Friday, April 13, 2012


A salute to all poets

I salute each of you this exciting month of April for a job well done.
You took the time to share from your heart and did your part.

You didn’t make any excuse through the winter, spring, summer
and fall. You came to deliver and today you are remembered.

I salute all the poets in the world: every boy, girl, woman and
man. I am a true fan.
Look around you, you have uplift with your god gift!

We can’t forget Shirley yee, she got a promotion and had to leave
but mike is right there because he care.

My mother told me my father had
a line in a play when they were
“speak up ike and express yourself”
I say to you this day “speak
up poets and express yourself,
you are one of a kind and thank
you for your time!
Written by:
Frances Loretta Freeman #54

My People, My People

(Inspired by the Presidential Election of President Obama)

My people, my people,
called by my name
Come boldly come swiftly
Be not ashamed.
Come humbly, prayerfully, seeking my face
Turning from darkness, step into my grace.

My people, my people
stretch forth your hands
Reach upward toward heaven
I’ll heal your land.
Behold, I come quickly, my reward with me
For every man as he works it shall be.

My people, my people lift up your eyes
Beyond the pasts darkness
In to new light.
See the fowls, the lilies
and grass of the fields
Help cometh, help cometh just over the hill.

My people, my people sing melodies sweet
Let earth and the heavens
Fill with my peace
I’m Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End
Lord, God and Father Trust in me Amen.
2 Chronicles 7:14, Revelations 22:12, Matthew 6

                       Deborah R. Willis, Poet- Lyricist



As I sit and listen to the sound of nature,
I realized how blessed we are to have her.
Ms. Nature is what I call her.
Her presence blesses us every March,
April and May at any given day.
When she comes by the grass, flowers and
trees stand at attention and she is pleased,
when it is mentioned.
Boy, I love it when April comes!
The flowers spring up and the birds sing a song.
Ms. Nature is the best and the only one,
that let’s us know when Summer comes.
I love nature!
                                        Clara Ewing

Love is Infinite

Love is infinite! It never dies;
it lies deep in your heart away from unseen eyes!
Bottled up like pop in a can only a person
with real love will understand!
Shaken every time the love of your life walks by;
when full the pressure of love
burst out from your soul and
it can no longer be contained or controlled.
That kind of love is not in vain;
it is real and none void is how it feels.
It takes a special man/woman to know what love really is.
Is that you or him only time will reveal because love is infinite!

By Taniyah Minniefield

How does it feel to have
Everything you ever did turn
Back on you
How does it feel to see
You child grow up and be
just like you?
How does it fee to see
 The things you so called tried hard
To prevent happen to your child
Maybe if you would had though about
your actions before you
did it I wouldn’t be asking you

How Does It FEEL

By Melina Dotson




St. Martin’s to Hosting Embrace the Space: Body Magic

Body Magic, a printmaking workshop for children and adults of all ages, will be held Sunday, April 15, 1:30pm at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 5700 West Midway Park in Austin. The second in a series of art-based programs offered at St. Martin’s, the event features Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi, an artist from Taiwan who enjoys making body adornments for disabled people using metals, fabrics and found objects.
    Yi’s work examines the way art can be used to address the relationship between the body and society’s standards of beauty and disability. She has a BFA and MA in art therapy from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, a MFA from UC Berkeley, and is currently a PhD student in Disability Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has exhibited her work in the U.S., Prague, and Hong Kong, was featured in PISTIL magazine, Fall of 2005, and recently published an article in an edited book on art therapy.
    The Body Magic workshop begins with a short talk by the artist about her art, and a demonstration of how to make a print. Participants will have a chance to make prints on a t-shirt, bandana, or tote bag, share their creations with the others in the group, and then get to take their artwork home!  As an added attraction three local poets, Lily Diego, Pennie Holmes-Brinson, and St. Martin’s own, David D. Jones, will read their original works.
     Bodies of Work, a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago, is partnering with St. Martins to share this unique form of artistic expression for the enjoyment and awareness of its parishioners and neighbors. Disability art refers to the creative work by people with disabilities that reflects a disability experience. It can be found in every artistic medium from the performing arts, literature, and visual arts to comic books, film, and design. Disability art plays a key role in articulating what disability means politically and personally, and that meaning translates into what many in the disability community consider its “culture.”  
    Funded by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust events in the EMBRACE THE SPACE series at St. Martin’s are wheelchair accessible, sign language interpreted and audio described. And, in keeping with St. Martin’s flexible worship space and welcoming attitude toward multiple types of families and households, all are welcomed and all events are FREE. Reservations are recommended, and refreshments will be served.
    Other events in the series at St. Martins include “So You Think You Can’t Dance, a movement workshop on Sunday April 20 with Alana Hodges Wallace, founder and artistic director of Dance>Detour, Chicago’s first physically integrated dance company. The series closes on Sunday, May 20 as Carrie Sandahl presents “Images of Disability in Films for Kids,” a screening of film clips and a discussion with the audience of how Hollywood portrays people with disability in children’s films.  
    For EMBRACE THE SPACE program information, disability accommodations, or to RSVP please phone 312 996-1967, or email For Information about St. Martin’s Episcopal Church contact Rev. Christopher E. Griffin, Vicar at 773 378-8111 or
    For 96 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with the needs of the community by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2010 the Trust made over $100 million in grants. From strengthening community schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust works to enhance our region.

