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||April 12, 2009
Chapbook of 22 inspirational poems by Sistah Joy
The poems in this collection are offered in testimony to the power of faith in helping us overcome trials and tribulations. Prayerfully, the sharing of this journey can help others who find themselves in need of an anchor.
Despite slings and arrows,
roadblocks and setbacks.
Rule changes mid-game
Folks and laws not meanin’
what they say
These are things folk face everyday
The road may seem too steep to climb
And it will be narrow at times
And yes, yesterday’s darkness
Will try to hide from view
The light you need to guide you through
But hold fast to your dreams
They create your destiny
Many have faded and fallen
along the way
Hopes in despair -- dreams vanished
into thin air!
Some folks we loved...
Some who just crossed our path
That’s why you gotta ask yourself every day
How do I keep my mind and focus clear?
Let your knees know not the ground beneath them
Except when prayer becomes your posture of empowerment
Listen when faith whispers in your ear
Let your conscience and character hear and embrace her words
Let them guide you from one day
To the next
Ya gotta strengthen your back
and your spirit
Beyond what adversaries expect
Look inside til you find
That dream that is unequivocally yours.
Listen to your heart beat
Learn the song of your soul
Let it resonate throughout your being
Til you feel it in your bones!
Open your third eye.
Yes, seek spiritually
Til that glimmer of possibility bearing your name
Starts to shine
That’s YOUR dream!
Can’t you see it?
Can’t you feel it?
Your future is begging to be born!
Although your victory song
has not yet been sung
Learn the words
Be proud to share this climb
with others seeking to learn
and sing their song.
While some may be haters
Many more are waiting
to praise your success
Understand, the best
will want to climb with you
And the chorus can lift us all
Let the world know you’re here
IN THE QUIET TIME
In the quiet time
The moments when I commune with God
I am lifted to a place
Where beauty wraps herself
Peace enters my spirit
Embracing, then erasing my needs
And the relaxing ribbon of serenity
Connects me to the eternity
Between yesterday and tomorrow
I am at one with the universe
My soul is renewed
I am again made whole
Reviews for "From Pain To Empowerment - The Fabric of My Being"
|Reviewed by Larry Shavers
|A review of From Pain to Empowerment-The Fabric of My Being-Selected Poems by J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford
> Poetry can be full of odd phrases,conundrums, enigmatic expressions and obscure meaning. J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford is a poet with a very distinctive poetic voice who never resorts to these literary devices. She creates poetry that may appear rather transparent initially, but is very thought provoking and wise once the reader has peered into its depths. Her latest collection of poems “From Pain to Empowerment-The Fabric of My Being”, a chapbook from J&D Publishing, is a testament to her intelligence and creative talents. Alford artfully provides the reader with a well-scripted view of her journey through life thus far. She does not hide or disguise emotions. The words and lines in this chapbook are sensitive, spiritual and personal. Alford is not afraid to express her pain as reflected in “I Stand Tall” or her triumphs, as reflected in one of her signature pieces “Get Outta My Way.” She is a master of narrative verse as demonstrated in “I Pray For You” and “Coming Into Focus.”
> An in-depth analysis of her chapbook reveals several things about this talented poet. Creating poetry is as much a cathartic process for her as it is a method of releasing pain, despair and disappointment. Additionally, as it relates to her life, it appears she has asked herself the hard questions and not dodged the equally hard answers; see “Seeking The Light” and “Faded Passion.” One of Alford’s strengths is her ability to chronicle the complexities and incongruence of her life “Desire II” and “My Sister’s Light.” She allows us to overhear clearly what she has discovered no matter how transparent and painful. And thankfully, she does not fall20into the boring and simplistic trap of lyrical verse to explain her discoveries.
> In “Decisions” and “The Stillness Inside” her language and phrasing are precise and offer a poets view into the deepest emotions of the human heart. Alford has penned a powerful and emotional testimony to the power of the saving graces of her Creator, which are enunciated in “Peace Be still,” and “I Pray For You.” None of the poems in “From Pain to Empowerment-The Fabric of My Being” fall flat, or miss the mark. Her spirituality, insightfulness, and attention to detail in selecting just the right words to capture a moment are qualities to be admired.
> Her poems convey the myriad nuances of discovery, joy, disappointment, and revelation. Alford takes emotional risk many talented writers only envy and her works are timeless, as they exist un-tethered to a specific moment in her life. Her creativity and versatility are very evident as in “Sweet Lit tle One” and “Remembrances.” And all of her works are technically proficient.
> It has been said that authentic and passionate Poetry will ensure a Poet’s immortality. Alford has created a set of poems that are ardent and honest in their self-revelation and authenticity. These works will survive the test of time.
> Sistah Joy Alford can be found hosting poetry and open mic every third Thursday of the month at Annie’s Art Gallery in Temple Hills Maryland. The chapbook “From Pain to Empowerment-The Fabric of My Being” can be purchased from J&D Publications, P.O. Box 44353. Washington, D.C., The Parrish Gallery-Georgetown 1054 31st St. NW Washington, D.C. 20007 and Annie’s Art Gallery 5814 Allentown Way Camp Springs Maryland 20748.
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J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy