All Stories Are Love Stories

All stories are love stories, even though it may not seem like it. Either one or all of the characters are searching for love, aching because of a lack of love, disturbed because of a lack of love, forever heartbroken because love hasn’t been kind, and on and on.

After writing this morning’s haiku, my thoughts continued to meander down the path of discovery. I’m working on this story about a young man who has been scarred because his mother didn’t love him. As I was thinking about the story and other things, I started to think about certain students who have come into my life. Students who I recognized potential in and spent day after day, week after week, and month after month trying to help to see their own potential. Some of these students had another need, one either I didn’t recognize or wasn’t equipped to satiate. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, until certain needs are met, some of these students will not be receptive to what is taking place in the classroom.

If a student needs stability at home, a place to live, food because he/she is hungry, someone to confide in about being abused, a good night’s sleep because they’re up all night listening to their parents argue and fight, to wash their clothes because they only have two outfits and no washer and dryer in the home, then until those needs are met, teacher and student may as well be bumping heads. It doesn’t matter that I am a good teacher and know my content. That’s why it’s important to understand that teachers do more than disseminate content. We have to love and educate the whole child, each and every one of them. No matter how good a teacher you are, if a child’s needs is not being met, they will not care about other things they think of as low on their hierarchy of needs.

So, no matter how good a teacher you are, if you are not giving a person what he needs at that moment, they may not be able to receive what you are offering. Likewise, no matter how good a person you are and no matter how loving you may be to your significant other, if you are not meeting their needs, they may never choose you.

I used to be the type of person who would say, “But I loved you. I was good to you. You should appreciate that.” I understand, now, that every person has his or her own needs and those needs may not match mine and that’s okay. The same goes for the women who meet the protagonist of my newest story. The women who meet Victor online are all trying to forge a relationship with him. Some believe if they love him hard enough, he’ll ignore his own needs and realize they are what’s best for him. And that’s never true. So, the story I’m working on must be a love story, though the protagonist is a psychotic and narcissistic jerk. It all starts with love. And even Victor realizes that, even if he doesn’t know that he realizes it.

I opened my heart to you,
and watched as you closed
the door. You left. And closed
the door behind you. You didn’t
slam it hard, but closed it gently
as if though you didn’t want to wake the
sleeping baby. As if though you
weren’t ready to let me know that you
stopped loving me, stopped wanting my love.
Though you still sought to use parts of me.
I stood looking at the closed door, willing it
to open, but knowing you didn’t want me
anymore. Not like I wanted you. And a part of me
believed you loved me more than you knew and
just needed help to show it. So, I pried the door
of my heart open once more, placed a block of
my pride near the bottom to keep it propped open.
I hoped the memory of our love would drift
through the open door like the music that
drifts from our neighbor’s house every Friday night.
We never attended their parties. It wasn’t our type
of scene, but somehow that never occurred to me.
I just hoped the memories standing on the other side
of the door would be enough to draw you back to me
because it’s been enough to hold me here,
trapped in the past, avoiding my future.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind

I’m off to finish working on my love story, loves. Hope you’ll do the same. And, remember, if it’s important to you, you’ll make a way to do it. If it’s not important, you’ll make excuses. If you find yourself making excuses about something you think is important to you, maybe it’s time to re-think it all.

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When Love Left – A Haiku

Love left me behind.

I stayed long after Love left me.

One of us is dumb.

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Heaven & Hell

Heaven & Hell

If Heaven & Hell are created
right here on Earth, why does Heaven
always seem so beyond my touch?

Heaven is staring into your eyes for
hours at a time, getting lost in your forever
gaze. Heaven is falling softly into your embrace,
knowing in your arms I’ll always be safe.
Heaven is waking up being able to always
look upon your face & knowing yours will be
the face I see before I fall asleep every night.
Heaven is you. It’s being and sharing life
with you. Heaven is the promise that dreams
do come true. Heaven is me when I’m with you.
Heaven is the merging of our two souls; Heaven is
when we two become one.

