this is what you shall do

 “…dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

WALT WHITMAN

Photos: Mary Lennox

Categories: art, words
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awake

Awake Awhile

It does not have to be
Forever,
Right Now.

One Step upon the Sky’s soft skirt
Would be enough.

Hafiz,
Awake awhile
Just one True moment of Love
Will last for days.

Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics
for Knowing Him,
For they are all just frozen spring buds
Far,
So far from Summer’s Divine Gold.

Awake, my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast fields of Light
And let it breathe.

Say,
“Love,
Give me back my wings,
Lift me,
Lift me nearer.”

Say to the sun and the moon,
Say to our dear Friend,

“I will take You up now, Beloved,
On that wonderful Dance You promised!”

HAFIZ

Photo: Ryan Brabazon

Categories: art, words
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good bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

MAGGIE SMITH

Categories: words
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mother

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 10.28.20 AM FullSizeRender (1)

I carry an “M” in my mother’s handwriting on my inner arm. The first of many influential M’s in my life, my Mother, Mary. There’s also my grandmother, my goddaughter, my dog and my lover, but it’s the first M who gave me life and has truly been the greatest gift in my life. When I see it, I feel stronger. It also heartens me to think that inside of us, there are generations of mothers whose names we don’t know who brought us to this place.

I thought my mom would be mad when she saw it for the first time. Instead, she hugged me. If you ever need a tattoo artist in Hawaii, I recommend my friend Steven–he’s the only person I trust to permanently mark my body.

Poem: Nayyirah Waheed

Categories: art, words
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