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A New Beginning

July 2015


A New Beginning

In the personal space on the island of Manhattan at Muscota in harmony with Yaya, how at times I sit and drink una taza de café and think that our hopes will come on time as the blue skies will appear and our family gathering and our reunion for a nine day holiday for el año nuevo.

Mamy is cooking arroz moro con yuca y abuela is preparing tamales y Papi is making maduros y tostones y ensalada de papa y ensalada de aguacate.

As music is playing from the old record player, you could hear Beny Moré and Machito and Vicentino Valdéz and Rita Montañez and Bola de Nieve. The family is dancing the night away when the call was that the food was ready and everybody was gathering in the table one by one, side by side, and Papi and Mamy sat in the front of the table. And from a large voice, “Gracias por la comida.”

My aunts, my uncles, and cousins and family were passing the food to each other. It was a joyful moment as my cousin Ernesto says a beautiful chiste. And Papi was singing an old Carlos Gardel canto. And everybody was listening and dancing.

All my brothers and sisters were playing and dancing, waiting for año nuevo to appear, as Mamy and Papi and Abuela brought in some café. My sister Carmen turned on el radio la Hora Hispana and it was just 11:30. As Beny Moré was singing “Qué bueno es el año Nuevo,” it was a short laughter with thirty family members. And each was given a cup of water as the hour was coming near to el año nuevo. Felicidades felicidades, and everybody walked towards the window in the dining room.

Everybody threw the water out the window and walked back and greeted each other with un gran beso of 1965. The bitter winter morning of January the first of 1965, little by little, the family was leaving and returning home and waiting for the next family gathering.

My brothers and sisters were helping to clean up and each one by one were getting tired and afterwards they returned to their rooms to sleep. And Mamy and Papi were preparing for the next morning.

Within a few days we would return back to school as I stood for a few minutes and stood to drink café con leche and think what the year will bring as we return back to high school. As all the students were reading the New York Times in the column of the culture section that Sweet Lorraine Hansberry has made a transition to the ancestors on January the 12th, 1965. It brought my heart into tears. I remember the beautiful play Raisin in the Sun. Sweet Lorraine was not only a playwright and a poet and a human rights activist for justice and dignity for the working class and love that will always last Sweet Lorraine.

It was in the matter of one month and 21 days on February 21, 1965, when news was blasted from the grapevine and the radio and television that Brother Minister El Hajj Malik Shabazz was assassinated at the Audobon Ballroom at 161st Street and Broadway by the empire of the mad running dogs and their oreo biscuit stoolpigeons. It took me back a few years one Saturday afternoon at 115th and Lenox Avenue at a Unity Rally near Guillermo’s bodega. When the Brother Minister said “Show me a capitalist and I will show you a bloodsucker.” And the crowd cried out, “Yes, sir! Yes, sir!”

It was the summer of 1963 besides the Foster Projects that I saw him talk that talk, now known as MLK Projects.

And like a long history of events, one month and four days later, a news bulletin on WCBS Channel 2, March the 25th of 1965, Sister Viola Liuzzo, a human rights worker from the City of Detroit riding down to Selma, Alabama, for the march with Martin Luther King. She was assassinated by the bullets of the KKK who still ride high, only with different names now. It could be blue or gray or black.

I never saw her or I never met her, but Sister Viola, your love was in the spirit of Captain John Brown, in which we will always feel deep in our heart, standing, like a sweet, sweet song of love.

Like an old country song walking over still water, searching for a star to fly over our life to the daughters and sons who still toll under the yoke of a Doctor Madness. On the April of 21st of 1965, El Maestro Pedro Albizu Campos returned back to the ancestors in the name of the Motherland.

From the past and present of Summer Boogie Nights with Chaka Khan in Prospect Park and a doo wop Latin soul with Joe Bataan at the Pool Store in Williamsburg, give up that funk with George Clinton and The Parliament-Funkadelic in a cool breeze at Queensbridge Park and a moment of joy with a family on this Saturday night for a prayer-song for peace like a beautiful space at Donaldson Park with the Boogie Down Poetry Reading.

Like a light as the water flows on this space to be thankful for our time.
In this summer as we celebrate Johnson Family Day 68th anniversary a Family Reunion as we salute our homeboy Brother Floyd with beauty and soul and Boogie Down love and a block away we at the old timers of El Barrio had gathered at 111th Street a joyful day dancing cheek to cheek with a Gran Mambo from dawn to sunset in our 47th reunion. Chévere.

And in the beginning there was love. A powerful sermon as the seed cultivates into a jasmine flower. From all parts of the country, we have gathered for a Million Peoples March under one nation under one groove Saturday at 12 noon, we met and marched by the Lincoln Monument at West Market Street and Springfield Avenue in Newark in a cloud of dust that brings in the air to end the brutality against the people and economic justice from breadline, an end to the war like a gift of peace from a long night in the spirit of Oscar López Rivera that flows from the Caribbean Sea un pájaro libre ahora en la isla y en los barrios y pueblos como dos alas te estamos esperando.

