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Not Perfect

I’m not perfect.
Although that should be clear as water, sometimes I feel the need to state it. For myself and for others. Especially for others. It is probably my fault and in my actions. It’s probably something I do or don’t do. It’s probably because of the way I see the world and how I speak of it.
I am not perfect.
And I get tired.
And I give up too.
There are so many things I have given up and not looked back. There are so many things I have looked back but not regretted. There are so many things I regret too.
It’s entirely human. I believe.
Being a mess of so many things, not only good, not only bad, but everything. Not black or white but fifty shades of blue. And some purple, once you wear those rose colored glasses. On holidays. Or those real good days.
The days you hold on to with everything you got to keep moving forward. To keep moving. Even if only an inch or less. Even if to the sides or back. Just moving. Because life is made of movements, moments, actions and decisions you never really got to think through.
Life happens. But I digress.
I’m not perfect. And that’s fine. It’s entirely human, I believe.
What about you?
© Máh Lima


Photo by Ahmed Ashhaadh on Unsplash

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Creative Juices

Creativity isn’t always beautiful. There is a desire in us as artists to share what we feel inside with the world; how can we do so when we can’t find the words ourselves? There isn’t always an easy road with which to release my emotions to words. It can be quite painful. That doesn’t make it any less meaningful.

“There are days when words and feelings pour out of me like a volcano. Aggressive and fierce, I stab through the lines on the page and rip it apart like my brain is ripping me. Then there are days when I can do nothing, My creative juices are dried up- I am breathing in coarse sand, I cough up ideas but also blood. It lines the paper all the same.”

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follow me on instagram @victimlessrhymes

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Top 10 Posts of 2017— No. 1

The Night-Long Lament: Contemplation & Prayer

IG: @shadesofherink

Read other work by Samihah at:

GenreUrbanArts.com

 

Warm tear drops kiss my hand on this cold night. The sky is tinged with a deep purple, a quiet purple. Even amongst the stars, there is only silence. I envy anyone who is able to find direction using them, to see a compass in darkness. I merely see what is before me. Three in a row, four on the outskirts forming a misshapen rectangle. Two more, faded, somewhere in the middle of it all. Orion’s belt. I could never forget constellations after my first time recognising them. Only, this time, I felt forgotten by them. Neglected. They are still. You feel silent to me today. This water is cold as well, in the deep end of it where I sit. Water is supposed to feel warmer on the skin after some time. I have been sitting here for a while, a long while. Waiting. I have been waiting. The moon is nowhere to be seen. Not a slither of its light shows for as far as I can see.

The moon captured slightly behind clouds
                                                                                     A slither of light

Tonight I am in darkness surviving off the somber glow of these stars alone. Tonight, I am small and the universe is too vast to consider this humbled being. This search for guidance has rendered me unnerved. Unheard. I am screaming, from my lungs through my eyes and I know I am not loud enough. I am gentle. I am excruciatingly soft. The wind will travel skies carrying my cry to the heavens and I will still be waiting for You to answer me, my Lord. I cannot hear You or see You or feel You in this moment, however long this moment may last but I believe, fiercely.

You are listening

and I will wait.

– Samihah Pargas

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Top 10 Posts of 2017—No. 7

My Mother’s Garden

IG: @Notes.by.nia

Read other work by Nia at:

Melanated Gardens

GenreUrbanArts.com

ink and spices.

She is a glass deliciously full

Your favorite song with just the right rhythm

A new pair of dancing shoes

with just enough room to grow into.

She carries herself with a special kind of optimism.

Tending to her garden with the hope

that each year new buds will come back.

Collecting seeds with the promise of new growth.

We are of the same garden.

She planted her roots in me

Teaching me how to blossom.

Gardens have seasons yet she is always in full bloom.

In a word she is perennial.

Permanent.

Unceasing in her love.

Dance mama–

Like the flowers are singing for you.

June 26, 2017

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Blessing or Lesson

More often than not we let ourselves be surrounded by negativity. And things keep going wrong and we believe it’s wrong and unfair and we feed the cycle till we’re buried underneath it all.

After a while, we stop asking if that’s how it should be. And then we forget how it all started. We are forever lost in the darkness inside ourselves that was originated elsewhere but placed there. And we believe we deserve it. And we believe it’s our own damn fault. And it is. And it’s not. It is because we let it grow and take over. It’s not because we are not responsible for the environment we live in.