Knowing that Heaven exists & experiencing
Heaven’s bliss is not simply a given. Heaven
seems always to exist outside the realm of
possibility for me. It makes me wonder if
it’s the sin within that keeps me outside Heaven’s
door, or is it something more keeping me
from entering Heaven’s gates? It seems I’ll
never know, but will always ask the question:

If Heaven & Hell are created right here on
Earth, why does Heaven always seem beyond
my touch? And what did I do to remain in the
endless circle of Hell of existing without you?

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

heaven and hell

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Witchy Woman Blues

Here’s the call and response blues poems I promised. One is called Magic Man Blues and the other is called the Witchy Woman Blues. These poems were composed by me, of course, and my bestest friend, the Mysterious Poet ;-).

Witchy Woman Blues

She sings in a smoky blues joint
every Friday night. At a little after ten,
a hush settles over the crowd when she
walks through the door.
The lights are low, but the stage is brightly lit
and out walks a woman with a witchy accent.
She says, “I am the witchy woman” and
she shimmies out onto the stage. Her dance
is so seductive it leaves all the people spent.
Spent with desire so strong even the women are
left moaning. The men, they stop and stare
and the women steady complainin’, “It ain’t fair.”

The witchy woman she dips down low as her
throaty and melodious voice gives the people
more than they can handle. She don’t stop when
she givin’ too much tho, no, not the witchy woman.
She says, “When I get down on the floor, your man
will have the scent of the witchy woman all over his hands
and it’ll be the taste of his lips. And the sound that
escaped her cherry red lips pulled the people back in
so they could watch that witchy woman do her famous dip.
And oh how she dipped, barely touching the floor, then
that witchy woman walked slowly across the stage ignoring
those people who were so caught up in the witchy woman’s
spell that they were waving money toward her face.
Willing to pay, just to have a little taste.

Those people, they waved money that the witchy woman
didn’t take because the witchy woman was not an easy lay.
She beat them down with her words, left the men wanting
more. And she wanted the men to know about the power in
her hips, not the honey words dripping from their lips.
To get this treasure, you will have to empty those
egos at the door cause I need you, but you need me more.
And that beguiling smile curled those witchy woman lips
and she wiggled some more, danced all across the stage.
By the time she walked away, the people were in a daze.
Even the women were left pantin’ and sweatin’, wishing
they could carry the scent of that witchy woman. Wishing
they could touch her inner core, wishing they could see
the witchy woman gyrate and shimmy some more.

The witchy woman will always have people knocking down
her door, trying to get just a little more of those witchy woman
blues. Blues so seductive they leave a man wanting more
and a woman wanting to touch her inner core. Just a little
taste, that’s what they’ll say. But a little will never be
enough cuz once you get a taste of the witchy woman blues
you’ll always know that she satisfies your every need. And
why settle for just any ole woman when you done had a taste
of the witchy woman blues, cause after tasting and eating
the witchy woman, no other woman will ever do.

*****************************************************************************************

Magic Man Blues

I fell in love with a man
who’s pure magic. He’s
got magic all in his hands. He’s
got magic lurking in the dark
shadows of his smile. He’s
got magic clogging up his veins.
He’s my magic man.

That magic man of mine knows
exactly how to place the light of
the stars in my eyes. And he makes
those stars shine while magically
taking me to places divine. That
magic man of mine lit a flame
that lights up every single chamber
of my breaking heart. Yes, that’s
the power of that magic man of mine.

People say we never take time anymore
just to gaze up at the stars, but when you’re
surrounded by magic it’s easy to get
distracted by the stars shining in your eyes.
So, don’t think I take it lightly, this is
a serious matter to me. That the magic
man of mine shined the stars in my eyes
and the glare almost blinded me. Somehow
I just couldn’t see that that magic man
was leading me by the strings of my heart
and taking me to a place where hearts
are easily broken and the tattered pieces
left in a shattered heap that made it
impossible for me to move my feet so
I could walk away from that
magic man and run back to me.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind (and the Mysterious Poet)

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Dreaming of Pigs

One of the things I write about in the journals I keep by my bed is any interesting dream I happen to have. Well last night was a doozy.

