I Borrowed A Smile

Originally posted on a sort of romance:

This borrowed smile

affords small comforts.

This grinning lie

has forgotten

some measure

of crisp meaning

behind rippling euphoria.

A sanctity adrift

among disoriented

smooth nightmares

where the shroud

of grim teeth betrays

an unredeemed heart.

I gave away something

exclusively whole

under a willing umbrella…

defending you

from the deluge

of stained histories…

or fractured fantasies.

Reciprocation shapes

the edge of my murder.

In my dreams I suffocate

beneath the pillow

of your soft light eyes.

In my dreams…

the broken howl.

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What doesn’t kill you…

Originally posted on Cristian Mihai:

Either makes you stronger or makes you wish it did.

Letting go or holding on. Two of our most defining reactions. And they couldn’t be more different.

Holding on to pain(or the memory of it), holding on to regret, to bitterness…

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Thomas Sankara

thomas sankaraThomas Sankara,  (born December 21, 1949, Yako, Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso]—died October 15, 1987, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), military officer and proponent of Pan-Africanism who was installed as president of Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso) in 1983 after a military coup. He held that position until 1987, when he was killed during another coup.

Sankara’s Roman Catholic parents wanted him to be a priest, but he opted for a military career instead. In 1970, at the age of 20, Sankara was sent for officer training in Madagascar, where he witnessed a popular uprising of students and workers that succeeded in toppling Madagascar’s government. Before returning to Upper Volta in 1972, Sankara attended a parachute academy in France, where he was further exposed to left-wing political ideologies. In 1974 he earned much public attention for his heroic performance in the border war with Mali, but years later he would renounce the war as useless and unjust.

During his military training Thomas Sankara befriended Capitaine Blaise Compaoré. In 1983 they organized a coup d’état, after Sankara had been held in custody for his political attitude which conflicted with the conservative rulers. During his presidency he carried out a number of partly very successful reforms for the socialist development of the country, which included nationalization, reforestation projects and numerous social programs and aimed at the struggle against corruption and poverty and at the improvement of education and health care. Among these measures one can mention vaccination programs, the radical abolition of the privileges of the public servants (cheap cars) and a land reform, whose resounding success made Burkina Faso independent of food imports within very few years. Furthermore, he committed himself to strengthening the role of women in the society of Burkina Faso by for example prohibiting female circumcision and speaking out against polygamy. His government has the highest percentage of women in the whole of Africa. Sankara’s popularity extended beyond the borders of his country and turned him into a globally known public figure.

By the early 1980s, Burkina Faso was being rocked by a series of labour union strikes and military coups. Sankara’s military achievements and charismatic leadership style made him a popular choice for political appointments, but his personal and political integrity put him at odds with the leadership of the successive military governments that came to power, leading to his arrest on several occasions. In January 1983, Sankara was selected as the prime minister of the newly formed Council for the Salvation of the People (Conseil de Salut du Peuple; CSP), headed by Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo. This post provided him with an entryway into international politics and a chance to meet with leaders of the nonaligned movement, including Fidel Castro (Cuba), Samora Machel(Mozambique), and Maurice Bishop (Grenada). Sankara’s anti-imperialist stance and grassroots popularity increasingly put him at odds with conservative elements within the CSP, including President Ouédraogo. Sankara was removed as prime minister in May and arrested once again. On August 4, 1983, Blaise Compaoré, Sankara’s close friend and fellow army colleague, led a group that freed Sankara, overthrew the Ouédraogo regime, and formed the National Council of the Revolution (Conseil National de la Révolution) with Sankara as its president.

Sankara declared the objectives of the “democratic and popular revolution” to be primarily concerned with the tasks of eradicating corruption, fighting environmental degradation, empowering women, and increasing access to education and health care, with the larger goal of liquidating imperial domination. During the course of his presidency, Sankara successfully implemented programs that vastly reduced infant mortality, increased literacy rates and school attendance, and boosted the number of women holding governmental posts. On the environmental front, in the first year of his presidency alone 10 million trees were planted in an effort to combat desertification. On the first anniversary of the coup that had brought him to power, he changed the country’s name from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means roughly “land of upright people” in Mossi and Dyula, the country’s two most widely spoken indigenous languages.

Despite the great strides that were made, there was growing dissent in the country, partly because of economic problems and opposition from traditional quarters to some of Sankara’s more progressive social policies. His administration gradually lost popular support, and internal conflict within his government grew as well. On October 15, 1987, Sankara was assassinated in a coup led by Compaoré and two others.

His policy was oriented toward fighting corruption, reforestation, averting famine, and making education and health real priorities.

Improving women’s status was one of Sankara’s explicit goals, that was unprecedented in West Africa. His government banned female circumcision, condemned polygamy, and promoted contraception.

The Burkinabe government was also the first African government to claim that AIDS was a major threat for Africa.

A week prior to his death Sankara addressed people and said that “while revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”

thomas sankara

Single, Unemployed, Homeless And Brushing 30. Failing Miserably At Life?

prayIn my early 20’s I was sure I had my life all mapped out. By the age of 30 I was going to have made my way to the top of the Alfred Hospital’s Dietetic Department, be well and truly married and about to pop out a baby or two. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that nearing 30 (OK so I am 29 this year) I would be single, unemployed and homeless with all my worldly belongings consolidated to a few boxes here and there scattered across Melbourne. If I had of known I was to become nothing more than a transient wandering the earth I think I would have just put myself out of my misery right there and then. But that is the beauty of life, it takes on you wild adventures you could never have dreamed you would want.

