Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: memories

joining the flock

In the summer of 1986 I joined the United States Army Reserve. I was 19 years old and had no inkling of the nature of my upcoming journey. I was young and naive with high expectations and childlike dreams.  I required money for…

in the small places

I’ve always felt that I, human, am frighteningly small and whatever this is that we exist within is big, bigger than anything I could describe with human words. Not even numbers, math, arithmetic can illustrate what this is in ways we can fathom.…

the potential for a memoir

One of my advisors a year ago encouraged me to write a memoir based on a writing prompt during one of our residency workshops. He was so enthralled by what I had written within the ten minutes given, he promptly shared his excitement…

a return to locs

My DNA has warned me that if I keep on with this nonsense about growing out my natural hair without locs, there will be hell to pay. I get death threat-like whispers from my cells that I need to restart my locs, or else. This is a trying time, when the body actively participates in…

a return to locs was originally published on zaji

i am wanting

I no longer remember who I am, nor why I am. Inside this foreign skin I breathe. I inhale the world I’ve wished for in far away dreams and exhale the world I exist in, bedeviled by those who swim in blood red…

the clouds in prayer

The clouds interlace fingers seeking prayer, an impassioned supplication to the un-gods.  They spread across skies gathering stories of un-time, spaces inside cycles that collect memories we will never touch, nor taste. Nor see. Clouds beseech the un-gods, begging for intervention. But the…

the potential for loneliness

Someone called me today, a loved one. She said she was lonely. But I am too far away to just show up on her doorstep and take her out so we can run the streets like school girls. I could hear it in her voice, the loneliness she tried to conceal behind laughter as she…

the potential for loneliness was originally published on zaji

the story of leaves

I took this photo more than five years ago. Each time I revisit it I see something I never noticed before. It is not only majestic, but the leaves tell a story I am still trying to decipher. I look at the veins…

very superstitious

Writing Prompt: Superstition Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDZFf0pm0SE?rel=0] This song takes me way back. I was five years old when it came out, but a teenager when I really understood the meaning of the words. Isn’t this the…

fearless in dusty blue

Writing Prompt: Fearless Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Sadly, what I’m about to write is not fiction. It is a very real conversation from a few days ago with a young 20 something who made a most unfortunate…

upon the shelf

Writing Prompt: Shelf Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Little eight year old girls make soccer balls in Pakistan; fingers roughened by sturdy leather, needles and thick thread. Bottoms hover just above dirt paved streets as they squat to…

autobiography in sounds

Between last night and this morning I’ve shared on my timeline a bit of my soul through the music I listen to. It is a huge part of my soul autobiography. Please, listen and enjoy. You will now know another piece of me.…

inside myself

Find me inside myself. Search there. Sometimes I’ll hide behind my cousin who died when I was about 14 years old. Or my sister who died 9 years ago. There you will also find me searching for my grandmother and stepfather, who both…

stolen

i am curled inside beaten skin a kiss stolen at fourteen the thief was like a father but he didn’t wear a white collar his water was not holy yet he was holy to those who believed his lies his charismatic lies i…

papers

i tossed papers into the fire. the words that turned to ash rose higher than their importance, but i still feel free now, from those words that tell truncated stories of who I was 25 years ago. i am not that skinny girl…

trapped inside unsafe

Writing Prompt: Safety First Share the story of a time you felt unsafe. I am a brown woman on a planet that places me beneath all other humans. There has never been a time when I didn’t feel unsafe. My days and nights are…

jamaica…land of…

There was so much to see on my trip home. The last time I visited my family in Jamaica was around 15 years ago. The land, as expected, was lush in the countryside and weighted down with asphalt and concrete in the cities.…

in the land of scattered memories

I was pleased to learn that my memoir excerpt was posted to AfricanVoices.com. What a lovely literary magazine. http://africanvoices.com/avblog/in-the-land-of-scattered-memories

the conjure woman

i don’t want to be a writer. i don’t want to tell my stories that come only from memory. i want to be a conjure woman. my medicine bag filled with ink. i want to conjure waiting ghosts from the past and tell…

at the end of it all – my obituary

Writing Prompt: In Loving Memory Write your obituary. zaji didn’t want to be good or bad. she wanted to be wild and free. she wanted to run naked through an open field in the hot summer rain and dance with her sister friends…

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