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  • August 3rd, 2006 | 9:00 PM
Poetry Friday - LeRoi Jones

When I was in 7th grade we had a project in our English class that I just loved. I think it was part of what turned me on to poetry. We were supposed to chop up bits of poems that spoke to us and then find pictures in magazines to illustrate them. I don't remember how many pages we were supposed to turn in but I know that I went the overachieving route and turned in about 10 times more than I needed to. That's where I first read this poem by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka ). It sums up how I feel when life is spinning out of control and then, right under your nose and where you least expect it, you get a touch of hope, and it is enough to carry on.


Lately, I've become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelops me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad-edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for the bus...

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars,
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night, I tiptoed up
To my daughter's room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there...
Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands.

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), 1961
You can read more about the poet here: http://www.amiribaraka.com


* Yes, many replies to your comments are still forthcoming. I'm sorry.
** Winners of the art contest to be announced soon. The delay is my fault.
*** Stay tuned for details about the Book Launch party for Hugging the Rock. If you're close enough to get here, you're invited. (Hint - save the date 9/27)

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 6 comments — Leave comment )
August 4th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Oh - I was wrong about the 27th, I have an event. But don't let that stop you!
August 4th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC)
I am SO bummed.
August 4th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
Sorry to see you're stressed! It's Friday. Didn't you get the memo? No one is allowed to be stressed on a Friday.

I'm sure I won't be close enough for your Book Launch Party, but I'll be there in spirit!
August 4th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC)
That's a great poem, Susan. Thanks for posting it.
August 4th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
I couldn't find your email anywhere on your site here to send you this info pvtly! But I came across this children's author on another loop who's doing some interesting things and I thought of you.

Here it is:

Visit teenage alien Izzy Warp and his space dog Bubbles on the HEAVEN
QUEST UNIVERSE WEBSITE for lots of free fun stuff for kids and teens.

• Free puzzles
• Free download (.pdf) Izzy Warp Coloring Book
• Free download collector cards
• How to draw Izzy's dog
• And more!

Transport yourself there now and have fun:

- Kevin Scott Collier

August 4th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
Nice one!
( 6 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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