Mapping Media Scholars in the Art of Journalism

blackcocteau

Kofi Forson is a writer, poet and playwright living in NYC. His current blog is Black Cocteau, a mixture of philosophy and art on modern culture. His previously written articles include “Artistry and Celebrity: An Interview with Harry Goaz” among many others for White Hot Magazine.  Dr Samita Nandy’s (Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies) latest interview with Kofi Forson sheds light on his inspirations and advice for artistic and scholarly treatments of cultural figures and artifacts in popular culture. Read his insightful words below.

Samita Nandy: You blend cinematic art, poetry, and philosophy in ways that are rarely found in tabloid journalism. Why is it significant for you?

Kofi Forson: Primarily that is what drives me, hunger for art and intellect.

My video/film Cushion Pill premiered at curator Jo Derbyshire’s loft space in Liverpool back in 2005. It was originally staged as a theatrical play at The Riant Theater, NYC. The film was a production between me and model and actress Carolyn Day.kofiandaimee

Given the interview process I was interviewed for two films, Noah Becker and Steven Lane’s New York is Now and The Secret History of Contemporary Art.

Along with artist Daiva Gauryte, I participated in the Liverpool cultural initiative Transvoyeur’s video/film project, Gender, Space, Art and architecture.

Poetry and philosophy have been the basis for my dialogue and involvement with Transvoyeur and has resulted in projects both online and in art galleries, primarily Eickholt Gallery and Media Noche, NYC.

The relevance of tabloid journalism is that I’ve always felt being a pop star was the original idea, from my early experiences watching Michael Jackson, Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy and Donny Osmond.

The intervention I do now on commercialism with respect to art and journalism is to express intellectualism as thinker, “cultural worker” and curator of dialogue between me and the celebrity through the interview format which is a manifestation of my ability to ingratiate the celebrity into familiarizing themselves with me, bringing about justified and favorable answers.

Samita Nandy: Do you think it is important for scholars to become critics in the media?

Kofi Forson: I definitely think so. I remember my first introduction to Roland Barthes. I read his book S/Z in a humanities class at the School of Visual Arts. It changed my life and to this day I draw on my experiences of having read books by Barthes.

The key here is language. The scholar bases his or her language on theory and philosophy and importantly research. Knowing how to cultivate use of language for merit of communicating makes the scholar overwhelmingly pertinent to how information is acquired, how it is expressed and importance with which it is articulated, showing responsibility and respect given relationship between news source and worldwide public.

Samita Nandy: Would you recommend scholars to use interview in their creative and media work? If so, why?

Kofi Forson: The interview is singularly the most important way of acquiring information
from a subject, be it on the spot in a harried atmosphere and conducted in a hurried circumstance. This is relevant to the beat reporter at a scene of a crime or even in war scenarios. There’s also the planned interview between journalist and subject. And what has become the everyday talk show where a celebrity host interviews an invited celebrity as guest.

kodarkglassespropicThe circumstance of an interview is a remark on love and respect. Love as in human love, accepting another person as they are given race, gender and identity. The result then is an overvaluing of a need to get information. When both parties; the interviewer and subject accept their roles, the interviewer is at an advantage to use what he or she values as the best way to get answers from the source. It takes on parameters of psychology, emotiveness and cunningness.

The scholar’s purpose therefore would suggest getting information and sharing it. Interviewing someone as a whole is a productive way of showing interconnectivity between two people, the very thing a scholar is known for.

Samita Nandy: How can scholars approach the media so that journalists can implement research further?

Kofi Forson: The basis for research is to add credibility to how information is acquired and how it is revealed. Best way for scholars to approach the media so that journalists implement research further is through the book format or conducting seminars. The act of writing and publishing a book is singularly the most revered and important thing expected of any writer.

The advantage the scholar has is an ability to express how information is acquired. This can be achieved by publications as in a journal or book.

Furthermore the scholar can articulate thought on the importance of research through coordinated classes or conventions. The journalist has a lot to gain from the scholar.

By making use of modern technology and social media, the scholar can interject a system by which the journalist can achieve a more admirable way of sharing information.

Dr Samita Nandy
Director, Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) & Co-Producer, Celebrity Chat
Author, Fame in Hollywood North. Toronto: WaterHill Publishing
PhD Curtin University, Australia (Media / Celebrity)

MA and BA York University, Canada (Communication)

URL: www.samitanandy.com | Twitter @famecritic

Waiting For John / An Ode To The Century Past / Imagine by Boris Glikman

The Dakota NYCWell, I finally made it to the city that never sleeps.  Of course the very first place I go to is The Dakota. I spent so many years reading about it, picturing it in my mind, dreaming about visiting it and now I am actually standing right outside its famous wrought-iron gates!

