Feelin’ Moody…

Feelin’ Moody

Move fast and keep busy
Cuz after 12 I will be dizzy

Kicking back bourbon in hand
flipping the channels and feelin’ moody

Ba da da da da da feelin’ moody.         200w-1.gif

Hello newscast, what’cha showing?
I’ve come to watch the violence flowin’

Any good news or just crimes for me?
Doot-in doo-doo feelin’ moody.   200w

I’ve got so much to do
Promises I didn’t keep
I’m frazzled and anxious and ready to scream
Let the nighttime come and steer me to sleep

Life you bug me
Feelin’ moody

Alphabet Soup…Sans the Noodles

A is for…
Africa
The Gold Coast, Bright of Benin and the Bight of Biafra
where my ancestors were abducted
brought to the Caribbean
as property to work
on sugar cane, coffee and banana plantations

B is for
Brooklyn
the place I came forth
from the comfort of mom’s womb
during a major snow-stormimages-1

C is for
Catholic School
my father insisted
we go to instead of
the public school across the street
where kids all the shades of brown
attended

D is for
Divorce,
did not happen
when Dad moved back to Jamaica
and mom stayed in the States

E is for
Elena
the first part of my name which translates to
Helen in English

F is for
Fairy tales
Snow white, sleeping beauty, cinderella
wow, a man would rescue me
from all the evil in the world
if I were white

G is for
Gynecologist
years to find
one who was like me
and did not treat
my body
as an oddity

images

H is for
Honduras
where my mother’s Jamaican grandparents
migrated for work
long after slavery

I is for
Identity
Honduras, Jamaica, Scotland, Ireland, India and lastly
America
not the north or the south
but where it’s supposed to be united
but is not

J is for
Jamaica
the country of my father’s and siblings’ birth

K is for
Knowing
coming of age
as an Afro-Caribbean

L is for
Lies
black hair, black skin
big lips, big butts
excludes us from
straight hair
anorexia
Botox
butt lifts
Girdles, lipo
hell no
And…
Black don’t crack

M is for
McCalla (McCullough)
the name of the two Scottish brothers who migrated to Jamaica
and purchased the
ancestors who were stolen from Africa
to work as property
on their sugar cane, coffee and banana plantations
while producing picaninnies to be sold
as property

N is for
Nigger
the name I was called at the all-white
Catholic School
my father insisted I and my siblings
attend

O is for
Ovaries
that decided at the age of
27 to call it quitsimages-2

P is for
Parents
Margarita Walsh (McCalla) May 24th, 1927-October 7th, 2018 (Honduras, Scotland, India)
Noel Emmanuel Walsh May 10th, 1921- May 9th, 2010 (Jamaica, Ireland)

Q is for
Questioning
the world
not settling for
what the Catholic School taught
and yes
Catherine the Great
had a thing
for animals

R is for
Real Estate
mom and dad
bought a house
and became landlords
so, no one could ever
refuse to rent to us

S is for
Sisters
who resented the
burden I was
to their freedom

T is for
Tolerance
for other stories
other celebrations
other holidays
fireworks
that represent nothing
to the house
that slaves
built

U is for
Understanding
what my parents
went through
to provide
for me

W is for
Walsh
he last name of the Irish man who
impregnated my father’s motherand left
my father
with just the
last name. Unknown

X is for
Xenophobia
born and raised in this county I didn’t ask to be born in
I am still a foreigner, an abnormality
because xenophobia allows
those with privilege and power to
hate us because we look different

Y is for
Yearning
for my parents
who accepted
me
as I was

Z is for
Zero
tolerance for
treatment as a sub-human
woman of colour
4th class citizen
bottom of the barrel
Not my circus
Not my monkeys
Not your nanny
Not your cleaning woman

The Way We Were…Revised.

The way we are is no longer

as it has become the way we were.   13239981_10209784571076766_1160742976535298713_n

One day here next day not

the way we were was ever changing.

Changing in unexpectable ways

until it became the way I am.

Here today and gone tomorrow.

Fleeting bits of reality we wish didn’t exist but are here to stay.

Nowhere to run to, nowhere go to

we struggled to swim in what was then

only now the struggle to swim does not have you.

We swam in waters familiar, trusted and predictable.   10399703_1208262172476_2654700_n

the way we were then was in the present

and not the past as it is now.

October 7, 2018

will never be just another day,

another October,

another year,

for it was the day,

the way we were

ceased to be

and the way I am

continues

without you.

