About c.l. charlesworth

Back Porch Storyteller. Inspired by music, art, books, and people who have something worth saying.

Silent Cries

I asked a talented poet—Caeli McKamey to compose a poem. The words carry a profound weight. 

Silent Cries June blog-black woman crying

Silent Cries Speak Soliloquy
~~by Caeli McKamey

Vision-less negligence shackles my birth
Systemic diversity layered deceit distorted inclusivity
Blind prison sentences sleeping awareness no want for future
I sat in the cell you created to punish our souls
Learning the ways of the mute irate mistakes wrongly incriminated
Your response will be written in the black books hidden in our coffins
A selective history we live to tear from textbooks and voiceless libraries
Color-blind mental slaves watched and rewatched my death
Malevolent murderer’s glee created from lineages of lynching
Your white grip still bleeds a chain around my neck
I can feel the bigoted inferno that flames my souls
I replay my beg, my plea, my bow to the cement for your mercy, for my life
“Please don’t kill me”, echoes abound the creatures of limbo
The stairs to peace unveils the dead, taken by the system
A timeless 8 minutes and 46 seconds in the living souls
Their silent cries break mountains in the afterlife

Rev. George Lee, Lamar Smith, Emmett Louis Till, Willie Edwards Jr., Herbert Lee, Cpl. Roman Ducksworth Jr., Medgar Evers, Louis Allen, Virgil Lamar Ware, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Ben Chester White, Wharlest Jackson, Benjamin Brown, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 

Collage depicting Rev. George Lee, Herbert Lee, Jimmie Lee Jackson

Their silent cries must be vocalized vibrating through all streams of consciousness
Skin to skin, my coal to the cement fades into your white paste and I am nothing
The power that society has given you has shown your evil, choose wisely who protects us and find how to educate the protection
We will not let your people lock us in your extermination badge
We will not let our people continue to be imprisoned in your slow, deliberate, lifetime extinction of life
I watch from the fog the cities uniting for life to open your eyes as you rot in prison
We need systems, anarchy realized structure is necessary provided survival is peaceful
Dehumanization
You stole my life and my humanity…Where is the human in you?
I am heading to the white clouds which I will murk with the grey thunder
The rain will pour on your faces as you march until you realize the inferiority that still needs your attention
We must not fight fire with fire, Dr. King tells me from heaven
We must show them our power by peace and navigate the system to ensure that Black Lives Matter
Dr. King speaks from heaven, our death is not inconsequential, it is powerful to seek the Dr. King of the 21st century.
Stand up my friend and lead our way to structural peace for all.
I am George Floyd and I matter. Our cries will no longer be silenced.

 

Comfortable Shoes

May 21 - Comfortable shoes Recognizing (and accepting) one’s power isn’t hard if you have wisdom. Not everyone processes the right wisdom to avoid crossing the street against oncoming traffic—because they don’t trust instincts.

“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away. The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My grandmother, who lived to be over 100 years old, imprinted her wisdom—think for yourself and be an honest and compassionate person. Not all people would Grandma invite or even want in her home, let alone sit on her porch. Grandma was particular, not liking phony people, or those who drew a breath off someone’s misfortune. Grandma’s father, a Seminole Indian, and mother, a runaway slave, had a wagon full of children, who lived in Florida’s wooded swamps. As the eldest grandchild, I grew up hearing Grandma weave a quilt of stories from her Native American and Slavery Heritage. Continue reading

Cement . . . Waters

Lock down is my prison. Showing woman with medical mask behind bars

I have a collection of magazines, featuring articles and photographs of places where I’d like to rent a house, explore, and spend time writing.  This is one of the few opportunities in my life when I have the money and time and not able to travel.

The scared elephant-in-the-room is blocking the door from COVID-19. FEAR is a dangerous house-guest. My visitor has taken up residency and freely confronts my-optimistic-self.

There’s a fine line, I think, between solitude, loneliness, and isolation. In any respect, FEAR, if not driven out—seeps into the mind—trampling logic, life, and reality. Continue reading

RSVP

For many, bringing a sense of clarity is a daily struggle even before COVID-19. Now digesting and swallowing the bitter pill laced with self-quarantine, self-isolation, shelter in place: a table reservation is with one’s self—these new buzz words have replaced the more acceptable (and sadly accepted) terms of living:  SOLITUDE, ISOLATION, AND LONELINESS. Social isolation, solitary, table for one, RSVP blog, March 2020

Writers, all too well, are used to living in a quagmire of cubical existence. We call it creativity. How fortunate writers are:  we know the rules. Continue reading

