My Snow Garden


I took some photographs of our backyard garden and wrote three poems for the cold snow days of the winter season last year.  I think it is suitable for the snow day yesterday, Tuesday, January 21, 2014.  I hope you enjoy viewing them.

My Snow Garden

Snow on the Garden Chair

Snow on the chair

No one sitting there


Quiet time


Blanket of snow

Covers the ground


Time to sleep


Let snow drip

To earth


Time to rest


Drops of snow

Keep me alive


Show my beauty

After a quiet rest


I will be fresh

In spring


Someone sitting

On the empty chair


Greeting me

In spring


Snow drops


Snow drips


Giving me life

In a quiet time


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Friday, February 8, 2013, 8:12 pm


My Snow Garden


At the window beyond the bars


I peak at my garden producing snow trees


Pure white from the sky


Snow keeps my plants alive till spring


  Shivering chill outside


 My plants retire underground


Mother earth warming

 Protecting the roots from freezing cold


Thanks to the snow that turns to water under the soil


  There is a way for life to survive


 When cold winter comes


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Saturday, February 9, 2013, 4:25 pm

Appreciate simple things around you


Minimize luxury life styles


 Be more concerned with conservation


  Be generous and kind


 Remove ill thought


  Broaden your knowledge


 Learn and do your best


  Understand things beyond yourself


If you are still dissatisfied


 Then sleep and after your rest


 Try again the next day

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Saturday, February 9, 2013, 4:38 pm


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Remember the Writer and Poet, Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka

Remember the Writer and Poet

  Native of Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Passed Away on Thursday, January 9th, 2014


 John and I were lucky to see him

 And I took pictures of him and his wife

At the demonstration of Occupy Wall Street

Zuccotti Park, New York City

On Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Losing a Friend

My heart sank

When we heard

Amiri Baraka

The poet of Newark

Passed away

My dear friend

We know you more

Than you knew

So glad seeing you

Stepping in our shop

Choosing Silver earrings

For the wife

He said

Late night back from NYC in our car

Oh, that’s Mr. Baraka!

I tell John

Pointing to the sidewalk on Market St.

Where he walks with a young man

We saw him

Here and there

Near and far

Admiring his works

His fighting spirit

Fighter he was

Among the good and the bad

Black and White

Young and old

And for the gangs of Newark kids

Who never knew his words

Writings and talking

That’s what he did best

Left are the words he composed

No one will forget

Amiri Baraka

Everett LeRoi Jones

He made his mark

Now and then

Here and beyond

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 2:57 am


On Sunday, October 9, 2011 John and I went to Zuccotti Park, NYC, visiting the Occupy Wall Street protest.  We walked about observing and taking as many photographs as we could as a remembrance of the event.  We saw Mr. Amiri Baraka sitting on the steps talking with some young people.  John greeted him and joined in the conversation.  He looked at me with his large big eyes to greet me.  I took advantage to take his picture.  I spotted his wife, Amina Baraka near by talking to a lady.  It was a very nice and exceptional surprise for us to see him at the event.  The following are some photographs and information about Mr. Amiri Baraka.


Mrs. Amina Baraka in a green blouse (Amiri Baraka’s wife)

Few years ago, a lady came in our shop, looked around then spotted a bunch of dried small white flowers in John’s large ceramic pot.  She picked up a bunch of dried flowers asking me how much they cost.  I told her that they are flowers from our backyard garden.  I said you can have them for free.  She thanked me, took a bunch of dried small white flowers and left.

A few months later Mr. Baraka came in our shop with a lady.  He introduced us to his wife.  I said, “Did I see you before?”  She replied, “Yes, you gave me a bunch of dried flowers.”


The Agitator is Gone

Life long agitator

His time spent

Stirring the water and oil

Asking for smoothness

Equality for all

Hard work

Hard life



Affecting his poor soul

Fighting harder

Stirred by knowledge

Religion changes

Everett LeRoi Jones

Becomes Amiri Baraka







Stirring in his cranium

Giving out all



Performing his poems

With all his heart and soul

Still stirring

Harder he tries

Voicing out

All he knows

Exhausted old man

Last breath



And justice for all

Closing his sparkling large eyes

Finding peace at last

Forever sleep

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 12:40 am



Everett Leroy Jones was born in Newark on Oct. 7, 1934. His father, Coyette, was a postal supervisor; his mother, the former Anna Russ, was a social worker. Growing up, young Leroy, as he was known, took piano, drum and trumpet lessons — a background that would inform his later work as a jazz writer — and also studied drawing and painting.

He attended Barringer High School.  He won a scholarship to Rutgers University in 1951, but a continuing sense of cultural dislocation prompted him to transfer in 1952 to Howard University, which he left without obtaining a degree.  During this period, partly in homage to the African-American journalist Roi Ottley (1906-60), he changed the spelling of his name to LeRoi, with the emphasis on the second syllable.

His major fields of study were philosophy and religion. Baraka subsequently studied at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research without obtaining a degree.

Though by all accounts a brilliant student, he came to regard the university’s emphasis on upward mobility for blacks as distastefully assimilationist — “an employment agency” where “they teach you to pretend to be white,” he later called it. Losing interest in his classes, he was expelled before graduating.

In 1954, he joined the US Air Force as a gunner, reaching the rank of sergeant. After an anonymous letter to his commanding officer accusing him of being a communist led to the discovery of Soviet writings, Baraka was put on gardening duty.  After three years, dishonorable discharge for violation of his oath of duty.  Some of his reading material had made the Air Force suspect that he was a Communist. The irony, he later said, was that he did become a Communist, but not until long afterward.

It was the worst period of my life,” Mr. Baraka told Essence magazine in 1985. “I finally found out what it was like to be disconnected from family and friends. I found out what it was like to be under the direct jurisdiction of people who hated black people. I had never known that directly.”

To stave off loneliness and misery, he read widely and deeply, stocking the library on his base in Puerto Rico with books — philosophy, literary fiction, left-wing history — the likes of which it had almost certainly never seen.

He moved to New York, where he took an editorial job on a music magazine, The Record Changer, and settled in Greenwich Villageamid the heady atmosphere of the Beat poets.

He be friended their dean, Allen Ginsberg, to whom, in the puckish spirit of the times, he had written a letter on toilet paper reading, “Are you for real?” (“I’m for real, but I’m tired of being Allen Ginsberg,” came the reply, on what, its recipient would note with amusement, was “a better piece of toilet paper.”)

