Click the following link to read my short story on ReadWave.com!
Click the following link to read my short story on ReadWave.com!
My adaptation of Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress:
300 Words To Her Coy Master
Yet it lingers, both space and time
this demure, Sir, lost in mine,
as us some how some way today
we’ll watch the hours wash away.
Aside the banks of the Thames,
euros, pounds, dollars; I condemn
only space and our vast distance.
Indulge in a force so intense.
Vexing the mind on salvation,
we alone could spark creation.
Sentiments in me shall breed,
reactions that your nation needs.
I’ll count the days, the time it takes,
your smile, and deep dimple caves.
The length of you I long to love,
although that love I’m not sure of.
An era on each precious part
and the last age shall show your heart.
Hey love our time is running low.
We cannot afford to wait. Whoa,
my breath goes when I see that face.
Strong senses I wish not erased.
Neither of us can escape time
eternity, not yours or mine.
Your adorn flesh must melt away,
fertilizing lilies one day.
Then these words birds will chirp and sing,
reminding, where you lay love rings.
When your quaint honor turns to dust,
blowing in the wind all this lust.
The final rest a private place,
will mean for us love is too late.
Now, so I say, since we are here,
from this verse may that smile appear.
Can I find my hand inside yours?
Can we pine lust from every pore?
Let us, be us whilst we still can!
Five cooling blades. Your biggest fan.
Time is running low, now let’s go!
Eyes wide shut, love knows where to go.
Submission is all that’s missing.
Wasting time we could be kissing.
They say don’t save you, it’s your strife,
but in my dreams I am your wife.
Thus, we cannot stop this our world
stand still, what is real will unfurl.
By Ms. Jheri
Stillness was the move.
Rejecting the rage inside,
in my mind I knew it was time.
We arrived in a Rolls-Royce.
The driver turned around, “Here we are.”
“Now?” I inquired completely aware of the answer.
Wrist wrapped around my father’s arm,
I walked slower than we had rehearsed.
Forever is a mighty long time.
I refuse to hurry to the hurse.
The bugbear ogled as I arrived at the alter.
Dial R for regret.
It wasn’t a wedding it was a celebration of us.
I wonder if I’d be happy without it?
So dangerous yet lucrative.
I doubt it. Pounds and Euros.
Now I’m Nemo.
The pounding in my chest left me vexed.
Not knowing what’s next, I whispered “ok.”
“Ok?” he laughed it off.
Wiping sweat from his brow,
glancing quickly at the crowd.
Life’s a test.
I thought it would have rained.
It always rains in Streatham.
Roses blooming out of the concrete.
Urban beauty at it’s best.
What if I run out of this church right now?
They’re gonna talk about me anyways.
No. I’ll stay and we can make a hell of our own.
Love. Love. Love. Love.
Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice.
He spoke with confidence, “I do.”
I exhaled, “I guess I do too.”
He laughed knowing I wasn’t joking.
I arrived at the fork,
and I followed the wishes of my family.
I wish I could rewind time,
to the me time,
in the meantime.
This is where we are.
Naira and Dollars.
Ashamed of his shadow, yet he counts his followers.
He doesn’t share is thoughts.
He’s afraid I will talk shit.
He should accept the inevitable.
Could I love him?
Flowers, chocolates, and diamonds decorate the tables.
I’m just not sure.
I’m sure it’s my fault.
I shoulda, woulda, coulda, said no.
It may not be beautiful but it will suffice.
it’s not what I dreamed of,
but it’s alright.
This is honesty.
My best attainable version of the truth.
Maybe we’ll get there.
I may suffer.
But, if I’m to suffer I will do so magnificently,
Don’t be fooled.
Love versus money,
it’s time to pretend.
There where the happy people go.
Sitting on islands in the sun.
Drinking, laughing, smoking, joking.
Some shit is funny because it’s smart.
So here we are, so close yet so far.
Our first dance as, as us.
His arm around my waist.
His hand swallowing mine.
We dance to the Love Ballad.
“What we have is much more than they can see.”
He whispers the words in my ear.
Swinging my gown in circles.
The eyes of everyone we know upon us.
For the first time I felt butterflies.
He winked, grinned,
and dipped me as I shut my eyes.
Drenched in tears and fears,
wondering why I’m here,
my body began to shift gears.
No destination in mind,
I floated away from matrimony.