Taming of the Shrew-d Pen

Last week while looking though my window at the endless rain, my brain raced with ideas for my next 3 stories. I think the stillness of the room allowed thoughts to drift away from the saturation of recent NEWS HEADLINES. To be fair, I can’t blame the toxicity of what is trending into viewership obsession. I did need a break from marketing my present book, The Last Merry Go Round. It’s not that I don’t love the story—I do, and still feel I did the right thing by writing a not-your-normal-candy-romance-about marriage. The reviews so far indicate I was on to something. Continue reading

New School – New Rules

New School, New Rules. A blog about marketing a published book A major task in my city is freeway driving. Trying to get from Point A to Point B is an impossible issue. Traffic is a snail’s ride on a parking lot, causing significant irritations, especially when time isn’t on your side. Recently, when I was in a holding pattern, within a ¼ of a mile from my exit—a thought came to me watching all those solo drivers. ‘How many were alone, had family, or had friends.Continue reading

Naked Tree

An unadorned Christmas tree, a Naked TreeA tree is in my house. A tree in my house is unadorned with lights, ornaments, or presents. I’ve been studying its shape and its nakedness.

Over this past week, its image has become a focal point for my morning meditation. The tree’s calmness and the stillness of its branches, resonates inside me, a reflection of this year.

There is a song written by Yoko Ono and John Lennon~~~Happy Christmas (War is Over). The first two lines are in my mind as timeless and poignant, as any sung this time of season….

So this is Christmas and what have you done
Another year over, a new one just begun

The naked tree standing before me represents the present and future.

Homeless man with Help sign, wearing a red hatThe tree’s trunk is the present, my foundation. My thoughts of who I am, not just as a writer, but of a person filled with empathy for those who have less than I do. I walk past the homeless, no longer labeled as men or women—just homeless. I feel empathy because I know (and have to believe in my heart) that not one of these people was born with the main thought, When I grow up, I want to be homeless. My empathy as I meditate fills with sadness, for there are so many homeless sleeping under the naked trees.

The naked tree’s middle is the future.  My future as a writer is slowly moving into the light of recognition. I’ve met thousands of authors, filmmakers, poets, teachers, photographers, and actors who have inspired me with their support, amazing dreams, and fearless projects of past, present, and future. Humility fills my heart for the tremendous and most glorious house, full with people who have asked me to be a part of their network-community. Our trees grown together are a wondrous forest. I know for all of this: I am blessed. My future as a writer has many branches. And I will water its root. And I will eventually form a foundation—for the homeless whose words and art have been buried inside the threads of their coats—as they sleep under the naked trees.

The future is the top of the tree.  We need the tree’s crown. Is this why we put a star or an angel on its branch? Are we secretly praying for a better future, a time when all people can awaken with the basic necessities—food, clothing, love, shelter, and happiness?

As I meditate, this very chilly morning, I think of the beginning of Louis Armstrong’s song~~~What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

Being Me and THAT IS JUST FINE

Being me blog explores writing, marketing, getting reviews for a new book, image of typist with social icons floating aboveThere are times when I wonder what am I doing? Many days I talk to myself.

Writing is not an easy answer to a question that occupies the time. I achieve a form of satisfaction when people read my blog or books and compliment me, but the reality is I write because I enjoy it. My success is like an imaginary playmate, sometimes it appears, and sometimes it giggles, running away.

Any writer taking years or months to finish a project deserves an award. If marketing isn’t a skill, then a slow start is fueled by endless cups of caffeine, sleep deprivation, and self-doubt. Continue reading

and then there was one

November 2019 blog-and then there was one, written by c.l.charlesworthI’m always reflective in the last two months of the year. I’ve always been this way for as long as I can remember. The changing of the seasons from fall to winter brings thoughts of the end of a year, and more often, how fast time has passed.

Time, as I age, becomes no more of a number, or a nail waiting in the wings ready to seal my coffin. In my mind, I’m still the wide-eyed, huge-smile child, the one whose picture is on my dresser—she’s in long, pig-tail braids and fashionable cat-eye glasses. She reaches through the frame and hugs me when I need it. She is my past, present, and future. Her voice is mine. Continue reading

The Plot

fiction charactersThe journey, when writing a story, is a ticket with no expiration date—It takes as long as it takes.

There are many things I look at when thinking about my next story. One is the PLOT.

Are the characters compelling enough to evoke within the reader a range of emotions: from sadness to happiness, to anger, to sympathy. . . .  remorse, guilt, understanding, anxiety, fear, disappointment, romance?

I believe the reason why my writing resonates is I cut to the chase and give believability to my characters. I feel the most memorable plots are ones when life traps characters between a rock and a hard place. Urgency is the time bomb—minutes and seconds wasted can change life’s course.  Think of Casablanca, The Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life, or Saving Private Ryan. Each story has a do-or-die-plot. Continue reading