A woman will have an estimated 450 menstrual cycles during her lifetime; using upwards of 17,000 sanitary pads or tampons comprehensively. To the women belonging to countries who incorrectly label feminine supplies such as sanitary napkins as luxuries, 450 is the number of missed opportunities to feel supported, humane, hygienic and dignified. Wits University, Johannesburg (a South African province) is working to implement policies that impact this way of life in a positive way – one feminine hygiene donation at a time; coupled with initiatives aimed to educate women of childbearing age and their communities alike. Continue reading #WORTHBLEEDINGFOR
He graced me with a perfect smile upon his face
As he placed the most magical kiss lips can taste
Mending all my broken bones together
His presence couldn’t be detained by any weather
All of the bullet wounds surrounding my heart
Reminding me of the way I fell apart
Love will send your mind spiraling in the dark hours of the night
Reminiscing on all of the times you had to put up a fight
Demanding for him to stay
Yet all they tend to do is begin to run away
That is why our magnificent kiss haunts me in my dreams
Sadly love never is the way it seems
As much as I hoped this time would be different
I know deep in my core that it isn’t
I watch as the spot in my driveway remains empty
As you continue to love on plenty
Leaving them wondering deeply in their souls
Why their minds were left souring from their control
They fell for your same tricks
That you applied just as smoothly as the kiss you placed upon my lips
I knew I should of ran from the start
My mother always told me I was smart
I still am baffled in the way you managed to get under my skin
Why do people like you always have to win?
But I have learned my lesson this time around
As the scars you left on me are no longer profound
I will soon be ready to love again
As I no longer view my broken bones as a sin.
the exorcist of my demons
the water that puts out the fire in my mind
the surgeon that stitches the shredded pieces of my soul back together
the angel on my shoulder that keeps the devil from ruining me irrevocably
Have you ever spoke to a cow before? Like a real talk with a cow? What did he/she say? What’s He/she up to? What about a flower? Do you ever look at a Rose and think, “I wonder what your eyes have seen.” How can something so beautiful like a cow get so disrespected? Nature is who we are. “Cooperating with nature allows nature to cooperate with us.” Master Qi
I was eighteen years old when I first realized There was more to this reality. It felt like an episode from Twilight Zone. I was on my way home from school when I saw it. It was a smoke mist. Not just any smoke mist. This mist was strange. This mist had an awareness of itself. This mist moved as if it knew it was moving. It followed me all the way to my house. It floated at the gate for about twenty seconds before flowing away with the wind. The mist followed me for about two weeks before I finally decided to approach it.
“Are you following me?” I asked. I felt so stupid talking to a mist. Then suddenly, the mist rose up and flew right into me. It happened so fast I didn’t even realize that I had somehow ended up in my driveway. I was so freaked out all I could do was throw up. My body felt like it had been through so much. All I remember after that is waking up alone in the middle of a cave. Continue reading Lessons From A Dragon: Story of Seth
The Heart that Keeps me Waiting.
Read other work by Samihah at:
There are nights I have sat through, waiting for the sun to rise – when I had every reason to be sleeping. But I know that deep down, I was waiting for you to find me. That you’d have reached home a long while back and would possibly be biding your spare time reminiscing over old photographs. I’d hope that you decided to think about me. I also know that it is unlikely that a mere thought would bring you towards me, but the love burning inside my heart makes me hold on to the miniscule chance that it could. I feel pathetic, do you know that ? I feel like I am begging for reciprocation at the door step of someone who I know might not even set foot outside to see. You once told me that I am earth and you are water, and that between such people, something beautiful could grow – or mud would be created. In whatever has grown between us, darling, I have been sinking. You have left me to drown. It’s unfair. I have been unfair to myself. You told me that we drifted apart. Don’t insult my love by ever thinking it abandoned you. While I have tried to walk away, it has stood its ground for you. All I ask now is that you treat it kindly. Soothe whatever dignity is left of it. This love is exhausted, it’s been bruised.
And still, it waits for you.
she was afraid of making the space hers, because it never felt like there was room for her to be who she wanted. maybe it was the stares & laughs who chased her mind over the years, the ones who taunted her identity, or the silent tears after giving her all to the space just to be rejected of her place. Continue reading To Disown Her Space
Our most recent magazine is out!
Genre: Urban Arts No. 2
This mag explores situations within duplicitous demographics and highlights on a plethora of issues– some areas of double standards will be familiar to you, but many will force you to explore and interrogate your own perception and empathize with another perspective. In this issue, we include art, photography, articles, and poetry from various artists.
