COLORS OF ENGLISH – by K.Brooks

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Many lands once belonged to England
Now; as far as post-Imperial
State of language stands
English belongs to many lands

Colors of English; the colors of English
Occur also in Spanish and French
Mixed in a bit with Dutch and such
Time transmitted scents of colonial stench

Not born in England
But into English born
With English raised
Break bread as English
Spoon-fed on English
Tune head to English
Grow to be keen on English
Learn to love the Queen’s English
Taught to echo foreign English of radio
First English teacher for me
News-reader on BBC

Listen to “pure” English
Read more and more English
Study sure English
Tweak tongue to speak “unbroken” English
Write tight English, but not white English
Get bright in English to fight the English

Ruled in English; schooled by English
Ridiculed for not sounding English
And, not being English, one got angry at English
Temporarily hated English, berated the British
Swearing at intellectual colonization, for its
Mishearing of pronunciation variation as deviation

And when the deconstructed
Empire spoke back
It spoke in black, brown, red, also yellow
Including tints that might be between
History highlighted, colors of English
Colors of English; the colors of English
Enunciate in skin-tones of
English-knowing tongues
Conjure faces of relating races
Carry echoes from varied places
Resonate within sundry spaces
Orate, live, English of colors

Excerpted from COLORS OF ENGLISH ©KBrooks 2013

K.Broox is a childhood friend , schoolmate now poet who is popular in North America speakeasy clubs and poetry festivals. His recent work My Best Friend Is White, Broox is introduced as “an internationally seasoned dub poet with decades of performance experience in North America, Europe and the Caribbean”. The experience showed as he stepped to the microphone, heralded by Allen as someone who brings “incisive, intellectual discourse to everything he touches”.Broox is also the Winner of the 2005 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Literature.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friend-White-Klyde-Broox/dp/1894692136

 

DON’T COMMIT SOCIAL SUICIDE

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With my last post for 2013 I thought I would share with you a simple truth of life. It’s not anything you have not heard before but it is something that we always take for granted and that is our comfort zone. 

We all have a comfort zone. Its our feel good zone, like eating the ice cream or chocolate bar. We are human so it is natural to have this place of safety where we can huddle . But staying there every day gets you no-where. Its like the man in a prison, a 4×4 cell around him every day, he paces, he gets up, he does push ups, he squats but technically he has not moved an inch out of those walls. His comfort zone, although imposed physically traps him for breathing, from growing.

So my message to you today is don’t get comfortable in your comfort zone. Its social suicide. it’s also mental slavery as you become a slave to the same routine accomplishing nothing. If you plant a seed it immediately gets out of the comfort zone you placed it in and grows. You must do the same. Staying in your zone only guarantees one thing, safety. But life is not about playing the game in the safety zone. It’s about throwing the ball to the end zone and running briskly to the finish to score a touchdown. Now that is where the magic becomes a reality.

2013 has come and gone. Turn your page and start a new chapter. Have the best 2014 ever. One love to you all.

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THIS IS PERFECTION

 “I have always been willing to put myself at great personal risk for the sake of entertainment. And I’ve always been willing to put you at great personal risk, for the same reason!”

Those are the words of George Carlin. Like any other person George had flaws however he was also a successful comedian. There was no subject he did not find the comic element much to the delight of his audience. Sometimes he was even controversial to the point of audience abuse if ever there was such a thing in a comedy show. But  he left a legacy behind and one of his legacy is his writings on social matters that relate to how we behave and why we do the things we do. By We I mean Us, human beings. Here is one of his social letters to humanity that really causes us to pause and think. It makes us realize, for better off for worse that we are our greatest enemy and that humanity is only a button away from self-destruction.

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The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

This friends, is perfection.

THE INTERNET IS THE NEW GOD.

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Eric Whitacre is a composer who started in the music business by accident. Long story short he was speaking at the TED series and he got an idea of a virtual choir that could perform his music , a choir of different voices from all over the world singing in perfect harmony. He put the word out and in no time he got over 2000 voices from 54 countries that responded to this plea. Attach an editor with passion to the project and you get a virtual masterpiece.

