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      A naked black woman and a black man

      A close-up of “Objects” artwork by Christopher J Wesley

      POETS SALON

      07/01/20

      Hosted by Kath Abela Wilson

      Each time I compose one of our strongly motivated Salons, I aim to make a difference. I ask myself what magic words can poets use, to transform, to make an ultimate statement, one that comes from deep in the heart of the universe, to make our world better. Each of us hopes for this, and in our small way — we do.

      bonsai winter
      I shovel around the pine
      with a teaspoon

      mad rush
      to save the world
      gray squirrel

      ~ Kath Abela

      Cristopher J Wesley

      With so many conversations about race showing up outside of the company of black people, there’s positivity in it, but there’s also no small dose of anger.

      It’s like this layer of life experience is being peeled back and some of what’s been uncovered has festered for years.

      Frankly, my initial reaction to what happened to George Floyd was they got another one. It wasn’t new or unexpected.

      Hell, I’ve already had conversations with those close to me on how I behave when interacting with the police in case I wind up shot dead so they are already aware of my personal policy of behavior under those circumstances.

      Because every aware black person saw that video and understood that it could one day be them.

      Educated? Makes no difference.
      Well spoken? Makes no difference.
      No criminal record? Makes no difference.
      Innocent and compliant? Makes no damn difference.

      So while working on a shoot that was supposed to be about love, this is one of the images that came out. Not what I intended to make, but it’s what came out and it made me a bit uncomfortable with myself. But creators got to create.

      A black woman and man looking at camera

      Objects. Art by Christopher J Wesley

      In “Objects” what was originally supposed to be a candid image of intimacy and modesty turned into an angry commentary on how it feels like the world views black people far too often. Black women as objects of lust and black men as objects of menace.

      A painting of a black man and a blackwoman behind him

      “Whatchoo Say?” by Christopher J Wesley

      Whatchoo Say?” was a photograph I Romanticized after I took some time to deal with the feelings that spawned “Objects” and the feelings I had about my creation of “Objects”. It wound up feeling like a poster from a Blaxploitation film to me, which is to say that I was referencing the first time in cinema history where black people were shown as characters in control of their own destinies.

      Ο Ο Ο

      a painting of two black women at the beach

      Sisterhood #2 by Christopher J Wesley

      Khadija Anderson

      Consider Missouri
      ~ For Michael Brown, shot by police 2014 Ferguson, MO.

      We are about to land
      and the pilot says it’s 97 degrees outside

      I imagine muggy, unbreathable
      I won’t be getting off the plane to find out

      I’m headed back to Los Angeles
      I won’t be visiting my cousins here

      This place my grandmother called Missoura
      in her honeyed Arkansas drawl

      That grandmother I loved
      whose great-great-uncles

      Enslaved 40 people in Virginia
      I look out the window

      and it looks like much of America
      Flat and homogenous,

      Unapologetic

      Ο Ο Ο

      A painting of flowers of many colors

      Air Brush by Christopher J Wesley

      Brendon Kent

      Perhaps these turbulent times will produce a better understanding of this longstanding inequality.
      I used to say I didn’t see the difference in skin colours, just the human I was interacting with. The more I think about this however, I believe I may have been thinking on a tangent…the truth is, I do see a difference in skin colour and this is what gives us our identity as humans. I respect all humans for who they are and regard everyone as equals. Respecting our differences as equals still allows us to keep our own individual identities, it would be silly to say we are all the same but imperative that we should all be regarded as equals…

      deep wounds
      in our
      forgotten garden
      the unseen strangulation
      of knotweed

      (R.I.P. George Perry Floyd Jr.)

      Ο

      Apainting displayed on a wall

      Displayed artwork by Christopher J Wesley

      What’s the Difference: Quotes and Credits

      Christopher J Wesley adds an air of intrigue to the human condition. Wesley’s first book won an award and his second book was accused of book-napping readers because they didn’t want to put it down. To add to the compelling nature of his stories, he creates fine art, poetry and music in character and weaves them into the stories so that they all accentuate each other and it allows readers to see and hear what they’ve read about: “Creating works that promote discovering who we are as individuals so that we can find where we belong is like breath to him-Essential. Because after surviving an abusive childhood, poor life choices and a variety of grand misadventures incited by the two, his muse has much to confess.” (Check his Face mask creations).

      Khadija Anderson curates a monthly Social Justice themed poetry series “Poets and Allies for Resistance” in Pasadena and is the 2020-2022 Poet Laureate of Altadena, CA. Khadija’s poetry has been published extensively in print and online. Her book of poems History of Butoh was published in 2012 and a chapbook, Cul-de-sac: an american childhood was released in June 2020.

      Brendon Kent
      lives in the small countryside village of Botley (circa 890AD) within Southampton, England. He has been writing short form poetry for many years and is published in most leading journals worldwide.
      Brendon is a member of the British Haiku Society, the World Haiku Association and is Head Teacher online for international haiku at Haiku University (Tokyo). He has recently released a collection of haiku, senryu, tanka titled ‘moon on water’ by Alba Publishing June 2019.

      Kathabela‘s two haiku first appeared in the haiku journal, Heron’s Nest; “mad rush” in September 2019, and “bonsai winter” in September, 2018.

      Ο

      Tell us, by midnight Sunday, Pacific time, your story of protests and solidarity, amidst turmoil of our times.Also what unusual interesting positive gifts, hopes and realizations have you come upon. Tell us about the new paths you have taken, those that might endure in your life, that may not have happened had we not been in this situation. We all know good things can come from difficulty. Unexpected doors open and we sometimes find treasure.

      Send short poems, haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita haibun, tanka prose, short prose poems, etc., or your own unique approach, to Kath Abela by Facebook message or click here to email her directly. We can feature your work again after five months. Multiple Submissions can be saved to appear later:

      1. Send a short bio, comments on the theme.
      2. Send photos or artwork by you, if possible.
      3. No attachments except photos.
      End of article

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      Contributor

        • 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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