears, doubts, and self-deprecation
Fell to the catwalk in murky ribbons.
And there you were. All of you.
Without reasonable excuse or denial
You became an integral part of my personal journey
The personification of a Human Goddess
I remember the day you were born in my heart
It’s one of my favorite memories.

Love Thy Neighbor

I went to a meeting today. The meeting was filled with women from 29 to over 60. There was one man in attendance. We sat in a crowded room filled with false hopes and diminishing resources trying to find the solution for funding the programs that help the impoverished in our neighborhoods and communities and the county at large.

While I sat there listening to the stories of unnamed clients going without it saddened my heart that so many people in my community, where I live showed a reflection of poverty to me. With a funding cut of over $13,000 that could be used to lift our people, my people, up in this world, there seemed to be an air of discouraged hope, but hope nonetheless.

But hearing that my neighbors were going without, made me think that if the weight of their care lay in the communities where we lived, we could do so much more. And even with that realization that we’ve become so disconnected from one another, so caught up in our own daily lives that we no longer take that time to breathe life into the very neighborhoods in which we come home to.

I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I hated that I felt out of place in wanting my people, your people, their people, our people to feel the love of community. The feeling of unity left in the gravel roads of unkempt, overgrown, weeded horrors that grow the mold of fruitless living inspired by poverty to excuse our dismissal of their humanity. The refusal to understand that the human life we live, they live, I live is not transcendent in the sense that when that next meal becomes a harboring of resentment against full refrigerators, cupboards, and pantry’s and the only thing to eat in the house is Ramen noodles, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese again because that’s all there is. Why?

Understanding the problem is not the issue. Believing that a change can be made is not the issue. It’s the hands that we have as a people that are the issue. The hands that turn away our brothers and sisters from their basic needs being met. It’s the hands that raise up against social programs that benefit our communities by raising children who don’t have to worry if they can eat more than subsidized school lunches while surviving the summers with hopes that someone will see their condition but praying against all hope they don’t.

I believe in Love Thy Neighbor. I believe that love brings a meal over to the ailing neighbor. I believe that love brings resources into the places where we live and blooms them into a sense of hope and belonging. I believe that loving thy neighbor is more than just a Bible verse, but the very act of using our hands to bring goodwill, food, clothing, and hope to everyone.

Who am I to call someone else lazy? Who am I to look down my nose because you lost your job and can’t support your family right now? Who am I to cast that first stone against your situation when my own cupboards barely keep my family fed. I am nobody to judge anybody for their situation. I don’t have nor would I want that power. Instead, I propose a radical change with our hands.

Use those hands to feed the hungry. Use your hands to help an elderly neighbor do their yard work. Use those hands to comfort a new mother who is overwhelmed with the responsibility. Use those hands to drive a neighbor to the store when they need it. Use those hands to call in reinforcements when the battles get to long and hard and your people, your neighbors, our communities are falling to violence. Use those hands to reach out to one another in kindness and compassion.

Their story doesn’t have to match your experience. Their beliefs don’t have to match yours. Their choices are not a reflection of you, but they are the faces of the people you live among. They are your geographical tribe by need, necessity, or choice. Every one of these people, in all their humanity, with all of their faults and triumphs is a reflection of yourself. Reach out to your people with those hands who have held them with disdain and judgment. Remove the faulty assumptions and listen to the words they speak for they may teach you compassion, kindness, or the sincerest of needs and desires that you may have the gifts to fulfill.

Love Thy Neighbor. That’s what I believe in without question.

These Are My People: Linda Looney

Linda Looney's birthday friend.

Linda Looney’s birthday friend.

Each day that her phone rings
And every time she answers
A sliver of her mundane shows
In the music of her laughter.
There are so many fancy words
That could show you who she is
But they are shallow compared to her
Yet deeper than an abyss.
I could lift her up in glory
Extolling virtue and blessing
You’d believe me because I told you
But there’s so much you’d be missing.
Because my Mom is lovely,
She’s neither devil nor a saint
But she’s everything I long to be
And lots of things I ain’t.
I will tell you this much
A truth deeper than the sea
I love my perfectly human Mama
And I know that she loves me.

Happy birthday to my beloved mother. You’re Fezzes and bow ties to me.

These Are My People: Shonda

No More Violence

No More Violence

Tyrannical howls encapsulated
Intent on the destruction
Of their mutated version of devotion
personified by shattered glass while
screaming babies witness the impressionistic home
Painted in blood and bruises.
Kill me first! Kill me! Kill me first!
The begging screams for relief
from their suffering
But, fear motivates shelter
in uninhabitable relationships
with violence the language spoken
in vehement protest against their being
broken people with broken lives.

These Are My People: Avi Knight

There is a crescendo in my tacenda
Where I am normally, to him,
common time and a capella
My cadenza clumsily proceeds without cadence
Without rhythm or beats
My need for espressivo
longs for a nocturne
requires harmony
but instead is a series of operettas
that fall flat in parody
We’ve played off key for so long
That this piece became, not my canon,
But the silence of my sixteenth note,
A dirge with a pianissimo possibile refrain
of Rococo design.

These Are My People: Eva May

She wasn’t as broken as she thought
She was, instead, held together
With ropes, strings, duct tape, and
band-aids stained with false assumptions about herself.
Her worry laden back wilted her
Against her walking stick that was decorated
With badges of survival; proofs of journey.
The winds shifted into the sunshine’s warmth.
She lifted her fatigued eyes towards the light
Surprised that the path was always there
But had been lost in the weeds of history.
With a change of clothes, a bathing of her Spirit
A back brace of hope, personal strength flooding
She stepped onto the ancient path
The Universe sighed relief for the prodigals return.

Lost In The Night

I have walked through shadows

In the dark of darkest night

Searching for some calming peace

One hopeful shining light

The moon and stars have left me

Vanished from the skies

Hidden deep and dark within

Its murky cloud disguise

Blindly my footsteps falter

through brambles, swamp and fields

My frantic search continues

The night my vision shields

As if in answer to my cries

The night reveals her luminous guide

To light my way back to my haven

To let my fears subside

Now sitting by my warming hearth

Locked safe within its walls

I thank the guide for hearing me

Answering my calls

Home where there is family

Home where there is love

I raise my hands up to the skies

And thank the stars above