issue #24 - moni's top 10 minus 1
March 22, 1999
SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!!!
*Judging a book by its cover means you
haven't discovered its main character.*
moni (c) 1999
1) Spring Cleaning - Cleaning Out Our Closets - Author Unknown
There comes a time when we must clean out the closets
of our life so that we may have room for items that
will enhance our life.
Let's search the closets of our lives and make a trip
to the wastebasket.
Throw away any hatred that may be lurking there and be
sure to toss jealousy, bad attitudes, dishonesty,
complaints, sin, and hypocrisy.
Before you finish, throw away that grudge you have been
holding against someone. There's room now to add love,
honesty, forgiveness and kindness-not to mention
thankfulness for all of God's blessings.
Go on and make room for reverence and respect to God
from whom all good and perfect gifts come.
Better, isn't it?
Take a moment today to spring clean your heart. Ask God
to come in and if He finds anything else that shouldn't
be there, take it out so that you can live holy and right!
2) IMAGING HOME THROUGH THE EYES OF POETS NICHE MEMBER PADMORE AGBEMABIESE:
moni: Padmore, what is your nationality and what does that mean to you?
Padmore: I come from Africa, Ghana in particular. I take pride in being
an African and at the same time being a Ghanaian. As an African, I delight
in being the product of the continent, God chose as Paradise, the cradle of
civilization, a continent with the sample of spirituality and what religion
ought to be. As a Ghanaian, I take pride in being the son/citizen of the
first country that fought for her independence from colonialism in the entire
Africa and became the haven of all Blacks [not only of Africa countries]
seeking to liberate themselves from colonial domination.
moni: How long have you lived in the United States and why did your journey
bring you here?
Padmore: I arrived in the United States in June 1997, to broaden my scope
of intellectuality in the American universities. In fact, my interest in
Literature of the Black Diaspora [African American Literature] prompted my
coming to the States.
moni: Tell us some of the rich history which is unique to your hometown.
Padmore: In reality, I come from the Royal House and I am the Chief of
my community. My hometown actually forms the Advance Guard Army of our
traditional clan [the Anlo-Ewes]. We provide the King of the Tribe the
Spokesman or the linguist. Close to my hometown is the famous Shrine
made up of an evergreen forest stretching almost two to three miles in
radius and if you set it on fire it will not burn. You may doubt this
but it is true. It is in this shrine that all Chiefs and the King of
the Anlo-Ewes are crowned/enstooled. If a Chief is elected by a community,
he is brought into this forest for rituals and rites to be performed on
him before any society can recognize him. And it is from this Shrine
that the Chief can be destooled. Thus, to be from my hometown you must
be intelligent in the language, customs and traditions of the area.
moni: Has living in the U.S. presented many conflicts between African
and African American customs?
Padmore: Of course it did and does. Many instances provided me
with situations that are bewildering. On a daily basis, there are
cross-cultural issues such as male-female authority discrepancies,
marriage systems, mannerisms, family structure and codes of human
relationships and behavior that challenge me in various ways.
moni: Many of your poems are written about your family or of childhood
memories. Is this because you've been away so long, or thoughts of them
are flashbacks of times once shared?
Padmore: In fact, my academic life or experience, and the various texts
that I read in school and college, during my entire academic life, has
taught me to hate myself--my blackness, as if I am worthless. But, after
deep reflection and serious evaluation, going back to re-study my culture
and tradition from childhood experiences, revealed a dichotomy--the hidden
lies in written texts about my culture and tradition. Thus, I am on a
journey to engage the world in a dialogue, to revisit and revise the texts.
moni: You performed a reading of your poems at the Ohio State University,
and I can only imagine how the audience felt as you took them on a journey
back home. What was that experience like both as the performer and then
looking into the eyes of the audience?
Padmore: I have read my poems on two occasions. One at OSU campus, and
one at Martin Luther King's Theatre. It was like opening fresh wounds.
