I can’t breathe – T.B.P.I.K.

I find it both criminal and heartbreaking that over five years have gone by since I first shared this post and that things have exploded into the current state of affairs. My son is relieved that I’m so far away as he knows I would be on the frontlines with the protesters. We are long past due for the pendulum to swing and this time to go in the direction that is needed. Let it swing for love, understanding and compassion. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class, or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.”     – Roger Ebert

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”  –  Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (Character – Scout)

 

“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden

                                                                                *

 

                                                                           T.B.P.I.K.

 

Yes, that is how

They do it

All of them

The black people I know

They put on their pants

First one leg and then

The other

They hold down jobs – frequently

More than one – to survive

Blacks often are paid less

They eat, sleep, and shop

Cooking meals for family

Inviting friends in

Taking a hot dish

To someone whose been ill

They work in hospitals, search and

Rescue, give to charity,

Donate blood – you may have

It in you now

In a crisis – do you refuse?

They are expected to remain calm

As one more is profiled

Gunned down, targeted

Until the scapegoat paradigm

Chooses to target someone else

Momentarily

They read books, write poems

Dream dreams, large and small

They reach out their hands

In pain and in friendship

THE BLACK PEOPLE I KNOW

 

 

Bisous et solidarité,

Léa

Letter from a contract worker

This is too beautiful not to share it would be dereliction on my part.

The Amateur's Quill

Thank you for dropping by The Amateur’s Quill. Today I have for you some beautiful words from Antonio Jacinto, the late Angolan poet, short-story writer and cabinet minister. Happy Valentine’s Day:)

“Letter from a contract worker” by Antonio Jacinto

ConfessionI wanted to write you a letter
my love
a letter to tell

of this longing
to see you
and this fear
of losing you
of this thing which is deeper than I want, I feel
a nameless pain which pursues me
a sorrow wrapped about my life.

I wanted to write you a letter
my love
a letter of intimate secrets
a letter of memories of you
of you
your lips as red as the tacula fruit
your hair black as the dark diloa fish
your eyes gentle as the macongue
your breast hard as young maboque fruit
your light walk
your caresses
better than any that I…

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stay soft

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”                                                       – Kurt Vonnegut

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”  – Albert Schweitzer

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

“Kindness is contagious, spread it around.”  – moi  (Léa)

*

stay soft

stay soft

be a sieve

to bitterness

let it run off you

like water

on glass

stay soft

turn away

from the pain

that hardens

a mind so swayed

reach out to

hold a kitten

hear its mews

as a call to peace

stay soft

tread your footsteps

gently on the earth

les oiseaux

sing eternal truths

listen, listen, listen

you can still learn 

open yourself, let love in

whistling in the wind

secrets softly whisper

stay soft

stay soft 

stay soft

bisous,

lea

You must remember this…

Nearly five years have gone by since I shared this post with you. As Hepburn said, Paris is always a good idea, once it re-opens, and safe to visit. There have been a number of new followers and not everyone wanders back in a blog’s archives so I’m playing it again… and hope you won’t mind?

“Paris is always a good idea.”  – Audrey Hepburn

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Mae West

No temptation can ever be measured by the value of its object.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

*

You must remember this…

“We’ll always have Paris”

Rick whispers to Ilsa

The memories of

Passion born

Romantic interlude

Lucien taking my hand

Dans la Louvre

His deep resonating accent

Thick as a fine paté,

A call to arms, to lips, tongues…

Two arms guide me

Lost in Ribera’s

Club-footed boy

Spanish room

His favourite,

La Louvre closes

I’m introduced to

The Latin quarter,

Notre Dame,

Secluded niche

Spring grasses,

Canopy of leaves

Along the Seine

City of light

La ville de l’amour

No need for translation

Communication

Flows freely

Play it again…

*

Bisous,

Léa

Joyeux Anniversaire Monsieur William Shakespeare!

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”      – The Tempest Act 4, Scene 1

 

“Lord, what fools these mortals be.”  – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, I offer one of his well known and much-loved sonnets. Yet when I read it, or think of its message, for me it is not just about romantic love but the love of family, friends, humanity, and our struggling environment.

 

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! It is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand’ring bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov’d,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

 

Perhaps you have a favorite, and perhaps there is too much to choose from to eliminate others?

 

Bisous, Léa

I See With My Heart

Part-Time Poet

I see a saucer of milk
skimming the treetops,
I see over a dozen twin droplets
shaken from a pair of whiskers
and my heart
stops.

I see the icicle stars
diamanté paw prints
padding across the whole sky,
I see a half-smile
soon to be a grin
and I swear I see the moon slumping
heaving a contented sigh.

I see with my heart
as well as my eyes,
maybe that’s why
tonight of all nights
the earth seems so very
alive,

if only my tongue were long enough
to drink every last sight up,
and if only I were tall enough
to reach out and give the world
a hug.

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MERCI MILLE FOIS UK!

gettyimages-997652714_wide-a6ee666b5575f73046f37ff9748680cbe7126016-s800-c85[1]

Photo courtesy NPR – No copyright infringment intended

We’re sorry UK for the invasion you are currently subjected to. Despite becoming an ex-pat, I still have those I care about back in America. It does my heart good to see you take to the streets and demonstrate your response to one who has done so much to harm the Country he is suppose to represent and to the rest of the world. His list of crimes would require another post just to list them all. However, he has delcared war on Nature itself. I sometimes wonder if that has something to do with the fact that we have frequently referred to it as Mother Nature and we are all well aware of his views on women. Thank you to the Media sources who share this information and truth. 

United Kingdom Your signs and numbers do you proud!

londontrumpmarch1307f[1]

Photo courtesy of Evening Standard – no copyright infringment intended

THANK YOU UNITED KINGDOM!  You do yourselves and any allies proud. I’m not especially motivated by numbers but weigh these against inauguration photos from not that long ago and you do the math…

 

 Bisous,

Léa

Desiderata

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”      – Anne Frank

“Peace cannot be kept by force; but by understanding.”  – Albert Einstein

The following, I read as a young child. I’ve carried it with me for a very long time. It was always there, within the folds of my heart. It remained a compass for my journey. I’ve never been good at following the main path. I feel strongly about its message and feel the need to share it today. Thank you Max Ehrmann for your words and thank you for reading on.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

 

Paix, Peace, Shalom et Bisous,

Léa

A Game Of Cards

I feel this in every layer…

HerbertIsrael's blog

Strong, charismatic, happy
all the things I was,
stronger, more charismatic, happier
all the things I could have been,
weak, sad, depressed
all the things I became
after staking my life in a game,
a game of cards

I trusted them with cultivating my gardens
but they dug graves all over the lanes,
each step I’d take
would always lead to me feeling sad
or as good as dead
they always dressed in white
yet deep within them,
they were all in black
waiting for my funeral

I have risen so many times
like an eagle in a cloudy sky,
they have always been throwing spears at me
I evaded them so many times
this time round though,
they hit bullseye
and I came crashing down
like a skydiver under a faulty parachute

All my pieces were spread all over,
my wandering soul hovered
above the sacred scene
looking at…

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