When did “Woke” Become a Negative Term?

Sleeping serves its purpose. Sometimes, we have magical dreams. Other times, we have dreams about people we haven’t thought about in a long while or dreams that remind us of things we need to accomplish when we wake up.

A long time ago I had a friend who slept over with her three-year-old grandson. In the morning, the child rose and exclaimed, “I waked up!”

I like to think I, too, have “waked up.”

If you are awake, life happens.

So why is “woke” such a bad term these days? Synonyms for “woke/awaken” include: acquainted, vigilant, knowledgeable, aware.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be all of those things.

According to dictionary.com, the newest term for woke means: being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being “with it.”

And what is wrong with being conscious of racial discrimination?

So why do people use “woke” as a negative term?

“Before 2014, the call to “stay woke” was, for many people, unheard of. The idea behind it was common within Black communities at that point — the notion that staying “woke” and alert to the deceptions of other people was a basic survival tactic. But in 2014, following the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, “stay woke” suddenly became the cautionary watchword of Black Lives Matter activists on the streets, used in a chilling and specific context: keeping watch for police brutality and unjust police tactics.” (site credit)

So, it appears to me that those who use “woke” in a negative tone are in denial of basic facts.

And just a reminder, synonyms for “deny” are: negative, ban, oppose, rebuff, reject, discredit.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather look like this:

katy perry smile GIF

than this:

Tired Episode 2 GIF by Friends

What Do You Think About When You Think About Nothing?

She says:

“Erase all thoughts from your mind.”

“Melt into the floor and think of nothing.”

I don’t know about you but I find it extremely hard to think about nothing.

The lights are out now. I guess that’s supposed to help.

I’m laying on the yoga mat (didn’t do Yoga but “all-in conditioning”). Body is tired and yes there is a bit of “melting” going on if sweat pooling beneath a torso counts.

Think of nothing.

I’m not good at this. All I manage to do is think about how to think about nothing.

What are the other seven people thinking about in their “nothingness”?

How does anyone think of nothing?

I try not to think about the errands I’ll be running when class is over, about what I’ll be photoshopping when I get home, about how to improve the playground that I’ve set up for my grandkids in my backyard.


I stare at the back of my closed eyelids.

Better. It’s dark there.

I’m thinking about how dark it is. But there is nothing to touch, nothing to see.

I’m a little bored.

And then I see it.

A wee wisp of floating light.

A silk scarf in space illuminated by a moon that sits somewhere out of my line of sight.

Or is it a star sliding sideways in slow motion leaving a jet stream of light?

Nah, it’s an angel thread,

an angel fiber,

angel cilia,

angel strand.

I’m still thinking. I’m thinking of the perfect word to describe that thing floating in my blackened vision.

“Start moving your fingers, your toes. Open your eyes,” she says.

What? It’s time to get up?

I’m not finished thinking of nothing.

Angel Wisp- CDW ©

How Could I Know? #writephoto


If you stay on one side

and I the other

how will I know the color of your eyes

what tune your voice plays when your words lilt into the air?

How will I know if humor is one of your senses

or if the shoes you wear have traveled far?

I want to know what made you grow

and what kept you stagnant

what made you smile

and what made you weep

If you stay on one side

and I the other

how would I ever be



Keeping An Eye Out

The human course, it often baffles –

the politics, ego, discord –

who wants the giveaways of maniacs?

No, they can keep their judgement raffles.

But if something makes our bellies churn

the core, an apple rotten,

then curious it makes our eye

perhaps, it’s then, we learn.

Back Off, Jack 2

painting by CD-W


Still the Waters Calm


Still the waters calm

 but not stagnant

Static waters poison change.

Shift, transform

embrace the growth.

Barren souls

lack knowledge,


Still the waters calm

but move






photo credit

via Static

A Lesson Tethered to a Bad Memory

A sunny spring day and all the kids were across the street playing. I decided to take Buffy outside with me without a leash, something I never did – not even as a ten-year-old.

We went across the street to the Mandy’s to  play with the other neighborhood kids. Buffy was so happy to be the center of attention. But she didn’t know the limits like we did.

I saw her run towards the street. I saw a car going to fast coming down the street. I yelled for her to come back but she didn’t. She ran in front of a parked car. The speeding Mr. Jolly didn’t have the chance to see her.

I heard the thudding sound under the car. I heard the screech of the tires. I heard the screaming inside my head and the bursting of my heart.

Me, the one who treated even my stuffed animals with care and tenderness. And I would have to live with this new feeling of intense guilt.


I know. Not such a “jolly” memory for today’s prompt. Nevertheless, a true story that changed my life. Life is full of lessons tethered to both good and bad memories.  Over the years, I have loved many dogs and I do my very best to keep them out of harm’s way.

via Jolly

The Puzzler

She puzzled and puzzled till her puzzler was sore

She walked down the hallway and opened the door

And to her amazement guess what she saw?

The sky? The trees? No, not that at all!

But pieces of colors all shades and all hues

obstructing her vision but changing her views.

For the pieces together were so snuggly fit

that the light in her brain was instantly lit.

Nothing to ponder and nothing to question

No one’s advice and no ones’ suggestions.

The pieces together had finished their quest

so now she could sit down and quietly rest.

the puzzler 3

Art and poem by CD-W (thanks for the inspiration, Dr. Seuss)