Tagged peaks journal

Gabriel, The Civil Rights Lawyer’s Tale

by Mark Kodama


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from the Birmingham Jail

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

Prologue:

The Advocate

Gabriel, a civil rights lawyer, gazed out the window. His brown face wore an easy confident smile. His black leather suitcase carried his file for a case he had in Las Vegas. A gold cross pendant hung from his neck and lay against his black turtleneck sweater. His black mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes. He wore a gray flannel suit without a tie.

Bus Driver: Let us listen to stories of heroes,
And their solitary quests for justice.
Of moral men of law courageous.
Their fights against their racist foes,
And the bitter harvest bigotry sows.

Nelson Mandela and Thurgood Marshall,
Lincoln and Cicero, great lawyers all,
Gandhi and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP
Lawyers are central to our being free.
Oh, fair voiced Calliope,
Favor us with epic poetry.”

Gabriel: Because of their high positions
But not their competence,
They made wrong decisions,
With absolute confidence.
To acquiesce to it,
Is to accept it.

I’m a trial lawyer with little renown,
I take cases, most mundane, some profound.
I do well but I am not a fount of gold
The meaning of my work is of most import I’m told.
I cannot win every case I must confess;

But I’m clever, work hard and do my best.
My enemies are smart and work hard too.
It would be easy if they weren’t shooting at you.
I know the local judges, lawyers and rules.
I survived the intellectual hazing of law school.

If you do not know the rules of evidence,
Your client may have a dire consequence.
When trying your case, present it with style.

Be friendly but serious and wear a confident smile.
Present your opening and closing emotionally
And appeal to the jurors logically.
Ethos, pathos and logos are our tools of the trade,
The rules of rhetoric that Aristotle made.
The great Roman lawyer Cicero used to say:
Movere, docere and delectare.

Be a master of rhetoric,
An expert in courtroom politics,
Speak to jurors in words they understand
With the lofty ideas of leaders grand.
Be a student of the mind
And someone that cares,
And I think you will find
You will have a certain flair.

Laws are made and enforced by men
And it is up to them to administer them.
And it is up to men you see,
To make justice a reality.
Justice is only an idea,
That must be fought for.”


Book Review: Scraps of Love

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Scraps of Love, Shann Tajiah

PJ Review Score: 3/5

3: 🙂
4: 😊
5: 😲 

Overview

Scraps of Love: Poetry From the Darkest Night 1992 – 2010, is a poetry collection written by Shann Tajiah and published in 2018 by Ithirial Rising Press. The collection is organized logically, starting with the table of contents, followed by an interesting foreword. The table of contents is made up of twelve chapters, all of which are organized in reverse chronological order from dates 2010 and 1997.

As the title suggests, Scraps of Love focuses on the pain of human existence, fear of the unknown, and love of things and people that are familiar. The poetry emphasizes visceral emotions, which stems from the emotional struggles that the writer has experienced or witnessed. From the foreword, the reader can surmise that the writer put a lot of thought and care into this book.

Additional Information

There are several groups of poems for each year, each with distinct titles. The poems themselves seem to match the overall themes of the year. Each year has a short title or phrase that the poems beyond will follow.  For example, the following poem, ‘Naked,’ falls under ‘2002,’ which is titled ‘Life is Written in Ink.’

“The fog is lifting / burned away by a hotter face. Naked now / I stand, my robes gone…”

The next quote is from ‘1999,’ titled ‘Lost Soul.’

“Ashes to ashes / dust to dust / the end of life. The circle will never be broken / one must live / one must die.”

Like most poetry these days, Scraps of Love is made up of mostly free verse poetry. There are simple rhymes in some poems, but mostly, the poems enjoy free reign from metered constraints. The above quotes are an example of Tajiah’s poetry – minimalist, but with echoing emotions and implied endings. Poetry written in this way is something to be enjoyed, at least every now and then, even by people who prefer metered rhymes.

