Category: struggle

Love Loan | Returning the Favor

If I borrow you my love
will you return it
battered and bruised
tormented and used
or will you cherish it?

drawing of meLoving me like
we’ve been
for ages
when it’s really only been moments
in each others thoughts

If I allow you to let me come in and sit for a while
just enough to make you smile
will you let me leave

or will this
innocent effort of kindness
passion and mindlessness
be too much to let go
once you know

I know of the pain you speak
and I too feel the void you wish to seek
though I’ve not yet found it myself
the hope of it haunts me

my realities have become fairy tails
and my daydreams my reality
I create heroes and halos from recycled matter
than have no home

this gives me solace
when I can’t find my way
helping others throughout their day
allows me purpose in a world of my own
where even the youngest appears full grown

a pleasant Distraction
yearning for satisfaction
not my own
I feed myself
by fulfilling your hunger

If I borrow you my love
will you return it
feeling that you owe me
with interest?
You’ve already paid

It’s actually me that’s returning the favor

© DaraMonifah

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A Tale of Two Perspectives: Economic Growth through Environmental Development

Internet use and multi-media documentation has facilitated community education in the recent movement to “Save Mandahl Bay” on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. While opposing stories and letters have been shared in the local online and print newspapers, Mrs. Anna Wallace-Francis of Camp Umoja and Friends of Mandahl Bay are actively strategizing towards preserving the natural environment on St. Thomas.

Anna Wallace-Francis and First Lady CECILLE DEJONGH

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area. Photo ©SankofaSaturdays

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Camp Umoja Welcome Wall

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area.

Camp Umoja’s Mandahl Bay area tours, similar to one held on Dec 13, 2014 with the Hotel Association and St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce including the First Lady Cecille deJongh, also help to educate the community on concerns of those in favor or opposed to transforming the Mandahl Salt Pond area to build a new “300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel,” according to a VI Daily News story.

If developers are eventually successful with building, a concern is that too often, local people are not qualified to make more than substantial salaries. “If we don’t have the skills or bonds to build a marina, then those jobs wouldn’t come to us. Those jobs would probably go to people flown in from Puerto Rico or elsewhere and the remaining service-oriented jobs would offer low wages, which still leaves Virgin Islands people needing to work two jobs,” shared Wallace-Francis.

Knowing locals who, with support, could start their own eco-tourism, agri-tourism and culture-tourism businesses almost immediately, Wallace-Francis shared that she felt entrepreneurship instead is in the best interest of helping the community.

Wallace-Francis provides eco-tours as well as kayaking, snorkeling and other environmental or educational activities. Local youth programs including student interns from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University’s collaborations have already benefitted from workshops on the campground’s location. She also envisions the ability to add horseback riding, sustainable cottage industries as well as cultural productions, performances, along with more educational marine-life and sustainable agriculture workshops.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Port of Mandahl Project New Jobs List

Proposed New Jobs with the Port of Mandahl Proj

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Photo/Video Footage Collage from the Tour on Dec 13, 2014

V.I. Seeking Solutions in Solidarity with Ferguson

handsup

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves: Reflecting on Michael Brown. Photo by Jalani Horton

Daily News Story on the Gathering

Virgin Islands Daily News Story on the Gathering in Case you Missed it…

On a day like today all I care to do is write
The sound of my own voice instigates a useless internal fight
Why does it surprise us when we know where we are
We should’ve already had a plan before the distraction got this far

Now we’re falling right into the senseless master plan
They don’t have to see your cards if you’re always showing them your hand
Is it really that impossible to think outside the box?
The strategy should be easier to see, we’re the ones that made the locks

But just because we did it’s the end of the discussion
We also make the keys so why we accepting this concussion
Wake up my people, it’s not time to act off of emotion
Let’s use this as a reminder, to ourselves we need devotion

It’s not that I don’t care or don’t see the reason to speak out
Sometimes when the noise is so loud, I’d just rather listen than shout

I’ve learned through our confusion; in the silence comes the solution

Get to the core, constant contact now needed even more
ReBuild. We are the resounding resolution

©DaraMonifah

Giving ThAnkhs for siStarQueens like Dena & Jahweh for bringing the V.I. solidarity gathering to life for the sake of our listening, learning, healing and re-building.

