The Invitation

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

IF

If by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Motivational Tip: “Let Me Be What I Am”

Let me be what I am

by Sharlene Samuel

Let me be what I am

Not what you wish for me.

I cannot fit into your plan;

That’s not the life for me.

The pomp and pride of yesterday

Have vanished in the air;

The honest human being today

Must be free from inward fear.

I’ll do the things I want to,

Whene’er I feel the need;

Not stifle my feelings as you do

By trying to keep a creed.

I’ll talk, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, I’ll shout,

I’ll run, I’ll skip, I’ll play;

I must be free as I move about

Not be burdened with each day.

I thank You Lord, for nature’s gifts

So plenteous an free;

The rising sun behind the cliffs,

The earth, the sky, the sea.

Why then should I not happy be?

Why live as if in pain?

Why waste the gifts God gives to me

By living life in vain?

Material wealth is not for me;

Its price is much too high.

Nature’s gifts are pure and free,

I’ll enjoy them till I die.

Book Launch

Book Launch

Love is Love

LOVE IS LOVE

Do you believe

The words escaped

Her lips in a whisper

Almost as though

She had exhaled

The words like spent air

Technically, carbon dioxide

My grandmother

Was not prone

To speaking at length

Actually, I knew her

Not to talk at all

As she died

Long before I was

A twinkle in my parent’s eyes

And yet her she sat

On the corner of my bed

This was a dream

Or so I kept

Repeating to myself

Still, I did not

Pinch myself, thinking

It would be a tad

Disrespectful

Then she repeated

Her question

This time louder

This time with an object

As well as a subject and verb

Do you believe in love?

I looked away

How do you explain

To your grandmother

That you had closed your heart

And chose not to love

Chose not to seek it

Chose not to let it in

Coolness touched my chin

Turning my head

So that I met her gaze

She waited

She would have waited

From now to forever

I had no choice

But to be honest

She listened

As I emptied my soul

Into the night

She listened as the moon

Traveled west

And the stars watched

Then she whispered again

Love is love

Love is not a missing pen

That you have to look

High and low for

Love is out in the open

And if you continue

To look for it in

Nooks and crannies

You will never find it

Love is not for one

Who hides their heart

Afraid that it would

Be abused

That it would

Be broken

If you do not

Can not love

How can you be loved?

This night

As the full, shiny moon

Traversed west

A dead grandmother

Taught her granddaughter

How to love again

And as the weight

Of the Sandman’s

Sands closed my eyes

I felt coolness

On my forehead

Where my grandmother

Kissed me goodnight

I saw her twice more

In my lifetime

Once, on the eve

Of my wedding day

She taught me

How to love my husband

The second time

Was when my newborn child

Slept in the cot beside me

She taught me

How to love my child

Every time I saw her

She whispered

Love is love

By Kimolisa Mings

From “She Wanted A Love Poem”

*Motivational Tip* The Mask

A combination poem from Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar

THE MASK

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard, I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

You see seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl.
I say Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break.
I laugh so hard my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, I nearly died.
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
I laugh so hard, I started crying
when I think about myself and the little chil’ren.

Then we wear the mask, that grins and lies.
It shades our chitter eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing, now we sing…
But oh the clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

They laugh to hide their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could and did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! The mask ha! The mask