In 1967, he adopted the Muslim name Imamu Amear Baraka, which he later changed to Amiri Baraka.  He was an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism. He was the author of numerous books of poetry and taught at a number of universities, including the State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received the PEN Open Book Award, formerly known as the Beyond Margins Award, in 2008 for Tales of the Out and the Gone.[2]

Baraka’s poetry and writing has attracted both extreme praise and condemnation. Within the African-American community, some compare him to James Baldwin and call Baraka one of the most respected and most widely published Black writers of his generation.[3] Others have said his work is an expression of violence, misogyny, homophobia and racism.[4] Baraka’s brief tenure as Poet Laureate of New Jersey (2002–03), involved controversy over a public reading of his poem “Somebody Blew Up America?” and accusations of anti-semitism, and some negative attention from critics, and politicians[5][6]

The same year, he moved to Greenwich Village working initially in a warehouse for music records. His interest in jazz began during this period. At the same time he came into contact with avant-garde Beat Generation, Black Mountain poets and New York School

New York School poets. In 1958 he married Hettie Cohen, with whom he had two daughters, Kellie Jones (b. 1959) and Lisa Jones (b.1961).  They also jointly founded a quarterly literary magazine Yugen, which ran for eight issues (1958–62).[9] Baraka also worked as editor and critic for the literary and arts journal Kulchur (1960–65). With Diane di Prima he edited the first twenty-five issues (1961–63) of their little magazine The Floating Bear.[10] In the autumn of 1961 he co-founded the New York Poets Theatre with di Prima, choreographers Fred Herko and James Waring, and actor Alan S. Marlowe. He had an extramarital affair with Diane di Prima for several years; their daughter, Dominique di Prima, was born in June 1962.

He and Hettie founded Totem Press, which published such Beat icons as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.[8]  In 1961 issued his first collection of verse, “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note.” In the volume’s title poem, he wrote:

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night, I tiptoed up

To my daughter’s room and heard her

Talking to someone, and when I opened

The door, there was no one there …

Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands.

Baraka visited Cubain July 1960 with a Fair Play for Cuba Committee delegation and reported his impressions in his essay “Cuba libre”.[11] In 1961 Baraka co-authored a Declaration of Conscience in support of Fidel Castro‘s regime.[12] Baraka also was a member of the Umbra Poets Workshop of emerging Black Nationalist writers (Ishmael Reed, and Lorenzo Thomas among others) on the Lower East Side (1962–65). In 1961 a first book of poems, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, was published. Baraka’s article “The Myth of a ‘Negro Literature'” (1962) stated that “a Negro literature, to be a legitimate product of the Negro experience in America, must get at that experience in exactly the terms America has proposed for it in its most ruthless identity.” He also states in the same work that as an element of American culture, the Negro was entirely misunderstood by Americans. The reason for this misunderstanding and for the lack of black literature of merit was according to Jones:

“In most cases the Negroes who found themselves in a position to pursue some art, especially the art of literature, have been members of the Negro middle class, a group that has always gone out of its way to cultivate any mediocrity, as long as that mediocrity was guaranteed to prove to America, and recently to the world at large, that they were not really who they were, i.e., Negroes.”

As long as the black writer was obsessed with being an accepted, middle class, Baraka wrote, he would never be able to speak his mind, and that would always lead to failure. Baraka felt that America only made room for only white obfuscators, not black ones.[13]

Baraka’s Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963) is a volume of jazz criticism, especially relating to the beginning of the free jazz movement. His acclaimed, but controversial play Dutchman premiered in 1964 and received an Obie Award the same year.

After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Baraka left his wife and their two children and moved to Harlem. Now a “black cultural nationalist,” he broke away from the predominantly white Beats and became very critical of the pacifist and integrationist Civil Rights movement. His revolutionary poetry now became more controversial.[14] A poem such as “Black Art” (1965), according to academic Werner Sollors from Harvard University, expressed his need to commit the violence required to “establish a Black World.”[15] “Black Art” quickly became the major poetic manifesto of the Black Arts Literary Movement and in it, Jones declaimed “we want poems that kill,” which coincided with the rise of armed self-defense and slogans such as “Arm yourself or harm yourself” that promoted confrontation with the white power structure.[3] Rather than use poetry as an escapist mechanism, Baraka saw poetry as a weapon of action.[16] His poetry demanded violence against those he felt were responsible for an unjust society.

In 1966, Baraka married his second wife, Sylvia Robinson, who later adopted the name Amina Baraka.[17] In 1967, he lectured at San Francisco State University. The year after, he was arrested in Newark for having allegedly carried an illegal weapon and resisting arrest during the 1967 Newark riots, and was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison. Shortly afterward an appeals court reversed the sentence based on his defense by attorney, Raymond A. Brown.[18] Not long after the 1967 riots, Baraka generated controversy when he went on the radio with a Newark police captain and Anthony Imperiale, a Politician and private business owner, and the three of them blamed the riots on “white-led, so-called radical groups” and “Communists and the Trotskyite persons.”[19] That same year his second book of jazz criticism, Black Music, came out, a collection of previously published music journalism, including the seminal Apple Cores columns from Down Beat magazine.

In 1967, Baraka (still Leroi Jones) visited Maulana Karenga in Los Angeles and became an advocate of his philosophy of Kawaida, a multifaceted, categorized activist philosophy that produced the “Nguzo Saba,” Kwanzaa, and an emphasis on African names.[3] It was at this time that he adopted the name Imamu Amear Baraka.[1] Imamu is a Swahili title for “spiritual leader” in which is derived from Arabic word Imam (????). According to Shaw, he dropped the honorific Imamu and eventually changed Amear (which means “Prince”) to Amiri.[1] Baraka means “blessing, in the sense of divine favor.”[1] In 1970 he strongly supported Kenneth A. Gibson‘s candidacy for mayor of Newark; Gibson was elected the city’s first Afro-American Mayor. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Baraka courted controversy by penning some strongly anti-Jewish poems and articles, similar to the stance at that time of the Nation of Islam.[citation needed]

Baraka’s separation from the Black Arts Movement began because he saw certain black writers – capitulationists, as he called them – countering the Black Arts Movement that he created. He believed that the groundbreakers in the Black Arts Movement were doing something that was new, needed, useful, and black, and those who did not want to see a promotion of black expression were “appointed” to the scene to damage the movement.[13] Around 1974, Baraka distanced himself from Black nationalism and became a Marxist and a supporter of third-world liberation movements. In 1979 he became a lecturer in Stony Brook University‘s Africana Studies Department.[citation needed] The same year, after altercations with his wife, he was sentenced to a short period of compulsory community service. Around this time he began writing his autobiography. In 1980 he denounced his former anti-semitic utterances, declaring himself an anti-zionist.[citation needed]

During the 1982–83 academic year, Baraka was a visiting professor at Columbia University, where he taught a course entitled “Black Women and Their Fictions.” In 1984 he became a full professor at Rutgers University, but was subsequently denied tenure.[20] In 1985, Baraka returned to Stony Brook, eventually becoming professor emeritus of African Studies. In 1987, together with Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, he was a speaker at the commemoration ceremony for James Baldwin. In 1989 Baraka won an American Book Award for his works as well as a Langston Hughes Award. In 1990 he co-authored the autobiography of Quincy Jones, and 1998 was a supporting actor in Warren Beatty‘s film Bulworth. In 1996, Baraka contributed to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization.

In July 2002, Baraka was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey by Governor Jim McGreevey. Baraka held the post for a year mired in controversy and after substantial political pressure and public outrage demanding his resignation. During the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Stanhope, New Jersey, Baraka read his 2001 poem on the September 11th attacks “Somebody Blew Up America?”, which was criticized for anti-Semitism and attacks on public figures. Because there was no mechanism in the law to remove Baraka from the post, the position of state poet laureate was officially abolished by the State Legislature and Governor McGreevey.

