Featured Poem of the Week

Ashwini Dodani

Ashwini was recently added to A Cornered Gurl as a contributor and is a faithful supporter and pretty well known Writer on Medium. He specializes in gut-punching, knee-buckling poetry, and can also melt your heart too. He is the Editor and sole host of From The Poet’s Heart, a publication on Medium that is budding beautifully. What he will bring to the publication is a sound and consistent flow of the beauty of words and I am rather happy he is now apart of our community. His poem “Standing Up For Myself” is this week’s feature.



Standing Up For Myself

Not Your Business

Photo by Allan Gonzalez Vega from Pexels

Of Course!

Stare at me, as you always do,
judge as you always do,
measure me in all the small capacities
you can but I will not be affected,

and I will not even let you know that I am not…

I don’t expect you to know
my battles, my pain,

my insecurities, my leftover sanity,
my ego melted into self-respect,
my self-respect shattered into hollowness,
No, I seriously don’t,
But if you can, if you really can,
do take those eyes off me,
that keep doubting and make me
even unsure of my most determined
decisions,
 I request not command
to let me be, and take my beliefs
to turn them into reality…

But somehow I can sense, you won’t change,
and hence 
I am forced to tell you in your face,
I am standing up for myself,
and it’s none of your business…

 


More poetry by me and 50+ others, join us at From The Poet’s Heart.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

I’ll be here in the shadows, just in case.

I don’t just want to get in your bed,
I want to get in you.
Into your mind–your heart.
I know there’s fear, trust me, I am pushing
through trying to demagnetize the world around
me so that I can cling to you.

Vincent Van Gogh|WikiCommons

I have watched you,
you’re trying to learn about things,
drinking in the knowledge of your surroundings and
I am a patient person.
I want you to flourish,
We can wait for the right time
to deflower–your petals
will never need as much pruning
as mine.

I want to find a way to tell you
that I am the one–
I can be.
But, the shadows are a comfort,
my hiding place.
They know how to shelter me
when you do not.

After all, we are both still nursing
broken hearts and even though we have been hurt,
tipping the scales before it’s time
would hurt us more.

But, I am here, you know?
Just in case.

Not Like Fathers

You Are Halves of Our Whole

To you, the fathers… It is often hard, I assume, to stand in the shadows of mothers as they take the glory of it all, and in most cases, rightfully so, but you… you wait patiently with no other means of celebration other than the one day designated where you may receive a few hugs, some decent gifts, a day out to your favorite restaurant, then time well-spent in your recliner. This is for you. Those yet still fathering, still yearning to love as they look at eyes that look back at them — identical in shape and color.

To you, fathers who stand beside their children, fighting for their rights in all things life-oriented, ensuring safety and love. To you, those of you afraid to reach out to take the hands of yours who have soared too high in the sky for you to be able to reach them and bring them back down to Earth. Fathers of prodigal sons and daughter still counting the days of their return; I offer you recognition and sincere adoration.

You are the halves of our whole and without you, there could be no us. Those of you trying harder than anyone can imagine and more than anyone can see, I tip my hat to you. Those of you struggling to make ends meet, constantly arguing with your children’s mother for the sake of their best interests— I hear you, I see you. To you, the fathers who cry when no one is around and pack in hurt after hurt and pained day after pained day, you are honored.

Fathers, do not let this day go by without attempting to learn, understand, care for, and love the ones who made you fathers. Start now, if you have not. For those of you fatherless and trying to father without the clear knowledge of the act — your children know that you are trying, even if they do not show it.

May this day be one to lift you up if you were feeling down and may love envelop you at every corner. Father is a forever word — a forever action. You will always be it.

From our small community to your hearts,
Happy Father’s Day.


Originally posted as a letter in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

“Our Father, Who Art In…”

I will never claim another

Gift Habeshaw | Unsplash

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. — Ephesians, 6:4, NLT


The way my father looks at me is as if he is looking at the world in every color, tone, measurement, and description all at once. He takes me in — processes me, and tries to understand my words while I am speaking. He hears me. It is a blessed feeling to allow someone to dissect what you are saying when at times, those words have proven difficult to express. Given my father’s background and his marriage to the church as an elder and minister, listening is one of the things he does best. Coming out to my father was not as hard as I envisioned it would be. As a matter of fact, it was quite easy. He knew I had something to share, he had known for years — thus, he pressed forward with opening the door to our conversation about who I, his daughter, was. I touch on this just a bit in “Unconditional.”

Listen to me, baby. You are my child. I don’t care about anything else. I love you for who you are, you hear me? That will never change. Never.”

I could never have selected another man in this world to be half of what makes me whole. It would be pointless and an impossible feat. My father was made just for me at a time when roaming the streets, hanging out with his friends, and catching up on homework should have been the only things on his mind. To be a teenager, trying to bring a female mini-version of himself up in a crazy world, I am sure, was the last thing he wanted. But he did it and in his own way. I had enough years with my father in our home to know what I should know about life and understand what I should about right versus wrong.

You can come to me. I hope you’ll always remember that. I love you.”

He fathered the way he knew how. He stumbled. He struggled. He made a ton of mistakes. But one thing he did not fail at doing is loving me. It took me nearly fourteen years after my parents’ divorce to realize that fact. Today, I can call my father up and we can chit-chat about whatever, like whatever is the best thing since jelly on toastWe can hoot, holler, boast, brag, and commend each other freely without that awkward silence that used to layer itself around us.

I no longer have to wonder what my dad will say or do about his oldest daughter being bisexual. I no longer have to shelter, hide, or deny myself happiness thinking I will be shunned from the spirit of the messenger. After all, I am his child.”

I am grateful for a father who openly loves me and dotes on me around his peers regardless of how many of them misinterpret the Bible. He has not struck me down — with words nor his fists. He tries to guide me in his own way and sometimes it may come off a bit preachy (that’s a given), he notices the coldness before I can even utter a word and simplifies and coats his words with love so as to not break my heart. There were years when I did not mention him, would not mention him. He was there, but not there. Not to me. Divorce can cloud a teenager’s mind and when step-parents are introduced, it can do even more.

I think back now to many of the hurtful things I said — how I allowed myself to let my tongue walk all over him without apologizing for my crassness. My father, knowing who I was at my core, gave me the space to vent and be free with my words in my growing up years without causing me to shrink. One thing he would say often was, “When you are older, you will know all that I did for you, how hard I tried.” I did not recognize the importance of that then. Oh, but I do now.

I am equal parts Michael and equal parts Angela and with the two of them buried deep inside my veins, I am one person. I finally understand why I ached for so many years when I thought of, interacted with, and tried to hold on to a bond with my father — stubbornness. The older I get, the better I am becoming at understanding who he is simply because he has always tried to understand who I am. My eyes are no longer closed.


To my father, who never has to change . . . thank you for everything past, present, and whatever there is to come. I will never claim another.


Originally published in Our Human Family via Medium.

Fulfilled

Bright: Photo Credit|Tremaine L. Loadholt

I think the days
are shaping up to
allow me to forget
the biggest parts of you.

I need to.

If I keep dragging you along,
yearning for a dream to
manifest itself into reality,
this ominous tale could
break
me
down.

And, I intend to live
a life fully bloomed and open
to the bigger parts of me.

I want to be fulfilled.
Don’t you?