February 02, 2013
I first saw Dominique perform at the Lohas Conference in 2012. Seeing her in person, you get a full-on dose of her power.
She has an other-worldly gift: when she speaks, the sound of her voice reaches down and grabs something so deep in your heart, you come undone. You don’t know where it’s coming from. You don’t expect it. You sit with curiosity, intrigue, perhaps waiting to be entertained or inspired. And then it happens. Tears are streaming down your face. All thoughts dissolve and your mind is silent. It’s just the pure essence and energy of being present in that moment, hanging on to the edge. of. each. word. It’s the words, but it’s not the words. It’s something deeper. The words are just the structure, the vehicle for her to deliver her packets of energy–love letters that go straight to your heart.
I invited Dominique to Phoenix to write a poem for you. I picked her up from the airport one morning and brought her to our office. I talked about flowers, nature, our work, and how we wish to benefit the whole world ... and then she sat down with her iPad and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. A poem. Right there and then. Just like that.
After lunch, she performed. And we wept, standing there listening, letting her voice wash over us, brushing tears off of our cheeks. Even David, the photographer, held his breath watching her in action - it took his breath away.
Dominique recited the poem several times so we could get a beautiful video of it for you. Each time we stood frozen, unable to move, until she said the last word. Each time she read the poem, I heard something in a different way, a whole new vast meaning to the same sounds.
i am learning how to be a flower, Dominque Ashaheed :: poet, teacher, mama, international women's slam poetry champion 2012, national slam poetry champion 2012; video credits: David Mills; photo credits: Lisa Reinhardt.