I dreamed that I was getting ready to dissect pigs with my students. The most natural thing in the world, right? An English teacher dissecting pigs. Yeah. So, I went to my instructional facilitator to get the supplies I needed to dissect the pigs. Pig cadavers, of course. And whatever else science teachers use. So, she gave me everything except there weren’t enough pigs.

So I had to go find some more pigs so I would have enough for all the students. I took what I had gotten from the instructional facilitator to my classroom (in actuality the apartment I lived in when I was in elementary school) and then went looking for pigs. As I was walking I kept stumbling upon “nests” of piglets. I would scoop up four or five of the baby pigs and then head back to my classroom. Making the trips until I had enough. But when I would go back to add the piglets to the ones I already had, I would always take a long, indirect route to my classroom. I ended up climbing up on railings and walking through alleyways, before eventually ending up back at my classroom.

Right before I woke, I remember feeling disturbed because I was going to have to murder all those piglets. The kids have to dissect cadavers. I couldn’t give them live pigs to dissect. And I was just standing there trying to gather the courage to kill the pigs.

I don’t know if I ever found the courage. I woke up, but before I did I remember a voice saying, “I gave you all you needed to get the job done, but now you have to do your part.” This is true. I didn’t have to work too hard to find the pigs. All I had to do was walk and there they were right there for me to pick up.

I have been trying to figure out what the dream could possibly mean, but honestly I have no idea. I came up with several interpretations but none seems to mesh with the dream. Maybe it was just a dream, but I don’t believe that. I believe my dreams are manifestations of my own thoughts, things that are bothering me, or conveyors of meaning, to answer a question that I have. You can tell when something is purely incidental, and to me, this one was not.

In the meantime, I have decided that it stems from the conversation I had with a good friend earlier this week. I was telling him about a story I was working on and the difficulty I was having with getting it written. I told him that it had occurred to me that I don’t make my characters work hard enough. Like an overprotective mother, I try to control how bad the situation is my character finds himself or herself in. And, we both agreed, that maybe that’s why I’m sometimes not satisfied with how my stories turn out. Maybe I realize that it’s a good story, but that it lacks tension that would make it so much better. So, he has agreed to read this story for me and keep pushing me until I give it my all. I’m going to “get my character up a tree and then throw rocks at him.” And my writing partner and best friend is going to help me keep throwing rocks at him until he figures out how to get down out the tree or is knocked out the tree.

Gotta get to work loves! Do something you love for someone you love because all you have is today. Tomorrow is not promised. Right? Right.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind

baby pigs

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Magic

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” –Frida Kahlo

He told her she was pure magic
and thought his words would melt
her heart. But she learned long ago
that magic is nothing more than
an illusion, that what you think you see
and what you are truly seeing are not the same
things. So he never understood that
instead of mending the pieces of her
breaking heart, his words were the start of
the unravelling of her all over again.
She knew that in the end she’d be the
only one left on stage, a lone participant
left trembling like a summer leaf
before it’s consumed by the eternal flame of
her soul as it hurtles through space,
through the trap door of a love that doesn’t
exist anymore. That’s why she stopped
believing in magic and why she never will.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind

magic

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Magic Man Blues

I’m feeling like a contemporary blues artist these days. The blues are running through my head just about all day. So, I’ve undertaken a blues challenge of sorts with my “best(est)” friend in the whole entire world. I’m working on a blues poem about the magic man and he’s working on one about a witchy woman.

This is what I have so far:

Magic Man Blues

I fell in love with a man
who’s pure magic. He’s
got magic all in his hands. He’s
got magic lurking in the dark
shadows of his smile. He’s
got magic clogging up his veins.
He’s my magic man.

That magic man of mine knows
exactly how to place the light of
the stars in my eyes. And he makes
those stars shine while magically
taking me to places divine. That
magic man of mine lit a flame
that lights up every single chamber
of my breaking heart. Yes, that’s
the power of that magic man of mine.

People say we never take time anymore
just to gaze up at the stars, but when you’re
surrounded by magic it’s easy to get
distracted by the stars shining in your eyes.
So, don’t think I take it lightly, this is
a serious matter to me. That the magic
man of mine shined the stars in my eyes
and the glare almost blinded me. Somehow
I just couldn’t see that that magic man
was leading me by the strings of my heart
and taking me to a place where hearts
are easily broken and the tattered pieces
left in a shattered heap that made it
impossible for me to move my feet so
I could walk away from that
magic man and run back to me.