Fear like a feather floated on with the wind.
Unsure of where I wanted to be,
ready to free my ring finger,
I opened my eyes.
In the thunder and rain,
we sat outside the train station.
He stroked his guitar and I was jealous.
I observed and admired.
I am his biggest fan.
His only real fan.
Souls touch from time to time.
His sat astride mine,
and I held him there.
The smell of garbage and urine.
The dog that rested to his right.
None matter tonight.
I asked a stranger for change.
He looked me in my dirt filled face,
“We have to accept things the way they are.”
Here we are,
in the thunder and rain.
A homeless love so passionate yet slightly insane.
The rain smelled so fresh,
compared to the dumpster we rested against.
He sang to me and the passersby.
“I don’t worry what my people say in my life today.
Although they try to say your not the one for me,
I love you anyway.”
A child tossed a dollar into the hat.
It grew soggy in the rain.
I reached for it.
He grabbed my wrist,
giving it a twist.
The silence of the guitar was deafening.
Nettled he stared at me.
‘I was just…’
He cut me off ‘-I, handle our money.’
He released my wrist.
As I sat steeping frustrated in the stillness
he picked up where he left off,
“Cause their intentions might be cool,
if what they say was true.
But there’s more to you than they can ever see,
and they don’t even know you.”
I woke blinded by the skylight.
Ravishing at night,
yet ablaze in the morning.
Bearing in mind, never get too comfortable.
My sleep frozen face melted as I awoke exhausted,
wrapped in silk, lace, and egyptian cotton.
The day arrived,
although it never really was.
Four arms and four legs kettled by sheets and sweat.
‘Do you trust me?’
Smiling at his noncore question.
I wink and whisper ‘It’ll always be this way.’
Such a magnificent face puts me at ease.
Moment to moment,
more enchanted by the sound of his voice.
His hand swallowed mine,
as he led me out of the cabana.
Trees waved hello to us.
Giggling and whispering.
Tropical birds chirped mystical songs,
they know it too.
Supplying the soundtrack to our emotions.
He stood by the beach.
I watched the sunset over his shoulder.
My feelings deeper than
the silky black sand on the shore.
Mister glisters. Love has arrived.
I’ve waited to dream this dream.
Excitement erupted into anticipation.
I try not blink as he informs me,
‘I’ve been thinkin bout you’
‘Me?’ I question.
Private fantasies of my mine.
Running through my mind.
Simple words are the most intricate.
‘Wanna get in?’ He smiles.
Making me crazy.
A gust of wind blows black sand into my eyes.
I put my hand up in defense of my vision.
He releases the other to roam the world alone.
NO! NO! NO!
Is that it?
Balancing between a dream and a nightmare
I snatch a scrap of reality.
With a Jackie O grip
I grasp the memory of the moments we shared.
I fought my fears attempting to wake up!
To rise! To come alive!
To live! To be!
All efforts to no avail.
All that I’ve loved and feared is near.
Alone in the shade of brown eyelids,
I feel hopelessly for his presence.
I wade forward into the water.
Cool water reassures me I’m real.
I instinctively dismiss my resentment,
in hopes of a brighter dream.
Rejecting the notion of a nightmare.
Bullied by waves,
The sound of the sea calms me.
Sparring the urge to wake,
I float on.
For what feels like eternities.
With the will of all lovers
across the world I prayed.
Man can’t pause prayer.
In desperate need of nutrients and affection,
with no where else to float to,
I forced my eyes open.
Rendered sightless by the sun,
dry heat held me like a hoodie.
Sounds of water replaced by hot wind.
I shield my view finders again.
A familiar sweaty stranger stepped into my light.
He reeked of beer and cigarettes.
Instinctively I pull glasses from my front pocket,
assured and surprised at their presence.
Sense of sight is mine again.
He looks lonely.
Hissing, ‘where’s the food?’
I wipe my hands on my apron and get to work.
Chopping, cutting, stirring.
Stirring. Stirring. Stirring.
Plating the meal I spot him out the window.
Tinkering with a model T,
I reminisce on the serenity
of my dream deferred.
I wrestle a tear back into it’s duck.
He’s back. He’s hungry.
I sit at the table and wait.
He grabs his plate and heads to the couch.
‘Bitch I told you no onions!’
I close my eyes as he turns up the radio.
Day graduates into a quiet country night.
Snakes and cicadas shake relentlessly.