Learn more at


Everyone who is someone was on hand to celebrate the Grand Opening of Chicago’s first Planet Fitness exercise club. Located at 4905 West North Avenue in the Harold Washington Shopping Plaza, the bright and spacious center is more of a spa than a gym. Founded in New Hampshire, Planet Fitness is now the largest chain of exercise centers in America. In addition to providing all of the latest and most popular workout machines and free weights, Planet Fitness also offers 30-minute workouts and professional assistance from personal trainers helping members set attainable goals and learn to safely and effectively use the equipment. This assistance is provided 24-hours a day with the basic membership and enhanced Black Card membership. Planet Fitness offers two types of membership: Basic at $10 per month and Black Card for $20 per month. Both memberships allow unlimited use of the center 24-hours a day for as long as members want to use the facilities. They pride themselves on being a “Judgment-free Zone”, catering to regular people wanting to look and feel good, not to body-builders or exercise extremists. Most people joining Planet Fitness are first-time gym members. With the $20 a month Black Card, members have access to all 5,000 Planet Fitness clubs nationwide. Black Card members also receive unlimited use of chair and hydro massage, half-price drinks, red-light therapy, plus one free guest per day. They are also entitled to free haircuts at the center Barber Shop. The Austin center already has 5,400 members. There are nine centers in the metropolitan area and seven in Cook County. For information, stop in at Planet Fitness anytime.



    In his State of the State message February 1, Governor Pat Quinn renewed his commitment to affordable housing and foreclosure prevention with the launch of the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). A multi-agency effort coordinated by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the IFPN connects struggling homeowners with all available assistance, resources, and knowledge to help them keep their homes.
    “Helping families stay in their homes is essential in keeping our communities strong and our economic recovery moving forward,” Governor Quinn said. “The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network will connect families with the resources they need to keep their homes, and get back on their feet.”
    The IFPN gathers all assistance and resources available to homeowners to ensure that families facing foreclosure can access the assistance they need in one stop. The IFPN provides access to counseling services, legal advice, mortgage payment assistance  programs, foreclosure prevention events, and tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud.
    The IFPN’s resources are available 24-hours a day online at, and from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM weekdays and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays at the IFPN’s free Hotline: 1-855-446-6300.
    Foreclosures adversely impact too many Illinois families and communities. Illinois consistently ranks among the top 10 states with the highest number of foreclosures. In 2011, 103,003 homes in Illinois received a foreclosure filing, or one in every 51 homes – ranking the state 8th in the country, according to RealtyTrac.
    The Chicago area has been especially affected, with the city of Chicago ranking second in the nation in number of foreclosures. The Chicago area has the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes. As of December 2011, there were 96,996 properties that were bank-owned or in some stage of foreclosure in the Chicago metro area.
    Foreclosure not only impacts a family that loses their home, but has a ripple effect that destabilizes communities and negatively affects the economy at large. Abandoned properties hurt communities by creating blight, attracting crime, and reducing the local tax rolls. On average, homes located in the same block as a foreclosed property can drop $8,000 to $10,000 in value, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Banks with too many foreclosures on their books limit lending, stifling business growth and consumer spending, which slows economic growth.
    The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network bundles together key foreclosure assistance resources in a centralized location to make it easier for people to find the help they need more quickly, including:
 •    Qualified, HUD-certified housing counselors, free of charge, throughout the state.
 •    Legal clinics offering foreclosure prevention legal services free of charge.
 •    Financial assistance from the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, which provides up to $25,000 in mortgage assistance to qualified homeowners having trouble making mortgage payments due to unemployment or under-employment.
 •    Targeted foreclosure mitigation events, including the Mortgage Relief Project, with one-on-one counseling, and access to loan servicers who can discuss loan modifications and work out agreements on the spot.
 •    Additional information on refinancing options, loan modification options, federal and state resources, including Home Affordable Refinance Program, Home Affordable Modification Program, and other programs.
  •    Advice on how to avoid mortgage fraud, job search opportunities, financial planning and other counseling resources.
 •    Additional information on refinancing options, loan modification options, federal and state resources.
“Services like counseling are critical to help people keep their homes,” explains Mary Kenney, Executive Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. “A national report recently found foreclosure counseling nearly doubles chances of mortgage modification and reduces likelihood of re-default by at least 67%.”
    Under Governor Quinn, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and Illinois Department of Employment Security partner to establish this free, one-stop resource of state agencies and nonprofit organizations to help Illinois residents access resources so that they can remain in their homes.