UP LATE: A king…

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This is a depressingly masculine world.  Yet, I love men.

Enter me.  Only when you’re ready.

Peace and love,

Shila Iris

P.S. The name of the song is Weary … and maybe you’ll have to get high to comprehend it. Why?  Because anyone can “under” stand it.  Yet, can you feel it?  Can you let go of trying to correct her, and just accept her?  Can you walk in her shoes?  Can you NOT talk, and just hear her?  Can you stop trying to save her, and just hold her hand and let her divine nature find the way?   Do you recognize that you developed in a system that taught you to look down on her?  And, even when you can’t see it, sometimes you put yourself above her?  This hierarchy has been detrimental to the synthesis of the divine female and masculine flow of life. You are not her savior.  You are her creation.

Behold. I give birth.

I’m up late but yawning.  Goodnight.

UP LATE: All you gotta do is call me

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AL GreenSimply Beautiful

I remember my mother’s love for the music of AL Green.  In fact, she had so much love for this man, she kept a crumbled rose that he had given to her at the Ohio State Fair during the 70s.  I was born in 1984.  She still had that rose wrapped in a plastic bag until the mid-90s!  She had shown up alone, hours early for his concert so that she could get a seat in the front row.  Sitting there, waiting, she didn’t realize that during his soundcheck, he had seen her from behind the curtain.  During the show, he came down off the stage and announced to the crowd that he wanted my mother to have that rose, his leather jacket and scarf for showing such commitment.  I’m sure her ♥ heart ♥ fluttered big time!  What an exciting moment.  I always loved hearing this story.  I too, enjoy AL Green.  I am pleased to share him.

P.S. A rose for Rosemary!  That’s her name.  And as you can imagine, he surely did say, “here’s a rose for Rosemary.” 

I’m up late, listening to these soft words.

Thank you for coming here,

Shila Iris

The Sun is Shining!

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I am so grateful for this day, for this morning.  The Sun is shining on my face.  It feels so good!  Monday morning, here I am!

“We lift our heads and give Jah praises!” -Bob Marley

(Monday morning)
Here I am
Want you to know just if you can
(Tuesday evening)
Where I stand
(Wednesday morning)
Tell myself a new day is rising
(Thursday evening)
Get on the rise, a new day is dawning
(Friday morning)
Here I am
(Saturday evening)
Want you to know just
Want you to know just where I stand

I have a wonderful relationship with the Sun.

Shila Iris

Everything I Need

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I’d love to have you join me next Saturday for a unique Wine Tasting!  Everyone is welcome!
Dress in your Afrikan garb so we can take some fine family pictures.  If you don’t have any, please, come as you are.  Peace and Joy!

Purchase tickets here or pay at the door.

Shila Iris aka Honey

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Throwback Tonight: Happy Kwanzaa!

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Tonight we dance!

The symbols of a culture, a heritage of humanity, mean a lot.  When they begin to disappear, be very concerned.  So, the moral of the story is:  wear your color, wear your art, wear your culture to remind you of where we been and we’re going.  Don’t give up.  Sankofa!

Besides, color is so dope!

I stay woke,
Shila Iris aka Honey

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Whenever I got lonely, or needed some advice, he gave me his shoulder, his words were very nice…

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I picks my friends, like I picks my fruit,
and granny told me that when I was only a youth,
I, don’t walk around trynna be what I’m not,
I don’t waste my time trynna get what you got.
I work at pleasing me, cause I can’t please you,
and that’s why, I do what I do,
My soul flies free like a willow tree…

Fruit…

He brought so much excitement to my day.  Spending hours in my cypher, he began to write poems, inspired by the way my mind floated.  He remained untainted by false profits, and listened to the elders.  He meant what he said.  He said, he’d see me through my healing.  He was strong.  He needed me, just as I needed him, sustained by my unpredictable existence, he levitated in the walls that I cultivated- orange and red hues, with yellow overtones.  My creations empower.   I am the water bearer, the loyal one.  Blossoming spirit, they desire, but I chose  him.  I swallowed his insecurities, and I deciphered his anger.  He gave to me purely, without expectations.

I am Shila Iris, life-sustaining…

Naked Ambition – Come Look For Me

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“A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love herself.  To evolve.”  -Erykah Badu

How Can I Say No to Such Beauty?

People grow and seasons change, but remember me. This is a beautiful video. Simple, and true. Being in love requires nakedness, complete vulnerability. Can you do it? I know that you can. Peace and love.

