Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Voice of the Troubadour

Everyone of us from conception is born to die.
The life we are given is filled with inherent struggles.
Genetic difficulties may make the struggles ever so much more pronounced.
The challenge then becomes not to silence a voice because of stigma,
But to be the troubadour who resounds I am here as God intended me to be!

I shall not be forgotten, my obligation is to never forget those who have helped me
My duty is to protect the homeless, to be the sympathetic ear, to challenge the status quo.  Sadly, many falsely believe homelessness is a choice.  My responsibility is to make life better not just for myself, but for all.

The world I have seen in Michigan is deplorable.  Individuals are living in filth because the mental health system, and the department of human services system allows this to happen. Additionally, Snyder in his poor judgement appointed James K. Haveman as the Director of Community Mental Health in the state of Michigan. Speak to any mother who has had her son or daughter inappropriately housed in a jail or prison, and one will become even more stealth on advocating against a system, which is so badly broken not only in Michigan, but nationally.

At the Federal level, Social Security Income restrictions of $2,000 per month, limit an individual from trying to better oneself. The so called spend down generates waste. Services are inappropriately provided and unnecessary paperwork is generated.  The old saying of give a person a fish versus teaching one how to fish holds true today. The sad reality, however, is the teaching never seems to happen, subsequently, the poverty becomes more apparent. Take a stand to be the Americans we were taught to be when ideology in the Democratic Republic was not just a dream, but a belief.

I urge my fellow Americans to unite and draft proposals that your legislators will be forced to consider for adoption.  This is not the time for despondency, it is the time for ACTION! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

One of Many

There is an illness we try to hide, 
locked in generations and hidden by pride. 
A family is devastated and does not understand, 
while older members prefer to pretend.
A torture and peril rips through the soul:
Leaving emptiness, void of a goal.
Still generations live on--

But eyes are opened by one that sees 
Inquisitive, troubled victim is she
To explore and understand
To somehow comprehend
what is this illness 
That destroys the brain
Leaving sorrow, anger and pain--

Surely there is an answer somewhere.
Surely there is a reason for despair,
But why does a family continue to retreat
Behind the walls of facades and defeat
To rise above and live beyond 
This meddlesome, troublesome thorn in the side
This is the goal 
A new generation holds--

To conquer, to prevail, to achieve
To be as normal as normal can be 
To live with the illness,
But not to succumb
To have open eyes 
To recognize the signs
This is the attitude
Of a new generation
To function, to be--contributors in society--

Mental illness exists; this is true 
But survivors are many
Productive souls need not hide
Beneath fallacies, masks and lies.
Society shuns the sick and oppressed,
 A world has its norms
New shoes must be worn
God forbid there be an aberrant--

Hell, I am what I am 
And what I am ain't bad
For I am me--a soul with purpose
An individual with a goal
I seek truth
I strive for happiness
And God willing I too will be successful
In a world that demands conformity--

I cannot alter who I am
But I can help people to understand 
This illness we too often try to hide
That is locked in by generations and hidden by pride
God willing I will succeed
For I am an envoy for those who still bleed!

Composed after my first bout with mental illness at the age of 18. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014


What hue are you?
I am the color of the rainbow.
My colors reach far beyond the sky we see.

I am the parabola that has no end.
The life extended by the one before me.
The hourglass that encapsulates time--
To be turned over and begun again.

I am my shadow as my shadow is me
A reflection of what I was, who I am and of whom I have yet to be.
The water that speaks with each ripple each yields.
I am the sunflower in the field.

I walk now with gray hair, and with hips and knees that creek.
I am, however, still able to learn from those who've come before and after me.
I am molded by those I meet with similar stories of the street.
I'm glad God gave me this path at this time.
His eyesight is clearly better than mine.

Perhaps one day, our paths will cross.
I'll be holding the skipping stone.
Waiting yet again, to learn another thing.

I entered this world in the arms of someone.
But if I close my eyes, and you are not able to attend--
Do not be sorry, I'm just glad I had you as a love and a friend.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Old Man

Old Man
By Madeleine Graham

Old man sitting in the street, why you lookin' at me?
Do you know more than I: can you see what we all must some day realize?
What have you experienced?
What have you seen?
Tell me story, share it with me---
Can't you see I need to know, please hear me!!!

He pauses from his gaze, and he looks me straight in the eyes.
He tells me life is beautiful, live it day by day.
Understand life for it is the essence of mankind---
The branch that stems to the future,
And the road that leads to eternal peace.
For in living day by day, you'll understand all that once you did not. 

As the flowers of life unfold---
You'll see Heaven spelled in gold.
I turn to thank the Old Man for the wisdom that he has shared, 
but he is no longer there.
His words, however, become engraved in my mind.
Words to be shared with all mankind.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cultural Crossings

Cultural Crossings
By Madeleine Graham
Let the customs of the age be reflected on the stage
Let them understand the bow the nod
Why he walks ahead and she walks behind
And understand the curtsy now
The blend of color and of creed
Oh let them all please agree
As they pass upon the street
Of timeless wisdom they will observe
The elders teaching in song and dance
Of stories told through time
When lives are reconciled as grayness befalls each
The things that seemed important are no longer so
Let the children know
Why courtesy is a way of life
Preventing anger and strife
If only each of us could see
Our brothers own humanity
And present the torch unto our young
Generations must carry on
Remove the hatred born of war
Scarred lives tender souls
Hands that cross the great divide
Need a healer from the sky
If we look into our brother's eyes
And see our own image
Then never a weapon born by I
For the mirror is a timeless passage
Beat the drum the echo is from the past
Voices that share the heartache once known as theirs
Woman with child
Beaten while in exile
Auschwitz horrors still resound
But peace requires the quilted patch
Sewn through tears given in love
Orphans of new wars need not be
If we could all simply agree
The children must see they are our future
The waters that bridge this great divide
Need a healer with prophetic eyes
We are the molders of their beliefs
If we teach hate
Callous hearts will walk the streets
If we teach love in troubled times
Even when pain has come to our abode
Then a moral compass will guide the children home
If we see ourselves void of color and of creed
Then truly we our free
Blood that flows through our veins
The branch between past and present
Blood brothers and sisters are we
Faith requires forgiveness
If we left our money at the bankers door
Saw our fellow man in his struggle
Shared what we had to offer
Neighbors would no longer be strangers
Understanding requires listening
Skills come in so many forms
Hunger knows no color no creed
War ravages and leaves so many on desperate knees
If we move into a barbaric state then we've but sealed our own fate
Communicating is the greatest challenge faced by every being
Words can be as a quick draw of a gun
Or the balm that soothes the soul
If we expect another to lower his weapon
Should we not be expected to bow ours as well
The nod of accord signaled in unison
Requires fear be left aside
Respect becomes the norm
And is taught to our young