It is October the 9th, 2009. I have specifically timed my very first visit to New York City to coincide with his birthday. Surely he must come out and acknowledge his fans on a day like this, accept their greetings, perhaps even blow out the candles on the cakes some of his admirers will undoubtedly bring along.

Within five minutes of arriving at The Dakota—and what a thrill it is to see it for the very first time—Yoko walks right past me. Strangely, she carries no presents in her hands and looks rather melancholy on this joyous occasion. No, not just melancholy, more than that, she looks completely disconsolate and deflated, shrunken almost, as if some vital part of her has been amputated. But surely, once she walks into their apartment on the 9th floor, his famous wit will cheer her up and his cheeky smile will make her smile, too.

Meantime, I will stand here and wait for him to come out. I have flown across oceans to see him and see him I definitely will, despite those ugly rumours I overheard some time ago about something horrifying that apparently befell him a while back. What nonsense! Crazy things like that just don’t take place in our world. Surely fate would take extra-special care of such a man to ensure nothing bad happened to the creator of such sublime and immortal beauty. Why, I am certain he is half-lying, half-sitting on his bed right now, as I’ve seen him do in photos, picking notes on his guitar and creating more sonic jewels of ineffable wonder.

And so I will stand here and wait for him to come out, till nightfall if necessary, for I have to prove to myself that he is in fact a real person and not just an idealised construct created by mankind to satisfy its insatiable need for heroes. For it is almost impossible to believe so many timeless masterpieces could inexhaustibly flow out of one man. What if he is just an archetypal symbol of our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations for a utopian existence and so all my waiting is in vain? But no, that can’t be!

And so I will stand here and wait for him to come out, till nightfall if necessary, to wish him a happy birthday and to press into his hands some of my own poems and stories, so that he can see for himself that we both share the same ideals and beliefs.

And I will grab the opportunity to tell him how much his music has meant to me over the years, how his music gave me the inspiration and the courage to reach for peaks in my own creative endeavours, how music for me is the loftiest form of art and the most sublime means of expression. Alas, not being gifted with having celestial sounds divine arising and frolicking in my mind, I instead am constrained to convey my inner being through lame, unwieldy, coarse lumps of words.

I will let him know how I have tried to continue his mission of spreading hope and light around the world through my own writings, my own actions, my own conduct and interactions with people, for even one small candle can destroy the infinite darkness of the entire night.

Until then, I will wait, for I know if I wait long enough, he will come. He just has to come, for New York City is the place where everything is achievable, the place where impossible, ineffable dreams come true. And so if I just close my eyes and wish hard enough, surely he must appear!

“Waiting for John” comes from a series of pieces written by Boris Glikman titled “Impressions of America” after he visited the USA. This series takes a surreal and unusual look at America. Read more about Boris’ adventures here.

AN ODE TO THE CENTURY PAST

That was the age of despair, disrepair
of the damned and the condemned
but this is now, the New Utopia.

That was the time when we killed off our muses,
throwing their remains to the ravenous dogs;
our innocence disembowelled,
our hopes quartered
with five hollow-point bullets
on that cold December night. 

When six million replaced six-six-six
as the accursed number of all eternity and
six million nameless faces,
six million faceless names
were extinguished for that greatest crime of all –
Existence.

But this is now, the Neo-Utopia.

That was the age of despair, disrepair
when raven-black sun
threw rays of shadow upon the Earth
and giant bullfrogs ate pygmy antelope
bones, hooves and all.

But still we fought on, hoping for meaning to appear.
Yet when it arrived, it was only in our dreams,
dissipating the moment we awoke
and grabbed at its gossamer threads
with our crude, clumsy hands.

And this is now, the Last Utopia.

Imagine by Michael Cheval

“Imagine” by Michael Cheval


Imagine

When the city that never sleeps finally retires to bed, exhausted by its own exuberance and hyperactivity, then and only then does John appear at the memorial dedicated to him in Central Park.

Betrayed and forsaken by God, Fate and Mankind on that cold December night, John now performs for no one but himself, singing softly the sonic jewels of wonder he has composed posthumously, and still believing, despite everything that had happened, love is all you need.