Lesson learned:
1. The world is smaller than you think.
2. The Internet is the virtual God of mankind
3. Nothing is impossible. Soon there will be virtual holidays, virtual reunions of family and friends and virtual employment. As a matter of fact. some of it has already begun.

Welcome to the new town square. Sit back, listen and float.

CHRISTMAS! To be… or not to be…by Elizabeth Lloyd-Lawrence

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Philippians 1:18 – “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,…”

Growing up as a child I looked forward to Christmas. The weather seemed cooler which was welcoming living  in a tropical island, there were more to eat than usual, as a Catholic the Mass was more special, the church  was decorated, my home had a christmas tree  and even more importantly I saw family I have not seen for a long time and I got gifts. Yes that was the most enjoyable thing about Christmas growing up. I loved it. I looked forward to it knowing the year was coming to a close and almost miraculously we were able to start afresh on things that were not accomplished in the year about to close. Christmas was cathartic.

As the years passed you grow older and wiser and one of the revealing moments  is realizing the truth and the truth is that Christmas, this life changing , mood fulfilling moment is in fact not what it supposed to be , but rather something created from a pagan ritual , the aim of which was not as religious as proclaimed. It was not Jesus birthday? and the entire story, reason and biblical links all seemed fake. And so you begin to question and wonder why ?

For the agnostic he is steadfast in his beliefs, God does not exist so Christmas is nothing but a figment of your imagination. For the doubters you  get caught up with the season but any conversation that pulls you away from the story told to you gets your attention and for the believers, well they are so into it they live the story. But whatever your belief one thing is certain, Christmas is special, and special things that never happened all year miraculously happen at Christmas time. A good friend helped me to believe in the season even further when she wrote a personal perspective on the very question of Christmas..to be or not to be. Her name is Betty and she questioned her faith like everyone else and she has come to her epiphany. She brought me to mine as well. I share her thoughts hoping that if you are a doubter like me, maybe her thoughts will turn on the light in the dark and confusing closet.

CHRISTMAS! To be… or not to be…

December 26, 2013 at 4:22pm  By Elizabeth Lloyd-Lawrence.

I have been asked my opinion on Christmas many times.  I have also been told in no uncertain terms of the error of the ways of the church in celebrating this season.  I have had to come to terms with this matter myself, as to what Christmas really means to me personally.

Before I share my personal opinion on Christmas, I would like us to consider a few focus points for many persons, which of course fuels their motivation as to whether or not to celebrate this season:

1.    Focus on the positive:

  • The serious side of worship to the King of Kings Jesus Christ
  • The high of the excitement and enjoyment of fun, food, fellowship, family and friends

2.     Focus on the negative:

  • The rejected and depressed, the homeless and the destitute.
  • The financial pressures and demands.

3.     Focus on the aftermath:

  • Ever considered when the loneliest times of significant moments in our lives are?  Consider not the moment itself, but what happens when the dust settles? (we could aptly refer to this as the afterthought) e.g.

§  After the Christmas holiday… when everyone goes back to work and leaves those in the hospital, or those in prison, or the homeless and hungry, or the retired and lonely — not to be remembered again for another 364 days. Not to mention picking up the pieces of trying to make ends meet after the overeating and over-spending and wondering what to do with all these purchases that are not appreciated and may never be used.

This is not synonymous only with Christmas, but aftermath is a reality in other significant events as well:

§  After the funeral… the loneliness when everyone leaves and are back to their normal lives

§  After the graduation the frustration of seeking a job and dealing with unemployment

§  After the wedding… the bills and repayment of debt

Hopefully I have you all thinking, so I can now share my thoughts on Christmas.  This is not intended to open a debate, as this is very personal, though controversial.

Out of the abundance of my heart, my mouth now speaks… I believe the celebration of Christmas is truly a matter of the heart and personal conviction.  I am fully convinced of the pagan roots of this holiday, just as so many other things that we do are.

We might be shocked to find out that there are many rituals and traditions we practice as believers, which are rooted in a heritage of paganism witchcraft, or superstition viz. the origin of the flower girl at a wedding:

The flower petals are used to welcome the bride to the altar, but the petals weren’t the only things used by flower girls in the past, and past items had different meanings. Items such as herbs, grains, and garlic have been scattered by the little ones over the years. These items have been used as a calling for fertility as well as keeping evil spirits at bay.”

