Some of my favorite songs….

Just Sharing ….Here are a few of the songs that mattered to me over the years… and the musicians who made them. Songs I never forgot.

Bonnie Raitt

Right Down the Line

https://youtu.be/-T_aMNbXVdA

Julie Driscoll

If you should ever leave me

https://youtu.be/VXH56hotLSA

Solomon Burke

Don’t Give Up on Me

https://youtu.be/joXHmEOGy38

O.V. Wright

Nobody but you

https://youtu.be/Myfmpb4efLk

Nat King Cole

Nature Boy

https://youtu.be/Iq0XJCJ1Srw

Curtis Mayfield

Your so Good to Me

https://youtu.be/6cN4zjbt_UI

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again!

Walkers with the Dawn ..

There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.

Walkers with the Dawn

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness–
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

by Langston Hughes

Helen Keller

She,
In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.

She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.

And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.

Langston Hughes

Sometimes first times are “Simply Beautiful”

Even since I moved back to my childhood home I have noticed some things for the first time. The way the sun hits the blue glass at different times during the day and makes different color rainbows. Or how small my bedroom was when I was five. I remember there was a small bed and my dad made me a little desk out of plywood that hung from two wires and you could pull it down to use it but when you weren’t using it you could push it against the wall . It was a space saver. He was a smart guy that way. I find little notes around the house with his handwriting on it. Old bills and stuff. He wrote in this little block lettering like how Engineers write. All CAPS. I can’t throw them away and I am sure my mom can’t either. I remember stairs going down to the basement and now it’s just a closet… I like the stairs, it was like a secret doorway. Wish it was still there. They needed the closet space so they took the stairs out. On this closet door in the back hallway off the kitchen there is this little door knob. It’s a face of a lion. I never noticed that before. That’s weird to me.

I was taking a shower and for the first time ever I realized I can see the Sun Set while I take a shower if I just pull down the top shade. It was “Simply Beautiful”

Sometimes beautiful things are not that far away .. you just have to figure out a way to see them.

I have to remember that. I left you with a beautiful song in honor of Mr. Al Green’s Birthday today. Friday the 13th.

It’s called Simply Beautiful and that it is.

Love and Happiness,

JLoz.

Can you fix my sole? 

9FF61FC3-B16B-444E-B5C6-B0E1D5E1A0E2I walked into his shop; shoes are aligned straight on the shelf.

I see the shoemaker and I smile; he doesn’t make eye contact, he doesn’t smile.

I am trying to fix my boots; the sole. keeps falling off. . Can it be glued?

I am not ready to throw them out yet. Can you fix my sole?

The shoemaker says he can fix it. Still no eye contact.

He over charges me; maybe that is why he makes no eye contact.

I know he is over charging me; he must need it. I don’t mind.

I stare at him; trying to get a smile. He wont’ look at me. He gives me the pink slip with his head down…and I leave.

I come back to get my boots.  He said yes they are ready. I fixed your Sole.

I smiled and said thank you. Still no smile.

I paid him and left.

 

shoedealearpromiseimg_3330

 

 

Driving while Sniffing Trees

little-trees1So, I went to pick up some photographs I got framed at this local frame shop today. I started talking to Ahmad who worked there. He is an American originally from Afghanistan. So he started telling me a story. He was driving in Upper Saddle River and this is a very upper scale exclusive white neighborhood. He told me that he was pulled over by a police officer and he wasn’t speeding. So I asked him what reason did the police say for pulling him over then and he said that they gave him a ticket because he had an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. An air freshener!? Are you kidding me?

I understand you’re not supposed to have a lot of stuff hanging from the rear view mirror because it can “obstruct the drivers view” but they sell those pine tree air fresheners with the little string or ribbon in every super market in the united states. Your supposed to hang them on the rear view mirror. So let’s be real. These are little laws that are put into the fabric of police work so as to give them a reason to profile citizens and gives them a legal reason to pull people over even if there isn’t “really” a reason to be pulled over. watch out for the big Bad Pine Tree.

You might want to take any Air fresheners down if you have them up because a police officer can stop you and god forbid you had an extra glass of wine at dinner or you have a pending ticket that you never paid. It will only cause trouble. But let’s be clear what really happened with Ahmad. They saw a brown-ish man in a very expensive town and ran his plates and when they saw his name is Ahmad, they pulled him over for that big bad Road Obstructing Pine tree. Profiling. Now unless you live under a rock you must know that New Jersey State Police  is known for profiling its citizens.