It brought back tears into eyes, it was like the Civil Right days where
men and women were prepared to die after hearing Frederick Douglas or
Martin Luther King speak. I never intended to spark or drill tears and
I felt sorry. But that is good poetry because it drills from the audience
emotional sympathy, and stirs a convivium of memories in society, setting
afire minds to act now or never. In fact, the standing ovation was substantial.
moni: I must admit, sometimes while silently reading your poems, I'm confused
because I don't quite understand what you are trying to say. But, when I read
your poems out loud and hear each word, I understand the meaning and your
intended message. I guess my question is, do you want people to read your
poems out loud so they can feel the message in your words?
Padmore: Mere words on paper mean one thing. But when spoken aloud they
mean another. My poems are meant to be performed--read aloud so as to
capture the soul, spirit, and the psychic feelings in them. As I write
my poems, I search not only for words but the aura that the words invoke,
convoke, inspire, carry and conjure. It is this that forms that canopy
or shed under which the reader is caught and will dare not go till the
poems take control of his/her thoughts and feelings.
moni: Most of our members don't know about the numerous awards you
have won, both here and aboard. Please tell us a few of the awards you
Padmore: On May 22, 1998, I received:  The GWEN KAGEY AWARD, 1998
FOR HIGH ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT at Ohio State University;  On September
3, 1998, I received BEST STUDENT AWARD IN HUMANITIES at the Ohio State
University;  1996, WOLE SOYINKA AWARD for BEST PLAYWRIGHT at the
University of Ghana;  1995, ECRAG AWARD--GHANA WRITERS ASSOCIATION
AWARD FOR POET OF THE YEAR;  1985, BEST STUDENT PHOTO-JOURNALIST OF
THE YEAR, 1985;  1984, GHANA TELEVISION POET OF THE YEAR, both in
ENGLISH AND IN THE GHANAIAN LANGUAGE, EWE; and  1972 through 1978
BEST POET PLAYWRIGHT &ACTOR [INTER HIGH SCHOOLS, GHANA]. I was winning
all the prizes in High School until I left for College where I received
GOLD BADGE OF HONOR--POETRY AND DRAMA, 1978.
moni: What could you tell us about our forefathers not written in any
history books, so this story could be told to the next generation?
Padmore: Our forefathers were notoriously and incurably religious.
They identified God as a Mother, who creates from her womb sustenance.
Myths of creation are feminine oriented. Christianity in Europe came
from the Isis [Osiris] cult. In the religious belief or theology of
this cult, as indicated in the cult of Osiris, was the promise of the
resurrection, promise of a better after-life, and salvation of the
soul. Nowhere in the worship or culture of the African is woman painted
as a Devil incarnate, a Serpent, who should be accused as the one who
made mankind to fall from Divine Grace thus bringing suffering, disease
and woes into the world as depicted in the biblical compilation of Europe
[the West]. African religion presented woman as the Mother hence they
originated the Madonna, the Akwabaa doll, etc. In fact, I am seriously
writing on, "The Cult of Womanhood in World Cultures," and hope to bring
this ideas out for all to see. When I use the word "cult", it should
not speak of a disastrous organization as described in dictionaries.
It means a group of people with one/common belief and will die for their
community. The term has recently been misapplied.
moni: Finally, what does being a member of the Poets Niche mean to you
in terms of your creativity and/or the friendships you have made?
Padmore: Ever since I came to the U.S, I was on the lookout for a poets'
club, which proved to be a fiasco. When I joined the Poets Niche it
became a family not only of poets but beyond that--the human relations
--people who are there for you when you need to speak to someone. Reading
other people's poems also gave me more challenges and perspectives from
which I can look at ideas and subjects. It offered me a platform from
where I learn as my writings are analyzed by friends/critics. And this
makes me rework on the lines, the words, and more the flow and coherence
of ideas. It's great to be a part of the Poets Niche. And, thank you
for the opportunity to be a member of this powerful movement of poets.
Padmore, thanks for sharing with us such rich history and giving us a
TASTE OF HOME. Please feel free to email Padmore at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3) FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE - motivational insight by Shenita Vanish
(email@example.com) issue no. 4:
Let It Go...