I list that example, which is just one of many, as the point is, there are too many to mention.  Christmas is just one of the many traditions that have questionable origins.  This became the root of my struggle, so I made a personal list of the pros and cons of celebrating Christmas:

My Concerns with Christmas:

  1. Christmastime has propelled some believers to a place of defense as they seek to protect the need to “clean up” the truth of Christmas Day’s pagan roots (as some believers are also now trying to do with Halloween).
  2. Christmastime has been overtaken by commercialism which fuels greed and selfishness, as many seek after “wants”, to the extent of overspending, or even to the extreme of resorting to crimes of theft to fill those desires.
  3. Christmastime has influenced the Body of Christ with that same commercialism of the world.
  4. Christmastime seems to have limited good deeds to one day out of the year.
  5. Christmastime has robbed some seeking unbelievers from the truth of the gospel, as they view the same selfish, greedy, spendthrift and revelry behaviour in the church, as they witness in the world during this time.
  6. Christmastime has brought into focus the “baby” Jesus (similar to our focus on the “dead” Jesus at Easter), with insufficient concern of living by the Spirit of Christ.
  7. Christmastime creates a massive divide within the Body of Christ, as positive strides of unity attained throughout the year are threatened by this difference of opinion.

My Positive Reflections of Christmas:

  1. Christmastime has accounted for increased Evangelism and multitudes coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Christmastime has accounted for many back-slidden believers making re-commitments to their faith in Jesus Christ.
  3. Christmastime has been responsible for the reuniting of many families who have been estranged.
  4. Christmastime has been the season of forgiveness and reconciliation of millions of feuding friends and families.
  5. Christmastime has pulled many people out of their comfort zone and opened their eyes to the reality of many who are in need.
  6. Christmastime has a way of putting a smile on our faces.  Even when those who disapprove of Christmas, try to resist the joyful moments, it still happens to them, by default it seems.
  7. Christmastime creates the opportunity for us to reach outside of ourselves to minister to the needs of others, especially to those who are low in spirit as they experience thoughts of lack – not necessarily of things, but of family.

There is, of course, the spiritual focus, which includes the ongoing debate whether or not celebrating this major holiday is Christian or pagan.  I think that participating in such a debate always leads to a losing place for all involved, as there are such compelling arguments from both perspectives. It makes so much sense when you consider Paul’s words to not engage in such debates:

§  2 Timothy 2:14 – “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.”

§  2 Timothy 2:23 – “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”

I leave you my readers, to decide my opinion of Christmas. I am happy that the lists above will not allow an inkling of my leaning, as both lists have 7 points each, but, I will give you a hint: “What is the motive of the heart?”  There is not only the legalistic value to consider, but also the value of the heart.  It is those motives from which we will be judged as right or wrong.

§  Proverbs 21:2 – “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

A random thought crossed my mind as I wondered about the millions of people who share my birthday, good people and bad people alike.  What if I decided to celebrate my birthday on a different day of my birth, because I know of one really wicked person who shared my birthday and used that day to do only bad things? Isn’t it more important that my birth be celebrated, and not being concerned about what date it was celebrated?  I remember my late mother, as her birth date and recorded date did not match; so her birthday was just “celebrated” on one of the days that she picked, with little attention or concern as to whether or not the date was correct.

Finally, join with me in meditating the following scripture, and although I welcome feedback from my deliberation, please note that I will not enter a debate on this topic:

§  Philippians 1:18 – “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,…”

As we come to the close of 2013, please be safe, blessed and enjoy friends and family while you can.  Let us prepare our hearts for the coming year, by focusing more on becoming who we should be, from the inside out, rather that what we should do.  What we do will be as a result of who we are – hopefully, a good example and a person of integrity in our homes, community, nation and the world.

God bless you all!

Elizabeth.

In closing..keep an open mind always. There are 3 sides to every story and situation. Never close your thoughts and draw imperfect conclusions on an imperfect situation. As the scripture said..what does it matter….at the end of it all, good comes in December. Mankind changes in December. With all the shame and drudgery in the world , that my friend, be it false or not, is a good thing.

Have an earth moving Christmas one and all. Keep the love alive.