In Medusa’s Arms , a poem by Nicole Goodwin

 

Medusa
Black Medusa, Fatoumata Diawara

 

In Medusa’s Arms (Inside the belly of fire and stone) Gas Leak chronicles Pt. IV

 

My love

I am fully aware

of your presence

the feel of your body

the heat from your/breath

revealing the fire

growing/inside your chest

and mine

we are one

in the same

under the distance

we are close

closer and closer

still

under the blue-black

night

a blanket/made only for lovers

such as you and I

and with every inhale

and exhale

that rises

and falls

my love/

I can feel you

I can still

feel you

always

now and forever.

–Nicole Goodwin

Medusa
NICOLE GOODWIN, NYC.

Nicole Goodwin is a mother, artist, and a wounded healer ever pursuing enlightenment.

Sweet Revenant, for Norma, a poem by Maura Alia Badji

Sweet Revenant,  for Norma

In French heels, you were film
noir to the neighborhood’s two-reel
matinee. Sloe-eyed and languorous
your gaze said I’m not here to stay.
Years-gone, yours was the voice, husky
and moist, I tried on in night clubs,

poet haunts. Confident your muse could lend
siren-sleek accents, glimmers of poise
to quirky choices, I stutter-stepped my way
home. Hopefully chic in black dresses,
I side-swiped heart quakes, courted

disaster, certain my map of your insolent
laughter would save the day. More than once,
I swore I caught your slim, crepe de chined
form leaning languid at my door. Face half-turned
from porch-light, I breathed your dreamy whisper–
Buona seda, faccia bedda. Sleep, sleep tight.

~Maura Alia Badji

 

Poet: Maura Alia Badji’s poems and essays have appeared in Barely South Review, Cobalt, ArtVoice Buffalo, Switched-on Gutenberg, Exhibition, convolvulus, Spillway, teenytiny, Signals, The Buffalo Times, and The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Her themes include multiracial identity and families, female ancestors, social justice, female sexuality, and the discovery and creation of mythos. Maura has been a contributing writer for The Buffalo Times, Soul Music of The World, and LivingSocial.com; she has guest-blogged for NOLAFemmes, Eat.Drink.Memory, and piquant. Her blog is The Moxie Bee http://www.themoxiebee.com

She is a member of The Watering Hole collective, an online community for poets of color ( https://twhpoetry.wordpress.com/) and is grateful for the excellent online classes, and mutual support of ‪#‎tribe‬ she has found there.

Maura earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of WA, Seattle, where she was an Editorial Assistant to Coleen J. McElroy at The Seattle Review. Maura was a Tutor/Advocate for migrant children from the Caribbean and Mexico, and taught ESL night classes to migrant workers in Ulster/Dutchess Counties. She taught Early Childhood Special Education for a decade in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY, Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia. She is a certified massage therapist and a Reiki practitioner.

A NY State native, she lives and dreams in the Seven Cities region of Virginia with her son, Ibrahim. She is working on returning to the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Photos: Wanderlust, Front
Wanderlust, Back

Photographer: Kristin Fouquet, New Orleans, LAhttp://www.fouquet.cc/kristin/LeSalon.html

Model: Ingrid Lucia, New Orleans, LA
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ingrid-lucia-mn0000090010

Wanderlust
Wanderlust, front by Kristen Fouquet
Maura Alia Badji
Wanderlust, Back; by Kristin Fouquet

In Sleep You Search Out a Door by Karen Craigo

In Sleep You Search Out a Door

 

A breath or claw disturbs your
clothes.
In dreams it always lumbers
near.
You run or freeze, you hold
your pose.
Some breath or claw disturbs
your clothes
and it’s the animal you chose.

its hundred eyes and funk of
fear.
A breath or claw disturbs your
clothes.
In dreams it always lumbers
near.