Comments

Scraps of Love has a few quirks, such as, misspelled words in some titles. However, it’s a solid poetry collection with poems written with great care. If you’re interested in reading this book, you can buy it on Amazon. It has a nice book trailer that you can watch on Youtube.


Further Reading:

Book Review: Behold

Behold, Rikke Delhi

PJ Review Score: 4/5

3: 🙂
4: 😊
5: 😲 


Overview

Rikke Dehli is a Danish author of Behold, a poetry collection filled with free verse poetry published in November of 2017. Behold is Rikke Dehli’s first published poetry collection.

The cover art is unique and simplistic. It’s a good representation of the poems that can be found within the book itself.

Analysis

Before delving into this book, it’s important to be aware of several artistic elements that Rikke Dehli employed. First, the book is made up entirely of free verse poems. Each poem has it’s own personality, as far as structure goes. No poem is structured the same in this book. As far as structure goes, there is no pattern. You may be able to say that the pattern here is that there is no pattern. Picture a canvas in which the artist lets the brush lead, instead of her leading the brush. Rikke Dehli’s poems are written in this way.

Further adding to the lack of pattern and doing away with convention, Rikke Dehli boldly omitted titles. She makes a note of this, insisting that readers simply ignore the convention. The reasoning behind the decision to omit poem titles is left entirely up to the reader.

At this point, if you’re a traditionalist, then you’re probably cringing. As a traditionalist, I was not sure what to think. I read through each poem rather quickly, learning to ignore the lack of titles and structure. Once I did, I noticed that Rikke Dehli’s decision was, perhaps, full of symbolism. Instead of interpreting each poem individually, it’s important to read all the poems as a holistic piece.

It’s clear that Rikke Dehli believes in the significance of personal interpretations. She doesn’t want the reader to be bogged down by details that would imply certain meanings, such as the titles of poems. She wants the reader to dive into Behold, and resurface with their own unique thoughts about each poem.

Behold is a holistic poetry collection that delves into the human experience, from the perspective of a young adult female. Each poem tackles the complex emotions of heartache, loss, and love. The poems lack any clear resolutions, which further echoes the realities of the human emotional experience. Take, for example, this poem on the back cover:

“Your lips strike me as poisonous
So I kiss them even harder
They taste so familiar
In the worst possible way.
The taste rings up the echo of someone else
Inside me
And I try my best to pretend
I don’t hear a sound. ”

Critique

Behold is an interesting read, to say the least. If you’re an avid poetry collector who collects unique poems, then I would recommend adding Behold to your collection. However, Behold can also be enjoyed by anyone who is a lover of art, and freedom of expression. You can purchase it through Amazon.


Engaging Reads:

I Write a Poem Every Night

by Fidel M. Love


Tonight, I wrote a love poem

‘Cause the words just shifted and sent me

to a happy place as I drifted in memories

of when you used to smile at me

And I laughed a little

thinking of how I let your smile trap me.

So, I wrote a love poem

But last night, I wrote a love torn poem

‘Cause I was feeling that ache in my heart

Why’d you break it apart?

I don’t know if its true love or I’m just taking it hard

That reminds me of a confused poem

which I seem to be thoroughly – I need therapy

for the thoughts in my head

And poetry is what I use for ’em

So, then I read over a beingusedpoem

Since I’ve been used and abused by a few of ’em.

That’s why I choose never to use but soothe you

I remembered a poem I wrote about the touch of your hand

How it had the power to turn the strong into cowards

and have them struggle to stand.

Then I found a poem you wrote and one day handed me

Saying, you loved knowing you could do that

and I was the only man you’d need

So, I can’t understand how you could stand and leave

I’ve wrote so many sad poems that I can’t stand to read

Alone poems, I need a home poems

Lost without his own poems – and gone poems

How I need you to be strong poems…

You brought a clear view to my night, I write every night

‘Cause it was a poem that bought you to my life.


