Links to Women’s History

© 2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved

Portrait courtesy of

If I were a woman in the midst of history, as Mrs. Michelle Obama is in this portrait.  Crossing that veil, how would I start a conversation?  I envision a party in a grand room.

In my mind, Luther Vandross is playing; yes I know he’s not a woman–But he’s Luther…we women love him.

Flowers are everywhere, roses of all colors, rare blooms, smells wonderful.

The room has an open floor plan, and is bright and well lit, with portraits of unnamed women throughout time, who’ve fought on the behalf of all people.  I read names and take notes, I will research these ladies later.

I walk over to groups and join conversations…here are some excerpts of my comments:

Bessie Coleman (aviator, first black women to hold a pilot’s license)

“How is Mae Jemison doing?  You’d both be pleased to know we have so many female pilots and astronauts now.  Why don’t I fly?  Well, cause I truly fear heights, but I’ve been a passenger.”

Katherine Durham (choreographer, educator, activist)

“Have you met Rihanna?, she puts her money where her heart is.”

Maya Angelou (poet, author, civil rights activist)

“I’ve missed you, do you know I just began writing too; although I know I couldn’t be as honest and open as you.”  

Rosa Parks (the first lady of civil rights)

“Just so you know, all teens now choose to sit at the back of the bus.”

Dorothy Height (educator, activist, fought for rights of black women) and Mary McLeod Bethune  (educator, activist, established a private school for black children)

Oprah Winfrey established a school for black girls in South Africa; and recently someone asked her if she’d consider the presidency.  I think she’d win.” 

Dorothy Dandridge (actress, dancer, first black female Academy Award nominee for Best Actress)

“Girl,  Viola Davis is kicking Academy butt, and she’s not light skinned; she’s changing what Hollywood thinks about sexy.  She wears her hair natural, in public! That caused all kinds of media drama.”

Ida B. Wells Barnett (journalist, editor, suffragist)

“You would have so much fun protesting in this era, when new policies seek to turn back time.”

Althea Gibson (first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis)

Serena and Venus Williams are great players, yet I still hear them booed in some stadiums; doesn’t stop them from slaughtering opponents though.  I love when they win in pairs.”

Josephine Baker (singer/entertainer, french resistance) and Mahalia Jackson (the queen of gospel, civil rights supporter)

Lady Gaga said, she’s just trying to change the world one sequin at a time, you guys would love her style; she’s fought for marriage rights for all.  Selena Gomez supports UNICEF, helping at risk children around the world.  Ariana Grande speaks out on the rights of women to be as human as men, which we would all agree is long overdue.”

As you would imagine, the party ends much too soon.  If you were in the room, who would you seek to speak with and what would you say?


A Tanka for Spring Flowers

Strut swank, fierce runway beauty…

© 2017  E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved


  Burst open bright buds

strut swank, fierce runway beauty

invigorate view

flower a prize to lovers

spring  vogue landscape, hype headlines




Swarm on Your Body

“No, I’m not one’s wife.but …oh, I love my life!”

©2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved

Video gif courtesy of

Bugged eyed creatures, hungry for the prize

offer easy meetings in their hives

Teasing and prancing antennae sending signals

on the lookout, in a frenzy as they mingle

Swarm on your body with alien limbs

poisoning all of you with access within

Eyes now sorry can’t see deeper than skin

where’s the repellent to protect from this sin

Carcass dry, lost splendor and trappings

mesmerized prey lays stripped of all wrappings


Women Who Live Vivid Lives

© 2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved


Live a life so vivid its illumination shines lights on generations yet to come.”

-E. R. Smith

Celebrate women’s history month.  Remembering Maya Angelou



Parlay and Let It Ride

©2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved

Photo of Evan Spiegel creator of Snapchat

 Parlay and Let It Ride

no gamble when keeping self counsel

know your worth, observed, not pride

be both black and red on a carousel

build strategy, fiercely shield cards, mask that

poker face

show your hand, once they show theirs

win believers all over the place


Quicken a Tanka

© 2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved



Hasten tempo’s beat

coax tap stimulate neurons

 sound wars under palms 

affinity through taut skin

quicken rhythm hypnotise




Desire Tanka

“Fantasize bare sweet sates soul.”

©2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved

Hunger hot yearning 

missing smell, taste, feel, texture

need to fill the void

appetite in a frenzy

fantasize bare sweet sates soul