Five people were murdered in Newark over the Memorial Day weekend! The sound of bullets whizzing by, sirens screaming, and red lights flashing in the night all herald in summer 2011 with an ominous message to the inhabitants of Newark. I live in Newark, and have for the last thirty-eight years. I have survived by calling out to the angels of God to walk with me through turbulent times. The rustling of angel wings allows me to surrender fear and replace it with power…the power of words and action.
Newark has been good to me because this is where I learned to live with God and allowed Him to guide and direct my path and direct it He did around whizzing bullets, over blood splashed in the stairwells of my high rise, and poverty. He directed me right back to school… first Essex County College, then Rutgers Newark. As a writer, a poet, and a pianist my artistic soul has absorbed all the nuances and shades of poverty. I had the dubious pleasure of living below the poverty line for a period of time and then once I became a teacher I was able to “pull myself up by the bootstraps” and began to enjoy such luxuries as traveling, buying a home and a new car, and now that I’m retired I manage to stay one check ahead of foreclosure, repossession of transportation, and a steady diet of beans and rice. The American dream can be quite slippery.
The summer blues begins…pow, pow, pow! The dominant seventh flies high above the flat five, weaving in and out creating blue tones that interpret the moans and groans of heartache and tears falling freely onto mounds of soil surrounding new graves that will permanently bury hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The curtain of death has fallen and summer 2011 looms on the horizon.