Statues or…Being Black in America

“Imagine being Jewish, walking around a public park, seeing a statue of Hitler, and someone proudly saying, “my great-great-grandfather was a Nazi, and we should respect our history!’ Of course, that doesn’t happen, because it’s INSANE!

 Now, imagine how a Black person feels seeing confederate monuments in America”.
—Sarah Guilford

Sheltered living in NYC, as the only statue getting complaints is Christopher Columbus.

Statues don’t bother me.   IMG_1861

Nigger is a mischievous word which presently means
something different than it did in the past
based on who says it and to whom
The first time I was called nigger was what it meant in the past
in catholic school so long ago
during that Channel 7 series premiere of Alex Haley’s book “Roots”

Statues don’t bother me.

Took a long time to forgive Alex Haley
as it did to shake off the nicknames of Kizzy and Kunte Kente
Got revenge though.
Converted to an Episcopalian (Catholic light without the constant guilt or repentance)

Statues don’t bother me.   IMG_1859

I remember attending a photographer’s party in San Francisco
The only person of colour snacking on lox and cream cheese
Whoopi Goldberg was the Hollywood flavour of the month back then
and can’t count how many people said I looked like her while laughing
Snacking on lox with cream cheese while being black

Statues don’t bother me.

I went home angry
and festered in being compared frequently to looking like Whoopi
since I moved to San Fran
Why Whoopi?
In NYC I was compared to Halle Berry at the swimming club
where I swam laps while being the only person of colour

Statues don’t bother me. IMG_1858

Had to reassess my opinion on Ms. Goldberg
and what beauty represents
Did some research
Can’t say enough about
the perseverance she possessed
to get to where she’s at
in the entertainment world
Respect of the highest
Adoration at her legacy
and I was never a fan of Halle Berry!

Statues don’t bother me. IMG_1864

On a camping trip in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains
I refused to visit a plantation that was turned into a museum
not run by blacks
But my camping buddy wanted to partake in the tour
I stayed on the tour bus
sitting in the middle
the only person of colour
that at one time would have been sent me to
the back

 

Statues don’t bother me.                                 

My buddy returned from the tour
visibly upset
I did not offer compassion
Was I compelled to?
NO
He is white
I am not

Statues don’t bother me.  

And they never will for the pain of being black in America left its mark from birth. The confederate flag and those so called statues are a reminder of what was and what still is. Dismantling the statues, chopping of their heads, defacing them with graffiti will never erase what they stood for and what they remind us of now.

The statues should not be discarded but placed in a museum because we should never erase the symbols of our past but remember…where we’ve come from.

IMG_1860

A Vent…

I am far stronger than most

not invincible…

and don’t subscribe to that bullshit

Helen Reddy song of being

I am Woman

‘Womens Rights’ only pertains to white women.

I am not…

your nanny

housecleaner

babysitter

janitor.

I own a home

you would give anything to own.

But…

you don’t.

My home comes from my uneducated Caribbean parents

who believed in their self-worth,

believed in raising their children

in a place where a landlord could not evict them.

I don’t need to preach about who I am and.   IMG_1773

justify my right to breathe the same air as you do.

Just stay the fuck out of my way

keep your pity party to yourselves and…

LET ME BE!

I am a woman of colour

respect or leave from my sight.

Essential…no longer Associate :)

“I don’t see the bin for Flowering Chives” I asked Julie.

“You can place them in the Chives-local produce bin”, she responded from across the aisle.

I’m working temporary at the Food Coop stocking produce.

During normal times, the coop requires 3hrs of monthly volunteer shifts

and my shift was placing organic labels on the produce

in the basement, with a talkative crew.

But…

due to the Corona, all shifts have been suspended and most members have been hired to work for…

minimum wage.           101010428_714861959248941_178266032119480320_n

Now I hold the title of “Essential Worker” instead of “Training Associate”

severed by my resignation after three years at an org

with glass ceilings

stained with smudge marks

by those who tried to break through.

My choice. My body. My decision.

Julie is the supervisor for Produce at the food coop.

She is meticulous as I will never be.

I lack the energy to be meticulous in just about anything.

“I can’t believe it’s eight o’clock and the shelves aren’t stocked!!”

“We’ll get there Julie”, I said from atop a small stool stocking

the flowering chives

and secretly thinking,

How the hell do you cook flowering chives?’

“When you’re done with the chives could you stock the nettles? Just be careful when you’re bagging them.

They have thorns and it burns if it pierces the skin.”

“What do you do with nettles?”

“Well you can make tea from the leaves and you can boil the leaves and put into food”, Julie said.

