Monday, March 1, 2021

‘less

Push me out into space 

make me see good mother earth from the outside. 


I wanna see this place 


I wanna be in Space—I gotta be in space 


outside of this big ole world. 


 

Faster than the speed of sound. 


More powerful than the world being round. 


Riding through the universe. 


Floating with you in verse and in reverse 


outside of this big ole world. 


 

Making rings around the moon, 


I’m doing everything up and down 


acrobatic clown—a naturalistic sight. 


I have caught the speed of light 


outside of this big ole world. 


 

-1984 



Monday, January 18, 2021

Anne Answers The Esquire Questionnaire

According to Esquire Magazine, this evolved from a game that Marcel Proust helped popularize in 19th-century parlor soirees. People would take part purely as a party entertainment, though supposedly they often walked away with a greater insight into themselves. I can’t guarantee that that outcome, but it is fun and what the heck, we could all use a bit of amusement and/or enlightenment, so why not? 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Close to what I have, where I can sleep with cats, write, dance, eat great food, but also hang out with my neighbors and friends again!

What is your greatest fear?  Homelessness

     What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?   I believed in people that weren’t worth it. 

     What is the trait you most deplore in others?   Cruelty, not listening

     Which living person do you most admire?   Besides my friends, Oprah.

      What is your greatest extravagance?  Italian food on Arthur Avenue, and working in the recording studio

What is your current state of mind?  Thoughtful. Just being my own angel.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  Greed  ("Greed is good."-The Movie, "Wall Street")

On what occasion do you lie?   To protect friends.  Sometimes to myself, especially if I want to achieve something the universe seems to be saying "no" about.

What do you most dislike in your appearance?  I’m fat, and would love to be trimmer.

What living person do you most despise?  Of the people I know, I’d say there are about dozen people that bullied me when I wanted to mend fences with my artist.

What is the quality you most like in a man?   listening

What is the quality you most like in a woman?  Same thing.  We should be encouraging each other.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  Folks,  Meow, Woof, Joe.....

What or who is the greatest love of your life?   Myself

When and where were you happiest?  When I’m in bed with my cats

Which talent would you most like to have?  The right touch when I play piano or guitar.  Being able to play those instruments coherently and fluently.  Even on kalimba, I’m jagged.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  I want to be more lean.  I work at it, and I know it'll be amazing, someday.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  Believing that we can all create opportunities for ourselves.  It’s possible to make a profit as a writer.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? A neurologist. I’ve planned my next life. 

Where would you most like to live?  Right here in the Bronx!

What is your most treasured possession? My current computer and my poetry book "The Leighton Explosion."

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  People deliberately being destructive and hurting or killing others. That comes from making assumptions and prejudice.

What is your favorite occupation?  Of me, I’d say creative and artist development, including myself.

What is your most marked characteristic?  My voice and my smile.

What do you most value in your friends? They understand where I’m coming from.

Who are your favorite writers? Bruce Lee, Nelson Mandela, Dale Carnegie, King Solomon, Susie Rakowski, Elliott Murphy

Who is your hero from fiction?  Xena and Nancy Drew!!!

Which historical figure do you most identify with?  Frank Zappa

Who are your heroes in real life?  My friends Joe, Joe, Phoebe, Sharon, Ian, Larry, Hank, Greg, Catalina & her family

What are your favorite names?   Renee

What is it the you most dislike?  When I was younger, I didn’t see my beauty. Now it's just my weight that I dislike.  I've embraced all of me.  I understand the weight issue, and am working on it.

What is your greatest regret?  That I didn't always know how to work things out with people, and I'm still not succeeding with it.

How would you like to die?  After I got all my work done.

What is your motto? "It's not what you know, but who you know. And if you don't know 'em, go out and meet 'em!!!"   


 

 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

The House That Stood Alone

 

Though we see its narrow path

and we see its towering trees,

it's the house that stood all alone,

house that survived the war.


It’s the only one of its kind to do the deeds that it did

It’s the house that stood all alone

house that survived the war.


Let its glory shine on,

And it’s truth be known

it’s the house that stood all alone

house that survived the war

 

You’re no one’s property

Join the house party


Say it loud and proud-- I’m white and listening

We can be allies for all our friends

‘cause you need me and I need you

like Oprah and Maya Angelou

You’re no one’s property

Join our house party

 

The white leaders told this country

the negro’s our property

I believe it’s evil

Dreadful Scott decision

 

Like that Hunchback who cries

They changed Dred’s life

they messed with his mind

‘cause one of a kind

You’re no one’s property

Join our house party

 

We can’t look the other way

Gotta make it better day by day

We can’t be so rotten, man!!