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves | Their Lives Matter; Our Lives Count! Headed down to Brewer’s Beach #Solidarity #BrownFriday#blackfridayblackout #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonDecision #KWANZAA365Sankofa Saturdays Unsung Sheroes VI

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#UnitedWeStandVI Young Media Personalities use New Media Approaches to Inform, Educate and Mobilize without Concern for Intentional Government Interference

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Petition circulating through the efforts of V.I. community activists to, “Prohibit the billing of customers/consumers for streetlights.”

Though various countries around the globe have had incidents of temporary shutdown of the internet and or mobile technology to prevent protests, young media people in the Virgin Islands doubt the effectiveness of such an effort in the V.I. As a matter of fact, they strongly doubt that many in the V.I. would even be willing to demonstrate in public about pressing matters and that many in the community would think that losing power temporarily wasn’t anything strange. Still a few concerned citizens have banned together to tackle a common goal even in the midst of doubt of success and frustration due to lack of total unification by the people most affected.

“Here we’re used to power fluctuations, WAPA not working, phones aren’t working but normally they’re attributed to something that’s not political. I don’t think that people are as active politically as they should be, but they are using the internet and Facebook,” shared April Rose Fale Knight, local television news reporter for CBS TV2.

The latest petition circulating through the efforts of community activists is a petition to the Obama Administration to, “Prohibit the billing of customers/consumers for streetlights.” https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prohibit-billing-customers-consumers-streetlights/zbnfSd1m

According to media reports in 2011, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) removed power to underground cell phone towers at four stations to disrupt a protest and may be the first government agency in the United States to shutter mobile-internet and phone service in a bid to quash a demonstration. http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/16/bay_area_rapid_transit_accused_of

Knight stated that though millions of instant messages may work to start demonstrations which could scare the governments into the illegal temporary shutting down of internet to prevent protests, it probably won’t have the same effect in the Virgin Islands. Knight, who was in the Philippines during the E.D.S.A. Revolution #2, experienced going out into the streets and demonstrating. “Back home, if people don’t like the president, we’d just go out an protest and then we’d have a new president,” she said. Knight was part of an activist group in the Philippines and they received messages saying “wear black, go to this place” and they went. According to Knight, this approach generated a lot of bodies because the common people were still using basic phones. http://www.forbes.com/asap/2001/0910/028.html

“Virgin Islands people don’t demonstrate. We’re not protesting, we’re bringing awareness,” local radio host Shamira “SoLove” Collins shared at an organizational meeting for #UnitedWeStandVI. “If you’re in a country that’s kind of already politically agitated, just the mention of shutting down the internet is gonna cause a protest,” shared Knight. “Not here, we’re used to stuff not working.”

“Using the internet and mobile technology isn’t as hot an idea here in the Virgin Islands, but with groups like #UnitedWeStandVI popping up, it can be,” stated Knight.

SMILE while CRY…

SMILE while CRYING
In the midst of the thunder, the lightning, the brimstone and the fire… I choose to pause, breathe and appreciate the rainbow within. Rain drops are after all, a blessing… and the shock of burning urges us to wake up, remain present, grow and heal.

Taking a moment to pause everything around me… all my unfulfilled responsibilities, all my insecurities, the weaknesses that continue to surface and smile in my face… and the painful memories that all seem to return as a gang of tormentors… I smile.

I sit still and smile, because I can. In all that has happened and all that I have experienced. I still stand and laugh and love freely and deeper than before… afraid, yet faithful that it matters more to just be than to be (too) careful.