I want to sing with you…

I want to sing to you…

I want to sing about you…

… I just want a chance to fly, to cry…

This was the situation:

Lyrics:
So, presently
I’m standing here right now
You’re so demanding
Tell me what you want from me

Concluding, concentrating
On my music, lover and my babies
Makes me wanna ask the lady
For a ticket outta town

So can I get a window seat?
Don’t want nobody next to me
I just want a ticket outta town
A look around and a safe touch down

Can I get a window seat?
Don’t want nobody next to me
I just want a chance to fly
A chance to cry and a long bye-bye

But I need you to want me
Need you to miss me
I need your attention
I need you next to me

I need someone to clap for me
I need your direction
Somebody say, come back
Come back, baby, come back
I want you to need me

Come back, come back, baby, come back
Come back, come back, baby, come back
Come back, come back, baby, come back

So, out my mind I’m tusslin’
Back and forth ‘tween here and hustlin’
I don’t wanna time travel no more
I wanna be here, I’m thinking

On this porch I’m rockin’
Back and forth like Lightning Hopkins
If anybody speak to Scotty
Tell him, beam me up

… They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love herself. To evolve.

Erykah is my lyrical soul mate. Peace and love,

Shila Iris

Now & Then I Lose My Way, but I’ll Always Come Back to You

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A NEW HORIZON IS SLOWLY COMING INTO VIEW. Finding solace tonight, I closed my eyes to meditate and this memory came to mind. The year was 1995, and I remember hearing the needle drop onto the vinyl. I knew something good was about to happen. My mother put us to bed, and she and my father convened for their after hours date at the dining room table. They would eat a late dinner, smoke something green, and try to work out their differences. This was their ritual. We children, tucked away in our beds, would drift into Atlantis. The guitar at the beginning always made me feel warm and at peace, like good music does. I soon fell asleep to the sound of my parents muffled voices and the Isley Brothers. These memories are priceless. For a long time, my mom and dad were in love and really good friends. It was beautiful back then, and so simple. They had to divorce after 19 years because of my fathers drug habit, but after he kicked it, they became cool again. I always thought I’d have a friendship like theirs, because in everything there is good. So, with this memory, my tears dry up, and my night fades to black. Peace.

Can I go on my way without you
Oh, how can I know?
If I go on my way without you
Oh, where would I go?
Set sail with me
Misty lady, set my spirit free
New love to find
And though I leave another behind
I’ll always (Come back to you)
She’s my lady, now and ever
Oh, how do I know?
Can we go all the way together
Oh let it be so
So we’ll say our last goodbye
And we’ll make it this time
Hey ho set sail with me
To a paradise out beyond the sea
Say yeah if you wanna go
I’ll always
Bonus:
Goodnight or good morning!
All love is real,
i am Shila Iris

A Heartbeat Away

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“I felt like a piece of art, and the fingers of the Sun were sculpting me into an amazing figure.”  -Shila Iris

I woke up this morning at 6 a.m. because my Father called. I wasn’t ready to talk to him, but when my Mother called an hour later, I knew that I should talk to one of them. My parents have been separated for the past 17 years, so these calls, coming from different homes scared me a bit. However, I learned that they hadn’t spoken to one another at all. They both just wanted to talk. This felt wonderful, to be thought of by the people who created me, at the same time, but from different places in the world. After talking with my Mother, I walked into my living room, and let the Sun shine on my body. It hit every part of me, and it reminded me of how alive I am. I felt like a piece of art, and the fingers of the Sun were sculpting me into an amazing figure. The Sun is the only one who sees me naked. I got dressed, and walked across the street to the park. I laid in the grass, in the sunshine. Facing the sky with my eyes closed, the music in my heart allowed me to see my way home. Clairvoyance.

I am Alive.

The Healing Ritual: The time I spend alone, has been pretty amazing. Each day has been a roller coaster. There are so many things that run through my mind, but the last thought of each day is, I am so glad to be here, facing my fears. We are always right where we’re supposed to be. Cast your fears aside, and live your wonderful life.