Kindness helps everyone


Only that loving home

is standing alone

Like a lonely soul that’s speaking up

without anyone as back up

You’re no one’s property

Join our house party

 

Let me talk in the microphone

‘Bout The house that stood alone

 my first song

it’s about freedom and equality

why it keeps happening  

this face of cruelty

well, finally this house is not alone

This time love will go on and on

It’s our house party,

and it’s just beginning.

 

You’re no one’s property

Join our house party

Let’s ROCK THE PARTY!

THE HOUSE PARTY!!


The underground railroad

Took on a heavy load

‘cause fighting for freedom

Goes on for everyone!

 

There’s too much apathy

We felt it when we’re bullied

Some will be hateful

But we’ll rise like Maya Angelou!

 Let its glory shine on

and its truth be known!!!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Leighton Inclusion: My Next Big Project

Op-Ed: The Gift of Truth-Telling Women


Our Responsibilities on the Centennial of Women’s Right To Vote

I was unfriended for posting that Marianne Williamson supports vaccinations. It was during the 2019 political campaign when social media insisted she was a fat-shamer and an “anti-vaxxer.”  One of my intelligent friends blocked me when I insisted that Big Cat Rescue/Tiger King’s “villain” Carole Baskin was loved by the Cat Writers’ community. 

The City of Boston excommunicated Anne Hutchinson, in 1638, because she taught religion in her home.  In her trial, the church leader that, initially, helped midwife Anne bury a stillborn baby, betrayed her confidence. He testified against her.

The “witches” of the Middle Ages disturbed the male-led world order as many were midwives who brought new babies into the world. They were accused of eating babies and having their cats sneak into religious leaders’ bedrooms to infiltrate their dreams!    

I would have been burned or hanged as a witch.  I love cats, and have spoken up for myself. From firing an assistant who bullied a black man to pointing out a dear friend’s hypocrisy, I’ve angered friends whom I’ve confronted! 

I’m grateful to be alive today, thanks to my mom, ancestors, and inspirational big sisters like Gloria Steinem, and those activists who fought for women before her.  I’m glad that people like me are speaking up, and setting records straight, because we’re getting great work done in honest and powerful ways. We care about people, and many men and women know it.
 
I think that because the “crazy” women have purposeful lives and reflect historical archetypes of the “witch”/ ”mother”/ ”sage,” these females are scorned even by other women. Carrie Chapman Catt was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement that helped women the right to vote 100 years ago, August 26, 1920.  First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama are powerful and magical women, but regarded negatively by those with too much time on their hands and too little brains in their heads.

We still haven’t passed the Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced to Congress in 1971 (after almost 50 years of the first draft!).  We’re two states away from ratifying it to the United States Constitution. If it weren’t for the neighborhood feminist, who called me “Ms.” Leighton, I might not have voted for it.  It was my first time at the polls, and I didn’t know that I could be self-dependent being so new in the working world.

Fortunately, nobody made my way easy, and I adapted, taking care of business. What keeps us working is that we’re here to serve the planet and its people. I developed a professional showbiz career on my terms both as an artist and music services person.  

News of corruption, sexual misconduct, using government funds for personal use from national heroes, allegedly responsible leaders, and public figures coincided with the declining physical health of our world. We yell at our neighbors.  We saw our sisters lose careers if they spoke up against on-the-job abuse.  Some of us put them down, instead of going the extra mile to find out what was hurting them. 

One of the reasons we still struggle is that the truth-telling woman has been ostracized since the beginning of time.   

Smear campaigns… gossip… rumors.  Marianne Williamson posted on her social media, August 5, 2019 “There’s an ancient strain of misogyny that labels any women who doesn’t toe the line with the status quo of her time as ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous.’ We will not have full empowerment of women until we face that head on.” 

Gloria Steinem speaks of the importance of building up other women, not breaking them down. She never felt she could succeed alone. One of my showbiz online forums had a man posting that the Chicks were insincere and pandering to the public for dropping the offensive “Dixie” from their name.  A woman spoke up for the performers, “We should be happy they’re supporting blacks.” When he called them “irrelevant,” a lesbian posted that she appreciated their support all these years to the LGBTQ community, and that they collaborated with Taylor Swift. We can show the same support for our friends when they’re disrespected. 

None of us like gaslighting, nor people telling lies about us.  Even if there’s readily accessible proof of our innocence, we’ll see dishonest accusations. Maybe the bully is overwhelmed by the amount of content online.  Then again, perhaps the attacker has anger at the world, and wants to start a fight by belittling others.

Women need to speak up for themselves, especially if they’re the only ones willing to stand up for themselves!

