International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8, it is the focal point in the women’s rights movement and raises awareness of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Over the years I have written a few poetry pieces inspired by women and their journey’s, the pieces have explored women’s strength, their growth and their challenges. I have selected a few below to be a part of my poetic tribute.
A couple of years ago I started a motivational series on Instagram called “Dear Strong Women.” Have a look at my Poetry by Traysi Instagram account and scroll through the posts for the black text on green background ones…
From afar I felt you
On the back of my neck your whispered words brunt bruises into my skin
And into the night I saw you
Through shadows and joy induced fears
I was reminded of all those years where
Deep within something stirred and shattered
Am emotion lit by a lighter thumb flick
I was in front of you
Smiling through clinched teeth and tears
Looking different from my insta pic
Wondering if you liked what you saw
Do you like me
This was real I could feel and still
I stood in that moment waiting for you
Waiting to be pulled internally
Blistered hands moulding
Starting a transformation
I wanted and didn’t want
At the same time
Becoming something I did not want to be
Was not borne to be
Silently screaming superficially “i will not be!”
Sealed into a glass box and tossed like dice until I cracked
Pieces of me suddenly unimportant
App pressed finger swipe
Sweating in screen lit places
Faces bodies blurring
Until you saw me
You liked me
You told me I was your queen
And you’ll show me the world
The things I will see
Only imagined in Hollywood dreams
Scenes where I danced in blissed
Kissed by the gold you promised me
Stunned all sense out of me
None of it made sense
The way I craved your attention
Your toxic flooded eyes showed me oceans
And all I wanted to do was dive right in
Blind folded to your unloved speech
Caressed intimately by fingers glued to mouse clicks
Eyes watered from starring too much too hard
Every detail too bold and sold through cheap pleasures
I dived right in until I drowned
Into a relationship I could not find
Its foundation crumpled into distances
Fallen sand disappeared through my open fingers
And despite every cell in my body crying out no
I said yes
Because you know I loved you from our first encounter
Maybe I can help, hopefully? I have started a new Instagram Poetry Tips Series to encourage those who are either thinking about writing or those have reached an unmotivated stage where anything poetry leads to a dead-end! Trust me, I have been there many times!
A few weeks ago I was asked to write a spoken word piece based on the Bible scripture 1 Corinthians chapter 13. This I performed at the Wellspring during a talk about “Real Love.”
Love bears all things and never gives up In every circumstance it remains Roots dug deep in storms Where failures transform into new things Overcoming life’s hurdles Ducking and diving dilemmas Unexpected and foreseen Steadfast it stays For days For years Forever Enduring it all Never giving up
Love never loses faith Continues believing Hoping Seeing beyond human mind-sets And current situations Seeing the best Protects with a shield that surrounds and trusts The glue in all relationships Patiently bringing peace in the waiting Kind Selfless Caring Compassionate Love
Outshining anything man made and thought of Intertwining into life so gracefully Cutting through concealed places Heavy spaces where things seem lost
Love stays strong Never weakening Never dwindling Never fails Fades or ends Just flows out of those who know What it means to be loved and To love Growing out of God's love Filled with a real love Out of a heart fully submitted Births something so beautiful
An understanding that God is love God is love and All who live in love live in God and This love is the greatest The most powerful
Where every cell of our body pours out love Where every action and Reaction begins and ends with love Where every language spoken is in the language of love And we are nothing if we haven't loved
We can have a faith that moves mountains Speak in tongues of angles Have the gift of prophecy and Can fathom all mysteries and Knowledge We can give all to the poor and do all the things we think God has called us to do Leave a life of legacy lasting for generations and generations We can do and overcome amazing things both big and small All in the name of the lord And still not love
Seasons will come and go Prophesy will cease Tongues will be stilled Knowledge will pass away Like dust disappearing in the wind and despite all these endings Only three things will remain Faith hope and love And the greatest of these is love
I entered this year with a plan, one that challenged and expanded my writing, where I hoped to introduce the world to a changed and new me. A more confident me. A more focused me. A more wiser me. A stretched-beyond-recognition-me as my plan pushed comfort zones into new, wider places. It demanded I said an active ‘yes’ to every writing thing asked of me, despite my mind screaming “noooo” and my body gearing up for run/ flight.
There were various mind maps of ideas and goals, a to do list so sophisticated it had chapters and scheduled notification reminders that buzzed. I was so sure that 2021 would be a another year of growth and development, much more than what I have ever imagined. Unable to contain myself, I walked around stiff and tight, bursting to the brim with excitement.
