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Nasra Al Adawi

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Writing is her voice
Friday, December 07, 2007  12:24:00 PM

by Nasra Al Adawi

Amias, a poet in Mind Locks.. a journey to her peotry and prose


Amias Writing Is Her Voice
Written by Nasra Al Adawi

Its very hard to find the right words to introduce Amias, a blend soul of Africa and America. Her poetry and her prose set her core to find her home. It floats beyond earthly soil and as for me she brings me back to the heart of Africa to realize, for this content had no doubt created its veins into this body. Without this I remain incomplete for the blood has no tunnel to flow. At times itís a journey to gleam a light on a glowing persona is hard to achieve.

"What's this about Africa and America, the sisters, not being free? What the hell is a chemical gone awry? I notice, even before the thoughts came to mind that I was tired. But only an hour had passed by, why? It was like time had slowed down and everything seemed a bit surreal." - Amias

This has been quoted from your blogspot, what does Africa means to you?

[Africa, to me, is the beginning of everything and everyone. Africa is the mother of humanity as a whole. Indeed itís where all the worldís cultures sprung from. Africa is the womb that we all came through. To me personally, Africa is my Mother.]

As poet/writer do you agree on be termed as an African American? Does that gives an extra weight as to merge among other writers as be an ambassador of other Afro-American?

[Each of us has to decide how we like to be labeled, or rather, what labels we can live with. I donít judge anyone for their choices. Unlike my ancestors, there are a lot of Americans that came from Africa of their freewill, and to me these are African Americans. I, on the other hand was born here in America, and very proud of my Africa roots Ė I am an American.

I donít, however care for the term Afro-America, which was coined by the college community. If I had a choice of what I would like for someone to call me, it would be ďColoredĒ. You see, we are all, regardless of skin color, of African decent. But the word Color denotes value, and that what I am. I am a value to the human race, because I am a part of it. As for being an Ambassador, I would ask, of what and for what? No one is who they claim to be, because no one will believe who they really are; itís part of being a member of humanity. As a Colored society, are worth are undervalued, but not by me.]

I go to the next question to want to enter in to the soul of Amias? Who is Amias and in what way can you describe her

[Amias is a name that I have given myself to express who I am being now. I do not put down the name my parent gave me, but as I evolved spiritually it did not serve me, thus Amias was born.

Amias does not judge, she observes and speaks to that which she observes. Amias accept others choices as long as those choices donít hinder my journey in this place we co-exist in. Other than this, I will let this quote speak for me, for it came from my soul.

"Seek to serve your needs. Create Amias from your seeds. Tell her what you desire and she will comply. Seek within without fear; she will be there to serve Self, to serve you. No one dares to turn you aside, are you not the wind and that which power the wind? Are you not movement and stillness? Are we not one?" To me, Amias is all of this and more!]

Writing can be a journey of searching? How do you find yourself in writing? Is it a thread of searching, is finding your voice?

[It seems that for each question you have quoted something from my Blog, and I dare say, you are right on target.

"Words are written upon the mind of the wind, used to open doors and close them back again. They are the keys to your Self and in the end; they are all you will have left to conjure, to come before Self. They are me, they are you, and we are one." - Amias

I would add -- that indeed, writing can be a journey. Because of the abuse I suffered as a child, writing has been the only voice I had. When I share my experiences, it helps to heal me.]

Many ask why you write but many forget to say what can writing bring to the door of your soul? So I want to know the emotion and the feeling that rises when you write if it is poetry/ prose or a story?

canlubang sunset
Originally uploaded by cannlvr.

[Writing transcends me to other places and helps me to cope with the extremes of my life. Inside each of us are many personalities and spirits; all from different time periods in our lives, and all with their own voices. Writing enables me to enjoy the differences of these personalities and spirits, and if I so chose, or when necessary I can bring them all to the table with one voice.]

This is the beauty of being different. Does writing fall in the same aspect of these words below and lines? Can a writer/ poet beautify the difference in their words?

ďIf everyone did things the same way, all the time, it would be very boring. On a chorus line, for a few minutes itís beautiful to make the same moves, but in life the chorus line beauty depends on our differences. After all, these differences are what make life very interesting, and when preformed with understanding and acceptance of individual differences we have the most beautiful chorus line you will ever see.Ē - Amias

[Yes, of course. But we forget that there is beauty in all things. Even in the hardships of our lives there is beauty, if not, how than can we survived them.]

Act II (Liquid Plastic)

it was easy to melt my heart
with other folks shame
thatís why liquid plastic
was my christian name
i was forced to shake hands with pain
who became my only friend
in the land where I was born
i lived in the shadows
afraid of the dawn
because I had never seen one

when i go down into the water
all outside influences are washed away
and what i think or say
comes from the inside out
i marvel at the wonders
of baking soda and vinegar
still costing very little
for purification and healing

momma said
if you drink milk out of a plastic cup
you gotta wash it out with very hot water
the water will taste milky
if you drink out of it
you see plastic is liquid
if youíve been blessed
with like experiences
just enjoy the memories

my momma was a very poor woman
in monetary wealth
she died young
i recall looking at her
through the harsh and critical eyes
of a little black child in need
she made me sweep a yard empty of grass
clean out ditches that had no trash
put a couple drops of vinegar
in a fresh raw wound
with a pinch of raw baking soda
you see momma was very clean
she was a tall stout woman
with as much indianís blood as black
one of her main joys was eating clay dirt
not found everywhere
on a family outing
passing down a country road
with golden mounds flanking left and right
going by in a blur
she screamed to my daddy
"bro. joe! there! stop there!"
the car moved to the point of her finger
tires came to a squeaky halt
the door flew open at her touch
and she bolted from it like a burst of wind
momma found her target
dug real deep then got back in
smiling with joyful dancing eyes
like a little child revealing her treasures
kissing it to her lips
i was jealous of the dirt