Baraka collaborated with hip-hop group The Roots on the song “Something in the Way of Things (In Town)” on their 2002 album Phrenology.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante included Amiri Baraka on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[21]

In 2003, Baraka’s daughter Shani, aged 31, and her lesbian partner, Rayshon Homes, were murdered in the home of Shani’s sister, Wanda Wilson Pasha, by Pasha’s ex-husband, James Coleman.[22][23] Prosecutors argued that Coleman shot Shani because she had helped her sister separate from her husband.[24] A New Jersey jury found Coleman (also known as Ibn El-Amin Pasha) guilty of murdering Shani Baraka and Rayshon Holmes, and he was sentenced to 168 years in prison for the 2003 shooting.[25]

Amiri Baraka died on January 9, 2014, at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, after being hospitalized in the facility’s intensive care unit for one month prior to his death. The cause of death was not reported, but it is mentioned that Baraka had a long struggle with diabetes.[26]

In addition to his wife and his son Ras, survivors include three other sons, Obalaji,  Amiri Jr. and Ahi;  four daughters, Dominique DiPrima, Lisa Jones Brown, Kellie Jones and Maria Jones; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Mr. Baraka on his way to court in Newark with second wife, Sylvia (Amina), left, in 1968. He had periodic brushes with the law throughout his adult life. Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

Amiri Baraka, poet and social activist speaking during the Black political Convention in Gary, Indiana on March 12, 1972.


          Left-Amiri Baraka (1970)       Right- Amiri Baraka (photo: Brian McMilen, 1980)

Mr. Baraka with the poet Maya Angelou in 1991 in Harlem during an event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.Chester Higgins, Jr./The New York Times

Left-Amiri Baraka reading at the Dodge Poetry Festival (2003)

Right-Amiri Baraka pictured at a Newark school in this 2000 Star-Ledger file photo. (Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger)

Left-Amiri Baraka at the Miami Book Fair International, 2007

Right- Amiri Baraka addressing the Malcolm X Festival from the Black Dot Stage in San Antonio Park, Oakland, California while performing with Marcel Diallo and his Electric Church Band

 Left-Amiri Baraka and Wilber Morris in Finland(2001)

Right- Baraka defends “Somebody Blew Up America” (2003)

Left-Baraka and M.K. Asante, Jr. in Newark, NJ (2006)

Right- Mr. Baraka with Reggie Workman on bass during a performance of the New York Art Quartet at the South Street Seaport in 1999. Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times


Left- Mr. Baraka on his way to court in Newark with second wife, Sylvia (Amina), left, in 1968.

Right-Amina and Amiri Baraka at home (photo: Ryan Joseph, 2007)


The following are some of Amiri Baraka Videos on YouTube:


Amiri Baraka “Obama Poem” Uploaded on December 9. 2009 (2:49 minutes)

“Obama Poem” by Amiri Baraka with Rob Brown saxophone, recorded live on February 21, 2009 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, New York.

Link to YouTube:


Amiri Baraka “Somebody Blew Up America Poem” Uploaded on December 16, 2009

(9:31 minutes)

“Somebody Blew Up America Poem” by Amiri Baraka with Rob Brown saxophone, recorded live on February 21, 2009 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy,New York.

Link to YouTube:


In 2002, as poet laureate of New Jersey, Baraka drew accusations of anti-Semitism over his poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” which included material borrowed from conspiracy theories in an account of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Baraka refused then-New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey’s request for him to resign and, in response, state lawmakers passed a law to eliminate the position of poet laureate.

“Poetry is underrated,” Baraka told the New York Times in 2012, “so when they got rid of the poet laureate thing, I wrote a letter saying, ‘This is progress. In the old days, they could lock me up. Now they just take away my title.'”

By David Jones

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Amiri Baraka speaks to the importance of Afican-American history   

University of Virginia 

Amiri Baraka speaks to the importance of Afican-American history in this final event of the 2011 Community MLK Celebration.  He reads from his works and takes questions from the audience gathered at Culbreth Theatre, University of Virginia

Video on YouTube, upload on February 3, 2011, (1:20.06 hours)

The link to YouTube :

Amiri Baraka — who died at age 79 — wrote prolifically and in many genres. He published plays, poetry, essays, several volumes of musical criticism, short stories and one novel, which was based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. A selection of his works include:

1958: “A Good Girl Is Hard to Find”
Baraka’s first play was performed at the Sterington House, a jazz club in Montclair.

1961: “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note”
His first collection of poems, it was published while Baraka was living in Greenwich Village, a friend of Beats Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

1963: “Blues People: Negro Music in White America”
His first volume of music criticism, it looked at the span of black music from the slavery era to the 1960s.

1964: “The Dutchman”
This play — about a rage-filled encounter between a black man and a white woman on a New York City subway — was performed at the Cherry Lane Theater, and won Baraka the Obie Award for best play of the year. (The Obie is the major prize for off-Broadway theatrical productions in New York).

1965: “The System of Dante’s Hell”
Baraka’s first novel, and one of his relatively few prose fiction works, was based on Dante’s Divine Comedy

1966 “Home: Social Essays”
Some early controversies surrounded the essays in this collection, which some accused of sexism and homophobia.

1967: “Black Magic”
This volume of poetry was written after Baraka left Greenwich Village for Harlem, and disassociated from the Beats. In Harlem, he helped found the Black Arts Movement, a parallel to the Black Power movement.

1968 “Home on the Range”
This play was written and performed as a benefit for the Black Panther party

1984: “Daggers and Javelins”
In this book of essays, Baraka moved away from his embrace of Black nationalism and started to embrace more Marxist theories.

1984: “The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka” Looking back over his career in this memoir, Baraka recalled feeling shut out from the world of poetry as a young man.

1995: “Wise Why’s Y’s: The Griot’s Tale” His first work of poetry in a decade, this book was one five-part epic poem about the African American experience.

2003: “Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems”
The title poem, written in the wake of the 9/11 attacked, included lines that were interpretted as anti-Semitic.

2009: “Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music”; A collection of essays on jazz greats, it was one of his last publications.

Sources: The Poetry Foundation, The Academy of American Poets/,

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Mr. Baraka was famous as one of the major forces in the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which sought to duplicate in fiction, poetry, drama and other mediums the aims of the black power movement in the political arena.

Among his best-known works are the poetry collections “The Dead Lecturer” and “Transbluesency: The Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, 1961-1995”; the play “Dutchman”; and “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” a highly regarded historical survey.

Mr. Baraka at home in Newark in 2007. He was a lecturer and poet whose words were celebrated by some, but considered hateful by others. Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Over six decades, Mr. Baraka’s writings — his work also included essays and music criticism — were periodically accused of being anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic, racist, isolationist and dangerously militant.

But his champions and detractors agreed that at his finest he was a powerful voice on the printed page, a riveting orator in person and an enduring presence on the international literary scene whom — whether one loved or hated him — it was seldom possible to ignore.

“Love is an evil word,” Mr. Baraka, writing as LeRoi Jones, the name by which he was first known professionally, said in an early poem, “In Memory of Radio.” It continues:

Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?

An evil word. & besides

who understands it?

I certainly wouldn’t like to go out on that kind of limb.

Saturday mornings we listened to Red Lantern & his undersea folk.

At 11, Let’s Pretend/& we did/& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!

Among reviewers, there was no firm consensus on Mr. Baraka’s literary merit, and the mercurial nature of his work seems to guarantee that there can never be.