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 7/18/15
The Bread is Rising

The Start of our Journey

We did not know what we were getting ourselves into when we had our first child. Sleepless nights keeping her company, midnight feedings, and waking up early has changed our life in many ways.

I remember the day I went into the hospital as if it were just yesterday. Both of us felt nervous, not knowing what to expect, but ready for anything. Minutes passed with us staring at the empty wall waiting for her arrival. The doctor had prepared for the worse, a cesarean, but we were shooting for a natural delivery. Ten hours later, she was finally here. I was thankful it was a natural delivery. The moment they placed her in our arms, it was all well worth it. I am not going to lie even with painkillers I felt the pain, but when it was all over I thought to myself, “I can do this again anytime!” Then came the fun part, teaching my husband how to care for her.

Since I had lived with my nephew from his birth until about two years old, I already had practice. The first night at the hospital, he took on that job all on his own with my guidance. To him holding her was a challenge in itself. He feared he would drop her or hurt her in some way when he held her. Being a first time parent you always have those fears, but we practiced placing her in his arms a few times before he did it on his own. He was really eager to learn everything and always made sure he was doing it correctly before moving on. The funniest skill was learning to change a diaper; we have all been there! Usually the first is just urine, yet hers wasn’t! He didn’t find it funny, especially when I laughed, but came through and didn’t complain. Moments like these impressed me. He truly was committed to our child and being a father. It made me fall in love with him all over again.

The first days home were exhausting with us getting used to minimal sleep. My husband tried his best to stay awake while I fed her and would change her diapers when she needed a new one. By this time, he had taken time off work to be with us, which I greatly appreciated. Soon we found ourselves paying attention to all the little sounds she made and even discussed them. My husband always questioned why she made a certain sound, thinking it might be something out of the ordinary. It was cute to see him worry, but I always made him aware that all of those things were normal. Days passed, people visited us less and less, which was good because we tried taking naps when she did. Everyone was right in saying, “Sleep when she does, you’ll regret it later if you don’t.” Boy did we take advantage after the first days with her. Everything we lived those first few days explained why our parents always said, “Wait until you have your own children, then you will understan d.”

Being parents is much more than people explain. From the moment you bring in this little life into the world, you stop being self-centered. For example, when we go shopping we find ourselves looking for clothes for her and not for us. If friends have invited us over, we always question how cold or hot it might be to take her out. Being parents has changed our mindset completely. We now understand that there is this little person who will look up to us for guidance, that will come running to us when she gets hurt, and that will love us unconditionally.

As we embark on this journey together we know we will makes mistakes and learn from them. Although we have people that help us from time to time, we are enthused to begin our job as parents.

Linda C. Ascencio
The Global Writers

A New Beginning

A new beginning is what I like
To stop all the sinning, stand up to the mike
Explain the reasons to start again
Open the shutters and pick up the pen
In streams the sunlight motes floating by
My morning porridge has attracted a fly
Writers block won’t plague my thoughts
As a dictionary of wonders opens all sorts
A man on a bike passes my view
I look up to see whispy clouds on skies of blue
The dawning of each day is a new beginning
While the end of the day all hope to go on living
The cat, he purrs loud but soft
And pidgeons are cooing away in the loft
What is a new beginning to me?
Is it like the hive sending out every single bee?
Maybe it’s the rain pattering down
Which makes me smile where most people frown
It could be the moon bright and new
Or how about an ocean wave of deepest hue
Every second of every day
A new beginning is where people want to pray
A new god here an old god there
Who ever you pray too you know they’ll care
Sandles through to the forests deep
You know the evergreens they will keep
But every other tree starts fresh and new
In the spring of seasons with leaves and dew
Every year a new cycle starts
And everyone laughs when someone farts
Breaking the ice to see you through
Meeting new people who are really brand new
Every birth you live till you’re old or too bold
Every death you cry the tears of the flesh that’s cold
Start every day like you mean to go on
Life really isn’t one big con
Change the views of those all around
Make some verses that seem quite profound
Seed a clous and watch it grow
And as dusk falls every bug just seems to glow
A new sun born a fuel for planets
Maybe in the future we will still have birds called gannets
It’s new for every breath we take
And were all as small as a drop in a lake
All as large as the biggest universe
Now where should I begin to write my new verse?