My mind meanders to escape reality.
With nothing left to lose I inquire,
‘Why are you so fucking mean?’
The silence is deafening.
Interrupted by the back of his cold hard hand
greeting my cheek and eye like old friends.
My heart and spirit sunk.
As if they never knew,
or were never aware of anything special.
I wonder if love ever lived in his house?
I wipe my sweaty hands on the dirty apron.
Shaking my head at the emotionally bankrupt man,
so cold he wouldn’t weep at his own wedding.
Knowing love makes it’s absence substantial.
A dream and nightmare differ only by,
the amount of effort put forth to wake the F up.
I’m not Michael Jackson but …. This is it for my graduate school program! In the foreseeable future you will be able to read about my adventures in London in the sequel to ‘M.E.E.T. me for Cheese and Chocolate’ – ‘M.E.E.T. me for Graduate School.’
This new page I have turned is a poetic one. I hope you enjoy.
But remember to pack light!
Graduate school. On this day a year ago I flew from San Francisco to London prepared to start a new chapter of my story. Not even 36 hours later I was back on an airplane flying to DC then Raleigh because of errors with my visa. I was so upset with myself for not preparing properly. I paid for my mistake, literally. The expedited visa was much more expensive. A week later after my going away party part two my line sisters and uncle dropped me at RDU airport.
I arrived in London ten hours before my first lecture at Kingston University. The University buses weren’t running that day so I walked the Thames River with my suitcases to my hall. At that time I was living in a shoe box! THAT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION. My room was 13 feet by 8 feet with a porter potty size bathroom. The only saving grace in my living situation were my amazing flatmates and the other residents of Seething Wells. Halls truly became home because of the people; maintenance men included, security guards excluded.
After my first lecture I looked in the mirror for a while wondering what in the hell I had got myself into. It quickly occurred to me that the time to be worried and overwhelmed had come and gone. That was the time I lost flying back and forth across the Atlantic. It was time to keep on keepin’ on. I started to read ahead of the material on the course outline so I could figure out what my lectures were talking about. This helped a lot because I wasn’t extremely familiar with the British literature they kept referencing. Shakespeare, George Orwell, Jane Austen yes. But Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter not so much.
My schedule was flexible, so while all this reading was taking place I was also exploring the United Kingdom. I visited Wales and more midland areas of the country. These adventures allowed me to meet some amazing people. I met Ese during a trip to Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s House and Oxford. We had just met but it felt like we were old friends almost instantly. Before she finished her course and left for Nigeria she gave me a wool coat which changed my winter for the better. Sometimes you need sunscreen, however, it gets cold out here.
So as the first term came to a close I was reading significantly faster, learning my way around the London Underground, and building a network of British and international connections. I applied for a little job at the Olympics. I was hopeful but I didn’t want to get too excited since another Olympic job had fell through. December 4th I ventured to The Netherlands for a birthday celebration with my dear flatmate. That’s all I’ll say about that 🙂
I went home for Christmas and my Great Granny’s 90th birthday to relax and recoup. January 2012 I came back to London a little bit early to wrap up the fall term assignments. Around that time I also went on an interview for the Olympic job. I was interviewed by the nicest lady in the world. She’s one of those people with a comforting smile, somebodies Momma for sure. I went back to my cell, I mean room and prayed about that job because she made it sound awesome and I liked her already.
Time marched on and the semester began. One teacher made me cry on the first day of class. His play ‘Lungs’ closes with a scene that lapses a lifetime and the word choice was so tasteful and entangled in the realities of life that I was truly moved. He saw me crying and looked at me like I was crazy. The more of his work I read the more I looked forward to every class session. The other lecturer I was assigned had an entirely different effect on me. She scared the hell outta me. People were warning me about her which made me that much more anxious to meet her. I read a couple of her books and fell in love with her use of imagery. All these metaphors! She was for sure a rapper in a previous life. We connected over a sonnet about green. She kept encouraging me to write poetry which I felt was a waste of time. But the more I was forced to read my work out loud the more comfortable I became with my own voice. I was a closet poet but now I’M COMING OUT!
