We’re too cheap for China by bjeliMis is a triumph. bjelimis recently performed this poem at a slam Oakland University, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. There have been a few big names who’ve got their start at this annual event, so it’s a pretty big production. She was a huge success. You can see her performing live here
The poem speaks to us of the feelings of a young woman, representing young women everywhere, who are fighting to be accepted for who and what they are in a world of political and personal falsehoods and lies.
We’re too cheap for China by © bjeliMis
I didn’t know the invitation to life’s party was privately supposed
The wisdom of life’s lessons never closed
And I but a young girl, with too much breathe to take in
Part refugee part bullshit nonpartisan
Part of a generation that’s scribbled in so deep you can barely see the page
I’d like to read the truth but it more likely false-ated
I live in world full of liars and I hate it
And I’m not saying I never told a fib
But most conversations now are a dinner set
An even number of dishes but not an even number of guests
And we are all just
Rat-tat-tat-tatting at the windows
Of our would be lives
Paying off our school debts and diminishing our smiles
Let’s work, work, work
Create calloused minds and bruised hearts
For days lived too short and too far apart
We are a youth of unquestionable disrupt
And we break dishes and we make art
Come alive that is
To be washed down the streets
That are not paved in gold but in political beliefs
Whose lobbyist are paid to move lips but not hearts
Saying they know the song but singing just one part
Young people today are tough as paper and folded like origami
We write our stories in 7 different pens and permanent sharpie
And sometimes our hands are black from the ink but that’s okay
Because they leave better fingerprints to lead the way
Because ,yes, we’d like to be remembered
by something other than our addictions and rebel fashion
But rather with the intense lives we lived
that gave us, the dirty hands of passion
But you’re suppose to wash your hands before supper
And maybe just empty your pockets and perhaps your chest
Suspended in time at the dinner party
The uninvited guest
Why trust so much with such young beating hearts
We are more complex than the insides of a pocket watch
And we rust not with oxidation but with touch
We are the generation of party crashers
Playing music with ipod adapters
because sometimes cassettes don’t cut it
We are hiding in our cars off an empty parking lot
Nibbling off life’s plastic utensils more often then not
When do our great goals begin to come alive?
I have a feeling that dreams run too fast and burn out too quick to survive
We were taught to listen but things reach way past our cochlea’s swirl
We are all just young boys and young girls
Who’s to say we’re grown up when the night’s about to end
After the dishes have been put away the candles gone dim
Ask yourself you young beating souls
Those who create, lie, listen, are bold
And even to those who think, they don’t live life too short sighted
Will you make it to dinner?
Are you even invited?
By contrast, the image below by Agnes Trachet, is a wry comment on getting older. Here we see the rueful face of a woman of a certain age, looking at the candles on her cake. Her expression says it all, and the yellow/green hues express her feelings of dismay so well.
The Cake by © Agnes Trachet
The writing of jenifer De Bellis seems to go from strength to strength. “Wasted Breath” is writing that makes you want to read it again and again. it is imbued with meaning that is not instantly recognisable.
The deer and the woman merge and then separate, hints of child unkindness to each other, whispers of beauty, solitude and need, abound, and finally, Faith leaves. At what age does faith leave us, and why?
Wasted Breath by © Jenifer De Bellis
She was always standing at that picture window, nothing more than a frozen statue staring into empty space. No matter the time of day, she was sure to be there. We called her the “deer in headlights.”
We weren’t always the nicest kids. Sometimes we threw things at the window. There was a game we’d invented to make things more interesting. Ten points for every piece of popcorn that hit the exact place the reflection of her partially parted lips shone on the window.
One day, Faith thought it would be funny to match her own reflection up with our deer in headlights. We giggled as popcorn hit the reflection of both of their mouths at the same time.
The next morning, we discovered Faith had left for school without us. The three of us girls exchanged a worried look and proceeded to school without our friend.
Rounding the corner of our favorite house, we noticed a fawn eating the popcorn from the lawn that we’d left there the previous day. She looked up, staring through us in search of answers to questions she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
The woman in the window remained frozen in time. The lies she’d been told pleaded from the depths of eyes too far gone. I’d never noticed that before.
Faith never made it to school that day. She just vanished into thin air as if she’d never existed. And no one dared to question anything out of fear of the obvious. We wore our silence as an oath of honor.
That fawn followed us places. There were many mornings I woke up to her suckling the nectar from the hummingbird feeders outside my bedroom window. Soon she began sneaking into my bedroom at night, snuggling up to me until I held her really tight. She loved the petting the best.
We named her Sweetie.
That woman remained in that picture window, looking on in silence. What did she know?
I chose “Excile” by Glitterfest to accompany Jenifer’s poem. It seemed to depict so well the images I had in my mind of the woman at the window. Here we see a moving image, whose title explains the meaning. Naked, adorned by trinkets, and alone. Although we all dress up, adorn ourselves and preen, it is our inner need to feel connected to others that is most important.