Sarah Frodsham
Stevenage Survivors

A New Beginning

A new beginning is a daunting and potentially exciting prospect. I personally have had several new beginnings over the past couple of years and I still have more to come. I have just finished composing a script for the Wizard of Oz so devising whatever comes of it, be it a stage play or a radio show, will be a new beginning for the writing group at the Well-Being Centre. A new beginning awaits me in September when I go to Oaklands College in Welwyn Garden City to do a course in Media Studies, one that won’t have any exams to revise for, thank goodness. These are activities I have previously taken part in during my time in Tyne and Wear but not done so since I came back to Hertfordshire so in a way, they will be new beginnings for yours truly. The birth of my beloved cousin Matilda last year was a new beginning for my family and now another new beginning awaits us in October as another new cousin of mine is expe cted around that time, during which I am once again required to run a workshop at the FED Fest. Having partners in my family has meant more new faces to meet and more new beginnings to come. How will I ever cope with all these new beginnings? It all sounds as exciting as it sounds daunting. I wonder if that is why it is taking me ages to finish editing my book? Is it because I am nervous as to what will happen when the new beginning of being published takes place or what people will think of my writing? Whatever happens, I will continue to work on it as hard as I have in the 7-8 years since I first put pen to paper.

Michael C. Bungay
Stevenage Survivors

A new Beginning

From the first Day at school, To passing a driving test
owning a car legally and attending a wedding.

A new beginning dawns, for the unknown and unexpected,
trial and retrial, preparing for that moment.

Hoping for a good outcome, with expectation and fervour,
we pray things work out ok.

It is the new generation, the old guard being replaced by the new,
The delegation of positions.

The format, the committee, the decision making process.
A project that involves all around. The individual, The dissagrements,
The tantrums and the resolutions. are in the past

The day we decide to change our ways. A rejection of misstakes,
and a path to enlightenment. That journey of a thousand miles,
starting with a single step.

Knowing the difference between right and wrong, everything i do, could be done
mindfully, precisely, accurately, correctly without worrying about misstakes or failing.

It is better to try and fail, than never try al all

A new beginning being strong, fearless and brave. is what i think it means

Paul Evans
Stevenage Survivors


A New Beginning

When I might, as a toddler
Have had my first ever pair of shoes
And stumbled, uncertain, unsteadily
Testing my tread on pathways anew-
I might as a middle aged divorcee
Get a prestigious pair of dance shoes,
Venture to the town hall Tea Dance
Take the first steps, in trepidation,
Onto the polished, parquet floor.

When I might have lent forward
Eyes tightly clenched, lips presented
In the hope of that first tentative,
Awkward adolescent kiss...
(Heart a- flutter and everything- so- mattered!)
I might now, bend cautiously forward
Palms clenched, and nervously mutter- but
Press send – and with concern, await
Contact with my first ever Match.Com date.

When I might have gone, tunnel visioned
Heart a-ponding, prepped and perspiring
To my first ever vocational job appointment -
I might now, post redundancy dump,
Following thirty years of dedication
To a crippled and crumbling civil service
Turn up eager and expectant to
My part time, vitalising, volunteering post.
Good bye and good riddance to Gov.uk.com

Ellen Reardon

A New Beginning – (a sonnet of sorts)

Its a new day – a new dawn
But do I have a new beginning?
Do I have an awakening?
Well, my toes are wiggling... my hands are twitching.
I get up from my new – too hard – orthopaedic mattress.
I open a new bar of soap- it slides over my skin- but does not cleanse me.
I use a new – too fluffy towel, which doesn't dry me but leaves a fine cotton coating.
Scrub my teeth with a tough, too hard new tooth brush that makes my gums bleed.
I open the healthy, fresh carton of juice that shocks my mouth with its sharpness.
I use the pristine rectangle of organic churned butter and worry about the fat content
On a newly baked wheat germ loaf- that might bloat my stomach.
I reluctantly put on itchy, new clothes with labels that irritate my skin.
Every thing is new...
Only, I am old.

Ellen Reardon 


At Stevenage introduced to Deborah Koff

Red Sun  pink light
Yellow flame in the cliff cove
Stretching to seek the way
Trying to find a footing
To lift out of deepening pit
Rocks passages muscle dust
In the clouding
Falling brow stones blackslates
A pigeon or a cuckoo calls outside
A new beginning
Looking for an opening
To call homeward
Making Tenure contact upwards

John Joseph Sheehy
® ©

Gifting and giving this A New Beginning

Turning over looking under the stone
Not expecting easy days
Strength to creating new material
Strong enough to carry out the door
Donating all gifted with starting points
Gifting giving all away awards the soul
Neutralizing brutalism
deciding has to go must be done
Able yourself to turn key enter here
Treasury finding a new topic good home
Beginning and  finding the passage
The best place to come up
From hell was a away down low
Regret that I am  late
Kick in into this case
Now is the best place brutal
To start the grass is greener here
Meadow barley still standing proud
Fields ripened again in sunshine
Sunset boulevard glories daytime efforts
Rising to stars starts tomorrow

John Joseph/Sheehy
© ®


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