In efforts to be as authentic as possible I should also mention the dating scene. I like to eat. So I pretty much went out with everyone that asked me. Africans, Asians, Europeans, Caribbeans, even an American. I’m still single, but I am grateful for all the free meals! I’ve concluded that I would like a man with morals and principles similar to mine. Different cultures have different expectations when it comes to picking a mate to spend time with. To put it plain, some of these fools were trippin. I really feel that a guy from my area would come with less language and cultural barriers. This part of the story is still being sorted out… but I’m hopeful 🙂
The semester marched on and I became more active in the Kingston Writing School. I made friends in my course that continue to encourage me to write whatever the hell I want because they admire my voice regardless of the genre. Respect from my peers is priceless to me because it wasn’t always this way. In so many learning environments that I’ve been in people try to break you down to build themselves up, these people are called ‘haters.’ Here everyone is so different, they care way less about what the next person is doing. Maybe it’s a big city thing? I believe we value each others voices more here because of the diversity. London like Switzerland where I studied previously, is a melting pot. Being the only Black girl was finally to my benefit!
Of course haters do exist here, there were issues. I remember one lecture when a British guy asked me how I felt about being called, ‘Negro.’ I had to tell him, I wish you would call me a ‘Negro’ it’ll be the last time you call someone a ‘Negro’ it’s not 1936! I also came close to getting hit by a bus one day so I had to give the bus driver a piece of my mind. However, no need to focus on the negative.
I moved on! I left the halls for a beautiful home with a wonderful expat family. I got the job at the Olympics and my life changed for the better. My eyes were opened to the corporate world. I worked with people that made coming to work an adventure. Everyday was something different, I learned SO MUCH! I met people I had only seen on television and I was able to watch athletes with amazing bodies parade past me. I even met a few, Jordan Burroughs was by far the hottest guy at the Olympic games. I wanted to be his uniform.
Loads of friends and family came visit this year! My cousin Raashan Ahmad’s performances around London town inspired me to keep at my writing dreams. If a rapper from The Bay can sell records in France I can sell books in Sri Lanka! It was refreshing to see familiar faces and to be fed 🙂
I guess all this refection came about because I’ve finally finished my dissertation! 19,329 words later I have penned my first full length screenplay. I’m so damn proud of what I wrote.
I don’t care about the grade.
I don’t care if you like it.
I wrote it!
I did it.
I wasn’t sure that I could but I did! This is what I’ve made out of what I was given and today I’m proud of me 🙂
Hello family. I haven’t been around in a while but absence makes the heart grow fonder …. or is it distance? Regardless, I’ve been strictly about my business lately and I found a place to live! I will be moving to South London next month. Zone 1 so I am working my way into Central London.
The realization that this was the last week of classes towards my Master’s degree -CRAZY! It is crunch time around here. This week I completed the lecture portion of my program and numerous rough drafts. I’ve been on a party break since I left my last lecture Thursday afternoon. Tomorrow is Monday so I’ll be back on the grind. I have two assignments to turn in the last week of May. One is a portfolio the other a radio play that is too hot for TV!
Drake said it best, ‘I’m looking forward to the memories of right now.’ I’m loving the diversity of my friends here. We get into mass amounts of randomness no two days are the same on this island. London really is an inspirational place.
As my cursor blinks on the page I try to think of things to share with you all. I feel like towards the beginning when everything was new to me I had more to say. But now that UK life is regular I’m not sure what things to highlight or to elaborate on. To add insult to injury, usually when the words don’t come I supply you all with pictures but my camera isn’t working. Its all bad for us blog family but we can’t give up.
I’m reading in Kingston Uni’s Awards and Achievement show this Wednesday so hopefully I can post that video for you at some point in the near future.
There is also an elephant in the room that I need to address. Well … we have discussed my summer job interning at the 2012 Olympics! Yes, yes exciting but … I’ve been informed by the legal department of the company that I am not allowed to blog about my experience. Frown. Whatever shall we do?! I was sooo looking forward to telling you all the happenings of the International Broadcasting Centre in Olympic park but it looks like that can’t happen. I suppose I could talk to you about the games in general but if you know me you know I deal in specifics. I don’t know … we’ll see what happens.
Anyways, I’m counting down the days left in the dorm, Boris Johnson was re-elected as London’s Mayor, and the new Bob Marley documentary was amazing. My world in a nutshell.
Don’t worry … I’ll be back ….
Everything happens for a reason and things are happening over here.