Continue reading Blessing or Lesson

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What I Make of Me

I wish I could reminisce like you for some sorta time and space I felt safe. But since a young age I had to learn to hold myself and know despite it all, I was still enough. But as you would have guessed, I didn’t know that and spiralled down a really dark path. No, there were no alcohol and drugs, there was something worse, the constant battle with crippling feelings of ‘not enough’.

Imagine growing up believing you should not exist at all. Imagine how would you turn out. I wish I could say I’m turned out ok, but I guess that’s not the complete truth. Even though you may see me holding it together, I’m no more found than you.

We’re lost and alone in the journey back home trying to grow along the way. Even if we do find souls that help us carry the load, in the end we’re the ones to answer to what we let go.

Maybe it would be easier had I learned differently from what my childhood branded in me. But I’ll never know and it doesn’t matter. I’ve learned to make of my self what brings me peace and let go of the misconceptions in my system of beliefs.
© Máh Lima


Photo by Shelby Deeter on Unsplash

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The Purity Movement: A Criticism

The Channel 4 documentary on “The Virgin Daughters
widely preaches the misconception of
tallying the level of respectability a girl is owed
against the personal choice of indulging in (a) sexual partner(s)
alongside religious dogma prior to matrimony.

Personally triggered by the lack of openness
within patriarchal families of the Bible Belt in the United States
and blind sided by devout faith-
the opening scene of the documentary
focuses on a father- daughter purity ball
wherein girls as young as aged 5
vow into a premarital life of chastity.

Though the idea of protecting their daughters
against the presumptuous notion of a wretched world
seems rather noble in theory-
Born into a household that robs these young girls
of the liberty of individual thought
while subsequently conditioning them to seek validation
and consent
is a slippery slope into a naive coma
that is parasitical on a heterosexist movement such as this.

The rather concerning double standard
regarding boys and a lacking opprobrium
for not having a defined chastity oath
to suppress their carnal desires
never surfaces the meticulously articulate documentary.

The concept leaves a vast ocean of misogyny
running thick, through intricate families
that build their foundation
on the fragile emotions of young girls.

-Nicole Ruth
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Imagination in Abstract Thought

The beauty of creation lead me here today. I don’t know if I truly accept this. I am a part of a tribe. A tribe built on color, texture, and imagination. A visual epilogue of brilliance. Am I worthy of such mental dexterity? Do I tremble before my forefathers of thought? I am beholden to this refuge of peace. Oh, to be with others who see the same vision as I do. What a beautiful thought.

For years I took for granted what was gifted to be. For years I hid like a scared animal, craving the limelight but was intimidated by the glare. Our voices should be heard, so they are added to the spectrum. Yes, we may be turned away. To only those who are blind.

That is okay. I want to be seen, from where I create.

@christinamariewatkins

 

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Ghar ke Kaam

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
from betrayal

 

Photography Credit: Chip Johnston

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Dear You

It’s not the end of the world, although that’s how it seems. Some of the scars you’ll gain. you will try to hide. Some you’ll show on your skin. On your darkest moments, you’ll cry alone in a corner hidden from the world, but you’ll be alright. Even though it seems like no one really cares, that is not the whole truth. People show affection differently. And yes, she loves you. All the negative judgment and beliefs you’ll build will surely be torn down. It’s ok to recede inside that shell if it means you’ll stay alive. It’s ok to numb yourself if it will get you through it all. You will grow through this. I am letting you know, so remember: life will beat you down, but you will get up.
© Máh Lima

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Empty or Filling You Up?

Looking inward to define boundaries.

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.

B. ignore

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.

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GUILD : THE JURIST.

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.

Continue reading GUILD : THE JURIST.

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Modern Dating

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez @ Unsplash

Swipe left. Right. Left. Right. Right. It’s a match. OMG. Gonna try to talk. See if there’s anyone there. No reply. Swipe left. Right. Right. Left. Left. Oh, they replied. Geez, only that? Well, let’s try something more. Oh no, they replied something less. Swipe right. Left. Left. Right again. There’s always a match. They don’t really talk. It’s ok like that. Because every time we “connect”, my ego has a blast.
© Máh Lima

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Brown Skin, Not Brown Enough

White man likes the way I look
He says something on the lines of exotic-
About Jasmine entrancing the air above me
My hourglass figure, the way I walk, the way I talk
White man “Keep driving”, I say
He says my problem is that-
I am too foreign for my own body, not native enough for this land

Continue reading Brown Skin, Not Brown Enough