Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let Your Soul Shine

The last few days were trying. After all, I am only human. 

Only human. Now there is an interesting definition. 

Being "human" [according to Merriam-Webster] means "a human being, a person as distinguished from an animal or an alien. Susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature."  

In our world, being "human" has taken on an entirely different meaning.

All ranges of emotion from love to happiness to sadness to frustration to anger to darkness to bliss are experienced by humans. Somewhere along the lines, the term "human" has been associated with being "perfect."  Perfect attitude, hair, skin, nails, clothes, body, education, family, career, skills, life, travel, adventure, love, and pretty much everything that most humans definitely are not.

Many times in life we over think. Our minds are powerful tools, ones we have yet to fully study and understand. Some days you may feel perfectly in tune with all of your choices and surroundings only to be feeling outcast, outspoken, rude, pitiful and eventually, self-deprecating. I know I am not the only one who goes through this. If you don't, then you are lying, or quite possibly, not "human."

Although such phases do not last long, for me, thankfully, they are unsettling because when you over think, you disallow your instinct to be in control, you tend to become off balance that spirals your rational thought along with your own energy, into massive loops of confusion. You may not be confusing to others, or maybe you are, I can only speak for myself, however, the most important aspect of being off balance is in regards to how you feel about yourself. 

I found myself reacting to things I normally ignore and getting upset over menial things. This is typically not the "me" of today so I began to search: 

"Why do I feel this way? What caused me to start thinking like this? Why am I feeling out of control?" 

Ask yourself, you have all of your answers. 

The beautiful aspect of existence and having people put by us for various reasons is that during such times, often without saying a word, some without ever meeting me, sensed that something clearly was "not right" simply by reading deeper into my words, my energy, my response and my actions. Several people took the time to find out why I did not feel okay. 

As human beings we all wish to be acknowledged, loved and recognized and that is not an egotistical thing, it is a basic need. These extremely special people did just that. They acknowledged my emotions, what I was feeling, and allowed me to talk through them in order for me, not them, to figure out why I was feeling out of balance. 

Rational and healthy communication is crucial. 

It absolutely infuriates me [there I go being "human" again] when there is improper communication because this starts a chain reaction of misunderstanding that leads to "what if" negative self talk and thinking. In turn, eventually, a guilt ridden, self-loathing [for those of us who are "human'] after effect. This is absolutely foolish when you think about it.

[Think for a moment, really, this is not meant to be deep.]

What I learned from being allowed to be myself without judgment is that I needed to look inside of me and not blame another person for the way I were feeling. After all, it is my own fault for feeling as I do no matter what another said to me, how one treated me, or the actions of another human being towards me. I am in control of myself and am responsible and accountable for my behavior. 

I asked myself: 

"Why do you feel this way? What caused you to start thinking like this? Why do you feel out of control?" 

And guess what? I answered me.


Yet, without the guidance of those who are reading this and reached out in various ways to acknowledge me, as a fellow human being, I may not have arrived quickly to a conclusion. I may have ridiculously crucified myself a few more days for no apparent reason other than I chose to. 

Yet something amazing occurred after talking with others.

I were sitting on my couch watching a movie with my son, William, he is 14 years old and I looked at him, I mean I really looked at who he is and I asked him to please give me a hug. The smile on his face was so wide that I began to smile too. He gladly and lovingly hugged me with all of his might and we did not let go, not just yet. I told him that without him in my life that my life would be horrible and I mean that, wholeheartedly. 

Hugging my son was touching the divine. 

You see, children are insightful and full of unconditional love that we tend to lose as we grow older. In my child, I felt bright, magnificent light that illuminated me, and I wondered did he also feel that from me? 

At that moment, I realized my entire purpose, regardless of what interests me, what my career is or is not, and who is or is not in my life. 

What mattered and does matter was right there with my son. In seconds, every single confusing thought disappeared. 

That is the beauty of love. The divine essence of existence. 

The fact that we are placed here for various reasons and most times, they are quite simple. We make them complicated. 

I realized how blessed I were then, although I have always been aware, yet sometimes we forget in the busy-ness of life. Then everything around me was a gift, the sunshine, nature, my home, my work, my friends, my family, the fact that my limbs work and that I have the means to utilize technology to talk to all of you right now. 

For today [and every day] I suggest something extremely simple. Do this right now. Look around you and find your divine. It exists. You just may have your eyes closed at the moment. 