He wears a hat made out of a mincer which is filled not with dead meat but with living strawberries, his favourite fruit, and his piano is a zebra-girl hybrid who died young, at the very same instant John passed into eternity.

If all this seems to be quite bizarre and beyond belief, one must remember this is New York City after all, a place where impossible and ineffable dreams do come true, if only one imagines them hard enough.

@Boris Glikman

Need Help With Your Manuscript? Writer Advice Can Help You!

Writer Advice

Do you need an honest opinion about your writing? Have you written a manuscript that you need help with? Are you looking for a professional proofreader and copyeditor? Do you just need someone to help you to brainstorm and get organized? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, I recommend you get in touch with Writer Advice. Writer Advice is a reasonably priced Manuscript Consultation Service that also offers a number of writer’s resources.

They have grown from an e-mailed research newsletter for writers into an e-zine that invites reader participation and celebrated their ten-year anniversary in October 2007. Writer Advice’s quality fiction, poetry, interviews, reviews, and articles reach readers around the globe.

The primary focus has always been author interviews, and editor B. Lynn Goodwin has had the privilege of corresponding with over 90 well-known and debut authors who have shared their experiences, insights, and inspiration with readers. Recent interviews are archived.

Today Writer Advice not only promotes authors through its interviews but also publishes both experienced and emerging writers, showcasing fresh ideas and high quality writing. Click on Guidelines to learn more. They accept book reviews, prose and poetry. Because reading onscreen is 25% harder than reading on paper, Writer Advice prefers shorter pieces.

They are currently running their 8th Flash Prose Contest and seek flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction running 750 words or less. Enlighten, dazzle, and delight them. Finalists receive responses from all judges.

DEADLINE: Submit to the 8th WriterAdvice Flash Prose Contest by April 18, 2013.

Want to contribute on the editorial side? Writer Advice needs help with publicity. Tell your writing peers about them. Bring them advertisers. Make suggestions and be prepared to spearhead the project. Volunteer your services and they will probably say yes. They particularly need a Promotions/Marketing Director. E-mail Lgood67334@comcast.net with your ideas.

About B. Lynn Goodwin

B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling forYou Want Me To Do What? Caregivers and is the owner and editor of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com.

Her work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care; Thickjam.com, Friction Magazine, and The Sun.

Last year she worked under contract for CaregiverVillage.com and StudySync.net. She currently conducts workshops and writes reviews for Story Circle Network and blogs for InspireMeToday, and is at work on two manuscripts, one YA and one memoir.

 

Moon as Metaphor and The ‘Tricky Serum’ Of Our Dreams by Dan Stone

Tricky Serum: An Elixir of Poems by Dan Stone

Join me in extending a warm welcome to my friend, author Dan Stone, who has graciously agreed to be a guest blogger for Scully Love Promo.  I loved his debut novel The Rest Of Our Lives which I reviewed in May 2011 and if you missed that, you can read it here.

And now, Dan waxes poetic on the moon as metaphor and the ‘Tricky Serum’ of our dreams…

“Most of what has come into my life so far or what I hope is on the way, started with a dream.  I love them and I believe in them and in one way or another nearly everything I do is connected to them. Maybe it’s a Pisces thing.

I believe the moon is a perfect metaphor for the guidance that is our emotions. The moon reflects the light it’s receiving, relative to its position in the sky, to the way it is turning and what it is facing. The moon is always making its journey and reflecting a focus relative to where it is and where it is going. It is always telling us something about the distance between what is and what can be.

The moon’s phases are pictures of that emotional journey–pictures of desire, pictures of resistance to desire. We can see new desires being born, desires waxing and evolving, desires manifesting fully, resistance to desire releasing, waning. As the moon makes its journey through the constellations, we can observe and feel the desires and resistance relative to that focus, that topic. We have endless opportunities to observe our progress along the emotional journey toward any and every desire that is active in us. Or we have the choice to sleep through it all—to never look outside our window to see how we’re doing.

The moon continues its journey regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not. The moon does its job whether we observe or acknowledge or respect it or not. If our feelings feel like they’re feeling us, all we really have to do is wake up, look through the window that is our focus and notice where the moon is and how it’s doing. We can know then and any other time we choose, what our feelings are about and where they are taking us. Our mood is only a mystery as long as we are choosing not to notice or pay attention to its position in the sky that is our own cosmos of dreams and desires.

