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Being Yourself

August 2015


Being Yourself: In Honor of Fifty Years of Writing

On this sunny warm afternoon beside the Miami River on SunWatch
the Family has gathered to celebrate a joyful moment in honor of our ancestors
El Cacique Tupamarua and El Cacique Agüeybaná and El Cacique Tecumseh
and all together reciting out loud inside of Central Park at West 72nd Street
the Neighborhood House Teen Campus, a haven for all of Manhattan’s urban youth
that were swept from under the street lamp
a place up there towards the sunny sky in a moment of time
the green grass that surrounds us like an ever-sight truth to reality
a light breaks when the Sun shines
and it waits to watch the water clear across the lake besides the motorway
just like a dropping leaf in the wind
I remember the times in my youth that were beautiful with wisdom
in itself in our tiny hearts
This is the Neighborhood House, drums that echo Faiga Brussell,
a teacher from Antioch College that nourished our harvest
that became poems and blow a doo wop melody
as we stroll along together holding hand in hand holding on you and me
so in love as we true
I wrote my poem and published it in “It’s What’s Happening” and performed with my doo wop group on Saturday, August 28, 1965
and at the summer festival and until today I mark 50 year anniversary
of my past and my present
as I listen to an old tune of Billy Stewart “Sitting in the Park”
and with Joe Cuba “To Be with You”
in a groove
Under this beautiful summer star in this view of this August
with a laughter or two in the hours of the light
in celebrating Marshall Allen’s 91st earth day with the Sun Ra Arkestra at homecoming at 40th Street at Walnut, the Summer Festival in Philadelphia
Travel in joy
planetary change
space is a place
for everybody’s joy
life is a journey
for a better planet

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 8/28/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Excerpt from "This Poetry/This Pedagogy"

This poetry, this pedagogy,
are impossible
This poetry, this pedagogy
are impossible
This poetry, this pedagogy
is impossible
antillana and antillano
you and me

(c) Ángel L. Martínez May-June 2015
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective



This is me being myself

This is Rain this is Sun this is Wind
This is night this is day this is this
This is pride
This is shame
This is respect
This is return of pride returning to self respect
This is love gone is hate this is care
This is scent this is taste this is thirst
This is you this is them who is this
This is me I know most except myself
This is me

John Joseph Sheehy

I Am Me

(written when I was 13 years old in English class)

I am me
Just little me
Nobody else
Just me

There are millions of people in this world
But they are not me
I may have a name but that is not me
I am me

Inside my body is little me
Living inside this shell called a body
When I am dead this body is disused
For it's just a servant for little me

Every second is a second gone
Each hour will never return
Every day is a day nearer death
For I am just little me

The world is vast and I am small
But then to the universe the world is small
I was born and someday will die
I can't help that I'm just little me

Paul Butler
Newham Writers 

Just being myself with nature

I'm looking in wheatgrass golden ripened
Baked in the sun drench Epping fields
No winds blowing time standing stamped
Corn flakes run through my mind
Then honey milk spoonful crunch
I sit on grasses pull my cap down over my eyes
I can see the sky white thin clouds
Aeroplane lines I soak the sun
I hear voices in the peace cars moving
I detected the vibration like seawater
The world goes by I lay still contented
Myself weather and nature

John Joseph Sheehy

This actually happened to me

I woke up, feeling woozy and slightly strange. A nurse asked me,
“How’s the pain? Is it mild, moderate or severe?” She had a soft Irish accent, which was a change from the Welsh accents of the night before when I was admitted. I was still dopey from the anaesthetic, and I did not answer. The nurse went away, but she returned a few moments later. “How’s the pain? Is it mild, moderate or severe?”

I did not know what she was talking about. A hernia is about the most painful condition a guy can suffer from, and the operation had clearly cured it. Any discomfort from the surgery and suturing was so insignificant as to be of no consequence. I looked at her and gave what was probably a rather weak smile. At least she smiled back, which produced dimples in her cheeks. She gave me an injection and walked away, but she kept coming back to ask how I was feeling.
Eventually I was taken to a ward, where several nurses came and went. I was feeling bright and cheerful, and not really in any sort of pain, but they kept asking me about it anyway. I was brought some lunch. It consisted of a piece of rubber coated in brown sludge, two small ice cream scoops of what purported to be mashed potato, and thirteen peas. Used to institutionalised food from years of boarding school, I ate it. It was followed by something called plum cobbler, which was more like a piece of sweet concrete on top of pinkish juice. I ate this too, since it was over twentyfour hours since Mum and Dad gave me anything to eat, and at the time I was in too much agony to care about food.

A friendly middle-aged woman came up to me and asked how I was. She obviously knew me, but I did not recognise her; perhaps she was a friend of Mum and Dad’s. After a few moments she frowned and her face took on an anxious look and she went away, only to return with the ward sister. The ward sister asked me some odd questions, and then said she would fetch a doctor. The friendly woman stayed with me. I asked,

“Are you a friend of Mum and Dad’s?” She gave a non-committal answer.

Two doctors came and asked to speak to the friendly woman, so they all went away. A few minutes later they all came back. One doctor produced a pad and pen and prepared to take notes. The other asked questions.

“What’s your name?”

“No,” I said. “Wat’s my father’s name.”

“I don’t know,” he said, rather stupidly I thought. “What’s your name?”

“No it’s not,” I told him again. “Wat’s my father’s name.” He thought for a moment, then he asked,

“Is your name John?”

“Yes. Wat’s my father’s name.”

“I don’t know,” he said again. Then he asked, “Do you know what year it is?”

“Nineteensixtyone. Tenth of December. It’s Sunday.”

“Do you know who this is?” He indicated the friendly woman.

“No. Is she a friend of Mum and Dad’s?” He did not answer. Instead he asked,

“Do you know where you are?”

“In hospital of course.”

“Do you know why you’re in hospital?”

“I’ve had a hernia operation.”

“How old are you?”


“Are you married?”

“Of course not. I’m much too young.”

“Do you have any children?”

“I just told you I’m not married.”

“Where do you live?”

“With Mum and Dad, but I’m away at college during the week.” The doctors and the friendly woman went away. After a bit the doctor who asked the questions came back.

“Have you got a headache?”
“No. It’s my groin where I had the operation.”

“Do you know which consultant you’re under?”

“Hugh Davies.” The doctor frowned, so I added, “He did the operation. He’s a friend of Mum and Dad’s. Will Mum or Dad be coming to visit me today?”

“I don’t know.” He went away.

I was kept in hospital for several days. Doctors came to talk to me and ask me more questions. The friendly woman came to visit, but she did not stay very long. Mum and Dad did not come. A psychiatrist came and asked me lots of questions: about me; my family; where I lived; what I did. I told him I was a bit confused about things. I had some spectacles that were not mine, and neither was the wristwatch. The hospital seemed to be different from the way I remembered it.

“What’s happening?” I asked. “Why are so many people asking me all sorts of questions? When will Mum and Dad come to visit? I’m sure these aren’t my pyjamas.”

“We’re a bit concerned about you,” he told me. “You can get out of bed if you feel up to it. Why don’t you go down to the day room and watch some television?” I put on the dressing gown, presumably supplied by the hospital, but I did not understand why Mum and Dad had not brought mine. I walked down to the day room. It had this enormous television; the screen must have been at least twenty inches, and I was amazed to see the picture was in colour. A couple of days after this the morning nurse asked if I wanted to shave. I could not find my electric shaver, so she produced a safety razor. She also handed me a mirror. At first I thought I was not holding it properly, as the only reflection I saw was of a man in his fifties. Later that day my wife came to see how I was.

John Malcomson
Heeley Writers   


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