Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spoken Poem Winner

Our Spirit First annual poetry contest is being amended to include a special separate category for Spoken Word Poetry (also referred to as Performance Poetry). We were surprised to receive Spoken Word poems from writers across the country, with one of the poems even arriving in the form of a video (reviewing and judging, however, are made using written submissions). Our Spoken Word Poetry category (which invites all performance poetry including, but not limited to, rap poetry) will have a single winner who joins our list of poetry contest winners and receives a $50 prize.

We are pleased and honored to announce our Spoken Word Poetry winner for our 2010 poetry contest. 

Born and raised in the Bronx, Carmen Mojica is a 24-year-old poet, writer, workshop facilitator, and model. She is a graduate from the State University of New York at New Paltz and holds a bachelor's degree in Black Studies and Television/Radio Productions. Carmen is currently pursuing doula certification through a fellowship program with Hudson Perinatal Consortium and will be certified by the end of 2010. She is also a student of herbalism, holistic health and wellness, and dance. Carmen has published two books, I Loved You Once, and Hija De Mi Madre (My Mother's Daughter).  Read more about Carmen in our Spring Newsletter on our Spirit First website at

Moment of Reflection

I have come to conclude that my self is longing to exclude all that does not matter in this matter of being alive
That all the pleasures of the flesh are just distractions from positive reactions to the events that occur to us day by day
Some of us fail to exhale all the trivial and inhale the greater scheme of things; that all this is just a manifestation of a thought from a higher being; the formation and creation of spirits that defy these petty laws that obstruct and construct a diversion from the true meaning of what it is to breathe

And some of us find it hard to conceive and believe that all that functions and malfunctions before these devices we call eyes is just not real; just because it has materialized does not mean we shouldn’t realize how this world is simply another trial that our troubled souls are experiencing; 
For you see, we are all deities, musical notes that have been composed and played in a bittersweet symphony by the greatest composer of all time 

We are the most precious and golden intellections sprung from a being so great that it is the perfection we strive to achieve; 
That we are just energies in a circle that truly never ends
The secret to why our eyes cry and why we are alive, just barely, lies deep within the self that we often bury in layers of makeup just to collapse and rebuild and wake up to wander and squander our precious time, which in theory does not exist but rather serves to assist it who calls itself I am with the education of us
That we might be the wind in the door and understand that our mission is absolutely this and simply this: to learn what we forgot when we fell from grace and onto an unfamiliar face

That our ultimate goal should be to learn, educate and die; for it is in death that we are released into a peaceful eternity
So if anyone should speak to you of dying, know that dying is just the beginning of another lesson that is to ultimately just love unconditionally; just love because that’s how simple yet complex it is

So if anyone should fear death, they are fearing a near-life experience
by Carmen Mojica
Spoken Word Poetry Winner
Spirit First Poetry Contest 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The meaning of our self is not to be found in its
separateness from God and others, but in
the ceaseless realization of yoga, of union.
                                     ~ Rabindranath Tagore

photography by permission
cindy lee jones

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Long ago in the middle of a speaking tour, addressing audiences from city to city, I found myself one day in a beach town. I had arrived late the night before, too late to see anything, and would be in the city for only one day before needing to leave for the next town. I wanted to see the ocean, though, if only for a moment. I wanted to breathe the ocean's air and drink her fragrance. So, during my lunch break, I left the conference center and walked two or three blocks to the ocean's edge. No time to change clothes, I went to see the beach wearing my business suit, stockings, and brand-new Etienne Aigner dress shoes. As I stepped off the street's asphalt, I removed my shoes and walked on the sand in my stockinged feet. The ocean was calm and beautiful with sparkling sunbeams dancing on the surface. It was a beautiful day. As I walked along the water's edge, though, I began to notice my feet getting dirty. After a few minutes the bottoms of my feet were black, coated with a tar-like substance. The beach looked clean, perfectly normal, but immediately underneath the beauty of the rolling sand something was terribly wrong. By the time I got back to the street, my feet were hopelessly sticky and gooey. The asphalt was blistering hot and I couldn't walk back to the conference in my bare feet, so I slipped my feet back into my new Italian shoes. I had never before (and have never since...) experienced anything like this in my life. As it happens to be, that beach had been the victim of an oil spill quite some time previously, and no matter how pristine the beach appeared to be, the tarry substance was always just below the surface. I was a mess. I was committed to the rest of the day in front of an audience with my fee, my hosiery, and my shoes filled with tar. I was in agony. At the end of the day I had to seek professional advice oh how to clean and how to heal my feet; my new shoes were ruined and had to be disposed of. Stains on my feet lingered for weeks.

I grieve for the enormous tragedy of the oil spill in the Gulf. I cannot watch the news. Every time I see an animal covered in the oil, struggling to move or struggling to breathe (or sometimes being already deceased), I break into tears. I don't talk of this event with anyone because just in the thinking of its horror I start to cry.

We did this. We have been responsible for the health and well being of our earth and every creature sharing it with us, yet we did this. I hope we will learn to do better. For now, all I can do is grieve.