 I have had conversations with State Cops that will tell you to your face, yes,  that was part of their day every day. They admit it and a lot of them hated to have to do it. That brings another thing to mind. I have taken a lot of crap for supporting black lives matter. I took crap for my Facebook posts about Ferguson. A family member actually told me that if I didn’t trust the police than I must have something to hide. Really? Something to hide? Let me tell you something. I have nothing against police officers. People tell me ..you better watch it because when you need one they won’t be there… Well you know what, I have needed them and they weren’t always there anyway. I have stories, believe me. Especially NYC Police. What a bunch of bullshit. God forbid you want to fight a ticket. Once my alternator blew and I was in the middle of Seventh Ave at night, Broken down. I almost got killed because cars couldn’t see me because none of the lights in the car worked and the police wouldn’t give me a sparkler to put behind my car even though I ask various police officers to do that. How was that helping me? I will tell you what they did give me. A ticket for double parking. Double parking, WTF. I was towed by a tow truck because my alternator blew, how can you give me a ticket for that? You can’t complain because I tried and they told me tough your complaint it closed. Even when you have proof. I had the receipt from the tow truck company, and the receipt from the mechanic that did the alternator replacement. You can’t fight the bullshit. I had even worse  experience before with the NYC police, I call it my “Crash moment”. (ever see the movie Crash) I’ll talk about it at another time. The police actually terrorized me and the man I was with becasue I was white and he was black. We were stopped for no reason other than that reason. Ill talk about that incident another time, this is about Ahmad today.  That doesn’t mean I hate all police. That would be stupid.  Right?

Police are human, some are bad and some are good, some are great. I know that. They have a very difficult job. I get it. That doesn’t mean we can ignore the people in the streets in Fergueson or any other town in America.  I refuse to ignore the people in the streets.  When there is that much civil unrest there is a systemic problem. There is bullshit going on. For god sake, how in god’s name …how is it that in the middle of LA, and other cities..we allow the gangs to kill each other in such a way that its soldier warfare. All these kids killing each other with assault weapons. Did you ever ask yourself why that happens, five miles from The Hollywood Stars. That is some man-made American violence and it exists because someone wants it to. Someone with power. This is the result of good ol USA oppression and its disgusting.

I don’t hate cops, I have a problem with the whole damn system. I know this shit trickles down from the top. The corruption is what I have a problem with. Don’t tell me there is no corruption in the legal system and don’t tell me that the police can’t do better within the communities that they are supposed to serve. Don’t tell me there isn’t room to improve.

Don’t ask me why I support Black Lives Matters. Ask yourself why you don’t?

And if you really think Ahmad was stopped for any other reason than his brown skin and his name than you’re in denial, youre the one with something to hide. You can keep your mind closed and support every thing the police do even when they kill unarmed people but don’t give me crap because  I think we can do better. Don’t you think the police officers themselves would be happier if they didn’t have to work within a legal system where the laws keeps changing depending on who’s on the other side of it? Don’t you think that is stressful for them. It puts them in a working environment of abusive misconduct.

This blog is in honor of Ahmad and anyone like him that had to be profiled because of who they are. People that have to worry when they drive in a neighborhood from which they are not from. You better hide those Pine trees. Hide those license plate frames too, they can stop you for those too even though they are sold in every amusement park, zoo and stadium in America. Do whatever you can to fly underneath the radar. I want to thank Ahmad for his story today. God Bless All Americans of every Sex, Color, Nationality,  Religion and Sexual orientation. And God Bless the Police. We are all human. I think we can do better. You have a right to fight that idea but I choose to acknowledge it.  I have nothing to hide.

Peace.

JLOZ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is anyone sitting here?

Sitting in the coffee shop

by myself… with three empty chairs

a woman comes by and asks Is anyone sitting here?

I said no and then she took the chair.

 

by myself with two empty chairs

a man comes by and asks is anyone sitting here?

I said no and then he took the chair.

 

by myself ..with one empty chair.

another woman comes by and says is anyone sitting here?

I said no and she took the chair.

 

Now Just By Myself. With no more chairs.

Is anyone sitting here..?