His early poems were praised for their lyricism and for the immediacy of their language — throughout his career, he said, he wrote as much for the ear as for the eye.

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By Carolyn Kellogg

2:41 p.m. CST, January 9, 2014

A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters.

At that time he also co-edited a literary newsletter, The Floating Bear, published “Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music That Developed from It” (1963) and penned the play “Dutchman,” which explosively explored issues of race and gender.

“I can see now that the dramatic form began to interest me because I wanted to go ‘beyond’ poetry. I wanted some kind of action literature,” Baraka wrote in his 1984 autobiography.

Baraka led the Black Arts Movement, an aesthetic sibling to the Black Panthers. Although the movement was fractious and short-lived, it involved significant authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Eldridge Cleaver, Gil-Scott Heron, Nikki Giovanni, Ishmael Reed and Quincy Troupe.

“[W]e wrote art that was, number one, identifiably Afro American according to our roots and our history and so forth. Secondly, we made art that was not contained in small venues,” Baraka said in a 2007 interview. “The third thing we wanted was art that would help with the liberation of black people, and we didn’t think just writing a poem was sufficient. That poem had to have some kind of utilitarian use; it should help in liberating us. So that’s what we did. We consciously did that.”

In Harlem, Baraka sent trucks into the community carrying people — including the artist Sun Ra — performing poetry, dance and music.

Baraka’s work during the 1960s included the plays “The Black Mass,” “The Toilet,” and “The Slave”; the poetry collections “Black Art” and “Black Magic”; and the provocative collection “Home: Social Essays.”

Asked by NPR in 2007 how he would define himself, Baraka said, “Well, I guess as a poet and a political activist most consistently. I’ve written in all genres. … But, you know, I guess throughout all of that, the poetry is at the base of it.”

Although he was frequently embroiled in political controversy, Baraka’s artistic achievements did not go unacknowledged. His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a PEN/Faulkner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, and the Langston Hughes Award from City College of New York.

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Some critics denounced him as buffoonish, homophobic, anti-Semitic and demagogic. For others he was a genius, a prophet, the Malcolm X of literature.

Eldridge Cleaver hailed him as the bard of the “funky facts.” Ishmael Reed credited the Black Arts Movement for encouraging artists of all backgrounds and enabling the rise of multiculturalism. Scholar Arnold Rampersad placed him alongside Frederick Douglass and Richard Wright in the pantheon of black cultural influences.

“From Amiri Baraka, I learned that all art is political,” Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist August Wilson once said, “although I don’t write political plays.”

Jones left his white wife (Hettie Cohen), cut off his white friends and moved from Greenwich Village to Harlem. He renamed himself Imamu Ameer Baraka, “spiritual leader blessed prince,” and dismissed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a “brainwashed Negro.”

He helped organize the 1972 National Black Political Convention and founded the Congress of African People. He also founded community groups in Harlem and Newark, the hometown to which he eventually returned.

The Black Arts Movement was essentially over by the mid-1970s, and Baraka distanced himself from some of his harsher comments – about King, about gays and about whites. He kept making news.

In the early 1990s, as Spike Lee was filming a biography of Malcolm X, Baraka ridiculed the director as “a petit bourgeois Negro” unworthy of his subject.
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By David Jones

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) – Amiri Baraka, a controversial playwright, poet and activist who set a new path for fellow African-American artists by bringing militancy and verve to works about race in America, died on Thursday at age 79 at a hospital in his native New Jersey, a representative said.

Among Baraka’s other well-known works are his nonfiction book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America” and the poems “In Memory of Radio” and “An Agony. As Now.”

Among his accolades were the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Baraka over the decades loomed large as a political figure in his home of Newark, where he returned to live in the 1960s after time spent in New York.

“I always thought Amiri Baraka’s decision to come back to Newark and stay in Newark and engage Newark helped this beleaguered city recover some very important parts of its identity – its self identity – in some periods when the city was spiraling downward,” said Clement Price, a professor of history at Rutgers University.

Newark Mayor Luis Quintana said in a statement that his city mourned the death of Baraka, who he said “used the power of the pen to advance the cause of civil rights.”

“Amiri Baraka’s poetry and prose transcended ethnic and racial barriers, inspiring and energizing audiences of many generations,” Quintana said.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, said in a statement, “My thoughts and prayers are with his children and the whole Baraka family after their


Baraka is survived by his wife, Amina, and several children. His son, Ras Baraka, is on the Municipal Council of Newark and is a candidate to be mayor.

(Additional reporting by Eric Kelsey inLos Angeles, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Gunna Dickson, Cynthia Osterman and Lisa Shumaker)–sector.html#5qe2nc2

Last of the Beats: Poet-playwright Amiri Baraka dies at 79

This Oct. 2, 2002 file photo shows Amiri Baraka, New Jersey’s poet laureate during a ceremony at the Newark Public Library in Newark, N.J. Baraka, a Beat poet, black nationalist and Marxist revolutionary known for his blues-based, fist-shaking manifestos, died, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, N.J. at age 79. AP

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The New World

The New World

By Amiri Baraka 1934–2014 Amiri Baraka

The sun is folding, cars stall and rise

beyond the window. The workmen leave

the street to the bums and painters’ wives

pushing their babies home. Those who realize

how fitful and indecent consciousness is

stare solemnly out on the emptying street.

The mourners and soft singers. The liars,

and seekers after ridiculous righteousness. All

my doubles, and friends, whose mistakes cannot

be duplicated by machines, and this is all of our

arrogance. Being broke or broken, dribbling

at the eyes. Wasted lyricists, and men

who have seen their dreams come true, only seconds

after they knew those dreams to be horrible conceits

and plastic fantasies of gesture and extension,

shoulders, hair and tongues distributing misinformation

about the nature of understanding. No one is that simple

or priggish, to be alone out of spite and grown strong

in its practice, mystics in two-pants suits. Our style,

and discipline, controlling the method of knowledge.

Beat niks, like Bohemians, go calmly out of style. And boys

are dying in Mexico, who did not get the word.

The lateness of their fabrication: mark their holes

with filthy needles. The lust of the world. This will not

be news. The simple damning lust,

float flat magic in low changing

evenings. Shiver your hands

in dance. Empty all of me for

knowing, and will the danger

of identification,


Let me sit and go blind in my dreaming

and be that dream in purpose and device.


A fantasy of defeat, a strong strong man

older, but no wiser than the defect of love.


Way Out West

Way Out West

By Amiri Baraka 1934–2014 Amiri Baraka

(For Gary Snyder)

As simple an act

as opening the eyes. Merely

coming into things by degrees.


Morning: some tear is broken

on the wooden stairs

of my lady’s eyes. Profusions

of green. The leaves. Their

constant prehensions. Like old

junkies on Sheridan Square, eyes

cold and round. There is a song

Nat Cole sings . . . This city

& the intricate disorder

of the seasons.


Unable to mention

something as abstract as time.


Even so, (bowing low in thick

smoke from cheap incense; all

kinds questions filling the mouth,

till you suffocate & fall dead

to opulent carpet.) Even so,


shadows will creep over your flesh

& hide your disorder, your lies.


There are unattractive wild ferns

outside the window

where the cats hide. They yowl

from there at nights. In heat

& bleeding on my tulips.


