By Rochelle David


I wasn’t always bitter you

made me bitter first you were hard

then broken through the layers you were so sweet

after taking my time caressing you with my tongue

back and forth up and down this way and that

why when I got to the core I noticed the flavour wasn’t

there no more


I’m bitter



By Whitney



I look down at my breasts

long and heavy

but not at the point of being

saggy, I whisper to myself;

the tips of my nipples are

dry with dead skin

I peel it off gently.


My belly rises higher

than my knees, a playful

mound with a

concave hiccup at its peek: my

bellybutton glistens.


I bend as far as I

can and examine the legs that’ve

carried me through these years

knocking each other in constant

banter, chips fly away

among the floors of the house.


I sit on my ass

it’s malleable as clay

and flattens on the ground.

my finger digs

a small path down my crack

I feel beautiful today.


‘LOVE and its DIALECTS’ @ the 2011 Paprika Festival


“Fighting the pressures of school and expectations, battling the responsibilities of relationships and life, five youth must navigate the tensions of passion, fear, desire and deception and choose whether to face reality or exist in illusion. As conflicts of the heart clash on the battlefields of their conscience who will see beyond the pain and who will be victim to it?”

Written by Amber Williams King | Directed by Shamelia Joseph

Stage Managed by Susie Jaroszewska

Starring: Alia Ettienne, Cleon Mills, Marlon Pecco, Shanaise Williams and Abhi Yogasegaran


Presented by the 2011 Paprika Festival

at Tarragon Theatre [30 Bridgman Avenue]

LAST SHOW this Saturday, March 26th at 7:00 pm

Tickets are FREE

Contact: 416.531.1827  |

Bad News Brown [Play In Peace]

Representing Haiti, Montreal and the Northside, BAD NEWS BROWN was a talented musician who leaves a legacy of soul stirring, hard-hitting sounds. An emcee and harmonica playa, BNB will continue to echo long past his time on Earth.

True Beauty

by Niki

She is the start of the day
dim at first then   gradually getting brighter
protruding colours of yellow   and pink
punching through dark shadows
that linger like fresh morning dew
she offers you a chance for change
forgetting all of what happened yesterday
she can be kind and unforgiving
she can be calm and offer you comfort
other days she can be cold    and undetected
But still   she is constantly
reminding you it’s a new day
when you look at her you dont reconize her
although she’s there everyday
many times you look past her    don’t even acknowledge she is there
But she is there
and yet you are too blind to see
her true beauty


When SiStars Speak

by Rootz Kizzy

When SiStars speak
I feel the warmth of a goosebump adrenalin rush kind
that makes your eyes cry.

Sounds of Orishas, Oracles, Griots, Storytellers, Truth-Revealers.

I am captivated in the essence of my sisters,
who are able to come to their senses knowing themselves,
and giving time to write so they may share their recital on world stage.

Amazed are many at the wavelength their thoughts ride,
but my heart beats one with them,
knowing their ancient line.

I give gratitude for the ties they have sealed with our AnceStars.

They strive to speak their experience of truth,
whether balanced, acute or obtuse.
Who is to say what is greater than but yourself?

With the help of their heartbeat and breath,
they walked the stage and stood confident happily.
Inhale      Exhale      The breathtaking SiStars drew in the crowd gradually.

Each SiStar giving a Timely presence to remember
that stays with me forever.
So I wrote this poem because when SiStars speak I further recognize my Strength.

When SiStars speak I work harder to recognize my weaknesses.

When SiStars speak I experience healing.
When SiStars speak I humble to the teachings.
When SiStars speak I remember my grandmothers.

When SiStars speak I am reminded of a revolution of luv.
When SiStars speak I know we can rise above energy-drainers,
those thinking they can clone our beings in petri dish containers.

When SiStars speak I see
Sistah Souljah,
Frances Cress Welsing,
Jewel Pookrum the Doctah’

Just to name a few, I told Yah’

When SiStars speak     truth leak.
So let your teeth touch and mouth seal,
because SiStars speak what is real only for you to redefine what you feel.

The opressor tried to kill the SiStar through
Her Kings and Children,
LAnd and MAterial,
media and propaganda.

Hopin that we would never get into our proppa’ stansa,
Because really and truly we would annihalate the massa’.

And I stand here ready,
like my SiStars been ready,
to hold the mic and BOOM AirWaves.

Resonating SoundPower to souls global,
Noble to live heavenly life.
Giving SiStars Respect seeing my reflection in their eyes.

I am at Peace.


by Niki & Georgina
Speaks out loud
I’m getting hot
Can’t see
Everything is hazy
Starting to feel dizzy
It’s making me crazy
I’m choking, dying inside
Heart is pounding
Blood is rushing
Hot burst
Screams loud inside my brain
breaks my back
chokes me with tears
strangles me
My body starts shaking
unfairness, sad
Suddenly I’m loosing control
fist starting to curl
I feel like I’m going to die
Starting to see red
one split second
It’s killing me deep inside
Rush of adrenaline
punch in the stomach
takes me down
An explosion!

Roots AND Culture

by rochelle david

blackman history knowledge and
bead and jewerly, roots, serious, tension africa
shades of reds golds and green rust head wraps
eyes are dimmed
hand on jaw


by Gabriela & Rochelle

Rage i feel you in my mind
head pounding
rewinding the moments
playing in slooooooooow mode
body frozen
blood cold
feelin so heavy
thoughts analyze’n, pick out
crying and pain

My blood simmerzzzZ
vapor rizing
(szzzz)….. invisible burn
double minded
blood pressure rising
i’m dying

King On His Throne

by Raine


Gold medals and badges

shadows fading

lights serious

serious eyes

dance hall floors

2 toned, scruffy

flashy experience, strong confidence

Top dogg, real badman

firm grounded

Intimidating, dark

King on his throne


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