Thursday, May 15, 2014

America Murdered

I know I've been MIA here for quite a while. Actually, the writer has been MIA period. I feel a twinge now and then, but nothing serious until a few weeks ago when I was truly inspired.

I have the honor of facilitating writing workshops with some phenomenal people in Chicago - the Writers of the Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT). We just finished a partnership with Chicago Public Library's One Book One Chicago based on their 2013-14 selection "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson. If you haven't read this, you should. It's not only educational, which is very important any time, but particularly, in these times, it's also entertaining.

In my two workshops, we created word-wheels from the word "migration" as a prompt exercise, then I created wordles from the word-wheels. Another exercise was to then pull words and phrases from these word-wheels to create a piece of work. This is where the inspiration came in for me. Below is what I gleamed from their thoughts and words. Stay tuned for their complete works in the next issue of JOT.

America Murdered

This pen writes words from anothers’ life,
from a home-story about a group dream.
Where women left the comfort of a mother-corner,
the sharing of recipes and food,
child-rearing, and white-one fearing.
Left to where black thought behind black eyes
wasn’t a crime, to where blacks could age
without being white-owned, somehow.

The group dream became one of father-building
window-children, peering and peeking.
And, when mother called, they found America murdered,
when all they ever really wanted was a just home.