the smell of baked clay
permeating the air would begin the day
fatherís rewards came in the squeaking sound
of two heavy bodies
moving on an old worn out mattress spring
our rewards came in hearing our mother sing
"when they ring those golden bells"
lifting us all out of the hell of wanting
into a state of having
these were days
when a strong stout woman
was a manís dream
if you know what i mean
still a sharecropperís life
depended on a good stout wife
to make ends meet
to turn cotton sacks into white sheets
and make vegetables taste like meat
momma had skills
the white folks used to kill for
but she saved my daddy with them

some people say
i have a fetish for white towels
when my grandchildren comes to visit
they are amazed at using so many
and never running out
unlike momma
i love cleaning dirt off me not putting it in me
but to be perfectly honest
in hindsight that is
i have observed
that thereís really no difference
since the dirt i am washing off
comes from within
when i go down into the water
it removes a lot of parasites
then i can think clear
and recall
happier days ---
i thought were hard

© 1999 Amias

[To read the complete Saga of Liquid Plastic click here:Liquidplastic]

Does you voice in poetry want to belong? Why some of your poetry are wrapped in sadness, why is it your poetic words speaks about indirectly about lingering tears which are unseen?

[Belong to what? Who? My voice belongs to myself, therefore I write for me. If someone else enjoys it, which is alright with me --- I donít mind sharing. However, life is not always about happiness. Indeed, we live in a very sad time and the sadness spills over into our lives. This sadness is not of ones own doing, itís the world we live in. I write about the truth of my life and the life of those that I observe. I dare say, sadness not only helps us to grow, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, it also helps us to understand our fellow human being.]

When the body sinks into the river that has a blending temperature not so hot not so cold. Itís a place to sooth. Where do you find your soothing water, is the blend of faith and writing becomes your healing droplets?

[I create in water. Water is my element of creation. It is place where I cleanse my spirit, and allow my soul to speak to me. Water is a healing balm, when itís controlled. Uncontrolled it can be deadly. I walk in-between the two Ė and it helps with my creativity on all levels.]

Writing to some is a ritual; it does not begin with you holding a pen. Itís preparing your soul to break the barrier of not having a physical voice, reaching out when you are told that you donít exist; some time that soul feeds it self from pain to finally surface in to powerful voice no one can extinguish. It only dies on its set time?

candle offering
Originally uploaded by cannlvr.

"I feel like I've wrestled a demon; hidden deep inside of me. The only way I can win is to set the demon free. I feel the ache within my soul; as I stumble and fall; intensify when it can't help me stand tall. Iím like a baby, learning to crawl. I'm told that life is about experiences, not lessons for me to learn. Tragically, my past experiences are not saving me from harm. These tears that fall from my eyes are like acid on my flesh, because the pains are still without, lurking and waiting to enter and hurt."-Amias

Have you ever found yourself in that position? Do you allow pain to surface through your words of prose and poetry?

[Writing to me is a salvation, more so than a ritual. The best type of writing is when it is spontaneous and inspiring. Some of my writing comes from my soul, others comes from my environment or experiences. I never know how or when it coming until it gets here, and when it here, I am just thankful to hear myself and know that I am alive.]

You have published recently your first book Mind Lock? Tell us the experience of publishing a book? For those of us wants to follow your track, what path can we take to reach into the world of publishing a book?

[You got to move pass fear. But the truth is, self-published is usually just that, it is for the self. I have many manuscripts that consist of short stories, novella, novel, and poetry/prose. I was afraid to publish for two reasons, rejections and who I am. As a colored woman in American, it is hard to break into the publishing world. Even my own society will not open the doors for me. So I decided that I would not use the age old excuse that nobody wanted to publish me because of skin color, etc. and published myself. I did so because I trusted in my talent. Ainít nothing wrong with being rejected, once I realized that being who I am, I have been rejected all my life, the next question was why not self-published!

As for the process of self-publishing, you got to be very careful and do your research. I didnít expect to sell many books because this project was for me to prove that I could move pass my fear of rejections. I found a company that did the printing and cover design for a reasonable fee. All that was required of me was to do my own editing and layout my manuscripts in a PDF file format to there specification. There are other avenues, but this is the one I took.]

On the process of publishing the book what were the miracles that even little had helped you to reach out the distance of writing a book? Was it worth the time and effort and would you repeat it again if you get a chance to publish a new book?

[I had a lot of encouragement from a dear friend and folks online that read my Blog. Yes, if you have a copy of the book you will see that it was well worth my efforts. Itís a unique book, and I wouldnít call it a poetry book, even though it has poetry in it. I am doing it again. I am working on a novel presently, and now that I have self-published, I am not afraid to send this manuscript of to be rejected or accepted. If it is rejected by the main stream publisher, I will go to Amazon and do Print On Demand (POD). They offer more than the other PODís I have researched online, and they have better marketing tools.]

What is your book all about (Tell us more about your book and where can we get it)?

[I traveled between the letters of my life and filled up the spaces. I creatively share some of my experiences in Mind Locks, so you may enjoy my evolution, without the pain. That said, Mind Locks is one of the most unique poetry books ever penned. It paints pictures, in rich dialect, using real life situations that take the reader through the gamut of emotions. Each poem or prose is complemented by an acrostic poem that begins the ride to each new discovery. Itís an amazing journey that crosses culture lines. You can purchased Mind Locks at:Mind Locks]

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