“Just say an active yes to everything creative”
Then the penny dropped! A few months into the year I realised weeks had went by and I hadn’t done much. Those weeks quickly transformed into months and before I knew it, I was already halfway through the year! (Yes… I did cry and grieved the 6 month loss…)
Life was hectic and overwhelming, an uncontrollable beast that sucked my creative energy and motivation dry. I must admit, I did lay there for a bit and allowed it all to happen. It just felt easier and I didn’t have the emotional and mental will power to say to myself “Come on Traysi!” “You can do it Traysi!” “Don’t stop Traysi!” (I should have just paid someone to give me a hard kick on the butt!)
But, amongst the mess I knew deep down it would be OK. I was reassured by my trust in God, the gift of inner strength and the fact that I have been in these places before and survived.
When I got a spiritual nudge two weeks ago, I jumped up with joy! The nudge whispered “love letters to God.”
That was all I needed. It reminded me that the year isn’t over and I could still end this year achieving something satisfying and amazing. I just needed to refocus, replan, set aside time (fight for my time) and not be so hard on myself for the way this year started.
So I am throwing this out there and being accountable to all who read this and those who love me and my poetry. I will (start to) finish my “love letters to God” poetry collection and end this year with a bang!
This is the first in a series of poems that explores why I write. Reason #1 is the healing aspect of “expressive writing,” and obviously, my chosen format is poetry. However, if you want to try something different; “expressive writing” can be writing diaries, journals, songs and thought pieces.
In the new world of Covid-19 there has been increased conversations about mental health, wellbeing and wellness. For example, the signs to an unhappy mental health, the different things that impact mental health and the many wellness activities you can do to ensure a healthy and happy mental health.
“Expressive writing = happy mental health and wellbeing”
What’s on your heart and mind?
“What’s on your heart and mind?” is the subtitle of John F Evans article titled Expressive Writing. He describes the rhythms of expressive writing, the connections with wellness and challenges readers to ‘become their own researcher,’ trying out his tips and advice, seeing if it works.
But that question, “what’s on your heart and mind?” Is the foundation of expressive writing. It is the starting point where the tumbling of words from your heart and mind become written (or typed) and ignites the healing process. It is the outpouring of soul that helps the transformation from an unhappy mental health to a happy (or happier) one. And like most things in life, practise makes things (writing) easier.
“So, what is on your heart and mind?”
From very early on in my writing career (as a young teen, lol), I had some awareness of the links between poetry writing, emotional healing and a happy mental health. Of course, I wouldn’t have used those words to describe it, it wasn’t talked about like it is now. I just knew writing made me feel better. It helped make sense of my world and I just found it easier to explain my thoughts and emotions with a pen or pencil.
The strong urge
As an adult and during my most rock bottom places, I translated my emotions to paper or computer screen. Often prayerfully scribbling down (or typing) a difficult period of my life, after feeling a strong urge just to get it out of me!
For me personally, this “strong urge” was usually connected with a previous “God time moment” (as I am a Christian), where I had a verbal/ thoughtful outpouring of what was on my heart and mind. Followed by a still moment wrapped in God’s warmth.
It’s unimportant if you have just a “strong urge” or something else that helps you to write like another wellness activity or strong motivation. Just write something! Everyone has to start somewhere.
“I must write, I need to write, I am going to get it out of me!”
However, the “strong urge” might not be enough for some or they just might never experience the “strong urge.” Don’t worry because a regular expressive writing routine will get you there. It doesn’t matter if it is daily or weekly, in the morning or before bed, poetry or journaling. You have to do what feels right for you, be consistent and take baby steps. Just get through the week and the month, despite the never-ending assortment of emotions and distractions. Then before you know it, your “expressive writing routine” is a daily habit like brushing your teeth and sleeping.
The first Windrush Day was celebrated in the UK on 22 June 2019. This day acknowledes the generation of people from the Caribbean, who came over to the UK by invitation to help rebuild Britain after the World War Two.
But when 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 to live and work in the UK, they were met with racism, prejudice and hostility.
My parents came over from Grenada in the early 70’s, after the Windrush generation. It pains me that decades after Windrush they were mistreated. And decades after thatWindrush Scandal hit the news in 2018.
Over the years I have written various spoken word/ poetry pieces exploring racism, identity and culture. I have shared some of these pieces below.