The first two therapists I saw were both pastors. While living with my parents, it was hard to even convince my mom to let me see a therapist, so a person of the clergy with a psychology degree was a good compromise for them. Continue reading Sliding Scale
Alchemy. Taking blank material and transforming it into something else, is fairly spectacular. Sometimes the intention is not even apparent. This creative process is very interesting and inspiring.
There is such a unique beauty to go from blank canvas to an explosion of color or a creative vibrant script. I hope for the rest of my life to transform my truth into a reflective image.
Original Work: “JSN” 12×14, acrylic on canvas, 2017
Check out more of my work at 19art81.com .
in between washing the dishes
Ammi yells at me
curses her life
all I did was accidentally leave the
glass by the tv
I roll my eyes and lock myself in the bathroom
until she’s done the cooking in the kitchen
I come back outside
and plug my brain into the tv
so she can’t throw more side comments my way
Her anger is for me not becoming the person she wished I be
My anger is for her never defending me
but we push it down
we swallow it, chug it down like a bottle of whiskey
let the damage be done inside
all we notice is the burning madness
showing in our swollen eyes
from crying all night
Photography Credit: Chip Johnston
Knowing your boundaries is a challenge for many of us. It takes time to identify what those boundaries are based on what we have experienced or seen or what is valuable to us and what can be let go.
I have been contemplating whether I am establishing boundaries and with whom or why with whom? More like, why was I not letting folks go?
It turns out I have been, or I thought I was; it started with my FB.
I have an average day to day X# of folks I keep in my Fb family. It took years to identify this group of people based on positivism, humanism, and inclusion. It was OK to let family members go from Fb because I did not want the negative energy. I needed to identify what negative energy meant to me, and what did that look like via a social media outlet? What does that feel like or sound like? Bottom line, it came back to learning to trust my instinct – a woman’s intuition- if you will and trust.
Literally, I am learning to trust myself to know what is good for me based on what my conscience and my spirit are telling me.
Fb was a good starting point to build that trust within myself because I had a tangible method of measuring what is engaging me and how I am engaging in dialog with others. I will admit. It felt HORRIBLE to press UNFRIEND with folks who were, well, horrible in their posts and in their comments; unfriending is an intentional decision. A deliberate act to sever a connection with another person who is more than a name on the screen. Sometimes the detachment went easy and quiet and simple..BAM the person is gone and I am no longer accessible to the energy she/he is sharing publicly. Other times it was not so simple and is followed by a personal IM or a text or worse-a call.
Some folks just do not want to go. Ok, I get that.
And this is where the next step came into practice. Talking-communicating and holding a dialog, my daughter calls these ‘difficult conversations’ my son calls this ‘being real’. Either way-for me, it was an exercise in courage to articulate the personal boundaries that I have which ones are being crossed.
Through time, my boundary setting is preceded by conversations regarding boundaries-nothing formal-rather a series of rapport building dialog’s where my boundaries are shared and clarified with folks I have identified as valuable to me for their thoughts and ideas and time and companionship.
Upon reflection, I see it was about liking myself and valuing myself to be treated fairly, justly, kindly and through the lens of humanity via social media. A act of love for myself that I do not believe I understood holistically. Where I held ethos and more; however, I did not have the courage to articulate those thoughts and ideas to others because social norms for me did not permit that level of engagement or authenticity with others. I just sat back. Patiently waiting to:
A. run away.
C. just go w/ the flow and let it all unfold in front of me despite how I am interpreting what is happening.
C. is the worst option. As you, no ‘I’, was sitting by as if ‘I’ were a passenger in my own life vs an active member or participant actively making decisions of what I am letting into my environment.
Shame on me right?
No, not shame on me. I had to experience this to know now I am not sitting by and watching this thing called life go on past me and I have control of what comes in-of what I permit to come in.
Dare I say I live life in a courageous manner now.
A manner where I am identifying value in myself and how my surroundings are influencing me.
Leaving me empty…or permitting to be filled up.
Sauntering down the wynd, wearing my aplomb and prestige, hearsay passed by,
My corpulence wasn’t just my chassis, but a riposte to their unwanted why.
Unceasing my footfalls, I carried myself with a muted smile and masked tears,
Sheathing my arms with my trembling hands, and my eyes bespoke fears.
all by your harsh words
scarring me right inside my heart
you gave up on us
the day you decided to disrespect me
so I give up on us as well
Trauma had already
taken her life
but this love called,
& she finally
wanted to bury
laying the unworthiness
that rung in her
more life seemed
like a threat
to the plans that
At the time, I lived in a dump. As a testament to this statement: I had to have my brother reinforce the door because it could easily have been pried open. The air return registers were completely clogged with what looked like dryer lint.