About the Author 

Fidel M. Love is a creative mind and spirit, born and raised on the South-side of Chicago, IL. He has been writing poetry and fiction since age 12. He is a graduate of East-West University with a Bachelors degree in English & Communications. He’s always reading, writing, studying, and learning more to perfect his craft and pursue his dream of being a successful poet and author.


Seven Universal Truths About Relationships

Passion and romance are popular topics on social media. Everyone has their opinions on what creates a healthy relationship. Everyone also has an opinion on what people should do in relationships. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but opinions that perpetuate toxic behavior are not good.

Relationships Need Work .

If you think relationships are supposed to work like magic, then you’re too young to be in a relationship. Even if you’re fifty, and you have this mindset, you should wait a few years.

Seriously, though, relationships take work and investment in money, time, and emotions (not in that order). If you don’t have the patience for that kind of investment, don’t waste your time, or others.

There’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to be in a committed relationship, as long as you let your partner know beforehand.

Be Mindful. 

Relationships aren’t always 50/50. We’re all human, and the one thing we all have in common is the fact that we make mistakes. We’re emotional creatures, whose hearts aren’t always in sync with our minds.

As a result, relationships may look like 30/70 or 60/40 sometimes. A relationship is a pact between you and that person, where you both agree to love and be there for one another when the other physically and mentally can’t.

If you’re partner breaks down, and drops their half, in that moment your love should automatically pick up their half.

Everyone Needs Space.

Credit: Free-Photos

Relationships are not a burden. Even though you need to be there for your partner, you shouldn’t have to be their fathers or mothers. They’re grown people, and the need for constant validation isn’t healthy.

If they blame you because they think you owe them constant validation, then you should leave. It’s not fun being in a relationship where you’re made to feel like an evil person every time you drop below their expectations.

Get Better Advice.

Credit: Robert E Blackmon

Leave your expectations at the door. This isn’t a fantasy, where all of your dreams come true. Relationships aren’t all about you, so don’t make it that way. I see this constantly on Facebook:

‘If he doesn’t send you good morning texts, throw him away.’ ‘If he doesn’t have you as the background to his phone, he’s cheating.’ ‘If he’s all about you, then he’s not going to have female friends.’

Where are these people getting their relationship advice from? And people wonder why “relationships on Facebook don’t last these days.” It’s because these people are getting their relationship advice from memes on Facebook. Come on. You’re 25, listening to a vague piece of thoughtless advice.

Be Honest about Your Emotions. 

Credit: FunnyJunk.com

You’re human, stop hiding your emotions. Seriously, what are you doing? You got into a relationship, only to hide your emotions from the person you want to be with? Just leave it. If you don’t trust your heart to be in their hands, then you’re not ready.

The point of a relationship is exploring each other’s darkest and deepest emotions, and enjoying the ride of life together.

If you stay, you both will just be unhappy.

Balance is Important.

Feel free to share this simple diagram.

In a world of individuality and independence, people who are needy and clingy often get labeled as bad people. It’s all about balance. If you always want to be around your partner, and they always want to be around you, what’s the problem?

I mean, as long as you guys get your work done and are functional enough to not die in each other’s arms from starvation, you’re good.

However, if you always want to be around them, and they think it’s annoying, that’s a problem. Either find someone who is like you, or respect your partner’s boundaries. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Refrain from Using Hurtful Language.

Credit: Takmeomeo

Arguments. They happen. We’re human. We’re not going to always agree and settle disagreements peacefully. Sometimes, passion gets the better of us.

A lot of people view arguments as a bad thing, but they’re not inherently bad. What matters during an argument are the things that are said and done. Love will stop you from saying anything hurtful. Love will also stop you from physically hurting your partner (no matter how much you imagine slapping them to next week). When angry, it’s best to use concise and clear language.

Instead of: “You’re always doing stupid things. You’re an ****.

Try: “I’m extremely upset with you and I want you to hear me out.

This only works if all concerned parties communicate in this way. Trust me, after the first successful argument that ends with solutions being made, you’ll practically love arguing.


Empathy Practice