These poems, from my collection, Tricky Serum: An Elixir of Poems by Dan Stone (Lethe Press, 2011) are a sort of tracing of dreams and desires and the illusions that sometimes confuse or impede or delay them. Whether present or merely implied in these poems, the metaphor of the moon as our own emotional guiding light leads us on our journey through and to our dreams, to whatever extent we are able to pay attention, to listen and to learn.

As suggested by the title, these poems address the tricky prospect of elixirs. . . the quest for the substance of our dreams, the magic potion for fulfilling what we hold to be our fondest and often most elusive desires. The poems are intended to read as a progression, a journey through the process of seeking, finding, and relinquishing our convictions about what we need or want . . . from an other . . . and from ourselves . . . about waking up, or not . . . from some of the dreams we dream about the only life we can save . . . ”

Luna Leading

She walks in beauty, yes,
but not just like the night.
She moves through the day as well,
a knowing goddess not a guess,
divinely sure of what she tells.
Time and tide and blood
are at her beck and call,
measuring her journey
through the stars, responding
to her signs and phases
even as she points the way
to any heaven that is held
close to the heart,
any distant hell that needs release.
She gently shows us where we are,
whether in or out of sight.
We push back the curtain
or pull the covers to our head.
Either way her lady finger gestures,
lures us to the dreams, desires
reflected in her light.

Awake

On the lake the winds are calm
enough to tell one breeze from the other
and the water lies as still as two lovers’ eyes
holding one another in the space before a kiss,
like sea desiring sky in a privacy before the dawn.

The earth stops turning
long enough to feel that we’ve arrived,
that a wish has just come true
and the only prayer remaining
is a thank you whispered to the trees,
attention to the hummingbirds and cranes.

There are times a lover’s arm around your waist,
his breathing in the night,
will take you home
and other times the memory
of his calling out your name
is all the joy you get to keep.

In the morning
dreams will drop you at your door
and drive away, leaving you to wonder
where they go, and what they came to say,
leaving you alone, awake,
and aching to go back to sleep.

Nondisclosure

I keep some things to myself,
knowing that disclosure
is a sound that sometimes
only dogs and critics hear.
I know the damage dreams
can suffer in some hands.
So I hold them close—
my dreams—
like newborns needing suckle,
like secrets that are magic
only when they are not shared.
Because they’re mine alone
they are untouched . . .
undefiled . . .
unattached to any word or deed,
to any face or form,
to any foreign need.
These dreams they are the force
that moves across the surfaces
and through the depths
and to the heights
of what I most believe . . .
like the stars that speak
the language I am learning,
like a god who only
answers prayers from me.
In my silence I can keep
the faith I feel,
leave it burning and becoming
what I want, without explaining.
I can choose it anytime
and it will always call me
to a place that’s clearer,
sweeter, more than
where or who I’ve been,
more than any company I’ve kept
or kingdoms that I’ve seen.
These dreams, they know the way
and in the not revealing,
in the nondisclosure,
I am getting where I’m going,
I am letting myself go.
I am just not telling.

Dan Stone is the author of Tricky Serum: An Elixir of Poems, and the gay Me081512romantic fantasy, The Rest Of Our Lives: A Novel (Lethe Press, 2009), which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, as well as an essayist, photographer, intuitive coach/consultant, and college instructor.  His fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in Focus on the Fabulous:  Colorado GLBT Voices, Charmed Lives:  Gay Spirit in Storytelling, White Crane Journal, A&U Magazine, Astropoetica, Mostly Maine, Bay Windows, Gents, Badboys, and Barbarians, New Gay Male Poetry, and Rebel Yell: Stories by Contemporary Southern Gay Authors.

He is the co-creator with artist Cher Odum of a line of original poetry art and author of the spiritual blog, The Shower Channel.  More information about Dan, his books, fine art photography and consulting services are available through his website: http://firstadream.com.

In Time Poetry Series by Heather Allen

Book Review
Titles: Reflections In Time, Seasons In Time, Lyrics In Time, Visions In Time
Author: Heather Allen
Publisher: Heather Allen
Released: Reflections and Seasons – 2007; Lyrics – 2008; Visions – 2010
Pages: 28 pages (each)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-0-3 (Reflections In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-1-0 (Seasons In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-2-7 (Lyrics In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-3-4 (Visions In Time)
Stars: 3.5

Heather Allen is an Australian poet who had her first poem published in The Sun newspaper when she was 11-years-old. Her poetry was read on Melbourne and Bacchus Marsh radio during the 80s and 90s and she also received various commendations and certificates of merit for her work which has appeared in many different publications since that time.