-Karen Craigo

Karen Craigo’s first full-length poetry collection, No More Milk, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016. She teaches writing in Springfield, Missouri

Find Karen on
Twitter: @karenkawrites
Blog: http://betterviewofthemoon.blogspot.com/
Website: http://http://www.papercranewritingservices.com

Art: The Dream Door by QueenBee47, DeviantArt.com.

Poem & Image originally featured in Maura Alia Badji’s Dream Residency at IONE’s 21st Annual Dream Festival. 

Craigo
Dream Door by QueenBee47

African Lullaby Giveaway Has Ended with A Winner!

giveaway

The African Lullaby Giveaway has ended with a Winner!***If You Won, please email me at themoxiebee1@gmail.com ! Thank you!***

The winner is of the giveaway now being verified by Amazon.com and will be sent the African Lullaby CD shortly.  The identity of the winner will not be revealed to me due to Amazon’s privacy policies.

That said–if YOU are the winner, please reach out and let me know, or let me know how you like the CD once it arrives.

I appreciate all of my supporters so much.  However, I have to share with you that although 30 readers entered the giveaway, only a handful actually followed through by 1) following me on Twitter 2) Liking the Giveaway Blog post and leaving a comment and 3) subscribing to the blog to get updates and new posts.

Actually, NOBODY left a comment on the blog.

Not one of you rascals!  Really?

PRINCEWHYDOVESCRY

Well, live and learn.  I will be using a different entry/award process for my NEXT giveaway.

Yes, there will be others.   Especially closer to the holidays.  Please do subscribe to The Moxie Bee by entering your email address in the form on the upper right hand sidebar. (Note:  I do NOT spam or sell address lists.)

I appreciate all who participated and I leave you with my son Ibrahim’s favorite lullaby, when he was small, “Diyore” by Abou Sylla,

The song is special to Ibrahim, and in some ways to me, for a few reasons.  Sylla is one of his father’s family names. His father, Mamadouba Sylla was related to Guinean ruler Sekou Toure; when Toure was deposed his friends and family started turning up dead.  The Sylla family quickly and quietly moved to Senegal and took on the Diolla name of Badji, which actually has its roots in India.  (I’m saving that story for another day.)

Also, Mouminatou Camara, family friend of the Badji/Syllas and renowned  Guinean dancer/drummer/singer/teacher, sings the background vocals for Abou Sylla on the African Lullabye CD .

diyore
MOUMINATOU CAMARA

I’ve met her a few times at classes and performances; I can testify she is a swirling force of nature and talent.

Ibrahim’s father, Assane,  a drummer/dancer/fire-eater/dance teacher from Kindia near Conakry, Guinea, taught me a different version of this song, the one Ibrahim’s grandmere Fatou Sylla sang to Assane as a boy.

He could only remember part of it, so we sang the first part to Ibrahim twice and then repeated the last line.  When he didn’t want to hear the CD, he wanted his father’s version, which went something like:

Bo Bo Bo, Bo Bo, Casalaba. Nan de mafulay.

Kin da sa buray. 

Bo Bo Bo, Bo Bo, Casalaba. Nan de mafulay.

Kin da sa buray. 

Diyore

Diyore

Diyore…

Back then, when Ibrahim was an infant, I asked Assane what it meant; he explained that basically it’s saying Don’t cry little child, your mother had to go to work, but your aunt will make you something nice to eat when you wake up. So go to sleep.

A few years after, when Assane and I separated and later divorced, I didn’t want to sing his version because it made me feel sad, not for me, but for my son.  Yet,  Ibrahim was insistent; he wanted his song.

So, I sang it. We sang it together, and soon it stopped feeling sad.  It became our song then; it still is.  And, I’m still trying to find a full translation.

Any SuSu speakers in the house?

 

 

 

 

 

A Dream of Purple Avocados

A Dream of Purple Avocados

Bought a bunch of avocados on sale after a dream about an avocado tree with purple skinned fruit. Ione’s Annual Dream Festival-–what might that signify?)