First of all it can’t begin this post without mentioning my friend Ese. I met her on my trip to Warwick Castle and Shakespeare’s House (post fifteen). She is the reason for my warmth. Fortunately she graduated recently, but unfortunately she went back home to Nigeria this week. Since there is no need for a coat in Nigeria she left me a 70% wool coat and I’ve been ridiculously warm ever since!!! I appreciate her because I’m warm and toasty, she gave me some great advice, and sunscreen 🙂
I under estimated how I was going to feel coming back here after the holidays. Life truly peaked over the period of time when I left London returning to California (as you witnessed from some of the pictures I posted: parties, wine tastings, I was living good!). But between Ese and Aunt Toni I’m back and ready for whatever this semester brings.
I was literally living large on the West Coast. Life was at an all time high over the holidays. I left my 9 x 7 foot room in Kingston to a full bedroom and bathroom in my cousin’s house. My own room… my own room next to the kitchen! That was such a good look. But I was grinding while I was kickin it. Working towards my master plan. Hopefully yours is progressing as well. I gained a few necessary tools for my plan and participated in several other forms of nonsense. I miss home a little bit I can’t even lie. But I’m glad to be back here in London.
Tomorrow I’m turning in my final essay so I’m about to cut loose real quick 🙂 My plan is to shake a tail feather and/or act a fool. I’m overdue for a good time. It feels good to have my life back even if its temporary, classes start back on the 31st of this month so I have to do all I can do in a matter of a week and a half.
In other news, I found the british version of Kool-Aid and let me tell you .. there is NO competition. This sugary juice that you add water to can’t hold a candle to the good ol red Kool-Aid man, yea I said it!!! I’ve come to another conclusion that my British mates may or may not understand. I’ve decided I don’t like their fish and chips. Wait, let me explain. Chips are great my beef is not with the potato. My beef is with the batter that the fish is dipped in before it is fried. I am accustomed to breading on my fish not batter, and quite franking … I just don’t like it. EXHALE. I’m glad to get that off my chest.
Other than that I’m chillin. Today I finalized my birthday arrangements. I can’t really get into it, all I can tell you all is ITS ABOUT TO GO DOWN!
Stay tuned ….
Greetings World! I’ve been in London over a month now. I’m picking up the lingo and learning my way around. Everyday is still an adventure but I’m becoming more and more familiar. Honestly me experience is getting better by the day.
There a a few places where no adjustment was necessary. Some I was surprised to see … others I was not. Take a look:
Of course McDonald’s is present on every corner, unfortunately most aren’t 24-hours. I haven’t ran into a WalMart yet but I’m sure it is only a matter of time. ADT Securities are present here also T.G.I.Fridays! I’ll keep you updated on the familiar names.
Exhale. My new Life in London.
This week was pretty strenuous but I’m willing to admit I brought it on myself. But … It was well worth it! I took the 45 minute journey to Central London three times this week and it’s Saturday night so I’m getting ready to make the move again!
Tuesday the initial plan was to go to a museum in London with a group of friends…. but literally everyone canceled on me (while I was waiting for them on campus) so I made my decision to go regardless. It can be so discouraging doing things in groups. Group projects, group outings, things always become suspect when you have to depend on other people. For this reason I’ve come to a personal conclusion: Im not waiting for anyone else to do the things I want to do. I may never live in London again, I’m not going to look back and say “I wish I …” or “I should have…” I refuse! Jay-Z said, “Only one who can stop me is me” and I really feel that way. I recommend you make the same decision for yourself in your life because if you wait on others you get less done.
I ended up at an art exhibit titled ‘Art By Offenders’ which showcased art by prisoners and people in the United Kingdom’s mental institutions. I came to the conclusion that caged creativity is intensified. I found the art to be extremely intricate and at times depressingly dramatic. These artists have a lot of time to apply to their crafts.
So after visiting ‘Art By Offenders’ I made my way to Ten Critical Challenges for writers class, its week five. This week we focused on intertextuality. This fancy word is pretty much used to discuss the influential factors inside any text. Picture it like this, if we were talking about music it would be song remakes or samples. Get it? The influences of the outside world on a work. In my module we have come to the collective conclusion that everything comes from something else. I’m pretty sure you will agree, so the study of these influences in literature we call intertextuality. These influences can come from pretty much anything religious texts, poems, laws, what ever it is that influences you. I think I’ll give you a sample in my next post. Enjoy your day, I’ll be back soon. I will leave you with this song… PEACE! Raashan Ahmad