Maya has gone

The heart of my desire is in my tongue, it has been pulled out, stuffed into my throat, burned at the stake and washed out with soap

Maya has left us, an empress of speaking truth with beauty, bravery, compassion

How will I find the strength to keep the flame alive, that beacon in the dark night of the soul, that gives hope to a weary traveler (whose journeys have left more scars and confusion than entertainment and hospitality), that eternal flame that says, “I hear your cries,” as it alights o’er the rocks of ages, like moisture giving clouds that sashay over mountains, sea spray, firefly dance, mourning dove, the eagle’s piping-

“I see what you have done, been, felt, I see the wonder and pains, the many refrains of pains and its beauty”

For beauty is in everything, in pains and tears, struggles and defamations, as it is in the smiles of a summer night, the embraces and salvations.

She knew this, our poet sage. She faced us and sung the caged bird’s song, a bell, a knell, a black women’s book of Kells, weaving our pains and dreams illuminate, our silent observations into delicately bold, elaborately simple melodies of vision- the poet, the bard, griot, jongleur. Her words have soothed, inspired, opened wings with the magic of poetry. Deep within we know there is nothing more powerful than this. It was known long ago on the Emerald Isle, at the Alhambra and in certain pockets of destiny. The poet has free reign to the very quick of us and when she holds that space with beauty and grace, then we feel our own greatness, no matter how green in its infancy-

Yesterday, such a one left our earthly road and hearth, to join life’s wisdom in the river and sea. Her words, of course, remain and will continue to touch many a traveler.

On this day, the day after, what will I do about my heart’s desire? Will I ignite my tongue into a little candle? Bring it with me into shadows? Will I dare to speak my truth(s) with beauty and grace as I walk?

It is said that we may find happiness in gratitude. As I pay homage to our sister mother poet teacher, I stand in an endless well of thanks. It is a swelling tide, and yes, I am filled.

Thank you Maya Angelou