“Heather has conducted poetry workshops for primary school students, and is a past secretary of the Bacchus Marsh Writing and Poetry Group. She worked for The Ballan News, Near West Country Living, and The Ballarat Courier as a freelance photojournalist, columnist, and editorial assistant. Her weekly column Reflections was featured in The Ballan News for eight years, and she produced three newsletters, including the community publication The Ballan Monthly Review.”

I have known Heather, who resides in Ballan, for years via MySpace and Facebook and as we both have an affinity for animals and all things Irish (Heather’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day), not to mention poetry, I was delighted to receive her In Time poetry series and I want to share my thoughts about it with you.

Heather sent me Reflections In Time, Seasons In Time, Lyrics In Time and Visions In Time and I understand that another volume entitled Moments In Time also exists. Each volume is spiral-bound with plastic covers and presented with a unique and lovely colour photograph on the front cover. Each volume also opens with a thoughtful quote from Vincent Van Gogh, St. Augustine, Leo Rosten, and Robert Frost respectively and features 23 pages of poetry, many of which feature award-winning poems.

In Reflections In Time, award winners included First Love, Footprints and Reflections; Seasons In Time included award winners Surrender, From Blackwood To Greendale, This Is My Australia, Think Of Me First As A Person, Dailyarata, The Custodian and Girl Friday. Lyrics In Time featured song lyrics and poems written in 2006 & 2007 spanning the genres of folk, rock, pop and country and western music, and were inspired by such artists as Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw and Australia’s Mark Wilkinson. Visions In Time highlights poetry written in 2007 & 2008 including Make Poverty History, Memories In His Swag, and All We Owe The Dead, all of which are among Heather’s strongest work.

Most of Heather’s emotive poems are about love and loss and to be honest, while I can empathize with the feelings that were behind them as I’ve certainly had similar emotions myself; I’m not in a place anymore where I get a lot out of reading them. And I will say the same thing about my own poetry. Her poems are intelligently written, sometimes powerful, often moving and easily relatable. She is not afraid to write about what she knows or to wear her heart on her sleeve – sometimes even bleeding on the page a little – but always maintaining her dignity, hope and faith in a better tomorrow. It’s when she ventures outside of these themes that I am most attracted to the poems and in particular I really enjoyed Street Kids, Diary, Yours To Embrace, Make Poverty History and Science. My favourites from Reflections In Time are Burning Love and If Walls Could Talk; Surrender, This Is My Australia and The Custodian from Seasons In Time; Can’t Un-Do My Love and I Wrote A Language With You from Lyrics In Time; and Mate Of My Soul, Ditto and Don’t Leave Me Here from Visions In Time.

This Is My Australia

Sunrise at the Barrier Reef, a sea of molten gold.
Termite nests reach towards the skies, standing tall and bold.
Russell Falls, Tasmania, set amid the mountain ash.
The Opera House, Sydney Harbour, Dame Edna and Pat Cash.
A desert filled with Spinifex, heated cruelly by the sun.
Port Arthur’s penal colony where convicts’ time was done.
The mining town of Sovereign Hill, the brilliance of Ayers Rock.
River Red Gums in the Flinders’, Bendigo’s large town clock.

Sheep shearing at Talbarae Station in outback New South Wales.
The bushmen of our country fill generations with their tales.
Three Sisters at Katoomba, Gambier’s Blue Lagoon.
A man-made lake at Eildon, men heading for the moon.
The forbidding chasm Lock Ard Gorge, pinnacles in W.A.
I’m proud to be Australian, here’s where I want to stay.
The man from Snowy River, the cottage of Captain Cook.
Our nation and our heritage, our history fills a book.

A history in the making, a land so rare and true.
A land they call Australia, the land of the true blue.
A land of sport, of Aussie rules, of mossies and blowflies.
Of Holden cars and boomerangs, of takeaway meat pies.
This is my Australia, and Australian I’m proud to be.
I’m proud that I’m a native of this island in the sea.

I would love to read more of Heather’s poetry about Australia and the things in everyday life that inspire her aside from her romantic relationships. She’s bright, insightful and a really good writer and it’s time that she wrote a volume called Down Under In Time. I’m putting in my request for it now. Don’t stop writing, Heather!

Orders, enquiries and reader feedback are welcome and you can contact Heather via email at hjallen59@hotmail.com or on MySpace at www.myspace.com/shamrocklady.

