Issue #32 - moni's top 10 (minus 1) - E-ZINE
(The Poets Niche Official Newsletter)
May 17, 1999


This week's issue

- moni's Poem of the Week


       * The weapon of choice for mass destruction is the MIND. *
                             moni (c) 1999


1)  STATISTICS - To date, locked away in the Poets Niche vault, are 800
plus poems.  What does this mean?  It means that we have enough poems to
compile SIX ANTHOLOGIES until the YEAR 2006.  Thank you for continuing to
support us and submitting your poems for everyone to enjoy!  Without you,
there would be no POETS NICHE!!


2)  SOLICITATIONS!!! - Because we believe that someone in the Poets Niche
might have just what you are looking for, or can assist you in your
endeavors, moni's top 10 E-ZINE is the PROPER FORUM to disseminate
information regarding other businesses you may be involved in. 
Networking is a vital key to what we do by linking members with other
members.  Please forward this type of information to "ME" ONLY at
( so it can be included in an upcoming issue of
moni's top 10 E-ZINE.  Therefore, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE POETS NICHE

REPLYING TO MEMBERS!!! - When responding to a poet regarding a particular
poem,  PLEASE respond DIRECTLY to THAT POET and "NOT" your entire group. 
Most communications between members have been, for the most part, ONE ON
ONE.  Every now and then, however, there have been some emails forwarded
to an entire group containing very personal information.  Therefore, out
of abundance of caution, please make every effort to keep very personal
information CONFIDENTIAL!    

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at


3)  ARE YOU BUSY? (Author Unknown) (sent in by Lenora Devine) - Satan
called a worldwide convention.  In his opening address to his evil
angels, he said, "We can't keep the Christians from going to church.  We
can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.  We
can't even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship
experience in Christ.  If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power
over them is broken.  So let them go to church, let them have their
conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that
experience in Jesus Christ.  This is what I want you to do, angels. 
Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that
vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" shouted his angels.  "Keep them busy in the non-
essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,"
he answered.  "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow,
borrow.  Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands
to work 6 - 7 days a week, 10 - 12 hours a day, so they can afford their
lifestyles.  Keep them from spending time with their children.  As their
family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the
pressures of work."

"Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small
voice.  Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they
drive.  To keep the TV, VCR CD's and their PC's going constantly in their
homes.  And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays
non-biblical music constantly.  This will jam their minds and break that
union with Christ."

"Fill the coffee table with magazines and newspapers.  Pound their minds
with the news 24 hours a day.  Invade their driving moments with
billboards.  Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail
order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering
free products, services, and false hopes."

"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive.  Have them return from
their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming
week.   Don't let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders. 
Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies
instead."  And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in
gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and
unsettled emotions."

"Let them be involved in soul-winning.  But crowd their lives with so
many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ.  Soon they
will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and
family for the good of the cause."

It was quite a convention in the end.  And the evil angels went eagerly
to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy,
busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful at his scheme?  You be the JUDGE.  How
about this definition of busy:

B  -  Being
U  -  Under
S  -  Satan's
Y  -  Yoke


4)  POETRY YOU SAY - If you are in the San Francisco area on May 23,
1999, checkout Guest lecturer, Effie Lee Morris, "Deep Like the Rivers:
African Tales, Black Poetry and Spirituals," at the San Francisco
Library, Koret Auditorium.  For more information, please call (415) 557-4282.

The Voice Foundation, Inc., is seeking unpublished manuscripts with a
southern flavor for Issue #1, Louisiana/Mississippi feature issue, Fall,
1999.  The DEADLINE is June 15th.  You can request guideline information
by writing to The Voice Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 57341, New Orleans,
Louisiana 70157-7341.  

The Psychedelic Literature, is also seeking unpublished literature of
North and South Americas, for Issue #2/The Americas feature issue Winter
Spring, 2000.  The DEADLINE is October, 1999.  You can request guideline
information by writing to The Psychedelic Literature, P.O. Box 3085
Jackson, Mississippi 39207. 


5)  FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE (issue #6) - motivational insight from
Shenita Vanish:

                    "It's All Good" But It's Not For Me

". . .[Y]ou are strikingly beautiful. . .[T]hen, there is your
intelligence, which is equally as compelling. You exude confidence and
dispel negativity which is not easy to find in women (at least in my
experiences). . .[Y]ou have the total package (I'm not saying that I
think you're flawless because I know that's not the case, but you've got
some "good stuff" in you).  The kind of stuff that I would want to be a
part of...."