Steel bells, like the evil

unwashed Sphinx, towing in the twilight.

Childless old murderers, for centuries

with musty eyes.


I am distressed. Thinking

of the seasons, how they pass,

how I pass, my very youth, the

ripe sweet of my life; drained off . . .


Like giant rhesus monkeys;

picking their skulls,

with ingenious cruelty

sucking out the brains.


No use for beauty

collapsed, with moldy breath

done in. Insidious weight

of cankered dreams. Tiresias’

weathered cock.


Walking into the sea, shells

caught in the hair. Coarse

waves tearing the tongue.


Closing the eyes. As

simple an act. You float


Please visit the link below for more poems from Amiri Baraka:


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Ing’s Peace Project and Three young Taiwanese Ladies

Ing’s Peace Project


Three young Taiwanese Ladies

Visiting Us on Friday, December 27, 2013



Peace is love one another. 


Peace is everyone can live calmly with each other.


Peace is balance.

 Steve Mace, one of John pottery students and a friend, he brought three young Taiwanese ladies to visit us in our shop and gallery.  He wanted these young graduate university ladies to see our artwork and see the video of John’s performance of his play.  John and I were glad to see them.  We showed them our artwork.  They watched John’s video of his play “God is Puerto Rican”.  John performed one of the characters (

I showed the young ladies my Peace Project.  They gladly wrote their comments about “What does Peace mean to you?” on the Peace poster. I was happy to read their comments “Peace is love one another.”, and “Peace is everyone can live calmly with each other.”  I can relate to these two comments quite well but the last comment is more philosophical, “Peace is balance.”  It reminded me of one of Buddha’s philosophies “Practice moderation in life”.  The practice of moderation or balance is different for each individual.  It is difficult to quantify in specific detail.

 I asked them if they had more time to view my videos on YouTube.  The subject is my “Peace Come to you” poem which was translated into Chinese (Peace Comes To You” in the Chinese Language (6:36 minutes) Link to YouTube:  They replied “Oh yes, we have time.”  I also showed, “Golden Swallowtail Butterfly”, video that I produced and uploaded on YouTube (GoldenSwallowtailButterfly (8:15 minutes) Link to YouTube,   I proudly told them that I captured the image of the Swallowtail Butterfly in our backyard garden this summer.  They visited us on Friday, December 27, 2013. 

The young ladies seemed to have a good time and we enjoyed to have them.  Thanks to Steve Mace for bringing them to visit us.  They loved John’s small hand made bowls.  John told them to select some for themselves.  I gave them my peace poem that has my Thai translation.  We felt happy and fulfilled to see young people enthusiastic about seeing our artwork and enjoying their visit.

 Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Tuesday, January 07, 2014, 5:04 am    




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Happy New Year 2014 TO Everyone

May Peace Be With All of US

And Hope for A Peaceful World


Fireworks explode over the heads of tourists and locals as the clock hits midnight to celebrate the New Year on the waterfront in the New Zealandtown of Queenstown early on January 1, 2014.  (Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Sydney Habour Australia displays beauty and sparking fireworks with fantastic lights for a prosperous New Year 2014


 Fireworks light up the sky as thousand of people gather to watch in the main business district on New Year’s Eve in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Photo: Tatan Syuflana, AP      

Balinese girls in tradition costumes gather during a parade for this year’s last sundown in Bali island, Indonesia on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, 2013.  (AP photo/ Firdia Lisnawati)

Woman in traditional costumes danced during a parade for 2013’s last sundown on Bali, Indonesia.

Fireworks explode over the financial district at midnight in Singapore.  Wong Maye-E, AP 

Fireworks explode near Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.  Photo: Ahmad Yusni, epa 

 Fireworks light up the sky as Filipinos welcome the New Year Wednesday, January 1, 2014in Manila, Philippines.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marzuez) 

Fireworks light up the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.  Photo:  Kin Cheung, AP   


Fireworks explode from Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper, the Taipei 101 during 2014 New Year celebration in Taipei.  Photo: Stringer/Taiwan/ Reuters  

South Koreans gaze up at the bright display above their heads as they hail the start of 2014 on Jeju island

Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong Riverin Pyongyang, North Koreato cerebrate the New Year on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. (AP photo/ Kim Kwang Hyon) 

People release balloons to celebrate the New Year in Tokyoon January 1, 2014.  About 2000 balloons were release in the air.  Kazuhiro Nogl, AFP/Getty Images   

A Japanese Shinto maiden (right) greets worshippers as they enter the Kanda shrine to celebrate the New Year in Tokyoon January 1, 2014.  Million of Japanese people visit shrines and temples to pray for the well-being of their families at the New Year.  (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images) 

The first-ever Bangkok Ball Drop at lebua – the world’s highest New year’s Eve ball Drop on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, Thailand.  Photo: Luke Duggleby/AP  


Laser lights shoot from a tower during a New Year’s Eve count down to 2014 held at the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, December 31, 2013.  (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  

 All together now, happy New Year!  Performers gather for a group photo after the end of a New Year’s Eve count down to 2014 in Beijing,China.  (AP)   

 Sportsmen in Allahabad, India light candles to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium.  Prabhat Kumar Verma/Demotix   

An Indian reveller poses on New Year’s Eve in Amritsaron December 31, 2013. (Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)   

Fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on January 1, 2014 to celebrate the New Year. Dubai kicked off New Year with a dazzling bid for a new world record of cap those the Gulf city state already holds for its mammoth property developments.  The glittering fireworks display that lasted around six minutes spanned over 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the Dubai coast, which boasts an archipelago of man-made island and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.  AFP Photo/ Karim Sahib/AFP – Getty Images

The Russians greet the 2014 New Year at Red Square in Moscowwith impressive fireworks and hope that the New Year will bring more peace, equality and freedom for all Russians and for all mankind. 

January 1, 2014 Fireworks light the sky above the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania shortly after midnight during the New Year Celebrations. (AP)  


Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, Germany, Europe lights up with fireworks when the clock strikes midnight and moves on to the new drawn of 2014, New year for the European Union to be joined firmly together with peace and happiness for all.   

Pyrotechnic show company “Group F” performs with fireworks in the Vieux Port (Old Port) of Marseille, southern France, on January 1, 2014, as part of New Year celebrations on the last day of the Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture. Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP Getty – Images

London,United Kingdom awakes with colorful firework to welcome New Year of 2014.  Picture from ( AP)  


In Scotland, about 80,000 people are expected in Edinburgh city center for the famous Homanay street party   (Reuters) 

What a happy start to the New Year!  Alex Thomson steals a kiss from PC Heather Clark of Police Scotland   

Fireworks lit up Nathan Phillips Square inToronto,Canada. 


 New York’sTimes Squarea countdown and ball drop triggered celebrations for 2014 New Year. 

Grape Expectations In Mexico City

Locals head to the Zocalo,Mexico City’s main square to shout “Feliz ano Nuevo!” And when the clock strikes 12, they’ll pop a grape in their mouth at each chime and make a wish for each one.

As they nibble, it gets noisy as fire crackers, sparklers and fireworks light up the night sky.  Afterwards, energetic types head to the city’s night clubs and dance until dawn.