I’m going to keep working on this. And then I’ll post the finished product along with his poem on the witchy woman. (I love this part of me. It’s the best, most passionate part of me.)

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Start the Week with Snoopy — Just Because

I’ve spent the past few weeks polishing poems for my next poetry anthology. I hope to have the new anthology finished in the next month or so. This comic definitely applies to how I’ve spent so much of my time recently.

peanuts comic about writing

Peace & Love,

Rosalind

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Ramshackle Castles in the Sky

The following poem is dedicated to the memories of Bessie Smith, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, and Billie Holiday. I’ve been reading Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis and it has been an educational experience in which I’m learning a lot, and also realizing that nothing ever changes. It’s amazing how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“The birth of the blues was aesthetic evidence of new psychosocial realities within the black population,” as Davis states in the book. She also discusses the pushback from those in the black community who perceived the blues lyrics as being a sort of vilification of the black male, when all they were doing was singing about the experiences that women were having in the years following their release from slavery, when black people were finally free to choose their mates. The new freedom brought with it new attitudes, expectations, relationship dynamics, and sexual freedom for both black women and black men. Still, one of the prevailing attitudes back then, one that is still persistent today, was that “race must always take precedence, that race is implicitly gendered as male.” In other words, don’t speak ill of the black male. Hmph. I call bullshit. The blues, whether expressed in song, poem, story, or play, is a way for the artist to transform pain into something beautiful.

For those beautiful Queens of the Blues:

I’m tired of breaking my own heart
I’m ready to move on, knowing that
I never meant more to you than I
once meant to myself and that ain’t sayin’ much.

They say if you don’t love yourself,
you’ll meet someone else who doesn’t love you
just as much, someone who’ll help you
not love yourself. And that’s what you
did for me; you helped me not love me.

You made promises you knew you’d never
keep, kept promising to love me,
to one day love me like I love you, but reality has
been staring me in the face for some time now
asking if you don’t love me today, why
would you love me tomorrow?

I’ve fallen down the ladder so many times,
trying to reach those castles in the sky you
built for me, but they’ve always been out of reach
for me; the door to the castle is locked and you
threw away the key cuz you never planned to let
me in. It’s just a good thing that while you were building
castles up too far away for me to reach,
I was building my own castles.
And I’m going home now, to a palace that
was built specially for me by someone who truly
loves me and doesn’t need to play with my mentality

to prove that love is a fragile mistress that can never
be satisfied as long as there are only promises with
no manifestations in reality. This is a door that was
left open for me and I don’t even need a key.
I just have to want to enter. I started making that journey
way back when I realized you were a jester of love, someone
who plays with love to suit your childish needs. And now
I can walk away, hand in hand, with me
and never bother to look back,
trying to find a castle in the sky
that never really existed in the first place.

So whatever the Hell you built up there for me,
just place a sign out front: For Sale, She didn’t believe me,
but maybe you will. And that’s the way it’ll end, for me
anyway.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind

ladies sing the blues

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scars on my heart

This is just a little something I’ve been working on. It’s the first draft, of course.

i gave u my smile
u promised 2 keep it,
2 protect it like the sun
does its rays, but u gave it away.
traded it like a pair of used
shoes & now she wears my smile.
and she uses my second-hand
smile to kill me softly, carve up
my heart till its shredded to pieces
& she drops the pieces down
my throat till I choke on
the stolen smile. now i know
ur words were dull-edged knives
that couldn’t even carve butter,
but somehow they carved me
into a girl who watched as u
made me choke on the love
i had for u, made me slide down
a frayed rope that left burns inside my
palms and i know u never really
loved me, just wanted to prove to me
that i don’t matter at all.
good job. i have no trouble at all
believing that i mean nothing to u
& that my smile was just a parachute
u used to jump to safety, yet
somehow i ended up with the
broken bones & scars all over my body.

Peace & Love,
Rosalind

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