When I first read these words from a "suitor of my time," I was quite
surprised.  And, needless to say, delighted that he saw the light within
me.  The words arrived on a "bad hair, what should I do with my life"
type of day.  And, his words did a lot to pick up my spirits.  But, as is
often the case when I look for something external to make me internally
happy, I found myself in a state of confusion, again.

Here I am, a Sistah confessing that "I AM READY to receive my Divine
Right Mate," and this good Brother comes my way.  This attractive Brother
is good in the sense that he pays homage to God, is respectful of his
mother and all women (but truly appreciates the Diasporic African ones),
values knowledge, believes in uplifting our people, the importance of
family (including our ancestors), has a prosperity consciousness and
looks forward to building a family (with lots of babies).  Just like me. 
So, why don't I want him?

I've heard good men assert that "Good men finish last" and I have always
tried to "help our Brothers out."  I've always tried to support them in
their quest to be all that they have always wanted to be in the lives of
our women.  So, when I realized that I found him quite attractive but
wasn't attracted to him, it blew my mind.  And, in typical fashion, I
started questioning myself:  "Why don't I like him?,  Is this a test from
God?,  Am I failing this test?,  Is it too soon?,  Should a relationship
be such a struggle?"  In his defense, Mama, with all of her worldly
wisdom, was telling me to look "at the inward beauty of the person."  She
said this to support her theory that I could learn to love him later,
advising me that "I shouldn't let a good man go."  Truth be told, I
really think that she's ready to "marry me off".

Finally, I had to realize that God blesses me a thousand fold everyday. 
And, each time I receive a blessing disguised as a miracle, I've never
had to fight to see if I wanted to receive it.  I never had to question
if the money that showed up was the money that God wanted me to have.  I
didn't have to wonder if the townhouse that God blessed me with (without
a down payment and a refund at the closing) was truly a miracle.  I've
never had to struggle to receive what was divinely right for me. 

In addition, I had to remember my experiences with fine dining on
succulent meals that only caused me to have gas, intense stomachaches,
and other things that I dare not re-experience here.  In short, like the
old folks say, I've learned to realize that "everything that glitters
ain't gold" that sometimes "the eyes are bigger than the stomach" and
"everything that taste good ain't good for you."  In other words, my
trying to force something because I felt like I "should have wanted him"
was only causing me to feel guilty about not wanting him.  This act was
less than honorable for myself and something that could potentially hold
him back from meeting his "divine right mate."

One day, I am sure, I will meet the person for me.  One day, I will
ascend happily and honorably into love with my soul's companion.  But,
until then, I'll just have to remember that just because it's good to me
doesn't mean it's good for me or that I'll be good for it.  Knowing this,
I can sit back and relax, knowing that all prayers are answered in DIVINE

Be Blessed!

Please feel free to send your comments to Queen at (


6)  ANOTHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY - Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong
people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the
right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.  Checkout
Karon's website at (


7)  SHORT, SHORT, REALLY SHORT STORY - This week's short, short, really
short story was submitted by another Poets Niche member, moni's own baby
boy, Gustave W. Blache, III a/k/a Painter's Life. 

                       AT THE MILLINER'S

"Betty, please hurry up!  For the life of me, I can't show up late to my
sister's baby shower.  Lucy would never forgive me for this, especially
after being late to her first and third weddings to Pauly and Matthew." 
I dated Pauly for two years before they got married, so I probably
"showed up late out of spite," or that's what my therapist told me.  But
I think it was just the traffic.

"God, this room is such a mess," I continued.  "There's dust everywhere. 
Betty, my momma always told me never to keep a dirty house.  She told me
time and time again that a dirty house is an unworthy house.  God rest
her soul."

My momma was the most stubborn woman you could ever meet, and Lucy is
just like her.  They were both born in the same month and they both have
red hair.  That's probably why they got along so well.  Lucy cried for
months when momma died. "I remember not too long ago, Lucy was in momma's
old room and she couldn't stop crying.  So I asked her what was wrong. 
She couldn't even answer me.  Are you listening Betty?  Betty are you

So anyway, I said to Lucy, "Momma's been dead for six years and it's
time.  In a couple of weeks I'm turning momma's old room into a study,
and I don't want to hear anything about it."  I've never seen Lucy that
mad before in my whole life.  She turned so red you could put a stem on
top of her head and sell her at a fruit stand.  Lucy told me, "If I even
tried to dust momma's old room I would regret it."