The Impeccable Lover by Amorah Quan Yin

Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by Sir Frank Dicksee

Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by Sir Frank Dicksee

This morning, I received this exquisite and mind-blowing poem from my Facebook friend, Jeff Brown, who is the author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self Creation, a book that every man should read.

When I read this poem, I wept. I can’t believe that it sums up everything I think and feel about the man I’ve been looking for my whole life.

The Impeccable Lover

Oh, Gentle man, what do you see
when you look out at me with eyes
of desire and longing?
Eyes that reach out and surround me
with your heat and passion:
passion of wanting.
Eyes that say, “I must have you.”
Eyes that plead, or eyes that lust.
Eyes that say, “I’ve been lonely so long.”

Oh Gentle Man, do not look to me
with these eyes.
Go to the looking glass with these eyes.
Relief awaits you there.
And when you see the conqueror,
the knight, the hungry man,
tell that one to lay down his sword,
surrender his armor and shield:
Tell him the war is done.
Then put your arm around his shoulder
and look him in the eyes.
And when his sword, his armor, his shield
are locked and put away,
and he has cried and called you, “Brother,”
then, Gentle Man, may you come to me
with your soul’s light shining through
from behind your eyes,
able to see the Light and Essence that I am.
Then I will look back when I see
the love and respect in your eyes.
But when I see desperation and lust,
or the need to conquer and own,
I promise you this:
I shall look away.

Oh, Gentle Man, how would you give your gifts to me?
Excitedly, like a child
who picks a flower for his Mother
then runs inside to receive the praise?
Would you give to me to show
how thoughtful and kind you are?
How generous you can be?
To impress me with your charm?
To win my love and reward?
Would you give what you think I want
with the hope for pardon and mercy,
that you be deemed worthy
of all my attention and love?

Oh, Gentle Man, please take your gifts
to your magical child,
who awaits, so lonely and afraid,
in your garden.
For he is in need
of your caring and presence.
Take this child to your breast.
Cradle him.
Stroke him.
Shower him.
And be sincere.
Alas, when he sleeps in your arms,
lay him down softly
and climb the stairs to my room.
and if you see the Light of my soul
and the Beauty that I Am
and wish to honor me with a flower,
a poem, a sweet word, or a kiss,
then give to me with sincerity,
without the need for flourish,
without expectation
or the hope of reward,
but with the quiet dignity
with which you sniff the aroma
of a sweet-scented flower,
or watch in peaceful awe
the setting of the Sun.

Oh, Gentle Man. please burden me not
with the weight of your esteem,
or with the power to give or destroy
your joy, your heart, your image, and worth.
For this responsibility
is far too great for me.
Go find your peace and happiness,
your self-esteem and love.
Find them with God and Goddess;
Find them in flowers, and trees,
in the wind and the setting sun.
Then bring them with you for sharing.
Do not make me your reason
for living or dying-
my approval, the source of your power;
my touch, your salvation;
my eyes, your self-knowing-
for I would grow to despise you,
and you resent and loathe me.
This power that you would give me
I truly do not want.
At best, it could only serve
to soothe the doubts I hold,
and make me feel important to you,
and needed and worthy-
filled with a false sense of purpose-
but fleetingly.
And you would imprison me
away from my own sense of Essence,
and from the truth of my soul,
and from the Goddess that I Am,
and from my true power and Light.
You would cripple me, surely-
admiring me with your eyes that hide
your loneliness and need;
your gifts that beg for approval;
your words of praise that hide
your desperation.

Oh, Gentle Man, until the child sleeps
and is peaceful in your garden,
and the knight has lain down
his sword, his armor, his shield,
then, only then, approach my stairs.
and only then will I meet you
halfway.
When your soul is present and shining
brightly through eyes of love,
then you will see my eyes shining
and looking back at you.
When you give from your heart
and your words are not boasting,
when you know who you are without me,
then I will be free to receive you,
and to give to you fully my love.
For then, we will know that neither
of us can be destroyed.
The surrender that only can come
to two who have first
surrendered to self-
to their own inner Beauty,
and wisdom, and Essence Divine-
will be ours.
Then side by side, in blended Light,
our twin stars will shine
once again.

Amorah Quan Yin

If You Want To Change The World…Love A Woman

Poet, Teacher and Storyteller, Lisa Citore

I have been having a very difficult week, filled with pain and frustration after suffering a major back spasm that resulted in a brief hospitalization last Wednesday night.

