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Pen in Hand

Sara Daise

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Sara Daise doesn't suffer from writer's block, just too little time.

Pay attention to this name: Sara Daise. You may just see it in print one day in the byline above an absolutely knockout magazine article you've just read. Or maybe it's in the masthead of that monthly magazine that makes you squeal with delight each time you find it stuffed in your mailbox. Daise has big plans for herself, ones that include starting her own publication for young black women that regularly features the accomplishments of women of color. So many young women, she says, could benefit from the positive examples set by everyday people.

Daise didn't always have it all figured out. Truth be told, she's still not sure she's got it figured out. The College junior says the transition from high school to college was not without its bumps. It took a little while for some truths to become apparent. For example, in college, she discovered she actually has to study to succeed.

"You can't just go to class," Daise says, "and expect to do well."

Another revelation: you need to put yourself out there to make the most of your undergraduate years. Accordingly, Daise serves as a student mentor, is first vice president of the Black Student Union, is a resident advisor (RA) in a dorm and works at the College's Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. And that's not to mention the three choirs she has sung with on campus.

All these activities can leave her so tired she sometimes falls asleep on an open book while trying to squeeze in some late-night studying. Despite the occasional exhaustion, she wouldn't change a thing.

"It took a while for me to get involved," Daise says, "but now you can see I'm very involved."

Lately, Daise has been helping edit the Crazyhorse literary journal at the College, as well as working on her own creative writing and poetry. If it all seems a bit overwhelming, Daise takes solace in the fact that one day there will be a payoff.

"I think my ultimate goal is worth obtaining," she says. "I just need to work hard."

Two Poems by Sara Daise

13 Ways of looking at Water

Rain boot clad feet stomp,
Splashing in the big puddle,
watery play land.

Hair dampened, moist ringlets bounce back.
Rain drops slide down her smooth brown cheek.

White ships sail, carry
Black cargo over Middle Passage.
Fear, starvation, death

Crashing waves, watery grave
The one's we lost, down below

Wilting flowers lift
their sagging petals skyward,
longing for rain fall.

The Carolina drought caused
dryness, despair. We need rain.

Water boils on stove,
greased hands move swiftly, weaving
the hair, the cornrows

Hairdresser speaks "We'll dip these ends, girl--
Yo braids are gonna be bangin'!"

Death in the Ninth Ward:
Levees strained from Katrina's wrath.
Rain fell, floods engulfed

She flung her angry waves. What's
Bush's watered down response?

Sweaty boy stands still
under the shower water,
watching his game grime

Swirl down porcelain drain, the
long, muddy spirals vanish.

Beneath the bridge, clad in all white he was
submerged in the murky water,
he arose born again, Halleluja,
and the choir sang
"Take me to the water"

Salty tears hit the page.
Corners of my lips turn upward
Digest heartfelt words.

My Navy man is off at sea
Sailing the coasts, thinking of me

My sister told me
"Hold your breath and I'll time you."
Lying in the tub

Lukewarm water fills my ears
Smooth bubbles make my eyes sting

Breaking the surface
of the Sea Island Coastline
Dolphins dance in light

Arc at the sun then dive back
into pristine wet water home

Mushy bread, lettuce,
suds swish among white plates
in tepid sink water.

Nana's soft, wet, raisined hands
scrub each dish: Nostalgia.

Sparkle, glisten, glide
Travel, flow, moisten, dampen
Hydrate, drown, consume

Water is to me alive living, breathing, distant--
Near

Left the glass,
hit the tongue and
slid down her dry throat,
the water quenched her thirst

Foreclosed

Shoes lined up against the wall of his bedroom.
They reek of dusty leather and accompany the collection of
Weathered multicolored pocketbooks.
The "Keep" pile tries to
Hold its own against the "Sell" and
"Throwaway"
The once shiny wooden floors, now scuffed, from rollerblades, tap shoes, cleats and stilettos
Incontestably groan beneath the weight of greedy bargain hunters
The many kitchen cabinets are as empty as the day of entry
The soft, stained, comfy carpet is covered with miscellaneous objects:
That old mattress, some pieces of art, dining room table, and books
All those books.
Swallowing salty tears, we watched it all being carried out
Standing in that empty room
Where we used to harmonize, dance; play with the dog and color.