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Yawning Hope: Ballad Songs for the Healing

Hope doesn’t preclude feeling sadness or frustration or anger or any other emotion that makes total sense. Hope isn’t an emotion…Hope is not optimism. Hope is a discipline… we have to practice it every single day.” -Mariame Kaba

Prompts for Healing

Ø Whom or what inspires you?

Ø What do you value? Why?

Ø Do your actions match your values?

Ø Historically, there have been amazing individual and collective efforts to overcome oppression, and the fight inside dedicated humans have contributed to the greatest victories of underdogs. What current or past movements inspire you?

Ø Life is painful, but glorious. It is said we become like those we hang around and must choose wisely who we want to influence us; we also have power to influence others. What are you fighting for? How do you connect with others to build the movement for morality?

Ø What stories are there to share about your family? Love? Hope? Goals? Values? Struggles? Pride? What are the lessons or values learned in those stories?

Ø What is a special memory you have from childhood that shaped who you are?

Ø What are your top 5 inspirational quotes?

Ø Whose stories inspire you?

Ø What politicians are fighting for what you believe in if not what could you write to them?

Ø What is your mantra? What words or songs motivate you to be your best?

Ode to the Broken Healers

The way you forged your wings

From broken glass hope survival

As if smiles cracked open could every stretch

into happiness the same, you stretched into a high noon

chandelier life giving sun again and again despite the ache, alone in a room full of people just like, not like you at all

Cracked porcelain when you recall the lesson you learned

By sliding your heart across the concrete

Speaking your truth to no one that would listen

Injustices hunting like Jason chasing too closely, battling powerlessness & addiction

This bruised vodka struggle grew your muscle

Caused you to cry out the unholy bar fight that battled deep inside of you, ferocious dreams sang from your scars,

No longer confusing friendship for freedom, or inspiration for love. You didn't need them,

as much as you needed to learn it wasn’t your fault

as much as you needed to learn to love yourself as yourself as much as you needed

to be in control of your body to have your own choices

as much as you needed to learn

you will never ever make peace with the good dying young

you will never make peace with toxic school systems swearing the victims are the issues, hurt passed on much easier than the joys, the biggest revolution believing in a world of doubters, self-love in the midst of the hate:

there is a flower that does not bloom until it is 40 years old,

Proof There is progress

that time cannot whisper.

A sacred song in your blood

that will not forget, honest intentions

prayed over you mixed with energy of hugs redeem themselves into power, even when dirty secrets crash into unforgiving bones, star dust in your stomach double dog daring you: break free, become the art,

a neighbor watched your children so behind husbands back

you could teach yourself to drive, Earn your GED

reading textbooks as lullabies, a job at a little gas station, stacking small amounts of cash between bible verses,

saving up an escape,

no matter how long it would take you knew there was no other way to gift your children, you grew so large the night shrunk, resentment gave you vision,

recycled pain into rejoicing survival, a Healing ballad for the hurting, Took all. those. years.

but you put all the broken pieces back together again,

beautifully. learned to love like a thriving orchard

graciously shared the juice orange

until it dripped over our innocent shamefulness

memories filled with heavy joy

you have taught us to make MOSAICS out of our brokenness

to taste hope backwards first, that what is torn apart

can be placed back together more brilliantly

to be the answers to our own questions

when we watched you fly, we lifted our chins, for the first time, we felt worthy, because

when you saved yourself,

you saved us too


A poem with a sunrise over water: immaculate dream, endless light
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