Avocado
BEHOLD–The Purple Dream Avocado!

Do you know the phrase for fruit in Bambara, yiri den, literally translates to ‘tree children”?  I love that so much! The trees are parents! And vegetables are nako fen– “garden things”. Not quite so poetic, but kind of charming still. I’ve been brushing up my minimal Bambara to translate a Habib Koite song for my blog. I should have taken up linguistics; I love learning languages. But, I digress, said ADHD Mama.

I ate one avocado with lime and salt and a little hot sauce. Thought of Ibrahima Soury Diabate, aka Ibrahim’s uncle aka Big Brahma, aka master balafoniste of anciently famed griot lineage, eating avocados sprinkled with sugar (yikes) at a Tabaski celebration in New Paltz, NY circa 2002.

Next day chopped another avocado into chickpea/tomato/red onion salad with homemade vinaigrette.  Chased after Ibrahim aka Brahma , although now I’m only allowed to call him that at home, offering him some—no go.

I’m not concerned; it took him a couple years to eat tomatoes, jalapenos, hot sauce, and spinach, all which he practically lives on now.  Along with pizza. Ha! His father, my ex-husband,  had a horror of pizza, but it was the only thing I could keep down the last couple months of pregnancy. If I was a mean woman, I’d send Assane pics of Ibrahim worshipping pizza and running from rice, the sacred staple of his father’s homeland of Guinea.

There are two avocados left.   I won’t make guacamole, because we had some particularly awful burritos the other night, served with appalling guac. Yes, there is such a thing.

I might use one of the last dream avocados to make a half-batch of this pasta sauce from PureWow.com; I bet it’s good over rice, too.

avocados

My friend Lei Angel told me her mom says that avocados symbolize fertility/womanhood and potential when you see them in your dreams.

As the fertility gods have left this particular ‘building”, I told Lei I’m choosing to interpret the symbolic meaning as pertaining to creative fertility. Yes!

Ka su maya aw kono! Buon appetito! Bon Appetit!, and for you, Lei Angel; Kainan na! and E ʻai kākou!

Music Monday with DJ Eric in the Mixx: Mariami Music

Music Monday with DJ Eric in the Mixx: Mariami Music
“The kind of music you’ve waited all your life for…and didn’t even know it!”  The exclusive Mariami Mix as done by our friend DJ Eric from Nairobi, Kenya.
Mariami
DeeJay Eric from Kenya, in the mixx.

Mariami

 

“Mariami is a Brooklyn based recording artist noted for an eclectic mix of Soul, R&B and Pop music. Labeled as the talented daughter of Georgia with a magic voice, Mariami was born in the Republic of Georgia (Europe) and carries musical traces that harken to her Georgia upbringing and ethnicity.

Mariami
Mariami in concert.

Mariami is the granddaughter of the late Shota Illich Bibilouri, a Music Director for the National Georgian Folk Ballet. Her earliest years were spent in rehearsal studios with her grandfather and his band. Their close musical bond has inspired many of her expressive melodies. Her passion for R&B comes from the parallels Georgian liturgical music shares with American soul music. ”  —MARIAMIMUSIC.COM

African Lullaby Giveaway with The Moxie Bee and Amazon.com

African Lullaby Giveaway with The Moxie Bee and Amazon.com

giveaway
mamatoto

 

Welcome to my first giveaway since re-starting The Moxie Bee. I’ve partnered with Amazon.com to giveaway one copy of a great CD: African Lullaby from Ellipsis Arts.  This was my favorite CD when Ibrahim was a baby and toddler.  Our favorite song was Diyore by Abou Sylla.  I learned the lyrics and he had to have me sing it every night, along with his other favorite lullabies, Bayou Baby Bunting and Rockabye Baby, with each song flowing into the next, til he was about five years old.

