Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tunette Powell, motivational speaker, author, education consultant and co-founder of The Truth Heals.

Powell has made it her mission to be a voice of hope and healing for some of the world’s most despaired and underserved populations. She currently serves as the CEO of The Truth Heals and sits on a host of nonprofit boards.

From Divine Canines, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to more than 60 sites around Austin and Central Texas. Our specially trained dog-and-handler volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various physical and cognitive challenges, including mental illness, physical limitations and dementia. Clients who interact with our wonderful dogs benefit emotionally and physically, showing signs of improved mood, confidence, communication and trust. Our dogs love the attention and affection they get from our clients!

Life

Apr 29, 2016

Like clouds in the sky,

My many thoughts float around,

Then sink into a deep fog.

A maze of feelings,

A maze where I can’t get out.

Life was quite good,

An adventure like the maze,

Those were the good days.

Were...

Betrayal

Apr 29, 2016

The saddest thing about it is that

it never comes from my enemies

and it’s always a surprise. 

I start depending on people for my happiness

and when they leave,

like they always do,

they take my happiness with them

but they don't care. 

I'm discarded like an old toy

and forgotten about. 

Poetry

Apr 29, 2016

Poetry is powerful.

Powerful as the deadly flight of a hungry falcon,

the majestic roaring of waterfalls,

the enormous roar of a free tiger.

Poetry is entertaining.

Entertaining as the hilarity of everything when you’re tired,

as your brother when he tries to show off in front of his friends,

as the ridiculously cheesy movies that still make us cry.

Poetry is magical.

Magical as the whisper of the wind on a cold winter night,

as  the sparkles that you never quite see in the corner of your eye,

The Difference

Apr 29, 2016

Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs.

Others giggle, I stare.

Mom says it's a new page being turned

But my inside chattering thinks otherwise.

“At least try,” they say,

But I retract from the thought.

I used to greet with a smile,

I used to talk with a squeak,

I used to run with pride.

Now,

Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs. 

The Seasons Change and So Do You

Apr 29, 2016

Every summer,

when the sun beats down

and you feel the heat coming off your skin,

it seems as if it will never be cold again.

And every winter,

when the skies are a pale grey

and you can't feel your fingers as they rub together,

it seems as if it will never be warm again.

When you are happy,

your lips spread in a laugh

and your eyes bright and rested,

it seems as if you will never be sad again.

And when you are sad,

the emptiness in your stomach tightening

and your face damp with tears,

Remember

Apr 29, 2016

Remember when

The raindrops splashed

Tracing down your face like tears

And you would take my hand

Promising more days, more years?

Yet now, underneath the winter ground,

Your hands lay clasped, to your chest bound.

Remember how you used to be?

Remember when

Your song would make us smile,

Your eyes all light

And full of life?

But then, one came for you

Like a great bird, it took you.

Remember how we used to be?

Remember when

You used to laugh

Counting clouds

School Observations

Apr 29, 2016

Talking

Always talking

Heard walking under the courtyard sky.

Talking walls and floors,

A jogging cart with keys ripping words from the air,

And trophies breaking through the glass display case,

Fluttering origami on the counselors’ door,

Next to the sculpture of nearly silent clocks.

The rustle of posters and paintings, scratching of writing utensils -

My observations of a magically magical place.

Dreamers

Apr 29, 2016

Above the stars

In emptiness

We are there.

You look, yet

You can’t

Find us.

We dwell

We play

We laugh

Yet you don’t see us

Peering through your telescope

Seeing the infinite horizon

Staring out at space.

But we whisper to you while you sleep

Telling you secrets

Telling you stories

Telling you lies

Telling you things you would be shocked to hear.

The Wait

Apr 29, 2016

I wait and wait

for the moment

to come,

but when it finally arrives,

I am

no

longer

waiting.

Atlas

Apr 29, 2016

Dear World,

If I were to hold you,

you would have to be small,

to fit my small hands.

I would hold you and protect you

if it weren’t for the problem

that everyone is so big -

too heavy for me to carry -

and they don’t seem willing to change

for one small person.

Who am I?

Apr 29, 2016

I am a Hispanic-American, 14 years old.

Both of my parents are from Mexico

and it’s in my blood.

On weekdays, I sometimes go home

and watch novelas, eat tacos

and chicharrones with salsa valentina.

Yeah, I am a Hispanic girl

who is planning to have a Quinceanera

for an unforgettable day.

But I am also an American girl,

born here in the U.S.A.

and it also runs in my blood.

On Wednesdays, I look forward

to watching Modern Family

while eating hot dogs and hot cheetos.

Street

Apr 29, 2016

Sun burning bright in soft blank sky.

Asphalt streets

lined with trees, yet emanating heat.

Black ramp, years of people gripping its rail.

The street an orchestra of colors:

green, black, brown, yellow, red

up to the clouds of white.

Inside the houses, people languish

escaping from the heat.

Joggers brave the scorching sidewalk.

We all feel it.

The street is alive despite the excruciating heat.

Love

Apr 29, 2016

What is love?

Love is something you earn or gain through the challenges you face with others.

Love is something that you need in order to live in everyday life.

Love is a rhythm that keeps your body grooving like a whip and nae-nae.

Love—an unknown object that no living object could resist.

MLK, back then said that “in the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.”

In these terms, he used it as a force for good, but to others it is a force of evil such as the love of destruction and death.

Soy Americano

Apr 29, 2016

My name is Alex or Alejandro.

I am Mexican

but I am also American.

I am just 14 years old.

Others see me as brown skin.

I’m very nice to everyone,

doesn’t matter who you are.

Yeah, you’re right,

I was born in Mexico

and I don’t have any papers,

but it doesn’t matter,

I consider myself American.

I like to watch the Super Bowl

and eat bbq.

What else does an American do

that I don’t?

Maybe it doesn’t matter

what place or race

or what team or what we eat,

Ricardo B. Brazziell, Austin American-Statesman

One of Austin's first food trailer parks was cleared to make way for a locally owned boutique hotel, and it includes several dining options. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review.


Popularity

Apr 28, 2016

You stand in the center of a room of friends

And yet you stand alone.

Afraid of what they may say about you,

The real you.

They are friends with who you think you want to be,

But you are afraid that it is not really you.

Standing alone,

And though you may rise like summer dust in the desert sun,

Again and again they sweep away your scattered soul,

Taking joy in the power they have over you.

Then there is the jealousy.

Bring down those above you,

However wrong.

Untitled

Apr 28, 2016

Darian Longoria, I’m

Holding it down for you, yeah

It’s messed up what

they did to you and I

promised I was

going to be there for

you, but look at where

you are—up in heaven

looking down at us—it was never a race

But I know you’re in

A better place

Soon I’ll be with you

Looking and Lurking, Draying

Gods with em.

I miss you little homie. Shout out to Darian. Rest in Peace.

I Remember

Apr 28, 2016

The fence snaps.

She would have ignored the hatchlings,

But they taunt her.

She taunts them back.

The coward tastes as bad as he smells.

She ignores the small things,

and instead works on stealth.

Eventually, Rebel challenges the queen.

She is destroyed.

Eventually, the small things come back.

She is given a den that is comfortable

and often a few offerings,

but it’s still only boredom that awaits her every day.

When Red One opens her cage,

she feels that something is going to happen.

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