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Admittedly, what I know about Maya Angelou is very little and mostly from Oprah’s TV show.  I have read a couple of her poems, which have touched me.  But until I picked up this book, I have never spent any quality time with Maya Angelou’s thoughts or words.  The title of this book spoke to me because I have always thought about the books I would gather and hand my daughter as a gift as she transitions from girl to woman.  This book is now one of those books that will be passed down.

This book is a quick one day read of 28 short stories/essays and a few poems about life as an African American woman, pregnancy, rape, being a daughter, coming of age, spirituality and so much more!  I  had some very profound moments while reading this book, and I found quite a few parallels with her thoughts on racism and my thoughts on the discrimination of LGBT individuals.

I spend a great deal of my time volunteering, and I donate money when I can.  I have never spent any time looking up the word “philanthropist”, but thankfully Maya Angelou has.   “The word philanthropy was taken from the two Greek words.  phil–lover of; and anthro–mankind.  So, philanthropists are lovers of humanity.”  She talks about how they show their love through large sums of money and how she would classify herself as “charitable”.  “The charitable say in effect, ‘I seem to have more than I need and you seem to have less than you need.  I would like to share my excess with you.’  Fine, if my excess is tangible, money or goods, and fine if not, for I learned that to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings.”

She finishes her thought by saying, “I may  never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly am a lover of mankind, and I will give freely of my resources.  I am happy to describe myself as charitable.”

I loved her thoughts on this.

There is a chapter called “Morocco” where she tells a story of her trip to that country.  She was a young naive 25-year-old woman who was not versed in the ways of the Moroccan people.  She tells a humorous tale that reminds us to learn about the customs of the countries we want to visit.  This story actually had me laughing out loud.  I may never look at raisins the same way again!

A lesson in gratitude:

“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas.  The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising.  Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.  If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.  Today I am blessed.”

A thought on strangers and friends:

“I learned that a friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”

There was another story she told about her life with  her ex husband.  “Within two days of our meeting we knew were in love together and had to be in life together.”  To me, the thought of being in love together instead of in love with each other, was so beautiful and such a great way to express what love truly is.

Then as I was finishing the book, in the last “chapter” called “Keep the Faith” she describes a persons spiritual journey as this…”It is in the search itself that one finds the ecstasy.”  And so it is!


Poetry……beautiful words, an out pouring of the soul!  Gary Bell has done just that with his very first poetry book!

This is a very short quick little read,but don’t mistake “quick” or “short” for unimportant or inconsequential!  Words of heart-break, love, finding oneself….all of these very profound!

After reading 3 books of poetry in the last couple of weeks, I have realized that I really need to get back into my own poetry writing.  It is so good for the soul!  I have also realized that *I* can get my books published and follow my dreams just like Gary and some of the other writers whose words I have read.  Gary is courageous for sharing his soul with the public, and I am so honored to call him friend!

Being with the same man for 27 years (since I was 14) has been a wonderful experience.  But I’m not gonna lie; sometimes I need an extra match to get the fires burning.  So Wednesday night I was thinking about how I used to read books of erotic/romantic poetry and I miss reading poetry.  Then the very next day while walking through the Women’s Show, I came across a booth with a banner that said “Sassy Reading” and “Hot Woman”.  Then I saw this book!

I asked, and the  universe provided!!!

Like I do for all books, I turned to the back cover to see what it had to say.  The top line said, “Are you in the lost and found line looking for your libido?”    How the heck did they know????  I thought that was my secret!  I guess I’m not the only woman in her 40’s trying to renew her mojo!!!!

While I was visiting with the authors in this booth, Elaine offered to read me my “birthday poem”.  I gave her my birth date.  She flipped the pages to May 7th and quietly she read.  Then she looked up at me and looked straight into my eyes with that “Are you ready for this?” look.  She began to read to me…….  When she was done, all I could do was clap my hands, stomp my feet and squeal like a school girl!  SOLD!!!!!

Of course, I bought the book!  Now I realize I am supposed to read one poem a day for a year.  But there were 2 issues with this.  The book started with February 14th…and this is September!!!!  If i waited that long, I would NEVER find my libido!!!!!  Then I had to take my blog into consideration.  I need to read it (entirely) NOW!

I realized as I read this book just how much I miss reading poetry.  I LOVE words.  I truly  have a love affair with them.  I love the way words can make me feel.  I love the words create images in my mind.  I love the way words convey moods and senses.  It  just amazes me.  I wish my husband understood just how much words “do it” for me……..ah well.

This book is amazing!  I realize the word “erotic” may scare some people, but rest assured there was only one “bad” word and it was the F-bomb.  There is nothing “in detail” in this book, but there are certainly words in this book that will make your body respond!  There is a poem for everyone in this book…some sweet and romantic..other hotter and more intense.  There are funny poems in this book that made me laugh out loud and there are poems that made me a bit sad.  There are poems in here that reminded me of times when Tracy traveled for work all of the time, and there are poems about enjoying nature at its finest!

I can’t post quotes for this post because, well it would require sharing whole poems.  I totally think these poems should be read from the book….with chocolate in hand…naked while wrapped in a fur (fake is perfectly fine) blanket..and maybe even with the object of your affection for a romantic night!  They certainly don’t belong on a computer screen!

Get out there and check this book out; it’s a great $12.95 investment :).  It will awaken that fire in your soul..and inspire you!  I promise!

I couldn’t sleep.  Visions of artwork and poems were flying through my head tonight..all brought on by the Firewalk…  I tried to scan the picture I drew tonight, but it didn’t come out right.  But here are the poems I wrote…

Like a spiral she spins round

Full bodied and never ending

Always fertile and creative

Flowing freely, curving curving

She dances to her own tune

Wild and naked

Beneath the full moon

Never apologetic

Her laughter sings out

Daring the stars to shine brighter

Stomping the dew soaked grass

Awakening the creatures of the earth


Rise and Dance

Join in the revelry

Play with me she becons

Come play!


I stand her naked

Proud as I please!

Full bodied

Heavy breasted

Look at me!

I have curves!

I have dimples!

Juicy and succulent

Sexy and Free!




They all describe me!


She licks

She burns

She dances a blaze!

She destroys

She transforms

She calls my name!

Can you hear

Don’t you see

She lives within me!



Setting me free!



Slow to start

Fast to rise

Burning hotter

Reaching higher

Destroying and Creating

Passion all consuming




Peace making