– 9/26/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      Some of us might think of ourselves or another as a “black sheep”. What this means varies. Each of the poets here show us a different, provocative experience with this term. As we look closely, we perceive the potential, allure, difficulties, and ease that might be held in this ‘category’ or ‘label’. It can be used positively, negatavely, implying difficulty, mystery, exile or freedom defying the norm. As you read these fine poems closely, make sure to read also the short prose comments of the poets, as they’re revealing and thought provoking.

      ~ Kathabela

      Ο Ο Ο

      Kids eat free by Stevie Strang.

      Kids eat free by Stevie Strang.

      Billy Howell-Sinnard

      the underdog
      and the black sheep…
      my heritage
      is a meagre trust
      with limitless possibilities

      Ο Ο Ο

      White feather (Photo - Natalia Kuznetsov).

      White feather (Photo – Natalia Kuznetsov).

      Lou Hotchkiss-Knives

      around the hilltops
      clouds huddle like sleepy sheep
      damp with Autumn rain
      the cotton of your black fleece
      brushing my cheek as we walk

      Ο Ο Ο

      Black Swan (Photo - Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Black Swan (Photo – Natalia Kuznetsova).

      Natalia Kuznetsova

      black grace
      defamed and demonized –
      Swan Lake

      Ο Ο Ο

      Black Sheep by Stevie Strang

      Black Sheep by Stevie Strang

      Stevie Strang

      blackballed into silence
      the hollow weight
      of an autumn sky


      the rumors continue to grow
      cactus blossoms


      one false lie
      and all good deeds forgotten
      snap dragon


      seated alone
      at her funeral
      the sting of whispers
      on my back

      Ο Ο Ο

      Icelandic sheep (Photo - Mike Duffy).

      Icelandic sheep (Photo – Mike Duffy).

      Sharon Hawley

      bah bah black sheep
      have we any gall
      yes sir, yes sir
      we’ll defy them all

      Ο Ο Ο

      Sheep in a well-grazed chou moeilier (Brassica oleracea, Tree Kale, Giant Tree Kale) field (Photo - Robert Johnston).

      Sheep in a well-grazed chou moeilier (Brassica oleracea, Tree Kale, Giant Tree Kale) field (Photo – Robert Johnston).

      Radhamani Sarma

      tardy yet pleasing
      handicapped and slow learner
      but independent
      sketch in colors her forte
      she is never a black sheep


      Black Sheep: Quotes and Credits

      Sheep (Photo - Pascale Petit).

      Sheep (Photo – Pascale Petit).

      Billy Howell-Sinnard, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, says: “My father always said he was the black sheep of the family. He spent a little time in prison, but he was kind of a Robin Hood. He was always helping some down and out person, getting them off the street, giving them a job, finding them a room.”

      Lou Hotchkiss-Knives lives in Torquay, Devonshire, England. She says: “Black sheep come under many guises, clouds, rain-soaked cattle and anarchist lovers…”

      Natalia Kuznetsova, who lives in Moscow, says: “For me, like for many Russians and ballet lovers across the globe, the Black Swan is a symbol of evil and the guise of beauty. The story of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet ‘The Swan Lake’ indeed demonizes the beautiful bird and contrasts it with the innocence of the white ‘twin’/ in fact both species in real life are far from being nice.but both have become personification of grace and beauty and loyalty…we mortals do need ideals, don’t we! There is the burden of inbred stereotypes and ‘labels’ Just like with the ‘black sheep’ which is mostly associated with someone out of the ordinary and very often an outcast. How often in life these stereotypes get smashed.”

      Stevie Strang, of Laguna Niguel, California says: “How wonderful would it be to live in a world where people listened without conviction, spoke without indifference, viewed others’ pain with compassion, helped without entitlement, and loved without condition? In 1971, one song said it all.

      and the sign said
      long haired freaky people
      need not apply
      © “Signs” by Five Man Electric Band”

      Sharon Hawley, of Pasadena, California, shares this email she wrote to her sister’s daughter who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska: “Sounds like you’re relatively happy about my drive to visit you in Fairbanks come January. You have not said it’s too dangerous, or that your trucker friend finds it inadvisable. Your summary of my plan seems to be ‘lol,’ and I can laugh along with that. We’ve always been the crazy pair, you of your generation, me of mine. Bye-bye black sheep. Bah-a-a-a, Sharon.”

      Radhamani Sarma lives in Chennai, India. She tells this story: “My poem comes from a sad memory I have of a friend I visited some years ago. She introduced her ten year old daughter, allocated a space in a corner, her one leg affected in an accident; such a cute young person. She paints in colors from morn till evening , amazing collections of her pictures! Mother majestically acknowledges her paintings were kept in a local exhibition.”

      Ο Ο Ο

      We welcome and encourage your response, especially in the form of a short poem, by leaving a comment below.

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        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. Radhamani sarma says:

        black sheep
        with same wool and innocence
        black oddballs
        black swans and black goats mostly
        all have same pure heart of calm

      2. Radhamani sarma says:

        Dear Kathabela, warm greetings! A wonderful way
        of introductory notes from you . Amazing. Thanks for introducing mine, honored and humbled. Various ways of viewing black sheep- swan lake and sting of whispers and many like this. very encouraging. Reading one by one.
        with regards

      3. Sharon Hawley says:

        what do black sheep

        family oddballs

        black swans and black goats

        have in common?

        ask a black man

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