So it appears … single, unemployed and homeless … and surprisingly the happiest time of my life.

At 20 years of age, 30 seemed like it would never arrive. I imagined myself to be so mature, so grown up and more importantly so ready for all the responsibilities of an adult. But after almost a decade passing in many ways absolutely nothing has changed. The idea of children still terrifies me, I cannot for the life of me imagine being in a relationship let alone married and I don’t even own a car let alone have a home! On paper it might seem like I am failing miserably at life or that I need to get my sh*t well and truly together before I end up a hopeless old spinster – or worse still a cat lady! However most days I am smiling from ear to ear, I am exploring, I am growing, I am learning and more importantly I am living. So while yes on paper I may seem to have it all wrong, in life … I have it all right.

I have never been one to follow the crowd. Give me a trend and 9 times out of 10 I will do the total opposite. When I was younger and everyone was off travelling; travel didn’t interest me in the slightest, it took me years to give in and buy and iPhone and now that it feels like everyone in my age bracket is settling – I have well and truly taken flight. One of the greatest validations in life is that others chose to live their life in a similar way to you. It is the reason that when you are single, you have mostly single friends; when you are getting married, so too is your friendship group and when you have children, what do you know – so do all your friends! When you decide to live your life in a less conventional way, it is often difficult to feel like you belong in regular life. It is easy to question yourself and why you don’t seem to want things that you should want for your age – I mean, you aren’t married and don’t want to be? What the hell is wrong with you?

At 20 I use to admire those who were top of their field. Those who had ticked all the conventional life boxes. Now nearing 30, I admire the ones who have thrown caution to the wind and followed their hearts in choosing to spend their life doing what they love. There is something truly inspiring about people who base their life choices on what makes them happiest. I no longer look at a job and imagine being happy when I have made a successful name for myself or when I finally have made enough money (because let’s face it, there is never enough!). Instead I am inspired by the many different countries around the world whose people have next to nothing and yet appear to be far happier than their Western counterparts. There is something to be said for having less and there is something to be said for being able to be grateful and feel genuine happiness from some of life’s smaller triumphs. Be it clean clothes, a decent meal or bed I have found more happiness in the tiniest of wins since travelling than I was ever able to appreciate when I had more. Why? Because having more will usually result in wanting more… and it’s the wanting that leaves us unsatisfied.

So where to from here? I guess at some stage I will entertain the idea of returning to a somewhat more normal lifestyle. But only when I am sure that these new found life appreciations are so well ingrained that there is no way I could ever return to my former self. For now I will continue to enjoy the sheer freedom that comes from being single, unemployed and without a responsibility in the world. Where my biggest concern is where my next meal will come from. Where I wake up each day and ask myself ‘what would you like to do today?’ and smile knowing I have the total and utter freedom to answer that question any way that I wish. If future Chloe could have a word with past Chloe she wouldn’t be telling her that everything turned out just as she planned, but instead the total opposite … and that it will be the best thing that ever happened to her.

Written by Tobefree @ http://www.tobefreejourney.com/

Not A Saint, Not A Sinner

I lived a life one time agoIMG01122-20120106-1255(1)_edit_edit1

A life I thought was real

A life of no caution

A life of no peace

Having friends and pleasures

Satisfying immediate hunger

Yet no peace

I loved and satisfied my flesh

Much smiles with my teeth

Much tears in my soul

Down, down my slate came crashing

Disappointments from all compass routes

Daily in tears, hidden in the rain

Fallen again, I looked not at the pit

Many a day of sadness

Many a day of lamentation

My prayers became louder,

My worship became frequent

Singing again my spirit gets renewed

Shouting again I regain a peace that takes worry

I, not a saint, not a sinner

Begin with he who knows the best for me

I Love My Hair

My hair is like cotton wool, it’s attractiveIMG01122-20120106-1255(1)_edit_edit1
It’s versatile, I can look like an actress today or a baby tomorrow
It’s usually thirsty, it likes water and oil
It likes natural butter
It’s like a baby, it wants to be cared for
It can’t get enough of me and I can’t get enough of it
I love myself for my kind of hair
I see people looking for hair, looking for what will make them look younger
Make them look like gold
It makes me proud of mine
Proud to have nature’s gift
Proud of its versatility
I love my hair and I know it loves me back
I am beautiful beyond description
Cute as every woman should be
Confident that it would never fall off
I love my hair

Reminisce…

I thought I would always be 15 or 16 or 18, cutest3_edit_edit
I thought I would never grow old
Thought my parents would always cater for me
I thought my vote counted
I thought the person I voted in was going to make me want life
I thought I would be rich,
Rich enough to be alone
Rich enough to be satisfied
I searched for stability, searched for complement
I thought everyone would be nice
I thought they would never hurt me
I asked them if they could love me?
Asked them if they would be reckoned with me?
I thought words were reliable.
I thought I would never hurt someone
I thought they would accept my apology
I thought the world was kind
I thought everyone wanted peace
I never knew that the man was different from his soul
Never knew he felt pain for the bad he’d done
Never knew my thoughts ‎could become life