We need to speak up for one another.  I first heard about Carole Baskin being bullied on the Netflix series “Tiger King” from Paw Project activist, veterinarian Dr Jennifer Conrad.  I was appalled as the Big Cat Rescue owners had been a great source when I wrote about jaguars and needed photos for CatFancy.  Tigers In America owner William Nimmo (tigersinamerica.org) said her rescue is a top tier animal sanctuary. Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy posted support on social media. She’s admitted on her website that she made mistakes in her early years, when she bred wild cats. But she moved on, and became a responsible animal rescuer. Part of her mission is lobbying Washington, DC politicians to pass HR 1380 and S2561:“The Big Cat Safety Act.” The goal is to diminish breeding and trade of wild cats.

Famous “witches” are Hillary Clinton, the Chicks (now and when they were Dixie), technology geeks, bodybuilders, Susan Boyle, Madam CJ Walker, Cher….   Even with deliberate adversity, these women seem to magically prove themselves because they’re smart, productive, and not involved with smear campaigns.  They’re busy making the world a better place, including doing their homework and being there for their friends.  

These women work in mysterious ways. They know their talents and purpose because they served the public, even making others powerful.  They’re so connected with the universe because they play and work with honesty, working for inclusion, especially for the underdogs....or abandoned cats.



Thursday, December 27, 2018

Leftovers

She gave herself the leftover words to write this poem.
Don’t say she gets no respect;
second best or worse yet sometimes surprises the supposed best.

When you laugh with a broken heart, it makes the humor more meaningful
And really, it’s not a broken heart,
just a wasted soul getting in the way of friends with underused middle fingers  inspiring revelations.

-December 2018

Sunday, May 6, 2018


To perform THE PASSION OF MARY, please contact my publisher, Demmer Dewan at admin@offthewallplays.com.

It’s the story of Mary Dyer coming of age.  She gains confidence as she battles for respect for her beliefs.  


THE PASSION OF MARY:
Three Act Drama,
“It wasn’t just witches they were hanging, but their own.”  The story of Quaker Mary Dyer, who was hanged by Puritans in the Boston Commonwealth in the 1600s.
  
The Passion of Mary, Synopsis

Forty years before the Salem witch trials, Massachusetts’ Puritans were hanging other Christians for slight differences of opinion. The play THE PASSION OF MARY details the importance of the Separation of Church and State in early America through the battles and life story of a young woman that builds self-awareness and confidence while keeping her sense of humor intact.   

Featuring a cast of historical characters including early leaders Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, plus England’s Lord Oliver Cromwell, the play starts as Mary buries her child that was stillborn and disfigured. Within weeks Mary’s world crumbles, first seeing her best friend kicked out of Boston where they had settled for over 16 years. Then the colony’s leaders discover the dead baby, and publicize to the entire community that Mary gave birth to a monster. She, too, is excommunicated, and scorned by her neighbors. 

Mary ends up in Providence, Rhode Island, with others that were kicked out of Boston.  The open-minded Roger Williams invites Mary to visit England with him.  It is their hope to create a positive relationship with the Native Americans that live in the new colony.  

In England, Mary becomes versed in the loving deeds of Quaker beliefs, and helps soothe the country’s leader Lord Oliver Cromwell through his many fears. Though respected in England, she wants to return home to the new world where her family lives. 

Upon her return, Mary's ship lands in Boston where the Puritans have declared the Quaker religion as illegal. She is arrested. Because her husband still has political ties with the Commonwealth, she is set free and ordered to never return. Mary returns, and is arrested yet again. One of her party is put to death. Mary's husband, who has been fighting to keep his wife at home, realizes the Puritans' cruelty, and finally offers his blessing for Mary to return again. His support allows her to sacrifice her life for religious freedom. 

Upon Mary's death, she is welcomed to the afterlife by her child, the one that the leaders of Boston referred to as a “monster.”

Anne Leighton, Playwright

Playwright Anne Leighton was inspired by the struggles of Mary Dyer coming of age and fighting for religious freedom in early America, plus by Arthur Miller’s play, THE CRUCIBLE. Anne believes that people—including women— can define themselves and create legacies. Her legacy includes a range of works including plays (REACH FOR THE SUN and the Jacob C. Hamer-winning ONE WAY TO HEAVEN), magazine articles for music, martial arts, and cat fans, and producing the Christmas song “Got My Eye On You, Santa.” She appears on the GRAMMY-nominated album, HEALTHY FOOD FOR THOUGHT.  Anne’s books are: THE LEIGHTON EXPLOSION, the e-book: GET THE GIG: COMMON SENSE CAREER CONSULTING, USING YOUR ART AND THE MEDIA TO COMFORT PEOPLE, and PAWS FOR THOUGHT: HOW TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR CAT IS THINKING.