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To an old friend.

Photograph by Samihah Pargas

I wrote your name on an empty page and

suddenly it seemed full.

Our memories fill in the blank spaces when my words aren’t enough.

They never are.

Yet you hold onto them the way you held my heart

when it was too heavy for me to carry.

You are home. You are

tear stained ink on pages of poetry for quiet nights.

You are the words I seek but never find.

You made us beautiful to read about.

– Samihah Pargas
– IG: Shadesofherink

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my mouth has been looking for you

my mouth is full of words
that wish to fall into someone’s lap
to burrow into a chest and root
they wish to coil and dig
into marrow and blood
so deeply that only god could
pull them from that someone

my mouth is full of wanting
of sweetness that wishes to
erase the bitterness from lips
that have searched too long
for an ocean of woman to drown in

my mouth is full of stars
awaiting a constellation
that will turn this love into
mythology to be mimed by
our children when they grow up

my mouth is full of forever
infinity tucked against my ribs
nestled against the curve of you
and our names are no longer
two separate worlds but one sound

(image by George Coletrain via unsplash)

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5 Ways Meditation Can Increase Your Creativity

Meditation has been found to be extremely effective for many of our modern problems. Studies have shown that it can help increase your creativity. If you have ever tried meditation, you understand the benefits of how it relaxes and centers you. Seen as more of a spiritual practice in the past, it is clear that it can be extremely helpful in our day to day lives.

Creative business coach Mark McGuinness meditates for 20 minutes a day before he starts work. He focuses on his breathing while doing so. He has found that he gains focus, patience, calmness, clarity, and insight. He isn’t the only one in the business world using meditation. The likes of Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and many other highly successful people that depend on their creativity use meditation before they start their workday. Here are 5 ways that meditation increases creativity.

Meditation and How it Works on the Brain

There are three parts to the brain that work together in order to get your creative juices flowing. The reptilian part of your brain is your oldest part. It covers breathing and automatic things. The limbic system is where your empathy and emotions can be found. Then there is the Neocortex which is the newest part. It is the most advanced part of the brain. We are capable of being aware of ourselves like no other species. This is why we can learn language, paint, play music, and write screenplays.

The limbic and Neocortex system will both activate to search for solutions. The limbic looks to past experiences to find the best solution. The Neocortex analyzes everything and is looking for a rational answer. Interesting, the limbic system comes up with answers faster even though the Neocortex would perhaps come up with a more rational answer.

1. Effects on the Neocortex

Meditation is a work in progress. It trains you to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. It trains you to be in the moment. The Neocortex is the part of the brain that controls your awareness. When you meditate, you train this part of the brain to become stronger. Meditation on a daily basis will allow you to make better choices. You can see bad habits and analyze the things you’re doing right in your life and things that don’t serve you. It is the newest part of the evolution of our brain. It is in charge of things like:

  • Creativity
  • Solving problems
  • Visioning
  • Strategizing
  • Visionary

By strengthening this area of the brain, you will be better able to reach that creative aspect of yourself.

2. Managing Emotions Continue reading 5 Ways Meditation Can Increase Your Creativity

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Black Woman

a poem by Evany Martinez

How do you tell her she’s too

loud when you silenced her for

Centuries.

 

Too strong when she has to work light

years ahead of you just to catch up.

 

Too violent with your scars

etched Into her back.

 

Too dark when your spirit is

composed of ashes from her

ancestors.

 

Too wild.

Too real.

Too raw.

 

That must be why you

can only rise if she falls.

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Awkward Girl: Day 1

Day 1 (Isn’t it always?):

Awkward girl. That’s me. Welcome to my world.

You know, the thing about life, is that it is confusing. It is excruciatingly complex. Why does no one tell us this when we are young? I often wonder about that. We all figure it out eventually. We grow up and think: What in the ever living fuck is happening? And yet, here we are, remaining baffled and, well…awkward. Someone please. Help me understand Continue reading Awkward Girl: Day 1

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sing, unburied, sing

the truth crawls up my throat
my mouth shapes around it.
i taste the ashes of blk bodies,
they’ve blown in on the wind—
made my eyes milky with ghosts
who cannot rest with so much violence
floating underneath their skin.

i steel my tongue on their sorrowful song,
uncurl my spine, and wet my lips—
the truth comes pushing out,
its body small and blk.

too small to have seen a prison,
but life has a way of peeling blk bodies
away from their mother’s breast
to throw to the wild—
their only record of life left to the
tongues of old men and women.

