save words

i will save words for you. bottled and pickled words for you.

then feed you synonyms of me, so you will always remember my taste.

i will flavor your life until all your tongue remembers is what it is was like to come…to come…to come

…into my dreams.

and stay a while. a long while. until you are…

…exhausted from eating synonyms that uncover every inch of me.


on the edge of rest

Photo Challenge: Edge

I cannot sit. The edge is too near, too daunting. The cloth is stripped away as surely as my soul is stripped of the bravery to simply sit and let life unfold as it should.

I look over the edge of what would bring me rest and remember that life is in constant motion, never at rest; always wanting for atoms to collide and light to manifest.

I cannot sit. I must collide and birth the second self into existence. I must let the chair remind me of the edge of life, the space between rest and creation. I must not sit. I cannot.


the skies above us

Photograph by zaji

This was the sky over my house yesterday. Such a beautiful sight.

The sky is a constant reminder of my mortality. When I am gone, the sky will go on, into millions of years that I will never live to see. Nothing from this moment in time will be recognizable. No one’s name will be known or remembered. In a million years, even the dust from our bones will be like smoke dissipated into the air. Someone in the distant future will find themselves digging up a femur, discovering it was from a woman, then calling it some strange futuristic name that will itself become meaningless a million years from their find.

We are but shadows and dust. More shadow than dust. A shadow dissipating with the setting of the sun.

dinnertime fruit tree

Photo Prompt: Dinnertime

…This week, share an image inspired by dinnertime — whether you take a photo of food or simply shoot during the evening hours is up to you!

Photography by zaji, April 22, 2016 @ 11:45 am CST

Our little peach tree is coming along nicely. The peaches are growing rapidly and getting larger each day. I estimate that by the end of May they’ll be ready for eating. This is my idea of dinner. When they’ve matured, I’ll spend many days outside enjoying dinnertime by the peach tree.

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 across each leaf and imagine the blood of leaves running through each vein. The water droplets quench their thirst, even as they lay dying on the ground. They have come through a long line of DNA that remembers the long history of Earth, a history we may never understand or realize, no matter how many scientific breakthroughs we achieve.

In many ways, I wish I could have connected with those leaves in some way so that I could hear their stories, what they’d seen, what they’d been through, how they’d felt. Yes, even how they felt, and, while on the ground, how they felt about their process of dying.

The story is in the leaves.

Photograph take by zaji

a haiku for the night-blooming cereus

Below are pictures I took of a Night-Blooming Cereus my mother has in a giant pot by the pool. All day the buds stay tightly closed, unmoved by the sun. As the sky turns gray, yellow, then red, the bud begins to slowly move, yawning to welcome the night. No sooner than the stars begin to twinkle, the flower is open wide, spread gloriously to present herself to the night sky. The dark rays flower her. Only the dark rays force this flower to smile with regal admiration for the night.


Photo taken by zaji, 2011

A Haiku for the Night-Blooming Cereus (or, Queen of the Night)

The sun leaves the sky

Night rays birth your elegance

Stars dance to your scent


Photo taken by zaji, 2011


Photo taken by zaji, 2011


Photo taken by zaji, 2011

sitting with existence

Photograph by zaji • April 7, 2016 • circa 1:30pm CST

I’m sitting outside on the grass, writing. The ground beneath me is cool and firm. The sun is almost at the top of the sky, peeking through the trees I’ve chosen to hide under. The air is still and warm. The leaves barely rustle.

Photograph by zaji • April 7, 2016 • circa 1:30pm CST

Tiny bugs crawl onto the cloth I’ve placed on the ground. I spray a mixture of rosemary oil and distilled water into the air to keep some away. Those who don’t mind are persistent and join me as I read a work by James Baldwin.

I am mindful of the fence, the dogs barking and the moving shade. It inches away from me causing me to move further under the trees. Eventually I am overtaken by the sun and I can no longer follow the shade. So I sit with it and allow it to beam down on my skin the many rays carrying the past. Encapsulated stories spread across the lawn. The sun tells every blade about its existence and what it has seen since it was born.

I want to hear the whispers and understand the words. But it is too much, too fast and in a language I cannot translate, much less hear. We are far removed from what was once a natural ability.

Now, I try to hear with tainted ears the stories of Earth told by the sun. The sound is ever so faint. But I keep listening in hopes that great truths will come through. Even more, great answers to sometime small questions.

Photograph by zaji • April 7, 2016 • circa 1:30pm CST

they picked me

Writing Prompt: Pat on the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

Aviance and Kenya circa 1999

I’m proud of my two daughters, Kenya and Aviance. They are the most amazing young women I know and are determined to make a great life for themselves. They are strong, wise and persevering. They both learn anything they undertake quickly and with great clarity. They have wonderfully gentle souls and want nothing more than to be happy in this crazy world.

They have both made it beyond two decades of living and continue to make me proud to be their mother. As I’ve told them a dozen times before, I am thankful that their souls picked me to be their mother. I’m humbled by their decision and try my best daily to honor their choice by being the best mother I can be.

in the soil

i spent a couple of hours outside in the soil today. i mothered the dirt to prepare her for seeds. as i turned soil and removed plants that could strangle the food i intended to grow, i observed the robins and blue jays flitting about looking for lunch. the soil is a dark rich brown teaming with life—worms, tiny insects and grub.

i trimmed trees and small bushes that lined the driveway. leaves pilled high from the magnolia and oak trees littered the walkway. we raked them into a small hill and placed them near the side of the road for the garbage man.

in the front yard is our peach tree that has already begun to bloom. watching nature reminds me of the cycle of life and how everything we rely on for sustenance is born again each year.

below is the flower on the peach tree. there are dozens of flowers and buds preparing to open into flowers. watching life unfold teaches patience. i patiently await peaches.

February 2016 • Our Peach Tree


Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

This week, find inspiration in a piece of art. Then, imitate it.


Meditations captured on used and mottled papyrus. The soul lives in the stained paper, where hungry words become burning images that tell forgotten stories of lost time—there it will be, in the spaces between rips and tears, splitting mind and soul down the middle. Pictures don’t need a thousand words, only one. Tell her story in a blazing word filled with more meaning than definition and there you’ll find her, waiting for you on fire.

© zaji, 2016


I am torn between sunrises and snow flakes, between Timbuktu and Saturn. I am wedged between the grass blades between my toes and the forgotten places in realms beyond this flesh and bones. I am the blood pumping through my veins, alive and wanting Earth, then, in an instant, I am the selfless need to be your ghost watching over you as you feel the sun on your wanting skin. I am torn.


© zaji, 2016

whispers from the vibrant stones

Photo Prompt: Vibrant

This week, share a photo of something vibrant. Vivid colors, a lively portrait, or perhaps a delightfully colorful landscape, if you’re in a warmer climate. Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.


When I first saw this photo prompt, I was excited. Sadly, I looked around my room and saw that everything looked rather dull except for the many books that laced the room walls with various colored spines. I thought about photographing them, then I remembered my crystals and stones.

Crystals, rocks, stones, gems.

The planet is abundant with these life forms. Like many flowers, shrubs and trees, they come in thousands of vibrant colors and shades. Crystals, gems, et al, typically have more of a variety of colors than flowers. Isn’t that amazing?

This photo I share of my babies is a reminder of how vibrant our planet is. The wonder of color is not reserved for flowers alone.

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