Day 23: Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

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23: This poem is everything (Artwork from Jean-Michel Basquiat)

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

I’m scared of everything personally, so could take a leaf out of this book. Maybe I will.

Still I Rise

This weekend, share with us a poem that you love (by someone who isn’t you,Maya_Angelou please). Via Writing 201: Poetry Potluck (21st February 2015)

This may not be the most surprising choice from me but this is without question my favourite poem.

It works on every level and is essentially perfect.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~ Maya Angelou

Imagine if you could encapsulate the sentiment behind this and give it to every woman in the world?

Miss you, girl.

image via Google.

Try a New Posting Style

Not me, but she looks like a poet (sort of)
Not me, but she looks like a poet (sort of)

Today’s assignment: build your storyteller’s toolbox by publishing a post in another format or a style you’ve never used before. Via The Daily Post’s Blogging 101 program (1st October 2014)

I wrote a poem.

I googled How to Write a Poem
Before I started this poem
Try another format they said
And I thought poem

Am I a poet?
Do I have a poet’s soul?
I like the Autumn and the leaves
Believe in karma

Am I a poet?
I once wrote an ode to the Pumpkin Spice Latte*
I think deep thoughts and am unhappy at work
I can be a poet

Try another format they said
Try something new
All I want to do that is new is walk out of the office
And wander the streets with no plan

I know I won’t do that
Give it all up to be a poet
Give it all up to be a poet
After one bad day

Instead I will write my poem
With no guidance from the internet
And I will sit back
A part-time, one-time poet

I don’t know if you can tell but I did this freestyle, no help from Google. It was quite fun.

Not sure if I have a healthy career ahead of me as the English Maya Angelou but that’s okay. Nobody will ever fill the shoes of such a phenomenal woman anyway.

*Just looked through my archives and it was an Eggnog latte actually.

I’m as Fine as the Wine in Summertime

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Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Phenomenal Woman ~ Maya Angelou

Today my Queen quietly passed on from this life, aged 86.

I fell in love with Maya when I was a teen and we were studying I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I was not what you would call the academic type and I’m still not, but that term as I was falling under the influence of Ms Angelou and her beautiful words, I fell in love with the English language too.

It’s my longest love affair to date.

In addition to what she awakened in me, she was a great poet, an activist and a goddess of the highest order. I’m so glad she got the graceful ending she so deserved and I’m just terribly sorry there will be no more from such a gorgeous wordsmith. She leaves behind an army of women (and men, I’m sure) who have been inspired and moved by the things she did and that isn’t too shabby, is it?

If you’re not aware of her work then I urge you to go searching, you could never regret it.

I’ve included an excerpt from my favourite poem above. You can find the rest of it here. And honestly, what else is there to say about it other than “Yes!”. As far as I’m concerned, it is perfect.

*This blog title is a quote from Maya given in an interview in 2009 about why she was unwilling to retire. How wonderful?