(image by Nathaniel Tetteh via unsplash)

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Moonlit Love

Th Moon captured by Samihah Pargas

Love me the way the moon is loved
whether full or half full, or a whisper in the night sky

the kind you can’t see, yet its presence is deeply felt. 

Th Moon captured by Samihah Pargas
Photo by Samihah Pargas


Love me
whether I
covet you with light or

struggle through my own darkness
show you how beautiful skin can look in dimly lit places or
dim the atmosphere and feel cold to the touch
Love me still
when my tears pull the sky down and

leave hollows in loving hearts where homes should’ve been
when stars fall from my lips while I ask for those homes to be rebuilt

again and
again Love me
as if I am faraway, when really I’m near.
Pull me close with your prayers when I am distant
hold me with your eyes
love me the way the moon is loved.
I hope you are in love with the moon.

– Samihah Pargas

IG : @shadesofherink

 

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your name is synonymous with music now

my days don’t feel quite right
if you don’t send me a song.
what else should i hear
while emptying my heart
of ghosts? my bones need
something that will burrow
deeply, and remind them that
home can be outside of this body.
and this body needs to remember
that men have died for the songs
of some women, so a moment of
shattering for you is a mere drop
in the oceans i have swallowed
while waiting for revolutions
that become my lullabies

(photo by Oladimeji Odunsi via unsplash)

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growth

sometimes, growing
is more painful
than the hurt
that got you there.

growing is claws
scratching at your skin
and chipping away
at your bones.

growing is spitting out
your lover’s name
like it was a bitter plum
with a seed too big
to even think
about swallowing.

sometimes growing
is cutting away
your favorite parts,
and mowing down
that tall grass
that so many men
have tried to peek through.

sometimes growing
doesn’t feel like growing.
it feels like breaking,
and you look in the mirror
and see more jagged bottle
than woman.
but you know that
all this breaking
and shattering
got to mean something
one of these days.

so you keep at it.
you pluck the words
from your tongue,
cut the roses until
your blood tastes
like honey from all the thorns,
and trim the weeds away—
least they strangle you
in your sleep and
you lose all that good dirt
you’ve been putting down.

(image by Oscar Obians via unsplash)

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what mourning looks like

the bed still smells like his aftershave.
the cup he used is still sitting on the counter.
his clothes still hang in the closet.
you still listen to his voice from
the last message he left.
there are pictures littering the floor.
your friends tell you it’s time to move on.
pack the clothes away—haul them off to goodwill. Continue reading what mourning looks like

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Glow, Black!✨

Black glows in the dark
as imitation dry heaves,
leaving guilt on its sleeves
wiping white illness on walls,

kneeling with greed in
its knees, not realizing
where it’s coming from or
the fact that Black is entitled
to no one but Her people.

Black glazed rapture,
painting with glow dripping
from their hands and their
actions before, during & after,

Smearing magic and rhythm
of all motions and nations in
hip revolutions & revelations with
Life at their command.low,

Continue reading Glow, Black!✨

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beti

Maa makes a salan for each son

because they like different things

 

but the beti needs to learn to make her own food

kyun ki uski age pe shaadi aur bachey hotey hain

 

larka jaan per be jaiy, jaise bi rai

maa ankh band karke osko kabi kuch boley gi nahi

 

beti aik galti kare

uski izzat zaban per aja ti hai

 

the sons can go out and party get a girl pregnant

but they’ll still be able to move on and find a good girl to marry

 

the girl stays out a bit later than 8 pm

might wear a t-shirt,

and the whole mohalla is calling her a slut, saying she’s no longer a virgin

 

truth is

we don’t love our girls as much as our sons

 

truth is

you have failed us girls

 

truth is

us girls are tired of walking on eggshells

of being thrown around, walked all over

and expected to have sabr

 

kehte hain betiyaan sab se bari rehmat hain

toh aaj hum ko kyun torey ho

 

Picture Credit: @thepakistanimarthastewart

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Broken bones.

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.