giveaway

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

As with other Ellipsis Arts releases, African Lullaby is more than a stellar music collection. Its delightful liner notes provide ample context for these “love songs for children” and the collection’s innovative earth-friendly packaging is a work of art unto itself.  Standing head and shoulders above others in its class, African Lullaby is testimony to the awesome power of music. –Paige La Grone

Review

“Oh my child, you are growing up so quickly; you are my tender and beautiful baby…” You don’t need the printed translations of these loving African-language lullabies. Sung by such top traditional and Afropop artists as velvet-voiced Ladysmith Black Mambaza and the breathtaking Mor Dior Bamba, every song embraces and soothes. A 1999 Parents’ Choice® Gold Award Winner. (Lynne Heffley, Parents’ Choice®) — From Parents’ Choice®

 

 AFRICAN LULLABY 

giveaway

Track Listings

1. Thula Mtwana – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
2. Omo – Kemi Akanni
3. Kounandi Deni – Abdoulaye Diabate
4. Mayo Mpapa – Muriel Mwamba
5. Nyandolo – Ayub Ogada
6. Ayo Nene Touti – Mor Dior Bamba
7. Thula Thula – Ntomb’khona Dlamini
8. Webake – Samite
9. Oluronbi – Floxy Bee, The Hikosso Queen
10. Diriyo Nakana – Sadio Kouyate
11. Diyore – Abou Sylla
12. Sigalagala – Anindo
13. Tesegu – Danone O’Sow
14. Chitsidzo – Stella Rambisai Chiweshe
Product Details

·        Audio CD (June 22, 1999)

·        Original Release Date: June 22, 1999

·        Number of Discs: 1

 

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win! All you need to do is:

  1. Click on the link and follow me on Twitter (@MoxieB) https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8e990bdf0194c96e
  2. Return to my site and a) Like this post and b) leave a comment c) subscribe to the blog for updates.

That’s it!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Giveaway ends the earlier of 11/01/15 11:59 PM, or when the prize is claimed.  The official rules for Amazon Giveaway can be found at http://amzn.to/GArules

Good luck!

~Maura Alia Badji

 

 

.

Sweet Lullaby

Sweet Lullaby

What could be better than being gently read to sleep? Being gently sung to sleep, of course.

Before I had a child with whom to share lullabies, I fell in love with Deep Forest’s “Sweet Lullaby”, which was originally released in 1992 as a single and then in re-mixed versions in 1994.

Despite the widespread belief, bolstered by the video, that ‘Sweet Lullaby” was based on a traditional African song, Deep Forest, a French world music/ethnic electronica group based the song on a traditional Baegu lullaby. The song, called “Rorogwela”,comes from Malaita Island of the Solomon Islands and uses a vocal sample originally recorded by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp in 1970 and later released by UNESCO as part of their Musical Sources collection.

The lyrics refer to a young child being comforted by his older brother or sister despite the loss of one or both of their parents.

Sasi sasi o to aro aro
O angi si nau boroi amu
Ni ma oe e fasi korona
Dolali dasa na, lao dai afuimae
Afuta guau mauri, Afuta wela inomae
Sasi sasi ae o angisi nau
Boroi nima oe e fasi koro na
Dolali dasa na, lao dai afuimae
Afuta guau mauri, Afuta wela inomae

ENGLISH INTERPRETATION
Young brother, young brother you be quiet
Although you are crying to me
Your father has left us
He has gone to the place of the dead
Protect the head of the living, Protect the orphan child
Young brother, young brother hey? Although you are crying to me
Your father has left us
He has gone to the place of the dead
Protect the head of the living, protect the orphan child.

Lullaby

I never looked for the translation before tonight; I just loved the melody. Now that I know the meaning of the words, I can’t say I find them particularly comforting.

Perhaps something was lost in translation, or maybe my Americanized idea of comfort differs from that of the Baegu.  Perhaps the Baegu find comfort in having an older person give them a dose of reality with a tender melody?  No matter, I still love this song.