So, take the time to work through whatever you are dealing with, just don't stay there. 

And always, simply, be human. 

                         2013 ChalkFest Buffalo                                

 2014 my niece Delaney, 
and my son, William


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Greater Western New York Paranormal Society at Cazenovia Library

First published:

The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society is a Regional Paranormal Investigation team based out of Buffalo NY.  They investigate paranormal activity and broadcast the findings on their show, "Behind the Shadows."

CEO and Founder, Daniel Klaes, asked if I wished to witness a paranormal investigation at Cazenovia Library in my neighborhood of South Buffalo, New York. 
I, of course, said yes. 

The entire area on and surrounding Cazenovia Park to Buffum Street is well known for extremely intense spiritual and paranormal activity. On Buffum Street, off of Seneca Street, there lies the original burial ground of Sagoyewatha [Red Jacket] - a Native American Seneca Indian Chief. 

Cazenovia Library [as I will always refer to it] is the only independent library in Buffalo and was closed due to funding cuts, yet remains open as a resource center and library. Thanks to Mickey Kearns and Ronni, who runs it as a volunteer, this library that I have been visiting since a child is open regardless of the cuts. 
Daniel Klaes decided to come to Caz Library due to two things: The various stories he heard related to paranormal activity around the area, as well as the library itself, and to support Ronni and her endeavors in keeping this library open. 

Having never been a part of an investigation such as this, it was extremely interesting, eerie, and exciting to see the team at work setting up equipment, testing technology, and making sure that what they were recording, experiencing, feeling, hearing, and seeing, was indeed paranormal. They started setting up as early as 5pm and worked well after 11 pm. 

Below is the video edition recorded from the findings at Cazenovia Library on 
"Behind the Shadows" 

Please support Cazenovia Library and the Paranormal Society as they are both not profit and simply do what they do because they enjoy it and are driven to do so. 

Cazenovia Community Resource Center is dedicated to increasing the literacy, education, and overall standard of living for the residents of South Buffalo. Thanks to the efforts of former City of Buffalo Common Councilman Michael P. Kearns, WNY AmeriCorps, and a generous grant from the Margaret L. Wendt foundation, the former Cazenovia Library is a not-for-profit community center located in Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. Residents have access to library services, hi-speed computers, free wi-fi, fax and copy service, GED and computer classes, meeting room space, and more. 
Open Tuesday - Friday Noon - 5pm -155 Cazenovia St. -Buffalo, NY 14210 -716-821-0564

The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society is a non profit organization that is dedicated to finding scientific evidence of what is currently unexplained phenomenon. We believe that what is referred to as "Paranormal or Supernatural" things will someday be explained through the natural laws of science.

 I shall allow you to decide for yourself, as for me, I was there . . . 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Hour With Amreen Naqash : Kashmir

First Published

One Hour With Amreen Naqash : Kashmir | Woman Tribe

                                                           © Majid Pandit

For the first time, Amreen Naqash of Indian Occupied Kashmir, a poet, writer and activist, spoke her work on air through Creative Writing workshops held in Buffalo, New York.

In Chicago, Ruthann Amarteifio, radio host and activist, decided to focus on the outcome of the virtual workshops, that turned global, by speaking to myself and Amreen Naqash.

© Amreen Naqash

The interview below is one direct result of the proper utilization of technology to cross borders, create, produce and connect all of us, together, in a positive fashion:

 Amreen Naqash is currently a student of Pharmacy at The University of Kashmir. She is adamant about advocating her beloved country through writing and poetry. She is young in age, yet sees this world with eyes that have lived a thousand lives. 

In her poem, “My Name Is Kashmir”, her delicate speech nearly causes you to put aside for a moment the constant atrocities that occur in her nation as she welcomes the soul right into her arms through her speech.

You can listen to that poem here:  My Name Is Kashmir 

Amreen’s work can be seen here: Amreen Naqash and she is on twitter at Virtuous Paradise

Amreen Naqash writing
© Amreen Naqash

Kashmir, a northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent is a disputed territory.  It is claimed by India and Pakistan, as well as China.  Kashmir includes Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administers Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.  China administers Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.  

The Treaty of Amritsar 1846, was in place due to the purchase of Kashmir by Britain from then Sikhs ruler, Ranjit Singh which annexed Kashmir. Gulab Singh became the new rulers, under British Crown until 1947.  

