It’s an Unearned White Privilege Thing…

look deeper

My whiteness gives me unearned privileges to be seen in society and heard and to succeed. A good education is almost guaranteed. Or living in a neighborhood with little crime — It’s an ‘unearned white privilege thing’.

I can walk into a story and not be followed as if I’m going to steal something. I’m not bragging when I say, ‘I can pretty much go anywhere and do anything’ without getting a sideways glare. It’s an ‘unearned white privilege thing’.

I was born into a monopoly run by my skin color of white supremacy: government and schools, housing and jobs – my unearned white privilege is an inherited system to get ahead. Even though segregation has ended – it’s still here. Look at our jails. ‘Them. They. Those people.’ The stealthy side swipe, backhandedness of white supremacy permeates in the air. It is where the snickers and glances of ‘those-poor-black-people are lesser and different.” It crushes me to hear.

I was born white and given rights and in the hospital, sleeping right next to me may have been a brown-black baby girl – same day, same year — and not given those rights.

Why? Why? Why? Racism is deadly. White supremacy is deadly. Add in classism and elitism – the compounded threats are evil.

When I close my eyes at night, I walk the streets in my mind how is it, ‘I can’ because the color of my skin? And those born of color can’t? Untwisting the corrosive, blatant, discriminating, tarnished, deceptive coloring of lies is something I can do with my unearned white privilege.

Little by little, I will touch the cornerstones of those near, neighborhood and surrounding community and even stretch farther to use my unearned white privilege in the words I plant here.

With much respect & love, Carolyn

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I am Bresha Meadows, are you?

Amazing and powerful article. It’s not an easy read because of its contents but it’s real. Please take a few minutes. Written by Taylar Nuevelle.

Taylar Speaks

bresha-meadows-photo-1Bresha Meadows killed her father in July of 2016, she was only 14 and she shot him with his own gun. The family of the man who was her father claims something is wrong with Bresha, and that her father had never harmed her or her family. I know he hurt her and her family, because I am Bresha. Growing up, I knew so many girls who are Bresha as well, we just did not value ourselves enough to take the necessary action to be free—we just went silent and our abusers went on to harm others. Bresha. Dear sweet Bresha. I believe you and telling would have never been enough, because our society does not value or believe children, especially little brown girls who whisper the truth when their fathers and/or mothers become their living nightmares.

My memory is my blessing and my curse. It is why I write…

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Blue Clouds: Soul’s Creative Intelligence


My debut book of poetry, prose and short essays is available! Here’s the book trailer:

To purchase a copy, please follow this link:

Book Cover Photography by Mary Liz Austin. Book trailer and book cover designed by Alice Maldonado Gallardo of Golden Dragonfly Press.

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Moonlight Soul


Artist: Anna Kapustenko

On parted lips
of moonscape night
her supple sojourn
beckons midnight

A golden brush
plunged round with sea
her canvas swells
segue to haunting harmonies

Wave splashed tendrils
succulent shivers
and shoulders splayed
while bare heart
quenches the
blades of tender soul.

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Cycle of Violence and Trump


Artist: Sophia Bonati

The other day, I wrote an analogy to someone about Trump. I said something along the lines:

Trump’s racism is likened to domestic violence, incest and sexual abuse. What happens behind millions of closed doors and kept silent because of shame, fear, manipulation, bullying, power and control has now been brought outside the threshold. The seemingly bulletproof and soundproof walls are now glass and it’s shattered.

There’s three major phases in the cycle of violence: Tension, Violence and the Honeymoon period. To me the presidential election felt like we were subjected to an abnormally highly amount of Tension and Violence. For example, in the Violence stage crimes were committed when Trump adamantly repudiated the rights of gays, threatened people of color, Muslims, Native Americans, Latinos as well as those disabled. He lied to underprivileged whites and promised to ‘Make America Great.’ He slandered President Obama, incited riots and continued from city to city with hate-speeches. The second debate, in particular, he publically stalked, badgered and threatened the life of his opponent.

We are now sort of in the Honeymoon phase where he’s less vocal and conceded on a few of his agenda items but we are a far cry from this being over.

It’s all quickly approaching, if not already into the Tension phase where it can feel like walking on eggshells and waiting for the other shoe to hit. The cycle will repeat but what makes it ‘BIG, HUGE’ is it is not just him – he has supporters such as the KKK and regular people, who now feel it is their right to be equally and publically as abusive.

We are seeing and feeling it on such an intense deep level, sleep is disrupted, nightmares have returned, PTSD, flashbacks, safety is in question so safety pins are trying to put some at ease. Some are in prayer, others are looking the other way — in hope all of those ‘Nasty Women’ will go away.

This isn’t going away. Marches and protests are happening daily.

