My Ode to One of Life’s Greatest Women….

maya   Maya Angelou….
Whom I never met

Today, May 28, 2014, I–we, the world, learned of Dr. Maya Angelou’s passing. Some of us even learned a little bit about her life. I didn’t know, and was surprised to learn, that Ms. Angelou has a son, and never went to college, even though she was bestowed with the honored title of “Doctor”.


Below is MY original creation with poetry titles and phrases that Ms. Angelou had written in her lifetime…….

The titles and phrases are hers….the WORK is mine….



by: La-Shanta Holloway
(c) 2014

Life came calling on me
Before I even knew what life was
Time forced me to be a me
I didn’t know.
And I learned that the caged bird wasn’t just singing
To be free, but
Also for all the possibilities that might be
not for him
He knew his turn was over
But for friends, and friends of friends who still
Had a chance
I know why the caged bird sings
He sings for the chance for me to be me.

When Life came calling
I reached out, but no hand was there
My sister, my friend
My Kin
looked at me with detached eyes

We all have our lives to live
those colorful irises say,
A long road, A plagued journey
we each have to travel…alone
Surrounded by each other but so utterly one…
Though we are many, each of us is achingly, piercingly alone

I fell to the ground,
no one reached out to help
I learned I had to get up on my own
I take comfort in knowing, now, that
though I may fall & get down
Still I Rise

You’ve got to teach yourself
to be yourself
Teach yourself the lesson
to learn to love to live

Live the life that works best for you
and watch yourself grow
Learn to hold yourself dear
but reach for your friends
and love with your whole heart
and never be afraid of the truth

A Brave and Startling Truth
we are a going-on people
Even when we march alone

Life came early
calling on me
trying to break me
trying to teach me
trying to reach me

I gave life all I could
I give life all I can

I Still Rise
up from a past that’s rooted in pain... I Rise
I’ll fall again
Because life will call on me
And knock me down
But I’ll Rise again because
Death is internal
And I choose to embrace it not

Because I’ve been Loved
Because I’ve given Love
And I have learned that
Love strikes away the chains of fear
And fearlessly, phenomenally,
I Still Rise


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