“From where you are, to where I am, I can feel your heart, beat.”  -Shila Iris

… and when I opened my eyes, this is the person that walked into my life:

Lyrics:

Far away from that life, so young, that’s when you used to know
Many dreams since then you’ve fed up, come and gone that time might show
But stress, don’t you let it
Don’t you forget it
Trust you’ll find your way to love
Hope is what your heart is made of

And don’t you forget it
Don’t you forget your way home
For that little girl
Hold on to your world
And don’t you forget it
Don’t you forget your way home
For that little girl
Hold on to your world
You’re worlds apart from first when life was dark
Understanding what it means to have got
Nothing but your heavy, broken heart
Memories of what used to be
When change comes responsibility
Don’t forget, where you are, ain’t where you’ve been
Life’s lessons then
Made you into woman

Hold on, hold on… (Yeah oh ooh)
Don’t you be afraid
‘Cause a heart beat away
Is all that you’d never think that sentiment will mean to you
No need to cry
You can dry your eyes
‘Cause you can count on the love that through the years
Helped you face your fears and subside your tears
Everything will be OK
Don’t you be afraid (No)
Don’t you be afraid
No, baby…

glen-lewis

Healing Ritual:  Lay in the Sun. I got really sick last week. What started as a throat ache turned into 6 days of headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, hunger pains, a constantly running nose, hives, coughing, pure torture! I caught a bug. I took Vitamin C, RAW Multivitamins, and antihistamines to relieve the fever. On day 3, I really needed ginger and soup, so I pulled myself together and went to the store. This made it worse!  It’s like I picked up more germs in the store.  Later, a friend told me that I should have used Uber. They now deliver food. Maybe in the future, I’ll consider this since I am alone in a new city. Finally, today, I can stand up again. Laying in the Sun really helped. It seemed to rejuvenate my body. I even went to the gym and ran 2 miles!  Make sure you use the Sun to heal. Peace.

Shila Iris

 

 

Still Awake

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“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” -Rumi

These days, I’m always up late. My universe is shifting. My body is adjusting to this climate, to this environment; to this love, to this voice of reason. I am learning how to accept the truth about life. It’s not always pretty, but if you tell me, I’ll listen.  All embracing. Peace and love.

Tonight, I am listening to…

It is the color of light,
The shape of sound high in the evergreens
It lies suspended in hills,
A blue line in a red sky

I am looking at sound

I am hearing the brightness
Of high bluffs and almond trees
I am tasting the wilderness
of lakes, rivers, and streams
Caught in an angle of song

I am remembering water
That glows in the dawn
The motion tumbled in earth
Life hidden in mounds

I am dancing a bright beam of light

I am remembering love

_____________________ poetry can be so liberating

I just want to give you the love that you gave to me when I was in pain. You never let go.
You came around every corner, with a hug and a kiss. You tried to comprehend my numbness. Do you resent me for having a broken heart?

I remember love.

A wonderful inspiration.

love-jones

Shila Iris

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My Introduction to Nina Simone

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Back in 2009, my girlfriend and I met each other in Atlanta, Georgia for a weekend of fun and to get fitted for bridesmaid dresses. One afternoon, we stumbled upon the art district, Little Five Points and wandered into an attractive shop called Moods Music. I got really excited. This was the first music store I had ever gone to, that catered to my personal tastes. It was amazing! I wanted to buy the entire store, but settled for a really wonderful CD by Quadron and a copy of Wax Poetics Magazine that I cherish to this day with Gil Scott- Heron on the cover. Since I liked this magazine so much, a friend of mine, who has always gotten me the best and most thoughtful gifts, decided to buy me a subscription to Wax Poetics for my birthday. On the cover of the 1st issue I received was Ms. Nina Simone. Reading the article, I fell in love with her spirit. They dubbed her “the Black poetess of protest.” I learned that she was a child piano prodigy, was great friends with Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Pryor, and Lorraine Hansberry, and that most people who came into contact with her thought she was fearless and revolutionary. They say, Nina Simone didn’t give a fuck, meaning, she was going to do her thing no matter what. I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do on this woman who had an attitude that I could relate to. I wrote and performed a tribute to Nina Simone soon after I read this, and I have listened to her music since, mostly adoring the unconventional sound of her voice and her unapologetic lyrics. We are forever connected, Ms. Simone.

Peace & love.

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

Say Yes

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I guess I’m going through something because I am wide awake and it’s 5 a.m. I don’t need sleep in this season of my life!  So, I am here. I loved these two together, the equation was perfect. This song is youthful, and so romantic. I love it!

Tonight, or this morning, this will have to serve as the elixir to put me to sleep.
I am a poet, so these lyrics really reach right into my soul and make me feel soft, like a woman. Lol.

“There is only one for me
You have made that possibility
We can take that step to see
If this is really gonna be…

Loving you has taken time, taken time
But I always knew you could be mine
I recognize the butterflies, inside me, Uh
Since it’s gonna be made tonight, tonight
All you gotta do is say yes…” 

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You are awake too? Peace and Love,

Shila Iris

P.S. This song was written by Marsha Ambrosia & Andre Lewis who produces for Jill Scott. Honestly, I like Ambrosia with Floetry. I haven’t really been able to get into any of her solo music. I think these two long time friends just lyrically and melodically go together. I hope they have gotten over their differences. Maybe I’ll get to see them perform one day. Peace.