"Betty!  Betty!  Did you get my red hat out of the closet?  It's next to
my black hat with the red trimming at the bottom of it."  I hate this
mirror, it always makes me look fat and old looking.  I told my sister to
buy me a new one when I get married, whenever that might be.  I'm forty
three years old and the closest I've been to getting a ring from a man
was when Cooper Bailey bought me a box of Cracker Jacks after school in
the fourth grade.

"Why does Lucy get everything she wants?" I asked Betty.  "She's had four
husbands, a big house, lot's of friends, and even smaller hips.  I just
don't understand."

"Wait a second Betty, this red hat doesn't look right with this dress. 
Go and get me the green one with the yellow flowers on the back, it might
be in the study.  Wait Betty, wait!  Betty, do you ever feel like digging
a hole about six feet deep and four feet wide so you could crawl in head
first and just hope that the wind would blow the dirt on top of you?"

And Betty replied with a stern voice, "Yes."

                             * * *

I knew Betty would understand, she was my only friend.  Betty was 11
years older than me and 14 years older than Lucy.  Her mother Polly, who
we called Nannamay, was me and Lucy's nanny until she mysteriously died
in her sleep about twenty years ago.  My mother gave her the best funeral
a colored person could have during those days.  An oak casket, four long
tables full of food that Betty prepared, plus momma invited all of
Nannamay's relatives and friends, and even had our own Reverend, Rev.
McCallister, mention her passing in the following Sunday's service.

Betty was always grateful to momma for that.  For the next five months, a
week wouldn't go by without Betty thanking her for what she did for
Nannamay.  Momma would then tell Betty that her and her momma was like
family to us and to never forget that.  Even though they was colored, I
loved Betty like she was a sister to me, and loved Nannamay like she was
an aunt.  Besides, Betty was almost as light as me.  When we were young,
we used to put our arms next to each other, side by side, and have Lucy
tell us who she thought was lighter.  I would always win but it was just
fun seeing how close our color was.  I used to ask Betty, "How you get so
light and have such silky black hair with Nannamay being so dark?"  

Betty would just shrug her shoulders look down ever so slightly and say
in the softest voice, "I don't know."  

Betty didn't know her daddy.  Her momma told her that her daddy died
before she was born.  Nannamay would never tell Betty too much about her
daddy, and after asking her momma time and time again about him, out of
frustration, she finally stopped asking all together.  I don't know if
Betty ever understood why her momma never told her anything significant
about her father.

With her father already deceased and the recent passing of her mother,
Betty seemed to pick up right where Nannamay left off -- ironing,
cleaning, and cookin' like there was no tomorrow.

                          * * *

One day I got enough nerve and asked Nannamay, "Who fathered Betty?"

Nannamay responded with a look so chilling that her voice spoke frost
bitten words out of a hollow mouth that housed ice-picked teeth.  With
her teeth clinched, and her lips only moving, Nannamay coldly said,
"Don't you ever in yo life ask me that damn question again!"

Frozen stiff by her words, I stood there, still for almost 15 seconds,
until the chill from her voice eventually melted.  A moisture began to
form towards the back of my thigh and then a bead of sweat trickled
mercifully down the inside of my leg onto the black and white tiled
floor.  With one knee bent in toward the other and both hands clinched
behind my back, I looked down ever so slightly at the floor only to find
that I was standing in a puddle.  I looked up at Nannamay with a look of
bewilderment, and then ran as fast as I could slipping, sliding and
squeaking with every step until I finally reached the bathroom.  I
slammed the door behind me with every ounce of strength, that a four-foot
two-inch twelve year old girl who weighed seventy-one and a half pounds
had, and then began crying uncontrollably.  I didn't know if I was crying
out of embarrassment or because I upset Nannamay, or simply because I
knew mother was going to kill me when she got news of my water
misfortune that ruined the brand knew dress she just bought me.

Nannamay knocked on the door softly three times, and then asked in a
gentle voice, "Lizzy, Lizzy, are you okay?"  I just wiped my eyes and sat
on the edge of the bathtub rocking back and forth quietly.  Nannamay
opened the door cautiously and walked in.  She sat down next to me and
put her arm around my shoulder, holding me still, and placed the side of
her face onto the top of my head and said, "Let's get you cleaned up
before yo momma gets home."  I just buried my head in Nannamay's bosom
and continued to cry.  Gently, Nannamay raised my head off her bosom and
asked the question to end all questions, "Do you smell that?"  A cloud of
silence abruptly took over the room.  

Without hesitation, my eyes pointed to the floor and I said in a
disheartened voice, "Yes, I'm sorry, I didn't mean ta..."

