Maya Angelou

Today I am discovering the poetry of Maya Angelou. Who is your favourite poet?

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

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.

Phenomenal Woman

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
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Lessons From My Daughter

My daughter is now two years old and brings laughter, love, happiness and new challenges to my life everyday so I have updated this post

The Global Art Experiment

Or things I’ve learned since becoming a dad:

  1. Leave behind the worries, stress and emotions from your day and treat her with care and respect.
  2. Listen carefully to what she says, not everything is important but one day it will be. Make your child feel like she has a voice that matters in the world.
  3. Do not doubt the impact that raising a family will have on the world. Social interactions will have knock on effects that can bring profound change.
  4. Invest your time learning, exploring and improving yourself rather than worrying about what other people think and seeking their approval.
  5. Wake up happy, let little things make you happy and go out with a smile on your face
  6. Focus on the present and pay attention to all the little things surrounding you
  7. Show unconditional love and affection
  8. You can depend on the people who love you, one day they…

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Thoughts on Success in Life

Are we seeing an increasing trend to blame the problems in the world on the system, government, conspiracy theories or education? Forget about the big picture. Do something to improve your own life and make you happier. Get a new job, volunteer, start a community group, travel, meet new people. Inspire and create opportunities for others to improve their lives. The combined action of a large number of small changes will eventually effect the big picture.

Watch a child play, full of freedom and imagination. Defined only by their personality and feelings. As we get older we are defined by our beliefs, social groups, careers, nationality, dreams and ambitions. What do we gain and what do we lose?

1. Do what makes you happy and have fun doing it. Set your short term and long term goals and go beyond them.

2. You can’t always do it alone. Keep your friends and family close. Don’t be afraid to tell people how you feel and what you want.

3. Be positive and dream big. Positive people attract more positive people. The more you give the more you will get back.

4. Look after your mental and physical health. Avoid stress, eat well and exercise. Don’t waste time. Wake up early and get things done.

5. Spend money on experiences and developing skills not material things.

6. You can’t fight every battle. Invest your time and effort in things you really care about.

7. Develop your skills and be the best at what you want to do. Make your self irreplaceable but remember everyday is a chance to make the change you want to see.

8. Do it right the first time there is no such thing as a practice run or second chances. The impression is already made.

9. You can forgive but you don’t have to forget. Learn from your mistakes but don’t hold on to your regrets.

10. Put your plans and ideas into action. Try to have a positive impact on someone’s life everyday.

Related Post: Lessons From My Daughter