At the core of the melody is the poignant voice of Afunakwa who comes from the island of Malaita (region: Fataleka) in the Solomon Islands. It was her singing that was recorded in 1969 by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp in an effort to archive the traditions of the Baegu fading culture.

lullaby

When my son was born I was happy to share it with him; although he preferred Guinean & English lullabies as a small child, “Sweet Lullaby” was also one of his favorites.

Do you have a favorite lullaby?

~Maura Alia Badji

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, lyrictranslate.com, whosampled.com

Alyesha Wise: Dreaming Life, Living Her Dream

 

Alyesha Wise

Alyesha Wise: Dreaming Life, Living Her Dream

“I had a dream last night that the government started questioning the income of independent artists & requiring a license for us to do what we do.

I woke up from that dream knowing that such a thing could happen in real life (Don’t doubt these fools these days). And that my inner God will always be my “license.”

And, of this world, I will always be unafraid.”

–Alyesha Wise

When I asked Alyesha Wise if I could have some of her work to share here during my Dream Residency for Ione’s Annual Dream Festival, she sent me a selection that included her TEDxPasadenaWomen talk and a Button Poetry spoken word performance.

At first I didn’t see that what she sent me :fit” into the theme of dreams/dreaming, but I kept listening. Soon the hazy clouds of unknowing parted; I saw that all she had sent me had to do with dreams, were indeed the stuff of dreams brought into reality.

Alyesha Wise, poet, writer, spoken word artist, is the living embodiment of the dreams she had as a young girl, a young Black girl who dreamed of being a writer. Listen to her TEDx talk and you will hear her speak of the little girl who dreamed of a women who was all about creating poems, and never taking any shit. A woman whose words created her world.

Hear her poem “To This Black Woman Body, Part I”, and you will learn how a skinny Black girl, who once doubted her right to claim womanliness, who once feared the repercussions that came running after a girl “walking like a woman”, who then came to create and live the dream of a Black woman loving and accepting herself, including her particular Black woman’s body as it is, as she lives in it.

I see the acts of imagining, creating, and inhabiting a reality you and others did not at first see as some of the most rewarding, important, and radical acts of dreaming. Dreaming into your life, living into your dreams.

I invite you to listen, learn, savor and share the words of Alyesha Wise’s dreams.

Alyesha Wise is a published Poet, Teaching Artist and TEDx Speaker who launched her artistic career in Philadelphia, Pa.  Currently residing in Los Angeles, Alyesha was the 2014 DPL Grand Slam Champion and a member of the 2014 and 2015 DPL Slam Teams. She is also a 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist, a 2-time Philadelphia Grand Slam Champion and Assistant-coach of the Get Lit Youth Slam Team in L.A., who placed 3rd in the world in 2014.

Some of her additional highlights include, but aren’t limited to, a 2012 interview with American Film Director, Ron Howard – An artist feature in the Google Interstellar Project, specifically a “Time Capsule” documentary presented by Google Play and Christopher Nolan, in conjunction with the hit movie, Interstellar – and being told by co-founder of Essence Magazine, Russell Goings, “In All, You Are Awesome.”

More info about Ms. Wise can be found at: http://www.MsWiseDecision.com

TEDX Talk: Raising Her By Raising Myself

Button Poetry: Alyesha Wise – “To This Black Woman Body, Part I

 

~Maura Alia Badji

Alyn Wambeke : Wordwood Dream

Alyn Wambeke
Wordwood Dream by Alyn Wambeke

Alyn Wambeke is that rare bird–a true Renaissance man with just the right balance of confidence and humility. I asked him to contribute art for Ione’s Dream Festival and he sent me “Wordwood Dream” today.

Alyn Wambeke is a writer, artist, worrier, hoper, gardener, civil-rights agitator, and advertising veteran in Atlanta who’s choosing to look on the last few years of unemployment as early retirement. He’s very fond of Oxford Commas and arugula

 

*This was also a featured post for my Virtual Dream Residency for Ione’s 21st Annual Dream Festival.