Beyond The Ashes

I met Todd from Santa Fe today. We were introduced by just another young poet walking the broken road to freedom. I invite you to follow the links to each of their spaces.

The Peace Tile above is one of Todd's creations and his creative medium of finding peace through pottery resonates deeply with me; a soothing balm for my wounded soul as I slowly summon the courage to revisit memories of our kiln, destroyed in a ferocious fire that consumed the gallery where I grew up... I can look at the lone surviving figure above.

A small but monumental sculpture
bearing the personification of life force
beyond the anguish,

a gateway to the history of Africa
where slash and burn agriculture
cultivates seeds of creativity

when practiced purposefully
breaks the boundaries
as we reach the unseen,

a more compelling future.

Mama Shujaa.

Copyright © Hana Njau-Okolo 2009. All Rights Reserved.


  1. We may never "get over" the events that have hurt us, but we have the hope of moving "beyond" them. "Beyond" is a beautiful word!

  2. Your post gave me goosebumps, and Todd's art is well worth futher exploration-I'm impressed.

    I'll be back with my notebook in a bit :)

  3. Such a wonderful post Mama Shujaa, it touched my heart

  4. Painful, beautiful prose. Sometimes anguish precedes regrowth, don't you think?

  5. What beautiful words. Deeply touching. I am humbled that you asked to use the pic of my tile. What a pleasure to have met you!!

  6. Your sharing is very moving , thank you. And during this week of collectively "moving beyond", it is very timely. I attended the beautiful Inauguration and felt profoundly that our species can move beyond so much when we are together and focused on the Good.

  7. I have, and I love that song. I can play it over and over.
    I do not know whether he was inspired by the poem. I admire all artists who make a song dedicated to their mothers, it will always be different from others' and yet it is written for the same ones, who have given birth to a child or raised a child with a mother's love. Mother's day should be everyday, nothing's more wonderful than motherhood.
    Have you read the book 'Joys of Motherhood' by Buchi Emecheta?

  8. That really is a beautiful piece created by your friend. I am so glad that your families gallery was reborn.

  9. I am so moved by your life dear soul...

    Your story... speaks of grace and brave humanity...Thank you for your presence in this world...

    For the words that pour like sweet water from your soul...

    May the circle grow and be unbroken
    by and by,


  10. Beautiful, Mama Shujaa, as always, ein Geschenk.

  11. Mama Shujaa, I'm just popping back in to say that I have something for you on my blog which I truly feel you richly deserve.

  12. Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, thoughts, gifts. I've been under the weather for the past few days. I'm on the mend though and I hope to be back to full strength in the next day or so.


    Mama Shujaa

  13. that poem is a masterpiece! quite captivating , i am sincerely moved-thanks for sharing!

  14. Another beautiful poem, Mama Shujaa:)
    everytime I come here it's like a total
    shift from chaotic and busy to a peaceful
    and enlightening're so
    awesome:) your friends piece is
    beautiful also.

  15. Lovely, simply rockstar material. I MISS YOU!!!

  16. Ms. Bar B:

    Yes the gallery lived up to its name Paa Ya Paa, rose again.


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