A professional diver holds a “Welcome 2014” banner while swimming next to a stingray during New Year celebrations inside a large aquarium at an ocean park in Manila December 31, 2013.  Neither an earthquake nor a super typhoon have dampened the country’s optimism as 94 percent are entering the New Year with hope instead of fear, according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations reported on Tuesday.  (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco) 

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Nelson Mandela’s Funeral Day

Nelson Mandela’s Funeral Day 

At Qunu, South Africa 

On Sunday, December 15, 2013 

Nelson Mandela’s funeral was on Sunday, December 15, 2013, the funeral service accompanied a mixture of rituals. His body was escorted by a full guard of honor and marked by a 21-gun salute, while warriors in traditional Xhosa dress chanted and danced.

There was a gathering of leaders from around the world in South Africa. Even though Nelson Mandela had gone, his legacy of political and other contribution to the society will be remembered always.

Another of his legacies was that for the first time in history, Nelson Mandela’s death brought people of all races, faiths, ages and income levels together to grieve as one in South Africa.

Inside the marquee, Nelson Mandela’s portrait had been placed behind 95 candles, representing one for each year of the late president’s life.

The final journey: Nelson Mandela’s coffin was carried by coffin bearers in Qunu, the late South Africa leader’s childhood home.  Photo: SAEC/Reuters

Funeral guests and members of the South Africa Defense Forces prepare for Mandela’s funeral on his family’s property, in Qunu,South Africa.   Photograph: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

 A military honor guard lines the route for former South Africa president Nelson Mandela’s funeral procession as it makes its way to his final resting place in his home village of Qunu, on Sunday, December 15, 2013.

At the end of memorial ceremony a military guard of honor carried Nelson Mandela’s coffin, draped in the South Africa flag, out of marquee as the audience sang.

A marching platoon of the presidential guard, wearing green ceremonial uniforms and carrying rifles with fixed bayonets, escorted the coffin, which had been transferred to a gun carriage, to the burial site.

 Member of the South Africa Navy lined the road from the Mandela family house to his burial site in Qunu.

Left-Soldiers stand at attention over former South Africa president Nelson Mandela’s casket before his burial in his home village of Qunu, Sunday, December 15, 2013.

Right-Nelson Mandela was laid to rest following a short graveside sermon by Bishop Siwa.  As a military bugler played the Last Post, followed by Reveille, the pall bearers saluted and then withdraw as did the cameras, allowing the Mandela family a private moment at the graveside.

 A flypast took place as former South Africa president Nelson Mandela was laid to rest.

On a hill overlooking Qunu, Zulu men performed a traditional dance.

Inside the marquee guests listen to the speeches contributing to the late former South Africa president Nelson Mandela at his home village of Qunu, on Sunday, December 15, 2013.        Nelson Mandela spent much of his childhood in the small, Eastern Cape village of Qunu– a place he chose to return to after his release from prison. The ceremony was held in a marquee constructed for the event.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, Mandela’s former second wife Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, center, stand by his coffin.  Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty images

 After the two-hour service, Nelson Mandela’s Thembu community will conduct a private traditional Xhosa ceremony – including songs and poems about Mandela’s life and his achievements.

Nelson Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe told the BBC earlier in the week that the former president’s family gathered around him to say goodbye in his final hour.  She is seen here arriving for the funeral in Qunu.

Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi speaks to attendees.  She recounted stories and anecdotes of her grandfather’s family life, “He was a true servant of the people, his mission in life was to make lives better.” She says, “He truly cared for his family and children.”    Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty images

 Anti-aparteid activist and close friend of Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, gives a speech during the funeral ceremony of South Africa former president Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Sunday, December 15, 2013. Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela in 1964.   Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty images

 Left-The President of South Africa Jacob Zuma addresses his tribute to former president Nelson Mandela.

Right-Following his speech President Zuma received thanks from Nelson Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.   

Left- Jesse Jackson, left, greets Zambia founding president, Kenneth Kaunda.

Right-Oprah Winfrey, center, her husband, Stedman Graham, left, and Richard Branson, right attend the service. Photograph:  AFP/Getty images   

Left-Prince Charles was among the guests that attended the funeral of South Africaf ormer president Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Sunday, December 15, 2013.

Right-The former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki talks to Norway’s former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.   

People gather to pay their last respect at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.  Photograph: Foto24/Getty images

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Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day

Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day 

At the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 

On Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 World leaders, celebrities and citizens from all walks of life gathered on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 to pay respects during a memorial service for the former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

Walk With Nelson Mandela

We come and go

To somewhere no one knows

Left on earth is what we did

When we were still alive


Nelson Mandela has gone

And billions mourn

Wishing he would live forever


Hitler has gone

No one mourns

Wishing he had gone sooner

Or was never born


What will people think when

Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria

Robert Mugabe of Zimbavwe

And others who want to keep

The power over people forever

 have gone 


What will people say? 


Ten, fifty, or a hundred years is only a drop

Of human civilization

We will be gone sooner or later

For we do not live forever


What are you doing Bashar Hafez al-Assad?

Killing kids, women and men

They are your people

They are Syrians

Please, I beg you not to create

A Twenty First Century Holocaust 


Robert Mugabe

You are eighty nine years old

You still want to be president

What are you thinking?

That you will live forever?


Oh, yes both of you will live

Thousands years or longer in history 


Will both of you and others hungry for power

Be good examples for future generations?

Or will future generations learn from Nelson Mandela 


You who are alive

Please think harder

About what you are doing


Be part of those that keep peace

Just like the way Mandela prevented civil war

Between black and white in his country


Please make the world better

For the next generation


If only one day you think of Mandela

Make him proud to be part of the same human race as you


Please hear this from

Nelson Mandel’s inauguration speech


“Time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms

That divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us. —– 

We understand it still that

There is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that

None of us is acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people,

For national reconciliation,

For nation building,

For the birth of a new world. 

Let there be justice for all. 

Let there be peace for all. 

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. 

Let each know that for each the body, 

The mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. 

 Never, never and never again shall it be that this

Beautiful land will again experience the oppression

Of one by another and suffer the indignity

Of being the skunk of the world.” 


 Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Sunday, December 22, 2013, 12:17 am

The mourners all over the world and South Africans at FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 for the memorial service.

 Members of Nelson Mandela’s family

 Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zindzi, Zenani and Makaziwe, ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela and his widow Graca Machel in the stadium

Members of Nelson Mandela’s family and grandchildren

VIPs and dignitaries watch from the tribute as rain lashes down during the memorial service.

World leaders and mourners gather to say final goodbye, mourners and 91 world leaders gather in South Africa to unite in tribute to a man who became a global symbol of reconciliation.


Top right-Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton with their daughter Chelsea (third right) and aids Muma Abedin (front) 

Bottom-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are escorted upon their arrival on Air Force One to attend a memorial service, greeting by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane (center)  Photograph by: Kevin Lamarque 

President Barack Obama is due to speak later during the memorial. The comparisons are perhaps inevitable. Obama and Mandela each served as their nation’s first black president, living symbols of struggles to overcome deep-seated racial tensions. Each was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Top left-Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain (center) arrive at the ceremony. 

Top right-Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) arrived in South Africaon Monday night. And Malawi’s President Joyce Banda (right) arrive at arrive at Air Force Base Waterkloof,Pretoria. 