Sunday morning, while under the weather, convinced on Saturday that I wouldn't
be able to make it to work on Monday, something "strange" happened. A miracle
While lying in my bed, head not quite off the pillow, a voice came to me and
said, "Your relationship with Jeffrey is changed." "Changed?" I said. "It
can't be. I like Jeffrey." What sense does this make? I wonder. "Jeffrey
is nice. I like him, he likes me, I've been praying for God to send me a
husband, he said that he prayed that God would send him a wife. Aren't we
perfect for each other?"
Despite what the "Spirit" told me, I called Jeffrey that morning. He wasn't
in so I left him a message. I started to joke and say, "Hey, got this funny
feeling today that things were changed between us. Isn't that funny?" But
I thought against it. Instead, I left a generic message; "Give me a call
when you get a chance."
Jeffrey, a Brother who would call me to tell me that he thoroughly enjoyed
my company over lunch or dinner, someone who told me how glad he was to have
met me, someone who listened while I cried, called me before I had a chance
to call him, someone who shared his dreams, goals and desires, and was more
attentive than any other Brother who I had gone out with in a while, never
called me back. It's now been two weeks.
There was a time in my life when I received these messages and thought that I
"had lost my mind." For a thousand and one reasons, I would convince myself
that "I was trippin'" and go about my business of convincing this Brother or
that Brother that "we were meant to be together." My question was always;
"Can't you feel it, too?" I've been depressed over "why it just won't work?"
I now realize how much easier it would have been if I would just "let it go."
I call it spirit, some call it intuition, others call it a hunch. Nonetheless,
when we have it, it should make the world of difference to us. I suppose that
I ignored it because I thought that I was really in control. Now I know that
someone else is really in control. I'm just along for the ride.
I still wonder what happened to Jeffrey. I still wonder what was the cause
for the sudden change. I still wonder if he's okay. But, I'm not going to
worry about it because I was "properly warned". I thank Jeffrey for agreeing
to come into my life for the period that he was here. I thank him for sharing
himself with me. I thank him for making me look at myself in areas that I
thought were healed but really were not. I haven't given up, but I have just
"let it be." Despite all of that, I thank God for giving me the wisdom to
"let well enough alone" and know that God removes one thing from your life so
that he can give you something better. I thought Jeffrey was "da bomb," but
I'm now more excited by what's next to come.
4) POETS NICHE MEMBERS HELPING OTHERS -
JO ANN TAYLOR, FOUNDER OF OPERATION ANGEL - Operation Angel is an online
ministry and support group for women who have experienced the pain and
trauma of a miscarriage. Jo Ann's goal is to enlighten and inform friends
and family on ways to minister to someone who has lost a baby, as well as
help those who have experienced such a loss to receive comfort and healing.
Jo Ann's website is (http://virtualcleveland.com/OpAngel/index.html), and
please feel free to email her at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PAT THOMAS is an independent business center owner with USANA, which is an
international health research group. Pat works to find others who are
interested in good health, and show them how they can improve their health
and even make money by helping me to find others who are interested in health
and nutrition. Pat's website is (http://www.millenniumteam.com/members/pat),
and her email address is (email@example.com).
If you have a website you would like to share with your Poets Niche family,
please email me and I'll include your website in moni's top 10.
5) I NEED THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS TO CONTACT ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE REGARDING THE
POETS NICHE ANTHOLOGY:
Sidney Singleton, Brian Henry, Donald Conley, Tyese Dantzler, Evelyn Day, Marilyn
Marshall, Nadeen King, Taheba Byrd and Roderick Harmon.
IF YOU KNOW HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THESE MEMBERS, PLEASE HAVE THEM EMAIL IMMEDIATELY
ALSO, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN'T DONE SO (AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!), PLEASE EMAIL
ME YOUR BIOS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!