Exile by © Glitterfest
I love this poem from Autumwind as it so beautifully and poignantly expresses emotions that many of us have felt about motherhood. It also links in to a discussion we are having at the moment in the Cafe
Forgotten by © Autumnwind
and all consuming motherhood
putting all before herself
than ever before
losing her identity
bit by bit
into the gray inbetween
yet, in the shadows of her soul
she still remains true
bursting with the color
still, she shoves it back
every time it threatens
her present purpose
she will emerge again
but days of sacrifice
reign and dim her spirit
she is even more beautiful
but she does not yet see
though she feels
lost in the haze
of a freedom gone
a new seed is planted
is taking root
the tiny embers
are fuel to reignite
she is woman
and will bloom forth
with unimaginable impact
a vibrant energy of color
will surely shatter
and eventually disperse
this present burden
The image by Madworld added to the feelings that Shar expressed in the poem. Here we see a beautiful woman, who is fading in front of our eyes. Who is she? She presents different faces to the world, but we have a profound sense that …
“she is woman and will bloom forth with unimaginable impact”
But Will you ever know me by © Madworld
This next poem again depicts the startling difference we feel inside ourselves, compared with the picture we present to the world. It depicts inner storms and outer calm. It is haunting.
Internal Combustion, prompt by © lilynoelle
Sitting, standing, kneeling, praying
The body poses, the mind is swaying
Between lunacy and sanity
Between bittersweet profanity;
and conscious immorality.
A dancer poses on her toes,
The picture of a perfect rose
And in her: sinner – no one knows
The places where that dark mind goes.
A watcher in the wax museum, that
Sticky, pale mausoleum
Of bodies made to look so real, but
No brain inside, no thoughts concealed.
No thoughts at all:
Paradise, she calls,
No thoughts at all.
The combustion inside,
The burning within
The tempest untied,
The people we’ve been
But in that silence,
No one can know
The places where our dark minds go.
“She walks alone” is not only a stunningly beautiful image, it is made all the more powerful by the commentary from Deez. “In celebration of all those women who are single Moms out there…I was one for over 17 years…its the toughest job of all and the most rewarding one when you’ve successfully achieved what no one that you could do on your own and alone.”
She walks alone by © DeeZ (DL Honeycutt)
In the next poem, deelishes express thoughts that everyone of us will have experienced at some stage in our lives. If only we had been able to see our own inner beauty at that point in our lives when self-esteem was beginning to form. It is a strong and moving poem.
Prettier Than Me by © DeeLishess
She’s prettier than me
Prettier, they all agree
So many everyday beauty queens
Everybody! Everybody but me
Catching his gaze easily
A vision to be seen
Her shining hair and perfect body
Wide eyes of blue, brown, or green
She walks a steady, graceful gait
Her smile is broad and straight
So lovely, people stop and stare
Her kind is everywhere
Where does that leave a girl like me—
With the other “noteworthy” qualities?
“She’s so funny; she’s so smart”
“Such a nice girl, with such a big heart”
Will that make him look my way?
Or fantasize that I’m his perfect date?
No, she has his attention for keeps
And my “big heart” weeps
I war against the mirror
My reflection staring back in fear…
They’re all so pretty,
Prettier than me
By contrast, Sybilles image below, expresses the inner beauty of a woman. Here, her soul shines through the image, which is rich in symbolism and meaning.
Forests of the heart by © Sybille Sterk
nothing and everything by April Mansilla": is a poem which expresses alienation and yearning. It moved me almost to tears.
nothing and everything by © April Mansilla
My dreams have been soft
Like honey on fingers
And white nightgowns in
When it comes to …
Nothing and everything
Even the brightly colour
That dresses the ground
When death is still in the
My life lines are so
Eroded before I knew how to play the game
And when I see strangers talk
I shut off what
They are saying
I watch mouths
saying hushed delicate
and I always imagine them to say
things to one another like
“I adore you”
Instead if they look up
They would say that cloud
Yes that one that is moving fast
reminds me of you…
but it is all just within the skin
that keeps me awake thinking
of nothing and everything
And I pray in ink
And I so appallingly want to feel that rush
But I know that gate would
Hit me on the way back
I chose the image ’fetch me that flower" by Helena Wilsen, because is symbolised so much of what we forget and reminds us of the absolute beauty within ourselves. Helena explains…
“This image is not a literal illustration but rather a celebration of the magic of sensuality and femininity. The opening of the flower, the fruits and seeds bursting with ripeness, seed ‘spermazoa’ all racing for a place to implant and grow. This image groans with feminine fecundity”
Fetch Me that flower by © Helena Wilsen - Saunders