Bottom left-Uganda’s President Yowerl Museveni (left) arrive at arrive at Air Force Base Waterkloof,Pretoria. Guinea’s President Teodoro Oblang Nguema (right) arrived in South Africaon Monday night. 

Bottom center-Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe And his wife Grace Mugabe (center) arrive in Pretoria ahead of the memorial. 

Bottom right-Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe     arrives at the ceremony.

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (center) arrives at the ceremony. 

Top center-Military officers carry the coffin of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela to the Union Building for the lying in state in Pretoria. (Markus Schreiber, AFP) 

Top right-Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela on stage during for the memorial service 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama talks to Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel.

Bottom center- Former South Africa president F.W. de Klerk arrives with his wife Elita.

Bottom right-Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele

Top left-Former British Prime Minister John Major shakes hands with Former U.S. George W. Bush as they arrive for the memorial service. 

Top right-Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (above left), French Former President Nicolas Sarkozy (below left) and his successor President Francois Hollande (below right). 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama greets the crowd before giving his speech at the memorial service. 

Bottom center- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (left) next to President Barack Obama, who was greeted with prolonged applause, embraces South African president Jacob Zuma, who was loudly booed. 

Bottom right-Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz arrived at the ceremony.

Top left-Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki is welcomed as he arrives at FNB Stadium.

Top right-Charlize Theron, the South African actress speaks with musician Bono. 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro in spite of animosity between theirs governments. 

Bottom right-Putin, who will not be attending, paid tribute to the late former South Africa President Nelson Mandela as he visited South Africa’s embassy in Moscow.

Top left-Twitter: Aislinn Laing – Former Springbok rugby captain Pienaar says with a watery smile that he’ll be today of thinking about Mandela’s “selflessness”.

Top center-President Barack Obama deliveries a eulogy at the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. 

Top right-Former U.S.George W. Bush talks to Irish rock star Bono. 

Bottom left-Nelson Mandela’s former assistant, Zelda le Grange together with Bono and his wife, Alison Hewson leave after seeing the coffin of Nelson Mandela lying in state. 

Bottom center-Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel bids farewell to Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela 

Top right- Nelson Mandela’s Widow Graca Machel 

Bottom left-Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrives with Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for the memorial service. 

Bottom center-South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, stand in-between President Barack Obama and Bishop Ivan Abrahms as they shake hand during the memorial service. 

Bottom right-French President Francois Hollande (left) is greeting by officials on his arrival at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Pretoria.

Top left-Former Bishop Desmond Tutu (right) and former Irish President Mary Robinson (left)

Top right-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon takes the podium, raises his hand and waves to cheers from the audience.

“South Africahas lost a hero, a father. The world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of all time.”

“This boxer fought throughout his life for each of us. It is the duty of all of us who loved him to keep his memory alive.”

Bottom right-Former Prime minister of Britain Tony Blair is greeted after arriving for the Memorial service.    

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela 

Top center- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, deliveries speech at the memorial service

Top right-Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

Bottom left-Former Prime minister of Britain Tony Blair

Bottom right-Former Prime minister of Britain John Major

Top right- President Barack Obama speaks of how he was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s    political mission when he began his own career. 

Bottom left-Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz deliveries his tribute speech 

Bottom right-South Africa President, Jacob Zuma embraces Former Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Top left- President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt smiling for a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service 

Top right-Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (center) and Former U.S. President George W. Bush (right) 

Bottom left-President Barack obama, who will deliver a eulogy at the memorial service and First lady Michelle. 

Bottom right-Chelsea Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Laura Bush and Former U.S. President George W. Bush listen to speakers during the memorial service.

 Top right- Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (left) and  South Africa President, Jacob Zuma (right) 

Top center- President Obama a eulogy at the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. 

Bottom left-South Africa President, Jacob Zuma was loudly booed by the crowd when he got up to deliver his tribute to late former president Nelson Mandela. 

Bottom center- Former Bishop Desmond Tutu

 Bottom center-Prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott, Prime minister of New Zealand John Key and Prime minister of Britain David Cameron at the memorial service. 

Top left-At 12.00 President Barack Obama’s  moving speech:

South Africa we can change that we can choose a world defined by our common hopes…….We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again..let me say to young people of Africa. you too can make his life your own. Over 30 years ago as a student I learned about Nelson Mandela..and the struggles in your land, it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today, altho I will fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man.

“After this great liberator is laid to rest and we return our daily routines let us search for his strength, his largeness of spirit ..let us think of Madiba..and the words that brought him comfort in his cell. It matters not how staright the game …I am the the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul…. what a magnificent soul it was.”

Bottom center-South Africa’s last apartheid-era President, F.W. de Klerk  

Thanks to F.W. de Klerk, and other white South Africans who supported the policy of  give and take in order for South Africa to have a more equal and peaceful society.  This policy allowed for an election through one person one vote; hence Nelson Mandela achieved his political goal and became the first black South Africa president. 

I hope that the present leaders of government in South Africa will continue Nelson Mandela’s legacy by preserving peace through this approach to governing the country.  I am glad that South Africa people as a whole have shown the world there is a way to make a transition from colonial white minority rule to a democratic society with fairness for all citizens. 

At present many African countries are troubled by corruption by their leadership, and do not compromise to govern their country in a peaceful way.  After taking over from the white colonial rule, many leaders seized the opportunity take much of the wealth of the country for themselves, leaving the majority of citizens to remain poor or even starve.  

These behaviors cause rivals wanting to take over power and wealth from the governing rulers. There are many poor young men and women willing to go along with whichever side gives them food and weapons. South Sudanis the most current example of this.  It becomes a situation of kill or be killed.  So they kill each other in large numbers and it is the poor majority that suffers the most.  Mugabi of Zimbabwe killed thousands of his rivals according to a Wikipedia article, in order to keep him and his government in power, acquiring wealth for themselves for thirty years.  Syrian leaders have been doing the same for even longer, which has brought about the continuing Syrian Civil War. 

South Africa is a good example of how to prevent civil war between white and black but there too the majority black are poor and uneducated.  According to the news, white minority, about 9% still own most of productive land and wealth in the country.  When people are poor, uneducated or educated, they are going to find a way to survive, trying to get job if there is a job.  But if there are none, and no money to survive, people will resort to any means necessary to help themselves and families from starving.  There are even some will decide to end their own lives rather than go on in absolute misery. 

In South Africa it is difficult but important that the government, wealthy whites and also the growing numbers of wealthy blacks come together to help their poor and uneducated citizens.  

For as Nelson Mandela said in his inauguration speech 

“—Let there be justice for all.  

     Let there be peace for all. 

     Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.  Let each know that for each

    the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. –“.  

Kindness and feeling the suffering of others as one’s own suffering will bring an understanding that distribution of wealth to the poor is the humane thing to do.  There will be no peace in life if there is a wall to guard and protect the wealth of the few while and the majority poor black and some minority poor white are left to suffer. 

If the South African government, wealthy whites, wealthy blacks, and all citizens can achieve peace in their country it will be an example for Africa and the world.  Through peace and harmony, South Africans can make a great leap forward for all humanity to become more civilized and peaceful. 

