Poet Spotlight: Nia Elise |Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest 2018

This week we are spotlighting the winners of the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! Today, you’ll get to meet the poets and read their poems. Let’s dive right in with our 3rd Place winner.

INTRODUCING NIA ELISE

Nia Elise is a 41-year-old single mom of two beautiful girls. She currently resides in Covington, Ga after relocating from her hometown of Silver Spring, MD. She is currently a 4th-grade teacher and has spent 19 years working in education. Her love of poetry began in elementary school when she received a signed copy of “Honey, I love” by Eloise Greenfield. She began writing her own poetry in middle school. After her divorce, she took to the stage and began doing spoken word. She is currently working on her first book of poetry and vignettes titled “Lessons on Love.” Be on the lookout for her book, and read more of her poetry by following @PoeticallyPurposed and on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Welcome Nia! So nice to meet you beautiful. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your poem, Self-Love?

Nia: Upon deciding that I would enter the poetry contest, I opened an episode of Red Table Talk where Jada Pinkett Smith discussed her views on self-love. I began thinking about what that meant to me, and more importantly my struggles with learning to love myself, and how I want my daughters to view themselves differently than I did growing up. That was my inspiration to write “Self-Love” for this contest.

I love it. It’s a powerful poem. “The unattainable plight of a woman” was a beautiful way to open and sum up the piece. A few lines caught our attention:

“to break down the expectation into bits she can eat.
And she swallows
her pride, tears, fears, and the expectations of her peers
And spits them back out at her baby girls feet.”

Tell us about those lines.

Nia: Society has placed these expectations on women of what we should look like; Our size, the clothing we wear, how we wear our hair, the way we walk and talk, how we should or should not cater to a man, or how we should mother our children. It’s a lot to take in, or rather to “Swallow”. Every time you open a social media page, there is a meme about what you should or should not be doing to meet these expectations. Through my journey of learning to love myself, I have had to set them aside and understand that I can take in what I think is best for me, and just throw the rest away. I want my daughters to understand this same thing. They do not need to meet the expectations of the world, but only the expectations they have set for themselves.

Well said.

Now let’s get into this poem!

 

Self Love Copyright© Nia Elise

3rd Place

The unattainable plight of a woman
The mask she carries is not her own
Under it
Lies
Expectation
Made into self-deprecation
Caused by
Society, men, magazines and molds.
In her youth she may have had the physicality
but not the mentality
to sustain what they thought she should be.
After birth
she struggles with the physicality
but now owns a mentality
to break down the expectation into bits she can eat.
And she swallows
her pride, tears, fears, and the expectations of her peers
And spits them back out at her baby girls feet.
She tells her
these folks’ expectations are not for you to meet
They are for you to beat
They will gnaw at your mind
Pull on your spirit
And you need to push it aside baby girl,
Don’t hear it
Be the best version of you
That is more than just the view
That is the drive to be alive and to continue to push through
That is the understanding that
God’s got you
That is the realization that
you are beautiful no matter what
That your beauty is more than your face and your strut
That what matters
is in your heart and mind
That it’s more important to be gentle and kind
Especially since we are all going through
The seemingly unattainable plight of learning to love YOU.

 

Be Sure to Follow Nia Online!

IG: @poeticallypurposed

@embodyingpurpose


Stand by for our 2nd Runner-Up.

Nailah Shami is up tomorrow!

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Poet Spotlight: Kiyana Blount | Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest 2018

This week we are spotlighting the winners of the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! Today, you’ll get to meet the poets and read their poems. Let’s dive right in with our 4th Place winner.

Introducing Kiyana Blount

Copyright©Kiyana Blount. Used with permission.

Kiyana Blount is a mother, wife, and friend who has a heart of pure gold. She is 27 years old and has a passion for the arts. Kiyana loves to write, dance, sing and act and every time she walks in the room has a light that cannot be dimmed. On her journey through self-love, she is learning how to not only uplift herself but those around her. Kiyana is a hard worker and believes she can accomplish anything she wants to!

Kiyana, so good to meet you beautiful! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and what inspired your poem.

Kiyana: My life is what inspired this poem! I am currently on a journey of rebuilding my inner Goddess and going back to loving myself and being the best version of myself. This poem is my truth!

I love that. I understand that you have a business. Tell us a little bit about that.

Kiyana: The business I am apart of is bringing awareness to little black Kings and Queens through reading the truth about themselves. One of the books is called I’m Naturally Beautiful and it shows little Black Queens that they do not have to conform to what society says and shows through media. They are beautiful the way they are and can do anything they put their mind to!

Excellent. Clouded Container is a powerful poem. How did you come up with the title and what does it mean?

Kiyana: I came up with the title with some inspiration from a book I’m reading called Warrior Goddess: Become the woman who you are meant to be by Heatherash Amara. In the book, it talks about how you are a container and in your container you take things out and put things in. Whether it’s negative or positive! Sometimes the things we put into ourselves is not always good and it clouds our judgment. It causes nasty smudges and debris and you have to scrub real good to clear it out. I am guilty of many insecurities and making myself feel bad and on my journey of self-love, I have eliminated that. I have grown to love me and everything that makes me, flaws and all. I gave myself a good scrub down!! That’s how I got the title Clouded Container.

Wow. I like that container analogy. Well Kiyana, there are several lines in the poem that caught our attention. One was:

“Conditioned to see cracks in a broken mirror that never fell.”

Can you, briefly, explain that line to us?