Gulab Singh on behalf of Jammu and Kashmir people signed a treaty with India.  India accepted this treaty from Kashmir until a time when the will of the people could be recognized because Kashmir was disputed territory.

Beautifull view of Jammu & Kashmir | Woman Tribe                               

“Day will come when hope will breathe, emancipated from the oppression, and will soothe the peace in my vale, Kashmir.”

– Amreen Naqash

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Calling All Volunteers: Food 2 Families: Food Bank of WNY

Calling all Volunteers - it's time for Food 2 Families!

We're gearing up for Tops' Food 2 Families food drive on Friday, Dec. 6th, 2013, and looking for energetic and engaging folks to help us out! 

Families, churches, schools, scout troops, businesses...everyone is welcome!

Food 2 Families is an annual event sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets in different locations throughout Western New York. We need volunteers to help us accept donations from the community and thank them on behalf of those we serve.

We are in need of people to help out at the following Tops locations and times:

  • 2101 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207: 7am-11am, 11am-3pm, 3pm-6pm 
  • 4777 Transit Road, Depew , NY: 4pm-7pm 
  • 6150 South Park Blvd., Hamburg, NY 14075: 3pm-6pm   
  • 5827 S Transit Road, Lockport, NY 14094: 3pm-6pm  
  • 7200 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304: 11am-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm  

Please email or phone (716) 935-6712, Christina Potempa, our Volunteer & Special Events Coordinator to volunteer for shift (or two!)

Spots will fill up soon, so please reply as soon as possible.

This is a great chance to join our Food Bank of WNY volunteer team and support over 96,000 individuals in need we serve every month in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. 

We thank you for considering our request to help and hope you'll join us at Food 2 Families this December.

Jameson Stalanthas Yu
Marketing Coordinator
Food Bank of Western New York

The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society at Cazenovia Library

I adore experiencing everything in life, and Sunday night was the coolest and strangest experience I ever had. 
I were invited to a paranormal investigation with the Greater WNY Paranormal Society in support of Cazenovia Community Resource Center, the only independent library in Buffalo, one I wholeheartedly support and have been attending since childhood. 
The library and surrounding areas have repeated and unexplained instances along with Buffum Street/Red Jackets burial ground nearby. 
This is the team at work on another location: 

Stay tuned for more from myself and Greater Western New York Paranormal Society, extremely interesting when science meets spirituality. 
Be on the lookout for their next episode, highlighting what we all found and check out both pages that are linked above.
*The Greater Western New York Paranormal Society is a non profit organization that is dedicated to finding scientific evidence of what is currently unexplained phenomenon. They believe that what is referred to as "Paranormal or Supernatural" things will someday be explained through the natural laws of science.
FB Page
Behind the Shadows 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Can I Not Love You?

                                                                © Susan Marie  

How can I not love you


birds trilling in Spring
after the last snowfall

just like rain as it falls
quenching the deep thirst of this Earth

like the soil
rich and deep
with stories of our forefathers
and signals of smoke
rising from campfires
lost in the velvet night 
like souls rebirthing


How can I not love you
like I love myself
as I love the sun
as she shines her knowing eye
and the moon
as she keeps watch over our tired souls

How can one despise such beautiful sights
and states of simply

For to not love you
is to not love myself
and to despise the sun and moon
the dirt and Earth
the canyons and mountains
rivers and valley

and the very edge
of a solitary blade of grass
as I watch it waltz
beneath a most pristine Autumnal sky

How can I not love you



© Susan Marie

For My Hermana del Alma, Te Amo, Paz.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From Pakistan to Peru to the USA: An Audio Showcase


In May of 2013, Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer, owner of Main Studios in Buffalo, New York, asked me if I wished to hold Creative Writing Workshops at her studio. 

I have never taught any workshops, hold no degree in writing or education, yet I agreed, hoping there were a way I were able to bring something different to the workshops instead of the typical courses that really do not teach you about what being a writer is like, let alone the creative process as a whole. Most classes based upon writing focus on literary giants throughout history and works of immense international praise, leaving out the various styles of writing, as well as the diverse ways one creates in their everyday lives. 

Immediately, I started contacting organizations and writers and artists in my city for their experience and assistance and what occurred as a result blew me away.

Starting with the support of Poets &, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Delizon Publishers, Think Twice Radio, Publish America, and Big Marker, six different entities provided continuous free books, magazines, web space, and audio production. 