“Why in the world would you cook with an herb that attacks you?”, I responded.

Sure enough…

I got pricked by a nettle at the wrist which led to a burning sensation.

“I got pricked!”.

“It will go away in 10 minutes”.

And…

it did, just as Julie said.

Four hours of my six hour shift was spent with Julie.

Stocking some melons and peppers, but mostly herbs.

I learnt more about herbs than was necessary

and…

Julie’s meticulousness found its way

into my hands.

I started arranging the bins to look attractive

neat…

inviting to the eyes and to the touch.

I became present in the task before me instead of daydreaming the day away

planning for what would happen when I was done

when I got home

walked the dog and

prepared my lunch.

For those four hours working at the coop

I was in the now.

 

My Mother’s Day…

Golden brown hands with fingers like branches on a Dogwood tree
Nails trimmed with a faded dark red manicure

I often held your hands with its naturally etched road map of 91 years
The roadmap which exposed the journey of your hands long before they changed my IMG_2847diapers

Your hands were always soft and smelled of lotion
Lotion I forgot to rub on your hands as you lay dying at home

Those beautiful hands also had the medals of small burn marks from the cooking you did
When the oil decided to rebel after water touched it surface

Your hands made the best food, the best tea, the Bestest, best ever BLT
Your hands grabbed onto mine when we walked through icy streets to do grocery shopping

Your hands also gave me the finger, when I got on your nerves
I miss your hands so much as much as I miss you

I have only pictures of those hands that once held me and made the world less scary

You can’t…

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need”-Rolling Stones

To have
teeth, white as fresh snow that bedazzles the eye, I want that expensive Sonic toothbrush

To have
the cleanest floor, one a Queen can eat off without plates, I want that Roomba

source

To have
the fittest body, tight in the right places and loose where it ought to be, I want that Equinox membership with a personal trainer

To have
the best frying pan, that distributes heat evenly across its radius, frying food to perfection, I want a Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Shallow Frying pan

To have
the best running shoes, that will propel my body forward, moving faster than any others running with mediocre shoes, I want the Nike Zoomx Vaporfly.   squareSole-Trees-usage-pictures-162.gif

To have
the best piano, whose strings would bring out the highs and lows of classical music, the best of my banging, I want  a Bösendorfer

Well…

I can have all I want in my mind
Because the money to buy the things I want
is not sitting on fluffy golden cushion in my bank account

At times, the want is not what I need.

images

In The Time of Coronavirus…

Resigning after working 3 years at a job I thought I would retire from. Moved up the ladder every year but alas, through internal transitions, resignations and new hires, I hit the glass ceiling of the most uncomfortable kind. The glass is thick and stunts my growth.

My wings are clipped like a bird trying to fly as its’ owner tries to bend self-determination into submission. I would like to blame this on the time of Coronavirus, but no, it was happening long before.images.jpeg

So, I’ll be unemployed like millions right now trying to survive financially in financial uncertainty. My unemployment is of my choosing, for at times it is better to be sane than having anxiety control your life and taking meds to undo the control. Those who are unemployed due to business closures in the time of the Coronavirus had no choice.

It makes me laugh at times how I planned to do some soul (alma) searching after the resignation to find my new path in life but, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. In the time of Coronavirus with isolation and working remote from home, I have plenty of time for alma (soul) searching.    

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Daily routines, like the gym, trotting in Prospect Park, taking long walks with Katie (greyhound) no longer exists. Instead the routines are replaced by unhealthy eating, Doritos, Chardonnay and…BACON!!!

If we make it through this, I will reap the rewards of gaining unwanted pounds of fat. This I will blame on the time of Coronavirus.

As there is always positives in negatives, I picked up my knitting needles, got frustration and picked up my crochet needle. I am reading while eating, watching CNN as if I own stock and breaking up daily cat fights.

As the Game of Thrones, cat style has yet to be resolved. I wonder which of my four cat owners will sit on the throne?

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Is it okay to go just a bit crazy in the time of the Coronavirus?

Home bound in the time of Coronavirus or…Bored.

How Fate looks like.                                                   What Fate looks like to me.Unknown.jpeg

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What Tara-Habby looks like.                         What Tara-Habby truly is.

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What Winnie looks like.                               What Winnie looks like to me.

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Who Big E thinks he is.                                                        Who Big E is.IMG_0918

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Who Katie thinks she is.                                                         Who Katie really is.IMG_2335.jpeg

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How I think my furs see me.                                      How they really see meUnknown-4 12.57.45 PM.jpeg.

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