I CHOOSE LIFE.

in the midst of what may perceptively FEEL like a thousand deaths repeated and coming to crescendo,

I CHOOSE LIFE!

in the midst of knowing the errors in my ways and the flaws in my intentions

i choose life.

inner freedom is worth bearing the invisible shackles of public ‘impression of degradation’

they will see what they want to see whether or not we look at it ourselves…

be true to the greatest good of you and your light will be revived

SMILE radiantly because you are…

just because you are.

Embracing Personal Struggles & Most Painful Memorioes

Quote 4 2day: The most wonderful thing about going through crisis, is realizing how much learning from it helped/helps you when you’re able to use the lessons for good later on…whether to serve yourself or someone else.

Appreciative of ALL my experiences right about now; the good, the bad and especially the “ugly” life threatening ones!

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Pain = Prelude to Pleasure …INjoi it all to the fullest

What is pain but our
Prelude to coming pleasures
…Living Love Embraced

©DaraMonifah.thePoetArtistMusician ME.

Looking back at the calendar year of 2012, I momentarily relived, the pains, joys, struggles and successes that have helped to build me into who I am now…. a stronger, wiser, more beautiful and more faithfully open me. I look forward to what my journey will bring during this calendar year and beyond.

Pheonix Crouching: Part 1

Pheonix Crouching… (Part 1)

I smell the earth
through my pores
open from sweatin’
…fermented impurities

I feel the ocean
churning around and within
keepin’ us constantly connected…
While seemingly separating us

This burning
so discomforting
yet so comforting,
…ultimately

breaking me down
to the point of being
one with the dust
…settled

There is only the wind…
there is only the sky

Phoenix Crouching…
As pain, time, and growth pass us by
Preparing us
For flight

…To be continued,
~DaraMonifah Cooper

BAMN! (By any means necessary)

BY
The wayside
Be gone!
Says the powers that be
In me

ANY
One that is ready, willing and able
Is presented
With the task
Of overcoming
Themself

MEANS
To an end?
Or to a nu beginning
Ruffling feathers attracted to tar
Painted on by self-hatred
Strange fruit still have seeds
Fertilize them with love and they
Still blossom

NECESSARY
Evils, I thank you
Roads untravelled, I await you
Days un shone upon, I look forward to you
Nights, like this, I wish… that raindrops
Would Fall

Fall to your knees… Oh hear…
Your own words
Listen to your own song
Realize that the teacher you need
The trainer you search for
The purpose you crave
Is within
Let the taste of defeat, be your motivation

to succeed
as never before
and continue to love, laugh, LIVE

…By any means necessary.
©DaraMonifah
Go Deep

Interrupted Violenes (Violins)

A graceful song sways by
with the wind at her tail
Timid thoughtfulness masked by
effortless radiance as the words flow like cane juice caressed by molasses

Violenes sung in the ears of so many
Trans-like tunes of a heartfelt temperament
A knowing smile, occasionally interrupted
By a slightly wrinkled brow

Not long before the resounding of her intent
Paints the walls of yellow possibilities
Brightening days with her warm sunshine smiles
And nights with her sweet yet sultry evening eyes

To miss her truly is a comforting fairy tale never read out loud
Forgotten thoughts of times never had
Dances never requested
And arms not embraced

Interrupted Violenes keep restarting their sound journey in my mind
My heart remembers words and feelings shared in silence
As the all knowing, yet seldom spoken disappointments stain my soul
Reminding me to make my true intention known…

Today.

For tomorrows are plans, goals, intentions, dreams and desires for after right now… just as yesterdays are/were those things that we’ve already accomplished, or not (yet). All still perpetual motion; the continuation of our doing. period.

© DaraMonifah

Thank you Junie, for the lessons. I now understand and innerstand your purpose in my life. I know you are at peace. I know you were tired. All will be taken cared of. It already is. Ase’ Rest well, until again.