This morning I opened the most beautiful email from my Facebook friend, author of the brilliant Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation, Jeff Brown. Jeff leads a group called International Year of the Woman and he sent this poem to its members yesterday. This poem: If You Want To Change The World…Love A Woman has given me a much needed burst of love and light and I thank Jeff for sharing it.

“A poem that is well worth sharing… I am sure that when man lays down his arms and honors the divine feminine- both within himself and in another- our Soulshaping journeys will enhearten and this planet will soar…” ~ Jeff Brown

IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD…LOVE A WOMAN

If you want to change the world… love a woman-really love her.
Find the one who calls to your soul, who doesn’t make sense.
Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen.
Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing-
every winged one, every furry and scaled one,
every underground and underwater one, every green and flowering one,
every not yet born and dying one…
Hear their melancholy praises back to the One who gave them life.
If you haven’t heard your own name yet, you haven’t listened long enough.
If your eyes aren’t filled with tears, if you aren’t bowing at her feet,
you haven’t ever grieved having almost lost her.

If you want to change the world… love a woman-one woman
beyond yourself, beyond desire and reason,
beyond your male preferences for youth, beauty and variety
and all your superficial concepts of freedom.
We have given ourselves so many choices
we have forgotten that true liberation
comes from standing in the middle of the soul’s fire
and burning through our resistance to Love.
There is only one Goddess.
Look into Her eyes and see-really see
if she is the one to bring the axe to your head.
If not, walk away. Right now.
Don’t waste time “trying.”
Know that your decision has nothing to do with her
because ultimately it’s not with who,
but when we choose to surrender.

If you want to change the world… love a woman.
Love her for life-beyond your fear of death,
beyond your fear of being manipulated
by the Mother inside your head.
Don’t tell her you’re willing to die for her.
Say you’re willing to LIVE with her,
plant trees with her and watch them grow.
Be her hero by telling her how beautiful she is in her vulnerable majesty,
by helping her to remember every day that she IS Goddess
through your adoration and devotion.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
in all her faces, through all her seasons
and she will heal you of your schizophrenia-
your double-mindedness and half-heartedness
which keeps your Spirit and body separate-
which keeps you alone and always looking outside your Self
for something to make your life worth living.
There will always be another woman.
Soon the new shiny one will become the old dull one
and you’ll grow restless again, trading in women like cars,
trading in the Goddess for the latest object of your desire.
Man doesn’t need any more choices.
What man needs is Woman, the Way of the Feminine,
of Patience and Compassion, non-seeking, non-doing,
of breathing in one place and sinking deep intertwining roots
strong enough to hold the Earth together
while she shakes off the cement and steel from her skin.

If you want to change the world… love a woman, just one woman .
Love and protect her as if she is the last holy vessel.
Love her through her fear of abandonment
which she has been holding for all of humanity.
No, the wound is not hers to heal alone.
No, she is not weak in her codependence.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
all the way through
until she believes you,
until her instincts, her visions, her voice, her art, her passion,
her wildness have returned to her-
until she is a force of love more powerful
than all the political media demons who seek to devalue and destroy her.

If you want to change the world,
lay down your causes, your guns and protest signs.
Lay down your inner war, your righteous anger
and love a woman…
beyond all of your striving for greatness,
beyond your tenacious quest for enlightenment.
The holy grail stands before you
if you would only take her in your arms
and let go of searching for something beyond this intimacy.

What if peace is a dream which can only be re-membered
through the heart of Woman?
What if a man’s love for Woman, the Way of the Feminine
is the key to opening Her heart?

If you want to change the world…love a woman
to the depths of your shadow,
to the highest reaches of your Being,
back to the Garden where you first met her,
to the gateway of the rainbow realm
where you walk through together as Light as One,
to the point of no return,
to the ends and the beginning of a new Earth.

Lisa Citore

More by Tracy Mellor

Book Review
Title: More
Author: Tracy Mellor
Publisher: Lulu
Released: 2009
Pages: 211
ISBN – 978-0-557-04659-1
Stars: 3.5

More is poet Tracy Mellor’s second collection of poetry, following 2007’s Walk Backwards In Your Mind. These are self-published works of very high quality, printed on demand through Lulu.com.

I know Tracy a little bit through our online acquaintance and I know that she’s had a particularly challenging journey in this life. She grew up in the Bay area of San Francisco (and currently resides in the greater Seattle region), an extremely bright, adopted, only child.