To keep me going, I meditate and read and write poetry; it is my first language. I also listen to nature and music and find focus in candles.  I’m also strategizing ways not to rescue anyone but to be a better ally. I am supporting the psychological and emotional processes because there isn’t a ‘right way’ to cope.

Lastly, my purpose as a white-American-privileged-middle-class-woman, says, “Fuck this shit!” I stand with and for the rights of LGBTQIA, people of color (brown, black and all the shades in between, under and over). I stand with and for my Native American friends, Jewish, Muslims, Asians, those with disabilities.

BTW, I can sort of ‘thank’ Trump because now with his corrupt leadership approaching the helm, I can see just how much work needs to be done.


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Depression speaks.

Reflecting on this piece and thought I’d share again.

Magic of Stardust and Words

Photography: Peter Nijenjuis Photography: Peter Nijenjuis

He would ask, “What’s up?”

I’d reply, “Not much.”

He would laugh and joke, understandably uncomfortable with the slate of silence.

But I’ve shared before and these words go unheard:

It’s not “what’s up” it is “what’s down.”

It is a cremation of solitary confinement. It’s where life hurts. When breathing is an effort and the sun never rises in the fullest of day. Where each step is darkened and stuck. People are a blur and the sounds and sights vibrate two octaves lower than the earth. Everything cuts deeper and plucks the cellular structure of being. Tired is only a word. This feeling is the sand being pummeled by aching waves. And the window of soul have infinite tear stains.

Before I would answer, he’d reply, “It’s not so bad. Just look on the bright side.”

And I’d, blink through the fog. “Yes, of course…

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My Skin Color was Born Privileged.


Photo: Source Getty Pictures

Many recently felt the insidious behaviors of an open, gashing universal sore. Acknowledging those visceral feels were and are so real. The ones that punch from afar; harnessed triggers of intimidation, manipulation, control, anger and threats. These are strategic distractions to keep me-you-us off balance. Vile smokescreens are inconsistent boundaries. I know for sure because I’ve seen this behavior and lived through it before. Some sort of cellular vibrations gets activated: a tsunami of soul’s hell unleashes earth bent scars.

All of me and those feels were punctured in the ventricle of my heart. It is an alarm to not lose focus on what really matters. Watch. Be vigilant. Protect. Speak out. I heard the trees grow through me repeating a mantra: “Safe. Safe. Safe. Let it be that way for all people.” It’s the voice-speak of my inner shore.

I’m not here to rescue. I’m here to stand for what I believe. Next to and with. By the sides of those not seen or heard. I understand the real – the soul break of rejection. We are not “them-way-over-there” We are one. United in this world to change a war waged for centuries on racism. Where different is NOT deemed impossible. Racism reeks from the superiority of blind whiteness. My skin color was birthed with privileges and I’ll use it to better this world.

My vote is to stitch the ripped seams of a systemic racial divide. To honor diversity for its richness and color of heart. To uplift education with deepest conviction. To protect the sacred lands of our forefathers – the Native Americans. To respect the prayers of gods and goddesses of all religions and spiritual nature of humankind. You see, I have this heart thing going on. It slips through my eyes and extends to the sea. And again, that makes me cry because I truly believe I am you and you are me.

~ Much love & respect, Carolyn


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Rose Soaked Rhapsody

rainy roses in window

Photo: C. Riker

Some moments
feel forever familiar
like rain skimmed pines
my heart aware, first
to quicken my ears
explores my skin
to cathedral wild
I sway absently
forgetting body shy
as if I’m a
rose soaked rhapsody
with rain’s sky.

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Sandstone, Star-birthed Knowing.

Dasha Riley

Photography: Dasha Riley

Just when you think, why?
images are inverted
deep in womb,
there’s a melody
of wind
on the brink
of swirled chemistry
somewhere in-between

Just when you think,
nothing can be birthed,
sparrows emit
from unseen holy
and woodpeckers
on the crook
of the left tree
tap to the timber
of a hollow drumbeat
fully echoing, a discerning…
follow, follow, follow

Just when you think,
the center of quiet, can’t,
you see the periphery of your soul,
a convalescing of you
the exquisite messages
symbiotic to your dreams
and hear yourself
become heartbeat
with breath of earth,
trees robe your pulse
beneath and above the arteries
of your sandstone, star-birthed skies

And you stop.
just to see the feel
the pure of here
of what you already know…
follow, follow, follow
your heart.

Carolyn Riker | Photography: Dasha Riley

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Ordinary sees Extraordinary.

Shelly Cunningham

Artist: Shelly Cunningham

Whiplashed heart
crushed to bare glass blue
to bone’s core
key strokes still fused
with virtual inkblot stares
surreal, is the feel
of feathery parchment
She crafts it to safe sailboat size
and voyages inner tempest
of why
and sees
ordinary people
share their
extraordinary stories
and cries
deep sea blue.


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