Up Late

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Music is a tool I use to wake up parts of my soul. It is a necessity on the road to being healed. Just as much as I need those silent moments, where I lay in meditation, staring at the ceiling, reflecting on my day, my life, my story, I need the inspiring vibes of beautiful musicians to uplift my spirit and help me positively change my patterns of thinking. Lianne La Havas has been one of those lovely voices that have kept me mentally stimulated and in a positive place. Check her out:

“I’ll wait a little longer
While we are and getting stronger
I know it’s taking time to heal
We’ll be unstoppable
Don’t know what I did it for
I needed to know that it was always real…

… let’s be at peace, we’ll fly
Our hearts collide
Can’t escape the magnetic side

I was like a satellite spinning away
Almost lost forever and leaving no trace
Floating through the darkest reaches of space
To another galaxy
Our polarity shifted around
There is nothing else left holding us down
But it’s just gravitational
We are unstoppable
I just can’t escape the pull
We are unstoppable
It’s just gravitational
We are unstoppable…

… Our head’s held high when we walk down the line, honey
Arm-in-arm through the clear night sky…”

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This season of my life is all about healing. That is the purpose of this blog, finding the tools I need to bring myself out of an abyss of emotions that were suppressed for a very long time. It takes time to heal, so I am being patient with myself.  I am seeing and learning:  clairvoyance through observation.

I use this sweet music to lift me, but I have come to see that healing cannot be romanticized. When I was in a very hollow place, there was nothing I could do to feel better about love, but once I got some space and time, I began to see clearly.  My heart opened and I began to travel down the road to maturity, which in my case is letting go of anger.  I didn’t realize just how much my upbringing had affected my ability to think clearly. I didn’t realize how much I was suffering until I saw my reflection through the eyes of another. Have you seen yourself yet?

Peace and love,

Shila Iris

My Introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan

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black-history_feb-17_copyright-shila-iris-2017The year was 1997, and online music was no where to be found. Most of the world experienced solid, art-based hip-hop through Rap City, Video Vibrations or through either the Vibe, Source, Right On! or Word Up! magazines. My older brother was a hip-hop nut! He introduced our family to this raunchy, fun, yet highly political style of beat-based poetry. When I saw my first Wu-Tang video, Triumph, I was so intoxicated that I wanted to be a rapper. The intensity of the lyrics made my heart percolate! The fast-paced imagery tugged at my youth, urging me to be free. The 10 men I saw on the screen were raw and oddly intellectual.

They seemed to be well-read, open, and real. They were from another world, far away from where I was from. The beats were right up my alley. I was intrigued. The music of Wu-Tang has taught me that we can’t sanitize Black life, making it appear to be easy, and we cannot not alter our stories to please others. Life is what it is. Give it to them raw. I feel blessed to have seen them perform live. It was a fun experience. I also saw the solo performances of Ghostface Killah, and last year I saw GZA perform in Akron, Ohio. RZA had a book talk at the public library, where he shared parts of his personal life story, talked about the business side of Wu-Tang and explained his book, The Tao of Wu. These men are such heart throbs! Their ability to be honest makes them all the more attractive. Whenever Wu-Tang is in town, I will be there, no doubt. The Clan is an ultimate example of the Nguzo Saba aka 7 Principles of Kwanzaa. If you ever see me in the gym, nearly falling off the elliptical, it’s because I’m listening to Triumph, and I have gotten so lifted, that I’m in another world! Be careful when you listen to the Wu. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

healing-rituals-kwanzaa-mantra-copy

ShiLA IRiS

For those of you who are awake…

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It’s 4:00 a.m. and tonight I can’t get to sleep, so I listen. For those of you who are awake, this is a perfect song to take you into Sunday morning. I started it at a nice point, so that you can be at ease, but listen to the song in its entirety if you so please. It’s called Master Teacher.  The question is, what if there were no niggas, only Master Teachers?  Hope you can get it. Don’t be afraid to be great.

One, two
One, two, three, four

Baby sleep and time
to put her down now
I’ll be standin’ round
until the sun down

I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Congregation nod they heads
and say Amen
the deacon fell asleep again and

I stay woke
But I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Lovers holding hands
and falling deep in love
and sleeping and
passing conversation

Ooh, I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Pretty rings and pretty thieves
with shiny lights and little
pieces of tomorrow

I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
___________ … the rest of the lyrics are here.

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Peace and love,

Shila