In her own words, “Tracy lives with a severe form of Bipolar Disorder and is active in mental health advocacy with NAMI (National Alliance On The Mentally Ill). She earned a B.A. Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Davis, and an M.S. Degree in Community Counseling from California State University – Sacramento.”

She is a talented chanteuse, a Celtic Diva, as well as a wonderful writer. She is an artist with words and paints vivid cameos of life as she knows it. Sometimes I am just struck by the beauty of the words she strings together: “lay me down/in a velvet shroud of midnight blue”, “I was draped/ in the ghost of Haldol”, “our first kiss/better than rain from quicksilver heaven”, “rusty porch-swing eyes”, “tap dancing on the floorboards/of eternal life”, miles of innuendo/contained in a grin”, “on a slingshot/back from Hell”, “speak here…/in the golden seashell spiral/of my ear”, and “the harbor of remorse/is flooded/with the fog of regret.”

“Tracy describes her writing as hard-hitting, visceral, and an unrelenting examination of the human condition.” Her poetry is not for the faint of heart. It’s for people who can relate to heartbreak, abandonment, disappointment, loss, frustration, attempted suicide, detachment and livid crimson anger, as well as those who dance in the midnight shadows of love and seek redemption from someone or something outside of themselves.

Tracy is a survivor, a fighter, and a lover and despite the hard knocks this life has given her, she never ever gives up. As she so eloquently puts it in Played: “but hope had me in a headlock.” It is this underlying hope and faith that she will get out of life what she deserves that keeps the reader rooting for her. I can relate particularly to In Plain Sight, about those who lie about who they are and hide behind their Internet-created facades:

In Plain Sight

some people hide
take delight
in assumed identities
fake names
other lives
glamour shots taken
Long ago
photoshopped beauties
legs up to their chin
tides of illusion
tucked behind webcams
they only tell you
what you want to hear
mutual admiration
in mere seconds
praying to a fallen god
worship
of the most rotten variety
never revealing
the bitter truth
that “model” is a housewife
that “hottie” is a husband
boys and girls
lined up on the side
rack ‘em up
and watch them break
as deception looms
your bank account drained
as you support the latest
high-tech scam
all because
they said
you’re everything
what you see
when you look at me
is real
genuine
what you get
unvarnished
raw
to the core
I never made claims
to be more than I am
I am armed
with arrows
a huntress
prowling for imposters
like to me
and I’ll have your head
paraded around
for public consumption
what you get is what you see
I have no time
for trickery

© Tracy Mellor

It is absolutely true that with Tracy Mellor, what you see is what you get.

More is, however, more often ominous than optimistic, melancholy than mirth-inducing, and disgruntled than delightful, and while I can certainly relate to the emotions Tracy experienced while writing these works, this collection is what I fear my own book of poetry is and it’s the reason I don’t write it anymore. Until I can feel more sanguine about life, I choose not to put any more negative doggerel out there.

So, if you’re in the same headspace as Tracy Mellor was when writing More you will certainly appreciate her verse, but if you’re feeling content and confident about your life, this book probably isn’t for you.

Eden Refugee – Poetry and Lyrics by Christine Bode

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Christine Bode self-publishes her first book of poetry – Eden Refugee – available at Lulu.com

KINGSTON, ON – JUNE 26, 2008Christine Bode was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She has lived in Toronto and Vancouver and has been writing poetry and song lyrics since she was a teenager. Her first poem, about Shaun Cassidy, was published by Scholastic Book Services in Rock’s Biggest Ten and in 16 Magazine in 1978. Encouraged by a personal letter received from Bob Geldof in 1987 and mentored in this decade by Canada’s legendary broadcasting icon, author, actor and Renaissance man, Patrick Watson, she continues to write and almost understands the meaning of metre. Some of her work has been published in local newspapers, various American anthologies and on the Internet. Many of the original versions of the poems and lyrics in Eden Refugee have been edited.

Christine is the owner and operator of Scully Love Promo, an Internet based business through which she provides online marketing and promotion for first class talented musicians, authors and other artists.  Christine is also a senior entertainment writer for PartyinKingston.com and contributes concert and CD reviews as well as a monthly feature called Actor’s Spotlight.

EDEN REFUGEE viscerally reflects the experiences of a young woman consumed by sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, unrequited love and a constant quest for spiritual enlightenment.

This is Christine Bode’s first published collection of poetry.

Link to preview the book or order your copy of Eden Refugee at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/951416

ISBN: 978-1-4357-2630-7