What’s in a Name?

I know it is no big deal to many of you who use your real names on your blogs. But I have used two pens names since starting this blog shortly after the death of my wife. I was still teaching, and my daughter was still in high school. Although the LGBTQ community has made great strides in being accepted by society, there is still prejudice. Being in education, I still had to be careful. Additionally, much of my writing comes from my experiences. Hence, some of my work centers on my daughter. Therefore, I wanted to protect her privacy as well. However now that I am retired and after lengthy consideration, I have decided to dispense with the pen names I have been using. I changed the domain name a few months ago when the old domain encountered issues with being shared on Facebook. I never did figure that problem out but changing the domain which included my real surname fixed the problem. I believe it was the April Writing Prompt Challenge—I am more than Breath and Bone– from Christine Ray, Brave and Reckless.com, that provided the impetus which spurred me to use my real name. What came out of me for that prompt was a recognition of what my mother and foremothers have done for and given me. I have tried to raise my daughter to be proud of herself, her family, and her two moms. If I hide behind a pen name, am I teaching her pride? Am I doing what my mother and foremothers have done for me? If I hide behind a pen name, am I “holding up the mountains” for her as was done for me? But I needed it to be okay with her. So, I asked her how she felt about it. What if her friends stumble across some of my work? What if they saw something that was about her? She responded with complete honesty and clarity, “Well, Mom. It’s your writing. If they do, they do.” So, with that, my name is Annette Kalandros, and I will be using my real name from this point forward.

Window Shopping

Oh, do so pardon me,

Window shopping only, dear.

No temptation to try it on for size

in some strange dressing room,

to look in the mirror to see

exactly how it fits.

No touch of whimsy

to impulse buy

only to return,

and God forbid,

pay any re-stocking fee.

I may appreciate the look.

I may so enjoy

reading the product description,

but no,

no thank you, my dear.

Please, no trial samples

to increase the clutter

I’ve collected over years.

You see, love,

it’s like in Ecclesiastes,

there  is a time to buy

and a time to leave it on the rack.

Yes, sweetie,

I know it’s on sale,

but the return policy

is too exhausting with disclaimers

to know if it’s worth the risk

of finding a good fit.

So, for now, my sweat pea,

let me just peruse

the clearance stacks

and perhaps read

the product contents

out of simple curiosity.

Perhaps, one day,

though, I doubt it,

my dear,

I’ll find something

that strikes my fancy,

take it from the rack

to the fitting room,

try it on for size,

and find a good enough fit

to buy.

Desert of the Heart

originally published on http://Whisper and Roar.com

I snip the spent roses

From the bushes

And place the browned edged heads

Into this bag.

The bag is filled pink and yellow petals

Dried from the sun

Or beaten from the hail of thunderstorms.

I continue to the next bush.

Do the bushes feel relieved of a burden?

No longer having to spend energy on buds dead or dying?

Or do they want their dead and dying

To hold close and cherish the ending?

Would they rather have these old buds

Than the new wounds I have opened for them?

Is this the purpose of their thorns?

To keep the well-intentioned gardener away from their limbs?

A thorn snags my arm

And blood drops onto

The pink and yellow brown edged beaten petals

Like water in the oasis

Of this desert of the heart

Tear Down the Curtain 

A battle won,

Time now to rise,

Rise in the streets to remind 

Of a time when 

With a banging shoe

Our damnation tolled 

As shouts and threats

Of our burial 

Brought us to the brink.

We must rise,

Rise, take to the streets,

Stand beneath the feet of great ones

They plan to topple and disgrace,

To show we see the link

Smelted and forged in gold

With the man behind the curtain.

We once caused a wall to fall.

Let our numbers now rip down 

A curtain made of gold.  

History

history image

Spun out from the centrifuge
Twisted in helix meaning
Strands entwined, twisted back
Stretching toward history within heritage
Search through the montage of time
Sift through pounds of truth and lies
For a few ounces of purity
Measured out within the mess
The now was the past
Where to walk
We travel back
On twisted helix roads
To the selves we were
So very long ago
And learn
The future braided
In the past
With the now
And made us whole

Power Rises

The Lady went dark,

feeling the decline.

The dawn trembled,

as the power of the mother raised

a sisterhood united.

 

While the capricious one

and his band of merry fools

turned tiny hands

to the magician’s tools

of distraction and deflection,

whipping their devout disciples

to a rabid, foamy hate,

ready to trample their different siblings.

 

Thus, the mother within the sisterhood

and a faction of the brotherhood

joins them to rise,

persisting in resisting

to protect a nation

for the next generation.

 

Treasonous Restoration

The once silenced sentiment

Finding voice in our modern age

Now screams in rage:

BUILD A WALL

WHITE POWER

MY PRESIDENT SAYS WE CAN KILL YOU NOW

GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY

 

And on it goes

Until an absence of color

Signifies ownership

Of Justice whose scales were sold

And tore off her blindfold,

Of Liberty whose anger more than scorched,

That book of law before that torch

She turned and hurled into the Caspian

To douse the betrayed flame.

 

Robes torn, heads covered in ashes

Justice and Liberty now sit on the ground,

Crying out:

 

With headstones overturned

And threats to Abraham’s schools,

How long before another night

Of broken glass?

 

With two now dead in Crescent City,

How long before the crosses burn

As the noose is placed round

The necks of Nubians

How long before the crosses twist,

And on them, shepherds are tied

And left in the cold to die, crucified?

 

When did the colors of our flag turn:

Red, White, and Black?

The Saddle and The Bit

Place the saddle,
Force the bit,
Ride us all
As you wish.
For that’s your dream
To feel such power,
As you surely never felt
Surge between your thighs.

But now the blood flow to the brain
Must be your impediment,
For you to blunder and believe
We could be fooled, trained, broken
To your prideful will
By whipping us with hate
And all the while saying
It is for our own good
To know our place
Till we become beaten slaves,
Smiling, nodding, shuffling on,
Muted and grateful you own us
Since we, at least, survive.
While you, smug and smiling,
Play the benevolent, loving master,
As is the lie of your fantasy.

Cloaked in liberty won
In the blood of our history,
We watch
Your strutting, angry buffoonery
As we stand proud,
Refusing the saddle and the bit,
Fighting against the whip,
We will not smile
We will not nod
We stride and march,
Rejecting everything
You would twist us into
As you claim to make
Our nation great once again
We rise to free our nation
From you, the enemy of democracy,
As is the reality.