Poetry and Me

Today, I am working on my poems, and I must have hit a nerve.

I began to squirm.

Writing from a place of vulnerability can be exhausting, in part because of the emotional toll it can take on you. Exploring past issues, rehashing out experiences that were once dead and done, reliving memories can be hard.

Lately, I find myself sifting through a compartmentalized box of memories (good and bad).

Sometimes, we bury our feelings deep within the confines of our souls and never really find closure. We move on from a bad moment and some of us never get the closure we need. But, my personal trip down memory lane has left me with a sense of healing, or closure.

What does closure look like?

For me, it comes in the form of a series of poems that explore my life and identity as a woman, a minority, and mother trying to figure out who I am in the midst of trying to raise strong young women.

And, let me tell you I am tired.

I am tired of being subjected to a world that expects certain behaviors and norms in order to succeed. I am tired of the way society has created standards of beauty. I am tired of sitting in a room where I am silently criticized because I color my hair blue (purple, pink, and green) or I have henna on my hands. I’m tired of trying to fit into white America in my America.

But, in this exhaustion I also find truths.

I find that I love discovering myself. I love the beauty of language. I discover that the power of words can move me to tears, bring me joy, or bring me peace. In this vulnerable place of discovery, I use my words to heal my wounds, to find my serenity.

Within the spaces of my lines, I build my stanzas of truth creating my poetic voice.

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2019 All rights reserved.

Puerto Rico

I am writing today from within. I write from the roots of my being. I am an American, a Puerto Rican. I am the daughter of an island born on the mainland of a country in turmoil over identity. Today, I see inaction on behalf of other American citizens, on inhabitants of an island in despair.  Americans absent from inclusion, they live on an island bombarded by the waters of grief and we are all hurting. Our island is in trouble and we are stranded on the mainland, hopeless, fearful, and desperate.

La isla del encanto, la isla de mi niñez, drowned by a storm— is surfacing for air.

And I see all of us crying out for our people.

I see humanity emerging from the depths of tragedy.

We cry out with memories of a coqui singing, the sounds of parrandas bellowing through the night, el cuatro is the backdrop of my childhood, with trio music cascading through my memories.

I still smell el calor de la lluvia que cae en el verano and I hear my grandmother saying to me, “se caso la bruja, lluvia con sol.”  I can’t translate culture. I can’t turn this refrán into something that makes sense in English. Sometimes, I can’t make sense of myself in America, because I am  Puerto Rican. The earmarks of our culture lose meaning when we try to translate them.

We try to translate our being, our identity. We try to be American- but we don’t have to try because we are Americans with a dash of sazón.

Our culture is a mixture of history told over the sounds of an island’s melody for decades.

We are American. We are part of this country too; we are the people of a nation that ignores us.

We fight in wars, we work in your business, we are doctors, nurses, teachers, representatives, we even hold a position in the Supreme Court, we are Grammy award winners, Tony award winners, actors, actresses, sports players, musicians, rappers, poets, writers, executives, secretaries, your neighbors, and friends.

It saddens me that the tragedy which has fallen upon the birthplace of my ancestry has devastated the Motherland. But I want you to remember “Esta raza siempre es brava/ Aunque sople el temporal” (Residente, Hijos Del Cañaveral).

Don’t lose sight of the solidarity that has forged from this tragedy. Make an effort to help. Bring attention to the plight of our island; bring attention to the people of the island. Don’t sit down and remain silent, write letters make phone calls, donate money for relief efforts (Donating items is not always the best solution unless you know what is exactly needed. Avoid waste).

Find out where the relief efforts are, change the conversation of the nation unite with others and make CHANGE happen.

Music Monday: Moon Night

I almost forgot about Music Monday. So for your listening delight in keeping with today’s theme here’s the supernatural delight of dancing in the moonlight.  This is also for a dear friend who is no longer here, Linda, I remember when you played this song and danced in your seat because you loved this version.

 

Music Mondays: Changes

Change starts with you! Remember your history as a warning, learn from the lessons of the past. Changes start with people like us-it is up to us to make things all right.

 

 

Dear Lady Liberty

Dear Lady Liberty,

As you stand in the harbor watching over our nation, I imagine the tears falling down your face. I imagine your heart has been broken by the problems we have created. I imagine that as you are standing in the harbor you are watching how we systematically kill your children.  Today, you are the figure of a mother burying her children.

We will destroy the liberty and freedom we fought to create over the years. Marches occurred to fight for our rights, but overnight we seemed to forget the power “We the people” have. We continue to marginalize groups of people because they are different.

We have forgotten our past and ignored our history. We have tried to erase it. We have ignored the wound and now it is infected, and I apologize. Lady Liberty. I apologize for not taking care of your children or valuing the idea of freedom and liberty.

I apologize for the lack of effort to promote unity.

I am sorry.

I will apologize to you when the rest of the nation is in turmoil. I apologize while everyone else ignores that movements and moments start at home.