Locally, people began donating supplies, and most importantly, their own experience as writers and educators. The literary community of Western New York is immense and supportive, yet the response I received was something I did not expect.

Through the organizations and people, I were able to provide not only a forum for creativity, but full print journals, personal books, memoirs, supplies, print magazines, and quarterly publications and hand them to the attendees once a month. It felt great to be able to give to those who took the time to be interested in even one workshop.

The ideas overflowed as to what I wished to present that will be interesting, fun and useful to share for all people and ages. I put together a quick syllabus based upon my writing experience and what I have learned through the guidance of those who helped me through the years. It was extremely difficult to bring the most essential information to people in only three workshops, spaced out monthly, so I focused on what is most important in my everyday life as a writer.

Three words: To simply create.

Every workshop was an open forum for discussion, there were no rules, everyone had a chance to voice what they learned, accomplished, and to share their work and experience. My only hope was that I were able to guide correctly without being boring. My greatest hope for an end result was that people created something, anything, that they were happy with and to record their work as a publishing credit for spoken word.

As I began promotion for the workshops, nationally and globally, people were interested and wished they were able to attend. From that point, I made the workshops virtual. This way anyone in the entire world can attend and be a part of creating something they can be proud of. Once again, the response received from holding a virtual classroom was astonishing. 

From New York to Peru to Pakistan to Tunisia, people were interested. Before I knew it, these little workshops were turning into much more than creative writing lessons.

Instead of having people sit for hours watching video, I audio recorded the workshops, took photos, and created an online virtual network that includes over 70 free books, audio from each workshop, photos, and the same information used in Buffalo. As a radio producer, audio is easier to download, stream, and listen to when ever one had the time. I asked the virtual attendees if that was okay and it was and off we went on a journey where all involved taught me so much more about writing.

Each workshop, I invited a guest speaker, everyone of them different. Jim Petretta spoke about storytelling, Kenneth Feltges about poetry and education, and Janna Willoughby-Lohr about speaking your work and finding that creative place inside. Every week I received emails from people telling me how they had never written before until now, have never spoken their work, never recorded their voice, and how they had a piece published. People were actually enjoying the workshops and feeling good about what they were doing!

Although this began with Erica and myself, what ensued is due to the people who created and gave to the workshops. Through their continuous emails, support, suggestions, in class insights and online correspondence, I became enlightened and understood that these workshops never belonged to me. We created them together and in turn, created pieces of work that I am proud to display to the world.

To those who attended, to those who have written, to those who have recorded their work and to those who have donated their time, guidance and assistance, it is due to all of you that I am able to sit here and know in my heart that there is indeed so much beauty in our world.

To everyone reading, please, create . . .

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Words Are Nothing More

words are nothing more
than the sky
thunderous crystalline bolts
of pure esoteric passion
from the deepest crevices
that hide beneath my ribcage
as it expands
gently, rising
with each breath,

as my lips, purse
just so
perfect, like dreams
like pictures in magazines,
like art

like the sun and moon
how they love,
and the wind and rain
how they cry,
like the oceans and lakes
the rivers and seas,
as they quiver and quake
on the very edge
of a vortex of unbridled passion


like no nuclear fission ever fragmented
like no storm that has ever touched upon Earth
like no angels that have ever been heard singing songs of choir

like nothing
any human
has ever

except for the the rain
as it falls
ever so gently upon the roof
when unable to sleep

and like words
that are nothing more
than the sky


© Susan Marie

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Fates of Nations

To those who decide
the fates of nations
and bone

To those who do nothing
but complain
about their


To those who never go
in order to give to those
who do

To those who realize
precisely what one is doing
with every action
with their wailing tongue
and blackened heart
paying homage to
and nothing remotely

To those who think prayer
is pointless
and faith

is an empty well

I echo my forefathers
when they escaped from
one nation
just to be treated harshly
in another

Crossing waters
on wooden ships
with disease
no food or shoes

I echo their cries
as their newborns died
in arms of Mothers
from hunger

When sons died
age 12
for their birthright

When finally
they landed
the ones who survived
and set foot upon land
just to be made slave

To those who do nothing
and sit 


and ignorant 

It is for you, I pray
For you.

From the mouths of those
you step on -

from the souls you crush 

daily -

from the cracked and bleeding mouths
of our people -

All people
That suffer.

They pray -

For those who decide

the fates of nations.

© Susan Marie 

* Papa Francisco asked to bring peace to those who decide the fates of nations. Now that's righteous.