If Dominican Were a Color...

If Dominican Were a Color... ...It would be the sunset in the sky blazing red and burning bright ...The shade of cinnamon in your cocoa, skin so soft it drives you loco

...My grandma's eyes honey brown with mahogany skin ...My other grandma's yellow tint like mine has been

If Dominican were a color... ...It would be the shades of blue in the sunrise's hue ...The Haitian black on my Dominican back

...The deep green tints that carry the palm tree shades, the memories in your head that never fade ...The neutral browns that color our lips, the cafe con leche that everyone sips

...It's the color of merengue hips swaying when I walk, the "no you didn't" head and hands moving when I talk ...It's the way my words shape in my mouth it's the color they might not know in the south

...It's the curls and kinks that blend my hair it's the straightness of my glare ...The one that's mixed and blended and shaped, partly out of love and partly out of rape

Dominican_Flag_Painting

...The color of the ocean in the night, with the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight ...It's the color of the slaves that no one sees, who built the country but got no keys

...It's lovemaking on the beach it's the student learning how to teach ...It's movement, passion, tenderness and glee, it's all those things that make me, me.

...You'll have to watch my every move and check out my sensual groove ...The way I kiss the way love, the way I fight and all the above.

...It would redefine the palette that we know, and it would surely put on a hell of a show ...I can't do it justice, I just can't compare you'll just have to notice, but make sure you don't stare.

...It could be you, it could be me you never know, just wait and see ...Just never ask what it is that I am, if you don't wanna give a damn

© 2003

Today is Dominican Independence Day and while I am a proud American, there's always a certain level of excitement around this day. Is it the yummy food I'm smelling? Or perhaps all of the great songs my friends share on social media that take me back to my childhood. Regardless, I wrote this 11 years ago that still rings true.

An Ode to More

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[box type="shadow" align="aligncenter" ]Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.[/box] During this holiday season I find myself wanting more, y'all. Don't get me wrong. I am incredibly and ridiculously BLESSED with all I have and all I receive. But inevitably, as I stretch myself thin, I find myself thinking of what I'd do if I had 25% more of ____. That blank could be so much.

I think the number one thing I think people would want (forgive me for speaking on your behalf) is time. With tight schedules and calendars full of meetings, I think we would all like 25% more time. I'm going to straight up fantasize and think that perhaps I would rest if I had 25% more hours in the day.

The next thing I think people would want would be 25% more money. Oh yeah! Paying off that school loan, that big screen for the family room, gadgets galore and Lawd knows what else would be on the slate.  Actually, if I had 25% more money I'd probably get a massage. I was promised a spa day in May and have yet to receive one so, I think a 90 minute massage (with a 25% increase) would be one of the most beautiful gifts evah!

But, as I think about it and ponder, I felt a little poetry growing from my words. So without further ado, I give you:

An Ode to More...

What would you do if you had more? What would you like to get? During this season of constant rush What would not make you fret?

Would you adore a simple break And skip the laundry duties Perhaps no dinner would you cook Or maybe wipe no booties?

Would a higher grade make the mark On your list for a bit more? Or a little more TV time? to catch up on zombie gore?

Would time be good to satisfy? Or would money work out best? Perhaps an increase in dessert? Or an A on that last test?

Lastly I wonder about the drinks 25% more rum? Or just a bit more Cottonelle to clean your little bum?

Cottonelle

I don't know about you but I am expecting about 35 people for Christmas Eve dinner and I know that I will be equipping all bathrooms with Cottonelle. Why, you ask? Who wants to be changing toilet paper rolls in the middle of a dance-a-thon? Not me! This is where that whole "25% more sheet per roll" comes in handy!

Cottonelle_PinterestAnd as if giving you the gift of 25% more for the holidays isn't enough, well, how about a little Pinteresting giveaway? You can enter from now until December 20. Every. Single. Day. I do not lie, go check it out and see for yourself.

"Sili, what's in it for me?", you might be asking. Oh not much. Just a little $100 AMEX gift card that you can use to buy me that massage I need. Or whatever. You have a chance to win daily, people. What would you get with an extra Benjamin in your gift card repertoire?

Winners will be announced daily on the SITSGirls Facebook page.

So...what would you do and what would you pick to get 25% more of?

Tracking PixelDisclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.

Polls

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Every once in a blue moon I run across talent that makes me want to stand up and say Amen! This past Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Community Service Awards that Ivy Tea Rose and Nu Iota Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated put on. I had heard of this poetess named Shelby but hadn’t had a chance to meet her yet. She was the recipient of one of the scholarships that the chapter supports. To say she was dynamic is an understatement. To say that she reminded me of a 17-year old in college writing poetry by the lake would not be untrue. Poetry is my first love. Poetry is the way I expressed myself for so long. It makes my heart feel good when I see young people expressing themselves so passionately with prose. This post serves 2 purposes: 1. I wanted to share this powerful young voice with you and 2. if you were thinking about not voting or know someone who was thinking about not voting and needed a little push, this is it. Enjoy!

Shelby is  a college freshman at the University of Central Florida. She is a spoken word artist and definitely someone that I firmly believe will grow in talent, spirit and recognition.

Shelby is a college freshman at the University of Central Florida studying Advertising and public relations. A native from Orlando, she started my poetic journey at the age of 14, and have been nonstop ever since. Through spoken word poetry, she has traveled to Oakland, California, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Kansas City, and Atlanta. She gives thanks to her poetry coaches Blu Bailey, founder of Milestone projects and Spoken word Press, and Wally B. Jennings founder of Heard Em' Say. Shelby is also a part of the youth poetry group Team Rock-it, with whom she's performed, slammed, and traveled with. She says:

"I am very grateful for this gift that God has bestowed upon me and I know to never take this for granted. Without poetry, there is no me.