Before I could finish apologizing, Nannamay put her index finger over the
center of my mouth and said, "Shush child, I ain't talkin' about dat." 
My eyes were like two marbles rolling frantically inside of my head as I
looked up at the ceiling with a look of confusion.  Nannamay continued,
"After we get you cleaned up, go on and get one of yo books to read out
dere on da front porch while I go and get Betty."  A smile quickly crept
on my face the size of Texas.

Nannamay loved the smell of rain.  She could spot the scent of rain from
over a mile away, not to mention over my pee-drenched undies.  Whenever
the rain was about to start, Nannamay would round me and Betty up so we
could sit outside in the big wooden rocking chair on the porch.  We would
rock back and forth for hours, reading books I got from school to
Nannamay while she knitted sweaters for me and Lucy.  Every time we
rocked back the rain would sprinkle through the porch screen, spraying
the side of our faces.  Me and Betty would just wipe our faces and then
continue taking turns reading.

We had a big screen that daddy nailed to the outside of the porch to keep
the mosquitoes and rain out whenever mother wanted to read outside and
drink freshly squeezed lemonade that Nannamay made for her.  There was
this hole in the screen where rain would splash through and get mother
wet.  She told daddy she would not be seen sitting on that front porch
until he put a new screen up, and that it was embarrassing for the whole
family to have our neighbors see her sitting on a raggedy old deck. 
Daddy promised her he was going to fix the screen as soon as he got the

                         TO BE CONTINUED!!!!

I can't wait to find out what happens!!!  Thanks Gustave for jumping in
and participating.  Please feel free to send your comments to Gustave at

Please also feel free to submit your SHORT, SHORT, REALLY SHORT STORY


8)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - Thank you to ALL the POETS who submitted poems
for our special Mother's Day Tribute.  FATHER'S DAY is on Sunday, June
20, 1999.  Please feel free to start submitting your poems and
dedications to "ME" ONLY at ( for our special
FATHER'S DAY TRIBUTE for Poems of the Week(s) 42 and 43! 

This week's FEATURED POETS are:

LAST DANCE by Susan Harrigan -
A NIGHT IN THE LIFE by Chuck Reimer -
A FAIRY TOLD by Kevin Newsome -
CASTLE OF MEMORIES by Cole Johnson -
METAMORPHOSIS by Jill Ann Montgomery (c)
UNTITLED by Akilah Holyfield -

You can read these poems in POEMS OF THE WEEK 38 at
(, and send your comments directly to the featured


9)  Below is moni's Poem of the Week.  I truly appreciate your comments
and welcome your opinions.  

much love!



Truth entered through the door without knocking 
or waiting to be formally welcomed in.

It happened when I wasn't expecting company, 
but showed up anyway like an old friend.

You see, I was busy waiting for the Truth to sit 
me down and explain things to me.  

Things like, Why?

Why there were no arms to hold me through 
life's storms?

Why I accepted half-truths, when I recognized a lie?

Why I always settled for less and found favor with 
second best?

Why shame fit perfectly like another layer of skin?

Why I felt like an outsider looking in?

So when the Truth entered the room and sucker punched  
me and walked out without saying good-bye, I was knocked 
out and couldn't get up.  

I didn't have time to put up my guard or usual defenses
-- pretend, avoidance, ignorance, silence or just because.

I heard myself counting -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, as 
the rest of my senses tried to rally together to get me 
up before I got to 10.

I stood up and faced my opponent.  And I saw it right 
there in my eyes, because the mirror never lies.   

There was no need to resist what had always been and 
will always be.  

Truth didn't fear being recognized.

Truth had carried the full weight of all my disappointments. 

Truth waved good-bye to my burdens and washed away 
all pity.  

Truth hadn't been unfaithful or demanding.

Truth never imposed its opinion or tried to change my mind.

Truth balanced the scales of justice.

Truth erased away fear and loneliness.  

Truth didn't need an introduction because we met at my birth.

And, Truth rocked me to sleep like a baby.

When confusion and chaos sought ways to interfere with 
the stillness and solitude, Truth came back.  

But this time, Truth didn't come alone.  It brought with it 
grace, respect and hope.  

Things I vaguely recalled having in my closet of wishes, 
that somehow got packed away in moth balls.
Then, I wondered why it came this time, when I saw it 
many times before, just on the outskirts of reality. 

So I asked.

Why now?

Truth whispered the answer to my soul.

Acceptance, my friend.


Monica Blache (c) 1999

(Or use your browser's buttons)