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 9:20 pm 


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In Memory of Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

 Despite spending much of his life without the company of children, Mandela became famous for his ability to make connections with the very young.  Here he helps a blind child to find out what he looks like.  The village of Qunu, not much changed from the days when Mandela spent his childhood here.  This is the house he stayed in, the property of Thembu Paramount Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who took in the boy and his mother after Mandela’s father, also a chief, was deprived of his property following a disputed with magistrate.  Mandela’s father had four wives; his mother Noqaphi Noscheni was the third wife.

Remember Nelson Mandela


One Bloomfield Tech Student commented:

Peace?  Trust no one


I can understand how you feel

There was disappointment and trouble in my younger life

But I never lost hope


At least I trusted myself

And behaved in such a way that others could trust me

If I want to trust others

I have to show others are able to trust me


We all go through life

Knowing some bad and good people

We learn and change

If we show kindness to others

There is a chance to receive kindness in return


I was sad about some of my troubles in life

But when I study about Nelson Mandela

Who passed away this month at the age of 95

I feel that I am a lucky person


He was jailed for twenty seven years

But was able to walk tall when he was freed

He over came his bitterness

Trusted people and people trusted him


Mr. Mandela became the first black president of South Africa

People all over the world praised his good deeds

He is honored and admired

Just as Gandhi and Dr. King were admired


By being only a one term president

Mr. Mandela showed he was not greedy to hold on to power

He could have been President of South Africa as long as he wished

He prevented civil war between black and white South Africans

He helped to raise funds to educate poor African children

And encouraged the fight against Aids


He led very meaningful life

An example for others to follow


 Mr. Mandela said his 27 years in prison gave him time to think

He educated other prisoners and cultivated a little garden

 Growing tomatoes and other vegetables

His conduct earned him the respect of his jailers


President Barack Obama commented that

When you are with Nelson Mandela

You want to be a better person


I too want to be a better person

 After studying the life of Nelson Mandela


Please reconsider your comment

Peace? Trust no one


If you help others to the best of your ability

You will find others you can trust

Who in turn will trust you

And give help when it is needed


Then you will achieve a successful life

With happiness and peace in your heart


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Friday, December 13, 2013, 11:56 pm

Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela was born in 1918 and raised in the village of Qunuin theTranskei, a small village in South Africa’s eastern.  He was one of 13 children, a youngest son of a counselor to the chief of the Thembu clan.

He ran away to Johannesburg, where he became a lawyer and joined the African National Congress fight against apartheid. He is pictured in about 1950, six years after he founded the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League (ANCYL) with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.  

He married Evelyn Ntoko Mase, his first wife.  They have four children: Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954). 

As a young man, Nelson Mandela was a keen boxer.  “Boxing is egalitarian.  In the ring, rank, age, color and wealth are irrelevant.” he wrote in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. 

Nelson Mandela married his second wife Winnie Madikizela in 1958, and they have two daughters.  They never enjoyed much of a family life as they were both in and out of jail.  They divorce in 1996.

Right-Nelson Mandela revisited his cell several times after his release.

After more than 27 years in detention, Mandela walks out of Victor-Verster Prison in Paarl on February 11, 1990, accompanied by his wife Winnie.

Right- Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo,Norway on December 10, 1993 for their roles in ending apartheid.  FW de Klerk would go on to serve as one of Mandela’s deputy presidents. 

Left-Mandela takes the oath on May 10, 1994, during his inauguration in Pretoriaas the country’s first back president. “The time for the healing of the wounds has come,” Mandela said.  “The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.  The time to build is upon us.”

 Right-Mandela celebrates his 89th birthday with a group of young people at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund inJohannesburg on July 24, 2007.  After his retirement from politics Mandela remained involved in social issues through the Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a charity set up in 1999. 

Walk With Nelson Mandela


We come and go

To somewhere no one knows

Left on earth is what we did

When we were still alive


Nelson Mandela has gone

And billions mourn

Wishing he would live forever


Hitler has gone

No one mourns

Wishing he had gone sooner

Or was never born


What will people think when

Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria

Robert Mugabe of Zimbavwe

And others who want to keep

The power over people forever

 have gone


 What will people say?


 Ten, fifty, or a hundred years is only a drop

Of human civilization

We will be gone sooner or later

For we do not live forever


What are you doing Bashar Hafez al-Assad?

Killing kids, women and men

They are your people

They are Syrians

Please, I beg you not to create

A Twenty First Century Holocaust


Robert Mugabe

You are eighty nine years old

You still want to be president

What are you thinking?

That you will live forever?


 Oh, yes both of you will live

Thousands years or longer in history


 Will both of you and others hungry for power

Be good examples for future generations?

Or will future generations learn from Nelson Mandela


You who are alive

Please think harder

About what you are doing


Be part of those that keep peace

Just like the way Mandela prevented civil war

Between black and white in his country


Please make the world better

For the next generation


If only one day you think of Mandela

Make him proud to be part of the same human race as you


Please hear this from

Nelson Mandel’s inauguration speech


“Time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms

That divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us. —– 

We understand it still that

There is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that

None of us is acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people,

For national reconciliation,

For nation building,

For the birth of a new world.


Let there be justice for all.


Let there be peace for all.


Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.


Let each know that for each the body,


The mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.


 Never, never and never again shall it be that this

Beautiful land will again experience the oppression

Of one by another and suffer the indignity

Of being the skunk of the world.”  


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Sunday, December 22, 2013, 12:17 am


Please visit In Memory of Nelson Mandela page for more information and pictures:  

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Drifting in the Ocean of Time

Drifting in the Ocean of Time


 Tide and Time wait for no man

Said the wise person


We are all swimming in

The ocean of time


Young toddler said

I have plenty of time


The middle age said

Oh! It is only noon

Still many hours

Before the day is gone

More than half of the

Ocean of time awaits


The older person said

Where does the time go?

Drifting along

Soon the time is gone


Wasting time fighting

Realizing lost all that time


Reaching to the bank

To the unknown


Where shall we go

If there is no time

Left any more? 


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, November 21, 2013, 9:47 am




Ducks and Geese



 Ducks and Geese


                                                Paddlings do paddlings dee

Little ducks and geese

Baking in warm afternoon sun


Step closer, quietly and still

Viewing the ducks and the geese

By the tree


Wobblings do wobblings dee

The ducks and the geese

On the same bank of the pond


The ducks wobbling by the geese

Cleaning their wings

Minding their own things


No fighting I see!

Geese and ducks

Inches away from each other


The big geese bodies

Bully no little ducks


Comfortable the ducks are

With other kinds

Sharing space

And food


Happy they are

Different species

Paddling together in the pond


Humans are the same species


But Christians fight with Christians,

Protestants fight with Catholics

In Northern Island


In Syria

Muslims fight with Muslims

Alawites with Sunnis


In Iraq

Shias fight with Sunnis


 Muslims fight with Christians

Jews fight with Muslims

Hindus fight with Muslims

Buddhists in Myanmar (Burma) fight with Muslims


Muslims fight with Buddhists

In southern Thailand

And other places


What is the matter with humans?

Unashamed, killing each other

Of the same kind


Ducks and geese in Branch Brook Park Pond

Coexist with each others


Paddlings do paddlings dee

Happy they are


Wobblings do wobblings dee

With their little tiny brains

Cleverer they are than humans


Humans are

Pity do, pity dumb

Weeping do and weeping dumb


Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Monday, October 21, 2013, 11:34 pm








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