6) INTERN NEEDED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. - Erica L. Richardson is an Intern
Coordinator for Sam Gejdenson. She is having difficulty finding great
people who would like to intern on the Hill during the Spring and Fall
Semesters. If any of you know anyone, who attends college in or around
the Washington, D.C. Metro area or who will be attending one of the
Universities through an exchange program with their college, please tell
them about this opportunity. Also, please have them send a resume and a
writing sample to: Erica L. Richardson Legislative Assistant/Intern
Coordinator, Office of Congressman Sam Gejdenson, 2304 Rayburn House
Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 - phone: (202) 225-2076 fax:
7) WOMEN'S RESOURCE INSTITUTE - In keeping with the tradition of Women's
History Month, ADG Virtual Institute, a subsidiary of ADG Group, Inc.,
will be renamed Women's Resource Institute. The institute, which focuses
on online training, has been changed to focus on the needs of women. The
institute's tagline is "Empowering Women Through Knowledge". Adrienne
Graham, President and Founder states, "I felt there was really no place
on the web for women to turn to for help when they wanted to enhance
their skills or learn how to start a business...I decided to create our
own virtual university. Traditional teaching and coaching methods will
be integrated with the internet learning experience. Virtual learning is
becoming so popular and it is a way for individuals to enhance their
knowledge and skills without leaving their home or office." The spring
session officially kicks off on April 5, 1999. Enrollment is now being
accepted for both Spring and Summer sessions, and you can visit their
website at (http://www.adggroup.com/institute.htm).
8) I CAN'T BELIEVE IT MYSELF, BUT IT'S TRUE. POEMS OF THE WEEK TURNS 30!!
It has been a pleasure to read and feature the OUTSTANDING POETRY of the POETS
NICHE POETS for the last 30 WEEKS!! EVERYONE, please STAND and TAKE A BOW.
THIS APPLAUSE IS FOR YOU!!! Continuing to support and inspire each other with
TOPNOTCH thought-provoking, heartbreaking, "pass me the Kleenex please," type
of poetry is what the POETS NICHE is all about. Thank you for seeing our vision
so clearly and helping us focus on making your dreams come true. This weeks
FEATURED POETS helping us CELEBRATE are:
Damn... I'm almost 30! - Nicole McLean - firstname.lastname@example.org
When the mile markers stop whizzing by - Reyhan Wilkinson - email@example.com
No Really - John Riddick - JRiddick24@aol.com
Yesterday and Tomorrow - Shaun Cecil - firstname.lastname@example.org
To My Love, From Your Love - Brian Henry Jackson - email@example.com
Sit back, take a coffee break, and enjoy reading the poetry of your fellow
members in POEMS OF THE WEEK 30 at (www.nichemarket.com). EXCELLENT JOB!!!
9) Thank you for sharing your heartfelt comments regarding last weeks
poem "The Souls of Tiny Fingers". Your openness and kindness brought
me to tears. Below is moni's poem of the week. I value your opinions
and your comments are greatly appreciated.
(dedicated to George Winston)
It started innocently. He loved the sound of middle C.
Somehow it struck a chord. He began with middle C,
followed by D, E, F, G, A, B, C, then back, B, A, G,
F, E, D, to middle C.
He practiced without a fuss because he knew he must.
He never tired. And, he was never bored. His fingers
tingled every time he skillfully went up and down the
keyboard like a surfer riding a wave.
He yearned to mimic the gods, because he wanted to make
others feel the way he felt when he heard the great ones
play. Before long, he knew the piano intimately, stroking
each key like a lover begging him not to stop.
Now, the ebony and ivory keys united to tell his story.
Each melody he played underscored his purpose. Each
touch of the keys brought forth heavenly sounds of love.
Love of mankind. Love of nature. Love of simplicity.
His music captivated the human spirit.
Fame was not what he wanted. At first, he played for
his family of four, and who knew it would grow to more.
Someone told me, and I told others. People came from
all over to witness the honesty in which he played, and
to see for themselves the precision in which he glided
across the keys. They applauded and roared "Bravo,"
I was mesmerized by his unassuming manner and how untouched
he was by fame. He stepped out from behind the curtain dressed
in a blue and green plaid shirt, blue jeans, blue socks, and no
shoes. He approached the piano, sat, and began with middle C.
Monica Blache (c)
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