Kiyana: It’s funny because that’s actually one of my favorite lines in my poem! What that line is saying is that in our society and the world we live in, they make it their duty to set a standard and make you feel like everything is wrong with you. That’s when insecurities and doubts and negative thoughts about yourself begin. You start to see yourself in this broken mirror. But once you remove the glasses that society prescribed to you, you realize you are so amazing and magical and that the mirror never moved, never fell and was never broken. It was just somebody else trying to define who YOU are!

Girl you betta speak!

Now, let’s get into this poem!

 

Clouded Container, Copyright©Kiyana Blount

4th Place Winner

Love

The universal chord to everything

We only see the clouded container without seeing the internal contents that we thought were nonexistent.

Conditioned to see cracks in a broken mirror that never fell

Finding folds and creases in a painting that never left the frame.

Society polluting the consciousness of the reflection I am reaching out to grab

That inner gut feeling saying to stop hiding behind the shadow that doesn’t show at night.

Listening, deeply to the silent thoughts of my mental.

Light shining through the judgmental audience sitting in the sky box of the windows to your soul.

Wow, I can feel the warmth of it. The molded embrace around my higher being.

No worries, no doubts, no questioning; but only the remedy to a strong woman’s dis-ease.

Self-love.

Caring to uplift myself.

Envisioning a powerful Goddess grooming the strength, courage, compassion and fearlessness of her spirit.

Caring to unravel the negative wraps around my illuminating golden brown skin.

The love shines through my pores.

Being able to move through self-love helps me to care and cultivate the container that was once clouded.

Releasing the contents that almost became buried treasure.

Be Sure to Follow Kiyana Online!

Facebook: Kiyana Blount

IG: kueen7


Stand by for our 3rd Runner-Up.

Nia Elise is up tomorrow!

The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 17: Humility

Humility is an important part of leadership. That ever-present feeling of needing to do better, to be better, to try harder. To be firm, to speak up for yourself and to establish boundaries but to also believe there is always room for improvement. To look down on others only when we are lifting them up. To accept that we don’t know everything, to be courageous enough to admit our wrongs, and to constantly push ourselves to rise to the next level.

Listen to “Humility” now on Soundcloud or iTunes

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-573689310

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pbs-blog-podcast/id1344901312?mt=2

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbsblogpodcast

IG: https://www.instagram.com/thepbsblog/

To follow my personal IG page @yecheilyah


Remember that you can catch all 17 episodes by visiting the podcast page HERE.

Writer’s Wednesday – Writers, Poets, Leaders


It’s Writer’s Wednesday and I am promoting the amazing contributors to this year’s second annual poetry contest! These women are not just writers but they are leaders in their own right and a great inspiration to me personally. They each have their own flava and style that I love. They are funny, inspiring, and driven. Be sure to check out their blogs to get to know them better!

“It’s life through my lens and I’m happy to share it with others.”
– Dr. K.E. Garland

Be sure to follow Kathy on her outstanding blog at
www.kwoted.wordpress.com/

“My main focus will be on LOVE, Life and the pursuit of Happiness!”
– Lisa W. Tetting

Be sure to follow Lisa’s amazing blog at www.rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com

“I want you to be in a happy place in your love life by paying attention to your mind, body and soul and the things you allow to enter into them.”
– Tinzley Bradford

Be sure to follow Tinzley’s informative blog at
http://www.tinzleybradford.com/dating-blog/

“My hope is that I spark the soul of poets who did not know that even a whisper is still a voice. “- Tehilayah Ysrayl

Be sure to follow Tehilayah’s new blog at www.nolineleftbehind.wordpress.com


Details on how you can enter this year’s contest, the rules, guidelines, AND prizes we’re awarding to the winners is all being revealed next week! Stay glued.

From your host, Yecheilyah Ysrayl.

My Favorite Dick Gregory Quotes

Dick Gregory, October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017

“If everyone likes you, your not real enough.”

“This isn’t a revolution of Black against White. This is a revolution of right against wrong and right has always won.”

“They act like America was good and got bad. America ain’t never been good!”

“If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.”

“Momma, a welfare cheater. A criminal who couldn’t stand to see her kids go hungry, or grow up in slumbs and end up mugging people in dar corners. I guess the system didn’t want her to get off relief, the way it kept sending social workers around to be sure Momma wasn’t trying to make things better.”

“I waited at the counter of a white restaurant for eleven years. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.”

“Poor is a state of mind you never grow out of, but being broke is just a temporary condition.”

“The most difficult thing to get people to do is to accept the obvious.”

“Education means to bring out wisdom. Indoctrination means to push in knowledge.”

“My belief is, you know, certain things have to be explained that’s never been explained.”

“A free man is a man with no fears.”

A.L.L. is Here!

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Copyright© A.L.L. All Rights Reserved

Today, I am proud to announce the introduction of my brother’s youth program, A.L.L. Athletic League of Leaders is a Non-Profit Youth Program based in Miami Florida dedicated to creating leaders of our young people by highlighting, through sports, a broad range of careers and skills needed to acheive their very best:

“The extremely unique non profit youth empowerment program launches its pilot today (6-17-15) at Williams Park in Overtown Miami. Over the next 7 weeks young Leaders will be exposed to over 20 sports career concepts. Teaching them the many ways they can go pro beyond the courts and fields. They will engage in hands on activities and unparalleled mentor-ship from current industry professionals. After a successful pilot we plan to launch after school programs in both Miami and Broward counties.

Upon proof of concept we plan to grow to 12 locations globally. Please spread the word and make any donations at http://www.athleticleagueofleaders.com (click on the donations tab) to help the future leaders of tomorrow.”

– Rio Infinity

“The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.”

– Marian Wright Edelman (1939-)