I have hope that we learn how to respect our differences. I hope that we will not forget our past. I hope, that we learn how to improve our future. I hope that as a nation, we figure out how to move forward together.

I hope that as the turmoil subsides we learn that we all must be part of the solution. Sitting by is no longer an option. I hope that we learn that small actions matter just as much and large ones.  I hope that we realize that change starts and ends with our efforts We have to stand up and move forward together.

We cannot forget the harsh truth of our past.  The hurt and pain we have faced as a nation. We cannot forget how you, Lady Liberty, witnessed what we have become as a nation. How we have built ourselves up by oppression. You watch how we beat down on others just to build up this American identity—an American identity which spans beyond the white skin or brown skin or yellow skin or tan skin, that any one of us possess. Our history is ugly, but our future can be great.

Our present should not be a movement to rewind the clock.

Lady Liberty, I extend my hand to offer you hope. All is not lost, but these are trying times.

I hope that I will leave a better nation for my children, for your children and all children.

I hope that we take back the power that we have been given as citizens and exercise our rights.

I hope that we understand.

Love,
Hopeful America

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2017 All rights reserved.

Music Mondays: Tell Me

Today, I will invite you to share some of your favorite songs for Music Monday.

What’s on your playlist?

What are you listening to right now?

Are there any artists or songs you want to hear next week?

🙂

Music Mondays: Residente’s Rap

Residente is one of my favorite rappers.

If you don’t understand Spanish, then you may not understand my fascination with this artist, but regardless I am going to share. My children listen to everything I listen to because they are always with me. Usually, my oldest daughter does not like my music choices but when she listened to Immigrants for the first time and heard Residente’s part she stated, “I feel bad for people who can’t understand Spanish because he killed it.” In other words she thought it was good.

Renee Perez, better known as Residente, has won a Nobel Peace Summit Award.  He has a  Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in computer animation. He makes references in his raps from Don Quixote to injustice. Residente is a part of a group named Calle 13, they have won approximately 24 Grammy awards. He provides lyrically rich content mixed with a real understanding of social justice. Then, switches it up to create an up tempo raunchy hit.

He’s an advocate of educaition and social justice and I just love him! Super Fan Girl and I don’t care!

About the Music:

The first one is an 8 minute dis track for a rapper named Tempo who wanted to battle over a comment Residente made about the genre of Reaggeaton being stale. Unfortunaltey, Tempo cant compare! Round two happened and Residente made a follow-up distrack, 11-minutes that just showed his superiority in the genre, once again.

Immigrants from Hamilton’s mixtape. “Sin pasaporte americano porque la mitadad de gringolandia es terreno Mexicano.” Loosely translated: “Without a passport because half of America was Mexican territory.”

El Aguante talks about all the thing we put up with as a people and society.

“aguantamos el que vende balas y el que la dispara
aguantamos la muerte de Lennon, la de Víctor Jara
aguantamos muchas guerras, la de Vietnam, la Guerra Fría
la Guerra de los Cien Años, la Guerra de los Seis Días”

We put up with those who sell the guns and those who pull the trigger
We put up with Lennon’s death and Victor Jara’s too
We put up with wars, Vietnam, the Cold War, the 100 years War, the Six-Day War.

Enjoy!

Let’s Share: What Stephen King Taught Me

K.D. Dowdall states: “I was a competent mimic.” Why does this particular line speak to me? Well, because it encomapsses everything that any artist needs in order to perfect their craft. The reason is because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For writers if you do not know how to imitate the style of those authors you love then you can’t write. You will not be able to take your reader on a journey and loose them within the creations of life you penned and you’ll loose them to the world in the first line.

I heard this at the writers conference critique, “The begining should be a promise to your reader.” That stuck with me, it is a powerful concept to think that as a writer I promise to guide my reader on a journey.

If you can’t keep that promise then how can you write?

 

 

 

Pen & Paper

Stephan King

Stephen King wrote a seminal work on fantasy fiction writing—a memoir of the craft on writing by the same name: Stephen King: A memoir of the Craft – On Writing.

When I decided to write fantasy fiction, instead of just dreaming about it, I decided the best place to start would be with Stephen King. Who better to learn from but a master fiction writer?  So, I purchased his book in the year 2005, read it several times, high-lighted tantalizing concepts, tabbed with sticky writable tabs until I had outlined the entire book.  I soon learned that reading about writing, tabbing every conceivable point of interest does not necessarily create a master fiction writer or even a mediocre fiction writer.

So, I stopped reading books on writing and just started reading books I loved: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Edgar Allen Poe, Harry Potter, Hans Christian Anderson, and so many others.  I…

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Let’s Share: Patricia Bell-Scott

Again, I am going to talk about another wonderful woman I met over the weekend at this writing conference I attended.

Patricia Bell-Scott, I don’t even have words to describe the friendship that emerged. She is an award winning published author and all around humble human being.

Please check out her website:

http://patriciabellscott.com/

Then purchase her newest book:

The Firebrand and the First Lady