Currently I am promoting a talent showcase organized by the National Association Of Black Journalists at UCF (NABJ). I am apart of the planning committee and it would be greatly appreciated if you could help put out the word. The event is called "Shades of Art" showcasing minority talent by UCF students. It is November 16, 2012 at 7pm in the Libra Housing area on campus. We will be featuring singing, dancing, and of course spoken word poetry lol. I encourage you to come out and support...and its FREE!"

Don’t forget, there’s a lot riding on this election. Get out and vote! If you are in Florida and still have questions about amendments, go here for an explanation. See you at the polls on Tuesday!

Past posts about voting: Swing State Video by CafeMoms Studio Mami the Vote We Decide Etiquette and the Election Last Day to Register

To read some of my poetry, you can pick up my book...

Girlchild Volume III

I sit next to you and still rock you to sleep.  Knowing one day you will tell me you don't want me to do that anymore.  But for now, I cherish the moment.  I cherish all the moments.  The sweet scent of your breath when you lay your head on the pillow next to mine and gently rub noses with me.  Or when you throw your little arm around my neck while professing your love for me. Girlchild, you are growing up too fast.  As you do, I treasure those fleeting moments when you want "up" just so that you can wrap yourself around me and put your head on my shoulder.  I try to tuck away into my minds' eye the times you tell me that I am your best friend.  Or the moments before you fall asleep when it becomes imperative that we hold hands and you quietly chant "mama, mami, mama" until you lull yourself to sleep.

I am distinctly aware of how big you are getting by the lasts that I can't recall or the recollection of firsts.  The hiccups while in my womb.  The way you'd sway and move at the sound of Mozart's strings.  Your chubby fingers turning board book pages at 4 months.  Your little body fitting comfortably onto my chest while we both slept.

My girlchild.  The one that takes my breath away.  The one that somehow draws a little more love out of my heart each and every day when I thought I'd already given my all.

Tomorrow will be your first day of school.  When I asked you if you were sure you wanted to go you told me "yes, yes, yes!" in no uncertain terms.  And then you patted me on my back and told me "I'm gonna be ok".  Do you know what those words even mean little one?

Thank you for bringing me to tears once more and for expanding my heart with each one of your soul expressions.  Thank you for quoting Bob Marley to me after asking me for a big hug "It's gonna be alright".

Sweet girlchild.  Sweet love.  Sweetest daughter of all.

Girlchild Volume I and Girlchild Volume II can be found in my old poetry blog. I promise I'll start bringing these to the 'hood over the summer break.

This Is Who I Am Volume VIII

Last night I was in my bed listening to some music with the mamiPad propped on my stomach. It didn't lie flat and I wondered why. When I looked further down to where the tablet met my tummy I noticed a puff that wasn't there before and I thought "well, damn".  But it made me smile and as I did, these words flowed out...

I look down and see softness where there was once the firmness of youth and the promise of what I have already birthed. I can't help but smile. This is who I am.

Theres a weight to my breasts that only nourishment can bring. Long past are the days when they are merely thought of as a predetermined symbol of what I have already done. Because, this is who I am.

Though I can't say my body is scarred and beaten by the miracle of bringing forth a life,  it has certainly softened me in places I didn't think it would. I'm okay with that. After all, this is who I am.

On nights like this, I can sit back and think of the long nights of the weekend when I was dressed to a tee and was given the attention and accolades that I could certainly command. Now? I can tell you about the hugs I received, the kisses I demanded. Though I could dance in 5 inch heels, the best way to go about it is barefoot with little feet following your lead.

Don't get me wrong, I sometimes miss the days when I'd hang with the pretty people that thought themselves someone because of the way they looked. Now I hang with the beautiful people who know they are. Simply. Are. And that is so much deeper.

My back hurts from picking up a toddler though with every pound my weight is lifted. My body has lost some of its appeal though I am perfect in what she needs. I may have sleepless nights but in the morning, when I look in the mirror all I can do is smile. At the beauty that I cannot find in magazines. At the twinkle that cannot be captured on film.

Because I am perfect. I am whole. I am true. Can you say the same about you?

 

I think it's interesting that I never think about the Blogger site that I set up so long ago. I always think of this as my first blog but, it really isn't.  The rest of the volumes of this series can be found there. I'm thinking about bringing them over and will probably do that in the coming months.  Here is Between the Shades.

I Write A Poem

I write a poem and it's for you. It speaks of the love that you gaveOf the power of words and the lives it can save

I write a poem and the words are true I write a poem and it's all for you

A poem of sorrow of weight and refrain A poem of hunger and how joy can sustain

I write a poem of love, of a poem that's true A poem of loss, a poem of you

Did you know I could write a poem? Did you know I can play with a verse? I can mold words like play doh. Throw them around like a curse

I can make you feel joy in your heart I can get in your mind and tear you apart

My words have the power to make you smile Or carry the weight of your actions a mile

They can remind you of a time way back when Or send you off to the future and hope for the "then"

I can give you chills that you've never known Make you sow the seeds that you've never sown

I can bring ideas to the top of your head Make you think they're your own when they're mine instead

I write a poem and all these words are true I bet you think this poem's about you

© 2012

(did you know that I'm a poet at heart? I started writing in elementary school.  Have a little trophy somewhere to prove it too.  Want to read more? You should check out my bookstore and look for A Poem In His Name under adult books. Read it and tell me what you think. Ok?)